The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of ethics committees in rural critical access hospitals across the United States. Several studies have investigated the presence of ethics committees in rural health care facilities. The limitation of these studies is in the definition of ‘rural hospital’ and a regional or state focus. These limitations have created large variations in the study findings. In this nation-wide study we used the criteria of a critical access hospital (CAH), as defined by (...) the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program, 2007), to bring consistency and clarity to the assessment of the presence of ethics committees in rural hospitals. The Flex Monitoring Team conducted a national telephone survey of 381 CAH administrators throughout the United States. The survey covered a wide variety of questions concerning hospitals’ community benefit, impact activities, and whether the hospital had a formally established an ethics committee. About 230 (60%) of the respondents indicated they had a formally established ethics committee or ethics consultation program at their CAH. The prevalence of ethics committees declined as the CAH location became increasingly rural along a rural–urban continuum. Unlike CAHs, all rural Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers have ethics committees. The results of this study provide an understanding of the limited presence of ethics committee in rural America and the need to consider new approaches for providing ethics assistance. A virtual ethics committee network may be the most efficient and effective way of providing rural hospitals access to a knowledgeable ethics committee or consultant. (shrink)
What place does consciousness have in the natural world? If we reject materialism, could there be a credible alternative? In one classic example, philosophers ask whether we can ever know what is it is like for bats to sense the world using sonar. It seems obvious to many that any amount of information about a bat's physical structure and information processing leaves us guessing about the central questions concerning the character of its experience. A Place for Consciousness begins with reflections (...) on the existence of this gap. Is it just a psychological shortcoming in our merely human understanding of the physical world? Is it a trivial consequence of the simple fact that we just cannot be bats? Or does it mean there really are facts about consciousness over and above the physical facts? If so, what does consciousness do? Why does it exist? Rosenberg sorts out these problems, especially those centering on the causal role of consciousness. He introduces a new paradigm called Liberal Naturalism for thinking about what causation is, about the natural world, and about how to create a detailed model to go along with the new paradigm. Arguing that experience is part of the categorical foundations of causality, he shows that within this new paradigm there is a place for something essentially like consciousness in all its traditional mysterious respects. A striking feature of Liberal Naturalism is that its central tenets are motivated independently of the mind-body problem, by analyzing causation itself. Because of this approach, when consciousness shows up in the picture it is not introduced in an ad hoc way, and its most puzzling features can be explained from first principles. Ultimately, Rosenberg's final solution gives consciousness a causally important role without supposing either that it is physical or that it interacts with the physical. (shrink)
After the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, scientists working in molecular biology embraced reductionism—the theory that all complex systems can be understood in terms of their components. Reductionism, however, has been widely resisted by both nonmolecular biologists and scientists working outside the field of biology. Many of these antireductionists, nevertheless, embrace the notion of physicalism—the idea that all biological processes are physical in nature. How, Alexander Rosenberg asks, can these self-proclaimed physicalists also be antireductionists? With clarity (...) and wit, Darwinian Reductionism navigates this difficult and seemingly intractable dualism with convincing analysis and timely evidence. In the spirit of the few distinguished biologists who accept reductionism—E. O. Wilson, Francis Crick, Jacques Monod, James Watson, and Richard Dawkins—Rosenberg provides a philosophically sophisticated defense of reductionism and applies it to molecular developmental biology and the theory of natural selection, ultimately proving that the physicalist must also be a reductionist. (shrink)
Economics today cannot predict the likely outcome of specific events any better than it could in the time of Adam Smith. This is Alexander Rosenberg's controversial challenge to the scientific status of economics. Rosenberg explains that the defining characteristic of any science is predictive improvability--the capacity to create more precise forecasts by evaluating the success of earlier predictions--and he forcefully argues that because economics has not been able to increase its predictive power for over two centuries, it is (...) not a science. (shrink)
Jay Rosenberg offers a systematic philosophical theory of knowledge which is specifically responsive to the fact that we always engage the world from a particular perspective within it. It consequently calls into question in a fundamental way many received understandings regarding the relationships among the concepts of knowledge, belief, justification, and truth.
