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Stephen John [16]Stephen David John [1]
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Profile: Stephen John (Cambridge University)
  1. Stephen John (forthcoming). Alex Broadbent Philosophy of Epidemiology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu019.
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  2. Stephen John (forthcoming). Efficiency, Responsibility and Disability: Philosophical Lessons From the Savings Argument for Pre-Natal Diagnosis. Politics, Philosophy and Economics:1470594-13505412.
    Pre-natal-diagnosis technologies allow parents to discover whether their child is likely to suffer from serious disability. One argument for state funding of access to such technologies is that doing so would be “cost-effective”, in the sense that the expected financial costs of such a programme would be outweighed by expected “benefits”, stemming from the births of fewer children with serious disabilities. This argument is extremely controversial. This paper argues that the argument may not be as unacceptable as is often assumed. (...)
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  3. Stephen John (forthcoming). Inductive Risk and the Contexts of Communication. Synthese:1-18.
    In recent years, the argument from inductive risk against value free science has enjoyed a revival. This paper investigates and clarifies this argument through means of a case-study: neonicitinoid research. Sect. 1 argues that the argument from inductive risk is best conceptualised as a claim about scientists’ communicative obligations. Sect. 2 then shows why this argument is inapplicable to “public communication”. Sect. 3 outlines non-epistemic reasons why non-epistemic values should not play a role in public communicative contexts. Sect. 4 analyses (...)
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  4. Stephen John (forthcoming). Risk and Precaution. Public Health Ethics: Key Concepts and Issues in Policy and Practice:67--84.
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  5. Stephen John (forthcoming). The Example of the IPCC Does Not Vindicate the Value Free Ideal: A Reply to Gregor Betz. European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-13.
    In a recent paper, Gregor Betz has defended the value-free ideal: “the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic (e.g. moral or political) values”against the methodological critique, by reference to the work of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This paper argues that Betz’s defence is unsuccessful. First, Betz’s argument is sketched, and it is shown that the IPCC does not avoid the need to “translate” claims. In Section 2, it is argued that Betz mischaracterises the (...)
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  6. Stephen John (2014). Patient Preference Predictors, Apt Categorization, and Respect for Autonomy. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (2):169-177.
    In this paper, I set out two ethical complications for Rid and Wendler’s proposal that a “Patient Preference Predictor” (PPP) should be used to aid decision making about incapacitated patients’ care. Both of these worries concern how a PPP might categorize patients. In the first section of the paper, I set out some general considerations about the “ethics of apt categorization” within stratified medicine and show how these challenge certain PPPs. In the second section, I argue for a more specific—but (...)
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  7. Stephen John (2012). Mind the Gap. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):218-220.
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  8. Stephen John (2011). Expert Testimony and Epistemological Free-Riding: The Mmr Controversy. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):496-517.
    Using the controversy over the MMR vaccine, I consider the reasons why non-experts should defer to experts, and I sketch a model for understanding cases where they fail to defer. I first suggest that an intuitively plausible model of the expert/non-expert relationship is complicated by shifting epistemic standards. One possible moderate response to this challenge, based on a more complex notion of non-experts' relationship with experts, seems unappealing as an account of the MMR controversy. A more radical suggestion is that (...)
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  9. Stephen John (2011). Security, Knowledge and Well-Being. Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1):68-91.
    This paper investigates whether being “physically insecure” (being at risk of not continuing to meet one's physical needs in the future) should be thought of as a constituent of current wellbeing. In §1, it is argued that we cannot understand the value of security in terms of “freedom from fear”. In §2, it is argued that the reliablist approach to epistemology can help us to construct an account of why physical security is valuable, by relating security to the conditions of (...)
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  10. Stephen John (2010). In Defence of Bad Science and Irrational Policies: An Alternative Account of the Precautionary Principle. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):3 - 18.
    In the first part of the paper, three objections to the precautionary principle are outlined: the principle requires some account of how to balance risks of significant harms; the principle focuses on action and ignores the costs of inaction; and the principle threatens epistemic anarchy. I argue that these objections may overlook two distinctive features of precautionary thought: a suspicion of the value of “full scientific certainty”; and a desire to distinguish environmental doings from allowings. In Section 2, I argue (...)
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  11. Stephen John (2010). Three Worries About Three Arguments for Research Exceptionalism. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (8):67-69.
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  12. Stephen John (2009). Is There an Obligation to Participate in Medical Research? In Oonagh Corrigan, John McMillan, Kathleen Liddell, Martin Richards & Charles Weijer (eds.), The Limits of Consent: A Socio-Ethical Approach to Human Subject Research in Medicine. Oup Oxford.
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  13. Stephen John (2009). Why 'Health' is Not a Central Category for Public Health Policy. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):129-143.
    We normally think that public health policy is an important political activity. In turn, we normally understand the value of public health policy in terms of the promotion of health or some health-related good (such as opportunity for health), on the basis of the assumption that health is an important constituent or determinant of wellbeing. In this paper, I argue that the assumption that the value of public health policy should be understood in terms of health leads us to overlook (...)
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  14. Stephen David John (2009). Supreme Emergencies, Epistemic Murkiness and Epistemic Transparency. Philosophy of Management 8 (2):3-12.
    Sometimes, states face emergencies: situations where many individuals face an imminent threat of serious harm. Some believe that in such cases certain sorts of actions which are normally morally prohibited might be permissible. In this paper, I discuss this view as it applies in both the contexts of war and of public health policy. I suggest that the deontologist can best understand emergencies by analogy with the distinction between act- and rule consequentialism. In real world cases, we must often make (...)
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  15. Stephen John (2004). Titanic Ethics, Pirate Ethics, Bio-Ethics: Essay Review of Paul, Miller and Paul, Eds., Bioethics. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Series C 35 (21):177-184.
  16. Stephen John (2004). Titanic Ethics, Pirate Ethics, Bioethics: Bioethics Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., & Jeffrey Paul (Eds.); Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York & Melbourne, 2002, Pp. Xvii+ 396, Price£ 15.95 Paperback, ISBN 0-521-52526-8. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):177-184.
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  17. Stephen John (2004). Titanic Ethics, Pirate Ethics, Bioethics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (1):177-184.