Xunzi was chronologically the third of the three great Confucian thinkers of Chinaâs classical period, after Confucius and Mencius. Having produced the most comprehensive philosophical system of that period, he occupies a place in the development of Chinese philosophy comparable to that of Aristotle in the Western philosophical tradition. This essay reveals how Xunziâs understanding of virtue and moral development dovetailed with his positions on ritual propriety, the attunement of names, the relation betweenli (patterns) andlei (categories), and his view ofdao (...) (the way) in general. I have argued for a constructivist understanding of each of these aspects of Xunziâs philosophy in some detail elsewhere (see Hagen 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003), and so here I will just briefly review a few key points before addressing their relation to moral development. (shrink)
Editorial: Concepts of Animal Welfare Content Type Journal Article Pages 93-103 DOI 10.1007/s10441-011-9134-0 Authors Kristin Hagen, Europäische Akademie zur Erforschung von Folgen wissenschaftlich-technischer Entwicklungen Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler GmbH, Wilhelmstr. 56, 53474 Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany Ruud Van den Bos, Behavioural Neuroscience, Animals in Science and Society, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 2, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands Tjard de Cock Buning, Department of Biology and Society (ATHENA Institute), Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije (...) Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342 Journal Volume Volume 59 Journal Issue Volume 59, Number 2. (shrink)
Proxies of mate value must be evolutionarily salient. Gangestad & Simpson (G&S) have made a good case that fluctuating asymmetry is an important proxy of male mate value that correlates well with genetic and developmental quality. The use of financial variables as proxies for male investment ability by Gangestad, Simpson, and virtually every other investigator of human mating in evolutionary perspective, is, however, more problematic. Correspondence:a1 Address correspondence to the first author. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA (...) 93106 email@example.com www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/hagen. (shrink)
H. B. D. Kettlewell's field experiments on industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, have become the best known demonstration of natural selection in <span class='Hi'>action</span>. I argue that textbook accounts routinely portray this research as an example of controlled experimentation, even though this is historically misleading. I examine how idealized accounts of Kettlewell's research have been used by professional biologists and biology teachers. I also respond to some criticisms of David Rudge to my earlier discussions of this case (...) study, and I question Rudge's claims about the importance of purely observational studies for the eventual acceptance and popularization of Kettlewell's explanation for the evolution of industrial melanism. (shrink)
In this paper I trace Husserl’s transformation of his notion of phantasy from its strong leanings towards empiricism into a transcendental phenomenology of imagination. Rejecting the view that this account is only more incompatible with contemporary neuroscientific research, I instead claim that the transcendental suspension of naturalistic (or scientific) pretensions precisely enables cooperation between the two distinct realms of phenomenology and science. In particular, a transcendental account of phantasy can disclose the specific accomplishments of imagination without prematurely deciding upon a (...) particular scientific paradigm for its experimental investigation; a decision that is best left to the sciences themselves. (shrink)
In this paper, we defend the ethics of clinical research against the charge of paternalism. We do so not by denying that the ethics of clinical research is paternalistic, but rather by defending the legitimacy of paternalism in this context. Our aim is not to defend any particular set of paternalistic restrictions, but rather to make a general case for the permissibility of paternalistic restrictions in this context. Specifically, we argue that there is no basic liberty-right to participate in clinical (...) research and that considerations of distributive fairness justify some paternalistic protections of research subjects. (shrink)
We argue that there is no metaphysically possible world with two or more omnipotent beings, due to the potential for conflicts of will between them. We reject the objection that omnipotent beings could exist in the same world when their wills could not conflict. We then turn to Alfred Mele and M.P. Smith’s argument that two coexisting beings could remain omnipotent even if, on some occasions, their wills cancel each other out so that neither can bring about what they intend. (...) We argue that this argument has an absurd consequence, namely having to regard an utterly powerless being as omnipotent. (shrink)
We are currently in the midst of a revival of interest in thevirtues. A number of contemporary moral philosophers havedefended a virtue-based approach to ethics. But does thisrenewal of interest in the virtues have much to contributeto medical ethics and medical practice? This paper criticallydiscusses this question. It considers and rejects a number ofimportant arguments that purport to establish the significanceof the virtues for medical practice. Against these arguments,the paper seeks to show that while the virtues have a genuinerole to (...) play in medical ethics, it is a limited role, one thatis subordinate to the role that other moral concepts such asrules and principles play. (shrink)
