Conditionals has at its center an extended essay on this problematic and much-debated subject in the philosophy of language and logic, which the widely respected Oxford philosopher Michael Woods had been preparing for publication at the time of his death in 1993. It appears here edited by his eminent colleague David Wiggins, and is accompanied by a commentary specially written by a leading expert on the topic, Dorothy Edgington. This masterly and original treatment of conditionals will demand the attention (...) of all philosophers working in this area. (shrink)
This is an examination of similarities and differences between two recent models of abductive reasoning. The one is developed in Atocha Aliseda’s Abductive Reasoning: Logical Investigations into the Processes of Discovery and Evaluation (2006). The other is advanced by Dov Gabbay and the present author in their The Reach of Abduction: Insight and Trial (2005). A principal difference between the two approaches is that in the Gabbay-Woods model, but not in the Aliseda model, abductive inference is ignorance-preserving. A further (...) differ-ence is that Aliseda reconstructs the abduction relation in a semantic tableaux environment, whereas the Woods-Gabbay model, while less systematic, is more general. Of particular note is the connection between abduction and legal reasoning. (shrink)
In a world plagued by disagreement and conflict one might expect that the exact sciences of logic and mathematics would provide a safe harbor. In fact these disciplines are rife with internal divisions between different, often incompatible, systems. Do these disagreements admit of resolution? Can such resolution be achieved without disturbing assumptions that the theorems of logic and mathematics state objective truths about the real world? In this original and historically rich book John Woods explores apparently intractable disagreements in (...) logic and the foundations of mathematics and sets out conflict resolution strategies that evade or disarm these stalemates. An important sub-theme of the book is the extent to which pluralism in logic and the philosophy of mathematics undermines realist assumptions. This book makes an important contribution to such areas of philosophy as logic, philosophy of language and argumentation theory. It will also be of interest to mathematicians and computer scientists. (shrink)
A possible worlds treatment of the normal alethic modalities was, after classical model theory, logic’s most significant semantic achievement in the century just past. Kripke’s groundbreaking paper appeared in 1959 and, in the scant few succeeding years, its principal analytical tool, possible worlds, was adapted to serve a range of quite different-seeming purposes – from nonnormal logics, to epistemic and doxastic logics, deontic and temporal logics and, not much later, the logic of counterfactual conditionals. In short order, possible worlds acquired (...) a twofold reputation which has steadily enlarged to the present day. They were celebrated for both their mathematical power and their sheer versatility. This sets the stage for what I want to do here. I wish to explore the extent to which the supposed versatility of a possible worlds semantics is justified. In so doing, I shall confine my attention to its role in (1) logics of counterfactual conditionals, and (2) logics of belief. The question I pose is, why and on what grounds should we think that the device of possible worlds turns the semantic trick for these logics? My answer is that they do not turn the trick for them. Whereupon a further question presses for attention. If possible worlds semantics don’t work there, why does virtually everyone think that they do? Answering this second question is risky. Who am I to say why virtually everyone thinks that the possible worlds approach is more successful than I do? Who has vouchsafed me these powers? I shall try to mitigate the riskiness of my answer by contextualizing the evaluation of this approach in the following ways. First, the triumph of possible worlds occurred in the midst of a powerful general trend in logical theory, especially, in the past 60 years. In that period, logical theory became aggressively and widely pluralistic. Second, the versatility – the sheer ubiquity – of possible worlds as a tool of semantic and philosophical analysis, gives to possible worlds a kind of hegemonic standing.. (shrink)
Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic marks the initial appearance of the multi-volume Handbook of the History of Logic. Additional volumes will be published when ready, rather than in strict chronological order. Soon to appear are The Rise of Modern Logic: From Leibniz to Frege. Also in preparation are Logic From Russell to Gödel, The Emergence of Classical Logic, Logic and the Modalities in the Twentieth Century, and The Many-Valued and Non-Monotonic Turn in Logic. Further volumes will follow, including Mediaeval and (...) Renaissance Logic and Logic: A History of its Central. In designing the Handbook of the History of Logic, the Editors have taken the view that the history of logic holds more than an antiquarian interest, and that a knowledge of logic's rich and sophisticated development is, in various respects, relevant to the research programmes of the present day. Ancient logic is no exception. The present volume attests to the distant origins of some of modern logic's most important features, such as can be found in the claim by the authors of the chapter on Aristotle's early logic that, from its infancy, the theory of the syllogism is an example of an intuitionistic, non-monotonic, relevantly paraconsistent logic. Similarly, in addition to its comparative earliness, what is striking about the best of the Megarian and Stoic traditions is their sophistication and originality. Logic is an indispensably important pivot of the Western intellectual tradition. But, as the chapters on Indian and Arabic logic make clear, logic's parentage extends more widely than any direct line from the Greek city states. