The concept of social structure is crucial in social analysis, yet sociologists' use of the term is often ambiguous and misleading. Contributing to the ambiguity is a tendency to imply the meaning of "social structure" either by opposing it to agency or by contrasting it to culture, thus reducing "structure" to pure constraint and suggesting that "culture" is not structured. Even more damaging is the tendency to conflate these two contrasts. To add to the confusion, these contrasts are often mapped (...) inappropriately onto other dichotomies prevalent in social theorizing, including material versus ideal, external versus internal, static versus active, and objective versus subjective, to produce a conceptual prism in which structure, agency, and culture are all poorly understood. This article attempts to disentangle these concepts from the aforementioned system of contrasts, to specify the connections between structure and agency, and to make a case for the inclusion of culture in the sociological conception of social structure. (shrink)
Atran adds a synthesis of much of the literature on folk-biological classification to important new experimental data relevant to long-standing inferences about the structure of folk taxonomies. What we know about such systems is somewhat overstated, and key issues remain unresolved, especially concerning the centrality of “generic species,” the primacy of “general purpose” taxonomies, and domain specificity.
In 1911, Drs John Freeman and Leonard Noon published an account of a novel treatment for hay fever. Their method of desensitisation consisted of injecting increasing doses of an extract of pollen subcutaneously until the hypersensitivity reaction was diminished or abolished. Over subsequent decades, desensitisation established itself as the cornerstone of clinical allergy in both England and the United States, at least until the advent of novel pharmaceutical agents in the 1950s and 1960s. Although British allergists such as Noon and (...) Freeman were aware of conceptual developments within European immunology and pathology (such as the identification of anaphylaxis by Richet and Portier or von Pirquet's coining of the term allergy), their approach to hay fever was driven by more immediate pragmatic, and indeed financial, considerations. Freeman's immersion in the problems of hay fever and asthma and his pioneering use of allergen desensitisation or immunotherapy were shaped by his adherence to the convictions and bacteriological practices of his principal at St Mary's Hospital, Almroth Wright, and by the drive to produce commercial vaccines which would help to subsidise the experimental and therapeutic work at St Mary's. The aim of this paper is to explore early twentieth-century approaches to hay fever and other allergic diseases by tracing the intellectual and institutional origins of clinical allergy in Britain. (shrink)
Kristin Shrader-Frechette: Taking Action, Saving Lives: Our Duties to Protect Environmental and Public Health Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11948-011-9267-1 Authors Matthew Benjamin Reisman, Environmental Studies, The University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, USA Journal Science and Engineering Ethics Online ISSN 1471-5546 Print ISSN 1353-3452.
Kristin Andrews proposes a new framework for thinking about folk psychology, which she calls Pluralistic Folk Psychology. Her approach emphasizes kinds of psychological prediction and explanation that don't rest on propositional attitude attribution. Here I review some elements of her theory and find that, although the approach is very promising, there's still work to be done before we can conclude that the manners of prediction and explanation she identifies don't involve implicit propositional attitude attribution.
Through the early twentieth century, asthmatics were advised to move to a more suitable climate, or to vacation in one during their worst season. In the late nineteenth century, physicians sought to quantify the ideal temperature, humidity, altitude, and pollen count to help travellers to select a suitable place, but these investigations led some physicians to question contradictions between expected and actual conditions. Given that even the best climate was not perfect at all times, and that many patients could not (...) afford to travel or relocate, a group of physicians-who came to be known as allergists-sought ways to adapt their patients to any climate through changes in their indoor environments and treatments to manage their symptoms. Their approach included changes in household design, furnishings, and cleaning techniques, especially a strict avoidance of dust, which could carry feathers, animal hair, skin debris, pollen, moulds, and an unknown 'dust' allergen. Air filtering and air conditioning were also promoted as ways to protect asthmatics and hay fever sufferers. These modifications of patients and their microenvironments signalled both a move away from climactic approaches to asthma and toward the sanitary, modernist home of the twentieth century. (shrink)