: How much violence can a society expect its members to accept? A comparison between the language theories of Julia Kristeva and Jacques Lacan is the starting point for answering this question. A look at the early stages of language acquisition exposes the sacrificial logic of patriarchal society. Are those forces that restrict the individual to be conceived in a martial imagery of castration or is it possible that an existing society critically questions those points of socialization that leave their (...) members in a state of homelessness? The following considerations should help to distinguish between unavoidable and avoidable forms of violence. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed a growing concern that terminally illpatients are needlessly suffering in the dying process. This has ledto demands that physicians become more attentive in the assessment ofsuffering and that they treat their patients as `whole persons.'' Forthe most part, these demands have not fallen on deaf ears. It is nowwidely accepted that the relief of suffering is one of the fundamentalgoals of medicine. Without question this is a positive development.However, while the importance of treating suffering has generally (...) beenacknowledged, insufficient attention has been paid to the question ofwhether different types of terminal suffering require differnt responsesfrom health care professionals. In this paper we introduce a distinctionbetween two types of suffering likely to be present at the end of life,and we argue that physicians must distinguish between these types if theyare to respond appropriately to the suffering of their terminally illpatients. After introducing this distinction and explaining its basis,we further argue that the distinction informs a (novel) principle ofproportionality, one that should guide physicians in balancing theircompeting obligations in responding to terminal suffering. As weexplain, this principle is justified by reference to the intereststerminally ill patients have in restoration, as well as in therelief of suffering, at the end of life. (shrink)
Xunzi is often interpreted as offering a method for transforming our desires. This essay argues that, strictly speaking, he does not. Rather, Xunzi offers a method of developing an auxiliary motivational structure capable of overpowering our original desires, when there is a conflict. When one succeeds in transforming one’s overall character, original desires nevertheless remain and are largely satisfied. This explains why one may be motivated to follow the way even before one has developed noble intentions. On Xunzi’s view, following (...) dao provides the best chance of satisfying one’s original desires, as well as fulfilling the more noble aspirations that arise from the process. (shrink)
In the philosophy of Confucius, the concept _li_ is both central and elusive. While it is often translated 'ritual' or 'the rites,' I argue that there are numerous significant ways in which _li_ is as much an internal property of individuals as it is an external set of rules or norms. I discuss _li_ as deference, as developed dispositions, as embodied intelligence, and as personalized exemplary conduct. Finally, reflecting on the work of Fingarette, and Hall and Ames, as well as (...) Wilson's analysis of their work, I argue that the external _aspect_ of _li_, although reasonably understood under the rubric of 'traditional norms,' may nonetheless legitimately evolve, and that this coheres well with the notion that an internal sense-of-ritual is integral to the meaning of _li_. (shrink)
We present results from a study about women and employee-elected board members, and fill some of the gaps in the literature about their contribution to board effectiveness. The empirical data are from a unique data set of Norwegian firms. Board effectiveness is evaluated in relation to board control tasks, including board corporate social responsibility (CSR) involvement. We found that the contributions of women and employee-elected board members varied depending on the board tasks studied. In the article we also explored the (...) effects of the esteem of the women and employee-elected board members, and we used creative discussions in the boardroom as a mediating variable. Previous board research, including research about women and employee-elected directors, questions if the board members contribute to board effectiveness. The main message from this study is that it may be more important to ask how, rather than if, women and employee-elected board members contribute, and we need to open the black box of actual board behavior to explore how they may contribute. (shrink)
: Some commentators have recently proposed that "clinical equipoise," although widely accepted, is not necessary for morally acceptable research on human subjects. If this concept is rejected, however, we may find that trials not in the best medical interests of their subjects--bad deal trials--could be justified. To avoid exploiting participants, we must find a way to distribute the risks fairly, even if it means embracing radical changes in the way clinical research is conducted.
An evolutionary account of excessive crying in young infants – colic – has been elusive. A study of mothers with new infants suggests that more crying is associated with more negative emotions towards the infant, and perceptions of poorer infant health. These results undermine the hypothesis that excessive crying is an honest signal of vigor.
