[Marilyn McCord Adams] In this paper I begin with Aristotle's Categories and with his apparent forwarding of primary substances as metaphysically special because somehow fundamental. I then consider how medieval reflection on Aristotelian change led medieval Aristotelians to analyses of primary substances that called into question how and whether they are metaphysically special. Next, I turn to a parallel issue about supposits, which Boethius seems in effect to identify with primary substances, and how theological cases-the doctrines of the Trinity, (...) the Incarnation, and of the human soul's separate survival between death and resurrection-call into question how and to what extent supposits are metaphysically special. I conclude with some reflections on various senses of being metaphysically special and how they pertain to primary substances and supposits. /// [ Richard Cross] Scotus's belief that any created substance can depend on the divine essence and/or divine persons as a subject requires him to abandon the plausible Aristotelian principle that there is no merely relational change. I argue that Scotus's various counterexamples to the principle can be rebutted. For reasons related to those that arise in Scotus's failed attempt to refute the principle, the principle also entails that properties cannot be universals. (shrink)
Figuring prominently in their decisions regarding which theories to pursue are scientists' appeals to the promise or lack of promise of those theories. Yet philosophy of science has had little to say about how one is to assess theory promise. This essay identifies several indices that might be consulted to determine whether or not a theory is promising and worthy of pursuit. Various historical examples of appeals to such indices are introduced.
Laurie Shrage attributes much of the long-standing controversy about abortion to Roe v. Wade and to the Supreme Court's controversial regulatory scheme in that 1973 decision. Shrage explores the origins of that scheme but argues for an alternate scheme - therapeutic abortions shorter than six months can protect women's interests and advance important public interests, but that reproductive rights campaigns should also focus on the social and economic conditions that prevent women having access to the abortion services they need. (...) Including over 40 illustrations of pro-life and pro-choice advertisements to demonstrate the nature of the debate, this timely and provocative work will appeal to feminists in a wide range of fields including philosophy, political science, women's studies, communication, and public policy. (shrink)
Ancient Greek philosophers, medieval theologians, Enlightenment thinkers, and contemporary humanists alike have debated all aspects of human sexuality, including its purpose, permissibility, normalcy, and risks. _Philosophizing About Sex_ provides a philosophical guide to those longstanding and important debates. Each chapter takes a general issue and shows how ongoing public discussions of sexuality can be illuminated by careful philosophical investigation. Debates over topics such as sexual assault, sexual orientation, sex education, prostitution, and “sexting” involve larger questions about morality, law, science, and (...) politics and cannot be intelligently discussed in isolation from broader issues. By asking deceptively simple questions, this book shows how difficult but important it is to arrive at satisfying answers. (shrink)
This essay will address the ethical issues that have emerged in the first considerations of the newly emerging stem cell technology. Many of us in the field of bioethics were deliberating related issues as we first learned of the new science and confronted the ethical issues it raised. In this essay, I will draw on the work of colleagues who were asked to reflect on early stages of the research as the field debated the issues of consent, moral status, use (...) of animal tissues, abortion, use of fetal tissue, and the nature and goals of entrepreneurial research. In this new capacity, ethicists weighed the problem of privacy, the role of justice considerations, and the issues of the marketplace in science. At this point, it is clear that far more issues remain unresolved than are settled, that there is largely unexplored territory ahead, and that the single most important task that faces us as a field is a steady call for ongoing conversation and public debate. (shrink)
Is sex identity a feature of one's mind or body, and is it a relational or intrinsic property? Who is in the best position to know a person's sex, do we each have a true sex, and is a person's sex an alterable characteristic? When a person's sex assignment changes, has the old self disappeared and a new one emerged; or, has only the public presentation of one's self changed? "You've Changed" examines the philosophical questions raised by the phenomenon of (...) sex reassignment, and brings together the essays of scholars known for their work in gender, sexuality, queer, and disability studies, feminist epistemology and science studies, and philosophical accounts of personal identity. An interdisciplinary contribution to the emerging field of transgender studies, it will be of interest to students and scholars in a number of disciplines. (shrink)
Drawing on diverse historical cases, this paper describes and examines various aspects of a modality of scientific appraisal which has remained largely unexplored, theory pursuit. Specifically, it addresses the following issues: the epistemic and pragmatic commitments involved in theory pursuit, including how these differ from those characteristic of theory acceptance; how the research interests of scientists enter into their pursuit decisions; some of the strategies for the refinement and extension of a theory's empirical abilities which typify theory pursuit; and the (...) need to distinguish between individual and community rationality in contexts of pursuit. (shrink)
