“It is this distancing of personal relationships, combined with their replacement by written contractual terms and conditions, which make the discussion of ethics within a corporate institutionalised context highly limited and problematic.’ The challenge is to find means of personalising modern corporations so as to encourage ethical behaviour. Atul K. Shah PhD ACA gained his doctorate from the London School of Economics and is Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Financial Management, at the University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, (...) Colchester CO4 3SQ; e‐mail firstname.lastname@example.org. This article was conceived while he was Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of Business, University of Maryland, USA. The author wishes to thank Dan Ostas, Lee Preston and Stephen Loeb for helpful comments on earlier drafts. (shrink)
The word ageing catches our attention as an impression of experience, respect, and knowledge while on the other hand it also expresses an image of weakness, loneliness and loss of power. The two thoughts combined with gender dimension signify that men to some extent and women usually are affected by ageing mostly. The Ageing Home-Based Women-Workers in Karachi is an outcome of a study portraying the challenges faced by old age women workers of the informal sector in Karachi. Prof. Dr. (...) Nasreen Aslam Shah has contributed many published research work in the area of women and work. The Ageing Home-Based Women- Workers is an overview of the ageing women’s experiences narrated by these women. The uniqueness of the study lies in its connection with studies conducted earlier by the author similar issues. (shrink)
Believing that p, assuming that p, and imagining that p involve regarding p as true—or, as we shall call it, accepting p. What distinguishes belief from the other modes of acceptance? We claim that conceiving of an attitude as a belief, rather than an assumption or an instance of imagining, entails conceiving of it as an acceptance that is regulated for truth, while also applying to it the standard of being correct if and only if it is true. We argue (...) that the second half of this claim, according to which the concept of belief includes a standard of correctness, is required to explain the fact that the deliberative question whether to believe that p is transparent to the question whether p. This argument raises various questions. Is there such a thing as deliberating whether to believe? Is the transparency of the deliberative question whether to believe that p the same as the transparency of the factual question whether I do believe that p? We will begin by answering these questions and then turn to a series of possible objections to our argument. (shrink)
Why, when asking oneself whether to believe that p, must one immediately recognize that this question is settled by, and only by, answering the question whether p is true? Truth is not an optional end for first-personal doxastic deliberation, providing an instrumental or extrinsic reason that an agent may take or leave at will. Otherwise there would be an inferential step between discovering the truth with respect to p and determining whether to believe that p, involving a bridge premise that (...) it is good (in whichever sense of good one likes, moral, prudential, aesthetic, allthings-considered, etc.) to believe the truth with respect to p. But there is no such gap between the two questions within the first-personal deliberative perspective; the question whether to believe that p seems to collapse into the question whether p is true. (shrink)
When we deliberate whether to believe some proposition, we feel immediately compelled to look for evidence of its truth. Philosophers have labelled this feature of doxastic deliberation 'transparency'. I argue that resolving the disagreement in the ethics of belief between evidentialists and pragmatists turns on the correct explanation of transparency. My hypothesis is that it reflects a conceptual truth about belief: a belief that p is correct if and only if p. This normative truth entails that only evidence can be (...) a reason for belief. Although evidentialism does not follow directly from the mere psychological truth that we cannot believe for non-evidential reasons, it does follow directly from the normative conceptual truth about belief which explains why we cannot do so. (shrink)
Why, when asking oneself whether to believe that p, must one immediately recognize that this question is settled by, and only by, answering the question whether p is true? Truth is not an optional end for first-personal doxastic deliberation, providing an instrumental or extrinsic reason that an agent may take or leave at will. Otherwise there would be an inferential step between discovering the truth with respect to p and determining whether to believe that p, involving a bridge premise that (...) it is good to believe the truth with respect to p. But there is no such gap between the two questions within the first-personal deliberative perspective; the question whether to believe that p seems to collapse into the question whether p is true. (shrink)
Why can't deliberation conclude in an intention except by considering whether to perform the intended action? I argue that the answer to this question entails that reasons for intention are determined by reasons for action. Understanding this feature of practical deliberation thus allows us to solve the toxin puzzle.
