Dealing with major issues in Jewish biomedical law, this book focuses upon the influence of morality, the rise of patient autonomy, and the role played by scientific progress in this area of Jewish Law. The book examines Jewish Law in comparison with canon, common, and modern Israeli law.
The main theme of the article is the tension between the obligation to preserve life, and the value of timely death. This tension is resolved by distinguishing between precipitating death, which is prohibited, and merely removing an impediment to it, which is permitted. In contemporary Jewish law, a distinction is made between therapy, which may be discontinued, and life-support, which must be maintained until the establishment of death. Another theme is that of “soft” patient autonomy, and its role in dealing (...) with the dying in both traditional Jewish law and Israel’s Terminal Patient Law, 2005. Preventing suffering in relation to a dying person, and praying for his or her death are also discussed in the article. (shrink)
At lunch one day a colleague and I had a friendly argument over occupational licensing. I attacked it for being anticompetitive, arguing that licensing boards raise occupational incomes by restricting entry, advertising, and commercialization. My colleague, while acknowledging anticompetitive aspects, affirmed the need for licensing on the grounds of protecting the consumer from frauds and quacks. In many areas of infrequent and specialized dealing, consumers are not able, ex ante or even ex post, to evaluate competence. I countered by suggesting (...) voluntary means by which reputational problems might be handled and by returning to the offensive. I said that in fact the impetus for licensing usually comes from the practitioners, not their customers, and that licensing boards seldom devote their time to ferreting out incompetence but rather simply to prosecuting unlicensed practitioners. I mentioned cross-sectional findings, such as those on state licensure, prices, and occupational incomes. Overall, I characterized the professional establishment as a group of dastardly operators, who set the standards, write the codes, and enforce behavior to enhance their own material wellbeing - in brief, as venal rent-seekers. (shrink)
Abstract Academic social scientists overwhelmingly vote Democratic, and the Democratic hegemony has increased significantly since 1970. Moreover, the policy preferences of a large sample of the members of the scholarly associations in anthropology, economics, history, legal and political philosophy, political science, and sociology generally bear out conjectures about the correspondence of partisan identification with left/right ideal types; although across the board, both Democratic and Republican academics favor government action more than the ideal types might suggest. Variations in policy views among (...) Democrats is smaller than among Republicans. Ideological diversity (as judged not only by voting behavior, but by policy views) is by far the greatest within economics. Social scientists who deviate from left?wing views are as likely to be libertarian as conservative. (shrink)
Are intelligence and creativity distinct abilities, or do they rely on the same cognitive and neural systems? We sought to quantify the extent to which intelligence and creative cognition overlap in brain and behavior by combining machine learning of fMRI data and latent variable modeling of cognitive ability data in a sample of young adults (N = 186) who completed a battery of intelligence and creative thinking tasks. The study had 3 analytic goals: (a) to assess contributions of specific facets (...) of intelligence (e.g., fluid and crystallized intelligence) and general intelligence to creative ability (i.e., divergent thinking originality), (b) to model whole-brain functional connectivity networks that predict intelligence facets and creative ability, and (c) to quantify the degree to which these predictive networks overlap in the brain. Using structural equation modeling, we found moderate to large correlations between intelligence facets and creative ability, as well as a large correlation between general intelligence and creative ability (r = .63). Using connectome-based predictive modeling, we found that functional brain networks that predict intelligence facets overlap to varying degrees with a network that predicts creative ability, particularly within the prefrontal cortex of the executive control network. Notably, a network that predicted general intelligence shared 46% of its functional connections with a network that predicted creative ability—including connections linking executive control and salience/ventral attention networks—suggesting that intelligence and creative thinking rely on similar neural and cognitive systems. (shrink)
Ex-Jew, eternal Jew: early representations of the Jewish Spinoza -- Refining Spinoza: Moses Mendelssohn's response to the Amsterdam heretic -- The first modern Jew: Berthold Auerbach's Spinoza and the beginnings of an image -- A rebel against the past, a revealer of secrets: Salomon Rubin and the east European Maskilic Spinoza -- From the heights of Mount Scopus: Yosef Klausner and the Zionist rehabilitation of Spinoza -- Farewell, Spinoza: I. B. Singer and the tragicomedy of the Jewish Spinozist.
ABSTRACTAdam Smith infused the expression ‘impartial spectator’ with a plexus of related meanings, one of which is a super-being, which bears parallels to monotheistic ideas of God. As for any genuine, identified, human spectator, he can be deemed impartial only presumptively. Such presumptive impartiality as regards the incident does not of itself carry extensive implications about his intelligence, nor about his being aligned with benevolence towards any larger whole. We may posit, however, a being who is impartial and who holds (...) higher levels of intelligence and of benevolence, and then converse over what her sentiments would be about the matter under discussion. It is natural to conceive of a being who is unsurpassable in such qualities, who is morally supreme, and who naturally takes the definite article the without having been definitized by the writer. Signal passages, new to edition 6, suggest that Smith formulates the man within the breast as a representative of the always present and everywhere morally supreme impartial spectator. When Smith speaks of the man within the breast as ‘the supposed impartial spectator’, we interpret ‘supposed’ as sup-pos-ed, not sup-pos’d. (shrink)
Virtue ethics seems to be a promising moral theory for understanding and interpreting the development and behavior of artificial moral agents. Virtuous artificial agents would blur traditional distinctions between different sorts of moral machines and could make a claim to membership in the moral community. Accordingly, we investigate the “machine question” by studying whether virtue or vice can be attributed to artificial intelligence; that is, are people willing to judge machines as possessing moral character? An experiment describes situations where either (...) human or AI agents engage in virtuous or vicious behavior and experiment participants then judge their level of virtue or vice. The scenarios represent different virtue ethics domains of truth, justice, fear, wealth, and honor. Quantitative and qualitative analyses show that moral attributions are weakened for AIs compared to humans, and the reasoning and explanations for the attributions are varied and more complex. On “relational” views of membership in the moral community, virtuous machines would indeed be included, even if they are indeed weakened. Hence, while our moral relationships with artificial agents may be of the same types, they may yet remain substantively different than our relationships to human beings. (shrink)
Koriat & Goldsmith's distinction between the correspondence and storehouse metaphors is valuable for both memory theory and methodology. It is questionable, however, whether this distinction underlies the heated debate about so called “everyday memory” research. The distinction between experimental and naturalistic methodologies better characterizes this debate. I compare these distinctions and discuss how the methodological distinction, between experimental and naturalistic designs, could give rise to different theoretical approaches.
Many high-risk medical devices earn US marketing approval based on limited premarket clinical evaluation that leaves important questions unanswered. Rigorous postmarket surveillance includes registries that actively collect and maintain information defined by individual patient exposures to particular devices. Several prominent registries for cardiovascular devices require enrolment as a condition of reimbursement for the implant procedure, without informed consent. In this article, we focus on whether these registries, separate from their legal requirements, have an ethical obligation to obtain informed consent from (...) enrolees, what is lost in not doing so, and the ways in which seeking and obtaining consent might strengthen postmarket surveillance in the USA. (shrink)