This article reviews recent developments in health care law, focusing on the engagement of law as a partner in health care innovation. The article addresses: the history and contents of recent United States federal law restricting the use of genetic information by insurers and employers; the recent federal policy recommending routine HIV testing; the recent revision of federal policy regarding the funding of human embryonic stem cell research; the history, current status, and need for future attention to advance directives; the (...) recent emergence of medical–legal partnerships and their benefits for patients; the obesity epidemic and its implications for the child’s right to health under international conventions. (shrink)
Merleau-Ponty. Une conception de l’empathie non centrée sur le sujet?Cet article étudie l’émergence du terme « empathie » dans les textes de Merleau-Ponty. Il souligne que le concept n’est pas avant tout présenté comme une catégorie épistémologique, remettant en question si et comment nous pouvons éventuellement connaître les autres. Au contraire, il est conçu comme une catégorie ontologique, pour dire notre appartenance à une nature commune. De ce point de vue, il propose une façon sensible pour comprendre les autres, basée (...) sur une proximité et un partage physiques.Mais, avec des références à l’actuel débat, le texte suggère que, dans les réflexions du phénoménologue français, il est possible de trouver un paradigme qui n’est pas centré sur une conception subjective de l’empathie – c’est a dire qu’il s’agit d’un paradigme qui ne suppose pas toujours une projection subjective de ma sensibilité sur celle des autres. Plutôt, il peut à la fois consister en un sentiment commun, prépersonnel, qui constitue l’arrière-plan de nos sensibilités conscientes, et aussi proceder de l’autre être humain à moi, alors que souvent je sens et comprendre moi-même par differentiation des autres personnes, qui s’imposent sur mes sentiments et sur mes mots.Merleau-Ponty. A Conception of Empathy not centered on the Subject?This paper investigates the emergence of the term “empathy” in Merleau-Ponty’s texts. It points out that the concept is not primarly introduced as an epistemological category, questioning if and how eventually we can know the others. On the contrary it is meant as an ontological category, in order to say our belonging to a common nature. From this point of view he proposes a sensible way to understanding the others, based on a bodily closeness and sharing.But, with references to the current debate, the text suggests that in the reflections of the French phenomenologist it is possible to find a not subjectively centered paradigm for understandig empathy – that is a paradigm which does not always presuppose a subjective projection of my sensibility on that of the other ones. It can rather both consist in a common, prepersonal feeling, costituting the background of our conscious sensitivities, and proceed from the other human being to me, so that I often feel and understand myself by differing from the other individuals, who impose themselves on my senses and on my words. (shrink)
ROBERT SPAEMANN’S NEW APPROACH TO THE CLASSICAL THEORY OF THE PERSON The article is concerned with the subject of the person, which constitutes the core of anthropological reflections of the eminent German thinker, Robert Spaemann. The issue of the person was especially noticeable in one of his most important works entitled Personen. This issue generated a keen interest and recognition of specialists in many countries. These reflections are based on the metaphysical concept of human existence. That is why Spaemann’s theory (...) of the person is often defined as metaphysics of the person. First, in the introduction, the author points to the significance of the issue; second, he describes its most important threads: understanding the person, the person’s identity and traits such as rationality, freedom, intentionality, love, religiousness, transcendence, ability to forgive, to keep one’s promise and to speak. The next part of the article presents the issues of the person’s self-fulfilment, indestructibility, being the subject of law, having a special status, i.e. dignity. Readers also learn why the classical vision of the person (Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, Kant) is not outdated, whereas Locke’s theory (as well as its radicalised version propagated by its well-known supporters, Parfit, Hoerster, Singer) remains unacceptable as contradictory in itself. As has been emphasized, it involves some false anthropological assumptions, e.g. the issue of the so-called potential person and the difference between human life and person’s life. However, the latter theory is increasingly popular at present since it supports, among others, the justifiability of abortion and euthanasia, and it suits the contemporary mentality with a definitely hedonist overtone. Many of Spaemann’s views on the person are truly significant and innovative. The issue that Spaemann himself regards as particularly important is his response to the false ideas of Locke and his contemporary continuators. The eminent scholar not only reveals the logical incoherence of this thought and its deviation from common sense, but using unique linguistic and transcendental-pragmatic argumentation, he proves that human is a person, i.e. “someone”, since the moment of conception. Thus, we cannot be thought of as if we had been “something” at first. That is why, not accidentally, the subtitle of Spaemann’s most important book on anthropology, i.e. Personen, is The difference between “someone” and “something”. In this response to Locke’s false theory (and its supporters), he explains that one cannot talk about such a distinction in the case of human beings. The second innovative issue in Spaemann’s work is the defence of the classical concept of the person and expressing it in a new way. The third one is his attempt at overcoming both spiritualistic and naturalistic perception of the human being. The fourth is Spaeman’s observation that our ability to forgive and to keep promises should be treated as a significant trait of the person. The article presents also some aspects of Spaemann’s vision of the person which have not been the subject of analyses yet, neither in the Polish nor in the Western literature, e.g. characteristics of the person, the person being the subject of laws and the person’s special status (ontological and moral dignity). Keywords: ROBERT SPAEMANN, THEORY OF THE PERSON, ONTOLOGICAL DIGNITY, MORAL DIGNITY. (shrink)
