Allhoff, Fritz, Patrick Lin, and Daniel Moore. 2010. What is nanotechnology and why does it matter? From science to ethics Content Type Journal Article Pages 209-211 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9289-z Authors Jennifer Kuzma, University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave So, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 2.
Fritz Allhoff: Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 319-325 DOI 10.1007/s10441-011-9129-x Authors Thomas A. C. Reydon, Institute of Philosophy & Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science (ZEWW), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Im Moore 21, 30161 Hannover, Germany Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342 Journal Volume Volume 59 Journal Issue Volume 59, Numbers 3-4.
In 1997, thanks to a conference paper by Rolf Löther of Berlin Humboldt University, the name of Fritz Jahr (1895-1953) was mentioned for the first time as the creator of the term and concept of bioethics (Bio-Ethik). As yet, Hans-Martin Sass of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics has been the only one to analyze Jahr's ideas more thoroughly, dedicating to the subject a series of papers (see Sass 2007). In December 2010, a collection of 15 papers by Jahr was published (...) in the German original, while in May 2011, a selection of 16 papers appeared in English translation (Jahr 2011).So who, in fact, was Jahr? A humble teacher and curate who never left his home city of Halle, an old university center on the Saale River in .. (shrink)
: In 1927, Fritz Jahr, a Protestant pastor, philosopher, and educator in Halle an der Saale, published an article entitled "Bio-Ethics: A Review of the Ethical Relationships of Humans to Animals and Plants" and proposed a "Bioethical Imperative," extending Kant's moral imperative to all forms of life. Reviewing new physiological knowledge of his times and moral challenges associated with the development of secular and pluralistic societies, Jahr redefines moral obligations towards human and nonhuman forms of life, outlining the concept of (...) bioethics as an academic discipline, principle, and virtue. Although he had no immediate long-lasting influence during politically and morally turbulent times, his argument that new science and technology requires new ethical and philosophical reflection and resolve may contribute toward clarification of terminology and of normative and practical visions of bioethics, including understanding of the geoethical dimensions of bioethics. (shrink)
Fritz Allhoff has recently offered an extremely compelling challenge to the morality of human cloning (Allhoff 2004). He argues that a biological phenomenon, that of telomere shortening, undermines the moral permissibility of human cloning. Telomere shortening is caused by cell replication, and appears to be one of the central reasons that cells and organisms age and die. Allhoff considers a thirty-year-old woman who wishes to create a genetic clone. He notes that the DNA from her cell that would be used (...) to create the clone would have shortened telomeres—as it would have gone through many generations of cell replication (i.e., thirty years’ worth). As a result, the clone would begin its existence with shortened telomeres; the clone’s telomeres would be the same length as the woman’s telomeres at the time of cloning. The moral problem lies in the fact that because of shortened telomeres, the clone will senesce more rapidly as compared with noncloned organisms (i.e., organisms created through sexual reproduction), and would have increased susceptibility to degenerative conditions and diseases (Allhoff 2004, W30). Allhoff then goes on to argue that earlier senescence and disease susceptibility constitute a moral ground for rejecting cloning because “the life of a clone would be worse (in some way) than that of a non-clone” (Allhoff 2004, W30). This line of argument is rooted in Parfit’s The Same Number Quality Claim (Q): “If in either of two outcomes the same number of people would ever live, it would be bad if those who live are worse off, or have a lower quality of life, than those who would have lived” (Parfit 1984, 360). Applying Parfit’s Q principle to cases of cloning, it could be argued that parents ought to produce children that would be maximally well off, and since clones would be worse off (since they would have shortened telomeres) than children produced “normally,” it follows that parents should avoid cloning. As Allhoff puts it, “obviously sexual reproduction would not transfer shortened telomeres to offspring so, all else being equal, sexual reproduction is (for now) better than cloning” (Allhoff 2004, W30). For this sort of line to pack any moral punch, Q must be interpreted rather strongly.. (shrink)
I was first struck by the influence of Fritz’ writing on himself in the summer of 1968. My wife Leslie and I were living in Buffalo. I hadn’t seen my father in a couple of years. Fritz was driving in from Los Angeles to do a science fiction workshop at Clarion College in nearby Pennsylvania. We were to see him at Clarion and then he was to visit us in Buffalo. I had just finished reading Fritz’ A Specter Is Haunting (...) Texas, then serialized in Galaxy Magazine. (shrink)
