This article argues that traditional, regulative principles of research ethics offer insufficient guidance for research in the narrative study of lives. These principles presuppose an implicit epistemology that conceives of research participants as data sources, a conception that is argued not tenable for narrative research. The case is made by drawing on recent discussions of research ethics in the qualitative and narrative research literature. This article shows that narrative ethics is inextricably entwined with epistemological issues--namely, issues of narrative ownership and (...) the multiplicity of narrative meaning. Finally, practical recommendations are made for the ethical treatment of research participants in narrative research. The article concludes by situating our approach with respect to the broad range of contemporary perspectives on research ethics. (shrink)
In this brief note, we respond to Gottlieb and Lasser's (2001/this issue) critical commentary on our work on narrative research ethics. We argue that their concern for privileging voices needs to be balanced against the risk of exploiting some research participants, that conflicts of interest are best resolved through appropriately prioritizing ethical principles and in consultation with others, and that the researcher's ability to protect participants from harm can be enhanced through appropriate clinical training and access to clinical expertise. We (...) welcome Gottlieb and Lasser's specific recommendations for ethical practice in narrative research and encourage further ethical reflection by other researchers in this area. (shrink)
This paper explores how the Bayesian program benefits from allowing for objective chance as well as subjective degree of belief. It applies David Lewis’s Principal Principle and David Christensen’s principle of informed preference to defend Howard Raiffa’s appeal to preferences between reference lotteries and scaling lotteries to represent degrees of belief. It goes on to outline the role of objective lotteries in an application of rationality axioms equivalent to the existence of a utility assignment to represent preferences in Savage’s famous (...) omelet example of a rational choice problem. An example motivating causal decision theory illustrates the need for representing subjunctive dependencies to do justice to intuitive examples where epistemic and causal independence come apart. We argue to extend Lewis’s account of chance as a guide to epistemic probability to include De Finetti’s convergence results. We explore Diachronic Dutch book arguments as illustrating commitments for treating transitions as learning experiences. Finally, we explore implications for Martingale convergence results for motivating commitment to objective chances. (shrink)
In his six 1983 lectures published under the title, Fearless Speech (2001), Michel Foucault developed the theme of free speech and its relation to frankness, truth-telling, criticism, and duty. Derived from the ancient Greek word parrhesia, Foucault's analysis of free speech is relevant to the mentoring of medical students. This is especially true given the educational and social need to transform future physicians into able citizens who practice a fearless freedom of expression on behalf of their patients, the public, the (...) medical profession, and themselves in the public and political arena. In this paper, we argue that Foucault's understanding of free speech, or parrhesia, should be read as an ethical response to the American Medical Association's recent educational effort, Initiative to Transform Medical Education (ITME): Recommendations for change in the system of medical education (2007). In this document, the American Medical Association identifies gaps in medical education, emphasizing the need to enhance health system safety and quality, to improve education in training institutions, and to address the inadequacy of physician preparedness in new content areas. These gaps, and their relationship to the ITME goal of promoting excellence in patient care by implementing reform in the US system of medical education, call for a serious consideration and use of Foucault's parrhesia in the way that medical students are trained and mentored. (shrink)
We propose a model mechanism for the initiation and spatial positioning of teeth primordia in the alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Detailed embryological studies by Westergaard and Ferguson (1986, 1987, 1990) have shown that jaw growth plays a crucial role in the developmental patterning of the tooth initiation process. Based on biological data we develop a dynamic patterning mechanism, which crucially includes domain growth. The mechanism can reproduce the spatial pattern development of the first seven teeth primordia in each half jaw (...) of A. mississippiensis. The results for the precise spatio-temporal sequence compare well with experiment. Simulation of the model also predicts that certain transplantations can alter the spatial sequence of teeth primordia initiation. (shrink)
