There is a thriving debate over what aspects of our capacity to produce and understand language are special. My concern here is a key part of this wider debate: Is speech special? In particular, my focus is on speech perception, and whether it is special. This isn’t just one but a number of different questions. Too frequently, these very different questions are not clearly distinguished and kept apart. I discuss a framework for distinguishing various versions of the question, Is speech (...) perceptually special? Focusing on a particular class of questions, I make a proposal about the sense in which speech is perceptually special. According to this account, the capacity to perceive speech is an acquired perceptual skill, and involves learning to hear language-specific types of biologically-significant sounds. This account illuminates the significance of interlocution in understanding what makes the perception of speech distinctive. (shrink)
How do I know whether there are any minds beside my own? This problem of other minds in philosophy raises questions which are at the heart of all philosophical investigations--how it is that we know, what is in the mind, and whether we can be certain about any of our beliefs. In this book, Anita Avramides begins with a historical overview of the problem from the Ancient Skeptics to Descartes, Malebranche, Locke, Berkeley, Reid, and Wittgenstein. The second part of (...) the book investigates the views of influential contemporary philosophers such as Strawson, Davidson, Nagel and Searle. (shrink)
Ethics consultation has become an integral part of the fabric of U.S. health care delivery. This article summarizes the second edition of the Core Competencies for Health Care Ethics Consultation report of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. The core knowledge and skills competencies identified in the first edition of Core Competencies have been adopted by various ethics consultation services and education programs, providing evidence of their endorsement as health care ethics consultation standards. This revised report was prompted by (...) thinking in the field that has evolved since the original report. Patients, family members, and health care providers who encounter ethical questions or concerns that ethics consultants could help address deserve access to efficient, effective, and accountable HCEC services. All individuals providing such services should be held to the standards of competence and quality described in the revised report. (shrink)
How should we respond to individuals with disabilities? What does it mean to be disabled? Over fifty million Americans, from neonates to the fragile elderly, are disabled. Some people say they have the right to full social participation, while others repudiate such claims as delusive or dangerous. In this compelling book, three experts in ethics, medicine, and the law address pressing disability questions in bioethics and public policy. Anita Silvers, David Wasserman, and Mary B. Mahowald test important theories of (...) justice by bringing them to bear on subjects of concern in a wide variety of disciplines dealing with disability. They do so in the light of recent advances in feminist, minority, and cultural studies, and of the groundbreaking Americans with Disabilities Act. (shrink)
One of the most intriguing of philosophical puzzles concerns other minds. How do you know there are any? Yes, you're surrounded by living organisms that look and behave much as you do. They even say they have minds. But do they? Perhaps other humans are mindless zombies: like you on the outside, but lacking any inner conscious life, including emotions, thoughts, experiences and even pain. What grounds do you possess for supposing that other humans aren't zombies? Perhaps less than you (...) think. Anita Avramides tackles this fascinating question. (shrink)
The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) is an ontology that provides terms with precisely defined meanings to describe all aspects of how investigations in the biological and medical domains are conducted. OBI re-uses ontologies that provide a representation of biomedical knowledge from the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) project and adds the ability to describe how this knowledge was derived. We here describe the state of OBI and several applications that are using it, such as adding semantic expressivity to (...) existing databases, building data entry forms, and enabling interoperability between knowledge resources. OBI covers all phases of the investigation process, such as planning, execution and reporting. It represents information and material entities that participate in these processes, as well as roles and functions. Prior to OBI, it was not possible to use a single internally consistent resource that could be applied to multiple types of experiments for these applications. OBI has made this possible by creating terms for entities involved in biological and medical investigations and by importing parts of other biomedical ontologies such as GO, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) and Phenotype Attribute and Trait Ontology (PATO) without altering their meaning. OBI is being used in a wide range of projects covering genomics, multi-omics, immunology, and catalogs of services. OBI has also spawned other ontologies (Information Artifact Ontology) and methods for importing parts of ontologies (Minimum information to reference an external ontology term (MIREOT)). The OBI project is an open cross-disciplinary collaborative effort, encompassing multiple research communities from around the globe. To date, OBI has created 2366 classes and 40 relations along with textual and formal definitions. The OBI Consortium maintains a web resource providing details on the people, policies, and issues being addressed in association with OBI. (shrink)