Contemporary Kantianism is often regarded as both a position within normative ethics and as an alternative to metaethical moral realism. We argue that it is not clear how contemporary Kantianism can distinguish itself from moral realism. There are many Kantian positions. For reasons of space we focus on the position of one of the most prominent, contemporary Kantians, Christine Korsgaard. Our claim is that she fails to show either that Kantianism is different or that it is better than realism. Our (...) strategy is to argue that what are supposed to be claims that conflict with realism in fact do not. (shrink)
It is common for philosophers to claim that doxastic voluntarism, the view that an agent can form beliefs voluntarily, is false, and therefore that agents do not have the kind of control over their beliefs required for a straightforward application of deontological concepts such as obligation or duty in the domain of epistemology. The role that the denial of doxastic voluntarism plays in an argument to the effect that agents do not have obligations with respect to belief is simply this.
The U.S. federal regulations require investigators conducting nonbeneficial research to obtain the assent of children who are capable of providing it. Unfortunately, there has been no analysis of which children are capable of assent or even what abilities ground the capacity to give assent. Why should investigators be required to obtain the positive agreement of some children, but not others, before enrolling them in research that does not offer a compensating potential for direct benefit? We argue that the scope of (...) children's research decision making should be based on the principles of respect for autonomy and nonmaleficence. These principles imply that the threshold for assent should be fixed at 14 years of age, and a dissent requirement should be adopted for all children in the context of nonbeneficial research. (shrink)
Using medical advances to enhance human athletic, aesthetic, and cognitive performance, rather than to treat disease, has been controversial. Little is known about physicians? experiences, views, and attitudes in this regard. We surveyed a national sample of physicians to determine how often they prescribe enhancements, their views on using medicine for enhancement, and whether they would be willing to prescribe a series of potential interventions that might be considered enhancements. We find that many physicians occasionally prescribe enhancements, but doctors hold (...) nuanced and ambiguous views of these issues. Most express concerns about the potential effects of enhancements on social equity, yet many also believe specific enhancements that are safe and effective should be available but not covered by insurance. These apparently contradictory views might reflect inherent tensions between the values of equity and liberty, which could make crafting coherent social policies on medical enhancements challenging. [Supplementary materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of American Journal of Bioethics for the following free supplemental resource(s): An additional table (Table 5) referred to on p. 5]. (shrink)
Advances in life-saving technologies in the past few decades have challenged our traditional understandings of death. Traditionally, death was understood to occur when a person stops breathing, their heart stops beating and they are cold to the touch. Today, physicians determine death by relying on a diagnosis of ‘total brain failure’ or by waiting a short while after circulation stops. Evidence has emerged, however, that the conceptual bases for these approaches to determining death are fundamentally flawed and depart substantially from (...) the established biological conception of death. We argue that the current approach to determining death consists of two different types of unacknowledged legal fictions. These legal fictions were developed for practices that are largely ethically legitimate but need to be reconciled with the law. The considerable debate over the determination of death in the medical and scientific literature has not informed the public that vital organs are being procured from still-living donors and it seems unlikely that this information can remain hidden for long. Given the instability of the status quo and the difficulty of making the substantial legal changes required by complete transparency, we argue for a second-best policy solution: acknowledging the legal fictions involved in determining death to move in the direction of greater transparency. This may someday result in more substantial legal change to directly confront the challenges raised by life-sustaining and life-preserving technologies without the need for fictions. (shrink)
The maturing of metaethics has been accompanied by widespread, but relatively unarticulated, discontent that mainstream metaethics is fundamentally on the wrong track. The malcontents we have in mind do not simply champion a competitor to the likes of noncognitivism or realism; they disapprove of the supposed presuppositions of the existing debate. Their aim is not to generate a new theory within metaethics, but to go beyond metaethics and to transcend the distinctions it draws between metaethics and normative ethics and between (...) cognitivism and non-cognitivism. In our experience, the differences with traditional metaethics go deep enough that it can feel as if two different paradigms are talking past each other. We attempt to bring clarity and focus to this rather inchoate debate by simultaneously articulating the general issues involved and engaging in a detailed case study of one of the prominent representatives of this discontent, Christine Korsgaard. We argue that Korsgaard fails to go beyond metaethics–indeed, fails even to provide a theory within metaethics. Our strategy for showing this is to argue that her claims are compatible with both cognitivism and non-cognitivism. We have argued elsewhere that her distinctive claims are compatible with realism. Here we focus on the crucial role that claims about agency and the will seem to play her in work and, according to our interpretation, in her attempts to go beyond mainstream metaethics. We show in detail that these claims are actually compatible with non-cognitivism. Though our discussion often focuses on her work in particular, it has clear implications for other attempts to obviate the debates of traditional metaethics. (shrink)
