The European project European and Latin American Systems of Ethics Regulation of Biomedical Research Project (EULABOR) has carried out the first comparative analysis of ethics regulation systems for biomedical research in seven countries in Europe and Latin America, evaluating their roles in the protection of human subjects. We developed a conceptual and methodological framework defining ‘ethics regulation system for biomedical research’ as a set of actors, institutions, codes and laws involved in overseeing the ethics of biomedical research on humans. This (...) framework allowed us to develop comprehensive national reports by conducting semi-structured interviews to key informants. These reports were summarised and analysed in a comparative analysis. The study showed that the regulatory framework for clinical research in these countries differ in scope. It showed that despite the different political contexts, actors involved and motivations for creating the regulation, in most of the studied countries it was the government who took the lead in setting up the system. The study also showed that Europe and Latin America are similar regarding national bodies and research ethics committees, but the Brazilian system has strong and noteworthy specificities. (shrink)
Bioethics embraces a number of ethical problems connected to medicine, biomedical research, and health law. Most of these have both a universal dimension and a more particular one. Reproductive rights, exploitation, commodification, biomedical research, and the protection of the environment, among others, are issues that can be discussed from a universal perspective.
Señoras y señores, amigas y amigos:Para mí constituye una ocasión de gran alegría y honda satisfacción realizar, a nombre de la Universidad Bolivariana, esta presentación de homenaje a nuestro amigo y maestro Franz Josef Hinkelammert. Querría presentar sucintamente una semblanza de su personalidad intelectual y de su vasta obra investigativa. Nació en Alemania en 1931. Doctor en Economía por la Universidad Libre de Berlín, realizó su formación de postgrado en el Instituto de Europa Oriental..
De acuerdo con los informes del Observatorio Español sobre Drogas, organismo institucional responsable del análisis del fenómeno de las drogodependencias en el conjunto de España, en los últimos años de la década del 2000 viene registrándose un descenso general en los consumos de sustancias psicoactivas, tanto de comercio legal como ilegal, tal vez con la única excepción de los hipnosedantes y antidepresivos. Ciertamente esta primera afirmación genérica debe matizarse, ya que este fenómeno no se da de forma similar para todas (...) las sustancias, ni sigue la misma evolución en todos los casos; pero aún así es un hecho constatable que de alguna manera contradice los frecuentes mensajes alarmistas sobre la situación de las drogas, su consumo y las consecuencias de este en nuestro país. (shrink)
Our trust in the word of others is often dismissed as unworthy, because the illusory ideal of "autonomous knowledge" has prevailed in the debate about the nature of knowledge. Yet we are profoundly dependent on others for a vast amount of what any of us claim to know. Coady explores the nature of testimony in order to show how it might be justified as a source of knowledge, and uses the insights that he has developed to challenge certain widespread assumptions (...) in the areas of history, law, mathematics, and psychology. (shrink)
Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples (...) as landmarks. They clarify the central themes of the debate about causation, and cover questions about causation involving omissions or absences, preemption and other species of redundant causation, and the possibility that causation is not transitive. Along the way, Paul and Hall examine several contemporary proposals for analyzing the nature of causation and assess their merits and overall methodological cogency.The book is designed to be of value both to trained specialists and those coming to the problem of causation for the first time. It provides the reader with a broad and sophisticated view of the metaphysics of the causal relation. (shrink)
Like other epistemic activities, inquiry seems to be governed by norms. Some have argued that one such norm forbids us from believing the answer to a question and inquiring into it at the same time. But another, hither-to neglected norm seems to permit just this sort of cognitive arrangement when we seek to confirm what we currently believe. In this paper, I suggest that both norms are plausible and that the conflict between them constitutes a puzzle. Drawing on the felicity (...) conditions of confirmation requests and the biased interrogatives used to perform them, I argue that the puzzle is genuine. I conclude by considering a response to the puzzle that has implications for the debate regarding the relationship between credences and beliefs. (shrink)
