Every day situations arising in health care contain ethical issues influencing care providers' conscience. How and to what extent conscience is influenced may differ according to how conscience is perceived. This study aimed to explore the relationship between perceptions of conscience and stress of conscience among care providers working in municipal housing for elderly people. A total of 166 care providers were approached, of which 146 (50 registered nurses and 96 nurses' aides/enrolled nurses) completed a questionnaire containing the Perceptions of (...) Conscience Questionnaire and the Stress of Conscience Questionnaire. A multivariate canonical correlation analysis was conducted. The first two functions emerging from the analysis themselves explained a noteworthy amount of the shared variance (25.6% and 17.8%). These two dimensions of the relationship were interpreted either as having to deaden one's conscience relating to external demands in order to be able to collaborate with coworkers, or as having to deaden one's conscience relating to internal demands in order to uphold one's identity as a `good' health care professional. (shrink)
The arts are an integral part of our culture, and they invite us to investigate, express ideas, and create aesthetically pleasing works. Of interest to educators is clear scholarship that links the arts to cognitive and intellectual development. The processes of creating art and viewing and interpreting art promote cognitive and skill development.1 Elliot Eisner, who has written extensively on this topic, argues that "Artistic activity is a form of inquiry that depends on qualitative forms of intelligence."2 Eisner suggests that (...) children can use art to question and reflect on sensory information from their daily lives, and from this reflection develop insight, awareness, and critical thinking skills.3 Expanding on .. (shrink)
Marxist roots of science studies Content Type Journal Article Category Essay Review Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9647-4 Authors Nils Roll-Hansen, Institute of Philosophy, University of Oslo, PB 1024 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In our lives, we aim to achieve welfare for ourselves, that is, to live good lives. But we also have another, more impartial perspective, where we aim to balance our concern for our own welfare against a concern for the welfare of others. This is a perspective of justice. Nils Holtug examines these two perspectives and the relations between them. -/- The first part of the book is concerned with prudence; more precisely, with what the necessary and sufficient conditions are (...) for having a self-interest in a particular benefit. It includes discussions of the extent to which self-interest depends on preferences, personal identity, and what matters in survival. It also considers the issue of whether it can benefit (or harm) a person to come into existence and what the implications are for our theory of self-interest. A 'prudential view' is defended, according to which a person has a present self-interest in a future benefit if and only if she stands in a relation of continuous physical realization of (appropriate) psychology to the beneficiary, where the strength of the self-interest depends both on the size of the benefit and on the strength of this relation. -/- The second part of the book concerns distributive justice and so how to distribute welfare or self-interest fulfilment over individuals. It includes discussions of welfarism, egalitarianism and prioritarianism, population ethics, the importance of personal identity and what matters for distributive justice, and the importance of all these issues for various topics in applied ethics, including the badness of death. Here, a version of prioritarianism is defended, according to which, roughly, the moral value of a benefit to an individual at a time depends on both the size of the benefit and on the individual's self-interest, at that time, in the other benefits that accrue to her at this and other times. (shrink)
Designed to be used on its own or with its companion text, Ultimate Questions: Thinking About Philosophy 3e, this collection of readings covers the major topic areas in philosophy: Knowledge; Free Will; Personal Identity; Mind/Body; God; Ethics; and Political Philosophy. While focusing primarily on contemporary philosophy, it also includes many of the classic works essential to an introductory course.
