This new volume of philosophical papers by Bernard Williams is divided into three sections: the first Action, Freedom, Responsibility, the second Philosophy, Evolution and the Human Sciences; in which appears the essay which gives the collection its title; and the third Ethics, which contains essays closely related to his 1983 book Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Like the two earlier volumes of Williams's papers published by Cambridge University Press, Problems of the Self and Moral Luck, this volume (...) will be welcomed by all readers with a serious interest in philosophy. It is published alongside a volume of essays on Williams's work, World, Mind, and Ethics: Essays on the Ethical Philosophy of Bernard Williams, edited by J. E. J. Altham and Ross Harrison, which provides a reappraisal of his work by other distinguished thinkers in the field. (shrink)
G. E. Moore observed that to assert, 'I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don't believe that I did' would be 'absurd'. Over half a century later, such sayings continue to perplex philosophers. In the definitive treatment of the famous paradox, Green and Williams explain its history and relevance and present new essays by leading thinkers in the area.
This paper reports the results of a workshop held in January 2013 to begin the process of establishing standards for e-learning programmes in the ethics of research involving human participants that could serve as the basis of their evaluation by individuals and groups who want to use, recommend or accredit such programmes. The standards that were drafted at the workshop cover the following topics: designer/provider qualifications, learning goals, learning objectives, content, methods, assessment of participants and assessment of the course. The (...) authors invite comments on the draft standards and eventual endorsement of a final version by all stakeholders. (shrink)
Background Journal editors are responsible for what they publish and therefore have a duty to correct the record if published work is found to be unreliable. One method for such correction is retraction of an article. Anecdotal evidence suggested a lack of consistency in journal policies and practices regarding retraction. In order to develop guidelines, we reviewed retractions in Medline to discover how and why articles were retracted. Methods We retrieved all available Medline retractions from 2005 to 2008 and a (...) one-in-three random selection of those from 1988 to 2004. This yielded 312 retractions (from a total of 870). Details of the retraction including the reason for retraction were recorded by two investigators. Results Medline retractions have increased sharply since 1980 and currently represent 0.02% of included articles. Retractions were issued by authors (63%), editors (21%), journals (6%), publishers (2%) and institutions (1%). Reasons for retraction included honest error or non-replicable findings (40%), research misconduct (28%), redundant publication (17%) and unstated/unclear (5%). Some of the stated reasons might have been addressed by corrections. Conclusions Journals' retraction practices are not uniform. Some retractions fail to state the reason, and therefore fail to distinguish error from misconduct. We have used our findings to inform guidelines on retractions. (shrink)
High-spin states in the odd-odd N = Z nucleus Co-54 have been investigated by the fusion-evaporation reaction Si-28(S-32,1 alpha 1p1n)Co-54. Gamma-ray information gathered with the Ge detector array Gammasphere was correlated with evaporated particles detected in the charged particle detector system Microball and a 1 pi neutron detector array. A significantly extended excitation scheme of Co-54 is presented, which includes a candidate for the isospin T = 1, 6(+) state of the 1f(7/2)(-2) multiplet. The results are compared to large-scale shell-model (...) calculations in the fp shell. Effective interactions with and without isospin-breaking terms have been used to probe isospin symmetry and isospin mixing. A quest for deformed high-spin rotational cascades proved negative. This feature is discussed by means of cranking calculations. (shrink)
Recently, several philosophers have defended what might be called `neo-essentialism' about natural kinds. Their views purport to improve upon the traditional essentialism of Kripke and Putnam by rejecting the claim that essences must be comprised of intrinsic properties. I argue that this so-called break from traditional essentialism is not a break at all, because the widespread interpretation of Putnam according to which he takes essences to be intrinsic is mistaken. Putnam makes no claim to the effect that essences of natural (...) kinds must be intrinsic, and offers at least one example of a natural kind whose essence is non-intrinsic. I conclude that his traditional essentialism has been misinterpreted, and consequently that neo-essentialism is not so `neo' after all. (shrink)