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa began in the spring of 2014 and has since caused the deaths of over 6,000 people. Since there are no approved treatments or prevention modalities specifically targeted at Ebola Virus Disease , debate has focused on whether unproven interventions should be offered to Ebola patients outside of clinical trials. Those engaged in the debate have responded rapidly to a complex and evolving crisis, however, and this debate has not provided much opportunity for in-depth (...) analysis. Additionally, the existing literature on access to unproven therapies has focused on contexts like HIV/AIDS and oncology, which are very different than the Ebola epidemic. In this paper, we examine the ethical issues surrounding access to unproven therapies in the context of the recent Ebola outbreak to yield new insights about this controversial and unsettled issue. We argue first that, in this context, the interests of patients in obtaining access to unproven therapies are not fully aligned.. (shrink)
The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is now in its seventh year. The goals of this National Center for Biomedical Computing are to: create and maintain a repository of biomedical ontologies and terminologies; build tools and web services to enable the use of ontologies and terminologies in clinical and translational research; educate their trainees and the scientific community broadly about biomedical ontology and ontology-based technology and best practices; and collaborate with a variety of groups who develop and use ontologies and (...) terminologies in biomedicine. The centerpiece of the National Center for Biomedical Ontology is a web-based resource known as BioPortal. BioPortal makes available for research in computationally useful forms more than 270 of the world's biomedical ontologies and terminologies, and supports a wide range of web services that enable investigators to use the ontologies to annotate and retrieve data, to generate value sets and special-purpose lexicons, and to perform advanced analytics on a wide range of biomedical data. (shrink)
Medical student and resident participation in global health experiences (GHEs) has significantly increased over the last decade. In response to growing student interest and the proven impact of such experiences on the education and career decisions of resident physicians, many medical schools have begun to establish programmes dedicated to global health education. For the innumerable benefits of GHEs, it is important to note that medical students have the potential to do more harm than good in these settings when they exceed (...) their actual capabilities as physicians-in-training. While medical training programmes are beginning to provide students with the knowledge to put their GHEs in context, they must remember that they also bear the responsibility of training their students in a framework to approach these experiences in a principled and professional way. It is necessary that these institutions provide adequate and formalised preparation for both clinical and ethical challenges of working in resource-poor settings. This paper outlines potential benefits and risks of GHEs and delineates recommendations to some of the current issues. (shrink)
There is wide agreement that communities in lower-income countries should benefit when they participate in multinational research. Debate now focuses on how and to what extent these communities should benefit. This debate has identified compelling reasons to reject the claim that whatever benefits a community agrees to accept are necessarily fair. Yet, those who conduct clinical research may conclude from this rejection that there is no reason to involve communities in the process of deciding how they benefit. Against this possibility, (...) the present manuscript argues that involving host communities in this process helps to promote four important goals: protecting host communities, respecting host communities, promoting transparency, and enhancing social value. (shrink)
Many guidelines for international research require that studies be responsive to host community health needs or health priorities. Although responsiveness possesses great intuitive and rhetorical appeal, existing conceptions are confusing and difficult to apply. Not only are there few examples of what research the responsiveness requirement permits and what it rejects, but its application can lead to contradictory results. Because of the practical difficulties in applying responsiveness and the danger that misapplying responsiveness could harm the interests of developing countries, we (...) argue that responsiveness should be refocused in three ways: in terms of (1) who enforces it, (2) under what standard, and (3) in what cases. We conclude that responsiveness should be applied by host country officials at the policy level with the exercise of judgment when externally funded research threatens to displace scarce local resources. (shrink)
Mark Schroeder has recently presented apparent counterexamples to the standard account of the distinction between the right and the wrong kinds of reasons. We argue that these examples appear to refute the standard account only because they blur the distinction between two kinds of reasoning: reasoning about whether to intend or believe that p and reasoning about whether to take up the question of whether to intend or believe that p.
