We develop an extension of the familiar linear mixed logit model to allow for the direct estimation of parametric non-linear functions defined over structural parameters. Classic applications include the estimation of coefficients of utility functions to characterize risk attitudes and discounting functions to characterize impatience. There are several unexpected benefits of this extension, apart from the ability to directly estimate structural parameters of theoretical interest.
The field of nanoscience and nanotechnology is expanding rapidly, promising great benefits for society in the form of better medicine, more efficient energy production, new types of materials, etc. Naturally, in order for the science and technology to live up to these promises, it is important to continue scientific research and development, but equally important is the ethical dimension. Giving attention to the social, ethical and legal aspects of the field, among others, will help in developing a fully responsible—and thereby (...) capable—science and technology. Nanoethics has emerged as a field concerned with such ethical issues related to nanoscience and nanotechnology. Even though this field is relatively new, a significant amount of literature has already been published. This paper focuses on three of the major issues which are discussed in the literature of nanoethics, and also points to a certain bias in this literature. Each quite different in nature, these issues are: (1) The naming and (2) the timing of and approach to the field, as well as (3) the issue of safety. As will be seen, these issues are almost exclusively discussed by ethicists, (throughout the article, the term’ethicist’ is used in a broad definition covering philosophers, social and political scientists as well as philosophers of science) thus having no direct influence on the work being carried out by scientists. One can argue, therefore, that this bias creates a distortion of the ethical debate, making it insufficient and misleading. Ultimately, this bias is caused by the lack of communication and collaboration between ethicists on the one hand, and nanoscientists on the other. Thus, an argument is made for the different disciplines to begin collaborating, so as to more effectively and responsibly develop the field of nanoscience. (shrink)
This article presents an overview ofregulations, guidelines and societal debates ineight member states of the EC about a)embryonic and fetal tissue transplantation(EFTT), and b) the use of human embryonic stemcells (hES cells) for research into celltherapy, including `therapeutic' cloning. Thereappears to be a broad acceptance of EFTT inthese countries. In most countries guidance hasbeen developed. There is a `strong' consensusabout some of the central conditions for `goodclinical practice' regarding EFTT.International differences concern, amongstothers, some of the informed consent issuesinvolved, and the (...) questions whether anintermediary organisation is necessary, whetherthe methods of abortion may be influenced bythe possible use of EFT, and whether EFTTshould only be used for the experimentaltreatment of rare disorders. The potential useof hES cells for research into cell therapy hasgiven a new impetus to the debate about (human)embryo research. The therapeutic prospects withregard to the retrieval and research use of hEScells appear to function as a catalyst for theintroduction of less restrictive regulationsconcerning research with spare embryos, atleast in some European countries. It remains tobe seen whether the prospect of treatingpatients suffering from serious disorders withtransplants produced by therapeutic cloningwill decrease the societal and moral resistanceto allowing the generation of embryos for`instrumental' use. (shrink)
The article deals with the relationship between theological ethics and moral philosophy. The former is seen as a theoretical reflection on Christian ethics, the latter as one on secular ethics. The main questions asked are: (1) Is there one and only one pre-theoretical knowledge about acting rightly? (2) Does philosophy provide us with the theoretical framework for understanding both Christian and secular ethics? Both questions are answered in the negative. In the course of argument, four positions are presented: theological unificationism, (...) philosophical unificationism, theological separationism and Lutheran dualism. It is argued that the latter position is most convincing. It is dual in the sense of being both a theory of Christian ethics and of including a recognition of natural law. Hence, it unites a particularistic and a universalistic point of view. In the last section a reformulation of the Lutheran position is attempted in making use of the ethical theory of Knud E. Løgstrup''s The Ethical Demand. (shrink)