According to a renowned left-libertarian, Michael Otsuka, a libertarian right of self-ownership can be so robust that one need not sacrifice the use of one's mind and body to help others. In this article, I demonstrate that Otsuka's way of reconciling this robust conception of self-ownership with equality is not appealing and, at best, would provide limited guidance in the face of real-life uncertainty.
This paper examines whether Kok-Chor Tan’s institutional luck egalitarianism is successful as a pluralist luck egalitarian theory of justice and morality. In recent years, pluralist luck egalitarianism has become a salient theory of justice. Tan’s pluralist proposal for institutional luck egalitarianism is attractive because it seems to refute the metaphysical and practical challenges against luck egalitarianism. This paper demonstrates that, although Tan’s institutional luck egalitarianism is indeed a most sophisticated systematic pluralist theory of justice and morality, his argument fails because (...) the application of luck egalitarianism to the domain of distributive justice and to the basic institutions of society is not justified from the luck egalitarian point of view. This paper concludes that Tan’s institutional luck egalitarianism does not succeed in demonstrating that his theory is an outstanding achievement of luck egalitarianism. (shrink)
The issue of distributive justice receives substantial amount of attention in our society. On the one hand, we are sensitive to whether and the extent to which people are responsible for being worse off. On the other hand, we are mindful of society’s worst-off members. There has been a debate over luck egalitarianism, which relates to the former concern, and relational egalitarianism, which echoes the latter. By investigating the psychological processes of these two concerns, this paper examines the reliability of (...) the argument that Elizabeth Anderson, a renowned relational egalitarian, presents against luck egalitarianism and for relational egalitarianism. It also considers whether it is possible to support luck egalitarianism and relational egalitarianism simultaneously, using an online experiment. The results of the experiment show that, first, for ordinary people, the luck consideration is as important as the basic capabilities consideration. Second, while real people consider the degree of compensation through the factors of causality and responsibility, the lack of basic capabilities directs them to determine how much victims of bad luck should be compensated. This suggests that pluralist egalitarianism is on the right track. (shrink)
This paper aims to specify the precise conditions under which an agent is responsible for inequalities. Admittedly, the careful examination of the conditions in question has been the main focus of contemporary egalitarianism. As a matter of fact, contemporary political philosophers take responsibility to be a core conception which in principle justifies inequalities. In particular, they tend to flesh out the conception of responsibility in terms of choice, in such a way that we should hold individuals responsible for chosen inequalities (...) but not for unchosen inequalities. This core idea is intuitively appealing because, on the one hand, alleviation of inequalities that people do not choose would thereby be encouraged, and on the other hand, it avoids an egalitarian ‘moral hazard’: the situation in which people need care nothing for the consequences (economic or otherwise) of their own choice. G. A. Cohen thus goes so far as to say that egalitarianism successfully incorporates “within it the most powerful idea in the arsenal of the anti-egalitarian right: the idea of choice and responsibility.”. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that Powers and Faden’s non-ideal, comprehensive theory of justice cannot keep in line with the proposed moderateness of their essentialist approach. My argument is as follows: Powers and Faden’s comprehensive theory of justice contravenes the thrust of moderate essentialism, in claiming that their theory values health for its own sake. Why do they define their conception of justice as valuing health for its own sake when it is likely to be incongruous with their essentialist approach? (...) To understand this, we should examine their sufficientarian proposal. There are two requirements for plausible sufficientarianism. The first requirement is to specify the threshold below which people are seriously deprived and must be urgently benefited in a non-arbitrary manner. The second requirement is that sufficientarianism should be sensitive to certain inequalities above the threshold. Powers and Faden’s approach convincingly meets the first requirement. However, the non-ideal aspect of their approach, which is key to meeting the second requirement, makes it explicit that at least one of the listed dimensions of well-being must be valued for their own sake. This is not reconcilable with their own characterization of moderate essentialism. For this reason, we should conclude that Powers and Faden fail to argue for moderate essentialism. (shrink)
