In the never-ending debate about the scope and limits of science, the hottest argument now centres on the scientific study of man himself. Can there be a science of man at all, in any comprehensive sense? Or is the idea in some way ultimately self-defeating, like that of pulling oneself up by one's own shoelaces? My purpose in this paper is not to venture a direct answer to this ticklish question, but rather to highlight one or two desirable characteristics of (...) a science which I think must inevitably be lacking in any attempt to turn the scientific spotlight upon ourselves. Whether we call the attainable residue by the name of ‘science’ is less important than that we see clearly what not to expect of it. (shrink)
Edited by James Trafford, Robin Mackay, and Luke Pendrell. Documenting a roundtable on the ramifications of Speculative Realism for aesthetics, this discussion ranges from contemporary art's relation to the aesthetic, to accelerationism and abstraction, logic and design.
Concerned with criticizing representational theories of knowledge by developing alternative concepts of knowing and communicating, Ian Angus and Lenore Langsdorf bring together eight essays that are united by a common theme: the convergence of philosophy and rhetoric. In the first chapter, Angus and Langsdorf illustrate the centrality of critical reasoning to the nature of questioning itself, arguing that human inquiry has entered a "new situation" where "the convictions and orientations that have traditionally marked the separation of rhetoric and (...) philosophy—the concern for truth and the focus on persuasion—have begun to converge on a new space that can be defined through the central term _discourse._"_ _In these essays, this convergence of rhetoric and philosophy is addressed as it presents itself to a variety of interests that transcend the traditional boundaries of these fields. The two editors, Raymie E. McKerrow, Michael J. Hyde and Craig R. Smith, James W. Hikins and Kenneth S. Zagacki, Calvin O. Schrag and David James Miller, and Richard L. Lanigan map this new space, recognizing that such mapping "simultaneously _constitutes _the territory mapped.". (shrink)
The Popperian epistemology underlying Levelt's commentary and other aspects of contemporary psychology has limited application and, in particular, does not apply to the creation or development of theory, the main goal of MacKay . This is relevant to Levelt's questions, “What has changed?” and “What is the harvest?”: From a non-Popperian perspective, both changes and harvest are greater than Levelt's commentary would suggest and carry implications for the field at large.
The problem of standard of care in clinical research concerns the level of treatment that investigators must provide to subjects in clinical trials. Commentators often formulate answers to this problem by appealing to two distinct types of obligations: professional obligations and natural duties. In this article, I investigate whether investigators also possess institutional obligations that are directly relevant to the problem of standard of care, that is, those obligations a person has because she occupies a particular institutional role. I examine (...) two types of institutional contexts: (1) public research agencies – agencies or departments of states that fund or conduct clinical research in the public interest; and (2) private-for-profit corporations. I argue that investigators who are employed or have their research sponsored by the former have a distinctive institutional obligation to conduct their research in a way that is consistent with the state's duty of distributive justice to provide its citizens with access to basic health care, and its duty to aid citizens of lower income countries. By contrast, I argue that investigators who are employed or have their research sponsored by private-for-profit corporations do not possess this obligation nor any other institutional obligation that is directly relevant to the ethics of RCTs. My account of the institutional obligations of investigators aims to contribute to the development of a reasonable, distributive justice-based account of standard of care. (shrink)
A person of average height would assert a truth by the conditional ‘if I were seven feet tall, I would be taller than I am,’ in which an indicative clause ‘I am’ is embedded in a subjunctive conditional. By contrast, no one would assert a truth by ‘if I were seven feet tall, I would be taller than I would be’ or ‘if I am seven feet tall, I am taller than I am’. These examples exemplify the fact that whether (...) a sentence's evaluation remains at the actual world in the scope of a modal or conditional depends on the combination of mood in the embedded and matrix clauses rather than, as is commonly thought, just on the presence of an operator ‘actually’. This essay argues that this phenomenon provides evidence that mood admits of bound and free readings along the lines of tenses and pronouns. It therefore favors the hypothesis that natural language contains variables and quantifiers for possible worlds in the object language. This, in turn, requires that the truth of a semantic value of a sentence (or whatever structure is embedded in a modal) be relativized to a sequence of worlds rather than to an individual world, and thus be distinguished from a proposition in the traditional sense. The essay also compares the framework defended with an alternative account of similar phenomena by Kai Wehmeier. (shrink)
Recent efforts by legislative officials and public health advocates to reform the US food stamp program, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, have focused on restricting the types of foods eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits, specifically sugar-sweetened beverages. We argue that it is, in principle, permissible for the US government to enact a SNAP-specific SSB ban prohibiting the purchase of SSBs with SNAP benefits. While the government has a duty to ensure that citizens meet their nutritional needs, since SSBs provide (...) negligible nutrition, it has no obligation to subsidize them. Additionally, there is good reason to think that a SNAP-specific SSB ban would enable the government to better fulfill two other duties—improving citizens’ health and providing public services like Medicaid and Medicare in a more cost-effective manner. Still, because the costs and benefits of such a ban remain uncertain, we argue that the government should conduct well-designed pilot projects to help determine the effects of an SSB ban. (shrink)