At the outset of the article I set forth a general characterization of Robert B. Brandom’s philosophy, as belonging to the post-empiricist tradition with inferential-ism as its main idea. In section 2 I discuss four dichotomies important to the method-ology which allows Brandom to construct his philosophical system. My point is to indicate the arbitrariness of the absolutist account of these dichotomies, which gives rise to misuse of relative categories. In effect, Brandom’s dichotomic way of theo-retical exposition does not respect (...) Davidson’s principle of relationism, which Bran-dom himself declares to accept. In the next section, I go on to consider two basic mo-tives for the resolute Brandomian attack on empiricism: strong inferentialist and an-tirepresentationalist theses. Pertaining to this view is also the claim of irreducible linguistic normativity. In section 4, these questions are treated in the context of the ap-parently novel theory of semantic pragmatism. Section 5 is crucial to my purposes. There I criticize the excessively narrow Brandomian conception of empiricism in the theory of meaning. I argue that Brandom’s attack on empiricism depends on a false analysis of the distinction between circumstances and consequences of application holding for sentences. In addition, the problem of conceptual content’s fine grainess is treated, as well as the Kantian dichotomy of reasons versus causes, interpreted by Brandom in terms of the social/natural distinction. Finally, section 6 deals with the relation holding between the concept of reason on the one hand, and the objectivism and representationalism theses, on the other. Despite appearances, in Brandom’s philosophical system there is no place for objective standards of procedural reason. (shrink)
Fr. Józef Kożuchowski Rationality and Faith in God: the Robert Spaemann’s ApproachThis article traces three threads of philosophical thinking of one of the most illustrious German thinkers today which relate to the issue of rationality of faith in God. The first question addresses the conviction that faith itself appears to be a rational act, which is why it is no accident that science has never deployed any major agreement against it. Therefore, the alternative of science or faith is ruled out, (...) since accepting it would be tantamount to abandoning the complementary understanding of reality. Thus faith not only is not contradictory in itself nor irrational; instead, it even enhances, complements, and enriches the cognition, allows to perceive the facets of reality not encompassed by scientific methods (its final cause, what it is in essence, purpose of existence, accidentality), dispels the illusions of the so-called scientific outlook, or scientism, reveals our dignity, and contributes to its growth. The significance of Spaemann’s thought is also apparent in the context of two influential approaches in our culture which, as “superstitions of modernity” (Wittgenstein), cannot be accepted: the enlightenment approach, which considered revealed faith doubtful, and the scientistic one, which assigns cognitive value only to natural sciences. The second question pertains to the relationship of faith in God with our reason and its cognitive abilities. Spaemann illustrates it on the example of Nietzsche’s approach, according to which there is an inseparable link between the two. One is not possible without the other. The third aspect of the analysed issue takes the form of Spaemann’s original argumentation, emphasising the rationality of our faith in God, in which the German thinker relates to grammar, while the argumentation itself is a postulate of theoretical reason. Keywords: faith, rationality, science, Robert Spaemann, Friedrich Nietzsche, futurum exactum. (shrink)
J. Bigelow and R. Pargetter in their work Science and Necessity put forward a theory of the laws of nature as statements objectively different with respect to their modal qualification both from the laws of logic and from contingent truths. Contrary to the latter ones all laws are characterized by necessity. However, there are various kinds of necessity. The laws of logic are characterized by logical necessity, and the laws of nature - by natural necessity. The objective basis for differentiating (...) modal qualification of statements belonging to the particular classes is that laws are truths about possibilities, also the ones that have not been actualized. The source of difference between logical and natural necessity is the differentiation between the range of possibilities described by respective laws. Hence, laws of nature prove to be - which is not mentioned by the authors - a posteriori necessary statements. The modal character has been the basis of the explanation of other considered properties of scientific laws: certain generality and the so-called range void. (shrink)
Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Links relating to the history and philosophy of biology, assembled by Roberta L. Millstein: reference works, societies, journals, historians and philosophers of biology with papers online, blogs, other resources in the history and philosophy of biology.