Jay Rosenberg introduces Immanuel Kant's masterwork, the Critique of Pure Reason, from a "relaxed" problem-oriented perspective which treats Kant as an especially insightful practicing philosopher, from whom we still have much to learn, intelligently and creatively responding to significant questions that transcend his work's historical setting. Rosenberg's main project is to command a clear view of how Kant understands various perennial problems, how he attempts to resolve them, and to what extent he succeeds. At the same time the (...) book is an introduction to the challenges of reading the text of Kant's work and, to that end, selectively adopts a more rigorous historical and exegetical stance. Accessing Kant will be an invaluable resource for advanced students and for any scholar seeking Rosenberg's own distinctive insights into Kant's work. (shrink)
A collection of essays by Alexander Rosenberg, the distinguished philosopher of science. The essays cover three broad areas related to Darwinian thought and naturalism: the first deals with the solution of philosophical problems such as reductionism, the second with the development of social theories, and the third with the intersection of evolutionary biology with economics, political philosophy, and public policy. Specific papers deal with naturalistic epistemology, the limits of reductionism, the biological justification of ethics, the so-called 'trolley problem' in (...) moral philosophy, the political philosophy of biological endowments, and the Human Genome Project and its implications for policy. Rosenberg's important writings on a variety of issues are here organized into a coherent philosophical framework which promises to be a significant and controversial contribution to scholarship in many areas. (shrink)
Do the sciences aim to uncover the structure of nature, or are they ultimately a practical means of controlling our environment? In Instrumental Biology, or the Disunity of Science, Alexander Rosenberg argues that while physics and chemistry can develop laws that reveal the structure of natural phenomena, biology is fated to be a practical, instrumental discipline. Because of the complexity produced by natural selection, and because of the limits on human cognition, scientists are prevented from uncovering the basic structure (...) of biological phenomena. Consequently, biology and all of the disciplines that rest upon it--psychology and the other human sciences--must aim at most to provide practical tools for coping with the natural world rather than a complete theoretical understanding of it. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive guide to the conceptual methodological, and epistemological problems of biology, and treats in depth the major developments in molecular biology and evolutionary theory that have transformed both biology and its philosophy in recent decades. At the same time the work is a sustained argument for a particular philosophy of biology that unifies disparate issues and offers a framework for expectations about the future directions of the life sciences. The argument explores differences between autonomist and anti-autonomist (...) views of biology. The result is a vindication of reductionism, but one that is unexpectedly hollow. For it leaves the exponents of the autonomy of biology from physical science with as much as their view of biology really requires - and rather more than the reductionist might comfortably concede. Professor Rosenberg shows how the problems of the philosophy of biology are interconnected and how their solutions are interdependent, However, this book focuses more on the direct concerns of biologists, rather than the traditional agenda of philosophers' problems about biology. This departure from earlier books on the subject results both in greater understanding and relevance of the philosophy of science to biology as a whole. (shrink)
Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction introduces all the main themes in the philosophy of science, including the nature of causation, explanation, laws, theory, models, evidence, reductionism, probability, teleology, realism and instrumentalism. This substantially revised and updated second edition of a highly successful, accessible and user-friendly text will be of value to any student getting to grips with the nature, methods and justification of science. Alex Rosenberg includes new material on a number of subjects, including: · The theory of (...) natural selection · Popper, Lakatos and Leibniz · Feminist philosophy of science · Logical positivism · The origins of science In addition, helpful features add greatly to the ease and clarity of this second edition: · Overviews and chapter summaries · Study questions and annotated further reading · A helpful glossary explaining key words and concepts. (shrink)
This is an expanded and thoroughly revised edition of the widely adopted introduction to the philosophical foundations of the human sciences. Ranging from cultural anthropology to mathematical economics, Alexander Rosenberg leads the reader through behaviorism, naturalism, interpretativism about human action, and macrosocial scientific perspectives, illuminating the motivation and strategy of each.Rewritten throughout to increase accessibility, this new edition retains the remarkable achievement of revealing the social sciences’ enduring relation to the fundamental problems of philosophy. It includes new discussions of (...) positivism, European philosophy of history, causation, statistical laws, quantitative models, and postempiricist social science, along with a completely updated literature guide that keys chapters to widely anthologized papers. (shrink)
Abstract Flax seedlings grown in the absence of environmental stimuli, stresses and injuries do not form epidermal meristems in their hypocotyls. Such meristems do form when the stimuli are combined with a transient depletion of calcium. These stimuli include the “manipulation stimulus” resulting from transferring the seedlings from germination to growth conditions. If, after a stimulus, calcium depletion is delayed, meristem production is also delayed; in other words, the meristem-production instruction can be memorised. Memorisation includes both storage and recall of (...) information. Here, we focus on information recall. We show that if the first transient calcium depletion is followed by a second transient depletion there is a new round of meristem production. We also show that if an excess of calcium follows calcium depletion, meristem production is blocked; but if the excess of calcium is in turn followed by another calcium depletion, again there is a new round of meristem production. The same stored information can thus be recalled repeatedly (at least twice). We describe a conceptual model that takes into account these findings. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9145-5 Authors Marie-Claire Verdus, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Camille Ripoll, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Vic Norris, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Michel Thellier, Laboratoire AMMIS (Assemblages Moléculaires, Modélisation et Imagerie SIMS), CNRS (GDR DYCOEC), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the scientific value of the human genome project. To what extent is the data obtained by sequencing the entire human genome useful in the gene dicovery process? Responding to Alex Rosenberg' skepticism about the value of such data, we maintain that brute sequence data is much more useful than he suggests.