In Rescuing Justice and Equality, G.A. Cohen argues that the incentive inequalities permitted by John Rawls's difference principle are unjust since people cannot justify them to their fellow citizens. I argue that citizens of a Rawlsian society can justify their acceptance of a wide range of incentive inequalities to their fellow citizens. They can do so because they possess the right to freedom of occupational choice, and are permitted – as a matter of justice – to exercise this right by (...) making occupational decisions on the basis of a wide range of values and preferences. (shrink)
Winthrop Pickard Bell, a Canadian who studied with Husserl in Göttingen from 1911 to 1914, was arrested after the outbreak of World War I and interred at Ruhleben Prison Camp for the duration of the war. In 1915 or 1916 he presented a lecture titled “Canadian Problems and Possibilities” to other internees at the prison camp. This is the first time Bell’s lecture has appeared in print. Even though the lecture was given to a general audience and thusmakes no explicit (...) reference to Husserl or phenomenology, it is a systematic phenomenological analysis of the national form of group belonging and, as such, makes a substantial contribution to phenomenological sociology and political science, grounding that contribution in phenomenological philosophy. Bell describes the essence of the nation as an organic spiritual unity that grows or develops, and is thus not a product of will, and which becomes a unity by surmounting its parts. This unity is instantiated in a given nation by tradition. The particular character of a nation’s tradition gives it a tendency to act in one way rather than another. (shrink)
In the case discussion, ‘Equity in Public Health Ethics: The Case of Menu Labelling Policy at the Local Level’ , Mah and Timming state that menu labelling would ‘place requirements for information disclosure on private sector food businesses, which, as a policy instrument, is arguably less intrusive than related activities such as requiring changes to the food content’. In this commentary on Mah and Timming’s case study, I focus on discussing how menu-labelling policy permits governments to avoid addressing the heart (...) of the problem, which is high-calorie, high-sodium restaurant food. Menu labelling policy does not address food content in a way that is meaningful for change, instead relying on individuals to change their behaviour given new information. Besides having questionable efficacy, this raises concerns about moralizing food choices. (shrink)
Reasons for the limited uptake of the clinician–scientist role within nursing are examined, specifically: the lack of consensus about the nature of nursing science; the varying approaches to epistemology; and the influence of post-modern thought on knowledge development in nursing. It is suggested that under-development of this role may be remedied by achieving agreement that science is a necessary, worthy pursuit for nursing, and that rigorous science conducted from a clinical perspective serves nursing well. Straddling practice and research is a (...) powerful strategy for ensuring relevant research while forging strong links with practice. The clinician–scientist role, typically requiring a 75:25 ratio between research and clinical activities, is well established in medicine. Nursing, however, has been slow to institute the role; it is rare within North America, Australia, and western European countries, and almost non-existent outside those areas. Beyond structural obstacles, philosophical issues may explain nursing's reluctance to implement the role. Following a survey of clinician–scientist roles throughout the world, the nature of nursing science and epistemology, and the influence of post-modern thought on nursing attitudes to research are examined with respect to their influence on this role. The nurse clinician–scientist role holds promise for making strides in clinically relevant research, and for accelerating the knowledge cycle from clinical problem to research question to change in clinical practice. (shrink)
Many high-income countries have skill-selective immigration policies, favoring prospective immigrants who are highly skilled. I investigate whether it is permissible for high-income countries to adopt such policies. Adopting what Joseph Carens calls a " realistic approach " to the ethics of immigration, I argue first that it is in principle permissible for high-income countries to take skill as a consideration in favor of selecting one prospective immigrant rather than another. I argue second that high-income countries must ensure that their skill-selective (...) immigration policies do not contribute to the non-fulfillment of their duty to aid residents of low-and middle-income countries. (shrink)
This paper reviews some recent litigation in the United States which addresses the difficult question of withdrawing food and hydration from both competent and incompetent patients. Whilst the decisions in question have manifested a trend towards favouring patient autonomy, they also indicate an underlying tension between doctors, health care facilities and their dying patients which is not yet close to resolution. The author suggests that the courts in the United States are likely to remain, for the foreseeable future, the final (...) arbiters in that country of disputes relating to the termination of life-sustaining treatment. (shrink)
An extended review essay on Andrew Feenberg's Heidegger and Marcuse that argues that the concept of negation in Hegel is distinct from that in Heidegger which makes such an attempted synthesis problematic.
