We report on the deliberations of an interdisciplinary group of experts in science, law, and philosophy who convened to discuss novel ethical and policy challenges in stem cell research. In this report we discuss the ethical and policy implications of safety concerns in the transition from basic laboratory research to clinical applications of cell-based therapies derived from stem cells. Although many features of this transition from lab to clinic are common to other therapies, three aspects of stem cell biology pose (...) unique challenges. First, tension regarding the use of human embryos may complicate the scientific development of safe and effective cell lines. Second, because human stem cells were not developed in the laboratory until 1998, few safety questions relating to human applications have been addressed in animal research. Third, preclinical and clinical testing of biologic agents, particularly those as inherently complex as mammalian cells, present formidable challenges, such as the need to develop suitable standardized assays and the difficulty of selecting appropriate patient populations for early phase trials. We recommend that scientists, policy makers, and the public discuss these issues responsibly, and further, that a national advisory committee to oversee human trials of cell therapies be established. **NB we did not reccommend a NAC, we think it might be appropriate**. (shrink)
Anthropologists now openly acknowledge that social anthropology can no longer fulfill its traditional aim of providing holistic, objective representations of people of "exotic" cultures. After Writing Culture asks what theoretical and practical role contemporary anthropology can play in our increasingly unpredictable and complex world. With fourteen articles written by well-known anthropologists, the work explores some of the directions in which contemporary anthropology is moving, following the questions raised by the "writing culture" debates of the 1980s. Some of the chapters cover: (...) the concept of caste in Indian society, Scottish ethnography, how dreams are culturally conceptualized, representations of the family, theme parks and the anthropologist in Japan, people's place in the landscape of Northern Australia, and representing the identity of the New Zealand Maori. (shrink)
If stem cell-based therapies are developed, we will likely confront a difficult problem of justice: for biological reasons alone, the new therapies might benefit only a limited range of patients. In fact, they might benefit primarily white Americans, thereby exacerbating long-standing differences in health and health care.
BackgroundThe world is threatened by future pandemics. Vaccines can play a key role in preventing harm, but there will inevitably be shortages because there is no possibility of advance stockpiling. We therefore need some method of prioritising access.Main textThis paper reports a critical interpretative review of the published literature that discusses ethical arguments used to justify how we could prioritise vaccine during an influenza pandemic. We found that the focus of the literature was often on proposing different groups as priorities. (...) Different reasons were often suggested as a means of justifying such priority groupings. We suggest that much of the literature, wrongly, assumes that we are able to plan priority groups prior to the time of a particular pandemic and development of a particular vaccine. We also point out the surprising absence of various issues from the literature.ConclusionsThe literature proposes a wide range of ways to prioritise vaccines, focusing on different groups and ‘principles’. Any plan to use pandemic vaccine must provide justifications for its prioritisation. The focus of this review was influenza pandemic vaccines, but lessons can be learnt for future allocations of coronavirus vaccine, if one becomes available. (shrink)
A guide for organizational and social research in business studies and the social sciences, providing a clear framework for research design and methodology. It will be an invaluable tool for academics, researchers, and graduate students across the social sciences concerned with rigorous and relevant research in the contemporary world.
