Controversy about Lynn White’s thesis that medieval Christianity is to blame for our current environmental crisis has done little to challenge the basic structure of White’s argument and has taken little account of recent work done by medieval scholars. White’s ecotheological critics, in particular, have often failed to come to grips with White’s position. In this paper, I question White’s reading of history on both interpretative and factual grounds and argue that religious values cannot be treated independently of the political, (...) economic, and social conditions that sustain them. I conclude that medieval religious values were more complex than White suggests: rather than causing technological innovation, they more likely provided a justification for other activity taking place for other reasons. (shrink)
Theories of the liberal tradition have relied on independence as a norm of personhood. Feminist theorists such as Eva Kittay in Love's Labor have been instrumental in critiquing normative independence. I explore the role of corporeal vulnerability in Kittay's account of personhood, developing a comparison to the role it plays in Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. Kittay's crucial contribution in Love's Labor is that once we acknowledge the facts of corporeal vulnerability, we must not only acknowledge but also affirm dependency in a (...) genuinely inclusive affirmation of personhood. While endorsing Kittay's “dependency critique,” I discover difficulties that beleaguer Kittay's development of new norms of personhood. I trace these to a dependency of Kittay's account on a crucial premise of the liberal model it resists. I argue that in order to affirm dependency in a manner that departs more thoroughly from the criticized aspects of liberal personhood, we must cease to position it in a dichotomy of power and vulnerability. I suggest that attending to the corporeality of vulnerability can aid us in developing the terms of a discourse affirming relational personhood while undermining that dichotomy. (shrink)
Physicians make some medical decisions without disclosure to their patients. Nondisclosure is possible because these are silent decisions to refrain from screening, diagnostic or therapeutic interventions. Nondisclosure is ethically permissible when the usual presumption that the patient should be involved in decisions is defeated by considerations of clinical utility or patient emotional and physical well-being. Some silent decisions - not all - are ethically justified by this standard. Justified silent decisions are typically dependent on the physician's professional judgment, experience and (...) knowledge, and are not likely to be changed by patient preferences. We condemn the inappropriate exclusion of the patient from the decision-making process. However, if a test or treatment is unlikely to yield a net benefit, disclosure and discussion are at times unnecessary. Appropriate silent decisions are ethically justified by such considerations as patient benefit or economy of time. (shrink)
I begin by reviewing recent research by Merleau-Ponty scholars opposing aspects of the critique of Merleau-Ponty made by Meltzoff and colleagues based on their studies of neonate imitation. I conclude the need for reopening the case for infant self-other indistinction, starting with a re-examination of Merleau-Ponty’s notion of indistinction in the Sorbonne lectures, and attending especially to the role of affect and to the non-exclusivity of self-other distinction and indistinction. In undertaking that study, I discover the importance of understanding self-other (...) distinction and indistinction in terms of their affective significance. For Merleau-Ponty, self-other indistinction is a virtual or imaginary participation in others’ orientations that he defines as an affective phenomenon. Further, Merleau-Ponty’s account of the advent of the body proper—the aspect of the body image that circumscribes the body as a distinct and private space—theorizes it as an affective innovation. Rather than being a fact of which we at first are ignorant and gradually grow to recognize, distinction from others in the sense that is important to Merleau-Ponty is a situation that must be cultivated and maintained through the negotiation of affective intimacy. Understanding indistinction and distinction in terms of the affective forces that sustain them explains how it is possible for them to coexist. (shrink)
We study logical systems for reasoning about equations involving recursive definitions. In particular, we are interested in "propositional" fragments of the functional language of recursion FLR [18, 17], i.e., without the value passing or abstraction allowed in FLR. The "pure," propositional fragment FLR 0 turns out to coincide with the iteration theories of . Our main focus here concerns the sharp contrast between the simple class of valid identities and the very complex consequence relation over several natural classes of models.
