Biological evolution allegedly requires a genealogical conception of species (i.e., that species are descent-based "historical entities" rather than similarity-based "natural kinds"). After considering David Hull's arguments for this view, this paper opts instead for individuating species primarily via genetic similarities, but in a way which avoids charges of "Essentialism". It is suggested that a genealogical conception of species actually derives from a biological version of Behaviorism plus an interrelated pair of confusions regarding evolution and identity. Current taxonomic method may favor (...) the genealogical conception, but evolutionary theory-- as well as genetics and molecular biology--count against it. (shrink)
Background: Medical tourism, thought of as patients seeking non-emergency medical care outside of their home countries, is a growing industry worldwide. Canadians are amongst those engaging in medical tourism, and many are helped in the process of accessing care abroad by medical tourism brokers - agents who specialize in making international medical care arrangements for patients. As a key source of information for these patients, brokers are likely to play an important role in communicating the risks and benefits of undergoing (...) surgery or other procedures abroad to their clientele. This raises important ethical concerns regarding processes such as informed consent and the liability of brokers in the event that complications arise from procedures. The purpose of this article is to examine the language, information, and online marketing of Canadian medical tourism brokers' websites in light of such ethical concerns. Methods: An exhaustive online search using multiple search engines and keywords was performed to compile a comprehensive directory of English-language Canadian medical tourism brokerage websites. These websites were examined using thematic content analysis, which included identifying informational themes, generating frequency counts of these themes, and comparing trends in these counts to the established literature. Results: Seventeen websites were identified for inclusion in this study. It was found that Canadian medical tourism broker websites varied widely in scope, content, professionalism and depth of information. Three themes emerged from the thematic content analysis: training and accreditation, risk communication, and business dimensions. Third party accreditation bodies of debatable regulatory value were regularly mentioned on the reviewed websites, and discussion of surgical risk was absent on 47% of the websites reviewed, with limited discussion of risk on the remaining ones. Terminology describing brokers' roles was somewhat inconsistent across the websites. Finally, brokers' roles in follow up care, their prices, and the speed of surgery were the most commonly included business dimensions on the reviewed websites. Conclusion: Canadian medical tourism brokers currently lack a common standard of care and accreditation, and are widely lacking in providing adequate risk communication for potential medical tourists. This has implications for the informed consent and consequent safety of Canadian medical tourists. (shrink)
The Victorian period in Britain was an “age of reform.” It is therefore not surprising that two of the era’s most eminent intellects described themselves as reformers. Both William Whewell and John Stuart Mill believed that by reforming philosophy—including the philosophy of science—they could effect social and political change. But their divergent visions of this societal transformation led to a sustained and spirited controversy that covered morality, politics, science, and economics. Situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society (...) and its concerns, _Reforming Philosophy_ shows how two very different men captured the intellectual spirit of the day and engaged the attention of other scientists and philosophers, including the young Charles Darwin. Mill—philosopher, political economist, and Parliamentarian—remains a canonical author of Anglo-American philosophy, while Whewell—Anglican cleric, scientist, and educator—is now often overlooked, though in his day he was renowned as an authority on science. Placing their teachings in their proper intellectual, cultural, and argumentative spheres, Laura Snyder revises the standard views of these two important Victorian figures, showing that both men’s concerns remain relevant today. A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, _Reforming Philosophy_ is the first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety. A rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain, it will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy. (shrink)
In the nineteenth century, William Whewell claimed that his confirmation criterion of consilience was a truth-guarantor: we could, he believed, be certain that a consilient theory was true. Since that time Whewell has been much ridiculed for this claim by critics such as J. S. Mill and Bas van Fraassen. I have argued elsewhere that, while Whewell's claim that consilience can guarantee the truth of a theory is clearly wrong, consilience is indeed quite useful as a confirmation criterion (Snyder (...) 2005). Here I will show that, even when consilience gives evidence for a theory that turns out to be false, there is an important sense in which consilience shows that the theory has captured something correct about the natural-kind structure of the physical world. Whewell was therefore correct to claim that consilience provides a "criterion of reality" (Whewell  1967, vol. 2, 68). Consilience provides this by giving justification for the claim that we have really `cut nature at its causal joints', to adapt Plato's famous phrase. Because of this, consilience can play a role in an argument for scientific realism. (shrink)