This theoretical paper develops a conceptual framework that explains how companies can influence consumer behavior in terms of both social and business benefits through their corporate social marketing initiatives. Drawing from the source credibility literature, the article asserts that the effectiveness of CSM depends largely on the corporate credibility of a company in supporting a social cause. Based on this assertion, the framework identifies ten different antecedents of CSM credibility, which are organized into attributes of the company, attributes of the (...) CSM initiative, and attributes of the cause. Furthermore, this framework shows that CSM credibility affects the two examined consequences, intended prosocial behavior and consumer loyalty. Several research and managerial implications are developed based on the propositions specified in the framework. (shrink)
We examined the ethical justification for a national policy governing public funding for the induced pluripotent stem cell stock project in Japan and argue that the initiation of the iPSC stock project in 2012, when no clinical trial using iPSC-derived products had yet succeeded, was premature and unethical. Our analysis considers a generally accepted justice criterion and shows it fails to justify public funding of the iPSC stock project. We also raise concerns related to the massive amounts of public funding (...) at stake and the absence of evidence supporting claimed success rates. We conclude that the iPSC stock project should be re-considered and deferred until a substantial number of clinical trials using iPSC-derived products are deemed successful. This analysis should benefit others worldwide as they consider their own public funding policies. (shrink)
Informed consent, decision-making styles and the role of patient-physician relationships are imperative aspects of clinical medicine worldwide. We present the case of a 74-year-old woman afflicted with advanced liver cancer whose attending physician, per request of the family, did not inform her of her true diagnosis. In our analysis, we explore the differences in informed-consent styles between patients who hold an "independent" and "interdependent" construal of the self and then highlight the possible implications maintained by this position in the context (...) of international clinical ethics. Finally, we discuss the need to reassess informed-consent styles suitable to the needs of each patient regardless of whether he or she resides in the United States or in Japan. (shrink)
Understanding whether the long and elaborate songs of male gibbons have syntax and hierarchical structures is an interesting question in the evolution of language, because gibbons are near humans in the phylogenetic tree and a hierarchically organized syntax is considered to be a basic component of human language. We conducted field research at Danum Valley Conservation Area in northern Borneo to test the hypothesis that gibbon songs have syntax and chunks. We followed one Mueller’s gibbon group for 1 week in (...) the dry and rainy seasons every year from 2001 to 2009, collecting vocal and behavioral data. Results show that songs emitted by the studied male gibbon were governed by combinatory rules. Some context-dependent songs had different combinatory rules, although they overlapped with the songs whose contexts were uncertain. The male Mueller’s songs had characteristics that suggest existence of chunk structure. These results provided an important perspective in the study of language origin. (shrink)
Recent metaphor research has revealed that metaphor comprehension involves both categorization and comparison processes. This finding has triggered the following central question: Which property determines the choice between these two processes for metaphor comprehension? Three competing views have been proposed to answer this question: the conventionality view (Bowdle & Gentner, 2005), aptness view (Glucksberg & Haught, 2006b), and interpretive diversity view (Utsumi, 2007); these views, respectively, argue that vehicle conventionality, metaphor aptness, and interpretive diversity determine the choice between the categorization (...) and comparison processes. This article attempts to answer the question regarding which views are plausible by using cognitive modeling and computer simulation based on a semantic space model. In the simulation experiment, categorization and comparison processes are modeled in a semantic space constructed by latent semantic analysis. These two models receive word vectors for the constituent words of a metaphor and compute a vector for the metaphorical meaning. The resulting vectors can be evaluated according to the degree to which they mimic the human interpretation of the same metaphor; the maximum likelihood estimation determines which of the two models better explains the human interpretation. The result of the model selection is then predicted by three metaphor properties (i.e., vehicle conventionality, aptness, and interpretive diversity) to test the three views. The simulation experiment for Japanese metaphors demonstrates that both interpretive diversity and vehicle conventionality affect the choice between the two processes. On the other hand, it is found that metaphor aptness does not affect this choice. This result can be treated as computational evidence supporting the interpretive diversity and conventionality views. (shrink)
Today Asia is attracting attention in the area of bioethics. In fact, the potential of bioethics is beginning to be discussed seriously at academic centers across Asia. In Japan, this discussion began a decade ago with the publication The book is one of the principal explorations of biomedical ethics involving Japan to date. Tom Beauchamp, an author of one of the book's chapters, compares Japanese and American standards of informed consent and refutes relativistic positions, concluding that.
