Analyses of between-sex differences have provided a powerful starting point for evolutionarily informed work on human sexuality. This early work set the stage for an evolutionary analysis of within-sex differences in human sexuality. A comprehensive theory of human sexual strategies must address both between-sex differences and within-sex differences in evolved psychology and manifest behavior.
'Sense perception in current process thought' was the topic of a workshop organized by the 'Whitehead Psychology Nexus' (for more information see below) at Fontareches in spring 2003. This and earlier Fontareches meetings can be characterized by just a few elements: non-dogmatism, interdisciplinarity and overlapping approaches. Although the convergence point is Whitehead's philosophy, this is intended in the sense of an 'eschaton' rather than a 'telos'. The vivid discussions, occurring in a very thoughtful, yet relaxed, atmosphere in the small village (...) of Fontareches in Southern France, have amply testified for the promising paths and synergies that can emerge in such an environment. This year, the core intention was to examine relations between Whitehead's theory of perception and contemporary psychology. The individual contributions can be sorted into the three areas of philosophy, cognitive science, and mental health/psychoanalysis. Unsurprisingly, the question of temporality was addressed -- explicitly or implicitly -- in most of the papers. (shrink)
This paper looks at the history of the problem of individuation from Plato to Whitehead. Part I takes as its point of departure Reiner Wiehl’s interpretation of the different meanings of “abstract” in the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead and arrives at a corresponding taxonomy of different ways things can be called concrete. Part II compares the way philosophers in different periods understand the relation between thought and intuition. The view mostly associated with ancient philosophy is that thought and sense-perception (...) target different kinds of objects. The view mostly associated with modern philosophy (although it was introduced by the Stoics) is that thought and sense-perception are different ways of targeting the same objects. These differences have specific consequences for theories of individuation, which are assessed historically in Part III and then applied to Whitehead’s difficult texts in part IV. (shrink)
This study of Ralph Pred’s Onflow (MIT Press, 2005) expands on Pred’s arguments and raises doubts about the viability of phenomenology. Showing that Pred’s method is indeed phenomenological, I validate his interpretations of William James as phenomenologist and his critique of John Searle in light of James, which documents the extent to which the role of habit in the constitution of experience is neglected by philosophers. In explaining habit, however, Pred himself reverts to non-phenomenological models drawn from James’ postulate of (...) psycho-physical parallelism. Habit, like causation, poses an unmet challenge to phenomenological methods. In his critique of Gerald Edelman, Pred notes that Edelman falls prey to a metaphysical bias inherent in modern Indo-European languages. But Pred’s acuity in exposing a latent linguistic bias in phenomenological data is a two-edged sword. Revealing an invisible dependence of appearance on language, it casts doubt on the project of getting beyond language to "appearances-in-themselves.". (shrink)
The authors argue that the consciousness debate inhabits the same problem space today as it did in the 17th century. They attribute the lack of progress to a mindset still polarized by Descartes’ real distinction between mind and body, resulting in a standoff between humanistic and scientistic approaches. They suggest that consciousness can be adequately studied only by a multiplicity of disciplines so that the paramount problem is how to integrate diverse disciplinary perspectives into a coherent metatheory. Process philosophy is (...) well qualified to attempt such a synthesis. The rationale for the volume is summed up in the book's unifying thesis: normal, focal-attentive consciousness is not the sui generis phenomenon it is usually taken to be, but part of a wider spectrum of experience (including marginal, deviant, and non-human experience) that can only be studied by approaches as diverse as phenomenology, psycho- and neuropathology, biology, and zoology. (shrink)
Although Whitehead’s particular style of philosophizing--looking at traditional philosophical problems in light of recent scientific advances--was part of a trend that began with the scientific revolutions in the early 20th century and continues today, he was marginalized in 20th century philosophy because of his outspoken defense of what he was doing as “metaphysics.” Metaphysics, for Whitehead, is a cross-disciplinary hermeneutic responsible for coherently integrating the perspectives of the special sciences with one another and with everyday experience. The program of such (...) a meta-discipline is challenging to philosophical orthodoxy because it enlarges, rather than narrows, the range of empirical evidence that philosophy must acknowledge. This places Whitehead’s philosophy in a perennial tradition that seeks to resolve fundamental antinomies through synthesis and reconciliation rather than reduction or elimination. (shrink)
Terms for consciousness, used with a cognitive meaning, emerged as count nouns in the 17th century. This transformation repeats an evolution that had taken place in late antiquity, when related vocabulary, used in the sense of conscience, went from being mass nouns designating states to count nouns designating faculties possessed by every individual. The reified concept of consciousness resulted from the rejection of the Scholastic-Aristotelian theory of mind according to which the mind is not a countable thing, but a pure (...) potentiality. This rejection was motivated by an acute sense of the mind’s fallible subjectivity. While conditioned by recent historical events, the 17th century’s pervasive sense of subjectivity also reveals a heavy debt to Hellenistic philosophy, which had been recently rediscovered. But whereas Hellenistic thought, mistrustful of theoria, only reifies conscience, early modern thinking, more mistrustful of praxis and seeking its grounding in theoria, goes a step further and reifies consciousness. (shrink)
This collection opens a dialogue between process philosophy and contemporary consciousness studies. Approaching consciousness from diverse disciplinary perspectives—philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, neuropathology, psychotherapy, biology, animal ethology, and physics—the contributors offer empirical and philosophical support for a model of consciousness inspired by the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947). Whitehead’s model is developed in ways he could not have anticipated to show how it can advance current debates beyond well-known sticking points. This has trenchant consequences for epistemology and suggests fresh and (...) promising perspectives on such topics as the mind-body problem, the neurobiology of consciousness, animal consciousness, the evolution of consciousness, panpsychism, the unity of consciousness, epiphenomenalism, free will, and causation. (shrink)
Nicholas Rescher’s way of understanding process philosophy reflects the ambitions of his own philosophical project and commits him to a conceptually ideal interpretation of process. Process becomes a transcendental idea of reflection that can always be predicated of our knowledge of the world and of the world qua known, but not necessarily of reality an sich. Rescher’s own taxonomy of process thinking implies that it has other variants. While Rescher’s approach to process philosophy makes it intelligible and appealing to mainstream (...) analytic philosophy, it leaves behind the more daring ideas of Bergson, James, and Whitehead, all of whom envisioned the primordial reality of process in a radical ontology of becoming. This variant of process thought can be construed as coherent and self-consistent, but not without relinquishing the correspondence theory of truth and embracing challenging ideas that bring us in close proximity to existentialism, apophatic theology, and Buddhism. (shrink)
The problem causation poses is: how can we ever know more than a Humean regularity. The problem consciousness poses is: how can subjective phenomenal experience arise from something lacking experience. A recent turn in the consciousness debates suggest that the hard problem of consciousness is nothing more than the Humean problem of explaining any causal nexus in an intelligible way. This involution of the problems invites comparison with the theories of Alfred North Whitehead, who also saw them related in this (...) way. According to Whitehead, a tempting but false phenomenology of consciousness obscures temporality and leads to the causation problem, which then makes consciousness itself seem causally inexplicable. Bringing the processual nature of consciousness back into view discloses causation at work in the moment-to-moment emergence of consciousness, and it reveals that causation operates in a logically fuzzy domain where the skeptical critique of causality finds no foothold. (shrink)
Major schools of thought in the 20th century agreed in repudiating metaphysical speculation, but the agreement was superficial, for what they repudiated as “metaphysical” was often one another. Whitehead’s defense of speculative philosophy as “productive of important knowledge” singled him out for scorn from all sides at the same time that it enabled him to move beyond dogmatic standoffs . Employing the same method of speculative generalization that led to the most celebrated theoretical discoveries of the 20th century, quantum theory (...) and special relativity, Whitehead sought to resolve the conflict between objectifying, causal explanations of the world and its inhabitants and the “folk” attitudes defended and elaborated by humanistic psychologies and philosophies. The result was his theory of the “dipolar actual occasion” as the fundamental unit of existence. Recent work by leading scientists continues this effort to elaborate a nonreductive monism that accounts for both meaning and causation. (shrink)
There have been many attempts to retire dualism from active philosophic life, replacing it with something less removed from science, but we are no closer to that goal now than fifty years ago. I propose breaking the stalemate by considering marginal perspectives that may help identify unrecognized assumptions that limit the mainstream debate. Comparison with Whitehead highlights ways that opponents of dualism continue to uphold the Cartesian “real distinction” between mind and body. Whitehead, by contrast, insists on a conceptual distinction: (...) there can no more be body without mind than mind without body (at least at the level of ultimate constituents). Key to this integration is Whitehead’s understanding that mind, at its most rudimentary, is simply the intrinsic temporality of a physical event. Thus, the resulting form of “panpsychism” is more naturalistic than commonly supposed, and it solves both the composition problem (traditionally fatal to panpsychism) and the “hard problem.”. (shrink)
Conventional approaches to consciousness assume that our current science tells us within tolerable limits what physical nature is. Because nature so understood cannot explain consciousness as we seem to experience it ourselves, explaining consciousness becomes a problem. One solution is to rethink what consciousness is so that it becomes the sort of thing our current natural science could in principle explain. Whitehead takes the opposite approach, using the existence of consciousness as a clue to what nature must be if it (...) can generate something like consciousness. The justification for this approach can be found in Whitehead’s implicit indictment of descriptive phenomenology. According to Whitehead, the seemingly insoluble problem of explaining consciousness naturalistically is an artifact created by the assumption that consciousness faithfully samples the world, when in fact it obscures the very aspects of nature that are indispensable to understanding how anything, including consciousness itself, could emerge through a physical process. (shrink)
According to Revonsuo, dreams are the output of a evolved “threat simulation mechanism.” The author marshals a diverse and comprehensive array of empirical and theoretical support for this hypothesis. We propose that the hypothesized threat simulation mechanism might be more domain-specific in design than the author implies. To illustrate, we discuss the possible sex-differentiated design of the hypothesized threat simulation mechanism. [Revonsuo].
