Using data obtained during a retrospective interview study of 30 women who had undergone genetic testing—BRCA1/2 mutation searching—this paper describes how women, previously diagnosed with breast/ovarian cancer, perceive their role in generating genetic information about themselves and their families. It observes that when describing their motivations for undergoing DNA testing and their experiences of disclosing genetic information within the family these women provide care based ethical justifications for their actions. Finally, it argues that generating genetic information and disclosing this information (...) to kin raise different types of ethical issues. The implications of these findings for ethical debates about informed choice in the context of genetic testing are discussed. (shrink)
This article examines the relationship between compromise and fairness, and considers in particular why, if a fair outcome to a conflict is available, the conflict should still be subject to compromise. It sets out the defining features of compromise and explains how fair compromise differs from both principled and pragmatic compromise. The fairness relating to compromise can be of two types: procedural or end-state. It is the coherence of end-state fairness with compromise that proves the more puzzling case. We offer (...) reasons why people should be allowed to resolve conflicting or competing claims through compromise, even if compromise comes at the expense of end-state fairness, but we resist the suggestion that the primary rationale for compromise is to be found in non-ideal circumstances. (shrink)
In the United Kingdom, there are moves to extend formal ethical review of research involving human subjects beyond the traditional oversight by NHS local or multi-centre research ethics committees of medical or clinical research, to also encompass all ‘non-clinical’ research involving human subjects. This paper describes and analyses the development and implementation of a model for ethical review within the university sector. At Cardiff University, a devolved or two-tiered system of ethics review has been created in which a top-level university (...) research ethics committee provides policy advice to and oversight of school-based research ethics committees that engage in formal ethics review of research conducted in their respective schools. We describe the system and reflect on the challenges and benefits of implementing such a coordinated and comprehensive university-wide system of ethics review. (shrink)
This paper is about rewilding and the tensions it involves. Rewilding is a relatively novel approach to nature conservation, which seeks to be proactive and ambitious in the face of continuing environmental decline. Whilst definitions of rewilding place a strong emphasis on non-human agency, it is an inescapably human aspiration resulting in a range of social conflicts. The paper focuses on the case study of the Cambrian Wildwood project in Mid Wales, evaluating the ways in which debate and strategic action (...) to advance rewilding is proceeding, assessing the extent to which compromise and learning has occurred amongst advocates. As such, we provide an important addition to the field, by detailing how conflicts play out over time and how actors' positioning and approach shifts, and why. In this case, tempers have flared around the threat that rewilding is seen to pose to resident farming communities. Tensions discussed include the differing social constructions of landscape and nature involved; the distribution of impacts on different stakeholders; and the relative power of different actors to make decisions and gain representation. Responding to these, the paper outlines how rewilding advocates have sought to advance a more peopled and culturally responsive vision, which seeks to champion sustainable livelihood strategies. The changes in approach detailed demonstrate a reflexive stance from rewilders, which suggests that learning and adaptation can occur. Nonetheless, caution is expressed regarding the extent to which rewilding can truly advance inclusive opportunities for rural change, given a continued return amongst stakeholders to exclusionary narratives of belonging and authenticity, suggesting substantive difficulty in moving beyond longstanding concerns over identity and the re-imagination of place. Rewilding, it would seem, is about who we think we are and how we co-constitute our sense of self. We, therefore, close by arguing that tactics and politicking can only have so much bearing, tensions over rewilding are unavoidably emotional. (shrink)
Emily Elizabeth Constance Jones was an English logician and contemporary of Bertrand Russell, as well as Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge. In this book, originally published in 1911, she argues for the existence of another fundamental law of thought to join the Law of Contradiction and the Law of Excluded Middle: the Law of Significant Assertion. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in logic or in Jones' work.
In a recent article in this journal, Zachary Ardern criticizes our view that the most promising candidate for a naturalized criterion of disease is the "selected effects" account of biological function and dysfunction. Here we reply to Ardern’s criticisms and, more generally, clarify the relationship between adaptation and dysfunction in the evolution of health and disease.
