Computer simulation and philosophy of science Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9567-8 Authors Wendy S. Parker, Department of Philosophy, Ellis Hall 202, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
At the International Legal Ethics Conference IV held at Stanford Law School between 15 and 17 July 2010, one of the two opening plenary sessions consisted of a panel who debated the proposition that legal ethics should be mandatory in legal education. The panel included leading legal ethics academics from jurisdictions around the world—both those where legal ethics is a compulsory part of the law degree and those where it is not. It comprised Professors Andrew Boon, Brent Cotter, Christine (...) class='Hi'>Parker, Stephen L Pepper and Richard Wu, and was organised and chaired by Professor Kim Economides. This is an edited version of the panel's discussion. It provides a useful summary of the state of legal ethics teaching in the jurisdictions represented as well as a marshalling of the arguments for and against legal ethics as a required course in the university law degree. (shrink)
What follows is a dialogue, in the Platonic sense, concerning the justifications for "business ethics" as a vehicle for asking questions about the values of modern business organisations. The protagonists are the authors, Gordon Pearson – a pragmatist and sceptic where business ethics is concerned – and Martin Parker – a sociologist and idealist who wishes to be able to ask ethical questions of business. By the end of the dialogue we come to no agreement on the necessity or (...) justification for business ethics, but on the way discuss the uses of philosophy, the meanings of integrity and trust, McDonald''s, a hypothetical torture manufacturer and various other matters. (shrink)
A comprehensive and systematic reconstruction of the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, perhaps America's most far-ranging and original philosopher, which reveals the unity of his complex and influential body of thought. We are still in the early stages of understanding the thought of C. S. Peirce (1839-1914). Although much good work has been done in isolated areas, relatively little considers the Peircean system as a whole. Peirce made it his life's work to construct a scientifically sophisticated and logically rigorous philosophical (...) system, culminating in a realist epistemology and a metaphysical theory ("synechism") that postulates the connectedness of all things in a universal evolutionary process. In The Continuity of Peirce's Thought, Kelly Parker shows how the principle of continuity functions in phenomenology and semeiotics, the two most novel and important of Peirce's philosophical sciences, which mediate between mathematics and metaphysics. Parker argues that Peirce's concept of continuity is the central organizing theme of the entire Peircean philosophical corpus. He explains how Peirce's unique conception of the mathematical continuum shapes the broad sweep of his thought, extending from mathematics to metaphysics and in religion. He thus provides a convenient and useful overview of Peirce's philosophical system, situating it within the history of ideas and mapping interconnections among the diverse areas of Peirce's work. This challenging yet helpful book adopts an innovative approach to achieve the ambitious goal of more fully understanding the interrelationship of all the elements in the entire corpus of Peirce's writings. Given Peirce's importance in fields ranging from philosophy to mathematics to literary and cultural studies, this new book should appeal to all who seek a fuller, unified understanding of the career and overarching contributions of Peirce, one of the key figures in the American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
In that Case Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9261-3 Authors Malcolm Parker, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
In this article, Walter Parker brings structure and agency to the foreground of the current tumult of public schooling in the United States. He focuses on three structures that are serving as rules and resources for creative agency. These are a discourse of derision about failing schools, a broad mobilization of multiculturalism, and an enduring nationalism. Drawing on Anthony Giddens's structuration theory, Parker examines how these discourses figure in redefining school reform, redefining school curricula, and requiring schools once (...) again to serve nationalistic purposes. (shrink)
Republication: In That Case Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9264-0 Authors Malcolm Parker, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
There is no uniquely standard concept of an effectively decidable set of real numbers or real n-tuples. Here we consider three notions: decidability up to measure zero [M.W. Parker, Undecidability in Rn: Riddled basins, the KAM tori, and the stability of the solar system, Phil. Sci. 70(2) (2003) 359–382], which we abbreviate d.m.z.; recursive approximability [or r.a.; K.-I. Ko, Complexity Theory of Real Functions, Birkhäuser, Boston, 1991]; and decidability ignoring boundaries [d.i.b.; W.C. Myrvold, The decision problem for entanglement, in: (...) R.S. Cohen et al. (Eds.), Potentiality, Entanglement, and Passion-at-a-Distance: Quantum Mechanical Studies fo Abner Shimony, Vol. 2, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Great Britain, 1997, pp. 177–190]. Unlike some others in the literature, these notions apply not only to certain nice sets, but to general sets in Rn and other appropriate spaces. We consider some motivations for these concepts and the logical relations between them. It has been argued that d.m.z. is especially appropriate for physical applications, and on Rn with the standard measure, it is strictly stronger than r.a. [M.W. Parker, Undecidability in Rn: Riddled basins, the KAM tori, and the stability of the solar system, Phil. Sci. 70(2) (2003) 359–382]. Here we show that this is the only implication that holds among our three decidabilities in that setting. Under arbitrary measures, even this implication fails. Yet for intervals of non-zero length, and more generally, convex sets of non-zero measure, the three concepts are equivalent. (shrink)
