At this point in time, it is hard to say which consequences for the concept of mental illness result from modern genetics. Current research projects are trying to find significant statistical correlations between the diagnosis of a disease and a gene locus or an endophenotype. Up until now, there has not been any identification of alleles or mutations causing mental illness. In the meantime, the relations between the genetic basis and the disease are given the term genetic vulnerability as a (...) placeholder; this concept simplifies the complex relations between the DNA and even the simplest cell functions observed in modern genetics. According to complex gene models like the systemic theory of DNA, it will not be possible to identify the genetic factors without a precise knowledge of the factors which modulate the gene expression. The significance of genetics as part of the concept of mental illness will not be able to be defined without further progress in developmental biology and psychology. Currently, psychological theory fails to acknowledge the complexity of the relationship between the DNA and the environment. Some starting points from which to develop such an understanding can be received from developmental studies and studies of the psychophylogenesis . An interdisciplinary concept of the biological basis of the psyche is needed. (shrink)
In spite of recent efforts to promote cooperation between universities and industry, Germany still lacks a sufficient legal framework for regulating potential conflicts of interest resulting from university-industry cooperation. Prospective regulation of conflicts of interest has to take into account specific constraints imposed by the German constitution. It has to follow stringent procedural and material requirements and carefully weigh the individual researcher’s right to academic freedom against the public demand for objectivity in research. Because of this cautious consideration of the (...) conflicting interests constitutionally mandated in Germany, a potential regulation legitimate in this country may serve as a model for other countries facing the need of the adoption of such a regulation. (shrink)
This article re-orients Heidegger’s analyses of things to cast light on two distinct ways of relating to things, one at the root of technological use and the other crucial to artistic creation. The first way, which we may call instrumental practice, denotes the activity of using something to accomplish some goal or objective. This practice underlies the analysis of use-things [Zeuge] that Heidegger presents in Being and Time. Heidegger’s contribution there is twofold: to show how understanding things as zuhanden, there (...) for us, is prior to taking things as objects in “nature,” and to clarify how the “phenomenon of the world” can show itself when a useful thing becomes dysfunctional. But Heidegger’s focus on the thing as zuhanden leaves in the dark a second kind of practice that we engage in when we relate to things, the practice of attending to an activity for its own sake, as I illustrate by the using or making of four things: the hammer, the Daoist cook’s cleaver, the Daoist-inspired empty jug or Krug, and the Japanese calligrapher’s brush. Heidegger’s dialogue on Gelassenheit anticipates but also cuts short this practice of attention: gelassenes Denken—the thinking that lets go of representations and expectations and simply lets things be—promises to open a way to experience our essential nature [Wesen], but the dialogue’s focus on things as already there or already made distracts from the practice of attention that goes into the art of making things like jugs. By re-orienting Heidegger’s thinking we are able to recast the question of technology: can the practice of attention performed for its own sake—caring for things simply to care for them, caring for the surrounding world simply to care for it—help salvage not only the environment but the very essence of being human? (shrink)
Abstract It would be puzzling if the morally best agents were not so good after all. Yet one prominent account of the morally best agents ascribes to them the exact motivational defect that has famously been called a “fetish.” The supposed defect is a desire to do the right thing, where this is read de dicto . If the morally best agents really are driven by this de dicto desire, and if this de dicto desire is really a fetish, then (...) the morally best agents are moral fetishists. This is puzzling. I resolve the puzzle by showing that on a proper understanding of the interaction between de dicto and de re moral motivation, it is not only not fetishistic, but quite possibly desirable, to be motivated by a de dicto desire to do the right thing. My argument relies partly on an appeal to a non-buck-passing account of moral rightness, according to which rightness is itself an additional reason-giving property over and above the right-making properties of an action. If this account of moral rightness is correct, then we would expect the morally best agents to exhibit de dicto moral motivation. However, since their de dicto desire acts in concert with de re desires, there is no reason to consider it a fetish. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9825-z Authors Vanessa Carbonell, Philosophy Department, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0374, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