Background This pilot study evaluated the speaking book ‘What it means to be part of a clinical trial’. The book aims at empowering populations with information on their rights and responsibilities when enrolled in clinical research. Wide publication of the book—at significant cost—is anticipated. It is important that the book is evaluated within the communities for whom it is intended, and the necessary changes (if any) are made, before translation and large-scale publication takes place. Objective The objective of the study (...) was to measure the efficacy and ease of use of the book. Methods Participants were recruited from a catering company. Participants were questioned on their knowledge of clinical trials and were then given the book. Instructions for use of the book were given to one group (‘experimental’ group). The other group (‘control’ group) was not given any instructions. A week later, the investigators returned, repeated the knowledge questions and asked ‘ease of use’ questions. Results A two-way repeated measure of covariants showed a statistically significant positive increase in knowledge of clinical trials among the intervention group (p=0.02). Results for the control group displayed trends that were not statistically significant. Percentage analysis of ‘ease of use’ questions proved that the book is easy to use, although some changes would be beneficial. Conclusion This study revealed that the speaking book is easy to use. It significantly increased knowledge of clinical trials among the study sample if instructions on use of the book were provided. (shrink)
There is increasing interest in research that combines neuroscientific and educational perspectives on learning, but significant philosophical issues divide these perspectives. This article examines the value of such neuroeducational research and how concepts from different perspectives may be interrelated through a ‘level of actions’ model. This model, which encourages a multiperspective approach, may be helpful in avoiding some of the worst transgressions of sense-making in constructing concepts that span neuroscience and education. Application of the model is explored in the context (...) of teaching strategies intended to foster creativity, and its affordances and limitations are discussed. (shrink)
Natural and supernatural explanations are used to interpret the same events in a number of predictable and universal ways. Yet little is known about how variation in diverse cultural ecologies influences how people integrate natural and supernatural explanations. Here, we examine explanatory coexistence in three existentially arousing domains of human thought: illness, death, and human origins using qualitative data from interviews conducted in Tanna, Vanuatu. Vanuatu, a Melanesian archipelago, provides a cultural context ideal for examining variation in explanatory coexistence due (...) to the lack of industrialization and the relatively recent introduction of Christianity and Western education. We argue for the integration of interdisciplinary methodologies from cognitive science and anthropology to inform research on explanatory coexistence. (shrink)
A multidisciplinary faculty committee designed a curriculum to shape biomedical graduate students into researchers with a high commitment to professionalism and social responsibility and to provide students with tools to navigate complex, rapidly evolving academic and societal environments with a strong ethical commitment. The curriculum used problem-based learning (PBL), because it is active and learner-centred and focuses on skill and process development. Two courses were developed: Scientific Professionalism: Scientific Integrity addressed discipline-specific and broad professional norms and obligations for the ethical (...) practice of science and responsible conduct of research (RCR). Scientific Professionalism: Bioethics and Social Responsibility focused on current ethical and bioethical issues within the scientific profession, and implications of research for society. Each small-group session examined case scenarios that included: (1) learning objectives for professional norms and obligations; (2) key ethical issues and philosophies within each topic area; (3) one or more of the RCR instructional areas; and (4) at least one type of moral reflection. Cases emphasised professional standards, obligations and underlying philosophies for the ethical practice of science, competing interests of stakeholders and oversight of science (internal and external). To our knowledge, this is the first use of a longitudinal, multi-semester PBL course to teach scientific integrity and professionalism. Both faculty and students endorsed the active learning approach for these topics, in contrast to a compliance-based approach that emphasises learning rules and regulations. (shrink)
Abstract A Note to Cogito Les Jones Blackburn College Previous submissions include -Intention, interpretation and literary theory, a first lookWittgenstein and St Augustine A DiscussionAreas of Interest – History of Western Philosophy, Miscellaneous Philosophy, European A Note on Cogito Descartes' brilliance in driving out doubt, and proving the existence of himself as a thinking entity, is well documented. Sartre's critique (or maybe extension) is both apposite and grounded and takes these enquiries on to another level. Let's take a look. (...) 