Psychology is meant to help people cope with the afflictions of modern society. But how useful is it? Ian Parker argues that current psychological practice has become part of the problem rather than the solution. Ideal for undergraduates, this book unravels the discipline to reveal the conformist assumptions that underlie its theory and practice. Psychology focuses on the happiness of "the individual." Yet it neglects the fact that personal experience depends on social and political surroundings. Parker argues that (...) a new approach to psychology is needed. He offers an alternative vision, outlining how debates in the discipline can be linked to political practice and how it can become part of a wider progressive agenda. Parker's groundbreaking book is at the cutting edge of current thinking on the discipline and should be required reading in all psychology courses. (shrink)
'The more we enquire, the less we can resolve,' wrote Johnson. Scepticism-a reasoned emphasis on the severe limitations of rationality-would seem to undermine the grounds of belief and action. But in some of the best eighteenth-century literature, a theoretically paralysing critique of the pretensions of reason, precept, and language went hand in hand with a vigorous intellectual, moral, and linguistic confidence. To realise philosophical scepticism as literature was effectively to transform it. Dr Parker traces the presence of this life-giving (...) irony in works by Pope, Hume, Sterne, and Johnson, relates it more broadly to the social self-consciousness of eighteenth-century culture, and discusses its source in Locke and its inspiration in Montaigne. The argument serves as a reminder that radical scepticism is not the invention of the late twentieth century, and that its strategies and implications have never been more interestingly explored than in the eighteenth. (shrink)
Shanachie and Norm Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9356-0 Authors Malcolm Parker, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, 288 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
Since the publication of his first book in English in 1989, Slavoj Zizek has quickly become one of the most widely read and contentious intellectuals alive today. With dazzling wit and tremendous creativity he has produced innovative and challenging explorations of Lacan, Hegel and Marx, and used his insights to exhilarating effect in analyses of popular culture. While Zizek is always engaging, he is also elusive and even contradictory. It can be very hard to finally determine where he stands on (...) a particular issue. Is Zizek Marxist or Post-Marxist? How seriously should we take his recent turn to Christianity? Slavoj Zizek: A Critical Introduction shows the reader a clear path through the twists and turns of Zizek's writings. Ian Parker takes Zizek's treatment of Hegel, Lacan and Marx in turn and outlines and assesses Zizek's interpretation and extension of these thinkers' theories. While Parker is never hastily dismissive of Zizek's innovations, he remains critical throughout, aware that the energy of Zizek's writing can be bewitching and beguiling as well as engaging and profound. (shrink)
Insight, by F. H. Parker.--Why be uncritical about the life-world? By H. B. Veatch.--Homage to Saint Anselm, by R. Jordan.--Art and philosophy, by J. M. Anderson.--The phenomenon of world, by R. R. Ehman.--The life-world and its historical horizon, by C. O. Schrag.--The Lebenswelt as ground and as Leib in Husserl: somatology, psychology, sociology, by E. Paci.--Life-world and structures, by C. A. van Peursen.--The miser, by E. W. Straus.--Monetary value and personal value, by G. Schrader.--Individualisms, by W. L. McBride.--Sartre the (...) individualist, by W. Desan.--The nature of social man, by M. Natanson.--The problem of the will and philosophical discourse, by P. Ricoeur.--Structuralism and humanism, by M. Dufrenne.--The illusion of monolinear time, by N. Lawrence.--Can grammar be thought? By J. M. Edie.--The existentialist critique of objectivity, by S. J. Todes and H. L. Dreyfus.--Bibliography (p. 391-400). (shrink)
A number of recent discussions comparing computer simulation and traditional experimentation have focused on the significance of “materiality.” I challenge several claims emerging from this work and suggest that computer simulation studies are material experiments in a straightforward sense. After discussing some of the implications of this material status for the epistemology of computer simulation, I consider the extent to which materiality (in a particular sense) is important when it comes to making justified inferences about target systems on the basis (...) of experimental results. (shrink)
This article identifies conditions under which robust predictive modeling results have special epistemic significance---related to truth, confidence, and security---and considers whether those conditions hold in the context of present-day climate modeling. The findings are disappointing. When today’s climate models agree that an interesting hypothesis about future climate change is true, it cannot be inferred---via the arguments considered here anyway---that the hypothesis is likely to be true or that scientists’ confidence in the hypothesis should be significantly increased or that a claim (...) to have evidence for the hypothesis is now more secure. (shrink)
Lloyd (2009) contends that climate models are confirmed by various instances of fit between their output and observational data. The present paper argues that what these instances of fit might confirm are not climate models themselves, but rather hypotheses about the adequacy of climate models for particular purposes. This required shift in thinking—from confirming climate models to confirming their adequacy-for-purpose—may sound trivial, but it is shown to complicate the evaluation of climate models considerably, both in principle and in practice.