According to the Harm Principle, roughly, the state may coerce a person only if it can thereby prevent harm to others. Clearly, this principle depends crucially on what we understand by harm. Thus, if any sort of negative effect on a person may count as a harm, the Harm Principle will fail to sufficiently protect individual liberty. Therefore, a more subtle concept of harm is needed. I consider various possible conceptions and argue that none gives rise to a plausible version (...) of the Harm Principle. Whether we focus on welfare, quantities of welfare or qualities of welfare, we do not arrive at a plausible version of this principle. Instead, the concept of harm may be moralized. I consider various ways this may be done as well as possible rationales for the resulting versions of the Harm Principle. Again, no plausible version of the principle turns up. I also consider the prospect of including the Harm Principle in a decision-procedure rather than in a criterion of rightness. Finally, in light of my negative appraisal, I briefly discuss why this principle has seemed so appealing to liberals. (shrink)
In the natural sciences higher order structures often occur. There seems to be a need for good methods of describing what we mean by higher order structures in various contexts. This is what hyperstructures are intended to do. We motivate and introduce this new concept. Next we illustrate how it can be applied in various types of genomic analysis—particular the correlations between single nucleotide polymorphisms and diseases. The suggested structure is quite general and may be applied to a variety of (...) situations. Finally we discuss how data sets (f. ex. genomic) may lead to topological spaces, giving new invariants and lead to the prediction of hyperstructures. (shrink)
Emergence is a universal phenomenon that can be defined mathematically in a very general way. This is useful for the study of scientifically legitimate explanations of complex systems, here defined as hyperstructures. A requirement is that the observation mechanisms are considered within the general framework. Two notions of emergence are defined, and specific examples of these are discussed.
This paper is just a comment to the impressive work by A. C. Ehresmann and J.-P. Vanbremeersch on the theory of Memory Evolutive Systems (MES). MES are truly higher order systems. Hyperstructures represent a new concept which I introduced in order to capture the essence of what a higher order structure is—encompassing hierarchies and emergence. Hyperstructures are motivated by cobordism theory in topology and higher category theory. The morphism concept is replaced by the concept of a bond. In the paper (...) I briefly introduce hyperstructures motivated geometrically and suggest further developments of the MESs along these lines, which could widen up new areas of applications. (shrink)
The fundamental assumption of Dummett’s and Prawitz’ proof-theoretic justification of deduction is that ‘if we have a valid argument for a complex statement, we can construct a valid argument for it which finishes with an application of one of the introduction rules governing its principal operator’. I argue that the assumption is flawed in this general version, but should be restricted, not to apply to arguments in general, but only to proofs. I also argue that Dummett’s and Prawitz’ project of (...) providing a logical basis for metaphysics only relies on the restricted assumption. (shrink)
Contributing Authors: Lilli Alanen & Frans Svensson, David Alm, Gustaf Arrhenius, Gunnar Björnsson, Luc Bovens, Richard Bradley, Geoffrey Brennan & Nicholas Southwood, John Broome, Linus Broström & Mats Johansson, Johan Brännmark, Krister Bykvist, John Cantwell, Erik Carlson, David Copp, Roger Crisp, Sven Danielsson, Dan Egonsson, Fred Feldman, Roger Fjellström, Marc Fleurbaey, Margaret Gilbert, Olav Gjelsvik, Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin, Ebba Gullberg & Sten Lindström, Peter Gärdenfors, Sven Ove Hansson, Jana Holsanova, Nils Holtug, Victoria Höög, Magnus Jiborn, Karsten Klint Jensen, (...) Sigurður Kristinsson, Isaac Levi, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, David Makinson, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Philippe Mongin, Kevin Mulligan, Lennart Nordenfelt, Jonas Olson, Erik J. Olsson, Ingmar Persson, Johannes Persson, Björn Petersson, Philip Pettit, Hans Rott, Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen, Krister Segerberg, John Skorupski, Howard Sobel, Fredrik Stjernberg, Fred Stoutland, Caj Strandberg, Pär Sundström, Folke Tersman, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Peter Vallentyne, Bruno Verbeek, Stella Villarmea, and Michael J. Zimmerman. (shrink)
In From Chance to Choice, Allen Buchanan, Dan Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel Wikler propose a new way of defending the moral significance of the distinction between genetic treatments and enhancements. They develop what they call a ‘normal function model’ of equality of opportunity and argue that it offers a ‘limited’ defence of this distinction. In this article, I critically assess their model and the support it (allegedly) provides for the treatment-enhancement distinction. First, I argue that there is a troubling (...) tension in the normal function model. Secondly, I argue that neither of the rationales invoked by Buchanan et al. really serves to justify this model or the results they seek to derive from it with respect to the significance of the distinction between treatments and enhancements. (shrink)