We present select examples of how visual phenomena can serve as tools to uncoverbrain mechanisms. Specifically, receptive field organization is proposed as a Gestalt-like neural mechanism of perceptual organization. Appropriate phenomena, such as brightness and orientation contrast, subjective contours, filling-in, and aperture-viewed motion, allow for a quantitative comparison between receptive fields and their psychophysical counterparts, perceptive fields. Phenomenology might thus be extended from the study of perceptual qualities to their transphenomenal substrates, including memory functions. In conclusion, classic issues of Gestalt (...) psychology can now be related to modern. (shrink)
The authors undertake a thought experiment the purpose of which is to explore possibilities for understanding moral principles in analogy with cosmic order. The experiment is based on three proposals, which are described in detail: an ontological, a neurological, and a moral proposal. The ontological proposal accepts from the phenomena of quantum physics that there is a nonempirical domain of physical reality that consists not of material things but of what is philosophically conceptualized as a realm of nonmaterial forms. This (...) realm of forms is the realm of potentiality in physical reality that quantum physics posits as an indivisible Wholeness—the One. It is the ultimate reality because everything empirical is the actualization of its forms. The neurological proposal is the hypothesis that the brain is sensitive to the potentiality waves in the cosmic field, as ordinary measuring instruments in physics are sensitive to potentiality waves at the quantum level, so that the cosmic field can communicate with the human brain. The third proposal assumes that the communication with the cosmic field can translate into moral ideas and actions. Even though the three proposals underlying the thought experiment are highly speculative, they lead to definite implications that make sense in their own right and can be applied in a useful way. From the order of reality some simple rules of conduct follow that are identical with traditional moral rules but have the character of rules of well-ness, leading to new aspects of Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia and Kant's concept of the highest good. In analogy with the structure of physical reality, where all empirical phenomena are actualizations of nonempirical forms, it is suggested that the structure of morality, too, is that of a tacit, nonempirical form that actualizes in explicit principles and moral acts through our consciousness. The tacit form is thought to exist in the realm of cosmic potentiality, together with all the other forms that the empirical world actualizes. It can appear spontaneously in our consciousness when needed, offering its guidance to our judgment and free will. Because it does not appear in the form of commandments accompanied by threats, the actions of the tacit moral form define a higher level of morality, similar to that offered by some aspects of the Christian teaching, where one acts not out of fear but on the desire to do things right. (shrink)
I describe characteristic phenomena of quantum physics that suggest that reality appears to us in two domains: the open and well-known domain of empirical, material things—the realm of actuality—and a hidden and invisible domain of nonempirical, non-material forms—the realm of potentiality. The nonempirical forms are part of physical reality because they contain the empirical possibilities of the universe and can manifest themselves in the empirical world. Two classes of nonempirical states are discussed: the superposition states of microphysical entities, which are (...) nonempirical because observation destroys them, and the virtual states of material systems, which are nonempirical because they are empty. The non-empirical part to physical reality represents a predetermined and hidden order that exists before it is empirical, and the visible world is an emanation out of it. I discuss consequences for our understanding of human nature, the origin of life, and human values. Reality is an indivisible wholeness that is aware of its processes, like a Cosmic Spirit, and it reveals its awareness in the mindlike properties of elementary processes as well as in the human consciousness. Thus, one is led to G. W. F. Hegel's thesis that the Cosmic Spirit is thinking in us. (shrink)
Since Aristotle it is recognised that a valid syllogism cannot have two particular premises. However, that is not how a lay person sees it; at least as long as the premises read many, most etc, instead of a plain some. The lay people are right if one considers that these syllogisms do not have strict but approximate (Zadeh) validity. Typically there are only particular premises available in everyday life and one is dependent on such syllogisms. – Some rules on the (...) usage of particular premises are given below. (shrink)
Computational approaches to the law have frequently been characterized as being formalistic implementations of the syllogistic model of legal cognition: using insufficient or contradictory data, making analogies, learning through examples and experiences, applying vague and imprecise standards. We argue that, on the contrary, studies on neural networks and fuzzy reasoning show how AI & law research can go beyond syllogism, and, in doing that, can provide substantial contributions to the law.
