We introduce a path-based measure of convexity to be used in assessing the compactness of legislative districts. Our measure is the probability that a district will contain the shortest path between a randomly selected pair of its' points. The measure is defined relative to exogenous political boundaries and population distributions.
What determines whether an action is right or wrong? Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, among them the leading philosophers in the discipline, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in (...) moral philosophy with essential material and ask key questions on just what the criteria for an adequate moral theory might be. (shrink)
Late in 1990, the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at Illinois Institute of Technology (lIT) received a grant of more than $200,000 from the National Science Foundation to try a campus-wide approach to integrating professional ethics into its technical curriculum.! Enough has now been accomplished to draw some tentative conclusions. I am the grant's principal investigator. In this paper, I shall describe what we at lIT did, what we learned, and what others, especially philosophers, can learn (...) from us. We set out to develop an approach that others could profitably adopt. I believe that we succeeded. (shrink)
Dual-track assessment directs research ethics committees to assess the risks of research interventions based on the unclear distinction between therapeutic and non-therapeutic interventions. The net risks test, in contrast, relies on the clinically familiar method of assessing the risks and benefits of interventions in comparison to the available alternatives and also focuses attention of the RECs on the central challenge of protecting research participants.Research guidelines around the world recognise that clinical research is ethical only when the risks to participants are (...) reasonable.1 Appropriate implementation of this requirement is vital to protecting research participants and allowing research to proceed when it poses acceptable risks. Unfortunately, as the US National Bioethics Advisory Commission notes: “current regulations do not further elaborate how risks and potential benefits are to be assessed, and little additional guidance is available to IRBs.”1The NBAC, as well as numerous commentators, recommend that research ethics committees , ethics review committees and institutional review boards should adopt what may be called dual-track risk assessment.2–5 Yet, dual-track assessment unnecessarily divides research interventions into two different categories before assessing their risks and relies on the unclear distinction between therapeutic and non-therapeutic interventions. As a result, dual-track assessment provides RECs with confusing guidance and has the potential to block valuable research that poses acceptable risks. This paper describes one alternative, the net risks test, and argues that this approach offers a better method for assessing research risks, one that puts RECs in a position to protect participants without blocking appropriate research studies.BACKGROUNDClinical research exposes participants to interventions and procedures to gather systematic data that may be used to improve overall health and well-being. To ensure that research is ethical, RECs must ensure that the risks and burdens to participants are not excessive and that …. (shrink)
We seek to change the conversation about brain death by highlighting the distinction between brain death as a biological concept versus brain death as a legal status. The fact that brain death does not cohere with any biologically plausible definition of death has been known for decades. Nevertheless, this fact has not threatened the acceptance of brain death as a legal status that permits individuals to be treated as if they are dead. The similarities between “legally dead” and “legally blind” (...) demonstrate how we may legitimately choose bright-line legal definitions that do not cohere with biological reality. Not only does this distinction bring conceptual coherence to the conversation about brain death, but it has practical implications as well. Once brain death is recognized as a social construction not grounded in biological reality, we create the possibility of changing the social construction in ways that may better serve both organ donors and recipients alike. (shrink)
This unique book addresses trends such as vitalism, neo-Kantianism, existentialism, Marxism and feminism, and provides concise biographies of the influential philosophers who shaped these movements, including entries on over ninety thinkers. Offers discussion and cross-referencing of ideas and figures Provides Appendix on the distinctive nature of French academic culture.
In this paper, I discuss the Agrégation de Philosophie—the French national examination that certifies philosophy teachers for both lycée and university instruction—in terms of the role it has played in the intellectual formation of all French philosophers and, as a corollary, its impact on developments in 20th-century French philosophy. Following a recounting of the history and structure of the examination, I discuss how the examination reveals that a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy, especially pre-1800 philosophy, is a necessary (...) condition for employment as an instructor of philosophy. After discussing the connections between the examination and the teaching activities of the Sorbonne’s Department of Philosophy, I analyze the content of the exam, showing how it offers important insights into the French philosophical tradition and how it differs from the English language and German philosophical traditions. I conclude by examining in detail the appearances of Comte, Plotinus, and Nietzsche on the examination, showing how their appearances correlate with publication trends as well as the careers of influential philosophers. (shrink)
D. Miller considère que sa théorie de la connexion peut se révéler précieuse en soulignant la complexité de l’attribution de la responsabilité réparatrice afin de soulager la misère du monde. L’auteur apprécie à sa juste valeur cette exploration des moyens permettant d’envisager la responsabilité réparatrice entre États, il considère néanmoins que ce point de vue soulève davantage de questions qu’il n’en résout.