In this article I discuss the question of whether a person’s existence can be better (or worse) for him than his non-existence. Recently, Nils Holtug and Melinda A. Roberts have defended an affirmative answer. These defenses, I shall argue, do not succeed. In different ways, Holtug and Roberts have got the metaphysics and axiology wrong. However, I also argue that a person’s existence can after all be better (or worse) for him than his non-existence, though for reasons other than those (...) provided by Holtug and Roberts. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that coming into existence can benefit (or harm) aperson. My argument incorporates the comparative claim that existence canbe better (or worse) for a person than never existing. Since these claimsare highly controversial, I consider and reject a number of objectionswhich threaten them. These objections raise various semantic, logical,metaphysical and value-theoretical issues. I then suggest that there is animportant sense in which it can harm (or benefit) a person not to comeinto existence. Again, I consider and (...) reject some objections. Finally, Ibriefly consider what the conclusions reached in this paper imply for ourmoral obligations to possible future people. (shrink)
The hypothesis that human reasoning and decision-making can be roughly modeled by Expected Utility Theory has been at the core of decision science. Accumulating evidence has led researchers to modify the hypothesis. One of the latest additions to the field is Dual Process theory, which attempts to explain variance between participants and tasks when it comes to deviations from Expected Utility Theory. It is argued that Dual Process theories at this point cannot replace previous theories, since they, among other things, (...) lack a firm conceptual framework, and have no means of producing independent evidence for their case. (shrink)
Derek Parfit has argued that prioritarianism “naturally” has global scope, i.e. naturally applies to everyone, irrespective of his or her particular national, state or other communal affiliation. In that respect, it differs from e.g. egalitarianism. In this article, I critically assess Parfit's argument. In particular, I argue that it is difficult to draw conclusions about the scope of prioritarianism simply from an inspection of its structure. I also make some suggestions as to what it would take to argue that prioritarianism (...) has either global or merely domestic scope. (shrink)
Jeff McMahan appeals to what he calls the “Time-relative Interest Account of the Wrongness of Killing” to explain the wrongness of killing individuals who are conscious but not autonomous. On this account, the wrongness of such killing depends on the victim’s interest in his or her future, and this interest, in turn, depends on two things: the goods that would have accrued to the victim in the future; and the strength of the prudential relations obtaining between the victim at the (...) time of the killing and at the times these goods would have accrued to him or her. More precisely, when assessing this interest, future goods should be discounted to reflect reductions in the strength of such relations. Against McMahan’s account I argue that it relies on an implausible “actualist” view of the moral importance of interests according to which satisfactions of future interests only have moral significance if they are satisfactions of actual interests (interests that will in fact exist). More precisely, I aim to show that the Time-relative Interest Account (1) does not have the implications for the morality of killing that McMahan takes it to have, and (2) implies, implausibly, that certain interest satisfactions which seem to be morally significant are morally insignificant because they are not satisfactions of actual interests. (shrink)
According to outcome welfarism, roughly, the value of an outcome is fundamentally a matterof the individual welfare it contains. I assess various suggestions as to how to spell out this idea more fully on the basis of some basic intuitions about the content and implications of welfarism. I point out that what are in fact different suggestions are often conflated and argue that none fully captures the basic intuitions. I then suggest that what this means is that different doctrines of (...) welfarism may be appropriate in different contexts and that when deciding on a particular doctrine, we need to consider which intuitions it does (and does not) accommodate. Finally, I consider the issue of just how a benefit must be related to an outcome in order to contribute to its value. (shrink)
It is suggested that the Harm Principle can be viewedas the moral basis on which genetically modified (GM) food iscurrently regulated. It is then argued (a) that the concept ofharm cannot be specified in such a manner as to render the HarmPrinciple a plausible political principle, so this principlecannot be used to justify existing regulation; and (b) that evenif the Harm Principle were a plausible political principle, itcould not be used alone in the regulation of GM food, since itdoes not (...) express a concern for the expected benefits of suchfood. (shrink)