– The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...) Furthermore, by starting from actual dispositional properties and branching out, we are able to include possibilities that are quite far removed from any state of affairs that happens to obtain, while still providing a natural and actual grounding of possibility. Stressing the importance of ontological considerations in any theory of possibility, it is argued that the account of possibility in terms of dispositional properties provides a more palatable ontology than those of its competitors. Coming at it from the other direction, the dispositional account of possibility also provides motivation for taking an ontology of dispositions more seriously. As well as the relevant dispositional notions required to lay out the view, the paper discusses the dispositional realism needed as the basis for the account of possibility. (shrink)
Central to the debate between Humean and anti-Humean metaphysics is the question of whether dispositions can exist in the absence of categorical properties that ground them (that is, where the causal burden is shifted on to categorical properties on which the dispositions would therefore supervene). Dispositional essentialists claim that they can; categoricalists reject the possibility of such ?baseless? dispositions, requiring that all dispositions must ultimately have categorical bases. One popular argument, recently dubbed the ?Argument from Science?, has appeared in one (...) or another form over much of the last century and purports to win the day for the dispositional essentialist. Taking its cue from physical theory, the Argument from Science treats the exclusively dispositional characterizations of the fundamental particles one finds in physical theory as providing a key premise in what has been called a ?decisive? argument for baseless dispositions. Despite sharing the intuition that dispositions can be baseless, I argue that the force and significance of the Argument from Science have been greatly overestimated: no version of the argument is close to decisive, and only one version succeeds in scoring points against the categoricalist. Not only is physical theory more ontologically innocent than defenders of baseless dispositions seem to appreciate, most versions of the Argument from Science neglect important ways that dispositions could be grounded by categorical properties. (shrink)
– The conjunction of three plausible theses about the nature of causal powers—that they are intrinsic, that their effects are produced mutually, and that the manifestations they are for are essential to them—leads to a problem concerning the ability of causal powers to work together to produce manifestations. I call this problem the problem of fit. Fortunately for proponents of a power-based metaphysic, the problem of fit is not insurmountable. Fit can be engineered if powers are properties whose natures are (...) determined holistically. However, this power holism does not come without a cost, as a power-based metaphysic must be supplemented by a certain amount of additional machinery in order to avoid the problem. (shrink)
The thought that diseases form natural kinds tends not to sit well with the essentialist treatment of natural kinds. The essentialist’s candidates for the essences of diseases—etiological properties—rarely satisfy the essentialist’s requirement that they be necessary and sufficient for membership within the kind. Consequently philosophers of medicine have tended to back away from treating diseases as natural kinds. However, this retreat was too hasty: there are good reasons for thinking that diseases form natural kinds. The problem lies with the essentialist (...) treatment of natural kinds, and not with treating disease as forming natural kinds. A similar revolution has taken place within the species debate, where the notion of natural kind has been ‘taken back’ from the essentialist. Borrowing the revised treatment of natural kinds from the philosophers of species and modifying it slightly, I offer a proposed treatment of disease kinds in terms of homeostatic property clusters. (shrink)
Discussions concerning whether there is a natural right to health care may occur in various forms, resulting in policy recommendations for how to implement any such right in a given society. But health care policies may be judged by international standards including the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The rights enumerated in the UDHR are grounded in traditions of moral theory, a philosophical analysis of which is necessary in order to adjudicate the value of specific policies designed (...) to enshrine rights such as a right to health care. We begin with an overview of the drafting of the UDHR and highlight the primary influence of natural law theory in validating the rights contained therein. We then provide an explication of natural law theory by reference to the writings of Thomas Aquinas, as well as elucidate the complementary "capabilities approach" of Martha Nussbaum. We conclude that a right to health care ought to be guaranteed by the state. (shrink)
Legal and ethical issues involved in group work are reviewed and discussed. Variations in different professional ethics codes are discussed. Recommendations for consideration by group leaders are made.