A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, Reforming Philosophy considers the controversies between William Whewell and John Stuart Mill on the topics of science, morality, politics, and economics. By situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society and its concerns, Laura Snyder shows how two very different men—Whewell, an educator, Anglican priest, and critic of science; and Mill, a philosopher, political economist, and parliamentarian—reacted to the challenges of (...) their times, each seeking to reform science as a means of reforming society as a whole. The first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety, Reforming Philosophy provides a rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain and will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy. (shrink)
The authors co-organized (Snyder and Crooks) and gave a keynote presentation at (Turner) a conference on ethical issues in medical tourism. Medical tourism involves travel across international borders with the intention of receiving medical care. This care is typically paid for out-of-pocket and is motivated by an interest in cost savings and/or avoiding wait times for care in the patient’s home country. This practice raises numerous ethical concerns, including potentially exacerbating health inequities in destination and source countries and disrupting (...) continuity of care for patients. In this report, we synthesize conference presentations and present three lessons from the conference: 1) Medical tourism research has the potential for cross- or inter-disciplinarity but must bridge the gap between researchers trained in ethical theory and scholars unfamiliar with normative frameworks; 2) Medical tourism research must engage with empirical research from a variety of disciplines; and 3) Ethical analyses of medical tourism must incorporate both individual and population-level perspectives. While these lessons are presented in the context of research on medical tourism, we argue that they are applicable in other areas of research where global practices, such as human subject research and health worker migration, are occurring in the face of limited regulatory oversight. (shrink)
Interpreters of Theaetetus are prone to endorse the view that a god gave Socrates maieutic skill. This paper challenges that view. It provides a different account of the skill’s origins, and reconstructs a genealogy of Socratic philosophy that begins and has its end in human experience. Three distinct origins coordinate to bring forth a radically new conception of philosophy in the image of female midwifery: the state of wonder, the exercise of producing, examining and disavowing beliefs in the gradual cultivation (...) of human nature’s lack of skill, and Socrates’ understanding of god’s assistance as an endorsement of his mental infertility and the benefit of a particular form of dialectical training. The paper concludes by arguing that Socrates transforms philosophy into a pursuit of wisdom that has its telos in becoming like a woman. (shrink)
In this response, I reiterate my argument that price gouging undercuts the goal of equity in access to essential goods whereas Zwolinski emphasizes the importance of the efficient provision of essential goods above all other goals. I agree that the efficient provision of essential goods is important as I argue for the goal of equitable access to sufficient of the goods essential to living a minimally flourishing human life. However, efficiency is a means to this goal rather than the end (...) itself. Finally, I offer additional arguments against the non-worseness claim. (shrink)
Corroborating Testimony, Probability and Surprise’, Erik J. Olsson ascribes to L. Jonathan Cohen the claims that if two witnesses provide us with the same information, then the less probable the information is, the more confident we may be that the information is true (C), and the stronger the information is corroborated (C*). We question whether Cohen intends anything like claims (C) and (C*). Furthermore, he discusses the concurrence of witness reports within a context of independent witnesses, whereas the witnesses in (...) Olsson's model are not independent in the standard sense. We argue that there is much more than, in Olsson's words, ‘a grain of truth’ to claim (C), both on his own characterization as well as on Cohen's characterization of the witnesses. We present an analysis for independent witnesses in the contexts of decision-making under risk and decision-making under uncertainty and generalize the model for n witnesses. As to claim (C*), Olsson's argument is contingent on the choice of a particular measure of corroboration and is not robust in the face of alternative measures. Finally, we delimit the set of cases to which Olsson's model is applicable. 1 Claim (C) examined for Olsson's characterization of the relationship between the witnesses 2 Claim (C) examined for two or more independent witnesses 3 Robustness and multiple measures of corroboration 4 Discussion. (shrink)
In this paper, we present an ethical and strategic approach to managing organizational crises. The proposed crisis management model (1) offers a new approach to guide an organization’s strategic and ethical response to crisis, and (2) provides a two-by-two framework for classifying organizational crises. The ethically rational approach to crisis draws upon strategic rationality, crisis, and ethics literature to understand and address organizational crises. Recent examples of corporate crises are employed to illustrate the theoretical claims advanced. Finally, the paper provides (...) guidelines for a morally optimal outcome for the organization and its stakeholders. (shrink)