I here defend some of the positions taken in National Responsibility and Global Justice against criticisms by Nils Holtug. I reinforce my suggestion that claims about national membership being ‘morally arbitrary’ are question begging and try to show how such membership can legitimately serve as a source of special obligations. I examine the claim that the problems involved in constructing a ‘currency’ of global justice also arise in the domestic context and suggest that appealing to ‘welfare’ as the relevant currency (...) is not a useful way of responding to cultural differences. Finally, I respond to the hypothetical case of an unequally distributed life-extending vitamin by arguing that the discovery of such a substance would change our understanding of a normal human life, and thereby raise the bar of sufficiency. Keywords: moral arbitrariness; obligation; national identity; global egalitarianism; sufficiency (Published: 16 September 2011) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 4 , No. 3, 2011, pp. 165-171. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v4i3.8489. (shrink)
According to David Miller, we have stronger obligations towards our co-nationals than we have towards non-nationals. While a principle of equality governs our obligations of justice within the nation-state, our obligations towards non-nationals are governed by a weaker principle of sufficiency. In this paper, I critically assess Miller’s objection to a traditional argument for global egalitarianism, according to which nationalist and other deviations from equality rely on factors that are arbitrary from a moral point of view. Then I critically discuss (...) Miller’s claim that there is no culturally neutral currency with respect to which we may reasonably claim that people should be equally well off on a global scale. Furthermore, I critically discuss Miller’s claim that cosmopolitanism undermines national responsibility. And finally, I turn to Miller’s own sufficientarian account of global justice and argue that it exhibits too little concern for the plight of the globally worse off. Keywords: equality; cosmopolitanism; David Miller; nationalism (Published: 16 September 2011) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 4 , No. 3, 2011, pp. 147-163. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v4i3.5873. (shrink)
Roughly, according to conditional egalitarianism, equality is non-instrumentally valuable, but only if it benefits at least one individual. Some political theorists have argued that conditional egalitarianism has the important virtue that it allows egalitarians to avoid the so-called objection. However, in the present article I argue that conditional egalitarianism does not offer the egalitarian a plausible escape route from this objection. First, I explain the levelling down objection and suggest some particular concerns from which it derives its force. Then I (...) provide a more precise definition of conditional egalitarianism. Finally, I give two arguments against this principle. According to the first, it violates the transitivity of the betterness relation (or more specifically, ). According to the second, there is no plausible explanation of why equality must benefit at least one individual in order to be non-instrumentally valuable. (shrink)
It is widely held, to the point of being the received interpretation, that Frank Ramsey was the ﬁrst to defend the so-called Redundancy Theory of Truth in his landmark article ‘Facts and Propositions’ (hereafter ‘FP’) of 1927.1 For instance, A.J. Ayer2 cited this article in the context of arguing that saying that p is true is simply a way of asserting p and that truth is not a real quality or relation. Other holders of the received interpretation, such as George (...) Pitcher,3 J.L. Mackie, 4 Susan Haack,5 A.C. Grayling,6 Nils-Eric Sahlin,7 Richard Kirkham,8 Donald Davidson9 and Michael Lynch10 credit Ramsey with having originated what they call ‘the Redundancy Theory.’ Even an authoritative source such as The Encyclopedia of Philosophy11 attributes this theory to him. What is more, Grover et al.,12 in defending their Prosentential Theory of Truth, claim that their theory is an improvement and development of the Redundancy Theory, which they too attribute to Ramsey.13.. (shrink)
"Let's go inside nature," says my host, ecophilosopher Nils Faarlund, as we walk out of his small wooden cabin and into the Norwegian countryside. Faarlund is fond of such novel turns of phrase. As we enjoy local strawberries, Faarlund muses on how our everyday language both shapes and reflects our perceptions of the world. Recognizing the power of words, he is extremely careful about the language he uses. For instance, he avoids the term "environmental philosopher" because the word "environment" already (...) puts the speaker on the fringes, looking out at her surroundings rather than seeing them as her home, as the eco- in ecophilosopher suggests. By talking about nature in both careful and novel ways, Faarlund .. (shrink)