A menu of twelve moral issues that seem to be common to all organizations is described and illustrated. This menu identifies some of the most prominent moral issues requiring individuals to decide where to draw the line between moral and immoral conduct. A review ofThe Wall Street Journal during just one week provided over sixty articles illustrating how moral issues are inherent in almost every business decision. The articles included several illustrations of stealing, lying, and fraud that are immoral, (...) although in some cases not technically illegal. Other articles illustrated conflicts of interest, influence buying, hiding information, divulging personal information, taking unfair advantage, personal decadence, interpersonal abuse, organizational abuse, rule violations, being an accessory to unethical acts, and balancing ethical dilemmas. These illustrations are intended to help individuals identify moral issues and recognize the situations when they arise so they can avoid unwitting immoral behavior. (shrink)
Within academic circles, the “deficit” model of public understanding of science has been subject to increasing critical scrutiny by those who favor more constructivist approaches. These suggest that “the public” can articulate sophisticated ideas about the social and ethical implications of science regardless of their level of technical knowledge. The seminal studies following constructivist approaches have generally involved small-scale qualitative investigations, which have minimized the pre-framing of issues to a greater or lesser extent. This article describes the Gene Week Project, (...) sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, which attempted to extend this work to a large-scale consultation on genetics and health through the medium of a local daily newspaper. Readers were invited to respond to a set of open-ended questions that accompanied stimulus material published each day for five consecutive weekdays. The articles were written with the intention of extending the limited range of discourses around genetics and biotechnology that are usually presented by the popular media (hope, fear, tragedy and bravery). Responses raised overarching issues about the place of emerging health technologies in society reminiscent of previous open-ended consultations in this field. The paper ends with a critical discussion about the potential of this method to contribute to the further development of open-ended public consultations. (shrink)
This essay explores challenges that arise for professors who teach critical theory in our current climate of conservatism. Specifically, it is argued that the conservative commitments to nonrevolutionary change and reverence for tradition are corrupted in our current political and intellectual climate. This corruption, called "ideological imperviousness," undermines the institutional structures put in place to produce a functional educational environment that protects the interests of both professors and students. The result is an environment that imposes an unjust vulnerability on professors (...) and risks depriving students of the opportunity to acquire the critical skills necessary to combat their own vulnerabilities. (shrink)
I assessed change in students’ moral reasoning following five 75-min classes on business ethics and two assignments utilizing a novel pedagogical approach designed to foster ethical reasoning skills. To minimize threats to validity present in previous studies, an untreated control group design with pre- and post-training measures was used. Training (n = 114) and control (n = 76) groups comprised freshmen business majors who completed the Defining Issues Test before and after the training. Results showed that, controlling for pre-training levels (...) of moral reasoning, students in the training group demonstrated higher levels of post-training principled moral judgment than students in the control group. (shrink)
A growing public concern regarding ethical business conduct has stimulated marketing research in the ethics area. This study is the first empirical research to investigate the relationship between a code of ethics and sales force behavior. The findings present preliminary evidence that a well communicated code of ethics may be related to ethical sales force behavior. Furthermore, it appears that a sales force that is employed in such an environment can be profiled as being relatively high in job performance and (...) receiving equally high satisfaction from their positions. Suggestions are made for future research and recommendations are offered for marketing practitioners. (shrink)
Moral development has become an integral part in military training and the importance of moral judgment and behavior in military operations can hardly be overestimated. Many armed forces have integrated military ethics and moral decision-making interventions in their training programs. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these interventions. This study examined the effectiveness of a 1-week training program in moral decision making in the Swiss Armed Forces. The program was based on a strategy-based interactional moral dilemma approach. Results (...) of this quasi-experimental intervention study showed significant improvements in content-related (moral and instrumental awareness, quality of moral information processing, development of compensatory actions) as well as process-related (situational analysis, development and evaluation of alternative solutions, justification of decision) aspects in moral decision making. Results of a follow-up test indicated positive long-term effects with regard to moral and instrumental awareness and process-related aspects. Findings are discussed, and consequences for leadership development programs and further research are explored. (shrink)
The coefficients of internal consistency and retest reliability had been rarely investigated within the methodology of dream content analysis. Analyzing a dream series of elderly, healthy persons obtained from weekly telephone interviews, the internal consistency of a series of 20 dreams and retests after 4 or 22 weeks, respectively, had been computed. The findings indicate that dream recall and dream length are quite stable, but dream characteristics such as bizarreness and emotional tone underlie large intraindividual fluctuations. In order to obtain (...) reliable measures for these variables which will be important for correlational studies, including waking-life trait measures, one has to obtain as many dreams as possible (about 20) in a very short time period. Further research is needed to extend the present findings to diary dreams and laboratory dreams. (shrink)
Imagine that a performer is confronted with the following decision. After working on a piece for several weeks—practicing, analyzing, listening to various recordings, perhaps reading a bit about it—a performer comes to a crossroads. It seems to him that changing a few crucial interrelated passages can generate two very different performative interpretations. One makes the piece sound animated, lively, and interesting; the other makes the piece sound repetitive, flat, and perhaps even boring. While the performer can understand why one would (...) think that the piece ought to be performed in the manner that makes it sound lively and thinks that the score supports such an interpretation, the more he works on the piece .. (shrink)
Recently I asked a well-known ID sympathizer what shape he thought the ID movement was in. I raised the question because, after some initial enthusiasm on his part three years ago, his interest seemed to have flagged. Here is what he wrote: An enormous amount of energy has been expended on "proving" that ID is bogus, "stealth creationism," "not science," and so on. Much of this, ironically, violates the spirit of science. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. (...) But on the other side, too much stuff from the ID camp is repetitive, imprecise and immodest in its claims, and otherwise very unsatisfactory. The "debate" is mostly going around in circles. The real work needs to go forward. There is a tremendous ferment right now in the "evo/devo" field, for instance. Some bright postdocs sympathetic to ID (and yes, I know how hard a time they would have institutionally at many places) should plunge right into the thick of that. Maybe they are at this very moment: I hope so! Every now and again we need to take a good, hard look in the mirror. The aim of this talk is to help us do just that. Intelligent design has made tremendous inroads into the culture at large. Front page stories featuring our work have appeared in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and so on. Television, radio, and weeklies like Time Magazine are focusing the spotlight on us as well. This publicity is at once useful and seductive. It useful because it helps get the word out and attract talent to the movement. It is seductive because it can deceive us into thinking that we have accomplished more than we actually have. (shrink)
Abstract This article describes a programme of educational intervention aimed at the development of prosocial?altruistic behaviour, and presents a study which evaluated its efficacy. The sample comprised 110 subjects, aged between 10 and 12 years, from four class?groups. The intervention, which consisted of a series of activities intended to encourage empathy, perspective?taking, having the concept of a person, and co?operation, was carried out by the teacher?tutor of each group in 15 weekly sessions. The pre?test/post?test comparisons showed a significant increase in (...) prosocial??altruistic behaviour (measured by a sociogram on ?Consoling and Defending? behaviour and a questionnaire on Prosocial behaviour), as well as an improvement in the capacity for perspective?taking and in the climate in the classroom. (shrink)
This paper reports on the results from two studies that were conducted eight years apart with different respondents. The studies examined the role of the Mere Exposure Effect on ethical tolerance or acceptability of particular business decisions. The results from Study 1 show there is a significant difference in ethical judgment for 12 out of 16 vignettes between those who have been exposed to such situations compared to those who have not been exposed to them. In those 12 situations, those (...) who have been exposed to such situations adopted a more tolerant stance toward the ethically questionable behavior. The results from Study 2 show there is a significant difference in ethical judgment for 9 out of 16 vignettes between those who have been exposed to such situations compared to those who have not been exposed to them. Again, in those nine situations, those who have been exposed to such situations adopted a more tolerant stance toward the ethically questionable behavior. Interestingly, the 9 situations in Study 2 were 9 of the 12 situations found to be significant in Study 1, and in the same direction, suggesting that we have found consistency in our findings and support for the Mere Exposure Effect. Implications are provided for both higher education and practitioners. (shrink)
One of the most significant moments in the development of German idealism is Schelling's break from his mentor Fichte. On account of its significance, there have been numerous studies examining the origin and meaning of this transition in Schelling's thought. Not one study, however, considers Goethe's influence on Schelling's development. This is surprising given the fact that in the fall of 1799 Goethe and Schelling meet every day for a week, to go through and edit what came to be Schelling's (...) most path-breaking work. This paper considers Goethe's influence on the development of Schelling's thought, and argues that it was by appropriating Goethe's idea of metamorphosis that Schelling was able to put forth a conception of nature as independent from the mind. (shrink)
In his critical notice, Rosenberg (1991) raises three objections to my evolutionary account of science: whether it is more than a week metaphor, the compatibility of my past objections to reduction and my current advocacy of viewing selection in terms of replication and interaction, and finally, the feasibility of identifying appropriate replicators and interactors in biological evolution, let alone conceptual evolution. I discuss each of these objections in turn.
Se realizó una investigación cualitativa para comprobar la utilidad del cine como apoyo a la docencia en la asignatura de Psiquiatría del quinto año de la carrera de Medicina en tres subgrupos de estudiantes de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas "Carlos J. Finlay" de Camagüey. La muestra ascendió a 43 estudiantes de ambos sexos y diferentes nacionalidades, a quienes se les realizaron entrevistas individuales grabadas en audio, explorando criterios personales tras haber presenciado un grupo de películas previamente escogidas por abordar (...) el tema del trastorno mental con profundidad. Las mismas se exhibieron una vez por semana, coincidiendo su tema con los objetivos propuestos según los contenidos, siempre después de la conferencia introductoria y clase taller, y antes del seminario correspondiente. Entre los resultados obtenidos se destaca que la totalidad expresó opiniones positivas respecto a la actividad, y propuso se mantuviera en el resto de las rotaciones de Psiquiatría. La totalidad consideró que la misma representó un enriquecimiento de su cultura general. La mayoría expresó que les fue fácil la identificación de síntomas, síndromes y situaciones causales en las películas utilizadas, y manifestó que existe una estrecha relación entre los contenidos semanales y las películas elegidas. Se recogieron además algunas sugerencias respecto a la actividad. Teniendo en cuenta los resultados obtenidos, se puede considerar como muy positiva la utilización del cine como apoyo a la actividad docente en Psiquiatría en el grupo estudiado. A qualitative research was carried out in three sub-groups of medical students at Carlos J. Finlay University in order to test the usefulness of films as a teaching aid for the 5th year subject of Psychiatry. The sample was composed of 43 students, both male and female, from different nationalities whose individual interviews were recorded in order to analyze personal criteria after watching a series of movies previously chosen since the plot deals with serious mental disorders. These were screened once a week. Their subject matter coincided with the objectives set according to the class content, always after the introductory lecture and workshop class, and before the corresponding seminar. The most outstanding results show that all students expressed positive views with regard to the activity, and suggested to maintain this initiative in the rest of Psychiatry rotations. All of them considered that this activity allowed them to enrich their general culture. Most expressed that it was easy for them to identify symptoms, syndromes and causal situations used in films and that there is a close relationship between the weekly contents and selected films. In addition some suggestions regarding the activity were collected. Taking into account the obtained results, the use of cinema as a teaching aid in Psychiatry can be considered as very positive in the studied group. (shrink)
I arrived in Vientiane in late March, 1970, with two friends, Douglas Dowd and Richard Fernandez, expecting to take the International Control Commission plane to Hanoi the following day. The Indian bureaucrat in charge of the weekly ICC flight immediately informed us, however, that this was not to be. The DRV delegation had returned from Pnompenh to Hanoi on the previous flight after the sacking of the Embassy by Cambodian troops (disguised as civilians), and the flight we intended to (...) take was completely occupied by passengers scheduled for the preceding week. Efforts by the DRV and American embassies were unavailing, and, after exploring various farfetched schemes, we decided, at first without much enthusiasm, to stay in Vientiane and try our luck a week later. (shrink)
A couple of years ago I set a mundane homework assignment for my class of about 50 mid-level Arts students. They were to take one of the course readings - a chapter from How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker - and return in a week with a one page essay, in which they had identified and evaluated the author's main argument.