'I think' somehow, for all its power, lacks something. What? Consider what one does when thinking (difficult, but we can try). Implicit in the word 'think', in fact the very essence of the word 'think', is that activity is going on, and if such activity is going on then it must be going on about something, an object, an emotion, a problem,or maybe some dreamlike state, but common to all these is that something is going on. Is that really so? Well, if that wasn't so we would be able to think in a pure state, wouldn't we? But what does a pure state of 'thinking' mean? It can't mean that there isnothing there, because if there were nothing there then no thinking would be taking place. Can it mean that we are thinking of nothing? Well no, because if we are thinking of nothing then we are thinking of something, we are contemplating the notion, or the nature, of nothing. In fact, one can argue that if we talk of something, inthis case nothing or nothingness, then in our head we have some notion of what that is, i.e. something exists in the mind for it to come out of our mouths. Thinking is a recognition of something outside the individual, for the very act of direction, which isan indispensable part of thinking, recognises, must recognise, that there are things to address outside the individual. Something else to bear in mind. According to Sartre human beings are condemned to freedom. Why condemned? Human beings did not choose to be born, but the act ofbeing born also imparts the freedom of which Sartre speaks. Freedom is something which we parrot off as being a sine qua non for the human condition. I believe that's true, but freedom in this sense isn't without its consequences for the individual humanbeing, for individual human beings handle freedom differently. To some it enables them to fly, to others it imparts immense pressures, anguish, heartbreak, unhappiness can all be associated with such freedom. Each individual is responsible for his destiny, for his direction. If someone says that God impelled him, that individual chose his or her God, and chose to obey his or her God. This believer has to sift through the multitude of things that his or her God desire of him or her. All this is fine, so long as we acknowledge what is going on here. Belief in God is, by definition, a belief. Belief, following Wittgenstein, is a language game with its rules and its boundaries. The essential feature of religion as language game are its boundaries, which can be summed up in the word belief. OK, belief has its practises which are its constituent parts, but belief is the boundary between religion and other language games, as the proof constituents are different. Our world is determined by the language used to describe everything that goes on within it. The boundaries of our world are set by the language we use. This might be better put as language gives access to ever expending boundaries. Ever expanding boundaries are only possible by ever expanding thought, and ever expanding thought is only possible by ever expanding directions to our thought brought about through language. It is a fact taken that to be conscious is to think. How could this be otherwise? Consciousness without thought just does not make sense. Imagine a state of consciousness without directional thought. What would it be like? It would be something never experienced, completely out of our understanding. Why? Because understanding itself is a directional thought process. If we say we are going outside our understanding then that is a world of void, and a world of void does not exist. Can such a world be contemplated in our thinking? Well, yes, but then it requires thinking, and thinking requires direction, and such direction requires language. Why does direction require language? Because there is no other way for human beings to articulate a directional thought. Could one point at an image without language? Well, one could have an image in mind, but the essence of saying something about it, of descriptive power, brings us back to the essence, to the power of language to direct. So what of this language of which we speak? Wittgenstein's private language argument points us towards the notion that language itself constantly develops and redevelops through human interaction. Descarte's cogito implies that thinking rules out doubt of one's own existence. But such thinking, to be valid, to make sense, to direct, must develop in a language that has developed, has been verified, by a plurality, by a plurality whose essence is social. Correct use of language symbols, i.e. words, requires that we verify and reverify the accuracy of such symbols. How do we do that? We do that in constant usage, in constant interaction, with other human beings. An individual using a private language could not be understood by others, his symbol system has not been verified by others, his meanings may not be your meanings. It follows from what we have said above that language is constructed, and is continually constructed, in a social context. Given our previous thoughts regarding verification this could not be otherwise. Language has a normative form. All language users are required, by their very use of the language, to verify the use of terms, grammar etc etc. As Wittgenstein cites (appropriately) games as a model, let us take a look. If I play e.g. Ludo, I am governed by the rules. It is not just that I may play dishonestly, for if I were to play at all that very dishonesty, to count as Ludo, would have to be rule governed. The rules of Ludo are Ludo, they are the essence and the constitution of it. Wittgenstein, particularly in his later writings, interweaves many concepts, and connects them in different and sometimes rather elusive ways. Wittgenstein sees concepts like emotions, sentiments and experiences in these interweaving maps. Of course these can be regarded as psychological concepts ** Language can be considered in another but related way, as embodying the elements of a cultural heritage. Language was seen as embodying the notion of higher culture in the arts, architecture etc. Over recent decades this has tended to shift to consider less tangible benefits, such things as oral traditions, cultural values and cultural identity. So language enables us to explore, through the achievements of past generations, cultural mores that may have laid unchallenged for many years. Many of these values and mores may be seen as independent of the language by which they are transmitted, but still this monumental accomplishment of mankind i.e. language, enables man to explore, to modify, to codify, to extend the boundaries of human