In its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed substantial changes to how biospecimen research is treated under the regulations governing human subjects research. Currently, much of this research can be conducted without consent because it may not be considered “human subjects” research, is considered exempt, or consent may be waived. Responding to criticisms that scientific changes have made biospecimen research riskier than contemplated when the Common Rule was last amended, the (...) ANPRM proposes to require written consent for biospecimen research, even if they have been stripped of identifiers or initially collected for a non-research purpose. The ANPRM's recognition of these risks is consistent with relatively recent NIH recommendations that research projects involving genetics, genomics, or biospecimen repositories should consider getting a Certificate of Confidentiality to provide additional protections to participants where breach of confidentiality is typically the primary risk. Ironically, the ANPRM proposals may make it more difficult to provide these protections. Our paper explores the implications of the conflicting requirements of the Certificate and the ANPRM proposals and makes recommendations for achieving the dual goals of appropriate consent and adequate confidentiality protections. (shrink)
John Heil’s From an Ontological Point of View (Heil 2003) is a tremendous philosophical work. The neo-Lockean ontology the reader finds within its 267 pages is a sensible and refreshing alternative to the neo-Humean ontologies which presently occupy the vast majority of the metaphysical literature. What Heil offers is a much needed change in perspective. Nor are the strengths of the book limited to Heil’s willingness to approach central metaphysical problems in largely untried and unpopular way; the book is very (...) clear in its presentation, accessible to wide readership, and tightly argued throughout. Heil’s efforts in this book are to be applauded, and the result is one that warrants serious consideration by all those interested in serious metaphysics. But the interest should not end there: the lessons of Heil’s book are ones that almost all philosophers ought to take seriously. Despite the criticism that follows, my overall position should not be taken as anything short of a whole-hearted endorsement of Heil’s book. Nonetheless, when philosophy is one’s trade, there is always going to be something to disagree about, however much one is amenable to a view. (shrink)
The step-off point for this article is the problem of the ?moral judgement?moral action gap? as found in contemporary literature of moral education and moral development. We argue that this gap, and the conceptual problems encountered by attempts to bridge it, reflects the effect of a different, deeper and more problematic conceptual gap: the ?ontological? gap between meaningful moral events and the underlying natural structures or mechanical processes presumed to produce them. We contend that the very real fact that moral (...) reasoning does not reliably produce moral action consistent with one?s moral reasoning cannot be adequately understood or clarified by appealing to natural structures and mechanical processes. Rather, a radically holistic perspective is required. It is for this reason that we look to an alternative metaphysical grounding for moral behaviour in the work of the French philosopher, Emmanuel Levinas. (shrink)
Power theorists are divided on the question of whether individual powers are single-track (for a single manifestation type) or are multi-track (capable of producing distinct manifestation types for distinct stimuli). EJ Lowe has recently defended single-tracking, arguing that the multi-tracker can provide no adequate reason for treating powers as capable of having multiple manifestation types, and claiming that putative instances of multi-track powers are either single-track powers in need of unifying descriptions or are merely several single-track powers. I respond to (...) Lowe on behalf of the multi-tracker, first by arguing that he overlooks the extra-empirical features of the debate, then by posing a dilemma for any single-track account of powers concerning the single-tracker’s ability to appropriately deal with fine-grained manifestation types. Finally I provide the aforementioned reason for thinking that there are multi-track powers. (shrink)
Burning fossil fuel in the North American continent contributes more to the CO2 global warming problem than in any other continent. The resulting climate changes are expected to alter food production. The overall changes in temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide, insect pests, plant pathogens, and weeds associated with global warming are projected to reduce food production in North America. However, in Africa, the projected slight rise in rainfall is encouraging, especially since Africa already suffers from severe shortages of rainfall. For all (...) regions, a reduction in fossil fuel burning is vital. Adoption of sound ecological resource management, especially soil and water conservation and the prevention of deforestation, is important. Together, these steps will benefit agriculture, the environment, farmers, and society as a whole. (shrink)
A venerable story in the history of medieval philosophy has it that the eleventh century saw a debate between certain 'dialecticians', who exalted the role of reason and disdained theological authority, and 'anti-dialecticians', who carefully limited—or even rejected—the application of dialectical reasoning to Christian doctrine. A number of authors have called into question certain details of this story, but in..
Abstnn Eye movements were monitored while subjects performed parallel and serial sarah tasks. In Experiment la, subjects searched for an “O' among "X"s (parallel condition) and for a 'T" among "L"s (serial condition). In the parallel condition of Eqcriment lb, “q)" was the target and “O"s were distractors; in the serial condition, time..
Although psychologist impairment has received attention from researchers, there is a paucity of empirical data aimed at determining the point at which such impairment necessitates action. The purpose of this study was to provide such empirical data. Members of Division 42 ( n = 285) responded to vignettes describing a psychologist whose symptoms of either depression or substance abuse varied across five levels of severity. Results identified specific levels of impairment at which psychologists were deemed too impaired to practice psychotherapy, (...) as well as significant differences between ratings of increasingly severe impairment. Practical and ethical implications of these results are discussed. (shrink)