In this paper, I address some of the shortcomings of established clinical ethics centring on personal autonomy and consent and what I label the Doctrine of Respecting Personal Autonomy in Healthcare. I discuss two implications of this doctrine: 1) the practice for treating patients who are considered to have borderline decision-making competence and 2) the practice of surrogate decision-making in general. I argue that none of these practices are currently aligned with respectful treatment of vulnerable individuals. Because of 'structural arbitrariness' (...) in the whole process of how we assess decision-making competence, this area is open to disrespectful treatment of people. The practice of surrogate decision- making on the basis of a single person's judgment is arguably not consistent with ethical and political requirements derived from the doctrine itself. In response to the inadequacies of the doctrine, I suggest a framework for reasonableness in surrogate decision-making which might allow practice to avoid the problems above. I conclude by suggesting an extended concept of Patient Autonomy which integrates both personal autonomy and the regulative idea of morality that is required by reasonableness in deciding for non-competent others. (shrink)
There has been much discussion about how to obtain legitimacy at macro-level priority setting in health care by use of fair procedures, but how should we consider priority setting by individual clinicians or health workers at the micro-level? Despite the fact that just health care totally hinges upon their decisions, surprisingly little attention seems being paid to the legitimacy of these decisions. This paper addresses the following question: what are the conditions that have to be met in order to ensure (...) that individual claims on health care are well aligned with an overall concept of just health care? Drawing upon a distinction between individual and aggregated needs, I argue that even though we assume the legitimacy of macro-level guidelines, this legitimacy is not directly transferable to decisions at micro-level simply by adherence to the guidelines’ recommendation. Further, I argue that individual claims are subject to the formal principle of equality and the demands of vertical and horizontal equity in a way that gives context- and patient-related equity concerns precedence over equity concerns captured at the macro-level. I conclude that if we aim to achieve just health care, we need to develop a complementary framework for legitimising individual judgment of patients’ claims on health care resources. Moreover, I suggest the basic structure of such a framework. (shrink)
The London suicide bombings of July 7, 2005 were partly the revolt of moral earnestness against a liberal society that, enchanted by the fantasy of rationalist anthropology, surrenders its passionate members to a degrading consumerism. The "humane" liberalism variously espoused by Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, and Jeffrey Stout offers a dignifying alternative; but it is fragile, and each of its proponents looks for allies among certain kinds of religious believer. Stanley Hauerwas, however, counsels Christians against cooperation. On the one hand, (...) he is right to resist, insofar as liberalism illiberally excludes theology from public discourse. On the other hand, not all humane liberalism does this: Stout's, for example, is genuinely polyglot, requiring not a common secularist language but a common ethic of communicating. Such a liberal ethic and its attendant anthropology merit the support of Christians: there may be more to be said about the Kingdom of God than respect, tolerance, and fairness, but there will not be less. The Christian has good theological reasons to expect some concord with other inhabitants of secular space. Ethical distinctiveness is no measure of theological integrity; and neither theology ( pace Barth) nor biblical narrative ( pace Richard Hays) should be expected to do all of the ethical running. If Christians are to be thorough in their moral theology and intelligible in their public statements, then they must borrow non-theological material, formulate abstract concepts, and engage in casuistical analysis. Nevertheless, if an anxious insistence on distinctiveness is a mistake, concern for theological integrity is not. When the moral theologian borrows ethical material from elsewhere, he should integrate it into a theological vision structured by the Christian salvation-historical narrative, which will sometimes modify the meaning of what is incorporated. So in affirming humane, polyglot liberalism, the moral theologian will at the same time make salutary qualifications. One of these is the assertion of the need of liberal institutions to own and promote their moral and anthropological commitments. In such a confessionally liberal society, universities in general, and the Arts and Humanities in particular, would recover their vocation to form citizens in communicative virtues and to offer them a dignifying, morally serious vision of human being that could save future generations from a degrading consumerism on the one hand and violent over-reaction on the other. (shrink)