The Enlightenment saw a critical engagement with the ancient idea that music carries certain powers - it heals and pacifies, civilizes and educates. Yet this interest in musical utility seems to conflict with larger notions of aesthetic autonomy that emerged at the same time. In Enlightenment Orpheus, Vanessa Agnew examines this apparent conflict, and provocatively questions the notion of an aesthetic-philosophical break between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Agnew persuasively connects the English traveler and music scholar Charles Burney with (...) the ancient myth of Orpheus. She uses Burney as a guide through wide-ranging discussions of eighteenth-century musical travel, views on music's curative powers, interest in non-European music, and concerns about cultural identity. Arguing that what people said about music was central to some of the great Enlightenment debates surrounding such issues as human agency, cultural difference, and national identity, Agnew adds a new dimension to postcolonial studies, which has typically emphasized the literary and visual at the expense of the aural. She also demonstrates that these discussions must be viewed in context at the era's broad and well-entrenched transnational network, and emphasizes the importance of travel literature in generating knowledge at the time. A new and radically interdisciplinary approach to the question of the power of music - its aesthetic and historical interpretations and political uses - Enlightenment Orpheus will appeal to students and scholars in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, German studies, eighteenth-century history, and comparative studies. (shrink)
Two environmental accidents in the mining industry provide the context for this study of the Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (1997, The Academy of Management Review 22, 853–886) analysis of stakeholder salience. I examine the reactions of two stakeholder groups: shareholder response is examined in terms of changing share returns and risk; management response through change in disclosure. I find the two decision-makers reacted at different times. Management responded to the first accident, though not the second. Shareholders responded to the second (...) accident alone. My findings support the Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (MAW) assertion that stakeholder status is impermanent, and determined through the eyes of the decision-maker. (shrink)
This article asks how ideas about nature in the 18th and 19th century Romantic movement have traveled in and been translated by the various religious groups that constitute contemporary Paganism. Drawing on the work of poets, philosophers, historians, social scientists, and contemporary Pagans themselves, the article argues that contemporary Paganism borrows freely from Romantic notions of inspiration and imagination to craft a vision of nature, that, for them, responds to the emotional and political needs of their own time and place. (...) At the center of this vision is what I describe as the Romantic hero, a figure in search of a more authentic existence in a broadly conceived "natural world.". (shrink)
Management practitioners and scholars have worked diligently to identify methods for ethical decision making in international contexts. Theoretical frameworks such as Integrative Social Contracts Theory (Donaldson and Dunfee, 1994, Academy of Management Review 19, 252–284) and more recently the Global Business Citizenship Approach [Wood et al., 2006, Global Business Citizenship: A Transformative Framework for Ethics and Sustainable Capitalism. (M. E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY)] have produced innovations in practice. Despite these advances, many managers have difficulty implementing these theoretical concepts in daily (...) practice. Using the example of recent decisions by internet service providers Google, Yahoo, and MSN regarding censorship requirements in China, we offer six heuristic questions to help managers to resolve cross-cultural ethical conflicts in which the firm’s way of doing business differs from the practice in the host country. Recognizing that companies can take different approaches to law and ethics (Paine, 1994, Harvard Business Review 72(2), 107–117), our aim is to provide a management decision process to deal with demands or opportunities for engaging in questionable business practices in a host country. (shrink)
Note: I asked undergraduate students, graduate students as well as assistant professors about how they would explain philosophical expertise. So don’t be surprised to find also statements of undergraduate students about philosophical expertise on this website. An analysis of the anonymous answers given on my website revealed that undergraduate students mentioned other abilities when it comes to philosophical expertise than assistent professors. Quite a few assistant professors agreed to answer some more detailed questions. They are, however, still working on (...) that. I will add their answers to this website as soon as I receive it. (shrink)
The animal in Nietzsche's philosophy -- Culture and civilization -- Politics and promise -- Culture and economy -- Giving and forgiving -- Animality, creativity, and historicity -- Animality, language, and truth -- Biopolitics and the question of animal life.