This paper challenges the view of several interpreters of Xunzi regarding the status of names, ming. I will maintain that Xunzi's view is consistent with the activity we see not only in his own efforts to influence language, but those of Confucius as well. Based on a reconsideration of translations and interpretations of key passages, I will argue that names are regarded neither as mere labels nor as indicating a privileged taxonomy of the myriad phenomena. Rather, Xunzi conceives them as (...) constructs designed to facilitate social goals. Finally, I will suggest an alternative to overly simplistic understandings of how appropriate names are fashioned and of who is responsible for their form. (shrink)
One of the important aspects of recent aesthetics is its focus on cross-disciplinary approaches. This implies that, although claims to generality and objectivity continue to be made, no single practice, science, or approach is able to provide absolute evidential support for arguments and claims. Aesthetics as a critical enterprise, therefore, is open to a plurality of explanations. As a result, art becomes more than another object of scientific or philosophical inquiry. It becomes a model for philosophical practice that can complement (...) or compete with dominant scientific paradigms. However, such aesthetic practice must respond to at least two grounds for skepticism: that a turn to aesthetics involves withdrawal from either critical and rigorous thinking or from social action and life. By discussing three core themes relevant for recent debates across the fields of philosophy, art history/theory and art pratice we would like to show how these concerns, while serious, can be taken up by aesthetics. These themes are: 1. the issue of validity (motivated by inquiries into the peculiar validity of aesthetic judgments); 2. the issue of subjectivity (motivated by the stipulated ‘special link’ between aesthetics and the human subject); and the political dimension of aesthetics (highlighted by the political implications of pluralist approaches to aesthetics, such as the need for negotiation and appeal). (shrink)
In Part 1, I offer a "constructivist" interpretation of Xunzi's philosophy. On the constructivist view, there is no privileged description of the world. Concepts, categories, and norms as social constructs help us effectively manage our way through the world, rather than reveal or express univocal knowledge of it. In the opening chapter, I argue that dao should be understood as open ended and that Xunzi's worldview allows for a plurality of legitimate daos-at least at the theoretical level. Chapter Two discusses (...) the concepts of li (patterns) and lei (categories) and rejects the idea that true categories follow from a "god-like" understanding of rational patterns. Rather, patterns and categories are mutually entailing. That is, categories are not simply based on patterns, but are at the same time a precondition for patterning. Chapter Three addresses the related concept of ming (names, or name-concepts), and the idea of zhengming (the attunement of names). Attuning names is not matching them to any transcendent standard, but making them fitting given our nature, and circumstances. It is constructing and maintaining a socially responsible language. I also discuss here the complex manner in which early Confucians understood names to be developed and sanctioned. In Chapter Four I discuss ritual theory and argue that Xunzi offers a this-world centered religious sensibility. Far from a matter of slavishly following a code of behaviors set down perfectly by ancient sages, the performance of li (ritual propriety) requires interpretation in every application. Further, norms associated with li may evolve in response to changing needs and conditions. In the final chapter of Part 1, I turn to the issue of virtue and moral development, arguing that there is no fixed set of virtues. Part II shifts focus to the contemporary relevance of a constructivist way of thinking by using it to understand the cross-cultural dynamics taking place in international discourse on human rights. In short, interpreting the arguments of contemporary representatives of East-Asian countries through a constructivist lens reveals them to be more compelling than they might otherwise have seemed. (shrink)
Ecology has often been characterized as an immature scientific discipline. This paper explores some of the sources of this alleged immaturity. I argue that the perception of immaturity results primarily from the fact that historically ecologists have based their work upon two very different approaches to research.
While Sorai's intellectual debt to Xunzi is often mentioned, the similarities between their views have not often been explored at length in English2.2 Further, while Maruyama Masao does compare the two thinkers in his influential monograph Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan, he stresses (apparent) differences between Xunzi and Sorai, in order to hail Sorai's uniqueness. Without meaning to take anything away from Sorai as an independent thinker, I maintain that with regard to precisely those views for which (...) Sorai is lauded as unique - that dao is a product of real people that evolved over time and continues to evolve - his position was also held by Xunzi. In addition, there is a related yet rarely highlighted aspect of Xunzi's thought that is also acknowledged by Sorai. That is, virtues acquired by participating in the way in turn qualify one to contribute to its continuous open-ended development. (shrink)
Recent empirical work on the concept of intentionality suggests that people’s assessments of whether an action is intentional are subject to uncertainty. Some researchers have gone so far as to claim that different people employ different concepts of intentional action. These possibilities have motivated a good deal of work in the relatively new ﬁeld of experimental philosophy. The ﬁndings from this empirical research may prove to be relevant to medical ethics. -/- In this article, we address this issue head on. (...) We ﬁrst describe a study we conducted on intention ascription. Drawing on recent work in experimental philosophy, we investigated the possibility that the ascription of intentions to clinical actors in clinical settings is inﬂuenced by prior judgments about the goodness or badness of the consequences of the action in question. Our study was modeled on experimental studies in other contexts that have shown that people, when presented with a range of scenarios, are more likely to classify a side effect of an action as intended if the side effect is negative or reﬂects poorly on the actor than if it is positive or reﬂects well on the actor. We investigated whether this asymmetry in intention ascriptions was also present among physicians who were asked to ascribe intentions to clinical actors in certain well-deﬁned clinical scenarios. After describing the study and its results, we discuss its implications for medical ethics. (shrink)
Here we argue that the concept of strategies, as it was introduced into biology by John Maynard Smith, is a prime illustration of the four dimensions of theoretical biology in the post-genomic era. These four dimensions are: data analysis and management, mathematical and computational model building and simulation, concept formation and analysis, and theory integration. We argue that all four dimensions of theoretical biology are crucial to future interactions between theoretical and empirical biologists as well as with philosophers of biology.