The essay aims at drawing a comparison between Dewey’s theory of emotions and Nussbaum’s one, focusing the role of «corporeity» in human experience of emotions. Both the theories are empirical verified by examinig a short story by Umberto Saba, Ernesto, wich the Roberta Dreon assumes as pertinent example of a narrative, literary way to express emotions.
In the last 30 years much philosophical discussion has been generated by Kripke’s proof of the necessity of origin for material objects presented in footnote 56 of ‘Naming and Necessity’. I consider the two most popular reconstructions of Kripke’s argument: one appealing to the necessary sufficiency of origin, and the other employing a strong independence principle allegedly derived from the necessary local nature of prevention. I argue that, to achieve a general result, both reconstructions presuppose an implicit Humean atomistic thesis (...) of recombination, according to which any two (non-overlapping) possible objects can simultaneously coexist in one and the same world. Yet recombination ill accords with the other assumptions of the proofs. I also argue that the locality of prevention does not entail strong independence. (shrink)
Recently, much philosophical discussion has centered on the best way to characterize the concepts of random drift and natural selection, and, in particular, whether selection and drift can be conceptually distinguished (Beatty, 1984; Brandon, 2005; Hodge, 1983, 1987; Millstein, 2002, 2005; Pfeifer, 2005; Shanahan, 1992; Stephens, 2004). These authors all contend, to a greater or lesser degree, that their concepts make sense of biological practice. So it should be instructive to see how the concepts of drift and selection were distinguished (...) by the disputants in a high-profile debate; debates such as these often force biologists to take a more philosophical turn, discussing the concepts at issue in greater detail than usual. Moreover, it is important to consider a debate where the disputants are actually trying to apply the models of population genetics to natural populations; only then can their proper interpretations become fully apparent. (Indeed, I contend that some of the philosophical confusion has arisen because authors have considered only the models themselves, and not the phenomena that the models are attempting to represent). A prime candidate for just such a case study is what Provine (1986) has termed “The Great Snail Debate,” that is, the debates over the highly polymorphic land snails Cepaea nemoralis and C. hortensis in the 1950s and early 1960s. These studies represent one of the best, if not the best, of the early attempts to demonstrate drift in natural populations. (shrink)
This paper explores whether natural selection, a putative evolutionary mechanism, and a main one at that, can be characterized on either of the two dominant conceptions of mechanism, due to Glennan and the team of Machamer, Darden, and Craver, that constitute the “new mechanistic philosophy.” The results of the analysis are that neither of the dominant conceptions of mechanism adequately captures natural selection. Nevertheless, the new mechanistic philosophy possesses the resources for an understanding of natural selection under the rubric.