The Nikolais/Louis Dance Technique provides the definite resource for understanding and practicing the influential dance technique developed by two pioneers of modern dance, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis. The Nikolais/Louis technique is presented in a week-to-week classroom manual, providing an indispensable tool for teachers and students of this widely studied movement practice. Theoretical background for further reading is set off from the manual for those interested in deeper study. Their philosophy and methodology span a broad readership and offer an important (...) addition to dance literature and American cultural history. (shrink)
The 1998 elections were held just about two weeks ago.1 All across the country, Americans went to the polls to vote for Senators, Representatives to the House, Governors, and local officials. In many states they were also given the opportunity to vote on a wide variety of ballot questions, and among these ballot questions several concerned physician assisted suicide.
A number of studies have tested the relationship between a corporation's social and ethical performance and its financial performance. In contrast, this is the first study to demonstrate a link between overall financial performance and an emphasis on ethics as an aspect of corporate governance. It identifies the 26.8 percent of the 500 largest U.S. public corporations that, in their annual report to shareholders, commit to ethical behavior toward their stakeholders or emphasize compliance with their code of conduct. The financial (...) performance of these corporations ranks higher than that of those who do not at a significance level of p = < 0.005, using the 1997 Business Week ranking which averages eight publicly-reported measures of historical financial performance. These findings should motivate more corporations to utilize the principles of Social and Ethical Accounting, Auditing and Reporting (SEAAR). (shrink)
The idea for Philosophy in a Time of Terror was born hours after the attacks on 9/11 and was realized just weeks later when Giovanna Borradori sat down with Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida in New York City, in separate interviews, to evaluate the significance of the most destructive terrorist act ever perpetrated. This book marks an unprecedented encounter between two of the most influential thinkers of our age as here, for the first time, Habermas and Derrida overcome their mutual (...) antagonism and agree to appear side by side. As the two philosophers disassemble and reassemble what we think we know about terrorism, they break from the familiar social and political rhetoric increasingly polarized between good and evil. In this process, we watch two of the greatest intellects of the century at work. (shrink)
Our primary interest this week will be in two objections Jackson mentions which seem to threaten his program. Each of them is avoided by appeal to the two-dimensional framework we sketched last week. Before we go over that framework again, we will start by looking at the objections. For reasons that may become apparent shortly, we will look at them in reverse order. So first we’ll look at this objection from Chapter 3, an objection which turns on the discovery of (...) a posteriori necessities by Kripke and Putnam. (shrink)
In 1987, a young woman named Angela Carder, pregnant and dying from cancer, was ordered by a court of law to undergo a cesarean delivery against her and her family’s wishes. She and her baby both died. Three years later, an appeals court took an extraordinary stand: it vacated the order that ended their lives and upheld pregnant women’s rights to informed consent and bodily integrity. The “unkindest cut of all,”1 it seemed, had been condemned by the courts.2 Yet shortly (...) before the twenty-year anniversary of this landmark case, the same rights were stripped from another young pregnant woman. In January of this year, oral arguments were heard in the case of Samantha Burton. She had been twenty-five weeks .. (shrink)
This memoir provides the personal story of a tenured poet who initially walked the picket line during the 1990 University of Bridgeport faculty strike. During the strike's second week, he made the difficult decision to cross the picket line of a union he helped create seventeen years earlier. He continually relives his strike experience.
The professor announces a surprise exam for the upcoming week; her clever student purports to demonstrate by reductio that she cannot possibly give such an exam. Diagnosing his puzzling argument reveals a deeper puzzle: Is the student justified in believing the announcement? It would seem so, particularly if the upcoming 'week' is long enough. On the other hand, a plausible principle states that if, at the outset, the student is justified in believing some proposition, then he is also justified in (...) believing that he will continue to be justified in believing that proposition. It follows from this 'confidence' principle that the student is not justified in believing the announcement, regardless of the number of days in the week. I argue that the key to resolving this dilemma is to distinguish the confidence principle from a slightly weaker principle governing the student's justified degrees of belief. Representing these degrees of belief as probabilities, and taking 'justified belief' to mean 'justified degree of belief above a certain threshold', I show that we can uphold the weaker, probabilistic analog to the confidence principle, and maintain that, provided the 'week' is long enough, the student can justifiably believe the announcement. The resulting probabilistic analysis of the story leads to a new diagnosis of the logical flaw in the student's reasoning, and suggests, finally, that even those early stages of it which are logically impeccable exhibit another kind of flaw: circularity. (shrink)
Neuroenhancement offers the prospect of improving the cognitive, emotional and motivational functions of healthy individuals. Of all the conceivable interventions, psychopharmacology provides the most readily available ones, such as antidepressants which are thought to make people better than well . However, up until now, whether they possess such an enhancing ability remains controversial and therefore in this systematic review we will evaluate the effect and safety of modern antidepressants in healthy individuals. A search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and cross-references (...) was carried out and the pharmaceutical industry was contacted for suitable data. Trials published in any language through the third week of July 2007 were regarded. Included were single or double blind randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials that compared a placebo to one or more of the following antidepressants: bupropion, citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, moclobemide, paroxetine, reboxetine, sertraline or venlafaxine in any dose or dosing schedule. Eligible studies were those involving healthy people of any age and either sex who showed no evidence of a psychiatric disorder, cognitive decline or other disease. One hundred thirty-five articles met our inclusion criteria reporting single dose trials and trials with repeated drug administration. Sixty-five of these articles were eligible for a statistical analysis. Based on a linear mixed model, a meta-analysis and a fixed effects meta-regression were performed. Pooling of results by meta-analysis was stratified by the outcome measures (a) mood, (b) emotional processing, (c) wakefulness, (d) attention, (e) memory, and (f) executive functions. On a significance level of pÂ <Â 0.05 the following significant results emerged: After a single dose of an antidepressant, a significant effect was shown in two of the analysed outcomes. Firstly, there was a small yet significant negative effect on wakefulness. On memory, a positive effect after several measurements was found, but this result could be traced to the results of the one study out of all included studies, which had that many assessment points. The analysis of trials with repeated drug administration (mean duration 14Â days, standard deviation 9) yielded the following effects: on mood, a non-significant positive effect was detected that was continuously increasing and reached significance at the last assessment point. Regarding attention, a fluctuating effect was found, while for memory, the fact that the two groups started with a group difference confounded the results. For wakefulness there was no significant effect in any particular assessment point, while for emotional processing and executive functions, the small number of studies did not allow for any effect to emerge. In summary, no consistent evidence for enhancing effects of antidepressants could be found. There is little evidence so far to support the popular opinion that antidepressants have a positive effect on the mood of healthy individuals after repeated administration. No evidence of a significant adverse event profile could be found. The studies included in this systematic review not only provide insufficient evidence for or against any effect in healthy people, but they are inapt to be used for answering this question. This may be explained by the fact that most of them were not designed to examine neuroenhancement effects. The growing public interest in neuroenhancement stands in stark contrast to the paucity of data on enhancement effects of available psychopharmacological agents. (shrink)
In the fall of 1967 I entered Princeton as a Freshman intending to major in physics but interested as well in history. The catalog listed a course on the history of science, taught by a Professor Thomas Kuhn with the assistance of Michael Mahoney that seemed nicely to fit both interests. The course proved to be peculiarly intense for something about what was, after all, obsolete science as, each week, hundreds of pages of arcana from the distant past had to (...) be absorbed. Professor Kuhn would pace back and forth in lecture, smoking intensely and talking rapidly to an elaborate outline drawn on the board at the beginning of each class. In tutorial, Mahoney (who passed away in 2009) developed Kuhn's points, forcing .. (shrink)
Starting high school can be a challenging but also exciting time for students. The focus of this paper lies with students' experiences of transition into secondary school. Sixteen students from one government school in New South Wales kept a journal for their first ten weeks in high school as a way of recording their experiences. Their journal entries were studied utilising a phenomenological psychological approach following Giorgi (1985a, 1985b ). The aim of this research approach is to produce clear and (...) accurate descriptions of a particular aspect of human experience ( Polkinghorne, 1989 ) in order to reveal the essential structure of the phenomenon under investigation. Emerging from the study were seven themes about transition: the pivotal role of peers in helping or hindering settling into high school; the place of school support through programs and activities; the challenges of new procedures; different types of learning activities; feelings of confidence and success that can enhance transitional experiences; the place of homework in the academic curriculum; and the role of teachers in affecting student integration into high school. The paper concludes by raising some important issues and implications for school based practitioners. (shrink)
Teaching an eight-week calm abiding meditation course to staff in a Child and Youth Mental Health Service located in a regional Australian city presented a curious meeting of Buddhism with Western culture. This meeting highlighted both the potential benefits and challenges of teaching meditation in the workplace and the value of qualitative methods for contributing to the development of meditation research. The thematic analysis of weekly participant responses to emailed reflective questions and follow-up interviews indicated that workplace meditation training can (...) precipitate sustainable changes in attitudes and behaviour beyond the workplace. Participants reported being less reactive and better able to manage emotions, having heightened self-awareness, self-acceptance and acceptance of others and of circumstances; and, in the longer term, were better able to make healthier lifestyle choices. The analysis is contextualized by a rich description of the course and salient concerns and conditions evident in contemporary Buddhist teachings and studies of mindfulness meditation. (shrink)
The stormy development of vocal production during the first postnatal weeks is generally underestimated. Our longitudinal studies revealed an amazingly fast unfolding and combinatorial complexification of pre-speech melodies. We argue that relying on “melody” could provide for the immature brain a kind of filter to extract life-relevant information from the complex speech stream.
Being on a 40 city 24x7 book tour for War Against the Weak . I am writing this from an airplane, and I regret my brevity. Catching up on some email from a few weeks back I have now come across your remarks and those of your like minded friends defending Spencer.