I argue for the existence of a ‘ratcheting-up effect’: the behavior of moral saints serves to increase the level of moral obligation the rest of us face. What we are morally obligated to do is constrained by what it would be reasonable for us to believe we are morally obligated to do. Moral saints provide us with a special kind of evidence that bears on what we can reasonably believe about our obligations. They do this by modeling the level of (...) sacrifice a person can realistically bear. Exposure to moral saints thus ‘ratchets-up’ our obligations by combating a type of ignorance that would otherwise defeat those obligations. (shrink)
A historical example is considered which conflicts with Laudan's Problem Solving Model . In the period 1840–85 chemists preferred a theory with 3 major conceptual problems (the Liebig Theory of Acids) to Lavoisier's which had only one major conceptual problem (why are the halogen hydrides acids?). The overall conceptual merits of Lavoisier's scheme have been revived in the modern Lux-Flood classification of Acids. Larry Laudan ,  proposed a problem solving model of scientific rationality which not only applied to global (...) theories but, if one takes the final paragraph of his  seriously, also applies to sub theories, auxiliary hypotheses and sub auxiliary hypotheses all the way down the line. (shrink)
The feminist movement remains fundamentally divided over the issue of surrogacy. Within the confines of this article it is argued that the inadequacy of positions on both sides of the debate rests upon their common tendency to deal with the ethical consequences of surrogacy for isolated agents, without sufficient concern for the broader social implications for all pregnant women in society. In order to clarify the issues involved, feminist theorists must consider the implications of surrogacy in a broader social spectrum. (...) Such an analysis will illustrate that the two-person dichotomous model of the maternal-foetal relationship proposed by the surrogacy arrangement has hugely prejudicial effects on the treatment received by non-contract mothers when they interact with agents of certain social institutions whose prior contact with surrogate mothers has made them more susceptible to conceiving the maternal-foetal relationship as fundamentally disconnected. In a climate of increased medical surveillance and intervention in the non-clinical context of pregnancy, the dangers of adopting this dichotomous model are palpable. Given the oppressive physical and psychological effect that this would have upon the liberty of the majority of pregnant women in society, this article argues that the feminist movement must abandon any promotion of the abstracted model of the mother-foetus relationship that is implicit in its arguments in favour of surrogacy. (shrink)
Light seems to be a very changeable size in our build environment. Being an immaterial building stone, light takes a very liquid shape in our design-vocabulary. It consists of an invisible material – photons – and therefore it takes no specific form in itself but is only articulated through the meeting with form. Therefore, since form has been the major theme for the aesthetics up until now, giving form to light is a complex and challenging task and reducing it to (...) Lux and measurable numbers only an escape from facing what is actually perceived. In this way light seems to suffer from what can be called the dichotomy between the aesthetics of the objects and the aesthetics of the perception – as stated by Boehme. To improve practice this article conducts a study of our perception, focusing more on the effects of light and less on the physical light (lux). By doing so the article tries to give a better understanding of the differences of the regional lighting cultures and the influences creating the differences. The article tries to establish a link between the regional daylight and the use of artificial lighting, showing that daylight, as a background, along with our perception, are determinant factors for how the artificial lighting and the brightness of the room is perceived. The articlehereby suggests that light is not an absolute factor. This means the end of the dichotomy between daylight and artificial light – often expressed by artificial light replacing daylight – instead this article tries to establish a dialogue between the daylight and the artificial lighting. The article describes how light – this intangible building block – can become a more workable size in the aesthetic and architectural practice of today.  . (shrink)
Abstract Kierkegaard and his pseudonym, Johannes Climacus, advance a ?theory? of indirect communication which designates it as the appropriate vehicle for ethico?religious discourse. This paper examines the justification for this claim, as it is elaborated in the Postscript, and traces the similarity between Climacus? account of indirect communication and his broader existential ethics. Both accounts locate the identity of the subject in the repeated renunciation of finitude. Just as the autonomy of the Kantian subject demands indifference to phenomenal incentives, so (...) too the ?infinite possibility? of the Climacean subject is assured only through its repeated renunciation of finite determinants. The paper argues that this project of self?determination underlies both the theory of indirect communication and the Postscript's existential ethics, and both are critiqued by Kierkegaard under the rubric of ?Religiousness A?. The theory of indirect communication and the existential ethics of which it is a part demand that the individual's freedom be literally ?thought at every moment? ? a requirement which is as divorced from the circumstances of actual existence as Hegel's much maligned ?System?. The paper closes by considering the significance of Climacus? ?Absolute Paradox? for the subject's predicament and for Kierkegaard's authorship: does the notion of the Absolute Paradox represent an alternative to the subject's self?assertion, or is it merely its pre?eminent expression? (shrink)