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that for centuries logic has been an unfetteredly international enterprise, whose research programmes reach to every corner of the learned world. Like its companion volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic is the result of a design that gives to its distinguished authors as much space as would be needed to produce highly authoritative chapters, rich in detail and interpretative reach. The aim of the Editors is to have placed before the relevant intellectual communities a research tool of indispensable value. Together with the other volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, will be essential reading for everyone with a curiosity about logic's long development, especially researchers, graduate and senior undergraduate students in logic in all its forms, argumentation theory, AI and computer science, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, linguistics, forensics, philosophy and the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
In times past there was a celebrated, and somewhat mythical, disagreement between William James and W.K. Clifford. Clifford thought that our cognitive ends were best advanced by a determined effort to avoid error. James thought that our cognitive flourishing was ineliminably linked to a venturing forth for truth. Each carries its own procedural implications. For James, it was Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained. For Clifford it was Nothing Ventured, Nothing Lost. Of course, these are caricatures; but we know what’s meant, at (...) least roughly. The Clifford-James divide carves up Quine’s philosophical architecture in an important way.1 Quine is a Jamesian about science and a Cliffordian about philosophy. Quine knows that science will get nowhere if it is not allowed to make mistakes, lots of them. Like Peirce and Dewey, Quine is a fallibilist about science. He thinks that the correct, indeed the best, methods for science are those that get things wrong with a notable frequency. Even so, there are two considerations which make these the right procedures. One is that a condition of getting things right in science is getting things wrong, though not the same things at the same time. Another is that the error-susceptible.. (shrink)
This article reassess Rorty’s contribution to human rights theory. It addresses two key questions: (1) Does Rorty sustain his claim that there are no morally relevant transcultural facts? (2) Does Rorty’s proposed sentimental education offer an adequate response to contemporary human rights challenges? Although both questions are answered in the negative, it is argued here that Rorty’s focus on suffering, sympathy, and security, offer valuable resources to human rights theorists. The article concludes by considering the idea of a dual approach (...) to human rights, combining Rorty’s emphasis on sentiment with an analysis of patterns of responsibility for the underfulfilment of human rights. (shrink)
Semantic theorists of fiction typically look for an account of our semantic relations to the fictional within general-purpose theories of reference, privileging an explanation of the semantic over the psychological. In this paper, we counsel a reverse dependency. In sorting out our psychological relations to the fictional, there is useful guidance about how to proceed with the semantics of fiction. A sketch of the semantics follows.
Traditionally, an enthymeme is an incomplete argument, made so by the absence of one or more of its constituent statements. An enthymeme resolution strategy is a set of procedures for finding those missing elements, thus reconstructing the enthymemes and restoring its meaning. It is widely held that a condition on the adequacy of such procedures is that statements restored to an enthymeme produce an argument that is good in some given respect in relation to which the enthymeme itself is bad. (...) In previous work, we emphasized the role of parsimony in enthymeme resolution strategies and concomitantly downplayed the role of charity . In the present paper, we take the analysis of enthymemes a step further. We will propose that if the pragmatic features that attend the phenomenon of enthymematic communication are duly heeded, the very idea of reconstructing enthymemes loses much of its rationale, and their interpretation comes to be conceived in a new light. (shrink)