This essay aims to deepen our comprehension of the economic ethics of different peoples in Asia, as well as realizing a degree of cultural relativism, in order to enhance amicable economic associations. It counterbalances the conventionally strong West-oriented views which regard exotic features of non-Western economies as backward and illogical elements that disturb smooth and orthodox development and, hence, should be eradicated. The author, first, recalls a number of facts which depict the eruptive economic transformation in Asia. He, then, criticizes (...) the imposition of Western-style development and exploitation without excluding Japan’s colonialism in Taiwan and Korea, and pleads for multiple forms of development and modernity. Economic transactions should be analysed in relation to sociocultural aspects, and, therefore, communities and ethics groups play a substantive role between the public and private sectors, the market, and individuals. For instance, small farmers in Southeast Asia, struggling with the weakness of tenant farmers and pressures of the market mechanism, developed ingenious and participatory forms of survival, increasingly supported by non-governmental organizations. Case studies from Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines give a vivid picture of these activities. Because the developing economies are composed of market and non-market sectors, reasonable attention should be given to theethics beyond market principles, with particular emphasis on community as foundation. (shrink)
Human space exploration requires massive budgets every fiscal year. Especially under severe financial constraint conditions, governments are forced to justify to society why spending so much tax revenue for human space exploration is worth the cost. The value of human space exploration might be estimated in many ways, but its social significance and cost-effectiveness are two key ways to gauge that worth. Since these measures should be applied country by country because sociopolitical conditions differ in each country and must be (...) taken into consideration, the study on the social significance of human space exploration must take the coloration of a case-study. This paper, focusing on the case of Japan with surveying Japanese literary and national documents as well as taking its sociopolitical conditions into account, examines the social significance of human space exploration. -/- First, we give an overview of the circumstances surrounding Japan's human space exploration program. Derived from the statements of such relevant parties as scholars, journalists, policy makers, and astronauts, this overview indicates that the main concerns about human space exploration in Japan are its social significance and cost-effectiveness (Section 1). Next, an overview of behavioral science—an essential field for human space exploration (referred to in this paper as space behavioral science) that provides support for astronauts—is presented from the perspective of stress research in isolated and confined environments (Section 2). We then give two examples of where such knowledge from space behavioral science research has been applied to terrestrial isolated and confined environments. One is JAXA’s support in 2009 for people who were vulnerable to infection by a new strain of flu and accordingly placed in an isolated and confined facility under the Infectious Disease Law and the Quarantine Law. The other is NASA's support in 2010 for Chilean mine workers who were trapped 700 m underground after a mining accident (Section 3). Based on these case studies, we illustrate the further social utility of such knowledge through a discussion of potential applications in other situations in Japan. Focusing on Japan for its geographical and social features in being an earthquake-prone archipelago and having the world's preeminent aging society, we show that refugees living in evacuation centers and people in an elderly-elderly homecare situation pose socially problematic situations specific to Japan. We then argue that space behavioral scientific knowledge can be applied to support people under these and other isolated and confined environments in various ways (Section 4). Finally, we demonstrate that such an application can be understood as an ethical contribution to Japanese society and that this contribution can be embedded in Japan's space policy (Section 5). We conclude that human space exploration can be a socially significant and cost-effective endeavor that is worthy of tax revenue expenditures because space behavioral science is highly likely to provide unique and useful knowledge to help address various social problems concerning terrestrial isolated and confined environments and support people in sufferings there. (shrink)
BackgroundMost medical schools in Japan have incorporated mandatory courses on medical ethics. To this date, however, there is no established means of evaluating medical ethics education in Japan. This study looks 1) To develop a brief, objective method of evaluation for moral sensitivity and reasoning; 2) To conduct a test battery for the PIT and the DIT on medical students who are either currently in school or who have recently graduated (residents); 3) To investigate changes in moral sensitivity and reasoning (...) between school years among medical students and residents.MethodsQuestionnaire survey: Two questionnaires were employed, the Problem Identification Test (PIT) for evaluation of moral sensitivity and a portion of the Defining Issues Test (DIT) for moral reasoning. Subjects consisted of 559 medical school students and 272 residents who recently graduated from the same medical school located in an urban area of Japan.ResultsPIT results showed an increase in moral sensitivity in 4th and 5th year students followed by a decrease in 6th year students and in residents. No change in moral development stage was observed. However, DIT results described a gradual rising shift in moral decision-making concerning euthanasia between school years. No valid correlation was observed between PIT and DIT questionnaires.ConclusionThis study's questionnaire survey, which incorporates both PIT and DIT, could be used as a brief and objective means of evaluating medical students' moral sensitivity and reasoning in Japan. (shrink)