Introduction: Kantian concepts, liberal theology, and post-Kantian idealism -- Subjectivity in question: Immanuel Kant, Johann G. Fichte, and critical idealism -- Making sense of religion: Friedrich Schleiermacher, John Locke, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and liberal theology -- Dialectics of spirit: F.W.J. Schelling, G.W.F. Hegel, and absolute idealism -- Hegelian spirit in question: David Friedrich Strauss, Søren Kierkegaard, and mediating theology -- Neo-Kantian historicism: Albrecht Ritschl, Adolf von Harnack, Wilhelm Herrmann, Ernst Troeltsch, and the Ritschlian school -- Idealistic ordering: Lux Mundi, Andrew (...) Seth Pringle-Pattison, Hastings Rashdall, Alfred E. Garvie, Alfred North Whitehead, William Temple, and British idealism -- The Barthian revolt: Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, and the legacy of liberal theology -- Idealistic ironies: from Kant and Hegel to Tillich and Barth. (shrink)
Interpreting the Enlightenment: on methods -- A map of the Enlightenment: whither France? -- The spirit of the moderns: from the new science to the Enlightenment -- Society, the subject of the modern story -- Quarrel in the Academy: the ancients strike back -- Humanism and Enlightenment: the classical style of the philosophes -- The philosophical spirit of the laws: politics and antiquity -- An ancient god: pagans and philosophers -- Post tenebras lux: Begriffsgeschichte or regime d'historicité? -- Ancients and (...) the Orient: translatio imperii -- Enlightened institutions (i): the royal academies versus the Republic of Letters -- Enlightened institutions (ii): universities, censorship, and public instruction -- Worldliness, politeness, and the importance of not being too radical -- From Enlightenment to Revolution: a shared history? -- France and the European Enlightenment -- Modern myths. (shrink)
In a context in which there is manifest multiplicity in women’s daily lives, feminists have struggled to identify what it uniquely means to be a woman, without falling prey to charges of essentialism. Conscious, however, of the role which collective gender identity plays in providing coherence and motivation to feminist activity, a number of theorists have sought to find a way to retain group cohesion in the face of internal diversity. In this article, the merits and demerits of pre-existing attempts (...) in this regard will be discussed. Having done so, an alternative approach, which builds on Wittgenstein’s concept of ‘family resemblances’, will be put forward and defended. (shrink)
This article takes a parsimonious conception of a developed State operating under a minimalist conception of democracy and asks whether such a State must fully resource any tertiary (post-compulsory) education for its citizens. A key public policy barrier to arguing an absolute obligation for the State to resource any tertiary education is considered; namely, the fact of scarce resources creating competing obligations for the State. This article argues even a minimalist conception of democracy requires that States fully resource some tertiary (...) (post-compulsory) education, regardless of whether directing resources away from other public needs results in the non-prevention of some avoidable suffering and death. A policy recommendation for resourcing this education is considered, and an alternative policy proposed. (shrink)
The acquisition of expertise in formal problem solving has been assumed to involve either a shift from backwards to forwards inference, or a shift from unguided to guided forwards inference. In a longitudinal study, the acquisition of formal problem-solving expertise was investigated. Participants were tested as novices before undertaking controlled practice in the problem domain which involved transformation rule problems , and were finally tested as experts. The direction of inference in problem solutions was found to be inadequate to describe (...) the strategic differences between novices and experts. Therefore, a new solution coding system was applied, based on atomic components of problem solution. Analysis of novice and expert solutions revealed no systematic strategy in the novice stage solutions were confused and contained unproductive steps and backtracking. Several strategies were found in the expert solutions, but they did not agree with previously reported results. It was therefore proposed that the acquisition of expertise does not involve a change from one specific solution strategy to another, but rather the development of an efficient strategy, which can differ between participants. (shrink)
"Cluster randomized trials," in which groups of patients are randomly assigned to different therapeutic interventions, provide a powerful way of evaluating drugs. CRTs have not been widely used, in good part because of concerns about whether patients must give informed consent to participate in them. A better understanding of how CRTs fit into clinical practice resolves the concerns.