MacColl is the recent subject of three interesting theses. One is that he is the probable originator of pluralism in logic. The other is that his pluralism expresses an underlying instrumentalism. The third is that the first two help explain his post-1909 neglect. Although there are respects in which he is both a pluralist and an instrumentalist, I will suggest that it is difficult to find in MacColl’s writings a pluralism which honours the threefold attribution of having been originated by (...) him, having been rooted in an instrumentalism adapted to logic, and occasion of his neglect. (shrink)
Logic’s historically central mission has been to provide formally precise descriptions of logical consequence. This was done with two broad expectations in mind. One was that a pre-theoretically recognizable concept of consequence would be present in the ensuing formalization. The other was that the formalization would be mathematically mature. The first expectation calls for conceptual adequacy. The other calls for technical virtuosity. The record of the past century and a third discloses a tension between the two. Accordingly, logicians have sought (...) a reasoned, if delicate, rapprochement, one in which each expectation would be given its due, but well-short of free sway. Recent developments have imperiled this perestroika. One is logic’s massive and often rivalrous pluralism, and the cheapening relativism to which it beckons. This is exacerbated by the long-acknowledged part that the formal representations of logic distort the logical particles of natural language. The present paper discusses what might be done about this. (shrink)
Based on the premise that what is relevant, consistent, or true may change from context to context, a formal framework of relevance and context is proposed in which • contexts are mathematical entities • each context has its own language with relevant implication • the languages of distinct contexts are connected by embeddings • inter-context deduction is supported by bridge rules • databases are sets of formulae tagged with deductive histories and the contexts they belong to • abduction and revision (...) are supported by a notion of consistency of formulae and sets of formulae which are relative to a context, and which can, in turn, be seen as constituents of agendas. (shrink)
Enthymemes are traditionally defined as arguments in which some elements are left unstated. It is an empirical fact that enthymemes are both enormously frequent and appropriately understood in everyday argumentation. Why is it so? We outline an answer that dispenses with the so called “principle of charity”, which is the standard notion underlying most works on enthymemes. In contrast, we suggest that a different force drives enthymematic argumentation—namely, parsimony, i.e. the tendency to optimize resource consumption, in light of the agent’s (...) goals. On this view, the frequent use of enthymemes does not indicate sub-optimal performance of arguers, requiring appeals to charity for their redemption. On the contrary, it is seen as a highly adaptive argumentation strategy, given the need of everyday reasoners to optimize their cognitive resources. Considerations of parsimony also affect enthymeme reconstruction, i.e. the process by which the interpreter makes sense of the speaker’s enthymemes. Far from being driven by any pro-social cooperative instinct, interpretative efforts are aimed at extracting valuable information at reasonable costs from available sources. Thus, there is a tension between parsimony and charity, insofar as the former is a non-social constraint for self-regulation of one’s behaviour, whereas the latter implies a pro-social attitude. We will argue that some versions of charity are untenable for enthymeme interpretation, while others are compatible with the view defended here, but still require parsimony to expose the ultimate reasons upon which a presumption of fair treatment in enthymeme reconstruction is founded. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to re-examine an ethic of care as the main ethical approach to nursing practice in light of past and present developments in nursing ethics, and to briefly speculate whether or not it will survive within nursing in the future. Overall, it is maintained throughout that the terms ?caring?, ?nursing? and an ?ethic of care? are inextricably linked. This is because, it is argued, professionally focused nursing practices are based predominantly on a well-recognised moral commitment (...) to deliver expert care, and that a care-based ethic is the major factor in the construction and maintenance of these practices. Subsequently, the influences and developments of a caring ethic in nursing are firstly re-examined, and the discussion is supported by evidence from more recent nursing research and theoretical developments. Consideration is given to the philosophical underpinnings of both care theory and caring ethics, and the fundamental importance of caring in nursing, as an interpersonal relationship and as an appropriate ethical response, is made transparent. Finally, an outline of the future possibilities that may affect an ethic of care in nursing is offered. (shrink)
“A model is a work of fiction(. There are the obvious idealizations of physics – infinite potentials, zero-time correlations, perfect rigid rods, and frictionless planes. But it would be a mistake to think entirely in terms of idealizations of properties we conceive of as limiting cases, to which we can approach closer and closer in reality. For some properties are not even approached in reality. They are pure fictions.” Nancy Cartwright..