My pleasure in being here, at the Studiecentrum Soeterbeeck, to discuss the book Roger Scruton wrote on beauty, is twofold. It so happens that I am ﬁnishing a book on facial expression and facial beauty, and the chapter I sent to Roger to request his comments, resurfaced unopened in my own mail box, last week. Apparently something went wrong in the mail. Today I might get some of those comments. Secondly, reading Roger’s book, an impression of a kindred spirit has (...) stuck with me throughout.1) Sometimes, though, something like an ungrounded preference surfaces, which for Roger, clearly has intuitive force, maybe even the force of a conclusion, but for me this doesn’t always ring true. I only mention two instances where my own preferences would be diﬀerent. One is, where after rightly criticising the reverence allotted to Duchamp’s Fountain, in a single sentence (on p. 98) both Radiohead and Brahms are mentioned, in an obvious eﬀort to disqualify the former. The other is where he defends ﬁlm as an art by comparing it to traditional art, by pointing to shots from an Ingmar Bergman movie, which “would sit on your wall like an engraving, resonant, engaging and composed.” (p. 102). What the incidental surfacing of such preferences makes available to us is that doing aesthetics is not a merely technical philosophical endeavour, but involves art criticism, from time to time. If you don’t love art or its core values, how could you do aesthetics? And there is a deeper thought behind this in Roger’s writings: that the use of taste belongs to the good life.2) All this, also, indicates my predicament, here and now. I feel most inclined.. (shrink)
Over the past few years, the business world has been wracked by corporate scandals. With news of a new scandal an almost weekly occurrence, one cannot help but wonder: “Is business success synonymous with a lack of morality?” With a resounding “no,” Bowen H. “Buzz” McCoy, former partner at Morgan Stanley, shows that ethical business leadership is possible and, moreover, desirable. Seeking inspiration from an eclectic range of sources, such as Dante, Kant, and Peter Drucker, and drawing from his own (...) career as a successful investment banker, the author examines how business leaders—and those who aspire to be business leaders—can flourish in a corporate environment without shedding personal values or compromising integrity. Living Into Leadership: A Journey in Ethics is based on the author’s actual life experiences, personal ethical dilemmas, and concerns. This groundbreaking work incorporates classroom materials developed by the author for ethics programs at various business schools, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, the University of Southern California, UCLA, and Notre Dame. The central question this book considers is how to pursue an engaged business career while living a balanced life and continuing to grow as an integrated person. McCoy acts as a “mentor” for readers, providing personal and professional guidance on the development of a personal business plan for life. The book presents the case for creating a moral compass that allows one to make decisions under uncertainty, lead a life of integrity, establish the practice of ethics both personally and in society, and know when to embrace change and when to hold one’s ground. It includes an abbreviated version of the author’s acclaimed work, the seminal Harvard Business Review article, “The Parable of the Sadhu,” and shows readers how to prepare in advance for dilemmas they may face, both in their private and professional lives. (shrink)
An outcome study of the Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO) programme is used to illustrate a developmental evaluation methodology developed by the Group for the Study of Interpersonal Development (GSID). The GSID approach to programme evaluation of character development programmes embeds the evaluation into a theoretical framework consonant with the theoretical underpinnings of the programme, using measures sharing the same theoretical assumptions as the practice. The subjects in this study were students in eighth-grade social studies and language arts classes in (...) public schools located in suburban and urban communities in the United States. The sample included 346 subjects in 14 FHAO classes (212 FH AO students) and eight comparison classes (134 comparison students). A 10-week Facing History and Ourselves curriculum was taught in the FH AO classrooms either in late winter or spring. The study demonstrated that eighth-grade students in Facing History classrooms showed increases across the school year in relationship maturity and decreases in racist attitudes and self-reported fighting behaviour relative to comparison students, although these findings were complicated by interaction effects with gender. The gains Facing History students made in moral reasoning and in civic attitudes and participation were not significantly greater than the comparison students, although there was a significant difference between the groups on the civic measure at post-test. The study highlights the benefits of using a developmental measure of social competence to evaluate character development programmes that are based on similar assumptions. (shrink)
In opposition to the common belief that philosophy is a discipline belonging solely in the university, where it can be safely insulated from influencing or being influenced by the way ordinary people live their lives, a movement has arisen over the past decade or so, commonly known as “Philosophical Practice.” Some trace its early organization back to 1992, when several French philosophers and friends casually met one Sunday morning in a Paris café to discuss an issue of mutual concern. A (...) journalist, overhearing them planning a follow-up meeting and mistakenly thinking it would be open to the general public, announced it in the local press, and the first “Café Philo” was born. Soon the popularity of the weekly gatherings that began cropping up in cafés all over Paris and throughout France came to the attention of philosophers elsewhere, who had already been interested in practical ways of luring philosophy out of the Academy and back into the public square (where it began, in pre-Platonic Athens). Contacts were made between counselors who were already using philosophical ideas and methods to assist clients in overcoming personal problems, consultants who had already been hired by big businesses to assist them in thinking philosophically about various corporate problems, and teachers who were already interested in minimizing current social problems by introducing “philosophy for children” into primary and secondary school curricula. Starting in 1995, annual conferences began to be held, where philosophers engaged in these and other non-academic activities could share their ideas and encourage others to regard philosophy as more than just an academic discipline. Soon after attending the Third International Conference on Philosophical Practice, in July of 1997, I began exploring various ways of involving myself in philosophical activities outside the university. At that.. (shrink)
In this paper we analyze results from 114 face-to-face qualitative interviews of people who had evacuated from the New Orleans area in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, interviews that were completed within weeks of the 2005 storm in most cases. Our goal was to understand the role information and knowledge played in people's decisions to leave the area. Contrary to the conventional wisdom underlying many disaster communication studies, we found that our interviewees almost always had extensive storm-related information from a (...) variety of sources, including media reports and (in many cases) other background knowledge gleaned from experiences with previous storms, often from interpersonal sources. However, consistent with a theme in communication research that has been identifiable since at least the 1940s, interpersonal communication networks were most often what ultimately caused these individuals to act on this information, and therefore those with “weak ties” (a concept borrowed from sociology) to the broader “mainstream” community may have been disadvantaged, slower to leave, and thus more vulnerable to the storm's main effects. From our evidence, the end result was less a function of discrimination as it was one of differential activation of a relevant social network. These results argue for the rejection of a “deficit model” that assumes varied reactions to natural disaster result from some kind of an information deficiency, and remind us that behavior under such circumstances is the result of a process of collective behavior, not only individual cognition. (shrink)
This study investigated the effect of stroking vs. simple human presence on later reactions of dairy cows to routine veterinary handling. While in two groups of cows the experimenter stroked the ventral part of the neck (Neck, N = 14) or the withers (Withers, N = 15) for three consecutive weeks, the third group was exposed to close visual presence (Control, N = 14). After the treatment period the cows were subjected to rectal palpation. The three groups differed significantly in (...) stepping during rectal palpation, which occurred less often in Neck- and Withers-animals than in control animals. Heart rate increase was significantly higher in the control group than in the two stroking groups. Previous stroking led to fewer stress reactions during the rectal palpation, possibly due to a combined effect of improved relationship towards and thus perception of humans and lasting anti-stress effects of tactile stimulation. (shrink)
The demand for science trainees to have appropriate responsible conduct of research instruction continues to increase the attention shown by federal agencies and graduate school programs to the development of effective ethics curriculums. However, it is important to consider that the main learning environment for science graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows is within a laboratory setting. Here we discuss an internal laboratory program of weekly 15-minute ethics discussions implemented and used over the last 3 years in addition to the (...) graduate school’s program of scientific integrity training. During this time, the environment and culture within our laboratory has changed to place greater emphasis on the ethical implications of our own research and the research we evaluate. We still struggle with how to accurately assess this behavioral change; although, we present preliminary survey results on the evaluation and impact of this style of curriculum for ethics instruction in our laboratory. (shrink)
The goal of this paper was to assess whether, given the opportunity, physicians/researchers would try to profit (by trading stocks) from information that only they were made privy to. The Annual ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Conference, the largest annual oncology conference, provided the perfect venue to fully explore this question. Up until 2008, ASCO abstracts were released exclusively to ASCO members (i.e., physicians, oncologists) two weeks prior to the conference, and many speculated about unusual trading patterns during these (...) two weeks. In 2008, in response to concerns about such illicit activities, ASCO changed this policy (by distributing these abstracts instead to the general public). We decided to take a closer look at these trading patterns to determine the true impact of ASCO's 2008 decision and whether the differences prior to and following 2008 reveal something about the likelihood of physicians/researchers to profit from “privileged information.”. (shrink)
Abstract Two first grade teachers were trained in the use of a social cognitive model developed by the present author. The teachers were instructed to use the model in the naturalistic context of the classroom whenever interpersonal difficulties arose in order to increase the students? levels of interpersonal conceptions and social problem solving abilities. For the first 11 weeks, Class 1 was an experimental condition and Class 2 was a control. After the 11 week period, Class 1 was higher than (...) Class 2 in interpersonal conceptions, social problem solving, and moral judgment, but not in vocabulary. For the next 11 weeks Class 2 started the educational programme and Class 1 continued the programme. At the end of this period, Class 2 was equivalent to Class 1's scores after its first 11 weeks in interpersonal conceptions, social problem solving, and moral judgement. Class 1 maintained its original social cognitive gains. The findings support the model's effectiveness in promoting children's social cognitive development. (shrink)
Halafoff, Anna After last week's (20 June) High Court challenge verdict on funding chaplains in schools, religious education is back in the headlines. The role of religion in Australian schools has been vigorously debated for more than a century. Recent events including the landmark High Court case, the pending Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) case outcome in Victoria, the decision to review Special Religious Education programs in NSW, and the move towards a National Curriculum all highlight the need to (...) examine the role of religion in Australia's schools. (shrink)
Background: Nurse managers have the burden of experiencing frequent ethical issues related to both their managerial and nursing care duties, according to previous international studies. However, no such study was published in Malaysia. The purpose of this study was to explore nurse managers' experience with ethical issues in six government hospitals in Malaysia including learning about the way they dealt with the issues. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in August-September, 2010 involving 417 (69.2%) of total 603 nurse managers in (...) the six Malaysian government hospitals. Data were collected using three-part self-administered questionnaire. Part I was regarding participants' demographics. Part II was about the frequency and areas of management where ethical issues were experienced, and scoring of the importance of 11 pre-identified ethical issues. Part III asked how they dealt with ethical issues in general; ways to deal with the 11 pre-identified ethical issues, and perceived stress level. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations and Pearson's Chi-square. Results: A total of 397 (95.2%) participants experienced ethical issues and 47.2% experienced them on weekly to daily basis. Experiencing ethical issues were not associated with areas of practice. Top area of management where ethical issues were encountered was "staff management", but "patient care" related ethical issues were rated as most important. Majority would "discuss with other nurses" in dealing generally with the issues. For pre-identified ethical issues regarding "patient care", "discuss with doctors" was preferred. Only 18.1% referred issues to "ethics committees" and 53.0% to the code of ethics. Conclusions: Nurse managers, regardless of their areas of practice, frequently experienced ethical issues. For dealing with these, team-approach needs to be emphasized. Proper understanding of the code of ethics is needed to provide basis for reasoning. (shrink)