experience. There are therefore massive implications for our Note on Cogito of Wittgenstein's work. Following Wittgenstein emotions and other psychological concepts can be termed depth grammar, and are distinguished by the fact that the third person of the present is recognised by observation, the first person is not. Taking Wittgenstein's well known pain example the sentence 'He is in pain' is a third person statement of an observational nature. The sentence 'I am in pain' is not derived from observation but from experience, it is an expression of that experience, it's essence is the experience. The asymmetry consists in the fact that predicting psychological attributes of others is warranted by what they do and say. By contrast, the use of such statements in the first person present tense does not rest on one's observation of one's own behaviour. (Hacker 2010:287) p 9 According to Wittgenstein 'I am in pain' is more like a cry of pain, an expression of pain, than a report of some pain. Of course this appertains for other similar statements. 'I feel good' etc. (shrink)
BackgroundInnovations in technology have contributed to rapid changes in the way that modern biomedical research is carried out. Researchers are increasingly required to endorse adaptive and flexible approaches to accommodate these innovations and comply with ethical, legal and regulatory requirements. This paper explores how Dynamic Consent may provide solutions to address challenges encountered when researchers invite individuals to participate in research and follow them up over time in a continuously changing environment.MethodsAn interdisciplinary workshop jointly organised by the University of Oxford (...) and the COST Action CHIP ME gathered clinicians, researchers, ethicists, lawyers, research participants and patient representatives to discuss experiences of using Dynamic Consent, and how such use may facilitate the conduct of specific research tasks. The data collected during the workshop were analysed using a content analysis approach.ResultsDynamic Consent can provide practical, sustainable and future-proof solutions to challenges related to participant recruitment, the attainment of informed consent, participant retention and consent management, and may bring economic efficiencies.ConclusionsDynamic Consent offers opportunities for ongoing communication between researchers and research participants that can positively impact research. Dynamic Consent supports inter-sector, cross-border approaches and large scale data-sharing. Whilst it is relatively easy to set up and maintain, its implementation will require that researchers re-consider their relationship with research participants and adopt new procedures. (shrink)
In this new and original book, Claire Armon-Jones examines the concept of affect and various philosophical positions which attempt to define and characterize it: the standard view, the neo-cognitivist view, and the objectual thesis. She contends that these views radically distort our understanding of affect by disregarding modes of affect which fail to conform to the accounts they each employ. Against the standard and neo-cognitivist views she argues that the notions they use to characterize affect are neither necessary nor (...) sufficient; and against the objectual thesis she further argues that affective states exhibit degrees of independence from the concept of an object. She develops a new theory of the varieties of affect that explains their cognitive nature, their felt aspect, their special logic and the relationship between their objectless and object-directed forms. Armon-Jones concludes by suggesting that her arguments call into question certain assumptions about the rationality and moral status of affect and require a revision of the conception of the good in affect. (shrink)
Tamsin Jones believes that locating Jean-Luc Marion solely within theological or phenomenological discourse undermines the coherence of his intellectual and philosophical enterprise. Through a comparative examination of Marion’s interpretation and use of Dionysius the Areopagite and Gregory of Nyssa, Jones evaluates the interplay of the manifestation and hiddenness of phenomena. By placing Marion against the backdrop of these Greek fathers, Jones sharpens the tension between Marion’s rigorous method and its intended purpose: a safeguard against idolatry. At once (...) situated at the crossroads of the debate over the turn to religion in French phenomenology and an inquiry into the retrieval of early Christian writings within this discourse, A Genealogy of Marion’s Philosophy of Religion opens up a new view of the phenomenology of religious experience. (shrink)
Abstract I re-present my account of how a liberal democratic society can be tolerant and do so in a way designed to meet Peter Balint’s objections. In particular, I explain how toleration can be approached from a third-party perspective, which is that of neither tolerator nor tolerated but of rule-makers providing for the toleration that the citizens of a society are to extend to one another. Constructing a regime of toleration should not be confused with engaging in toleration. Negative appraisal (...) and power remain ‘possibility conditions’ of toleration but they are not necessary features of either a regime of toleration or the sponsors of such a regime. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11158-012-9178-2 Authors Peter Jones, Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU UK Journal Res Publica Online ISSN 1572-8692 Print ISSN 1356-4765. (shrink)
This editorial outlines the articles included in the special thematic symposium on corporate social responsibility and employees and highlights their contributions to the literature. In doing so, it highlights the novel theoretical and empirical insights provided by the articles, how the articles inform and expand the methods and research designs researchers can use to study phenomena in this area, and identifies promising directions for future research.