The logic of fiction has been a stand-alone research programme only since the early 1970s.1 It is a fair question as to why in the first place fictional discourse would have drawn the interest of professional logicians. It is a question admitting of different answers. One is that, since fictional names are “empty”, fiction is a primary datum for any logician seeking a suitably comprehensive logic of denotation. Another answer arises from the so-called incompleteness problem, exemplified by the fact (or (...) apparent fact) that some fictional sentences – think of “Sherlock Holmes’ mother was nick-named ‘Polly’” − are neither true nor false. These are sentences to command the attention of logicians who work on non-bivalent logics. A further spur to logical engagement is the supposed fictionality of certain kinds of ideal models in science and certain classes of mathematical objects. No doubt, there are other features of fictional discourse that provide the logician with a natural entré, but perhaps it would also be correct to say that the fiction’s biggest draw for logicians is that our quite common beliefs about the fictional constitute what Nicholas Rescher calls “aporetic clusters”, so named after the Latinized Greek aporos for “impassable”.2 An aporetic cluster is a set of claims such that.. (shrink)
One of our purposes here is to expose something of the elementary logical structure of abductive reasoning, and to do so in a way that helps orient theorists to the various tasks that a logic of abduction should concern itself with. We are mindful of criticisms that have been levelled against the very idea of a logic of abduction; so we think it prudent to proceed with a certain difﬁdence. That our own account of abduction is itself abductive is methodological (...) expression of this difﬁ- dence. A second objective is to test our conception of abduction’s logical structure against some of the more promising going accounts of abductive reasoning. We offer our various suggestions in a benignly advisory way. The primary targets of our advice is ourselves, meant as guides to work we have yet to complete or, in some instances, start. It is possible that our colleagues in the abduction research communities will ﬁnd our counsel to be of some interest. But we repeat that our ﬁrst concern is to try to get ourselves straight about what a logic of abduction should encompass. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Clinical Theory -- 1. Psychiatry on schizophrenia: clinical pictures of a sublime object -- 2. Schizophrenia: the sublime text of psychoanalysis -- Cultural Theory -- 3. Antipsychiatry: schizophrenic experience and the sublime -- 4. Anti-Oedipus and the politics of the schizophrenic sublime -- 5. Schizophrenia, modernity, postmodernity -- 6. Postmodern schizophrenia -- 7. Glamorama, postmodernity and the schizophrenic sublime -- Conclusion.
duction; so we think it prudent to proceed with a certain difﬁdence. That our own account of abduction is itself abductive is methodological expression of this difﬁ- dence. A second objective is to test our conception of abduction’s logical structure against some of the more promising going accounts of abductive reasoning.
This article traces the life of Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev from childhood in Siberia, through education and training to become the first formulator of the Periodic Table, the logo of chemistry. His unique contribution is described and analysed; what factors helped him be the first formulator? What did he do after making his most famous discovery? In addition the article peeps into his personal life, his dealings with his family and the authorities. Finally we look at honours he received in (...) later life. (shrink)
We examined Confucian moral philosophy, primarily the Analects, to determine how Confucian ethics could help managers regulate their own behavior (self-regulation) to maintain an ethical standard of practice. We found that some Confucian virtues relevant to self-regulation are common to Western concepts of management ethics such as benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, and trustworthiness. Some are relatively unique, such as ritual propriety and filial piety. We identify seven Confucian principles and discuss how they apply to achieving ethical self-regulation in management. In addition, (...) we examined some of the unique Confucian practices to achieve self-regulation including ritual and music. We balanced the framework by exploring the potential problems in applying Confucian principles to develop ethical self-regulation including whistle blowing. Confucian moral philosophy offers an indigenous Chinese theoretical framework for developing ethical self-regulation in managers. This is relevant for managers and those who relate to managers in Confucian-oriented societies, such as China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore. We recommend further research to examine if the application of the Confucian practices outlined here actually work in regulating the ethical behavior of managers in modern organizations. (shrink)
For scientific essentialists, the only logical possibilities of existence are the real (or metaphysical) ones, and such possibilities, they say, are relative to worlds. They are not a priori, and they cannot just be invented. Rather, they are discoverable only by the a posteriori methods of science. There are, however, many philosophers who think that real possibilities are knowable a priori, or that they can just be invented. Marc Lange [Lange 2004] thinks that they can be invented, and tries to (...) use his inventions to argue that the essentialist theory of counterfactual conditionals developed in Scientific Essentialism [Ellis 2001, hereafter SE ] is flawed. (shrink)
In this article, we contend that due to their size and emphasis upon addressing external social concerns, the corporate relationship between social enterprises, social awareness and action is more complex than whether or not these organisations engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). This includes organisations that place less emphasis on CSR as well as other organisations that may be very proficient in CSR initiatives, but are less successful in recording practices. In this context, we identify a number of internal CSR (...) markers that may be applied to measuring the extent to which internal CSR practices are being observed. These considerations may be contrasted with the evidence that community based CSR activities is often well developed in private sector small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) (Observatory of European SMEs, 2002), a situation which may be replicated in social enterprises especially those that have grown from micro-enterprises embedded in local communities. We place particular emphasis upon the implications for employee management. Underpinning our position is the Aristotelian-informed capabilities approach, a theory of human development and quality of life, developed by Sen (1992; 1999) and Nussbaum (1999) which has been developed further, in an organisational context, (e.g., Cornelius, 2002); Cornelius and Gagnon, 2004; Gagnon and Cornelius, 1999; Vogt, 2005. We contend that the capabilities approach offers additional insights into CSR in social enterprises in general and internal CSR activity in particular. Our article concludes with proposals for future research initiatives and reflections upon social enterprise development from a capabilities perspective. (shrink)
The logic that was purpose-built to accommodate the hoped-for reduction of arithmetic gave to language a dominant and pivotal place. Flowing from the founding efforts of Frege, Peirce, and Whitehead and Russell, this was a logic that incorporated proof theory into syntax, and in so doing made of grammar a senior partner in the logicistic enterprise. The seniority was reinforced by soundness and completeness metatheorems, and, in time, Quine would quip that the “grammar [of logic] is linguistics on purpose” [Quine, (...) 1970, p. 15] and that “logic chases truth up the tree of grammar” [Quine, 1970, p. 35]. Nor was the centrality of syntax lost with the G¨. (shrink)
This is an examination of the dialectical structure of deep disagreements about matters not open to empirical check. A dramatic case in point is the Law of Non- Contradiction (LNC). Dialetheists are notoriously of the view that, in some few cases.