When this work was first published in 1960, it immediately filled a void in Kantian scholarship. It was the first study entirely devoted to Kant's _Critique of Practical Reason_ and by far the most substantial commentary on it ever written. This landmark in Western philosophical literature remains an indispensable aid to a complete understanding of Kant's philosophy for students and scholars alike. This _Critique_ is the only writing in which Kant weaves his thoughts on practical reason into a unified argument. (...) Lewis White Beck offers a classic examination of this argument and expertly places it in the context of Kant's philosophy and of the moral philosophy of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Since it was first published, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell has quickly established itself as the most accessible and comprehensive introduction to this profound and deeply fascinating area of theoretical physics. Now in this fully revised and expanded edition, A. Zee covers the latest advances while providing a solid conceptual foundation for students to build on, making this the most up-to-date and modern textbook on quantum field theory available. -/- This expanded edition features several additional chapters, as well as (...) an entirely new section describing recent developments in quantum field theory such as gravitational waves, the helicity spinor formalism, on-shell gluon scattering, recursion relations for amplitudes with complex momenta, and the hidden connection between Yang-Mills theory and Einstein gravity. Zee also provides added exercises, explanations, and examples, as well as detailed appendices, solutions to selected exercises, and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
"A consistently clear, comprehensive and accessible introduction which carefully sifts Foucault's work for both its strengths and weaknesses. McHoul and Grace show an intimate familiarity with Foucault's writings and a lively, but critical engagement with the relevance of his work. A model primer." -Tony Bennett, author of Outside Literature In such seminal works as Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish , and The History of Sexuality , the late philosopher Michel Foucault explored what our politics, our sexuality, our societal conventions, (...) and our changing notions of truth told us about ourselves. In the process, Foucault garnered a reputation as one of the pre-eminent philosophers of the latter half of the twentieth century and has served as a primary influence on successive generations of philosophers and cultural critics. With A Foucault Primer , Alec McHoul and Wendy Grace bring Foucault's work into focus for the uninitiated. Written in crisp and concise prose, A Foucault Primer explicates three central concepts of Foucauldian theory-discourse, power, and the subject-and suggests that Foucault's work has much yet to contribute to contemporary debate. (shrink)
Churchland's paper "Perceptual Plasticity and Theoretical Neutrality" offers empirical, semantical and epistemological arguments intended to show that the cognitive impenetrability of perception "does not establish a theory-neutral foundation for knowledge" and that the psychological account of perceptual encapsulation that I set forth in The Modularity of Mind "[is] almost certainly false". The present paper considers these arguments in detail and dismisses them.
I defend a one category ontology: an ontology that denies that we need more than one fundamental category to support the ontological structure of the world. Categorical fundamentality is understood in terms of the metaphysically prior, as that in which everything else in the world consists. One category ontologies are deeply appealing, because their ontological simplicity gives them an unmatched elegance and spareness. I’m a fan of a one category ontology that collapses the distinction between particular and property, replacing it (...) with a single fundamental category of intrinsic characters or qualities. We may describe the qualities as qualitative charactersor as modes, perhaps on the model of Aristotelian qualitative (nonsubstantial) kinds, and I will use the term “properties” interchangeably with “qualities”. The qualities are repeatable and reasonably sparse, although, as I discuss in section 2.6, there are empirical reasons that may suggest, depending on one’s preferred fundamental physical theory, that they include irreducibly intensive qualities. There are no uninstantiated qualities. I also assume that the fundamental qualitative natures are intrinsic, although physics may ultimately suggest that some of them are extrinsic. On my view, matter, concrete objects, abstract objects, and perhaps even spacetime are constructed from mereological fusions of qualities, so the world is simply a vast mixture of qualities, including polyadic properties (i.e., relations). This means that everything there is, including concrete objects like persons or stars, is a quality, a qualitative fusion, or a portion of the extended qualitative fusion that is the worldwhole. I call my view mereological bundle theory. (shrink)
This book presents a clear and critical view of the orthodox logical empiricist tradition, pointing the way to significant developments for the understanding of science both as research and as culture.