I argue that ‘actually’ does not have a reading according to which it is synonymous with the actuality operator of modal logic, and propose an alternative account of ‘actually’. The cases that have been thought to show that ‘actually’ is synonymous with the actuality operator are modal and counterfactual sentences in which an embedded clause's evaluation is held fixed at the world of the context. In these cases, though, this embedded clause's evaluation is not due to the presence of ‘actually’. (...) As an alternative, I propose that ‘actually’ is a presupposition trigger along the lines of ‘even’ or ‘too’, and it signals that presupposed information states in the discourse are evolving in a non-standard way. (shrink)
In a recent article, Seana Valentine Shiffrin offers a distinctive egalitarian critique of the types of incentive inequalities that are permitted by John Rawls's difference principle. She argues that citizens of a well-ordered society, who publicly accept Rawls's two principles of justice and their justifications, may not demand incentives to employ their talents in productive ways since such demands are inconsistent with a major justification for the difference principle: the moral arbitrariness of talent. I argue that there is no such (...) inconsistency. Citizens can publicly accept the claim that talent is morally arbitrary and accept incentives to employ their talents productively without inconsistency. In the standard case that Rawls envisions, citizens who do so take their preferences to be a reason for a higher salary, not their talents. (shrink)
During the 1940s and 1950s, the Australian microbiologist F. Macfarlane Burnet sought a biologically plausible explanation of antibody production. In this essay, we seek to recover the conceptual pathways that Burnet followed in his immunological theorizing. In so doing, we emphasize the influence of speculations on individuality, especially those of philosopher Alfred North Whitehead; the impact of cybernetics and information theory; and the contributions of clinical research into autoimmune disease that took place in Melbourne. We point to the influence of (...) local experimental and intellectual currents on Burnet’s work. Accordingly, this essay describes an arc distinct from most other tracings of Burnet’s conceptual development, which focus on his early bacteriophage research, his fascination with the work of Julian Huxley and other biologists in the 1920s, and his interest in North Atlantic experimental investigations in the life sciences. No doubt these too were potent influences, but they seem insufficient to explain, for example, Burnet’s sudden enthusiasm in the 1940s for immunological definitions of self and not-self. We want to demonstrate here how Burnet’s deep involvement in philosophical biology – along with attention to local clinical research – provided him with additional theoretic tools and conceptual equipment, with which to explain immune function. (shrink)
Leslie Armour is the author of numerous books and essays on epistemology, metaphysics, logic, Canadian philosophy and Blaise Pascal, as well as on ethics, social and political philosophy, the history of philosophy (especially seventeenth-century philosophy) and social economics. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he has worked as a reporter for The Vancouver Province, briefly as a sub-editor at Reuters News Agency, and for several years as a columnist and feature writer for London Express News and Feature Services. (...) He has taught at universities in Montana, California, Ohio and Ontario. Now a researchprofessor of philosophy at the Dominican University College, Ottawa, an emeritus professor at the University of Ottawa, and editor of the International Journal of Social Economics, he and his wife, Diana, divide their time between Ottawa and London, U.K. (shrink)
Involuntary autobiographical memories are typically discussed in the context of negative memories such as trauma ‘flashbacks’. However, IAMs occur frequently in everyday life and are predominantly positive. In spite of this, surprisingly little is known about how such positive IAMs arise. The trauma film paradigm is often used to generate negative IAMs. Recently an equivalent positive film was developed inducing positive IAMs . The current study is the first to investigate which variables would best predict the frequency of positive IAMs. (...) Higher levels of positive mood change to the film were significantly associated with the number of positive IAMs recorded in the subsequent week. Results demonstrate the importance of positive emotional reaction at the time of an event for subsequent positive IAMs. (shrink)