Response to Floridi et al, 2008/2009. Based on insufficient evidence, and inadequate research, Floridi and his students report inaccuracies and draw false conclusions in their Minds and Machines evaluation, which this paper aims to clarify. Acting as invited judges, Floridi et al. participated in nine, of the ninety-six, Turing tests staged in the finals of the 18th Loebner Prize for Artificial Intelligence in October 2008. From the transcripts it appears that they used power over solidarity as an interrogation technique. As (...) a result, they were fooled on several occasions into believing that a machine was a human and that a human was a machine. Worse still, they did not realise their mistake. This resulted in a combined correct identification rate of less than 56%. In their paper they assumed that they had made correct identifications when they in fact had been incorrect. (shrink)
This paper presents some important issues on misidentification of human interlocutors in text-based communication during practical Turing tests. The study here presents transcripts in which human judges succumbed to theconfederate effect, misidentifying hidden human foils for machines. An attempt is made to assess the reasons for this. The practical Turing tests in question were held on 23 June 2012 at Bletchley Park, England. A selection of actual full transcripts from the tests is shown and an analysis is given in each (...) case. As a result of these tests, conclusions are drawn with regard to the sort of strategies which can perhaps lead to erroneous conclusions when one is involved as an interrogator. Such results also serve to indicate conversational directions to avoid for those machine designers who wish to create a conversational entity that performs well on the Turing test. (shrink)
Two sample populations, one refugee and one resident, were studied. The frequencies of consanguineous marriages came out to be 49·8% and 55·4%, respectively, for the refugees and the residents. Caste endogamy was dominant both in the residents and the refugees. The mean coefficient of inbreeding was calculated to be 0·0303 for the refugee population and 0·0332 for the resident population samples. First cousin marriage was the dominant type of marriage in both samples; fathers daughter (FBD) marriage was more frequent among (...) the refugees while mothers daughter (MBD) marriage was more frequent among the residents. Education has no decreasing effect on the incidence of consanguineous marriages. A significant difference in the pattern of marriages in the refugees is observed after the Saur Revolution of 1979. (shrink)
George, feeling stressed and anxious about the criminal investigation into his firm’s accounting practices, decides that it would do him good to get away and take a long, relaxing vacation in Bermuda. According to popular informed-desire accounts of a person’s good, if George would desire to take a vacation to Bermuda upon being made fully aware of what his experience of the vacation would be like and of all the consequences therein, then this course of action would benefit him. This (...) does not mean that George must actually be privy to whether his fully informed self would desire to travel to Bermuda, but whether he would, according to such an account, determines whether going to Bermuda would benefit George, whether he or anyone else is capable of knowing it. (shrink)
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent medical humanitarian organisation working in over 70 countries. It has provided medical assistance for over 35 years to populations vulnerable through conflict, disease and inadequate health systems. Medical ethics define the starting point of the relationship between medical staff and patients. The ethics of humanitarian interventions and of research in conflict settings are much debated. However, less is known about the ethical dilemmas faced by medical humanitarian staff in their daily work. Ethical dilemmas (...) can be intensified in humanitarian contexts by insecure environments, lack of optimum care, language barriers, potentially heightened power discrepancies between care providers and patients, differing cultural values and perceptions of patients, communities and medical staff. Time constraints, stressful conditions and lack of familiarity with ethical frameworks can prevent reflection on these dilemmas, as can frustration that such reflection does not necessarily provide instant solutions. Lack of reflection, however, can be distressing for medical practitioners and can reduce the quality of care. Ethical reflection has a central role in MSF, and the organisation uses ethical frameworks to help with clinical and programmatic decisions as well as in deliberations over operational research. We illustrate and discuss some real ethical dilemmas facing MSF teams. Only by sharing and seeking guidance can MSF and similar actors make more thoughtful and appropriate decisions. Our aim in sharing these cases is to invite discussion and dialogue in the wider medical community working in crisis, conflict or with severe resource limitations. (shrink)