This is a comprehensive, authoritative and innovative account of Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism, one of the most enigmatic and influential philosophies in the West. In twenty-one chapters covering a timespan from the sixth century BC to the seventeenth century AD, leading scholars construct a number of different images of Pythagoras and his community, assessing current scholarship and offering new answers to central problems. Chapters are devoted to the early Pythagoreans, and the full breadth of Pythagorean thought is explored including politics, religion, (...) music theory, science, mathematics and magic. Separate chapters consider Pythagoreanism in Plato, Aristotle, the Peripatetics and the later Academic tradition, while others describe Pythagoreanism in the historical tradition, in Rome and in the pseudo-Pythagorean writings. The three great lives of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius, Porphyry and Iamblichus are also discussed in detail, as is the significance of Pythagoras for the Middle Ages and Renaissance. (shrink)
Sacrificial moral dilemmas are widely used to investigate when, how, and why people make judgments that are consistent with utilitarianism. But to what extent can responses to sacrificial dilemmas shed light on utilitarian decision making? We consider two key questions: First, how meaningful is the relationship between responses to sacrificial dilemmas and what is distinctive of a utilitarian approach to morality? Second, to what extent do findings about sacrificial dilemmas generalise to other moral contexts where there is tension between utilitarianism (...) and common-sense intuitions? We argue that sacrificial dilemmas only capture one point of conflict between utilitarianism and common-sense morality, and new paradigms are needed to investigate other key aspects of utilitarianism, such as its radical impartiality. (shrink)
The understanding of decision-making systems has come together in recent years to form a unified theory of decision-making in the mammalian brain as arising from multiple, interacting systems (a planning system, a habit system, and a situation-recognition system). This unified decision-making system has multiple potential access points through which it can be driven to make maladaptive choices, particularly choices that entail seeking of certain drugs or behaviors. We identify 10 key vulnerabilities in the system: (1) moving away from homeostasis, (2) (...) changing allostatic set points, (3) euphorigenic signals, (4) overvaluation in the planning system, (5) incorrect search of situation-action-outcome relationships, (6) misclassification of situations, (7) overvaluation in the habit system, (8) a mismatch in the balance of the two decision systems, (9) over-fast discounting processes, and (10) changed learning rates. These vulnerabilities provide a taxonomy of potential problems with decision-making systems. Although each vulnerability can drive an agent to return to the addictive choice, each vulnerability also implies a characteristic symptomology. Different drugs, different behaviors, and different individuals are likely to access different vulnerabilities. This has implications for an individual's susceptibility to addiction and the transition to addiction, for the potential for relapse, and for the potential for treatment. (shrink)
This paper is a sequel to my 'Theological Misinterpretations of Current Physical Cosmology' (Foundations of Physics , 26 (4); revised in Philo , 1 (1)). There I argued that the Big Bang models of (classical) general relativity theory, as well as the original 1948 versions of the steady state cosmology, are each logically incompatible with the time-honored theological doctrine that perpetual divine creation ('creatio continuans') is required in each of these two theorized worlds. Furthermore, I challenged the perennial theological doctrine (...) that there must be a divine creative cause (as distinct from a transformative one) for the very existence of the world, a ratio essendi. This doctrine is the theistic reply to the question: 'Why is there something, rather than just nothing?' I begin my present paper by arguing against the response by the contemporary Oxford theist Richard Swinburne and by Leibniz to what is, in effect, my counter-question: 'But why should there be just nothing, rather than something?' Their response takes the form of claiming that the a priori probability of there being just nothing, vis-à-vis the existence of alternative states, is maximal, because the non-existence of the world is conceptually the simplest. On the basis of an analysis of the role of simplicity in scientific explanations, I show that this response is multiply flawed, and thus provides no basis for their three contentions that (i) if there is a world at all, then its 'normal', natural, spontaneous state is one of utter nothingness or total non-existence, so that (ii) the very existence of matter, energy and living beings constitutes a deviation from the allegedly 'normal', spontaneous state of 'nothingness', and (iii) that deviation must thus have a suitably potent (external) divine cause. Related defects turn out to vitiate the medieval Kalam Argument for the existence of God, as espoused by William Craig. Next I argue against the contention by such theists as Richard Swinburne and Philip L. Quinn that (i) the specific content of the scientifically most fundamental laws of nature, including the constants they contain, requires supra-scientific explanation, and (ii) a satisfactory explanation is provided by the hypothesis that the God of theism willed them to be exactly what they are. Furthermore, I contend that the theistic teleological gloss on the 'Anthropic Principle' is incoherent and explanatorily unavailing. Finally, I offer an array of considerations against Swinburne's attempt to show, via Bayes's theorem, that the existence of God is more probable than not. (shrink)
Probabilistic support is not transitive. There are cases in which x probabilistically supports y , i.e., Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y ), y , in turn, probabilistically supports z , and yet it is not the case that x probabilistically supports z . Tomoji Shogenji, though, establishes a condition for transitivity in probabilistic support, that is, a condition such that, for any x , y , and z , if Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y (...) ), Pr( z | y ) > Pr( z ), and the condition in question is satisfied, then Pr( z | x ) > Pr( z ). I argue for a second and weaker condition for transitivity in probabilistic support. This condition, or the principle involving it, makes it easier (than does the condition Shogenji provides) to establish claims of probabilistic support, and has the potential to play an important role in at least some areas of philosophy. (shrink)
