It is widely agreed that Bertrand Russell's rejection of British Idealism helped to shape his version of analytic philosophy. In this paper I argue that Russell's objections to Herbert Spencer's views, particularly to his "evolutionism," also contributed in important ways to the shape that his philosophy took. Russell's preference for timeless truth, his insistence on mathematical physics rather than biology as the science relevant to philosophy, and his particular versions of atomism, all show that influence of his rejection of the (...) Spencerian philosophy. (shrink)
Objectives: To foster the development of a privacy-protective, sustainable cross-border information system in the framework of a European public health project. Materials and methods: A targeted privacy impact assessment was implemented to identify the best architecture for a European information system for diabetes directly tapping into clinical registries. Four steps were used to provide input to software designers and developers: a structured literature search, analysis of data flow scenarios or options, creation of an ad hoc questionnaire and conduction of a (...) Delphi procedure. Results: The literature search identified a core set of relevant papers on privacy (n = 11). Technicians envisaged three candidate system architectures, with associated data flows, to source an information flow questionnaire that was submitted to the Delphi panel for the selection of the best architecture. A detailed scheme envisaging an “aggregation by group of patients” was finally chosen, based upon the exchange of finely tuned summary tables. Conclusions: Public health information systems should be carefully engineered only after a clear strategy for privacy protection has been planned, to avoid breaching current regulations and future concerns and to optimise the development of statistical routines. The BIRO (Best Information Through Regional Outcomes) project delivers a specific method of privacy impact assessment that can be conveniently used in similar situations across Europe. (shrink)
Albert and the career of virtue theory -- Modern virtue theory as foreground to Albert's moral philosophy -- Albert's ethical treatises -- The significance of Albert's moral treatises in early-thirteenth-century moral philosophy -- Approaching the moral order -- Meta-ethical reflections on "moral science" and its procedures -- The metaphysics of the good -- The architecture of moral goodness -- The genesis of virtue : intrinsic causes -- The genesis of virtue : extrinsic causes -- The concept of virtue -- The (...) organization of the virtues -- The passions -- Morality, obligation, and law -- Natural law -- Virtue's rewards -- Friendship -- Last ends and happiness -- Conclusion: Albertus redux. (shrink)
By virtue of its epistemic deficits, propaganda is very much an unethical phenomenon. Coping effectively with propaganda requires a communicative response that confronts its inherent unethicality with ethically grounded resistance. In this article, I propose two congruent plans of communicative action, each of which rests on an apparent ethical connection: J. Michael Sproule's (1994) reclaiming of classical eloquence, and Jonathan Rauch's (1993) provocative program of "liberal science.".
Journalism and media ethics texts commonly invoke Aristotle's Golden Mean as a principal ethical theory that models such journalistic values as balance, fairness, and proportion. Working from Aristotle's text, this article argues that the Golden Mean model, as widely understood and applied to media ethics, seriously belies Aristotle's intent. It also shortchanges the reality of our moral agency and epistemic responsibility. A more authentic rendering of Aristotle's theory of acting rightly, moreover, has profound implications for communication ethicists and media practitioners.
Theories of intentionality need to account for non-cognitive states like emotions as well as cognitive states like beliefs. When certain non-cognitive states are included, one can formulate a feasible physicalist account of intentionality that highlights its evolutionary roots. I argue that recent experimental data support just such a move.
The concept of an 'assumption' is discussed, and it is suggested that the psychological model implied by normal usage is misleading. A new model is proposed which distinguishes between 'assumptions', as constraints upon the thinking process, and 'postulates', as corresponding potential or actual propositional vocalizations. Some evidence for this model is provided, and its implications, particularly for the process of assumption identification, are discussed. It is suggested that assumption identification requires lateral thinking, and needs to be separated from problem-solving. The (...) discussion is offered as an instance of an appropriate type of fusion of psychological and informal-logical approaches. (shrink)
A recent issue of Report from the Institute for Philosophy and Public Affairs identifies four ethical issues for the 21st century. By not including media ethics, the Report overlooks a crucial logical priority. That oversight is reflected in greater academe where media ethics (unlike, say, biomedical ethics) is scarcely acknowledged. This article argues that communication ethics, as an integral part of the wider enterprise of media literacy, deserves greater prominence in our town-and-gown communities.
I argue against the claim of certain functionalists, like Jerry Fodor, that theories of psychological states ought to abstract from the physiology of the systems that exhibit such states. Taking seriously Darwin’s claim that living organisms struggle to survive, and that their “mental powers” are adaptations that assist them in this struggle, I argue that not only emotions but also paradigm cognitive states like beliefs are intimately bound up with the physiology of the organism and its efforts to maintain its (...) own well-being. I defend the definitional aspirations of functionalism but reject its attempt at ontological neutrality. (shrink)