The phenomenon of the New Genetics raises complex social problems, particularly those of privacy. This book offers ethical and legal perspectives on the questions of a right to know and not to know genetic information from the standpoint of individuals, their relatives, employers, insurers and the state. Graeme Laurie provides a unique definition of privacy, including a concept of property rights in the person, and argues for stronger legal protection of privacy in the shadow of developments in human genetics. (...) He challenges the role and the limits of established principles in medical law and ethics, including respect for patient autonomy and confidentiality. This book will interest lawyers, philosophers and doctors concerned both with genetic information and issues of privacy; it will also interest genetic counsellors, researchers, and policy makers worldwide for its practical stance on dilemmas in modern genetic medicine. (shrink)
In this article, I examine the case for privatising marriage and replacing civil marriage with inclusive civil union policies. I argue against this proposal because of its likely detrimental impact on the social standing of women and girls. In order to assess the importance of civil marriage historically and cross-culturally, I examine a contemporary debate over marriage reform in some predominantly Islamic societies in regard to temporary marriage. I also propose a policy to protect the interests of children of both (...) married and unmarried parents, so that this issue will be less of a stumbling block to proposals for inclusive civil marriage. (shrink)
The term ‘phenomenology’ has become almost as over-used and emptied of meaning as that other word from Continental Philosophy, namely ‘existentialism’. Yet Husserl, who first put forward the phenomenological method, considered it a rigorous alternative to positivism, and in the hands of Merleau-Ponty, a disciple of Husserl in France, phenomenology became a way of gaining a disciplined and coherent perspective on the world in which we live. When this study originally published in 1977 there were only a few books in (...) English on Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy. It introduced the reader and suggested how his thought might throw light on some of the assumptions and presuppositions of certain contemporary forms of Anglo-Saxon philosophy and social science. It also demonstrates how phenomenology seeks to unite philosophy and social science, rather than define them as mutually exclusive domains of knowledge. (shrink)
According to F. Adams [this journal, vol. 68, 2018] cognition cannot be realized in plants or bacteria. In his view, plants and bacteria respond to the here-and-now in a hardwired, inflexible manner, and are therefore incapable of cognitive activity. This article takes issue with the pursuit of plant cognition from the perspective of an empirically informed philosophy of plant neurobiology. As we argue, empirical evidence shows, contra Adams, that plant behavior is in many ways analogous to animal behavior. (...) This renders plants suitable to be described as cognitive agents in a non-metaphorical way. Sections two to four review the arguments offered by Adams in light of scientific evidence on plant adaptive behavior, decision-making, anticipation, as well as learning and memory. Section five introduces the ‘phyto-nervous’ system of plants. To conclude, section six resituates the quest for plant cognition into a broader approach in cognitive science, as represented by enactive and ecological schools of thought. Overall, we aim to motivate the idea that plants may be considered genuine cognitive agents. Our hope is to help propel public awareness and discussion of plant intelligence once appropriately stripped of anthropocentric preconceptions of the sort that Adams' position appears to exemplify. (shrink)
Oncofertility is one of the 9 NIH Roadmap Initiatives, federal grants intended to explore previously intractable questions, and it describes a new field that exists in the liminal space between cancer treatment and its sequelae, IVF clinics and their yearning, and basic research in cell growth, biomaterials, and reproductive science and its tempting promises. Cancer diagnoses, which were once thought universally fatal, now often entail management of a chronic disease. Yet the therapies are rigorous, must start immediately, and in many (...) cases result in premature failure of the body's reproductive ability. In women, this loss is especially poignant; unlike the routine storage of sperm, which is done in men and boys facing similar treatment decisions, freezing oocytes in anticipation of fertility loss is not possible in most cases, and creating an embryo within days of diagnosis raises significant moral, social and medical challenges. Oncofertility is the study of how to harvest ovarian tissue in women facing cancer to preserve their gametes for future use with IVF, thus allowing the decisions about childbearing to be deferred and reproductive choices to be preserved. The research endeavor uses the capacity of the ovarian follicle to produce eggs in vitro . Developing the human follicle to ovulate successfully outside the body is scientifically difficult and ethically challenging. Infertility is linked to long-standing religious and moral traditions, and is intertwined with deeply contentious social narratives about women, families, illness and birth. Is the research morally permissible? Perhaps imperative if understood as a repair from iatrogenic harms? How are considerations of justice central to the work? How will vulnerable subjects be protected? What are the moral implications of the work for women, children and families? What are the implications for society if women could store ovarian tissue as a way of stopping the biological clock? What are the moral possibilities and challenges if eggs can be produced in large quantities from a stored ovarian tissue? (shrink)
Divine Motivation theory is a major contribution both to the philosophy of religion, particularly the philosophy of religious ethics, and to general ethical theory. It is demanding reading, because it is long and complex and about difficult issues. It is also rewarding, because it is suggestive and highly original, written and argued with philosophical intelligence and disciplined care, and rich in systematic connections and explanations of them.