This article analyses how recent critiques of secularism in political philosophy and cultural anthropology might productively be combined and contrasted with each other. I will show that Jürgen Habermas' postsecularism takes insufficient account of elementary criticisms of secularism on the part of anthropologists such as Talal Asad and Saba Mahmood. However, I shall also criticize Saba Mahmood’s reading of secularism by arguing that, in the end, she replaces the secular–religious divide with a secularity–piety divide; for example, in her reading of (...) Nasr Abu Zayd’s secular Islamic hermeneutics. This inhibits the use of her framework of analysis for a criticism of a problem central to Habermas' postsecularism, namely that it remains focused on specific intensities of belief. I shall then argue that, combined with the anthropological critiques of the secular, the political-historical nature of the fanaticism–piety–violence nexus should be integrated into political philosophical debates on secularism and postsecularism. (shrink)
: "Clinical pragmatism" is an important new method of moral problem solving in clinical practice. This method draws on the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey and recommends an experimental approach to solving moral problems in clinical practice. Although the method may shed some light on how clinicians and their patients ought to interact when moral problems are at hand, it nonetheless is deficient in a number of respects. Clinical pragmatism fails to explain adequately how moral problems can be solved experimentally, (...) it underestimates the relevance and importance of judgment in clinical ethics, and it presents a questionable account of the role that moral principles should play in moral problem solving. (shrink)
In recent years, a number of writers have proposed voluntary stopping of eating and drinking as an alternative to physician-assisted suicide. This paper calls attention to and discusses some of the ethical complications that surround the practice of voluntary stopping of eating and drinking. The paper argues that voluntary stopping of eating and drinking raises very difficult ethical questions. These questions center on the moral responsibility of clinicians who care for the terminally ill as well as the nature and limits (...) of the authority they exercise over them. (shrink)
When confronting the issues related to developments in modern medicine and biotechnology, we must repeatedly ask ourselves anew what can and cannot be justified in an ethical sense. For radically new ethical questions seem to arise through innovative techniques such as stem cell research or preimplantation diagnosis — and with them new areas of conflicting interests. If one scrutinizes the previous positions related to this subject, it becomes conspicuous that a multitude of questions has quickly piled up — however, (as (...) in the case of Germany) comprehensive and differentiated views have mostly been lacking. (shrink)
Biologists and historians often present natural history and molecular biology as distinct, perhaps conflicting, fields in biological research. Such accounts, although supported by abundant evidence, overlook important areas of overlap between these areas. Focusing upon examples drawn particularly from systematics and molecular evolution, I argue that naturalists and molecular biologists often share questions, methods, and forms of explanation. Acknowledging these interdisciplinary efforts provides a more balanced account of the development of biology during the post-World War II era.
Buller recently posted a critique of evolutionary psychology (reproduced below). Although I disagree with many of his assertions, this is the most credible attempt to critique evolutionary psychology that I have encountered. Bullers arguments regarding improper motivational inferences from evolutionary psychological explanations are largely correct--such inferences are indeed erroneous. Furthermore, the mistakes he identifies have been made by some prominent evolutionists including, apparently, W. D. Hamilton (Symons, personal communication). However, most evolutionary psychologists are not saying what he claims they are (...) saying. Buller wishes to find evolutionary psychology trapped in Freudian quicksand so that he can rescue it. Instead, it is he who must hoist himself from the bog using the theoretical rigging created by evolutionary psychologists over the last two decades, including, most prominently, Don Symons, a primary target of his essay. (shrink)
This paper elaborates on discussions in Germany regarding some of the ethical and legal issues in the area of the use and patenting of inventions involving human tissue. The issues discussed pertain to the benefits and problems regarding informed consent and the issue of property rights as they relate to the donation of cells and tissue.