Little is known about how to generate plausible new scientific ideas. So it is noteworthy that 12 years of self-experimentation led to the discovery of several surprising cause-effect relationships and suggested a new theory of weight control, an unusually high rate of new ideas. The cause-effect relationships were: (1) Seeing faces in the morning on television decreased mood in the evening (>10 hrs later) and improved mood the next day (>24 hrs later), yet had no detectable effect before that (0–10 (...) hrs later). The effect was strongest if the faces were life-sized and at a conversational distance. Travel across time zones reduced the effect for a few weeks. (2) Standing 8 hours per day reduced early awakening and made sleep more restorative, even though more standing was associated with less sleep. (3) Morning light (1 hr/day) reduced early awakening and made sleep more restorative. (4) Breakfast increased early awakening. (5) Standing and morning light together eliminated colds (upper respiratory tract infections) for more than 5 years. (6) Drinking lots of water, eating low-glycemic-index foods, and eating sushi each caused a modest weight loss. (7) Drinking unflavored fructose water caused a large weight loss that has lasted more than 1 year. While losing weight, hunger was much less than usual. Unflavored sucrose water had a similar effect. The new theory of weight control, which helped discover this effect, assumes that flavors associated with calories raise the body-fat set point: The stronger the association, the greater the increase. Between meals the set point declines. Self-experimentation lasting months or years seems to be a good way to generate plausible new ideas. Key Words: breakfast; circadian; colds; depression; discovery; fructose; innovation; insomnia; light; obesity; sitting; standing; sugar. (shrink)
Background: HIV prevention trials conducted among disadvantaged vulnerable at-risk populations in developing countries present unique ethical dilemmas. A key concern in bioethics is the validity of informed consent for trial participation obtained from research subjects in such settings. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a continuous informed consent process adopted during the MDP301 phase III vaginal microbicide trial in Mwanza, Tanzania. Methods: A total of 1146 women at increased risk of HIV acquisition working as alcohol (...) and food vendors or in bars, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses have been recruited into the MDP301 phase III efficacy and safety trial in Mwanza. During preparations for the trial, participatory community research methods were used to develop a locally-appropriate pictorial flipchart in order to convey key messages about the trial to potential participants. Pre-recorded audio tapes were also developed to facilitate understanding and compliance with gel-use instructions. A comprehension checklist is administered by clinical staff to all participants at screening, enrolment, 12, 24, 40 and 50 week follow-up visits during the trial. To investigate women's perceptions and experiences of the trial, including how well participants internalize and retain key messages provided through a continuous informed consent process, a random sub-sample of 102 women were invited to participate in in-depth interviews (IDIs) conducted immediately after their 4, 24 and 52 week follow-up visits. Results: 99 women completed interviews at 4-weeks, 83 at 24-weeks, and 74 at 52 weeks (a total of 256 interviews). In all interviews there was evidence of good comprehension and retention of key trial messages including that the gel is not currently know to be effective against HIV; that this is the key reason for conducting the trial; and that women should stop using gel in the event of pregnancy. Conclusions: Providing information to trial participants in a focussed, locally-appropriate manner, using methods developed in consultation with the community, and within a continuous informed-consent framework resulted in high levels of comprehension and message retention in this setting. This approach may represent a model for researchers conducting HIV prevention trials among other vulnerable populations in resource-poor settings.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN64716212. (shrink)
Abstract The present field experiment was designed to explore the effectiveness of social learning and structural developmental prescriptions for moral pedagogy in a summer sports camp. Eighty?four children, aged five to seven years, were matched on relevant variables and randomly assigned to one of three classes: (a) social learning, (b) structural developmental, or (c) control. Each of the classes shared similar curricula and was taught by two trained instructors for a six?week period. Educators is the experimental conditions implemented theoretically grounded (...) instructional strategies in their weekly emphasis on specific moral themes. Analyses indicated significant pre?to?post gains on a Piagetian intentionality task and a measure of distributive justice within both experimental groups, but MANCOVA results indicated differences between the experimental and control conditions only approached significance. (shrink)
Background: Omalizumab, an anti-immunoglobulin E antibody, reduces exacerbations and symptoms in uncontrolled allergic asthma. The study objective was to estimate the costs and consequences of omalizumab compared to usual care from a US payer perspective. Methods: We estimated payer costs, quality-adjusted survival (QALYs), and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of omalizumab compared to usual care using a state-transition simulation model that included sensitivity analyses. Every 2 weeks, patients could transition between chronic asthma and exacerbation health states. The best available evidence (...) informed the clinical and cost input estimates. Five years of omalizumab treatment followed by usual care was assumed to estimate a lifetime horizon. Omalizumab responders (60.5% of treated) were modeled as a separate scenario where nonresponders reverted back to usual care after 16 weeks of active treatment. Results: The mean lifetime discounted costs and QALYs were $83 400 and 13.87 for usual care and $174 500 and 14.19 for omalizumab plus usual care resulting in $287 200/QALY (95% interval: $219 300, $557 900). The ICER was $172 300/QALY when comparing omalizumab to usual care in the responder scenario. One-way sensitivity analyses indicated that the results were sensitive to the difference in treatment-specific utilities for the chronic state, exacerbation-associated mortality, omalizumab price, exacerbation rates, and response definition. Conclusions: The results suggest that adding omalizumab to usual care improves QALYs at an increase in direct medical costs. The cost-effectiveness of omalizumab is similar to other chronic disease biologics. The value increases when omalizumab response is used to guide long-term treatment. (shrink)
I bring you greetings from the United States, where its citizens have been closely following the events of the past three weeks. There has been a great change in the feelings of common American people towards the Russian people. Many have expressed their sense of identity and solidarity with the people of Moscow and St. Petersburg as they witnessed the resistance for the attempted coup. Americans have enormous respect for constitutional government as well as for democracy, and they saw the (...) coup as unconstitutional from the start. A major factor was the television news service. The major American broadcast networks NBCD, CBS, ABC and the cable networks, especially CNN provided often live coverage throughout the days and nights of events in the streets and squares of Moscow, and later in the halls of the Soviet and Russian Parliaments. We witnessed press conferences, from one with the committee of 8 to one 3 nights ago in which Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev spoke with the American people. We made our individual judgments about events, often listening to debates between experts and scholars on Soviet affairs some Russian, some Ukrainian, some from the Baltic states and we spoke frequently and freely with one another even some of discussions with our friends were televised. We experienced fear and dread as it seemed great military forces were being brought to bear on your White House. We wept with grief and rage as the deaths of Russians confronting tanks were reported. We cheered to see Russian women scolding soldiers in the streets. In the aftermath, there has been much discussion of Russia’s needs and how Americans might help. In that curious mixture of avarice and beneficence that is the way of American business, discussions were held on starting a restaurant, and import service, on how to use rubles to pay for local expenses and hard currency for profit-taking. (shrink)
The demand for science trainees to have appropriate responsible conduct of research instruction continues to increase the attention shown by federal agencies and graduate school programs to the development of effective ethics curriculums. However, it is important to consider that the main learning environment for science graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows is within a laboratory setting. Here we discuss an internal laboratory program of weekly 15-minute ethics discussions implemented and used over the last 3 years in addition to the (...) graduate school’s program of scientific integrity training. During this time, the environment and culture within our laboratory has changed to place greater emphasis on the ethical implications of our own research and the research we evaluate. We still struggle with how to accurately assess this behavioral change; although, we present preliminary survey results on the evaluation and impact of this style of curriculum for ethics instruction in our laboratory. (shrink)
. This paper reports the preliminary results from a semester-long ethics project at an AACSB accredited, regional comprehensive undergraduate school. This project culminated in an Ethics Awareness Week, which highlight a case study (Part B of this Journal) of the controversial EverQuest® multi-player online game. Issues of project planning and design are outlined, the dynamics of a business program-wide approach to ethics are social responsibility are presented, student survey results are (...) presented and analyzed, and issues related to ongoing research are discussed. Nonparametric survey results indicate that the greatest effect in student’s self reported enhanced understanding and interest in issues of business ethics is present when multiple pedagogical methods, e.g., case studies, lectures, assignments, and an Oxford-style debate, are applied by a number of faculty members over an extended (semester) time period. The paper concludes with a discussion of future research issues as well as a series of prescriptions for planning, organizing, and implementing such an extended activity. (shrink)
In this chapter, I describe my “post-diagnosis” experiences as the parent of an autistic child, those years in which I tried, but failed, to make sense of the overwhelming and often nonsensical information I received about autism. I argue that immediately after being given an autism diagnosis, parents are pressured into making what amounts to a life-long commitment to a therapy program that (they are told) will not only dramatically change their child, but their family’s financial situation and even their (...) entire mode of existence. Moreover, despite information overload, many treatment programs for autism rely on empty jargon and make completely unrealistic promises, so parents are left feeling overwhelmed and panicked. Even well respected therapy programs encourage parents to spend liberally. Indeed, autistic therapists, who help construct what I refer to as the Culture of Autism, advise parents to commit to a minimum of 35 to 45 hours of intensive therapy every week. The implications are clear: for a parent who works full-time, their autistic child becomes a second full-time job. Autism is big business right now, and therapists are pushing parents to the brink of desperation. So it is not too surprising that there is a desperate cry for a more permanent solution—which is why researchers seek to cure autism. But there are two ways to conceptualize cure. A Therapeutic Cure model (TC) conceives of a cure as a beneficial treatment for the patient that eliminates or ameliorates the harms of the disease or condition. But the notion of a therapeutic cure for autism is highly implausible, given the complexities of autism. Indeed, at this point, the vast majority of researchers have come to the conclusion that the idea of a therapeutic cure for autism is simply a non-starter. Therefore the bulk of research seeking a cure for autism focuses instead on a second approach, which I refer to as the Negative Eugenics Cure model (NEC). With this model, the intention is to eliminate the disease or condition without regard for the health or well-being of the organism carrying the disease or condition. So, with regard to autism, researchers are focusing on identifying genetic markers for autism that can be detected in utero, or in embryos, so that autistic fetuses can be eliminated and autism eradicated by preventing the existence of autistic individuals. I review both models and argue that both fail to provide convincing arguments that the “solution” either offers is desirable. Both rest on the assumption that autism renders a life not worth living which, all things considered, is false. Instead of pushing to cure autism, an idea pervasive in this Culture of Autism, I contend that autistics are individuals with lives worth living. Moreover, rather than expend millions on research to search for the means to eliminate autism, we should instead expend our resources to ensure autistic individuals have access to support they may need. If the phenomenology of autism were better understood and appreciated, the panicked demand for a cure for autism might abate and perhaps autism could be seen as having value in and of its own right. (shrink)
Clozapine (Clozaril) is a new, powerful, costly anti-psychotic medicine, with a possible serious side effect (agranulocytosis) that entails weekly blood monitoring. In a three hundred bed state mental hospital that is allotted thirty clozapine slots (high costs effectively rationing this drug), a woman with schizophrenia responds minimally to this medication. Her attending physician wishes to withdraw the medicine and give it to another patient with schizophrenia on the ward who might have a better response. The woman's family threatens to make (...) a public outcry. Both the attending physician and the family ask the HEC for a consult. (shrink)
An 11-week hybrid distance learning/personal contact ethics training program, customized for a leading information technology firm, is described in the format of a sequential process. The process is grounded on discourse ethics and the ethics training guidelines premised by the Hastings Institute. Indications from the firm and from the program’s participants are that the training has been beneficial.