The state of computing science and, particularly, software engineering and knowledge engineering is generally considered immature. The best starting point for achieving a mature engineering discipline is a solid scientific theory, and the primary reason behind the immaturity in these fields is precisely that computing science still has no such agreed upon underlying theory. As theories in other fields of science do, this paper formally establishes the fundamental elements and postulates making up a first attempt at a theory in this (...) field, considering the features and peculiarities of computing science. The fundamental elements of this approach are informons and holons, and it is a general and comprehensive theory of software engineering and knowledge engineering that related disciplines can particularise and/or extend to take benefit from it. (shrink)
A graph-theoretic account of logics is explored based on the general notion of m-graph (that is, a graph where each edge can have a finite sequence of nodes as source). Signatures, interpretation structures and deduction systems are seen as m-graphs. After defining a category freely generated by a m-graph, formulas and expressions in general can be seen as morphisms. Moreover, derivations involving rule instantiation are also morphisms. Soundness and completeness theorems are proved. As a consequence of the generality of the (...) approach our results apply to very different logics encompassing, among others, substructural logics as well as logics with nondeterministic semantics, and subsume all logics endowed with an algebraic semantics. (shrink)
The metaphor of resonance often describes the fit between a message and an audience’s worldviews. Yet scholars have largely ignored the cognitive processes audiences use to interpret messages and interactions that determine why certain messages and other cultural objects appeal to some but not others. Drawing on pragmatism, we argue that resonance occurs as cultural objects help people puzzle through practical challenges they face or construct. We discuss how cognitive distance and the process of emotional reasoning shape the likelihood of (...) cultural resonance. We argue resonance is an emergent process structured by interactions between individuals that shape each other’s interpretation of cultural objects, diffuse objects through interactional circuits, and create opportunities for resonance among people facing similarly shaped problems. Our approach thus identifies new processes at micro, meso, and macro levels of analysis that shape resonance and describes the pathways that might allow resonance to crystallize into broader mobilization and social change. (shrink)
Payment for research participation has raised ethical concerns, especially with respect to its potential for coercion. We argue that characterising payment for research participation as coercive is misguided, because offers of benefit cannot constitute coercion. In this article we analyse the concept of coercion, refute mistaken conceptions of coercion and explain why the offer of payment for research participation is never coercive but in some cases may produce undue inducement.
This volume evaluates the life, thoughts, and works of the renowned nineteenth-century philosopher and social reformer Swami Vivekananda. Bringing together essays from varied disciplines, the work engages with such issues related to Vivekananda as the extent of his impact on society; Vivekananda's relationship with his mentor- Ramakrishna Parmahamsa; practice of Vedanta, revivalism, secularism and fundamentalism; his views on women; and science.
As its subtitle indicates, Democracy’s Discontent is a study of the political philosophies that have guided America’s public life. The “search” Michael Sandel describes has, in his view, temporarily come to a disappointing resolution in America’s acceptance of a liberal “public philosophy” that “cannot secure the liberty it promises” and has left Americans “discontented” with their “loss of self-government and the erosion of community”. This theme is unlikely to surprise readers familiar with Sandel’s earlier work. What may surprise them is (...) how little of Sandel’s second book is devoted to his critique of liberal theory or to his defense of his favored “republican” alternative. Far less than 10 percent of the book is devoted to characterizing liberal and republican political philosophy and to argument concerning their relative theoretical virtues. The body of Democracy’s Discontent is a history of American Constitutional law and political/economic debate, from pre-Revolutionary times to the Clinton presidency, all designed to show that the republican vision that has animated so much of that history has been recently abandoned to our detriment, replaced by a liberal public philosophy whose dramatic failure in practice “recapitulates” its “poverty in theory”. Sandel’s history is lively and engaging, and many of his analyses are insightful and persuasive. But the looseness in his treatment of theory regularly infects the conclusions he draws from this history and undermines his efforts to show that American political practice indicts liberal political philosophy. (shrink)
Wide ranging and up to date, this is the single most comprehensive treatment of the most influential political philosopher of the 20th century, John Rawls. An unprecedented survey that reflects the surge of Rawls scholarship since his death, and the lively debates that have emerged from his work Features an outstanding list of contributors, including senior as well as “next generation” Rawls scholars Provides careful, textually informed exegesis and well-developed critical commentary across all areas of his work, including non-Rawlsian perspectives (...) Includes discussion of new material, covering Rawls’s work from the newly published undergraduate thesis to the final writings on public reason and the law of peoples Covers Rawls’s moral and political philosophy, his distinctive methodological commitments, and his relationships to the history of moral and political philosophy and to jurisprudence and the social sciences Includes discussion of his monumental 1971 book, _A Theory of Justice_, which is often credited as having revitalized political philosophy. (shrink)