This chapter develops a subtle model that integrates environmental and internal factors. It describes the phylogenetic distribution of multicellular organisms in general and complex multicellular life in particular, clarifying the important distinction between the two. This chapter shows that the long apparent lag between the appearance of simple multicellularity in eukaryotes and the radiation of groups with complex multicellular organization has an environmental component that can be associated back to the consequences of life with interior and exterior cells. It suggests (...) that the evolutionary transition from unicells to complex multicellular organisms has several steps. (shrink)
Scholars have recognized the importance of local and indigenousknowledge in less industrialized countries. Few studies havebeen done on the diversity of knowledge communities in moreindustrialized countries, however, because of researcherassumptions about the spatial and temporal dimensions of localand scientific knowledge. A distinguishing feature of knowledgecommunities is the way that time and space are perceived. Thesedifferences are reflected in farmers' decision-making.Depending on farmers' knowledge orientations, they may utilizequite different criteria to determine the reliability andapplicability of new information. Advocates of sustainableagriculture, and (...) proponents of on-farm research will benefit byrecognizing the diverse ways that farmers know and understandtheir farming systems in both less and more industrializedcountries. (shrink)
As the second part of a research agenda addressing the idea and meaning of Sustainable Development, this paper responds to the challenges set in the first paper. Using a Foucaudian perspective, we uncover and highlight the importance of discourse in the development of societal context which could lead to the radical change in our epistemological thought necessary for Sustainable Development to reach its potential. By developing an argument for an epistemological change, we suggest that business organizations have an ethical responsibility (...) towards revaluating Sustainable Development, leading to a discourse based on an integrated inclusive process of celebrating diversity in all its forms. The paper goes on to explore the argument for such a change. This exploration is based on three issues: the notion of over simplification in the promotion of development; the idea of an imbalance in the interaction of business and government operating in the larger context of society; and the notion of increasing responsibility with increasing influence in terms of the business organization within society. Having established the argument for an ethical choice by business organizations, we then reflect on how such a change could be incorporated into an organization. (shrink)
This paper argues for a view of free will that I will call the conceptual impossibility of the truth of free will error theory - the conceptual impossibility thesis. I will argue that given the concept of free will we in fact deploy, it is impossible for our free will judgements—judgements regarding whether some action is free or not—to be systematically false. Since we do judge many of our actions to be free, it follows from the conceptual impossibility thesis that (...) many of our actions are in fact free. Hence it follows that free will error theory—the view that no judgement of the form ‘action A was performed freely’—is false. I will show taking seriously the conceptual impossibility thesis helps makes good sense of some seemingly inconsistent results in recent experimental philosophy work on determinism and our concept of free will. Further, I will present some reasons why we should expect to find similar results for every other factor we might have thought was important for free will. (shrink)
Andrew H. Gleeson has written an essay commenting on an exchange between Dewi Z. Phillips and me, arguing that I was mistaken to dismiss Phillips’ criticism of the standard definition of omnipotence as unsuccessful. Furthermore, he charges Swinburne, me, and analytic theists in general, with an excessive anthropomorphism that obliterates the distinction between Creator and creature. In response, I contend that all of Gleeson’s criticisms are unsound.
In this paper we aim to show that phenomenal consciousness is realized by a particular level of brain operational organization and that understanding human consciousness requires a description of the laws of the immediately underlying neural collective phenomena, the nested hierarchy of electromagnetic fields of brain activity – operational architectonics. We argue that the subjective mental reality and the objective neurobiological reality, although seemingly worlds apart, are intimately connected along a unified metastable continuum and are both guided by the universal (...) laws of the physical world such as criticality, self-organization and emergence. (shrink)
Concepts of space and time are widely developed in physics. However, there is a considerable lack of biologically plausible theoretical frameworks that can demonstrate how space and time dimensions are implemented in the activity of the most complex life-system – the brain with a mind. Brain activity is organized both temporally and spatially, thus representing space-time in the brain. Critical analysis of recent research on the space-time organization of the brain’s activity pointed to the existence of so-called operational space-time in (...) the brain. This space-time is limited to the execution of brain operations of differing complexity. During each such brain operation a particular short-term spatio-temporal pattern of integrated activity of different brain areas emerges within related operational space-time. At the same time, to have a fully functional human brain one needs to have a subjective mental experience. Current research on the subjective mental experience offers detailed analysis of space-time organization of the mind. According to this research, subjective mental experience (subjective virtual world) has definitive spatial and temporal properties similar to many physical phenomena. Based on systematic review of the propositions and tenets of brain and mind space-time descriptions, our aim in this review essay is to explore the relations between the two. To be precise, we would like to discuss the hypothesis that via the brain operational space-time the mind subjective space-time is connected to otherwise distant physical space-time reality. (shrink)
Michael Walzer is one of the most distinguished political philosophers and social critics of this century. His ideas have had great import and influence in political philosophy and political discussion, yet very few of his ideas have been incorporated explicitly into the business ethics literature. We argue that Walzer’s work provides an important conceptual canvas for business ethics scholars that has not been adequately explored. Scholars in business ethics often borrow from political theory and philosophy to generate new insights and (...) develop new substantive contributions. Many valuable theoretical resources are already used extensively—particularly Aristotle, Kant, Marx and a variety of utilitarian philosophers. Walzer offers another set of resources to bring to the conversation of what business ethics is and how business ethicists add value. This paper provides an opportunity to delve further into Walzer’s writings, particularly themes that are tied to business ethics, and to illustrate how his ideas can be extended to reshape our understanding of the field and develop new perspectives on ethical issues in commerce. (shrink)