If martin and rosenberg were right, It ought to have been possible for higher animals to evolve neural mechanisms that evoke complex avoidance-Of-Tissue-Damage behavior "without" their experiencing pain. The alleged identity of mental event types like pain with unspecified brain state types thus can have no evolutionary explanation. It will not do to say that these brain state types may be discovered some day to have a distinguishing property x, Since x would still be a physical property and one (...) could always ask why pain-Experience necessarily accompanies x-Propertied brain states, This being causally gratuitous to the behavior they would evoke without it "if" physicalism is true. (shrink)
This paper examines some of the moral panics around hyperactive children, the construction of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, and the lure of Ritalin in turning kids identified as at risk into successful, productive individuals. Through a historicization of the child as a psychiatric subject, we try to demonstrate Ritalin's part in the uneven development of modern trends towards the pathologization of everyday life, a developing continuum between normality and abnormality, and an emphasis on the malleability of children and the importance of (...) environment in their upbringing. We conclude that Ritalin is a part of modernity's project of turning people into individualsâin this case, a kind of US transcendence fantasyâwhich, along with discourses and institutions, promises to transform young subjects and biocosmetically alter their futures. (shrink)
The Imperial regime bequeathed to its successors a double heritage and a double handicap: on the one hand, an exceptionally strong population pressure on the area of cultivated land; and on the other, a radical break between interior China (rural bureaucratic, traditional) and coastal China (cosmopolitan, enterprising, open to innovation). The history of the twentieth century only accentuated these contradictions and worsened these handicaps. Rooted in its urban bases, the Guomindang regime of 1927–1949 did virually nothing to transfer technology to (...) the countryside, so that the gap between the two Chinas - coastal and interior - widened, and the regime was condemned to be swept away by peasant revolution. As for the People's Republic, by postponing the adoption of a real birth-control program until 1973, it wiped out a large part of the benefits that a policy of modernization extended for the first time ever to the whole country would have brought, and made economic take-off even more difficult in 1981 than it was in 1949. (shrink)
The ratio bias––according to which individuals prefer to bet on probabilities expressed as a ratio of large numbers to normatively equivalent or superior probabilities expressed as a ratio of small numbers––has recently gained momentum, with researchers especially in health economics emphasizing the policy importance of the phenomenon. Although the bias has been replicated several times, some doubts remain about its economic significance. Our two experiments show that the bias disappears once order effects are excluded, and once salient and dominant incentives (...) are provided. This holds true for both choice and valuation tasks. Also, adding context to the decision problem does not change this outcome. No ratio bias could be found in between-subject tests either, which leads us to the conclusion that the policy relevance of the phenomenon is doubtful at best. (shrink)
The ratio bias—according to which individuals prefer to bet on probabilities expressed as a ratio of large numbers to normatively equivalent or superior probabilities expressed as a ratio of small numbers—has recently gained momentum, with researchers especially in health economics emphasizing the policy importance of the phenomenon. Although the bias has been replicated several times, some doubts remain about its economic significance. Our two experiments show that the bias disappears once order effects are excluded, and once salient and dominant incentives (...) are provided. This holds true for both choice and valuation tasks. Also, adding context to the decision problem does not alter this finding. No ratio bias could be found in between-subject tests either, which leads us to the conclusion that the policy relevance of the phenomenon is doubtful at best. (shrink)
Due to a simplistic interpretation of the Holly Scriptures, the Christian world has for a long time largely rejected the Darwinian theory. It was therefore, even in the twenties of the post century, difficult to reconcile the idea of the common origin of all species and a superficial reading of the Book of Genesis. In this context, two catholic priests who were also scientist - Teilhard de Chardin and Henry de Dorlodot - tried to reconcile their scientific adhesion to Darwin's (...) theory and their faith to God. They held o similar scientific opinion but by different ways. In fact, they gat iota two opposite situations due to the very different receptions given to their claim: Teilhard de Chardin, severely repressed, was sent to China in order to prevent the diffusion of his ideas whereas de Dorlodat's book was published and acclaimed. This was probably due to the use mode by the second of times of on essentially theological argumentation in order to present the underlining scientific theory. Teilhard de Chardin developed his argumentation trough a scientific analysis ending up in philosophical and religious conclusions. On the other hand, some believing scientists were able to find in the de Dorlodot's argumentation the theological support for their knowledge that they needed. (shrink)
Davidson, Rorty, and Rosenberg each reject, for similar reasons, the idea that truth is the aim of belief and the goal of inquiry. Rosenberg provides the most explicit and compelling argument for this provocative view. Here, with a focus on this argument, I suggest that this view is a mistake, but not for the reasons some might think. In my view, we can view truth as a constitutive aim of belief even if not a regulative goal of inquiry, (...) if we adopt a Sellarsian view of the ought-to-be’s of belief. Along the way, I suggest that many aspects of Rosenberg’s (unfortunately under-appreciated) epistemology are in fact defensible and are independent of his strong denial of truth's role in constraining epistemic practices. (shrink)
Rosenberg’s general argumentative strategy in favour of panpsychism is an extension of a traditional pattern. Although his argument is complex and intricate, I think a model that is historically significant and fundamentally similar to the position Rosenberg advances might help us understand the case for panpsychism. Thus I want to begin by considering a Leibnizian argument for panpsychism.