This experiment investigated the effect of format (line vs. bar), viewers’ familiarity with variables, and viewers’ graphicacy (graphical literacy) skills on the comprehension of multivariate (three variable) data presented in graphs. Fifty-five undergraduates provided written descriptions of data for a set of 14 line or bar graphs, half of which depicted variables familiar to the population and half of which depicted variables unfamiliar to the population. Participants then took a test of graphicacy skills. As predicted, the format influenced viewers’ interpretations (...) of data. Specifically, viewers were more likely to describe x–y interactions when viewing line graphs than when viewing bar graphs, and they were more likely to describe main effects and “z–y” (the variable in the legend) interactions when viewing bar graphs than when viewing line graphs. Familiarity of data presented and individuals’ graphicacy skills interacted with the influence of graph format. Specifically, viewers were most likely to generate inferences only when they had high graphicacy skills, the data were familiar and thus the information inferred was expected, and the format supported those inferences. Implications for multivariate data display are discussed. (shrink)
In his influential paper, 'Why Was the Logic of Discovery Abandoned?', Laudan contends that there has been no philosophical rationale for a logic of discovery since the emergence of consequentialism in the 19th century. It is the purpose of this paper to show that consequentialism does not involve the rejection of all types of logic of discovery. Laudan goes too far in his interpretation of the historical shift from generativism to consequentialism, and his claim that the context of pursuit belongs (...) to neither discovery nor justification is based on narrow interpretations of the contexts of discovery and justification. As a result, Laudan draws unwarranted conclusions concerning both the early and contemporary defenders of a logic of discovery. A methodological logic of discovery - which involves self-corrective methods of hypothesis generation that promote the long-term goals of science and which require consequential support for justification - is a type of logic of discovery that survives the shift to consequentialism. (shrink)
A series of imitation games involving 3-participant (simultaneous comparison of two hidden entities) and 2-participant (direct interrogation of a hidden entity) were conducted at Bletchley Park on the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing’s birth: 23 June 2012. From the ongoing analysis of over 150 games involving (expert and non-expert, males and females, adults and child) judges, machines and hidden humans (foils for the machines), we present six particular conversations that took place between human judges and a hidden entity that produced (...) unexpected results. From this sample we focus on features of Turing’s machine intelligence test that the mathematician/code breaker did not consider in his examination for machine thinking: the subjective nature of attributing intelligence to another mind. (shrink)
Since the 1980s, developed countries, led by the United States and the countries of the European Union, have sought to incorporate intellectual property rights provisions into global trade agreements. These countries successfully negotiated the World Trade Organization's 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which required developing countries to adopt intellectual property provisions comparable to developed countries. In this manuscript, we review the policy controversy surrounding TRIPS and examine the two main ethical arguments articulated in its support (...) — a theory of natural rights and a utilitarian argument. We contend that these theories provide insufficient bases for an intellectual property rights regime that compromises access to essential medicines in the developing world. While the policy community has engaged in active debate around the policy effects of TRIPS, scholars have not thoroughly considered the full ethical underpinnings of those policy arguments. We believe that a more robust understanding of the ethical implications of the agreement should inform policy discussions in the future. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to consider Turing's two tests for machine intelligence: the parallel-paired, three-participants game presented in his 1950 paper, and the “jury-service” one-to-one measure described two years later in a radio broadcast. Both versions were instantiated in practical Turing tests during the 18th Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence hosted at the University of Reading, UK, in October 2008. This involved jury-service tests in the preliminary phase and parallel-paired in the final phase.