Modern science is based empirically on data, which are gained, mainly, by means of technical machinery and plants of high complexity. This type of laboratory research is at a distance to the old forms of investigating nature such that it is under suspicion to investigate artefacts rather than nature. - Against this it is argued in the following, that laboratory research has to be acknowledged as true heir of the form of science which Galileo had started. Knowledge of the powers (...) and mechanisms of nature can be gained only by means of pointed interventions into natural processes. The term ,,laboratory", however, designates less the place of experimentation, but, rather, the ,,thoughtstyle" practised by a research group, in which forms of handling experimental setups and (social) structures of cooperation in a team of specialists are integrated. - Scientific facts cannot be separated from the social and cultural conditions comprised in a thoughtstyle, they are dependent on thoughtstyles. Yet, this does not make them mere artefacts of instrumentation. Scientific practices in the laboratories define, rather, the conditions under which nature can present herself. German Die moderne Naturwissenschaft stützt sich auf empirische Daten, die weitgehend in hochkomplizierten technischen Apparaturen und Anlagen gewonnen werden. Von den Formen der alten Naturforschung ist diese Laborforschung so weit entfernt, daß sie den Vorwurf auf sich zog, sie untersuche Artefakte, aber nicht Natur. - Dagegen wird hier argumentiert, daß die Laborforschung als genuine Erbin der mit Galilei begonnenen Form der Naturwissenschaft anzuerkennen sei. Erkenntnis von den Wirkungsweisen der Natur ist nur durch gezieltes Eingreifen in Vorgänge der Natur zu gewinnen. Unter dem ,,Laboratorium haben wir allerdings weniger den Ort des Experimentierens zu verstehen, als vielmehr den in einer Arbeitsgruppe praktizierten ,,Denkstil, in dem die Formen des Forschungshandelns mit den (sozialen) Strukturen der arbeitsteiligen Kooperation verbunden sind. - Wissenschaftliche Tatsachen lassen sich zwar nicht von den Bindungen an einen Denkstil ablösen, sie erweisen sich als denkstilabhängig; das macht sie aber nicht zu Kunstprodukten. Die in einem Labor praktizierten Arbeitsweisen definieren vielmehr die Bedingungen, unter denen Natur sich zeigen kann. (shrink)
The article investigates the interplay of moral rules in computer simulation. The investigation is based on two situations which are well-known to game theory: the prisoner''s dilemma and the game of Chicken. The prisoner''s dilemma can be taken to represent contractual situations, the game of Chicken represents a competitive situation on the one hand and the provision for a common good on the other. Unlike the rules usually used in game theory, each player knows the other''s strategy. In that way, (...) ever higher levels of reflection are reached reciprocally. Such strategies can be interpreted as moral rules.Artificial morality is related to the discipline of Artificial Life. As in artificial life, the use of genetic algorithms suggests itself. Rules of behaviour split and reunite as chromosome strings do. (shrink)
This paper addresses the conceptual as well as social origins of Mendeleev’s discovery of the periodic law and its reception by the chemical community by taking account of three factors: Mendeleev’s early research and its relevance to the discovery; his concepts of chemistry, especially that of the chemical elements; and the social context of the discovery and the reception in the chemical community. Mendeleev's clear distinction between abstract elements and simple bodies was a departure from Lavoisier’s famous definition of elements (...) as an endpoint of analysis and originated from his research in indefinite compounds. As a comparison, the paper also analyzes LotharMeyer’s approach to the classification of the elements. Mendeleev’s new concept of chemical elements and the existence of an audience in the form of the newly established Russian Chemical Society, and his ``German connection'', helped Mendeleev in his discovery and its reception. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung Der nichtdistributive, orthokomplementÃ¤re Verband der Projektionsoperatoren in der Quantenmechanik hat AnlaÃ zu mancherlei Interpretationen gegeben, so z. B. als eine von der klassischen Logik abweichende Quantenlogik, oder man deutete die Projektionsoperatoren als Eigenschaften von Mikroobjekten. Wir glauben, mit dieser Arbeit ein wesentliches Argument fÃ¼r die letztere Interpretation liefern zu kÃ¶nnen.