An account of analogical characterization is developed in which the following things are claimed.(1) Analogical predications are irreflexive, asymmetrical, atransitive and non-inversive. (2) Analogies A and B share role-similarity descriptions sufficiently abstract to overcome the differences between A and B. Analogies pivot on the point of limited similarity and substantial, even radical, difference. (3) The semantical theory for sentences making analogical attributions requires a distinction between (sentential) meaning as truth conditions and (sentential) meaning as a functional compound of the meanings (...) of contained lexical items. Analogical sentences possess both kinds of meaning. They are true via their truth conditions and would be false via their lexical meanings. The distinctive feature of the lexical meaning of analogical sentences is the tightness of constraints on closure. The implications of analogical sentences, given their lexical meanings, though there, aren't drawn. It is in this sense that analogies are made and not found. (shrink)
The traditional Dung networks depict arguments as atomic and study the relationships of attack between them. This can be generalised in two ways. One is to consider various forms of attack, support, feedback, etc. Another is to add content to nodes and put there not just atomic arguments but more structure, e.g. proofs in some logic or simply just formulas from a richer language. This paper offers to use temporal and modal language formulas to represent arguments in the nodes of (...) a network. The suitable semantics for such networks is Kripke semantics. We also introduce a new key concept of usability of an argument. This is the beginning of a continuing research for adding contents to the nodes of an argumentation network. This research will allow us to address notions like ?what does it exactly mean for a node to attack another? or ?what does it mean for a network to be consistent? or ?can we give proper proof rules to manipulate networks?, and more. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that nurses should be holists whilst at the same time accepting that âholismâ is a contentious concept. One of the problems for a supporter of holism is that of which holism -- an attempt to outline the version of holism advocated is made by identifying only two versions of holism: The Strong theory and the Pragmatic theory of holism. By introducing this device it is hoped to avoid, if only by stipulation, some of the (...) more sophisticated nuances of holism drawn by other commentators. However despite a most judicious use of Ockham's Razor some detailed groundwork remains. In the first part of this paper a simple example is used which aims to articulate what are arguably some of the central issues within the holism debate. These issues are then placed within a wider philosophical context. The second part of the paper will offer definitions of Strong and Pragmatic holism. Drawing on specific examples from the nursing context it will be argued that the Pragmatic theory of holism is the theory of holism most compatible with nursing theory and practice. The methods employed in this paper are philosophical. Since the questions considered are conceptual rather than empirical requiring a discursive approach, utilising thought experiments and case implication to explore the issues. (shrink)
Agnosticism has been largely passed over in the literature on Theism. This paper lays out an affirmative case for the agnostic position. Tapping into the classical arguments about the paradoxical qualities of ‘omni’ principles it argues that the agnostic position is ultimately more tenable than either Theism or Atheism. In the first part it regards the paradoxes of omnipotence and their replies strictly logically, declaring them to be true antimonies. In the second part it argues that classic arguments for belief (...) before proof run afoul of additional paradoxes and require the rejection of the most basic logical principles to accept. (shrink)
The use of models in the construction of scientific theories is as widespread as it is philosophically interesting (and, one might say, vexing).1 In neither philosophical nor scientific practice do we find a univocal concept of model.2 But there is one established usage to which we want to direct our particular attention in this paper, in which a model is constituted by the theorist’s idealizations and abstractions. Idealizations are expressed by statements known to be false. Abstractions are achieved by suppressing (...) what is known to be true. Idealizations over-represent empirical phenomena. Abstractions underrepresent them. We might think of idealizations and abstractions as one another’s duals. Either way, they are purposeful distortions of phenomena on the ground.3.. (shrink)
Formal nonmonotonic systems try to model the phenomenon that common sense reasoners are able to “jump” in their reasoning from assumptions Δ to conclusions C without their being any deductive chain from Δ to C. Such jumps are done by various mechanisms which are strongly dependent on context and knowledge of how the actual world functions. Our aim is to motivate these jump rules as inference rules designed to optimise survival in an environment with scant resources of effort and time. (...) We begin with a general discussion and quickly move to Section 3 where we introduce five resource principles. We show that these principles lead to some well known nonmonotonic systems such as Nute’s defeasible logic. We also give several examples of practical reasoning situations to illustrate our principles. (shrink)