The proposal that there is an illusion of conscious will has been supported by findings that priming of stimulus location in a task requiring judgements of action-authorship can enhance participants’ experience of agency. We attempted to replicate findings from the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ task [Aarts, H., Custers, R., & Wegner, D. M. . On the inference of personal authorship: enhancing experienced agency by priming effect information. Consciousness and Cognition, 14, 439–458]. We also examined participants’ performance on this task in relation (...) to self-reported passivity experiences and hallucination-proneness. We found a significant effect of priming, with primes being found to increase the experience of agency. An interaction between gender and priming was also found, with priming enhancing feelings of agency in women but not in men. There were no significant correlations between levels of self-reported passivity experiences or hallucination-proneness and participants’ susceptibility to the priming effect on ratings of agency. Implications of these findings are discussed with regard to a prominent model of passivity experiences. (shrink)
Paul Griffiths and John Matthewson argue that selected effects play the key role in determining whether a state is pathological. In response, it is argued that a selected effects account faces a number of difficulties in light of modern genomic research. Firstly, a modern history approach to selection is problematic as a basis for assigning function to human traits in light of the small population sizes in the hominin lineage, which imply that selection has played a limited role in shaping (...) these genomes in the evolutionarily recent past. Secondly, determining both the genetic basis of disease and selective histories of the various alleles involved may be experimentally intractable. Thirdly, the existence of “selected disorders” is well supported, and yet on the other hand many other common diseases may not reduce evolutionary fitness. In summary, the biological ends promoted by natural selection, as best modeled in recent research, do not adequately ground a concept of dysfunction that aligns well with the interests of human health. (shrink)
Half of the 33.2 million people living with HIV today are women. Yet, responses to the epidemic are not adequately meeting the needs of women. This article critically evaluates how prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs, the principal framework under which women's health is currently addressed in the global response to AIDS, have tended to focus on the prevention of HIV transmission from HIV-positive women to their infants. This paper concludes that more than ten years after their inception, PMTCT programs (...) still do not successfully ensure the adequate treatment, care and support of HIV-infected women. Of particular concern is the continued widespread use of single-dose nevirapine despite World Health Organization recommendations to employ more effective combination therapies that do not potentially jeopardize women's future treatment outcomes. In response, the article calls for a more comprehensive approach that places women's health needs at the centre of AIDS responses. This is critical in settings where the pandemic is generalized and there is a push to greatly expand PMTCT programs, as a more effective and equitable way of meeting the needs of women in the context of HIV. Without such a comprehensive approach, women will continue to be impacted disproportionately by the pandemic, and current strategies for prevention, including PMTCT, and treatment will not be as effective and responsive as they need to be. (shrink)
Recent claims that the Christian tradition justifies destructive research on human embryos have drawn upon an article by the late Professor Gordon Dunstan which appeared in this journal in 1984. Despite its undoubted influence, this article was flawed and seriously misrepresented the tradition of Christian reflection on the moral status of the human embryo.
A resurgence of interest in inner speech as a core feature of human experience has not yet coincided with methodological progress in the empirical study of the phenomenon. The present article reports the development and psychometric validation of a novel instrument, the Varieties of Inner Speech Questionnaire , designed to assess the phenomenological properties of inner speech along dimensions of dialogicality, condensed/expanded quality, evaluative/motivational nature, and the extent to which inner speech incorporates other people’s voices. In response to findings that (...) some forms of psychopathology may relate to inner speech, anxiety, depression, and proneness to auditory and visual hallucinations were also assessed. Anxiety, but not depression, was found to be uniquely positively related to both evaluative/motivational inner speech and the presence of other voices in inner speech. Only dialogic inner speech predicted auditory hallucination-proneness, with no inner speech variables predicting levels of visual hallucinations/disturbances. Directions for future research are discussed. (shrink)
This paper reports on selected attitudes of a sample of third-year undergraduate business students in a major urban university. The focus of the research is on respondent perceptions of certain aspects of the employee-employer relationship. Such issues as use of the company car for a personal trip, use of the company copy machine for personal copies, calling in sick when some personal time is needed, eating at the very best restaurant on a business trip and others are explored. Half of (...) the students surveyed were asked to respond as though they were employees of the company. The other half were asked to respond as though they were the President of the company. Both groups seemed to reflect a certain amount of flexibility in their responses to the issues presented. The assumed position of the respondent, the situation, did influence the responses given. (shrink)
This article is written from within the Catholic, and more particularly the Augustinian/Thomist tradition of moral theology. It analyses the response of the Catholic Magisterium to the prospect of germline-genetic engineering (GGE). This is a very new issue and the Church has little definitive teaching on it. The statements of Popes and Vatican congregations or commissions have not settled the key questions. An analysis of theological themes drawn from secular writers points beyond pragmatic safety considerations toward intrinsic ethical limits to (...) GGE. Given the impossibility of identifying would-have-been-created persons who would be “treated” by this intervention, altering the human genome for the sake of future generations cannot be regarded as “therapy.” Further theological considerations suggest that GGE may not be morally permissible, even in the case of identifiable genetic diseases. This is an area where more theological reflection is needed. (shrink)
It is proposed that the Darwinian theoretical approach and account of living systems has not yet been clearly given. A first approximation to this is attempted, focussing on behavior in evolving environments. A theoretical terminology is defined emphasizing the mutuality of organism and environment and the existence of biologically theoretical entities.
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