In the controversial public debate over modern American families, the vast changes in family life--the rise of single, two-paycheck, and same-sex parents--have often been blamed for declining morality and unhappy children. Drawing upon pioneering research with the children of the gender revolution, Kathleen Gerson reveals that it is not a lack of "family values," but rigid social and economic forces that make it difficult to have a vibrant and committed family and work life. -/- Despite the entrance of women into (...) the workforce and the blurring of once clearly defined gender boundaries, men and women live in a world where the demands of balancing parenting and work, autonomy and commitment, time and money are left largely unresolved. Gerson finds that while an overwhelming majority of young men and women see an egalitarian balance within committed relationships as the ideal, today's social and economic realities remain based on conventional--and now obsolete--distinctions between breadwinning and caretaking. In this equity vacuum, men and women develop conflicting strategies, with women stressing self-reliance and men seeking a new traditionalism. -/- With compassion for all perspectives, Gerson argues that whether one decides to give in to traditionally imbalanced relationships or to avoid marriage altogether, these approaches are second-best responses, not personal preferences or inherent attributes, and they will shift if new options can be created to help people achieve their egalitarian aspirations. The Unfinished Revolution offers clear recommendations for the kinds of workplace and community changes that would best bring about a more egalitarian family life--a new flexibility at work and at home that benefits families, encourages a thriving economy, and helps women and men integrate love and work. -/- Praise for the Hardcover: -/- "Over the past three decades, social change has blown apart the old-fashioned ideal of the nuclear family--and Gerson has set out to map where the pieces have landed." --New York Post -/- "Valuable for the abundance and candor of the testimony from this unmoored generation pioneering through radically altered conceptions of personal and professional life." --Publishers Weekly -/- "This is not a battle that can be won with legal challenges or legislation. Yes, it would undoubtedly be greatly aided by the passage of major social policies such as universal child care. But at its core, this is a fight that plays out within homes and between partners. And as Gerson's research makes clear, the fight has not changed all that dramatically in the past 30 years." --The American Prospect. (shrink)
For various domains in proportional reasoning cognitive development is characterized as a progression through a series of increasingly complex rules. A multiplicative relationship between two task features, such as weight and distance information of blocks placed at both sides of the fulcrum of a balance scale, appears difficult to discover. During development, children change their beliefs about the balance scale several times: from a focus on the weight dimension (Rule I) to occasionally considering the distance dimension (Rule II), guessing (Rule (...) III), and applying multiplication (Rule IV; Siegler, 1981). Because of the detailed empirical findings the balance scale task has become a benchmark task for computational models of proportional reasoning. In this article, we present a large empirical study (N = 420) of which the findings provide a challenge for computational models. The effect of feedback and the effect of individually adapted training items on rule transition were tested for children using Rule I or Rule II. Presenting adapted training items initiates belief revision for Rule I but not for Rule II. The experience of making mistakes (by providing feedback) induces a change for both Rule I and Rule II. However, a delayed posttest shows that these changes are preserved after 2 weeks only for children using Rule I. We conclude that the transition from Rule I to Rule II differs from the transition from Rule II to a more complex rule. Concerning these empirical findings, we will review performance of computational models and the implications for a future belief revision model. It is one Thing, to show a Man that he is in an Error, and another, to put him in possession of Truth. John Locke. (shrink)
This ten chapter text is designed to be used as a stand-alone text or in conjunction with a set of primary readings in a twelve week course on modern social theory or the second half of a full-year course on sociological theory. It examines the most important theoretical approaches of the 20th and 21st centuries, balancing concise coverage with appropriate depth of analysis. It avoids rehashing classical theory while still placing recent theorists in a historical context. It takes into account (...) developments in social theory over the last twenty years and highlights Canadian theorists (such as Innis, McLuhan, and Grant) and context (for example, communications, technology, and nature). It includes sometimes overlooked subject areas such as situationism and postmodernism, as well as European theorists not covered by many texts. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I -- Doctors -- Dr. Joseph Messer -- Dr. Sharon Sandell -- ER -- Dr. John Barrett -- Marc and Noreen Levison, a paramedic and a nurse -- Lloyd (Pete) Haywood, a former gangbanger -- Claire Hellstern, a nurse -- Ed Reardon, a paramedic -- Law and Order -- Robert Soreghan, a homicide detective -- Delbert Lee Tibbs, a former death-row inmate -- War -- Dr. Frank Raila -- Haskell Wexler, a cinematographer -- Tammy Snider, (...) a Hiroshima survivor (hibakusha) -- Mothers and Sons -- V.I.M. (Victor Israel Marquez), a Vietnam vet -- Angelina Rossi, his mother -- Guadalupe Reyes, a mother -- God's Shepherds -- Rev. Willie T. Barrow -- Father Leonard Dubi -- Rabbi Robert Marx -- Pastor Tom Kok -- Rev. Ed Townley -- The Stranger -- Rick Rundle, a city sanitation worker -- Part II -- Seeing Things -- Randy Buescher, an associate architect -- Chaz Ebert, a lawyer -- Antoinette Korotko-Hatch, a church worker -- Karen Thompson, a student -- Dimitri Mihalas, an astronomer and physicist -- A View from the Bridge -- Hank Oettinger, a retired printer -- Ira Glass, a radio journalist -- Kid Pharaoh, a retired "collector" -- Quinn Brisben, a retired teacher -- Kurt Vonnegut, a writer -- The Boomer -- Bruce Bendinger, an advertising executive and writer -- Part III -- Fathers and Sons -- Doc Watson, a folksinger -- Vernon Jarrett, a journalist -- Country Women -- Peggy Terry, a retired mountain woman -- Bessie Jones, a Georgia Sea Island Singer (1972) -- Rosalie Sorrels, a traveling folksinger -- The Plague I -- Tico Valle, a young man -- Lori Cannon, "curator" of the Open Hand Society -- Brian Matthews, an ex-bartender, writer for a gay weekly -- Jewell Jenkins, a hospital aide -- Justin Hayford, a journalist, musician -- Matta Kelly, a case manager -- The Old Guy -- Jim Hapgood -- The Plague II -- Nancy Lanoue -- Out There -- Dr. Gary Slutkin -- Day of the Dead -- Carlos Cortez, a painter and poet -- Vine Deloria, a writer and teacher -- Helen Sclair, a cemetery familiar -- The Other Son -- Steve Young, a father -- Maurine Young, a mother -- The Job -- William Herdegen, an undertaker -- Rory Moina, a hospice nurse -- The End and the Beginning -- Mamie Mobley, a mother -- Dr. Marvin Jackson, a son -- Epilogue -- Kathy Fagan and Linda Gagnon, mothers. (shrink)
This essay explores challenges that arise for professors who teach critical theory in our current climate of conservatism. Specifically, it is argued that the conservative commitments to non-revolutionary change and reverence for tradition are corrupted in our current political and intellectual climate. This corruption, called “ideological imperviousness,” undermines the institutional structures put in place to produce a functional educational environment that protects the interests of both professors and students. The result is an environment that imposes an unjust vulnerability on professors (...) and risks depriving students of the opportunity to acquire the critical skills necessary to combat their own vulnerabilities. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to develop a measure of ethical sensitivity to racial and gender intolerance that occurs in schools. Acts of intolerance that indicate ethically insensitive behaviors in American schools were identified and tied to existing professional ethical codes developed by school-based professional organizations. The Racial Ethical Sensitivity Test (REST) consists of 5 scenarios that portray acts of racial intolerance and ethical insensitivity. Participants viewed 2 videotaped scenarios and then responded to a semistructured interview protocol adapted from Bebeau (...) and Rest (1982). After a 2-week interval, this procedure was repeated. Stability of the REST across time was determined by using the overall test-retest coefficient. Internal as well as interrater consistency was also calculated for each scenario. Overall findings indicate promise for the REST as a reliable measure to assess racial and ethnic sensitivity. (shrink)
Public policy decisions concerning embryos and fetuses tend to lack reasoned argument on their moral status. While agreement on personhood is elusive, this concept has unquestioned moral relevance. A stipulated usage of the term, the psychic sense of ‘person’, applies to early human prenatal life and encompasses morally relevant aspects of personhood. A ‘person’ in the psychic sense has (1) a minimal psychology, defined as the capacity to retain experiences, which may be nonconscious, through physiological analogs of memory; and (2) (...) the potential to become a person in the full sense. Psychic personhood merits attribution of moral personhood because (1) the experience of a ‘person’ in the psychic sense has continuity with the experience of a full person; and (2) this experience begins to determine the development of the personal psychological characteristics of that individual. Psychic personhood is a rationally defensible boundary for invasive research involving human embryos and fetuses. Lacking precise empirical knowledge, policy makers could attribute psychic personhood at the time of earliest brainstem activity, that is, during the seventh week of fetal development. Keywords: personhood, fetal moral status, fetal psychology, potential person, human experimentation CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
To better understand the available publications addressing ethical issues in rural health care we sought to identify the ethics literature that specifically focuses on rural America. We wanted to determine the extent to which the rural ethics literature was distributed between general commentaries, descriptive summaries of research, and original research publications. We identified 55 publications that specifically and substantively addressed rural health care ethics, published between 1966 and 2004. Only 7 (13%) of these publications were original research articles while (12) (...) 22% were descriptive summaries of research and 36 (65%) were general commentaries. The majority of publications examined (55%) were clinically focused while 27% addressed organizational ethics and 18% addressed ethical ramifications of rural health care policy at a national or community level. Our findings indicate that there are a limited number of publications focusing on rural health care ethics, suggesting a need for scholars and researchers to more rigorously address rural ethics issues. (shrink)
An evolutionary model of crying requires consideration of nonhuman primate data. Chimpanzees do not have colic. Although they have a peak of fussiness at 6 weeks with a decline by 12 weeks whether raised by biological mothers or in a human nursery, their crying is always consolable. Colic may be a by-product of delayed rates of brain development; that is, neoteny.