The issue of care work has become a burning issue in western capitalist welfare states because of the greater proportion of women in the workforce and the growth of alternative forms of family arrangement outside of the traditional male breadwinner model. This article addresses equity and welfare states with respect to social entitlements around care. It asks how new theoretical concepts can be applied to understand welfare states and their evolving employment-related family policies, using Nancy Fraser's utopian universal caregiver approach (...) as a model for evaluation. It focuses on carers and evaluates how a modern citizen is expected to be financially self-sufficient and yet also perform care duties at home. The term 'carer-commodification' captures the extent to which the state expects carers to engage in the labour market and how non-carer earners are engaged in care duties. The term 'carer-stratification' incorporates the extent to which the state creates differences between carers. Policies from selective welfare states (Sweden, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States) are evaluated speculatively with these tools, and how they fare with equitable social entitlements is illustrated. (shrink)
This article reports on a collective effort to position ethics policies within the context of a specific discipline – Applied Language Studies (ALS). Through a discussion of challenges to ALS-specific pedagogical and research practices, this article highlights (1) the need for consistency across institutional Research Ethics Boards in the application of general principles of ethics review, and (2) the recognition of local considerations that are informed by disciplinary approaches not envisioned in current ethics policies. Ethics policies that are driven by (...) substantive ethical intent will recognize pedagogical practices, research methodologies, and epistemological values and traditions that mark a discipline. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the consensus around normative standards for the ethics of research in clinical trials, strongly influenced by the Declaration of Helsinki, is perceived from various quarters as too conservative and potentially restrictive of research that is seen as urgent and necessary. We examine this problem from the perspective of various challengers who argue for alternative approaches to what ought or ought not to be permitted. Key themes within this analysis will examine these claims and argue (...) they have implications for the interests of the research subject, research governance and regulation. Using our work with TREAT-NMD, the neuromuscular clinical trials network, we posit that there is a place for advancing the discourse of moral rights and moral duties in the context of research, especially from the perspective of patients and their families, and for including the politics of patient activism and empowerment. At the same time we remain vigilant to the danger that the therapeutic misconception and other serious vulnerabilities for the patient population in clinical trials, are at risk of being overlooked. (shrink)
Abstract: Current philosophical trends in North America are again raising the issue as to whether or not there can be ? moral experts?. An expert is defined here as one who predicts and explains better than the layman m a particular domain on the basis of his specialized underlying knowledge of it This analysis is then applied to the domain of morality. Special attention is given to the claim that moral philosophers are professionally more capable of critically thinking through the (...) nature of moral problems. It is argued that philosophers tend to neglect the area of actual argumentation about specific moral issues, and that it is here, at the point of contact with living moral experience and empirical research into it that the possibility of ? moral expertise? lies. (shrink)
Nursing acts occur in thousands of instances daily, being a major component of professional health care delivery in institutions, communities and homes. It follows that the ethical practice of most nurses is put to the test on an everyday rather than an occasional basis. Hence, within nursing practice there must be a rich and deep seam of reflective interpretation and practical wisdom that is 'embedded' within the experiences of every experienced nurse. This article presents discussion on some of the main (...) findings of a recently completed study on nursing ethics in New Zealand. An interpretation of a nurse's story taken from the study is offered and suggestions are made for nursing ethics education. (shrink)
A slippery slope argument is an argument to this twofold effect. First, that if a policy or practice P is permitted, then we lack the dialectical resources to demonstrate that a similar policy or practice P* is not permissible. Since P* is indeed not permissible, we should not endorse policy or practice P. At the heart of such arguments is the idea of dialectical impotence, the inability to stop the acceptance of apparently small deviations from a heretofore secure policy or (...) practice from leading to apparently large and unacceptable deviations. Using examples of analogical arguments and sorites arguments I examine this phenomenon in the context of collapsing taboos. (shrink)