Recent work has defended “Euclidean” theories of set size, in which Cantor’s Principle (two sets have equally many elements if and only if there is a one-to-one correspondence between them) is abandoned in favor of the Part-Whole Principle (if A is a proper subset of B then A is smaller than B). It has also been suggested that Gödel’s argument for the unique correctness of Cantor’s Principle is inadequate. Here we see from simple examples, not that Euclidean theories of set (...) size are wrong, but that they must be either very weak and narrow or largely arbitrary and misleading. (shrink)
With the question “What is 'discourse?' “ as the starting point, this paper addresses ways of identifying particular discourses, and attends to how these discourses should be distinguished from texts. The emergence of discourse analysis within psychology, and the continuing influence of linguistic and post-structuralist ideas on practitioners, provide the basis on which discourse-analytic research can be developed fruitfully. This paper discusses the descriptive, analytic and educative functions of discourse analysis, and addresses the cultural and political (...) questions which arise when discourse analysts reflect on their activity. Suggestions for an adequate definition of discourse are proposed and supported by seven criteria which should be adopted to identify discourses, and which attend to contradictions between and within them. Three additional criteria are then suggested to relate discourse analysis to wider political issues. (shrink)
Allan Franklin has identified a number of strategies that scientists use to build confidence in experimental results. This paper shows that Franklin's strategies have direct analogues in the context of computer simulation and then suggests that one of his strategies—the so-called 'Sherlock Holmes' strategy—deserves a privileged place within the epistemologies of experiment and simulation. In particular, it is argued that while the successful application of even several of Franklin's other strategies (or their analogues in simulation) may not be sufficient for (...) justified belief in results, the successful application of a slightly elaborated version of the Sherlock Holmes strategy is sufficient. (shrink)
The influence of direct-to-consumer advertising and physician promotions are examined in this study. We further examine some of the ethical issues which may arise when physicians accept promotional products from pharmaceutical companies. The data revealed that direct-to-consumer advertising is likely to increase the request rates of both the drug category and the drug brand choices, as well as the likelihood that those drugs will be prescribed by physicians. The data further revealed that the majority of responding physicians were either neutral (...) or did not feel that accepting some types of gifts from pharmaceutical companies affected their ethical behaviors. (shrink)
We consider an approach to some philosophical problems that I call the Method of Conceptual Articulation: to recognize that a question may lack any determinate answer, and to re-engineer concepts so that the question acquires a definite answer in such a way as to serve the epistemic motivations behind the question. As a case study we examine “Galileo’s Paradox”, that the perfect square numbers seem to be at once as numerous as the whole numbers, by one-to-one correspondence, and yet less (...) numerous, being a proper subset. I argue that Cantor resolved this paradox by a method at least close to that proposed—not by discovering the true nature of cardinal number, but by articulating several useful and appealing extensions of number to the infinite. Galileo was right to suggest that the concept of relative size did not apply to the infinite, for the concept he possessed did not. Nor was Bolzano simply wrong to reject Hume’s Principle (that one-to-one correspondence implies equal number) in the infinitary case, in favor of Euclid’s Common Notion 5 (that the whole is greater than the part), for the concept of cardinal number (in the sense of “number of elements”) was not clearly defined for infinite collections. Order extension theorems now suggest that a theory of cardinality upholding Euclid’s principle instead of Hume’s is possible. Cantor’s refinements of number are not the only ones possible, and they appear to have been shaped by motivations and fruitfulness, for they evolved in discernible stages correlated with emerging applications and results. Galileo, Bolzano, and Cantor shared interests in the particulate analysis of the continuum and in physical applications. Cantor’s concepts proved fruitful for those pursuits. Finally, Gödel was mistaken to claim that Cantor’s concept of cardinality is forced on us; though Gödel gives an intuitively compelling argument, he ignores the fact that Euclid’s Common Notion is also intuitively compelling, and we are therefore forced to make a choice. The success of Cantor’s concept of cardinality lies not in its truth (for concepts are not true or false), nor its uniqueness (for it is not the only extension of number possible), but in its intuitive appeal, and most of all, its usefulness to the understanding. (shrink)
After showing how Deborah Mayo’s error-statistical philosophy of science might be applied to address important questions about the evidential status of computer simulation results, I argue that an error-statistical perspective offers an interesting new way of thinking about computer simulation models and has the potential to significantly improve the practice of simulation model evaluation. Though intended primarily as a contribution to the epistemology of simulation, the analysis also serves to fill in details of Mayo’s epistemology of experiment.