Many nations in the developing world invest scarce funding into training health workers. When these workers migrate to richer countries, particularly when this migration occurs before the source community can recoup the costs of training, the destination community realizes a net gain in resources by obtaining the workers' skills without having to pay for their training. This effect of health worker migration has frequently been condemned as 'poaching' or a case of theft. I assess the charge that the rich nations (...) of the world poach the resources of the developing world through the active recruitment of migrants. I argue that the charge of poaching is misguided in these cases. The misuse of the term poaching is particularly troubling as it distracts attention away from the many actual moral wrongs taking place through the process of health worker migration and objectifies health workers. (shrink)
Our paper presents a novel theory of weak crossover effects, based entirely on quantifier scope preferences and their consequences for variable binding. The structural notion of 'crossover' play no role. We develop a theory of scope preferences which ascribes a central role to the AGR-P System.
For many social scientists, clock time is seen as either a mechanism of economic power relations that reinforces social domination or a resource that facilitates individual market-oriented action. In this article I develop a neo-Weberian perspective that presents clock time as a moral institution that shapes social action in modernity through two “time disciplines”: regularity and density. Where regularity supports a methodical life, density maintains a life of constant activity. The article traces the history of regularity and density between the (...) fourth and twentieth centuries: from a “culture of vigilance,” which originated in Benedictine monastic culture, to a “culture of busyness,” which arose within Protestant and Renaissance culture. It shows that although we often think of busyness, time pressure, and burnout as contemporary problems, they have long been at the root of clock time culture. By extending Weber’s approach, the paper provides deeper insight into the fraught moral life of clock time in modernity. (shrink)
We introduce an innovative technique that quantifies human expertise development in such a way that humans and artificial systems can be directly compared. Using this technique we are able to highlight certain fundamental difficulties associated with the learning of a complex task that humans are still exceptionally better at than their computer counterparts. We demonstrate that expertise goes through significant developmental transitions that have previously been predicted but never explicated. The first signals the onset of a steady increase in global (...) awareness that begins surprisingly late in expertise acquisition. The second transition, reached by only a very few experts in the world, shows a major reorganisation of global contextual knowledge resulting in a relatively minor gain in skill. We are able to show that these empirical findings have consequences for our understanding of the way in which expertise acquisition may be modelled by learning in artificial intelligence systems. This point is emphasised with a novel theoretical result showing explicitly how our findings imply a non-trivial hurdle for learning for suitably complex tasks. (shrink)
Feet play a crucial role in migration, and experiences of death and hopes for new life are etched into migrants’ soles. In the face of complex and fraught ethical debates that have largely been deontological and teleological in tone, this article employs feet and footwashing as heuristic devices to suggest the need for receiving communities to develop a multi-textured virtue-based response alongside these. Cultivation of a habitus rooted in attention to bodies, service, power subversion, mutuality and confession could lead to (...) new life both for those in migration and those long settled. (shrink)
A straightforward explanation of fundamental tenets concerning the quantum mechanical wave function results in the thesis that the quantum mechanical wave function is a link between human cognition and the physical world. The way in which physicists have not accepted this explanation is discussed, and some of the roots of the problem are explored. The basis for an empirical test as to whether the wave function is a link between human cognition and the physical world is provided through developing an (...) experiment incorporating methodology from psychology and physics. Research in psychology and physics that relied on this methodology indicates that it is likely that Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen's theoretical result that mutually exclusive wave functions can simultaneously apply to the same concrete physical circumstances can be implemented on an empirical level. (shrink)
Medications of choice, necessary supplies, and evidence-based health care now seem like luxuries. The contrast between my experience at a well-funded health unit and the Lev El Lev (“heart to heart”) African Refugee Clinic in Tel Aviv, Israel, is staggering. The complex personal, social, health, psychological, educational, and economic difficulties create a unique ethical environment for the health care provider.