In Violence and the Sacred (henceforth, V&S), Rene Girard remarks that when we think of siblings, we often think of affectionate relationships.1 He then proposes, however, that the stories that have come down to us through mythology and sacred scriptures often tell us otherwise. Warring siblings are embedded deeply in history, religion, and literature: Girard lists Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Eteocles and Polyneices, Romulus and Remus, Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland as just a few examples of the (...) fraternal rivalry in our collective consciousness. We might add the biblical Isaac and Ishmael and Joseph and his brothers to this list. The rivalries are so pervasive that Girard declares: “the theme itself is .. (shrink)
When dealing with biological communication and information, unifying concepts are necessary in order to couple the different “codes” that are being inductively “cracked” and defined at different emergent and “deemergent” levels of the biological hierarchy. In this paper I compare the type of biological information implied by genetic information with that implied in the concept of “quorum sensing” (which refers to a prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication system) in order to explore if such integration is being achieved. I use the Lux operon (...) paradigm and the Vibrio fischeri – Euprymna scolopes symbiotic partnership to exemplify the emergence of informational contexts along the biological hierarchy (from molecules to ecologies). I suggest that the biosemiotic epistemological framework can play an integrative role to overcome the limits of dyadic mechanistic descriptions when relating the different emergent levels. I also emphasise that the realisation ofbiology as being a “science of sensing” and the new importance that is being ascribed to the “context” in experimental biology corroborate past claims ofbiosemioticians about a shift from a focus on information (as a material agent of causality) towards a focus on the world of signification. (shrink)
Is a painful experience less bad for you if you will not remember it? Do you have less reason to fear it? These questions bear on how we think about medical procedures and surgeries that use an anesthesia regimen that leaves patients conscious – and potentially in pain – but results in complete ‘drug-induced amnesia’ after the fact. I argue that drug-induced amnesia does not render a painful medical procedure a less fitting object of fear, and thus the prospect of (...) amnesia does not give patients a reason not to fear it. I expose three mistakes in reasoning that might explain our tendency to view pain or discomfort as less fearful in virtue of expected amnesia: a mistaken view of personal identity; a mistaken view of the target of anticipation; and a mistaken method of incorporating past evidence into calculations about future experiences. Ultimately my argument has implications for whether particular procedures are justified and how medical professionals should speak with anxious patients about the prospect of drug-induced amnesia. (shrink)
Management practitioners and scholars have worked diligently to identify methods for ethical decision making in international contexts. In this paper we offer sixheuristic questions to help corporate managers resolve cross-cultural ethical conflicts involving questionable business practices in a host country. Our aim is to provide practical guidance for discussion within a firm on whether or not to do business the firm’s way, the host’s way or refrain from doing business there (the highway).
This paper suggests that research and theory regarding the development of global codes of conduct would be informed by political theory. Charles Taylor’s (1992) essay Politics of Recognition acknowledges that successful relationships among nations results from mutual respect and esteem among different cultures for each other. The same may be the case for the successful development of universal code of ethics for Multinational Enterprises.
Identifying the antecedents of unethical corporate behavior remains a priority among management scientists. Among the many causes that have been explored, the influence of celebrity and legacy has not been examined. This paper contributes to the existing research by focusing attention on how celebrity and legacy encourage unethical behavior and suggests practices that can diffuse the negative influence of these factors.
In his book In Defense of Pure Reason Laurence BonJour proposed an account of a priori justification which essentially refers to so-called rational insights. Unfortunately, the reader is not equipped with a substantial answer to the question what such rational insights exactly are. And moreover, he is told that this is not an in any way decisive shortcoming of BonJour’s account of a priori justification — at least not a shortcoming which should motivate us to abandon his account. In order (...) to support this thesis, BonJour refers to an analogy between the case of rational insights and the case of consciousness. He points out that we would not give up the use of the notion of consciousness, in spite of the fact that today there is still no satisfying answer to the question what consciousness exactly is. I will argue that the analogy BonJour refers to is in fact a persuasive one and can help him as well as other proponents of the rational-insight account to deal with some prominent objections. But taking the analogy seriously does consequently mean to undermine a favourite rationalist’s thesis: the autonomy claim. I conclude that the rationalist is confronted with a dilemma; he simply cannot have it both ways. (shrink)
This paper proposes an ethical reflection on personalized medicine and more precisely on the diagnostic technology underlying it, including nanochips. Our approach is inspired by a combination of two philosophical frames of reference: first, John Dewey’s distinction between intuitive valuation and reflexive evaluation, second, John Rawls’ reflective equilibrium. We aim at what we call a ‘reflexive equilibrium’, a mutual adjustment between on the one hand, the intuitive beliefs scientists have about the ethics of the technologies they work on (‘valuations’ in (...) Dewey’s vocabulary) and, on the other hand, the reflexive ethical assessment of these technologies (‘evaluations’). Our goal, in this paper, is to provide the first step of this process through a philosophical analysis of some valuations on individualized medicine. In order to apprehend the ethical values shaping the development of biochips, we present and analyze qualitative interviews with scientists involved in the conception and the development of biochips involving nanotechnologies. We then propose a critical assessment of the role of ethics in these scientific practices. Last, we suggest two distinct and complementary ways to solve some of the issues brought to light by the interviews, without aiming at any dogmatic or “ready-made” answer. The first of these perspectives gives a central role to the capability individuals could achieve through personalized medicine; the second approach analyses the ethical disruptions entailed by personalized medicine with a special focus on care. (shrink)