To study Earth’s climate, scientists now use a variety of computer simulation models. These models disagree in some of their assumptions about the climate system, yet they are used together as complementary resources for investigating future climatic change. This paper examines and defends this use of incompatible models. I argue that climate model pluralism results both from uncertainty concerning how to best represent the climate system and from difficulties faced in evaluating the relative merits of complex models. I describe how (...) incompatible climate models are used together in ‘multi-model ensembles’ and explain why this practice is reasonable, given scientists’ inability to identify a ‘best’ model for predicting future climate. Finally, I characterize climate model pluralism as involving both an ontic competitive pluralism and a pragmatic integrative pluralism. (shrink)
This paper examines Boltzmann’s responses to the Loschmidt reversibility objection to the H-theorem, as presented in his Lectures on Gas Theory. I describe and evaluate two distinct conceptions of the assumption of molecular disorder found in this work, and contrast these notions with the Stosszahlansatz, as well as with the predominant contemporary conception of molecular disorder. Both these conceptions are assessed with respect to the reversibility objection. Finally, I interpret Boltzmann as claiming that a state of molecular disorder serves as (...) a necessary condition for the application of probabilistic arguments. This in turn offers a way to bridge the conceptual gap between the H-theorem and his combinatorial argument. (shrink)
The turn to empirical ethics answers two calls. The first is for a richer account of morality than that afforded by bioethical principlism, which is cast as excessively abstract and thin on the facts. The second is for the facts in question to be those of human experience and not some other, unworldly realm. Empirical ethics therefore promises a richer naturalistic ethics, but in fulfilling the second call it often fails to heed the metaethical requirements related to the first. Empirical (...) ethics risks losing the normative edge which necessarily characterizes the ethical, by failing to account for the nature and the logic of moral norms. I sketch a naturalistic theory, teleological expressivism (TE), which negotiates the naturalistic fallacy by providing a more satisfactory means of taking into account facts and research data with ethical implications. The examples of informed consent and the euthanasia debate are used to illustrate the superiority of this approach, and the problems consequent on including the facts in the wrong kind of way. (shrink)
We examine a case in which non-computable behavior in a model is revealed by computer simulation. This is possible due to differing notions of computability for sets in a continuous space. The argument originally given for the validity of the simulation involves a simpler simulation of the simulation , still further simulations thereof, and a universality conjecture. There are difficulties with that argument, but there are other, heuristic arguments supporting the qualitative results. It is urged, using this example, that absolute (...) validation, while highly desirable, is overvalued. Simulations also provide valuable insights that we cannot yet (if ever) prove. (shrink)
This study drew on three theoretical perspectives – attribution theory, power, and role identity theory – to compare the job-related outcomes of sexual harassment from organizational insiders (i.e., supervisors and co-workers) and organizational outsiders (i.e., offend- ers and members of the public) in a sample ( n = 482) of UK police officers and police support staff. Results showed that sexual harassment from insiders was related (...) to higher intentions to quit, over-performance demands, and lower job satisfaction, whereas sexual harassment from outsiders was not significantly related to any of the outcome variables investigated. We also examined two moderator variables: equal opportunity support and confidence in grievance procedures. Consistent with our hypotheses, equal oppor- tunity support mitigated the effects of sexual harassment from supervisors on intent to quit and over-performance demands. Confidence in grievance procedures moderated the relationship between sexual harassment from supervisors and all outcome variables. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (shrink)
In 1951 Henrietta Lacks felt a lump in her cervix, entered Johns Hopkins Hospital, and was examined in a colored-only exam room by a physician who biopsied the lump. Called back to Hopkins for treatment of diagnosed carcinoma of the cervix, Henrietta signed a one-line “Operation Permit,” and under general anesthesia received her first round of radium treatment. Before sewing a tube of radium into her cervix, the surgeon on duty took samples of tumor and healthy tissue, and as with (...) many other samples taken from charity patients at Hopkins, handed the samples to researchers trying to develop an immortal human cell line (an important research tool, an immortal cell line is a population of cells from a multicellular .. (shrink)
Peter Hare's writings on civil disobedience suggest that he was not a "quiet man," though he was indeed soft-spoken. He was certainly earnest about matters of conscience, about doing the right thing and doing things right. He was a model of intellectual integrity for several generations of American philosophers. Moreover, when he saw a need he seldom hesitated to take it on himself: sitting on many, many dissertation committees, editing a major philosophical journal, helping found new professional associations. Time after (...) time, he generously committed himself to make things happen. He was an engaged intellectual, tuned in and ready to act in his soft-spoken, earnest, and effective way.The depth of Peter Hare's .. (shrink)
Josiah Royce (1855-1916) was the leading American proponent of absolute idealism, the metaphysical view (also maintained by G. W. F. Hegel and F. H. Bradley) that all aspects of reality, including those we experience as disconnected or contradictory, are ultimately unified in the thought of a single all-encompassing consciousness. Royce also made original contributions in ethics, philosophy of community, philosophy of religion and logic. His major works include The Religious Aspect of Philosophy (1885), The World and the Individual (1899-1901), The (...) Philosophy of Loyalty (1908), and The Problem of Christianity (1913). Royce's friendly but longstanding dispute with William James, known as "The Battle of the Absolute," deeply influenced both philosophers' thought. In his later works, Royce reconceived his metaphysics as an "absolute pragmatism" grounded in semiotics. This view dispenses with the Absolute Mind of previous idealism and instead characterizes reality as a universe of ideas or signs which occur in a process of being interpreted by an infinite community of minds. These minds, and the community they constitute, may themselves be understood as signs. Royce's ethics, philosophy of community, philosophy of religion, and logic reflect this metaphysical position. (shrink)
Study of “theory of mind” in nonhuman primates is hampered both by the lack of rigorous methodology that Heyes stresses and by our lack of knowledge of the cognitive neuroscience of nonhuman primate conceptual structure. Recent advances in this field indicate that progress can be made by first asking simpler research questions.
In this paper I examine Albert’s (2000) claim that the low entropy state of the early universe is sufficient to explain irreversible thermodynamic phenomena. In particular, I argue that conditionalising on the initial state of the universe does not have the explanatory power it is presumed to have. I present several arguments to the effect that Albert’s ‘past hypothesis’ alone cannot justify the belief in past non-equilibrium conditions or ground the veracity of records of the past.