Background Continued advances in human microbiome research and technologies raise a number of ethical, legal, and social challenges. These challenges are associated not only with the conduct of the research, but also with broader implications, such as the production and distribution of commercial products promising maintenance or restoration of good physical health and disease prevention. In this article, we document several ethical, legal, and social challenges associated with the commercialization of human microbiome research, focusing particularly on how this research is (...) mobilized within economic markets for new public health uses. Methods We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews (2009–2010) with 63 scientists, researchers, and National Institutes of Health project leaders (“investigators”) involved with human microbiome research. Interviews explored a range of ethical, legal, and social dimensions of human microbiome research, including investigators’ perspectives on commercialization. Using thematic content analysis, we identified and analyzed emergent themes and patterns. Results Investigators discussed the commercialization of human microbiome research in terms of (1) commercialization, probiotics, and issues of safety, (2) public awareness of the benefits and risks of dietary supplements, and (3) regulation. Conclusion The prevailing theme of ethical, legal, social concern focused on the need to find a balance between the marketplace, scientific research, and the public’s health. The themes we identified are intended to serve as points for discussions about the relationship between scientific research and the manufacture and distribution of over-the-counter dietary supplements in the United States. (shrink)
While improving the theoretical account of base-rate neglect, Barbey & Sloman's (B&S's) target article suffers from affect neglect by failing to consider the fundamental role of emotional processes in decisions. We illustrate how affective influences are fundamental to decision making, and discuss how the dual process model can be a useful framework for understanding hot and cold cognition in reasoning.
In his reply to our paper Marangudakis raises important points regarding: (1) the measurement of environmental values; and (2) potential risks of deep ecological views to human welfare. We definitely agree that a more rigorous approach to the measurement of environmental values is needed. While the extent of belief in deep ecology remains an open question, we believe Marangudakis may be overly simplifying deep ecology and, for that matter, Christian world views.
The target article argues for the modularity of language interpretive processes without the usual criterion that a module be informationally encapsulated. It is the encapsulation criterion, however, that gives modularity most of its testability. Without the criterion of encapsulation, testing whether relatively automatic comprehension processes use their own unique resource is a very tricky matter.
A fundamental tenet of the process philosophy founded by alfred north whitehead and charles hartshorne is that god's causal agency in the world is solely "persuasive," in contradistinction to much of traditional christian theism which portrays a more "coercive" god. The article, However, Seeks to show that hartshorne's God would appear to be somewhat coercive, E.G., In the imposition of the natural laws which are the limits to creaturely freedom and in the "luring" of creaturely actualizations of novel possibilities within (...) those limits. Divine coercion seems to be both a fact and a necessity in hartshorne's metaphysics, Despite his explicit denials. (shrink)
This paper revisits the historical sequence in which some of the major developments of 20th-century physics occurred, and explores how theories could have turned out differently, if the sequence of developments had been different. It shows how a delay in founding special relativity theory until after (1) at least one puzzling problem in electromagnetic theory could be acknowledged, and (2) sat least some of the experimental observations pertinent to the development of quantum mechanics had become well known, could have resulted (...) in a larger theory that covers both domains in a manner quite different from that of any of the theories we use today. The revised theory dispenses with a separate postulate introducing Planck’s constant h, identifying instead a physical mechanism that implies the constant. Some important aspects of quantum chemistry then follow. (shrink)
I discuss weaknesses of the proposed model related to reinstantiation of encodings recorded by the hippocampal complex and to the inability of the model to explain complexity phenomena. An alternative model that also addresses the formation of hierarchical representations of sentences in working memory is outlined, and the ability of this model to account for complexity phenomena is briefly reviewed.
Interest in orthographic processing reflects an expansion, not constriction, of the scope of research in visual word recognition (VWR). Transposition effects are merely one aspect of investigations into orthographic encoding, while open bigrams can accommodate differences across languages. The target article's inaccurate characterization of the study of orthographic processing is not conducive to the advancement of VWR research.
This paper explores the relationship of various trait emotions to the ethical choices of 189 college students who completed a managerial decision-making task as part of an in-basket exercise in a laboratory setting. Prior research regarding emotion influences on ethical decision-making and linkages between emotions and cognition informed hypotheses about how different types of emotions impact ethical choices. Findings supported our expectations that positive and negative emotions classified as active would be more strongly related to interpersonally-directed ethical choices than to (...) organizationally-directed ones, and that passive emotions would be less related to ethical choices than active emotions. Implications for ethical decision-making research and organizational practices are discussed. (shrink)
A. Whitney Sanford: Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-012-9394-y Authors Frederick Kirschenmann, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, Ames, LA, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.