Bauer, Taub, and Parsi's review of an international sample of standards on informed consent, confidentiality, commercialization, and quality of research in tissue banking reveals that no clear national or international consensus exists for these issues. The authors' response to the lack of uniformity in the meaning, scope, and ethical significance of the policies they examined is to call for the creation of uniform ethical guidelines. This raises questions about whether harmonization should consist of voluntary international standards or international regulations that (...) include an official oversight mechanism and sanctions for noncompliance, and about who should participate in the harmonization process. Moreover, the normative assumptions and political dynamics that shape global policymaking need to be addressed. This commentary explores the policy implications and normative questions raised by the idea of international ethical guidelines for the use of biotechnologies and biotechnological resources such as stored samples of human tissue. (shrink)
Last year in June, British doctors went on strike for the first time since 1975. Amidst a global economic downturn and with many health systems struggling with reduced finances, around the world the issue of public health workers going on strike is a very real one. Almost all doctors will agree that we should always follow the law, but often the law is unclear or does not cover a particular case. Here we must appeal to ethical discussion. The General Medical (...) Council, in its key guidance document for practising doctors, Good Medical Practice, claims that ‘Good doctors make the care of their patients their first concern’. Is this true? And if so, how is this relevant to the issue of striking? One year on since the events, we carefully reflect and argue whether it was right for doctors to pursue strike action, and call for greater discussion of ethical issues such as the recent strikes, particularly among younger members of the profession. (shrink)
Problems of and explanations for evil -- Neo-cartesianism -- Animal suffering and the fall -- Nobility, flourishing, and immortality : animal pain and animal well-being -- Natural evil, nomic regularity, and animal suffering -- Chaos, order, and evolution -- Combining CDs.
Working within the tradition of continental philosophy, this article argues in favour of a phenomenological understanding of language as a crucial component of bioethical inquiry. The authors challenge the ‘commonsense’ view of language, in which thinking appears as prior to speaking, and speech the straightforward vehicle of pre-existing thoughts. Drawing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's (1908–1961) phenomenology of language, the authors claim that thinking takes place in and through the spoken word, in and through embodied language. This view resituates bioethics as a (...) matter of bodies that speak. It also refigures the meaning of ethical self-reflexion, and in so doing offers an alternative view on reflexivity and critique. Referring to the Kantian critical tradition and its reception by Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, we advance a position we call ‘critical ethical reflexivity’. We contend that Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of language offers valuable insight into ethical reflexivity and subject formation. Moreover, his understanding of language may foster new qualitative empirical research in bioethics, lead to more nuanced methods for interpreting personal narratives, and promote critical self-reflexion as necessary for bioethical inquiry. (shrink)
This article is a critical methodological reflection on the use of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) initiated in the context of a qualitative research project on the experience of seclusion in a psychiatric setting. It addresses an explicit gap in the IPA literature to explore the ways that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology can extend the remit of IPA for noncognitivist qualitative research projects beyond the field of health psychology. In particular, the article develops Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of the lived-body, language, and embodied speech, with (...) specific attention to the ethical implications of body and place. It concludes with a discussion on phenomenological reflexivity and prompts a reconsideration of phenomenological methods across a wide range of qualitative research projects concerned with subjectivity and ethical practice, including critical health studies, critical bioethics, and cultural studies that employ a qualitative empirical research design. (shrink)
Attributes of God : independence, goodness, and power -- Attributes of God : eternity, knowledge, and providence -- God triune and incarnate -- Faith and rationality -- Theistic arguments -- Anti-theistic arguments -- Religion and science -- Religion, morality, and politics -- Mind, body, and immortality.