A coherent theory of relations was a critical part of Russell’s metaphysics. In Appearance and Reality Bradley posed a problem that sits squarely in the way of any doctrine of “external” relations. Russell, determined to advance such a doctrine, tried several times to find a way around the paradox and apparently believed he had succeeded by making use of one of his inventions, the theory of logical types.Gilbert Ryle and Alan Donagan have advanced an argument that I read, over the (...) objections of its authors, as a special case of Bradley’s. In this paper I argue that the ad hoc solution suggested by Donagan to the special problem is one that Russell had already indicated a willingness to accept but that the general problem of the paradox remains.What finally prevents Russell from solving the paradox is a combination of his refusal to abandon the claim that relations are constituents of facts and the necessity of distinguishing a relational fact from its converse. Following some hints that Russell left, I do some reconstruction, showing how the theory of types would (and should) have been applied had Russell followed through on his own insights. The result, I suggest, is a truly Russellian theory that escapes Bradley’s paradox. (shrink)
This dialogue engages with the ethics of politics of capitalism, and enacts a debate between two participants who have divergent views on these matters. Beginning with a discussion concerning definitions of capitalism, it moves on to cover issues concerning our different understandings of the costs and benefits of global capitalist systems. This then leads into a debate about the nature and purposes of regulation, in terms of whether regulation is intended to make competition work better for consumers, or to prevent (...) negative outcomes for citizens. The conclusion speculates about the usefulness or otherwise of this Socratic method of dialogue. (shrink)
Over the last 300 years science has been quite successful at revealing the nature of physical reality. In so doing it has provided an epistemological basis for scientific discovery and technological innovation. But science has been decidedly less successful at guiding political debate. How do we conceive of the science-society relation in the 21st century? How does scientific research hook onto the world in a multi-faceted, pluralistic, and global age? This essay seeks to reframe our thinking about the broader impacts (...) of science by awakening an appreciation of the inescapably political and (and as a consequence, philosophical) dimension of all knowledge, scientific or otherwise. (shrink)
Proceedings of the Pittsburgh Workshop in History and Philosophy of Biology, Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, March 23-24 2001 Session 2: Female Orgasms and Evolutionary Theory.
The relationship between evidence-based medicine (EBM) and clinical judgement is the subject of conceptual and practical dispute. For example, EBM and clinical guidelines are seen to increasingly dominate medical decision-making at the expense of other, human elements, and to threaten the art of medicine. Clinical wisdom always remains open to question. We want to know why particular beliefs are held, and the epistemological status of claims based in wisdom or experience. The paper critically appraises a number of claims and distinctions, (...) and attempts to clarify the connections between EBM, clinical experience and judgement, and the objective and evaluative categories of medicine. I conclude that to demystify clinical wisdom is not to devalue it. EBM ought not be conceived as needing to be limited or balanced by clinical wisdom, since if its language is translatable into terms comprehensible and applicable to individuals, it helps constitute clinical wisdom. Failure to appreciate this constitutive relation will help perpetuate medical paternalism and delay the adoption of properly evidence-based practice, which would be both unethical and unwise. (shrink)
This volume explores the focus of interest in community and the emerging theoretical opposition between communitarianism and liberalism, including the practical, theoretical and ethical issues that relate to community in the healthcare professions.
If there is one project definitive of recent Western philosophy, it may be the search for an alternative to the materialistic metaphysics that has come to prominence with the rise of science. While some insist that the end of metaphysics is the only valid alternative, others call instead for a thorough reconstruction of metaphysics. Such a reconstructed metaphysics must both accommodate the insights of modern science and account for the deeply felt sense that non-material mind or spirit is a real (...) aspect of the cosmos. (shrink)
Is it possible for postmodernism to offer viable, coherent accounts of ethics? Or are our social and intellectual worlds too fragmented for any broad consensus about the moral life? These issues have emerged as some of the most contentious in literary and philosophical studies. In Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Philosophy, and Theory a distinguished international gathering of philosophers and literary scholars address the reconceptualisations involved in this 'turn towards ethics'. An important feature of this has been a renewed interest in (...) the literary text as a focus for the exploration of ethical issues. Exponents of this trend include Charles Taylor, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch, Cora Diamond, Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum, the latter a contributor and a key figure in this volume. This book assesses the significance of this development for ethical and literary theory and attempts to articulate an alternative postmodern account of ethics which does not rely on earlier appeals to universal truths. (shrink)
Failings in patient care and quality in NHS Trusts have become a recurring theme over the past few years. In this paper, we examine the Care Quality Commission’s Guidance about Compliance : Essential Standards of Quality and Safety and ask how NHS Trusts might be better supported in fulfilling the regulations specified therein. We argue that clinical ethics committees (CECs) have a role to play in this regard. We make this argument by attending to the many ethical elements that are (...) highlighted in the Commission’s Regulations and by providing practical examples of how CECs can (and in some case already do) provide ethics support to health professionals and trusts. Although CECs have been traditionally associated with case consultation, i.e., discrete problems caused by individual circumstances, in the previous 10 years the literature suggests that clinical ethics services have become more integrated into the life of the health care organization and are increasing construed as proactive agents of systematic change. We provide evidence from a recent survey of UK clinical ethics services that this trend is present in the UK. (shrink)