In ‘A modal theory of function’, I gave an argument against all existing theories of function and outlined a new theory. Karen Neander and Alex Rosenberg argue against both my negative and my positive claim. My aim here is not merely to defend my account from their objections, but to (a) very briefly point out that the new account of etiological function they propose in response to my criticism cannot avoid the circularity worry either and, more importantly, to (b) (...) highlight, and attempt to make precise, an important feature of my modal theory that may have been understated in the original paper – that function attributions depend on the explanatory project at hand. (shrink)
Much has been written on the relative merits of different readings of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The recent renewal of the debate has almost exclusively been concerned with variants of the ineffabilist (metaphysical) reading of TL-P - notable such readings have been advanced by Elizabeth Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and H. O. Mounce - and the recently advanced variants of therapeutic (resolute) readings - notable advocates of which are James Conant, Cora Diamond, Juliet Floyd and Michael Kremer. During this debate, (...) there have been a number of writers who have tried to develop a third way, incorporating what they see as insights and avoiding what they see as flaws in both the ineffabilist and resolute readings. The most prominent advocates of these elucidatory readings of TL-P are Dan Hutto (2003) and Marie McGinn (1999). In this paper we subject Hutto's and McGinn's readings of TL-P to critical scrutiny. We find that in seeking to occupy the middle ground they ultimately find themselves committed to (and in the process commit Wittgenstein to) the very ineffabilism they (and Wittgenstein) are seeking to overcome. (shrink)
This paper is an explication and critique of a new theory of causation found in part II of Gregg Rosenberg's _A Place for Consciousness._ According to Rosenberg's Theory of Causal significance, causation constrains indeterminate possibilities, and according to his Carrier Theory, physical properties are dispositions which have phenomenal properties as their causal bases. This author finds Rosenberg's metaphysics excessively speculative, with disappointing implications for the place of consciousness in the natural world.
Rosenberg has recently argued that explanations supplied by (what he calls) functional biology are mere promissory notes for macromolecular adaptive explanations. Rosenberg's arguments currently constitute one of the most substantial challenges to the autonomy, irreducibility, and indispensability of the explanations supplied by functional biology. My responses to Rosenberg's arguments will generate a novel account of the autonomy of functional biology. This account will turn on the relations between counterfactuals, scientific explanations, and natural laws. Crucially, in their treatment (...) of the laws' relation to counterfactuals, Rosenberg's arguments beg the question against the autonomy of functional biology. This relation is considerably more subtle than is suggested by familiar slogans such as Laws support counterfactuals; accidents don't. (shrink)
Alexander Rosenberg begins his recent article on the concept of fitness with the remark that "debates about the cognitive status of the Darwinian theory of natural selection should have ended long ago." I agree that this obsession needs to be overcome. But Rosenberg repeats some of the old mis- takes and invents epicycles on others. In this comment I will not be able to circumscribe fully the range of topics that an adequate treatment of this cluster of problems (...) demands. A few critical re marks will indicate what I find wanting in Rosenberg's treatment. (shrink)
Philosophy of Science is a mid-level text for students with some grounding in philosophy. It introduces the questions that drive enquiry in the philosophy of science, and aims to educate readers in the main positions, problems and arguments in the field today. Alex Rosenberg is certainly well qualified to write such an introduction. His works cover a large area of the philosophy of natural and social sciences. In addition, the author of the argument that the ‘queen of the social (...) sciences’, economics, is not a science at all, can be counted on to show how the philosophy of science can be relevant to the understanding of the status of scientific knowledge and can provide a critical assessment of practitioners’ view of their field. (shrink)