Pessoa et al. provide a valuable taxonomy of perceptual completion phenomena, but it is not yet clear whether these phenomena are mediated by one kind of neural mechanism or more. We suggest three possible neural mechanisms of long-range interaction to stimulate further perceptual and neurophysiological investigation of perceptual completion and filling-in.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œIâ€™ve written a story!â€ My eighty year old fatherâ€™s rich, booming voice fired up the phone line, briefly burning through the fuzzy enunciation that stemmed from a minor stroke of three years back. It hadnâ€™t been the stroke but rather his growing blindness that had slowed his production. Through dictation heâ€™d still kept up his short monthly magazine column (in one of the last and most gravely scatological of these (...) heâ€™d inadvertently shamed my Enlightenment scholarship by writing â€œI thought everyone knew that Frederick the Great and Voltaire corresponded about their bowel movementsâ€). He sounded happier and more alive than Iâ€™d heard him in years, though the sketch heâ€™d written, from a catâ€™s viewpoint, is spectrally peopled under aliases by his Shakespearian actor parents, and a spunky Lesbian witch who lightheartedly inducts my mother into her coven through ritualized sexual intercourse, which scandalizes my grandmother and titillates my father, who confesses along the way to alcoholism, habitual premature ejaculation, voyeurism, and unassuageable jealousy of his illustrious father, whose death in 1949 aroused only â€œa cold prideâ€ (unlike the wrench I know he felt when his wife and his mother died in the late 1960s). The sketch resolves with his dead fatherâ€™s body intoning Hamletâ€™s lines about what a piece of work is man, ending with â€œA paragon of animals,â€ which the felineÂ observer coolly concludes must surely refer to cats. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â That phone call was my last conversation with my father. A month before he had, quixotically, married a woman heâ€™d known for two decades, on his part decidedlyÂ nonexclusively, a few days after she got a diagnosis of inoperable lung cancer. Now, in deference to her fear of flying, they took off on a tiring train and car trip from San Francisco to a convention inÂ London, Ontario, where my exhausted father began his slide into incontinence, depression, and dementia.. (shrink)
The article argues for a shift of perspective in identity management (IDM) research and development. Accessibility and usability issues affect identity management to such an extent that they demand a reframing and reformulation of basic designs and requirements of modern identity management systems. The rationale for the traditional design of identity management systems and mechanisms has been security concerns as defined in the field of security engineering. By default the highest security level has been recommended and implemented, often without taking (...) end-user needs and accessibility issues into serious consideration. The article provides a conceptual framework for inclusive IDM, a brief overview of the regulatory status of inclusive IDM and a taxonomy of inclusive identity management methods. Several widespread IDM approaches, methods and techniques are analyzed and discussed from the perspective of inclusive design. Several important challenges are identified and some ideas for solutions addressing the challenges are proposed and discussed. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung âDie Kritik ist nicht die Wissenschaft. Zu diesem Ergebnis fÃ¼hrt eine Besinnung auf den Begriff der ObjektivitÃ¤t in der kunstwissenschaftlichen Forschung. Die aktuelle Situation, die durch wissenschaftstheoretische und methodologische Ãberlegungen bestimmt ist, verlangt neue Zielsetzungen und Aufgaben. Das zentrale Problem â die BegrÃ¼ndung der Ãsthetik als selbstÃ¤ndige, moderne Wissenschaft â steht und fÃ¤llt mit der Frage, ob die Kunst Gegenstand einer generellen, empirisch prÃ¼fbaren Theorie sein kann. Der zeitgenÃ¶ssische Strukturalismus glaubt diese Frage positiv beantworten zu kÃ¶nnen. Er versucht, die (...) Ã¤sthetischen Gebilde nicht nur (wie die Kritik) als registrierbare EinzelfÃ¤lle zu erklÃ¤ren und zu bewerten, sondern auf allgemeinere GesetzmÃ¤Ãigkeiten zurÃ¼ckzufÃ¼hren. (shrink)