In this essay, the author considers how one particular faith community, contemporary Judaism, in all its internal diversity, has reflected on the issue of how far the project of genetic intervention ought to go when the subject of the future - embodied, willful, and vulnerable - is at stake. Knowing, naming, and acting to change is not only a narrative of faith traditions; it is a narrative of biological science as well.
This essay will address the ethical issues that have emerged in the first considerations of the newly emerging stem cell technology. Many of us in the field of bioethics were deliberating related issues as we first learned of the new science and confronted the ethical issues it raised. In this essay, I will draw on the work of colleagues who were asked to reflect on early stages of the research (members of the IRBs, the Geron Ethicist Advisory Board, and the (...) National Bioethics Advisory Commission) as the field debated the issues of consent, moral status, use of animal tissues, abortion, use of fetal tissue, and the nature and goals of entrepreneurial research. In this new capacity, ethicists weighed the problem of privacy, the role of justice considerations, and the issues of the marketplace in science. At this point, it is clear that far more issues remain unresolved than are settled, that there is largely unexplored territory ahead, and that the single most important task that faces us as a field is a steady call for ongoing conversation and public debate. (shrink)
BackgroundSeveral jurisdictions, including Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and most recently Ireland, have a public interest or public good criterion for granting waivers of consent in biomedical research using secondary health data or tissue. However, the concept of the public interest is not well defined in this context, which creates difficulties for institutions, institutional review boards and regulators trying to implement the criterion.Main textThis paper clarifies how the public interest criterion can be defensibly deployed. We first explain the ethical basis for (...) requiring waivers to only be granted to studies meeting the public interest criterion, then explore how further criteria may be set to determine the extent to which a given study can legitimately claim to be in the public interest. We propose an approach that does not attempt to measure magnitude of benefit directly, but rather takes into account metrics that are more straightforward to apply. To ensure consistent and justifiable interpretation, research institutions and IRBs should also incorporate procedural features such as transparency and public engagement in determining which studies satisfy the public interest requirement.ConclusionThe requirement of public interest for consent waivers in secondary biomedical research should be guided by well-defined criteria for systematic evaluation. Such a criteria and its application need to be periodically subject to intra-committee and intra-institution review, reflection, deliberation and amendment. (shrink)
I have argued elsewhere that there are facts, and possibilities, that are not purely qualitative. In a second paper, however, I have argued that all possibilities are purely qualitative except insofar as they involve individuals that actually exist. In particular, I have argued that there are no thisnesses of nonactual individuals (where the thisness of x is the property of being x, or of being identical with x), and that there are no singular propositions about nonactual individuals (where a singular (...) proposition about an individual x is a proposition that involves or refers to x directly, perhaps by having x or the thisness of x as a constituent, and not merely by way of x's qualitative properties or relations to other individuals). I am also inclined to believe that there are not yet any thisnesses of individuals that will exist but do not yet, nor any singular propositions about future individuals--and, hence, that all possibilities are purely qualitative except insofar as they involve individuals that already do exist or have existed (counting timeless individuals, if any, as already existing). This thesis about the relation of time to thisness is the subject of the present paper, in which the conclusions of my previous papers will be presupposed. (shrink)
In his article ‘A Critique of the Doctrine of Universal Salvation’, J. D. Bettis criticises the argument that all men will be saved because ‘God's love is both absolutely good and absolutely sovereign’ . I would like to argue that either some of Bettis's criticisms are confused, or else that he is not using ‘love’ in anything like its ordinary sense. I will not attempt a full defence of universalism here, however. In particular, I will not try to defend it (...) against the sort of criticisms Bettis says an Arminian might raise. (shrink)
Neuroimaging evidence suggests that the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) supports temporary storage of linguistic material during linguistic tasks rather than computing a syntactic representation. The LIFG is not activated by simple sentences but by complex sentences and maintenance of word lists. Under this hypothesis, agrammatism should only disturb comprehension for constructions in which storage is essential.
The availability in universal grammar of two separate copulas of predication & identity is supported by an analysis of pseudoclefts in Welsh. A single-copula analysis of the ambiguity between predicational & specificational interpretations of pseudoclefts in English cannot be extended to Welsh, where specificational interpretation (1) is permitted by only one of three copular paradigms, all of which may have a predicational interpretation, & (2) is possible with both of the D-structures used in the single-copula analysis to distinguish between the (...) two interpretations in English. It is argued that the differences between English & Welsh with respect to the interpretation of copular constructions can only be explained by positing a dual-copula analysis for Welsh & a single-copula one for English; the data confirm the existence of a type-shifting functor in English that is realized lexically as a copula in Welsh. 47 References. J. Hitchcock. (shrink)