After a short sketch of Loweâs account of his four basic categories, I discuss his theory of formal ontological relations and how Lowe wants to account for dispositional predications. I argue that on the ontic level Lowe is a pan-categoricalist, while he is a language dualist and an exemplification dualist with regard to the dispositional/categorical distinction. I argue that Lowe does not present an adequate account of disposition. From an Aristotelian point of view, Lowe conflates dispositional predication with hï¿½s epi (...) to poly statements about what is normally or mostly the case. (shrink)
Many intellectuals scoff at what they call “conspiracy theories.” But two Harvard law professors, Cass Sunstein (now working for the Obama administration) and Adrian Vermeule, go further. They argue in the Journal of Political Philosophy that groups that espouse such theories ought to be infiltrated and undermined by government agents and allies. While some may find this proposal appalling (as indeed we all should), others may find the argument plausible, especially if they have been swayed by the notion that conspiracy (...) theories (or a definable subset thereof), by their nature, somehow or another, do not warrant belief. I will argue that Sunstein and Vermeule’s proposal not only conflicts with the values of an open society, but is also epistemically indefensible. In making my case, I will adopt their favored example, counter-narratives about 9/11. (shrink)
Biobanks correspond to different situations: research and technological development, medical diagnosis or therapeutic activities. Their status is not clearly defined. We aimed to investigate human biobanking in Europe, particularly in relation to organisational, economic and ethical issues in various national contexts. Data from a survey in six EU countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK) were collected as part of a European Research Project examining human and non-human biobanking (EUROGENBANK, coordinated by Professor JC Galloux). A total of (...) 147 institutions concerned with biobanking of human samples and data were investigated by questionnaires and interviews. Most institutions surveyed belong to the public or private non-profit-making sectors, which have a key role in biobanking. This activity is increasing in all countries because few samples are discarded and genetic research is proliferating. Collections vary in size, many being small and only a few very large. Their purpose is often research, or research and healthcare, mostly in the context of disease studies. A specific budget is very rarely allocated to biobanking and costs are not often evaluated. Samples are usually provided free of charge and gifts and exchanges are the common rule. Good practice guidelines are generally followed and quality controls are performed but quality procedures are not always clearly explained. Associated data are usually computerised (identified or identifiable samples). Biobankers generally favour centralisation of data rather than of samples. Legal and ethical harmonisation within Europe is considered likely to facilitate international collaboration. We propose a series of recommendations and suggestions arising from the EUROGENBANK project. (shrink)
Abstract I will argue that there are two pervasive and enduring Western attitudes towards warfare: one involves the romanticism of violent conflict, the other concerns moral justification for it. These stand in sharp contrast to the traditional Chinese attitude as put forward in the Chinese classic treatises on warfare, the Sun?tzu and Sun Pin. I will reference similar concerns articulated in the Taoist and, to a lesser extent, Confucian classics both to confirm and clarify this position. Using the combination of (...) some of the most important and influential texts with the most relevant to our topic, I will attempt to identify and explicate what I will call ?the traditional Chinese attitude toward warfare? as a critique of the two widespread Western attitudes. Finally, I will explore the implications of the West abandoning its romantic and moralistic attitudes. (shrink)
The twentieth century witnessed a dramatic increase in the use of statistics by biologists, including systematists. The modern synthesis and new systematics stimulated this development, particularly after World War II. The rise of "the statistical frame of mind" resulted in a rethinking of the relationship between biological and mathematical points of view, the roles of objectivity and subjectivity in systematic research, the implications of new computing technologies, and the place of systematics among the biological disciplines.