Over the last two decades, scientific accounts of religion have received a great deal of scholarly and popular attention both because of their intrinsic interest and because they are widely as constituting a threat to the religion they analyse. The Believing Primate aims to describe and discuss these scientific accounts as well as to assess their implications. The volume begins with essays by leading scientists in the field, describing these accounts and discussing evidence in their favour. Philosophical and theological reflections (...) on these accounts follow, offered by leading philosophers, theologians, and scientists. This diverse group of scholars address some fascinating underlying questions: Do scientific accounts of religion undermine the justification of religious belief? Do such accounts show religion to be an accidental by-product of our evolutionary development? And, whilst we seem naturally disposed toward religion, would we fare better or worse without it? Bringing together dissenting perspectives, this provocative collection will serve to freshly illuminate ongoing debate on these perennial questions. (shrink)
This paper explores a novel philosophy of ethical care in the face of burgeoning biomedical technologies. I respond to a serious challenge facing traditional bioethics with its roots in analytic philosophy. The hallmarks of these traditional approaches are reason and autonomy, founded on a belief in the liberal humanist subject. In recent years, however, there have been mounting challenges to this view of human subjectivity, emerging from poststructuralist critiques, such as Michel Foucault's, but increasingly also as a result of advances (...) in biotechnology itself. In the face of these developments, I argue that the theoretical relevance and practical application of mainstream bioethics is increasingly under strain. Traditionalists will undoubtedly resist. Together, professional philosopher-bioethicists, public health policymakers, and the global commercial healthcare industry tend to respond conservatively by shoring up the liberal humanist subject as the foundation for medical ethics and consumer decision-making, appealing to the familiar tropes of reason, autonomy, and freedom. (shrink)
In recent years a number of sophisticated versions of soteriological universalism have appeared in the literature. In this essay I offer some critical retlections them. In particular, I argue that universalism offers no explanation for the fact that God puts human creatures through the earthly life, and that if there is no such reason then the earthly life and the evil it contains are both gratuitous. Finally, I argue that universalists are obliged to deny that human beings have a centrally (...) important feature of human freedom. (shrink)
Between 1701 and 1705 Leibniz focused on the task of securing theological reunion between Lutherans and Calvinists, the two major Protestant sects at the time. Doing so, he believed, required reconciliation on two key topics, namely, the doctrine of the Eucharist, and the doctrine of election. To bring unity on the second issue, Leibniz composed a lengthy treatise based on a commentary on the Thirty-nine articles of the Church of England. This treatise stakes out a position springing from Leibniz’s own (...) views. In this essay, I examine the views Leibniz defends in this treatise. I show that Leibniz’s views are much friendlier to the Arminian perspective than to the Calvinist one. I also show that this result is surprising since Arminian views seem incompatible with views on freedom and the problem of evil standardly attributed to Leibniz. This lack of fit should compel a re-examination of these standard attributions. (shrink)
Endothelial cells, when cultured on gelled basement membrane matrix exert forces of tension through which they deform the matrix and at the same time they aggregate into clusters. The cells eventually form a network of cord-like structures connecting cell aggregates. In this network, almost all of the matrix has been pulled underneath the cell cords and cell clusters. This phenomenon has been proposed as a possible model for the growth and development of planar vascular systems in vitro. Our hypothesis is (...) that the matrix is reorganized and the cellular networks form as a result of traction forces exerted by the cells on the matrix and the latter's elasticity. We construct and analyze a mathematical model based on this hypothesis and examine conditions necessary for the formation of the pattern. We show cell migration is not necessary for pattern formation and that isotropic, strain-stimulated traction is sufficient to form the observed patterns. (shrink)
Grodzinsky has argued that the traces deleted in Broca's aphasia are “phonetically silent but syntactically active” (sect. 2.). If we assume such traces to be visuospatial in nature, and adopt the term “overwriting” from the author's partial matching theory (1998), we can account for the errors made by Broca's aphasics in comprehending Grodzinsky's Examples (5a), (5b), and (6).
In critical care medicine, teaching and mentoring practices are extremely important in regard to attracting and retaining young trainees and faculty in this important subspecialty that has a scarcity of needed personnel in the USA. To this end, we argue that Foucault’s Technologies of the Self is critical background reading when endeavoring to effect the positive transformation of faculty into effective teachers and mentors.