Owing to unique features of their design, cluster randomized trials complicate the interpretation of standard ethics guidelines. The recently published Ottawa statement on the ethical design and conduct of cluster randomized trials provides researchers and research ethics committees with detailed guidance on the design, conduct and review of cluster trials. The Ottawa statement sets out 15 recommendations, including guidance on the justification of study design, the need for research ethics committee review, the identification of research participants, obtaining informed consent, the (...) role of gatekeepers in protecting cluster interests, the assessment of benefits and harms, and the protection of vulnerable participants. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to set out some of the ontologies amongst which some forms of anti-realism must select. This provides the appropriate setting for presenting an alternative realist ontology. The argument is that the choice between the varieties of anti-realism and realism is inevitably a choice between ontologies.
‘Marital faithfulness’ refers to faithful love for a spouse or lover to whom one is committed, rather than the narrower idea of sexual fidelity. The distinction is clearly marked in traditional wedding vows. A commitment to love faithfully is central: ‘to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part… and thereto I plight [pledge] thee my troth [faithfulness]’. (...) Sexual fidelity is promised in a subordinate clause, symbolizing its supportive role in promoting love's constancy: ‘and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her/him.’. (shrink)
Does anyone ever survive his or her bodily death ? Could anyone? No speculative questions are older than these, or have been answered more frequently or more variously. None have been laid to rest more often, or — in our times — with more claimed decisiveness. Jay Rosenberg, for instance, no doubt speaks for many contemporary philosophers when he claims, in his recent book, to have ‘ demonstrated ’ that ‘ we cannot [even] make coherent sense of the supposed possibility (...) that a person's history might continue beyond that person's [bodily] death’. (shrink)
In ‘ The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy ’ Laurence Sterne writes: That of all the several ways of beginning a book which are now in practice throughout the known world, I am confident my own way of doing it is the best—I'm sure it is the most religious—for I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty God for the second.
Q: If necessity is the mother of invention, whence necessity? A. : The matrix of necessity in God-talk is religious experience, philosophically interpreted. The interpreters, theists and non-thesists, have indeed been inventive.
In Chapters 6 and 7 of Language, Truth and Poetry I attempted to solve the ancient problem of fictional reference by claiming that a fictional construct ‘points’ or refers to certain features of reality in rather the same way as an abstraction like ‘gravitation’ or ‘cruelty’ does. I now believe that this theory of mine is unsatisfactory; and I should like to propose a new solution to the problem.
The standard foil for recent theories of hope is the belief-desire analysis advocated by Hobbes, Day, Downie, and others. According to this analysis, to hope for S is no more and no less than to desire S while believing S is possible but not certain. Opponents of the belief-desire analysis argue that it fails to capture one or another distinctive feature or function of hope: that hope helps one resist the temptation to despair;2 that hope engages the sophisticated capacities of (...) human agency, such as planning;3 or that hope involves the imagination in ways desire need not.4 Here, I focus on the role of imagination in hope, and discuss its implications for hope’s relation to practical commitment or end-setting. (shrink)
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington was a key figure in the development of modern astrophysics, who also made important contributions to the philosophy of science and popular science writing. The Arthur Eddington Memorial Trust was set up after his death in order to hold annual lectures on the relationship between scientific thought and aspects of philosophy, religion or ethics. This 2012 collection gathers together six of these lectures, including contributions by Sir Edmund Whittaker, Herbert Dingle, Richard B. Braithwaite, John C. (...) class='Hi'>Eccles, Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, and Baroness Mary Warnock, together with Eddington's 1929 Swarthmore Lecture on Science and the Unseen World. A preface written by the Astronomer Royal, Baron Rees of Ludlow, is also included. This is a fascinating book that will be of value to anyone with an interest in the philosophy of science and Eddington's legacy. (shrink)
Epiphenomenalism is the view that phenomenal properties – which characterize what it is like, or how it feels, for a subject to be in conscious states – have no physical effects. One of the earliest arguments against epiphenomenalism is the evolutionary argument (James 1890/1981; Eccles and Popper 1977; Popper 1978), which starts from the following problem: why is pain correlated with stimuli detrimental to survival and reproduction – such as suffocation, hunger and burning? And why is pleasure correlated with (...) stimuli beneficial to survival and reproduction – such as eating and breathing? According to the argument, the fact that we have these particular correlations and not other ones must have an evolutionary explanation. But given epiphenomenalism, differences in phenomenal properties could not cause differences in fitness, so natural selection would not be expected to favor these correlations over any other ones. Epiphenomenalism thus renders these correlations an inexplicable coincidence, and should therefore be rejected. The evolutionary argument has been widely criticized and few have deemed it cogent (Broad 1925; Jackson 1982; Robinson 2007; Corabi 2014). In this paper, I will consider previous and potential criticisms and conclude some of them are indeed fatal to the argument if it is understood, as it traditionally has been, as an argument for any standard version of non-epiphenomenalism such as physicalism and interactionism. I will then offer a new and improved version of the argument, as an argument for a particular non-epiphenomenalist view, which I will call the phenomenal powers view. This is the view that phenomenal properties produce and thereby (metaphysically) necessitate their effects in virtue of how they feel, or in virtue of their intrinsic, phenomenal character alone – along the lines of C. B. Martin and John Heil’s powerful qualities view (Martin and Heil 1999; Heil 2003). I will argue that the phenomenal powers view explains the correlations given natural selection far better than any other view. It follows that if (and only if) understood as an argument for the phenomenal powers view, the evolutionary argument is far stronger than it is usually thought to be. (shrink)
French theorist Luce Irigaray has become one of the twentieth century's most influential feminist thinkers. Among her many writings are three books (with a projected fourth) in which she challenges the Western tradition's construals of human beings' relations to the four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--and to nature. In answer to Heidegger's undoing of Western metaphysics as a "forgetting of Being," Irigaray seeks in this work to begin to think out the Being of sexedness and the sexedness of Being. This (...) volume is the first English translation of L'oubli de l'air chez Martin Heidegger (1983). In this complex, lyrical, meditative engagement with the later work of the eminent German philosopher, Irigaray critiques Heidegger's emphasis on the element of earth as the ground of life and speech and his "oblivion" or forgetting of air. With the other volumes (Elemental Passions and Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche) in Irigaray's "elemental" series, The Forgetting of Air offers a fundamental rereading of basic tenets in Western metaphysics. And with its emphasis on dwelling and human habitation, it will be important reading not only in the humanities but also in architecture and the environmental sciences. (shrink)
This critical review aims to more fully situate the claim Martin Heidegger makes in ‘Letter on Humanism’ that a “productive dialogue” between his work and that of Karl Marx is possible. The prompt for this is Paul Laurence Hemming’s recently published Heidegger and Marx: A Productive Dialogue over the Language of Humanism (2013) which omits to fully account for the historical situation which motivated Heidegger’s seemingly positive endorsement of Marxism. This piece will show that there were significant external factors (...) which influenced Heidegger’s claim and that, when seen within his broader corpus, these particular comments in “Letter on Humanism” are evidently disingenuous, given that his general opinion of Marxism can only be described as vitriolic. Any attempt to explore how such a “productive dialogue” could be construed must fully contextualise Heidegger’s claim for it. This piece will aim to do that, and more broadly explore Heidegger’s general opinion of Marxism. (shrink)