Many companies are now implementing ethics and regulatory compliance programs. The growth of employment of both lawyers and specialist "compliance professionals" to advise on and facilitate implementation of these programs has expanded concomitantly. This paper examines the ethical role that should be played by these advisors. Traditional ways of conceptualising corporate lawyers' ethics are shown to be inadequate because they see the legal advisor as an autonomous adversarial advocate or an independent and aloof counsellor. Instead interviews with compliance practitioners are (...) used to show that a superior conceptualisation of the compliance advisor's role is emerging. Compliance practitioners identify explicitly with business and, at the same time, identify with a broader ethical community of other compliance professionals, regulators and stakeholders in order to play a transformative role within the organisation. This conception recognises the interdependence between compliance advisor and corporate client. (shrink)
This article distinguishes two different senses of information-theoretic approaches to statistical mechanics that are often conflated in the literature: those relating to the thermodynamic cost of computational processes and those that offer an interpretation of statistical mechanics where the probabilities are treated as epistemic. This distinction is then investigated through Earman and Norton’s () ‘sound’ and ‘profound’ dilemma for information-theoretic exorcisms of Maxwell’s demon. It is argued that Earman and Norton fail to countenance a ‘sound’ information-theoretic interpretation and this paper (...) describes how the latter inferential interpretations can escape the criticisms of Earman and Norton () and Norton () by adopting this ‘sound’ horn. This article considers a standard model of Maxwell’s demon to illustrate how one might adopt an information-theoretic approach to statistical mechanics without a reliance on Landauer’s principle, where the incompressibility of the probability distribution due to Liouville’s theorem is taken as the central feature of such an interpretation. (shrink)
The aim of the dissertation is to propose a new understanding of the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce. Peirce sought to construct a philosophical system applicable to all of human experience, but he never presented this system in a uniﬁed work. In the dissertation I attempt to present the strongest possible reconstruction of Peirce’s mature philosophy. My thesis is that Peirce’s philosophy is best understood as an extended exploration and application of his concept of mathematical continuity, which he called "the (...) master-key of philosophy." Many scholars have recognized that Peirce’s concept of continuity is important to his metaphysical theories. The bulk of the dissertation is devoted to examining this concept and explicating its importance throughout his philosophy. I argue that Peirce’s theory of semeiotic provides a general model of experience that elaborates the direct experience of continuity described in phenomenology. This model in turn serves as the basis for his metaphysics and evolutionary cosmology. Part I of the dissertation sketches Peirce’s response to Kant’s philosophy and presents an outline of his classiﬁcation of the sciences. Part II presents Peirce’s technical conception of continuity, showing its origins in formal logic and in his revision of Cantor’s theory of transﬁnite sets. Part III examines the role of the continuity principle in phenomenology, esthetics, ethics, and semeiotic, which bridge the rather wide gap between mathematics and metaphysics in Peirce’s system. Part IV presents an overview of Peirce’s cosmology and metaphysics, with particular attention to their methodological dependence upon semeiotic. Part IV includes consideration of two issues that emerge as crucial to the assessment of Peirce’s thought. The ﬁrst concerns the ontological status of extra-semeiotic entities, and is known as the problem of "semiotic idealism." I argue that Peirce is not a semiotic idealist. The second issue concerns the testability of Peirce’s metaphysical hypotheses.. (shrink)
My fellow panelists and I are generally searching for what Robert C. Neville calls a "high road around modernism," a road that leads out of the (hyper-) modernist morass while avoiding the pitfalls of Euro-style postmodernism. We seek a way toward genuine community, and toward the kind of meaningful individualism that can exist in such communities. We stake quite a lot on the Roycean model of community as perhaps the most promising path on this "high road." In the (...) next twenty minutes, I propose to do three things. The first is to outline C. S. Peirce's model of the working scientific community, which he proposed as an alternative to the Cartesian-modernist model of scientific investigation. The second is to identify the ways in which Josiah Royce developed and extended Peirce's original model to apply to other communities--particularly religious communities. Finally, I want to draw attention to some possible problems with such extensions of the basic Peircean model of scientific community. (shrink)
Background: Seeking consent for genetic and genomic research can be challenging, particularly in populations with low literacy levels, and in emergency situations. All of these factors were relevant to the MalariaGEN study of genetic factors influencing immune responses to malaria in northern rural Ghana. This study sought to identify issues arising in practice during the enrolment of paediatric cases with severe malaria and matched healthy controls into the MalariaGEN study. Methods: The study used a rapid assessment incorporating multiple qualitative methods (...) including in depth interviews, focus group discussions and observations of consent processes. Differences between verbal information provided during community engagement processes, and consent processes during the enrolment of cases and controls were identified, as well as the factors influencing the tailoring of such information. Results: MalariaGEN participants and field staff seeking consent were generally satisfied with their understanding of the project and were familiar with aspects of the study relating to malaria. Some genetic aspects of the study were also well understood. Participants and staff seeking consent were less aware of the methodologies employed during genomic research and their implications, such as the breadth of data generated and the potential for future secondary research.Moreover, trust in and previous experience with the Navrongo Health Research Centre which was conducting the research influenced beliefs about the benefits of participating in the MalariaGEN study and subsequent decision-making about research participation. Conclusions: It is important to recognise that some aspects of complex genomic research may be of less interest to and less well understood by research participants and that such gaps in understanding may not be entirely addressed by best practice in the design and conduct of consent processes. In such circumstances consideration needs to be given to additional protections for participants that may need to be implemented in such research, and how best to provide such protections.Capacity building for research ethics committees with limited familiarity with genetic and genomic research, and appropriate engagement with communities to elicit opinions of the ethical issues arising and acceptability of downstream uses of genome wide association data are likely to be important. (shrink)