Physicians and other medical practitioners make untold numbers of judgments about patient care on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. These judgments fall along a number of spectrums, from the mundane to the tragic, from the obvious to the challenging. Under the rubric of evidence-based medicine, these judgments will be informed by the robust conclusions of medical research. In the ideal circumstance, medical research makes the best decision obvious to the trained professional. Even when practice approximates this ideal, it does (...) so unevenly. Judgments in medical practice are always accompanied by uncertainty, and this uncertainty is a fickle companion—constant in its presence but inconstant in its expression. This feature of medical judgments gives rise to the moral responsibility of medical practitioners to be epistemically humble. This requires the recognition and communication of the uncertainty that accompanies their judgment as well as a commitment to avoiding intuitive innovations. (shrink)
This article reports the findings of a survey examining if there are gender and career stage differences between male and female practitioners regarding ethical judgment. The results show that, on average, females adopted a more strict ethical stance than their male counterparts on 7 out of 19 vignettes. Males on the other hand, demonstrated a more ethical stance than their female counterparts on 2 out of 19 vignettes. The results furthermore indicate there is a significant difference in ethical judgment across (...) career stages. Overall, it appears that practitioners in later career stages display higher ethical judgment than practitoners in lower career stages. Implications are provided for both practitioners and academicians. (shrink)
The practice of paying research subjects for participating inclinical trials has yet to receive an adequate moral analysis.Dickert and Grady argue for a wage payment model in whichresearch subjects are paid an hourly wage based on that ofunskilled laborers. If we accept this approach, what follows?Norms for just working conditions emerge from workplacelegislation and political theory. All workers, includingpaid research subjects under Dickert and Grady''s analysis,have a right to at least minimum wage, a standard work week,extra pay for overtime hours, (...) a safe workplace, no faultcompensation for work-related injury, and union organization.If we accept that paid research subjects are wage earners likeany other, then the implications for changes to current practiceare substantial. (shrink)
Last week the Government announced that it is to add a clause to its current education bill requiring that schools should promote marriage and "other stable relationships" as ideals, and should encourage pupils to delay engaging in sex until they are older. The proposal is a sop to those, chief among them the churches, who oppose repeal of the notorious Clause 28 which forbids "promotion of homosexuality" by public bodies.
This week saw the beginning of an action for libel brought by one historian against another over a question of history. The right-wing historian David Irving says the Holocaust was not as bad as has been claimed; he is suing American historian Deborah Lipstadt for calling him "a dangerous spokesman for Holocaust denial." The case, and its explosive content, remind us that history matters.
When people die in an accident, suddenly and unexpectedly, with a terrible arbitrariness that seems unjust and cruel beyond description, there seem to be very few consolations for those left behind. That is how it must seem to those bereaved by the Paddington rail disaster last week. In such cases there is no preparation, as with someone long ill; no sense of the quiet inevitability of great age; there is no closure, no proper leave-taking. Too much is left unfinished and (...) unsaid. Even when soldiers go to war, the possibility of their never returning gives a significance to the farewells on the day they left, and that fact brings comfort later. What intensifies the tragedy of sudden accidental death is that none of these helps is available. (shrink)
In 2011 the Swiss government published a report on homeopathy. This report was commissioned following a 2009 referendum in which Swiss people decided that homeopathy and other alternative therapies should be covered by private medical insurance; before implementing this decision, the government wanted to establish whether homeopathy actually works. In February 2012 the report was published in English and was immediately proclaimed by proponents of homeopathy to be conclusive proof that homeopathy is effective. This paper analyses the report and concludes (...) that it is scientifically, logically and ethically flawed. Specifically, it contains no new evidence and misinterprets previously debunked studies; it creates a new standard of evidence in order to make homeopathy appear effective and attempts to discredit randomised controlled trials as the gold standard of evidence; and almost all the authors have conflicts of interest, despite their claim that none exist. If anything, the report proves that homeopaths are willing to distort the evidence in order to support their beliefs, and its authors appear to have violated the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences principles governing scientific integrity. (shrink)
Sacrificing one's own interests in order to serve another is, in general, supposed to be a good thing, an example of altruism, the hallmark of morality, and something we should commend to (but not always require of) the entirely-too-selfish human beings of our society. But let me recount a story that I hope will persuade the reader to start questioning this conventional philosophical wisdom. Last year, a friend of mine was talking with me about a mutual acquaintance whose two sons (...) were in the same nursery school as our sons. This woman, whom I will call Terry, had been pregnant with twins, but one of the twins had died during the fourth month of pregnancy, and the other twin had just been born prematurely at six months with a host of medical problems. We were discussing how stressful this woman's life had been while she was pregnant: she was a housewife, and her two boys, aged three and five, were lively, challenging, often unruly--a real handful to raise. Her husband worked long hours in a law firm, so the vast majority of the childcare and household chores fell on her shoulders. "You could see that she was exhausted by end of the first trimester," I maintained, "because her eyes were tired, and her cheeks were sunken--she looked almost like a cadaver." My friend agreed. I went on to blame her exhaustion on the fact that she had to do too much during a pregnancy that anyone would have found difficuIt. "I don't understand her husband," I maintained. "Surely he could how badly she looked. If he had concern for his future children, why didn't he do something to help her so that the pregnancy had a chance of going better? And if he loved her, why didn't he cut down his hours so that he could help out at home? Surely he could see just by looking at her that she was in trouble," My friend said nothing at the time, but after a week she called me, and told me that my criticism of this woman's husband had bothered her all week. "You're wrong about Terry's husband not caring enough about her, They have a good marriage," she insisted, and then she continued: "You know, you're not like us, We accept the fact that we should do most of the childcare and housework.. (shrink)
I went up to Oxford as an undergraduate to study physics. I chose Oxford over Cambridge at the urging of my school physics teacher who was an Oxford man. When I arrived, I found out that, as a physics student, I was expected to spend one day a week in the laboratory. This seemed to me extremely unappealing not only because it would interfere with my social life but also because the practical side of physics was, to my mind, deadly (...) dull. Happily, I discovered that there was a new undergraduate degree—physics and philosophy—that combined theoretical physics with philo sophical issues in the foundations of physics as well as pure philosophy. For this degree no practi cal work was required. (shrink)
Two studies explore the frequently reported finding that affective forecasts are too extreme. In the first study, driving test candidates forecast the emotional consequences of failing. Test failers overestimated the duration of their disappointment. Greater previous experience of this emotional event did not lead to any greater accuracy of the forecasts, suggesting that learning about one's own emotions is difficult. Failers' self-assessed chances of passing were lower a week after the test than immediately prior to the test; this difference correlated (...) with the magnitude of individual immediate disappointments, suggesting the presence of a cognitive strategy for recovering from disappointments. A second study investigated the theory that undue focus on the differences between present and future biases affective forecasts. “Defocusing” that induced low-level construals of the future reduced the extremeness of affective forecasts but a higher-level construal did not. We conclude that a focusing effect may bias affective forecasts. (shrink)
While taking Charles Chihara's metaphysics course as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley, I wrote an advice columnist to ask about the puzzle at the center of the course. Marilyn Vos Savant writes a weekly column for Parade Magazine , which is included in the Sunday editions of many newspapers. She claims to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for "highest IQ".
Any study of the 'Scientific Revolution' and particularly Descartes' role in the debates surrounding the conception of nature (atoms and the void v. plenum theory, the role of mathematics and experiment in natural knowledge, the status and derivation of the laws of nature, the eternality and necessity of eternal truths, etc.) should be placed in the philosophical, scientific, theological, and sociological context of its time. Seventeenth-century debates concerning the nature of the eternal truths such as '2 + 2 = 4' (...) or the law of inertia turn on the question of whether these truths were created along with nature, or were uncreated and subsisting in God's mind. One's answer to that question has direct consequences for conceptions of the necessity/contingency of mathematical and natural knowledge, how knowledge of such truths is accomplished by humans, and what grounds these truths. In this paper, I review the positions of four successors to Descartes' philosophy on the question of the eternal truths to illustrate how in specific ways that question with its theological, metaphysical, modal, and epistemological dimensions concerned the objectivity and certainty of the discoveries of the new science. Author Recommends: Clarke, Desmond. Descartes' Philosophy of Science . University Park, Penn State Press, 1982. This work provides an account of Descartes as a practicing scientist whose rationalism is mitigated by reliance on experiment and experience. Author re-examines Descartes' philosophical and scientific works in this new light. Dear, Peter. Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and its Ambitions, 1500–1700 . Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2001. This work provides a useful overview of the issues and thinkers of the Scientific Revolution. Of particular relevance is chapter 8 on Cartesian and Newtonian science. Funkenstein, Amos. Theology and the Scientific Imagination from the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century . Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1986. This work is an advanced study of the theological and metaphysical foundations of early modern science. Discussions include questions of God's nature, God's knowledge in relation to human knowledge, providence, the laws of nature, and the truths of mathematics. In particular, chapter 3 discusses Descartes' account of the eternal truths and divine omnipotence. Garber, Daniel. Descartes' Metaphysical Physics . Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1992. This work examines how Descartes' metaphysical doctrines of God, soul, and body set the groundwork for his physics. It includes a study of God and the grounds for the laws of physics (chapter 9). Henry, John. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science . 3rd ed. New York, Palgrave, Macmillan Press, 2008. This work provides a brief, general, and informative overview of the Scientific Revolution, including the themes of method, magic, religion, and culture. Osler, Margaret J. Divine Will and the Mechanical Philosophy: Gassendi and Descartes on Contingency and Necessity in the Created World . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994. This work is an examination and comparison of the mechanical philosophies of Gassendi and Descartes. It offers in-depth discussion of the issue of voluntarism and intellectualism in the period and how that related to conceptions of laws of nature and the eternal truths. Shapin, Steven. The Scientific Revolution . Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996. This work provides a critical synthesis of as well as a guide to recent scholarship in the history of science for a general readership. Online Materials Dr. Robert A. Hatch's Scientific Revolution Website: http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/rhatch/pages/03-Sci-Rev/SCI-REV-Home/ A compendium of resources for the study of Scientific Revolution. Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473 to 1700. Early Modern Resources: http://www.earlymodernweb.org.uk/emr/ Early Modern Resources is a gateway for all those interested in finding electronic resources relating to the early modern period in history. Gallica, the Digital Library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ An ever-growing digital library which includes numerous primary and secondary texts of relevance to Descartes and his role in Scientific Revolution. Hatfield, Gary, 'René Descartes', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Spring 2009 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2009/entries/descartes/ Slowik, Edward, 'Descartes' Physics', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2008 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2008/entries/descartes-physics/ Syllabus Sample Syllabus: Cartesian Science The following is five weeks covering Cartesian Science in a course on Descartes or the Scientific Revolution, or 17th-century theories of matter, or related themes on early modern truth and method, especially on the continent. This material is best suited to a graduate level audience, but it could be modified to suit an upper-division undergraduate course, as the readings are basically primary texts whose context and background can be explained in lectures. Week 1: Cartesian Revolution in France • Scientific method • Role of mathematics and experiment • Certainty of scientific knowledge Readings: Hatfield, Gary, 'René Descartes', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Spring 2009 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2009/entries/descartes/ Descartes, Discourse on Method , Parts 1–3 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy , First Meditation. Week 2: Descartes' Scientific Treatises • Mechanization and mathematization of nature • Primary–secondary quality distinction Readings: Discourse on Method, Parts 4–6 Selections from Descartes' Scientific Essays: The World or Treatise on Light (ATXI 3–48); Treatise on Man (ATXI 119–202); Optics (ATVI 82–147). Slowik, Edward, 'Descartes' Physics', The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2008 ed. Ed. Edward N. Zalta; URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2008/entries/descartes-physics/ Henry, John, 'The Mechanical Philosophy,' chapter 5. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science . 3rd ed. Macmillan, 2008. Week 3: Descartes' Theory of Nature • Descartes' derivation of the law of conservation and the three laws of motion • God's role in the metaphysics and physics of nature Readings: Selections from Principles of Philosophy, Preface (all); Letter to Elizabeth; Part I: 1–8; Part II: 1–45, 55, 64; Part III: 1–4, 15–19, 45–47; Part IV: 187–207. John Henry, 'Religion and Science,' chapter 6. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science . 3rd ed. Macmillan, 2008. Week 4: Post-1650 Cartesian Science: Necessity and Contingency in Nature • Debates on God, Creation, and Causes Readings: Easton, Patricia, 'What is at Stake in the Cartesian Debates on the Eternal Truths?' Philosophy Compass 4.2 (2009): 348–62. Malebranche, Nicolas, 'Elucidation 10', from The Search after Truth (1674). Note: All selections available in Nicolas Malebranche (1992). Philosophical Selections , edited by S. Nadler, Hackett. Gottfried Leibniz (1714) Monadology . Week 5: Causes in Nature and Morals • Theodicy as an explanation of defect and evil in a lawful universe: Malebranche v. Leibniz Readings: Nicolas Malebranche, Elucidation XVI (on occasionalism), and Treatise on Nature and Grace, Discourse One, Part 1. Gottfried Leibniz (1706), Theodicy. Focus Questions Weekly questions can be used to focus the readings. This can be done in a web or e-mail discussion thread, as a weekly assignment, or for in class discussion. I require students to post a short paragraph in response to the question or some posting by a classmate on the question. Students are required to post by 10 a.m. the day before we meet for class on a course website. Week 1: According to Descartes, what role does skepticism play in scientific reasoning? Week 2: Comment on the following: 'But I am supposing this machine to be made by the hands of God, and so I think you may reasonably think it capable of a greater variety of movements than I could possibly imagine in it, and of exhibiting more artistry than I could possibly ascribe to it' [ Treatise on Man ; ATXI 120]. Week 3: What is Descartes' conception of the relation between the metaphysics and physics of nature? Week 4: Critically discuss the positions of Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz on what provides the foundation for the certitude of natural knowledge? Week 5: Explain why both Malebranche and Leibniz consider moral sin to be analogous to natural defect? Seminar/Project Idea Hold a debate on the question of the status of the eternal truths. The proposition will be Descartes' position: 'Eternal truths must be both created and necessary if certainty in science is to be possible'. Format: 1. At the beginning of the 5-week module, students will be assigned to one of three roles: Team A, Team B, and judge's panel. Students will be given the debate proposition, but will not be told which team will take the affirmative and which team the negative until the time of the debate. 2. Recommend a variation on the Classic Debate Format to encourage the development of argument: sequence begins with affirmative construction (8 minutes), negative construction (8 minutes), second affirmative construction (8 minutes), second negative construction (8 minutes), first negative rebuttal (4 minutes), first affirmative rebuttal (4 minutes), final negative rebuttal (4 minutes) and final affirmative rebuttal (4 minutes). 3. Judges Panel: will consist of 3–4 judges who will assess the performance of Teams A and B. Judgment should be based on the persuasiveness of the team position. 4. Debate will be held at the end of the fifth week, or semester, whichever makes most sense given the course length and structure. Acknowledgements The author gratefully acknowledges the immensely helpful comments and suggestions by the participants in her graduate seminar on the Scientific Revolution: Benjamin Chicka, Sarah Jacques-Ross, Richard Ross, Marcella Stockstill, and Zohra Wolters. (shrink)
In a recent letter to Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, British columnist and climate change gadfly George Monbiot pleaded with Canada to clean up its greenhouse gas emissions act. The letter appeared just a week before the Copenhagen climate conference. In it, Monbiot alleged that Canada's newly acquired status as oil superpower threatens to ?brutalize? the country, as it has other oil-rich countries (Monbiot, G. 2009. Please, Canada, clean up your act, The Globe and Mail, November 30, A15). (...) In this paper, I want to expand on Monbiot's bleak assessment of the Canadian national psyche. It has been pointed out that climate change is forcing us to rethink philosophical ethics. Some, like Dale Jamieson, believe that virtue theory is best equipped to meet the challenge of understanding the moral dimensions of this phenomenon. I think this is basically right, but that climate change is also forcing us to reassess our capacity for moral progress. The two challenges are linked. In what follows, I will first (Section 1) motivate the appeal to virtue ethics as a new way of understanding the ethics of climate change. Next (Section 2), I offer a virtue ethical account of moral progress. With the latter in place, we can (Section 3) uncover the real nature of Canada's moral failing on climate change: it is an impediment to the moral progress of our species. (shrink)
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) was an almost unbelievably prolific writer. At his death he left not only a massive body of published work (25 volumes in the recently completed Princeton University Press edition), but also a sprawling mass of unpublished writings that rivaled the size of the published corpus. This book tells the story of the peculiar fate of this portion of Kierkegaard's literary remains, which flowed ceaselessly from his steel pen from his late teens to a week before his death. (...) It is the story of packets and sacks of paper covered with words and images that, after a vagabond existence in various homes, finally landed at the Royal Danish Library, where they are today guarded with great care. Readers are also introduced to a selection of this enormous body of material, including drawings and doodlings (often human profiles with high foreheads) that escaped from Kierkegaard's pen in unguarded moments and complement the allure of the philosopher's strikingly variable, elusive handwriting. The authors of this book are among the editors of a modern critical edition of Kierkegaard's oeuvre currently being produced in Copenhagen. By the end of his life Kierkegaard had become a controversial figure, engaged in a furious assault upon "Christendom." From the very moment of their discovery in the days following his death, the unpublished words and images constituted a highly problematic bonanza, an intellectual and religious hot potato (or sack of potatoes) that was passed from hand to hand, suppressed, selectively and tendentiously published and republished. Written Images offers readers a fascinating tour of the misadventures of these written images that will, finally, soon be published in their entirety. (shrink)
Suppose I am now making plans for next summer’s vacation. I can spend a week in Rome or on the Riviera, but not both. Either choice would be excellent, but after weighing various pros and cons, I decide that for my purposes Rome would be better. If I am rational, then, I must choose Rome. It is an assumption of standard decision theory that rationality requires maximizing: trying to get the maximum amount of whatever form of value we are after (...) (usually construed as “utility”). An alternative has been proposed, under the heading of “satisficing” – being satisfied with what suffices, as it were, or settling for an option that is “good enough” – but this may seem rational only when there are costs to determining which option is best that diminish the value of choosing it, to the point where the choice of a less good option really amounts to maximizing. Where there is no serious cost, even in time and effort, to getting hold of something better – a vacation in Rome rather than the Riviera – how could it be rational to turn it down? If we pay attention to the temporal standpoint from which a choice is made, though, satisficing makes good sense. It accords with our common appeal to thresholds: adequate levels of satisfaction or value, such that getting above them is not necessary, though it might be nice. Once we have reached a threshold, it is rational – meaning rationally permissible – to stop. Pushing further toward the best may also be permissible but is not rationally required, where we already have a good enough option in hand. So if offered a chance to move to Rome while already settled happily on the Riviera, I would not be irrational to turn the offer down, even if I grant that accepting it would make my vacation even better. (shrink)
Aims. Currently, methylphenidate (MPH, trade name Ritalin) is the most widely prescribed medication for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We examined the ability of repeated MPH administration to produce a sensitized appetitive eagerness type response in laboratory rats, as indexed by 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (50-kHz USVs). We also examined the ability of MPH to reduce play behavior in rats which may be partially implicated in the clinical efficacy of MPH in ADHD. Design. 56 adolescent rats received injections of either 5.0 mg/kg (...) MPH, or vehicle each day for 8 consecutive days, and a week later received a challenge injection of either MPH or vehicle. Measurements. Both play behavior (pins) and 50-kHz USVs were recorded after each drug or vehicle administration. Results. MPH challenge produced a substantial 73% reduction in play behavior during the initial treatment phase, and during the last test (1 week post drug), 50-kHz USVs were elevated approximately threefold only in animals with previous MPH experience. Conclusions. These data suggest that MPH treatment may lead to psychostimulant sensitization in young animals, perhaps by increasing future drug-seeking tendencies due to an elevated eagerness for positive incentives. Further, we hypothesize that MPH may be reducing ADHD symptoms, in part, by blocking playful tendencies, whose neuro-maturational and psychological functions remain to be adequately characterized. (shrink)
This essay describes and critically evaluates a co-operative educational program to train Ugandan health care workers in bioethics. It describes one bottom-up effort, a week-long intensive workshop in bioethics provided by the authors to health care professionals in a developing country—Uganda. We will describe the background and circumstances that led to the organization of the workshop, and review its planning, design, curriculum, and outcome. We will focus especially on measures taken to make the workshop relevant for the audience of Ugandan (...) professionals, and describe lessons learned after two presentations of the workshop. Finally, we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of such a format, and its potential value in raising bioethical expertise in developing countries. (shrink)
The first serious cycling trip I took was from where I live in Pennsylvania to a town named Carlisle, near the state capitol of Harrisburg. I was talked into this by my friend Tim, who had an aunt and uncle living down in Carlisle and was just starting to get into cycling. We decided to do the ride down in one day – 95 hilly miles and two mountain crossings. The longest bike ride I had taken before this trip was (...) maybe 30 miles. Well, I thought I was in fairly decent physical shape; I was playing singles tennis two or three times a week, was riding my bike the six miles to the tennis courts, and walked to work every day. My cycling gear at that time consisted of a Schwinn World Sport 18-speed with a fat padded seat. I figured I needed to do a couple of longer rides before the big Carlisle trip, so I stretched out by riding to the neighboring town, a scenic, flat ride by the Susquehanna River that was 23 miles round-trip. I did that a couple of times. I felt ready to go. I can hear you veteran cyclists already laughing. (shrink)
Teaching children ethics, values, and morals has become a real challenge for parents today. These topics aren't usually covered in school curriculums, and many families no longer attend religious services, so most modern moms and dads are clamoring for a helping hand. Ian James Corlett, an award-winning children's TV writer, was inspired to write this book as his own family grappled with this issue. When Ian's two kids were very young, he and his wife started a weekly discussion period he (...) dubbed "Family Fun Time." Every Monday after dinner, they all sat down and Ian would tell his two kids tales about two young children, Elliott and Lucy, who were much like them. - They hated going to the dentist. - They were disappointed when a favorite aunt couldn't visit. - They dreaded raking the leaves in their backyard. Ian's kids really looked forward to these talks and they hardly even realized that the stories were serving a deeper purpose -- to teach tact, understanding, and responsibility. So he decided to write these stories down to help other parents -- like you. The result is in your hands: twenty-six simple, clear, original, and entertaining stories for you to read aloud with your child. Teaching your children values, life skills, and ethics has never been so much fun! (shrink)