BackgroundIn Japan, discussion concerning advance directives has been on the rise during the past decade. ADs are one method proposed to facilitate the process of communication among patients, families and health care providers regarding the plan of care of a patient who is no longer capable of communicating. In this paper, we report the results of the first in-depth survey on the general population concerning the preferences and use of ADs in Japan.MethodA self-administered questionnaire was sent via mail to a (...) stratified random sampling of 560 residents listed in the residential registry of one district of Tokyo, Japan . Association between correlating factors and specific preferences toward ADs was assessed using contingency table bivariate analysis and multivariate regression model to estimate independent contribution.ResultsOf the 560 questionnaires sent out, a total of 425 participants took part in the survey yielding a response rate of 75.9 %. The results of the present study indicate that: 1) the most important components to be addressed are the specifics of medical treatment at the end of life stage and disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis; 2) the majority of participants found it suitable to express their directives by word to family and/or physician and not by written documentation; 3) there is no strong need for legal measures in setting up an AD; 4) it is permissible for family and physician to loosely interpret one's directives; 5) the most suitable proxy is considered to be a family member, relative, or spouse. Multivariate analysis found the following five factors as significantly associated with preferences: 1) awareness regarding living wills, 2) experience with the use of ADs, 3) preferences for end-of-life treatment, 4) preferences for information disclosure, and 5) intentions of creating a will.ConclusionsWritten ADs might be useful in the Japanese setting when the individual either wishes: 1) to not provide a lot of leeway to surrogates and/or caregivers, and/or 2) to ensure his or her directives in the cases of terminal illness, brain death, and pain treatment, as well as regarding information disclosure. (shrink)
In Japan, modern biomedical ethics emerged in the early 1980s. One of the main triggers was the nationwide debate on organ transplantation and brain death. A lengthy process of academic, religious, and political discussion concerning organ transplantation, lasting well over a few decades, resulted in the enactment of the Organ Transplantation Law in 1997.1 The defining of death and other bioethical issues, including death with dignity and euthanasia, were also stimulating topics throughout the latter end of the twentieth century. For (...) instance, the death-with-dignity movement, which started around the late 1960s, developed into a hospice/palliative-care movement by the end of the 1980s. (shrink)
Mueller’s gibbons sing both sex-specific and duet songs. These songs are thought to be involved in territory maintenance, as well as the maintenance of pair or family bonds. However, few observational studies have examined how gibbons interact with their neighbors through song in the wild. We have been conducting field observations of wild gibbon groups in northeast Borneo since 2001. In the Borneo Rainforest Lodge and Danum Valley Field Center at the Danum Valley Conservation Area, we observed seven episodes of (...) alternating songs between males. Here, we describe the process of song exchange between males. During male interactions, song bouts rarely overlapped and were alternately emitted. Several studies have reported antiphonal vocalizations in New World and Old World primate species, but rarely in apes. Our observations of antiphonal songs in gibbons indicate that gibbons not only unilaterally advertise information, but also interactively communicate with neighbors and family members through songs. Since gibbons are phylogenetically similar to humans, and turn-taking has an important role in human conversation, our research on gibbon communication may provide insight into the evolution of human language. (shrink)
Background In Japan, discussion concerning advance directives (ADs) has been on the rise during the past decade. ADs are one method proposed to facilitate the process of communication among patients, families and health care providers regarding the plan of care of a patient who is no longer capable of communicating. In this paper, we report the results of the first in-depth survey on the general population concerning the preferences and use of ADs in Japan. Method A self-administered questionnaire was sent (...) via mail to a stratified random sampling of 560 residents listed in the residential registry of one district of Tokyo, Japan (n = 165,567). Association between correlating factors and specific preferences toward ADs was assessed using contingency table bivariate analysis and multivariate regression model to estimate independent contribution. Results Of the 560 questionnaires sent out, a total of 425 participants took part in the survey yielding a response rate of 75.9 %. The results of the present study indicate that: 1) the most important components to be addressed are the specifics of medical treatment at the end of life stage and disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis; 2) the majority of participants found it suitable to express their directives by word to family and/or physician and not by written documentation; 3) there is no strong need for legal measures in setting up an AD; 4) it is permissible for family and physician to loosely interpret one's directives; 5) the most suitable proxy is considered to be a family member, relative, or spouse. Multivariate analysis found the following five factors as significantly associated with preferences: 1) awareness regarding living wills, 2) experience with the use of ADs, 3) preferences for end-of-life treatment, 4) preferences for information disclosure, and 5) intentions of creating a will. Conclusions Written ADs might be useful in the Japanese setting when the individual either wishes: 1) to not provide a lot of leeway to surrogates and/or caregivers, and/or 2) to ensure his or her directives in the cases of terminal illness, brain death, and pain treatment, as well as regarding information disclosure. (shrink)
Background Ethics committees and their system of research protocol peer-review are currently used worldwide. To ensure an international standard for research ethics and safety, however, data is needed on the quality and function of each nation's ethics committees. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and developments of ethics committees established at medical schools and general hospitals in Japan. Methods This study consisted of four national surveys sent twice over a period of eight years to two separate (...) samples. The first target was the ethics committees of all 80 medical schools and the second target was all general hospitals with over 300 beds in Japan (n = 1457 in 1996 and n = 1491 in 2002). Instruments contained four sections: (1) committee structure, (2) frequency of annual meetings, (3) committee function, and (4) existence of a set of guidelines for the refusal of blood transfusion by Jehovah's Witnesses. Results Committee structure was overall interdisciplinary. Frequency of annual meetings increased significantly for both medical school and hospital ethics committees over the eight years. The primary activities for medical school and hospital ethics committees were research protocol reviews and policy making. Results also showed a significant increase in the use of ethical guidelines, particularly those related to the refusal of blood transfusion by Jehovah's Witnesses, among both medical school and hospital ethics committees. Conclusion Overall findings indicated a greater recognized degree of responsibilities and an increase in workload for Japanese ethics committees. (shrink)
This is the first book to bring West and East together in a broad investigation of contemporary bioethics. A distinguished international team of experts presents original research addressing issues that emerge from new medical technologies, address global challenges arising from social change, and set the agenda for the future.