The traditional view of divine conservation holds that it is simply a continuation of the initial act of creation. In this essay, I defend the continuous-creation tradition against William Lane Craig's criticism that continuous creation fundamentally misconstrues the intuitive distinction between creation and conservation. According to Craig, creation is the unique causal activity of bringing new patient entities into existence, while conservation involves acting upon already existing patient entities to cause their continued existence. I defend continuous creation by challenging Craig's (...) intuitive distinction and by showing that the alternative account of creation and conservation he bases upon it is fraught with serious internal difficulties. (shrink)
One standard criticism of the doctrine of continuous creation is that it entails the occasionalist position that God alone is a true cause and that the events we commonly identify as causes are merely the occasions upon which God brings about effects. I begin by clearly stating Malebranche's argument from continuous creation to occasionalism. Next, I examine two strategies for resisting Malebranche's argument ??? strong and weak concurrentism ??? and argue that weak concurrentism is the more promising strategy. Finally, I (...) argue that weak concurrentism requires a necessitarian approach to secondary causation. (shrink)
The idea that there could be spatially extended mereological simples has recently been defended by a number of metaphysicians (Markosian 1998, 2004; Simons 2004; Parsons (2000) also takes the idea seriously). Peter Simons (2004) goes further, arguing not only that spatially extended mereological simples (henceforth just extended simples) are possible, but that it is more plausible that our world is composed of such simples, than that it is composed of either point-sized simples, or of atomless gunk. The difficulty for these (...) views lies in explaining why it is that the various sub-volumes of space occupied by such simples, are not occupied by proper parts of those simples. Intuitively at least, many of us find compelling the idea that spatially extended objects have proper parts at every sub-volume of the region they occupy. It seems that the defender of extended simples must reject a seemingly plausible claim, what Simons calls the geometric correspondence principle (GCP): that any (spatially) extended object has parts that correspond to the parts of the region that it occupies (Simons 2004: 371). We disagree. We think that GCP is a plausible principle. We also think it is plausible that our world is composed of extended simples. We reconcile these two notions by two means. On the one hand we pay closer attention to the physics of our world. On the other hand, we consider what happens when our concept of something—in this case space—contains elements not all of which are realized in anything, but instead key components are realized in different features of the world. (shrink)
Over 100 years ago, Frances Galton began the empirical study of autobiographical memory by devising a technique in which he explored the capacity for a cue word to elicit the recollection of events from earlier life (Galton, 1883). After a century of neglect, the topic began to re-emerge, stimulated by the work of Robinson (1976) using the technique on groups of normal subjects, by Crovitz’s work on its application to patients with memory deficits (Crovitz & Schiffman, 1974), and by the (...) detailed diary study of her own autobiographical memory carried out by Marigold Linton (Linton, 1975). This early wave of interest was focused by Rubin’s edited book on the topic (Rubin, 1986) which captured a broad and growing interest in autobiographical memory. This trend was reflected very strongly in the submissions to the second conference on Practical Aspects of Memory, in which the study of autobiographical memory represented one of the major strands (Gruneberg, Morris & Sykes, 1988), featuring prominently in both the opening and concluding addresses (Baddeley, 1988; Neisser, 1988). (shrink)
This article examines the role of dissection in the teaching of secondary biology and environmental science, within the context of the development of attitudes toward animals. Retrospective data concerning their experience in high school with dissection for 191 undergraduate education students are described, and their reported use of alternatives to invasive animal study are evaluated in relation to specific educational objectives in secondary science. It was found that most students were required to perform dissections, that many but not most experienced (...) negative and stable emotional reactions, and that teachers employed limited alternatives to dissection in their classes. The implications of this for secondary science teaching and for teacher education are discussed. (shrink)
While giving particular attention to modern evils such as the Holocaust, South African apartheid, the Rwandan genocide, and the events of September 11, 2001, the essays collected here cover broad philosophical and religious ground as they ...
Controversies about the diagnosis and meaning of brain death have existed as long as the concept itself. Here we review the historical development of brain death, and then evaluate the various attempts to justify the claim that patients who are diagnosed as brain dead can be considered dead for all legal and social purposes, and especially with regard to procuring their vital organs for transplantation. While we agree with most commentators that death should be defined as the loss of integration (...) of the functioning of the organism as a whole, we conclude that patients diagnosed as brain dead have not, in fact, lost this integrated functioning. We close with reflections on the implications of this conclusion generally and particularly with regard to organ transplantation, and briefly make reference to alternative approaches to justifying the procurement of transplantable organs that do not depend upon a flawed approach to the diagnosis of death. (shrink)