This paper will suggest a mapping for human dynamics to see where emerging digital technology currently and could further affect the dynamics of the human, technological and natural, and the cultural forms that define them. Emerging technology will be seen to reveal and surpass the limitations of human measures built on human abilities and perception. and the social structures that are derived from them. The formation of this conceptual mapping is based on the premise that digital technology has the ability (...) to better relay and hence refine dynamics working at points where culture is created and necessitated in our perception of a shared reality. Technology thus alleviates the layering, representation, labelling, and reification notions of culture that are based in human perceptual limitations. Information as referential will be seen against the tendency of technology to offer succinct mediation and direct actions as a format for any change and application with refined cultural constructions. The mapping presents a notion of homeostasis or more bereft of balance at the point where the proximal dynamics of the unit, that is, the individual, is closely supported by the technology with a changing orientation to the dynamics of a natural environment. The notion of a person as an individual is also reconsidered in terms of technology and how this changing definition is part of how we conceptualize a balanced world. Nonlinear mapping rendered in a complex will be introduced to align these mixed dynamics. Complex is here defined as a concurrence of dynamics evident in shifts of change that act as a whole and where each action affects the whole. As measures are revealed so, too, will be the source of notions of linearity and nonlinearity; mapping; point of view as a basis of complexity; and evolutionary theory as a function of a labeling of cultural dynamics. (shrink)
Medical tourism is international travel with the intention of receiving medical care. Medical tourists travel for many reasons, including cost savings, limited domestic access to specific treatments, and interest in accessing unproven interventions. Medical tourism poses new health and safety risks to patients, including dangers associated with travel following surgery, difficulty assessing the quality of care abroad, and complications in continuity of care. Online resources are important to the decision-making of potential medical tourists and the websites of medical tourism facilitation (...) companies are an important source of online information for these individuals. These websites fail to address the risks associated with medical tourism, which can undermine the informed decision-making of potential medical tourists. Less is known about patient testimonials on these websites, which can be a particularly powerful influence on decision-making. (shrink)
Cet article est une comparaison de certaines affirmations ontologiques sur la nature de la matière première chez le platonicien de la Renaissance Marsilio Ficino et sur la nature de l’espace chez Frane Petrić, platonicien du XVIème siècle issu de la ville de Cres. J’y soutiens que les philosophies naturelles des deux platoniciens se ressemblent à deux égards, notamment en ce qui concerne le statut ontologique du substrat le plus fondamental du monde matériel. D’abord, Ficino comme Petrić soutiennent l’existence fondamentale de (...) la matière et de l’espace. Deuxièmement, les deux philosophes attribuent la « priorité ontologique » à la matière et à l’espace sur ce qui est considéré comme qualités éphémères du monde materiel. (shrink)
There is currently no international consensus around post-trial obligations toward research participants, community members, and host countries. This literature review investigates arguments and attitudes toward post-trial access. The literature review found that academic discussions focused on the rights of research participants, but offered few practical recommendations for addressing or improving current practices. Similarly, there are few regulations or legislation pertaining to post-trial access. If regulatory changes are necessary, we need to understand the current arguments, legislation, and attitudes towards post-trial access (...) and participants and community members. Given that clinical trials conducted in low-income countries will likely continue, there is an urgent need for consideration of post-trial benefits for participants, communities, and citizens of host countries. While this issue may not be as pressing in countries where participants have access to healthcare and medicines through public schemes, it is particularly important in regions where this may not be available. (shrink)
I would like to thank all of the respondents to my article both for their expansions on the theme of health worker migration and for their criticisms of my argument against the use of the term ’poaching’ in the context of international health worker migration. In this response, I will clarify my argument in light of the worries raised primarily by Tache and Schillinger and Ari Zivotofsky and Naomi Zivotofsky.
Despite North Korea's antipathy to outside religious influence, it is primarily American NGOs with financial backing from religious organizations that have maintained development and exchange programs with the regime.