In this paper I argue against the commonly received view that Kripke's formal Possible World Semantics (PWS) reflects the adoption of a metaphysical interpretation of the modal operators. I consider in detail Kripke's three main innovations vis-à-vis Carnap's PWS: a new view of the worlds, variable domains of quantification, and the adoption of a notion of universal validity. I argue that all these changes are driven by the natural technical development of the model theory and its related notion of validity: (...) they are dictated by merely formal considerations, not interpretive concerns. I conclude that Kripke's model theoretic semantics does not induce a metaphysical reading of necessity, and is formally adequate independently of the specific interpretation of the modal operators. (shrink)
The latter half of the twentieth century has been marked by debates in evolutionary biology over the relative significance of natural selection and random drift: the so-called “neutralist/selectionist” debates. Yet John Beatty has argued that it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the concept of random drift from the concept of natural selection, a claim that has been accepted by many philosophers of biology. If this claim is correct, then the neutralist/selectionist debates seem at best futile, and at worst, (...) meaningless. I reexamine the issues that Beatty raises, and argue that random drift and natural selection, conceived as processes, can be distinguished from one another. (shrink)
Over the past two decades there has been a great deal of research conducted into the question of gender differences in ethical decision making in organisations. Much of this has been based on questionnaire surveys, typically asking respondents (often students, sometimes professionals) to judge the moral acceptability of actions as described in short cases or vignettes. Overall the results seem inconclusive, although what differences have been noted tend to show women as 'more ethical' than men. The authors of this paper (...) believe that attention should be paid to the insight, from Carol Gilligan and others, that women are more inclined than men to subscribe to an 'ethic of care', and that once this perspective is adopted a pattern is discernible. In a critical examination of previous research we pay particular attention to the detailed content of cases used in surveys, and the statistical analysis of findings. We advocate greater reflection on the results of quantitative surveys and sensitivity to different possible interpretations of findings. This we do with our own exploratory study, conducted with UK undergraduate students of accounting, the findings from which seem to support the original hypothesis that where a 'care' orientation is invited, women do indeed react differently to business ethics issues than do men. (shrink)
Recent discussions in the philosophy of biology have brought into question some fundamental assumptions regarding evolutionary processes, natural selection in particular. Some authors argue that natural selection is nothing but a population-level, statistical consequence of lower-level events (Matthen and Ariew ; Walsh et al. ). On this view, natural selection itself does not involve forces. Other authors reject this purely statistical, population-level account for an individual-level, causal account of natural selection (Bouchard and Rosenberg ). I argue that each of these (...) positions is right in one way, but wrong in another; natural selection indeed takes place at the level of populations, but it is a causal process nonetheless. (shrink)
We live in interesting times. Two well-known biologists — E. O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins — and some of their well-known colleagues, who used to employ broadly similar selection models, now deeply disagree over the role of group selection in the evolution of eusociality (or so we argue). Yet they describe their models as interchangeable. As philosophers of biology, we wonder whether there is substantial (i.e., empirical) disagreement here at all, and, if there is, what is this disagreement about? We (...) argue that a substantial disagreement over the processes that caused eusociality best explains this debate, yet the common practice of using overarching definitions for “group selection” and “kin selection” renders empirical differences difficult to detect. We suggest Michael J. Wade’s use of these terms as a basis for models that reveal different selection processes. Wade’s models predict different outcomes for different processes and thus can be tested. (shrink)
Population genetics attempts to measure the influence of the causes of evolution, viz., mutation, migration, natural selection, and random genetic drift, by understanding the way those causes change the genetics of populations. But how does it accomplish this goal? After a short introduction, we begin in section (2) with a brief historical outline of the origins of population genetics. In section (3), we sketch the model theoretic structure of population genetics, providing the flavor of the ways in which population genetics (...) theory might be understood as incorporating causes. In sections (4) and (5) we discuss two specific problems concerning the relationship between population genetics and evolutionary causes, viz., the problem of conceptually distinguishing natural selection from random genetic drift, and the problem of interpreting fitness. In section (6), we briefly discuss the methodology and key epistemological problems faced by population geneticists in uncovering the causes of evolution. Section (7) of the essay contains concluding remarks. (shrink)
Is gender determined by biology, society or experience? How have notions of gender and sexuality differed in past societies? Addressing such questions, Gender and Archaeology is the first critical introduction to the field of gender archaeology as it has evolved over the last two decades. It examines the impact of feminist perspectives on archaeology and shows the unique insights that gender archaeology offers on topics like the sexual division of labor, issues of sexuality, and the embodiment of gender identity. A (...) substantial case study of gender and space in the medieval English castle lucidly draws together and illustrates these issues. Comprehensive and accessible, Gender and Archaeology is sure to further debate in the field. (shrink)
The neutral and nearly neutral theories of molecular evolution are sometimes characterized as theories about drift alone, where drift is described solely as an outcome, rather than a process. We argue, however, that both selection and drift, as causal processes, are integral parts of both theories. However, the nearly neutral theory explicitly recognizes alleles and/or molecular substitutions that, while engaging in weakly selected causal processes, exhibit outcomes thought to be characteristic of random drift. A narrow focus on outcomes obscures the (...) significant role of weakly selected causal processes in the nearly neutral theory. (shrink)