The importance of communities in strengthening the ethics of international collaborative research is increasingly highlighted, but there has been much debate about the meaning of the term ‘community’ and its specific normative contribution. We argue that ‘community’ is a contingent concept that plays an important normative role in research through the existence of morally significant interplay between notions of community and individuality. We draw on experience of community engagement in rural Kenya to illustrate two aspects of this interplay: (i) that (...) taking individual informed consent seriously involves understanding and addressing the influence of communities in which individuals’ lives are embedded; (ii) that individual participation can generate risks and benefits for communities as part of the wider implications of research. We further argue that the contingent nature of a community means that defining boundaries is generally a normative process itself, with ethical implications. Community engagement supports the enactment of normative roles; building mutual understanding and trust between researchers and community members have been important goals in Kilifi, requiring a broad range of approaches. Ethical dilemmas are continuously generated as part of these engagement activities, including the risks of perverse outcomes related to existing social relations in communities and conditions of ‘half knowing’ intrinsic to processes of developing new understandings. (shrink)
This 1945 “Preface” is intended to answer the question “What is phenomenology?” and to justify it as the methodology of the long work of philosophical psychology to follow. Merleau-Ponty approaches this task by first setting out the apparent paradoxes and contradictory claims that have been advanced by phenomenology, in a long and eloquent survey section that is built on a series of “X, but also Y” rhetorical devices. He then surveys four prominent themes of phenomenology. Just as he does in (...) the introductory section of the essay “The Philosopher and His Shadow,” Merleau-Ponty here presents himself as the chief interpreter and champion of Husserl's later philosophy. The first major theme considered is that phenomenology is a matter of describing the field of perception. This sets it in contrast to the prevalent explanatory methodologies of a) scientific empiricism and b) metaphysical idealism. Empirical science (such as mathematical physics) begins with observation, but then abstracts entirely from lived experience to consider idealized schematic cases (such as motion across a frictionless surface) that may reveal universal laws. Such a methodology is obviously fruitful in important respects, but is nonetheless naïve and dishonest in its renunciation of the specifics of observed events. The metaphysical idealism of Kant or Descartes likewise abstracts from the experienced particularity of perception to posit an “inner man” that constitutes the world according to 2 internal, transcendental principles. Merleau-Ponty's criticism is the same, whether these principles are “reason” of Rationalism, “the categories of understanding” of Critical Rationalism, or the rules governing the “association of ideas” posited by Empiricism. Phenomenology indicates that perception is not an act but a fact; the world is not an object but rather the unified setting of perception; and the inner man is a myth, along with his allegedly privileged access to univocal truth. The second theme is the technique of “phenomenological reduction,” the suspension of belief in the assemblage of everyday assumptions known as the “natural attitude.” Husserl's understanding of the reduction long led him to an idealist position: that all particular consciousnesses are united in a transcendental ego.. (shrink)
Fulford has argued that (1) the medical concepts illness, disease and dysfunction are inescapably evaluative terms, (2) illness is conceptually prior to disease, and (3) a model conforming to (2) has greater explanatory power and practical utility than the conventional value-free medical model. This ‘reverse’ model employs Hare's distinction between description and evaluation, and the sliding relationship between descriptive and evaluative meaning. Fulford's derivative ‘Values Based Medicine’ (VBM) readjusts the imbalance between the predominance of facts over values in medicine. VBM (...) allegedly responds to the increased choices made available by, inter alia, the progress of medical science itself. VBM attributes appropriate status to evaluative meaning, where strong consensus about descriptive meaning is lacking. According to Fulford, quasi-legal bioethics, while it can be retained as a kind of deliberative framework, is outcome-based and pursues ‘the right answer’, while VBM approximates a democratic, process-oriented method for dealing with diverse values, in partnership with necessary contributions from evidence-based medicine (EBM). I support the non-cognitivist underpinnings of VBM, and its emphasis on the importance of values in medicine. But VBM overstates the complexity and diversity of values, misrepresents EBM and VBM as responses to scientific and evaluative complexity, and mistakenly depicts ‘quasi-legal bioethics’ as a space of settled descriptive meaning. Bioethical reasoning can expose strategies that attempt to reduce authentic values to scientific facts, illustrating that VBM provides no advantage over bioethics in delineating the connections between facts and values in medicine. (shrink)