A model for the trapping of animals with a circular pitfall is formulated. The model's assumptions are: (1) The animals move independently according to the same Brownian motions. (2) The boundary of the pitfall acts as an absorbing or elastic barrier. (3) Initially a fixed number of animals is independently homogeneously distributed over a finite study area (a), or the initial positions follow a homogeneous planar Poisson process (b) (...) class='Hi'>. The model depends on three free parameters: (i) the motility of the animals, (ii) their reaction to the pitfall, (iii) the initial density.It appears that the catches in disjoint time intervals are multinomially (a) or independently Poisson (b) distributed. The parameters of these distributions are obtained by solving certain partial differential equations. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes six elements in the Platonic concept of rationality as it appears in the Republic: (a) being fully informed; (b) thinking logically; (c) having the single correct ultimate end; (d) determining the appropriate means; (e) matching action to thought; and (f) promotingone’s own interest. The evidence linking the rational part of the soul (the logistikon) to each of these aspects is discussed. The philosopher-guardians are shown to exemplify full and complete “Platonic rationality”, whereas the unjust men in books (...) 8 and 9 exhibit different degrees of failure to conform to the six elements listed above. (shrink)
My purpose has been more negative than positive. That is, I have challenged the view that Sorai understoodtian as an intentional agent. At minimum, Soraiâs philosophical views do not depend upon such a conception oftian, and he refrains from characterizingtian in such terms when he discusses the concept oftian directly. However, I do not claim to have proven that Soraiâs view oftian was completely naturalistic, or even that Sorai did notâat some levelâbelieve thattian had intentions. I have, I hope, shown (...) thatthe case that Sorai viewedtian as intentional has not been convincingly made. Further, something closer to a dynamic and indeterminate naturalistic view is a reasonable alternative. On my reading, Sorai steers a course between the Song Confucian view oftian as static and knowable (a view that he explicitly rejects) and a view oftian as intentional (a view he never unequivocally expresses)âindeed, he rejects the idea of personifyingtian. When Sorai speaks of thexin or mind of tian, he is best understood as employing a metaphor that implies complexity, mystery, activity, and perhaps moral structure, but not intentionality in the normal sense. The complexity, indeterminacy, and dynamism oftian, as these are expressed in Soraiâs writings, do not necessarily imply willful intent on the part oftian, for they are all consistent with the Xunzian interpretation oftian as a natural process, even iftianâs regularities have a moral character. (shrink)
The fitness maximization standard incorrectly assumes that most adaptations have high heritablility, and it imposes the difficult requirement that correlated phenotypic and environmental contributors to reproduction be controlled for. Despite infrequently recognized problems, the special design standard is the foundation of the spectacular successes of modern medicine. It also suggests that the ancestral environment provides a window into the functioning of the brain.
In an era of rapidly rising health care costs, physicians and policymakers are searching for new and effective ways to contain health care spending without sacrificing the quality of services provided. These proposals are increasingly articulated in terms of an ethical duty of stewardship. The duty of stewardship in medicine, however, is not at present well understood, and it is frequently conflated with other duties. This article presents a critical analysis of the notion of stewardship, which shows that it has (...) an important and distinctive place in medical ethics. It claims that stewardship in medicine concerns the responsible use of a society’s medical resources and it discusses the extent to which medical professionals are the proper stewards of these resources. The article argues that the duty of stewardship is best understood as a duty that applies in a space between the obligations of health care providers to provide beneficent care to their patients on the one hand and the obligations of citizens to bring about and support a just health care system on the other. Seen with clear eyes, stewardship in medicine is neither a consequence of beneficent medical care nor a substitute for justice. (shrink)
For various domains in proportional reasoning cognitive development is characterized as a progression through a series of increasingly complex rules. A multiplicative relationship between two task features, such as weight and distance information of blocks placed at both sides of the fulcrum of a balance scale, appears difficult to discover. During development, children change their beliefs about the balance scale several times: from a focus on the weight dimension (Rule I) to occasionally considering the distance dimension (Rule II), guessing (Rule (...) III), and applying multiplication (Rule IV; Siegler, 1981). Because of the detailed empirical findings the balance scale task has become a benchmark task for computational models of proportional reasoning. In this article, we present a large empirical study (N = 420) of which the findings provide a challenge for computational models. The effect of feedback and the effect of individually adapted training items on rule transition were tested for children using Rule I or Rule II. Presenting adapted training items initiates belief revision for Rule I but not for Rule II. The experience of making mistakes (by providing feedback) induces a change for both Rule I and Rule II. However, a delayed posttest shows that these changes are preserved after 2 weeks only for children using Rule I. We conclude that the transition from Rule I to Rule II differs from the transition from Rule II to a more complex rule. Concerning these empirical findings, we will review performance of computational models and the implications for a future belief revision model. It is one Thing, to show a Man that he is in an Error, and another, to put him in possession of Truth. John Locke. (shrink)