Until recently, many of Japan's medical and bioethical communities had ignored the issue of conflicts of interest . This is no longer the case. Discussion on the economic and ethical problems defined by CIs is now apparent in academic, political, and even industrial spheres. In June 2004, this debate was sparked by a scandal involving AnGes MG, Inc., a bioventure company set up by a faculty member at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine. AnGes MG developed a gene therapy using (...) the Hepatic Growth Factor for obstructive blood vessel disease. Japanese newspapers reported that “several physicians involved with clinical trials for AnGes obtained unlisted shares of stock. One physician allegedly received 32 million yen after AnGes MG went public on the ‘Mothers’ stock exchange”. (shrink)
Originally published as 「明治の哲学界：有機体の哲学とその系譜」in 井上克人編『豊饒なる明治』, Kansai Daigaku Shuppannbu, 2012, 3–22. Translated by Morisato Takeshi. German Idealism was introduced to Japanese intellectuals in the middle of Meiji era and was mainly received from a mystical or religious perspective, as we see in Inoue Tetsujirō’s “harmonious existence,” Inoue Enryō’s “unity of mind and body,” and Kiyozawa Manshi’s “existentialism.” Since these theories envisioned true reality as a unified and living whole, I group them under the label “philosophy of organism” and from (...) there argue that their conviction that “all is truth and truth is all” was shaped in large part by the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana. The understanding of Buddhist concepts by Meiji philosophers was philosophical in its content, and those who devoted themselves to the study of Western philosophy were encouraged to describe Eastern thought in Western philosophical terms. As a result, the philosophical world of the Meiji era developed an original standpoint that unified Eastern and Western perspectives by means of a logic of “phenomena-in-reality.”. (shrink)
In this paper, we propose a novel medium for interactions based on an interpersonal psychological approach referred to as ‘naïve psychology’. We adopt the visual assessment of clustering tendency (VAT) to naïve psychology for the visual understanding of other people. The VAT algorithm produces a visual display that can be used to assess clustering tendencies in a set of persons (notions) by reconstructing a digital image representation of a square relational dissimilarity matrix for its set. This algorithm clearly represents two (...) types of imbalanced situations in naïve psychology: crisp and fuzzy. The visual image of a balanced or imbalance situation is useful for a deeper human understanding. (shrink)
Compared to institutional and area-based ethics committees, little is known about the structure and activities performed by ethics committees at national medical organizations and societies. This five year follow-up study aimed to determine (1) the creation and function of ethics committees at medical organizations in Japan, and (2) their general strategies to deal with ethical problems. The study sample included the member societies of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences (n=92 in 1998, n=96 in 2003). Instruments consisted of two sections: (...) (1) the structure, function and activities of ethics committees, and (2) the strategies for dealing with ethical problems. Response rates were 84.4% in 1998 and 64.4% in 2003. Findings showed a significant increase of ethics committees at medical organizations between 1998 (25.6%) and 2003 (50.0%). Members were mostly male, medical doctors in clinical or basic medicine, and members of the organization. The major functions of ethics committees were ethical reviews of research protocols, policy making and ethical reviews of manuscripts submitted for journal publication. Among organizations that did not have an ethics committee, a significant decrease was found in organizations that replied that they had never experienced an ethical problem which needed further investigation (p<0.01). Findings suggested an overall rise in awareness of the importance of ethical issues and also highlighted an increase in recognition of responsibility regarding ethical problems. (shrink)