The convergence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and evidence-based medicine (EBM) is a prominent feature of healthcare in western countries, but it is currently undertheorised, and its implications have been insufficiently considered. Two models of convergence are described – the totally integrated evidence-based model (TI) and the multicultural-pluralistic model (MP). Both models are being incorporated into general medical practice. Against the background of the reasons for the increasing utilisation of CAM by the public and by general practitioners, TI-convergence is (...) supported and MP-convergence is rejected. MP-convergence is epistemologically and clinically incoherent, and it cannot be regulated. It is also inconsistent with developments in the legal determination of the standard of care for both diagnosis/treatment and disclosure. These claims concerning MP-convergence are justified by the fact that science is not a member of the group of perspectives or world-views which postmodernism treats as equally valid, and this is especially important for healthcare. (shrink)
Much philosophical attention has been devoted to “The Land Ethic,” especially by Anglo-American philosophers, but little has been paid to A Sand County Almanac as a whole. Read through the lens of continental philosophy, A Sand County Almanac promulgates an evolutionary-ecological world view and effects a personal self- and a species-specific Self-transformation in its audience. It’s author, Aldo Leopold, realizes these aims through descriptive reflection that has something in common with phenomenology-although Leopold was by no stretch of the imagination a (...) phenomenologist. Consideration of human-animal intersubjectivity, thematized in A Sand County Almanac, brings to light the moral problem of hunting and killing animal subjects. Leopold does not confront that problem, but it is confronted and resolved by Jose Ortega y Gassett, Henry Beston, and Paul Shepard in terms of an appropriate human relationship with wild-animal Others. Comparison with the genuinely Other-based Leopold-Ortega-Beston-Shepard wild-animal ethic shows the purportedly Other-based humanand possibly animal ethic of Emmanuel Levinas actually to be Same-based after all. (shrink)
A model is described for implementing a program in research ethics education in the face of federal and institutional mandates and current resource, disciplinary, and infrastructure limitations. Also discussed are the historical background, content and evaluation process of the workshop at the heart of the program, which reaches a diverse group of over 250 students per year—from first-year graduate students in basic research labs to clinical fellows. The workshop addresses central issues in both everyday laboratory ethics and in larger societal (...) questions. Goals include improving overall awareness of ethics guidelines and philosophy and enhancing skills in identifying and then analyzing the ethical components of situations. Pedagogies used and their effectiveness and that of the overall workshop and extended program are addressed. Programs like these have initiated a shift in the culture of basic research, which is a critical need given the current atmosphere. (shrink)
Abstract Occupational stress in nursing has attracted considerable attention as a focus for research and as a consequence multiple objects of nurses' stress, or 'stressors', have been identified. This paper puts into question the dominant conceptual and methodological approach to occupational stress in nursing research by both foregrounding the notion of anxiety and juxtaposing it with the notion of 'stress'. It is argued that the notion of 'stress' and the domination of the questionnaire have produced a narrow reading of the (...) topic. Some of the literature on occupational stress/anxiety in nursing is reviewed and our analysis illustrates how the identified objects of stress have a tendency to multiply contingent on the number of studies undertaken. Thus definitive objects of nurses' stress remain elusive. We argue that a return to the notion of 'anxiety' and methodological approaches other than empirical ones can bring both depth and breadth to the consideration of occupational distress in nursing. Further, we argue that the object of 'anxiety' is unconscious, thus unknown, and given this, a more informative approach is to map nurses' response to anxiety, the discursive formations arising out of anxiety, rather than attempt to define those objects of anxiety. (shrink)
This commentary contests Wynn's diagnosis of the cognitive implications of the earliest stone tools and Acheulian tools. I argue that the earliest stone tools imply greater cognitive abilities than those of great apes, and that Acheulian tools imply more than the preoperational cognitive abilities Wynn suggests. Finally, I suggest an alternative adaptive scenario for the evolution of hominid cognitive abilities.
This paper describes the first three-year experience of the Consortium Ethics Program (CEP-1) of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Medical Ethics, and also outlines plans for the second three-year phase (CEP-2) of this experiment in continuing ethics education. In existence since 1990, the CEP has the primary goal of creating a cost-effective, permanent ethics resource network, by utilizing the educational resources of a university bioethics center and the practical expertise of a regional hospital council. The CEP's conception and specific (...) components stem from recognition of the need to make each hospital a major focus of educational efforts, and to provide academic support for the in-house activities of the representatives from each institution. (shrink)
Recent debates have led some to question the legitimacy of physicians refusing to provide legally permissible services for reasons of conscience. In this paper, I will explore the question of whether medical professionals have a collective duty to ensure that their profession provides nondiscriminatory access to all medical services. I will argue that they do not. I will also argue for an approach to dealing with intractable moral disagreements between patients and physicians that gives both parties veto power with regards (...) to participation. Finally, I will respond to three objections to allowing physicians broad freedom to act on their consciences: such allowances would violate the conscience of the patient, would lead to unfairness, and would thwart important societal goals. (shrink)
This book takes the discursive and postmodern turn in psychotherapy a significant step forward and will be of interest to all those working in mental health who want to work wiht clients in ways that will facilitate challenges to oppression and processes of emancipation. It achieves this by: · reflecting on the role of psychotherapy in contemporary culture · developing critiques of language in psychotherapy that unravel its claims to personal truth · the reworking of a place in the transforative (...) therapeutic practice Deconstruction is brought to bear on the key conceptual and pragmatic issues that therapists and clinical psychologists face, and the project of therapy is opened up to critical attention and reconstruction. The book provides clear reviews of different viewpoints and will help readers to orient themselves on the complex terrain of debates. (shrink)