In Reference without Referents, Mark Sainsbury aims to provide an account of reference that honours the common-sense view that sentences containing empty names like "Vulcan" and "Santa Claus" are entirely intelligible, and that many such sentences -"Vulcan doesn't exist", "Many children believe that Santa Claus will give them presents at Christmas", etc.- are literally true. Sainsbury's account endorses the Davidsonian program in the theory of meaning, and combines this with a commitment to Negative Free Logic, which holds that all simple (...) sentences containing empty names are false. In this critical review, we pose a number of problems for this account. In particular, we question the ability of Negative Free Logic to make appropriate sense of the truth of familiar sentences containing empty names, including negative existential claims like "Vulcan doesn't exist". /// En Reference without Referents, Mark Sainsbury se propone ofrecer una explicación de la referencia que respete la idea de sentido común de que las oraciones con nombres vacíos como "Vulcano" y "Santa Claus" son completamente inteligibles, y que muchas de oraciones de este tipo -"Vulcano no existe", "Muchos niños creen que Santa Claus les traerá regalos en Navidad", y demás- son literalmente verdaderas. La propuesta de Sainsbury se inscribe dentro del programa davidsoniano en teoría del significado, y combina éste con un compromiso con la Lógica Libre Negativa, según la cual todas las oraciones simples que contienen nombres vacíos son falsas. En este estudio crítico, presentamos varios problemas de esta explicación. En particular, ponemos en duda la habilidad de la Lógica Libre Negativa de entender de manera apropiada la verdad de oraciones conocidas que contienen nombres vacíos, incluidas negaciones de existencia como "Vulcano no existe". (shrink)
Clinical ethical support services (CESS) represent a multifaceted field of aims, consultancy models, and methodologies. Nevertheless, the overall aim of CESS can be summed up as contributing to healthcare of high ethical standards by improving ethically competent decision-making in clinical healthcare. In order to support clinical care adequately, CESS must pay systematic attention to all real-life ethical issues, including those which do not fall within the ‘favourite’ ethical issues of the day. In this paper we attempt to capture a comprehensive (...) overview of categories of ethical tensions in clinical care. We present an analytical exposition of ethical structural features in judgement-based clinical care predicated on the assumption of the moral equality of human beings and the assessment of where healthcare contexts pose a challenge to achieving moral equality. The account and the emerging overview is worked out so that it can be easily contextualized with regards to national healthcare systems and specific branches of healthcare, as well as local healthcare institutions. By considering how the account and the overview can be applied to i) improve the ethical competence of healthcare personnel and consultants by broadening their sensitivity to ethical tensions, ii) identify neglected areas for ethical research, and iii) clarify the ethical responsibility of healthcare institutions' leadership, as well as specifying required institutionalized administration, we conclude that the proposed account should be considered useful for CESS. (shrink)
Background Posthumous organ procurement is hindered by the consenting process. Several consenting systems have been proposed. There is limited information on public relative attitudes towards various consenting systems, especially in Middle Eastern/Islamic countries. Methods We surveyed 698 Saudi Adults attending outpatient clinics at a tertiary care hospital. Preference and perception of norm regarding consenting options for posthumous organ donation were explored. Participants ranked (1, most agreeable) the following, randomly-presented, options from 1 to 11: no-organ-donation, presumed consent, informed consent by donor-only, (...) informed consent by donor-or-surrogate, and mandatory choice; the last three options ± medical or financial incentive. Results Mean(SD) age was 32(9) year, 27% were males, 50% were patients’ companions, 60% had ≥ college education, and 20% and 32%, respectively, knew an organ donor or recipient. Mandated choice was among the top three choices for preference of 54% of respondents, with an overall median[25%,75%] ranking score of 3[2,6], and was preferred over donor-or-surrogate informed consent (4[2,7], p vs. 11[6,11], respectively, p = 0.002). Compared to females, males more perceived donor-or-surrogate informed consent as the norm (3[1,6] vs. 5[3,7], p vs. 8[4,9], p vs. 5[2,7], p Conclusions We conclude that: 1) most respondents were in favor of posthumous organ donation, 2) mandated choice system was the most preferred and presumed consent system was the least preferred, 3) there was no difference between preference and perception of norm in consenting systems ranking, and 4) financial (especially in females) and medical (especially in males) incentives reduced preference. (shrink)
Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of (...) ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago. In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented. With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era. (shrink)
Accrediting institutions and state departments of education are requiring descriptions to work together to tie teacher education curriculum to state and national standards. Most state and national accrediting bodies have at least one diversity standard. Principle Three of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC; 1992) states, “The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners” (p. 18). This article describes how the college of education faculty (...) at Fort Hays State University in Kansas and the faculty at Stillman College, a historically black college in Alabama, are creatlng an electronic learning community to meet this challenge. The program uses the case study method to lead students to think critically about their own dispositions and the strategies they are using to prepare their future teachers to meet the diverse needs of their future classrooms. (shrink)