In this paper the permissibility of stem cell research on early human embryos is defended. It is argued that, in order to have moral status, an individual must have an interest in its own wellbeing. Sentience is a prerequisite for having an interest in avoiding pain, and personhood is a prerequisite for having an interest in the continuation of one's own existence. Early human embryos are not sentient and therefore they are not recipients of direct moral consideration. Early human embryos (...) do not satisfy the requirements for personhood, but there are arguments to the effect that they should be treated as persons nonetheless. These are the arguments from potentiality, symbolic value and the principle of human dignity. These arguments are challenged in this paper and it is claimed that they offer us no good reason to believe that early human embryos should be treated as persons. (shrink)
Suppose that you are soon to be a parent and you learn that there are some simple measures that you can take to make sure that your child will be healthy. In particular, suppose that by following the doctor’s advice, you can prevent your child from having a disability, you can make your child immune from a number of dangerous diseases and you can even enhance its future intelligence. All that is required for this to happen is that you (or (...) your partner) comply with lifestyle and dietary requirements. Do you and your partner have any moral reasons (or moral obligations) to follow the doctor’s advice? Would it make a difference if, instead of following some simple dietary requirements, you consented to genetic engineering to make sure that your child was free from disabilities, healthy and with above average intelligence? In this paper we develop a framework for dealing with these questions and we suggest some directions the answers might take. (shrink)
Intuitionists and classical logicians use in common a large number of the logical axioms, even though they supposedly mean different things by the logical connectives and quantifiers — conquans for short. But Wittgenstein says The meaning of a word is its use in the language. We prove that in a definite sense the intuitionistic axioms do indeed characterize the logical conquans, both for the intuitionist and the classical logician.
Over the last several years, as cesarean deliveries have grown increasingly common, there has been a great deal of public and professional interest in the phenomenon of women 'choosing' to deliver by cesarean section in the absence of any specific medical indication. The issue has sparked intense conversation, as it raises questions about the nature of autonomy in birth. Whereas mainstream bioethical discourse is used to associating autonomy with having a large array of choices, this conception of autonomy does not (...) seem adequate to capture concerns and intuitions that have a strong grip outside this discourse. An empirical and conceptual exploration of how delivery decisions ought to be negotiated must be guided by a rich understanding of women's agency and its placement within a complicated set of cultural meanings and pressures surrounding birth. It is too early to be 'for' or 'against' women's access to cesarean delivery in the absence of traditional medical indications – and indeed, a simple pro- or con- position is never going to do justice to the subtlety of the issue. The right question is not whether women ought to be allowed to choose their delivery approach but, rather, taking the value of women's autonomy in decision-making around birth as a given, what sorts of guidelines, practices, and social conditions will best promote and protect women's full inclusion in a safe and positive birth process. (shrink)
On both sides of the debate on the use of embryos in stem cell research, and in reproductive technologies more generally, rhetoric and symbolic images have been evoked to influence public opinion. Human embryos themselves are described as either “very small human beings” or “small clusters of cells.” The intentions behind the use of these phrases are clear. One description suggests that embryos are already members of our community and share with us a right to life or at least respectful (...) treatment, whereas the other focuses on the differences between embryos and adult human beings with normal capacities, that is, their lack of sentience and of personal identity. The research on stem cells has been nicknamed “Frankenstein science” or presented as “research that could stop Parkinson disease.” Again, one description reminds us of scary science-fiction scenarios where the scientist is guilty of “playing God,” whereas the other description highlights the worth and potential benefits of the research outcomes. (shrink)
Moulines in his "A Logical Reconstruction of Simple Equilibrium Thermodynamics" shows that Sneedian constraints play an essential role even in the purely theoretical development of the mathematical formalism of at least one actual scientific theory. However, Moulines' treatment is apparently inconsistent because of the way he represents constraints. A very simple non-Sneedian way of representing constraints is given which removes the difficulty.
The basic position underlying the argument here stated is that rationality, the distinguishing characteristic of homo sapiens is a social product and that man could not be a rational animal if he were not already a social one.
This book, which takes account of everything that survives from the manuscripts Hegel produced during his first academic career at the University of Jena, is the first comprehensive survey of the development of Hegel's mature system.