For decades a debate has played out in the literature about who bioethicists are, what they do, whether they can be considered professionals qua bioethicists, and, if so, what professional responsibilities they are called to uphold. Health care ethics consultants are bioethicists who work in health care settings. They have been seeking guidance documents that speak to their special relationships/duties toward those they serve. By approving a Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibilities for Health Care Ethics Consultants, the American Society (...) for Bioethics and Humanities has moved the professionalization debate forward in a significant way. This first code of ethics focuses on individuals who provide health care ethics consultation in clinical settings. The evolution of the code's development, implications for the field of HCEC and bioethics, and considerations for future directions are presented here. (shrink)
This paper has described three uses of Extreme Case formulationsto assert the strongest case in anticipation of non-sympathetic hearingsto propose the cause of a phenomenonto speak for the rightness (wrongness) of a practice.The interactants in the illustrations were engaged in several types of activities, among which were complaining, accusing, justifying, and defending. As concluding remarks, a few comments will be made about why participants use Extreme Case formulations in these activities.Part of the business of complaining involves portraying a situation as (...) a legitimate complainable. This may take the form of protraying the offense committed and/or the suffering endured in a way such that it would not be dismissed as minor. So as to legitimize a complaint and portray the complainable situation as worthy of the complaint, a speaker may portray the offense and/or the suffering with Extreme Case formulations. In both accusing and defending, participants ofyen present their strongest cases, including specifying Extreme Cases of their claims.Part of justifying a course of actions may involve portraying the precipitating circumstance as necessitating the action. The precipitating circumstance may be a problem circumstance which is portrayed as unfair, immoral, embarrassing, uncomfortable, or in some other way undesirable and/or intolerable. There is a shared assumption that the worse the problem, the more necessary it is to do something about it. In justifying, speakers use Extreme Case formulations to portray the circumstances that precipitated their actions as demanding their actions.A problem that participants have when engaged in, or reflecting on, conflicts, complaints, criticism, compliments, praise, etc. is to attribute the cause of the phenomenon. Who or what is responsible for the conflictual, complainable, praise-worthy state of affairs? One method that is used to determine what or who is responsible, i.e. to make an attribution, involves comparing the case in question to other similar cases. Through this procedure, persons determine that they are (are not) responsible for the state of affairsin questions. Extreme Case proportional formulations (‘everyone,’ ‘all,’ ‘every time’) are used to indicate that any individual member of that category is not responsible for the state of affairs; that responsibility is to be attributed elsewhere.The social order essentially is a moral order (Garfinkel, 1967). One of the ways of knowing what is acceptable and right is by finding out how people behave. There often is a shared assumption operating (one that is called into question on occasion): how people behave tells us what is the right way to behave. Proportional measures reporting the frequency or prevalence of practices are used to propose and substantiate the rightness and wrongness of those practices. Extreme Case formulations (‘all the time,’ ‘everybody,’ ‘no one’) propose behaviors are acceptable and right or unacceptable and wrong. (shrink)
Recent developments in neuroscience have enabled technological advances to modulate cognitive functions of the brain. Despite ethical concerns about cognitive enhancement, both individuals and society as a whole can benefit greatly from these technologies, depending on how we regulate their use. To date, regulatory analyses of neuromodulation technologies have focused on a technology itself – for instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation of a brain stimulation device – rather than the use of a technology, such as the use (...) of a brain stimulation device at work or school. Given that some forms of cognitive enhancement have already started to penetrate the general public’s everyday life, we should begin our discussion on potential regulatory issues regarding their use in various real-world situations. The goal of the article is to fill the gap by providing an analytic framework to examine these regulatory issues. More specifically, it aims to illustrate the issues around respecting autonomy and preventing coercive use of cognitive enhancement. The proposed framework categories the real-world settings where a neuromodulation technology can be used for cognitive enhancement based on two criteria – who is subjected to cognitive enhancement and who imposes cognitive enhancement. Based on this framework, the article analyzes regulatory issues arising out of every combination of subject/imposing party by taking one example case. Focusing on the regulations in the U.S., this analysis shows the current lack of adequate safeguards against the coercive use and calls for more attention from government agencies and researchers to develop sound policies regarding current and potentially more widespread use of cognitive enhancement. (shrink)
It is often taken for granted that the professional–patient relationship is one of trust, particularly given that these clinicians are “experts” in their clinical domain. Nonetheless, trusting grants discretionary powers to the trustee, making the truster vulnerable to the trustee (Rogers and Ballantyne 2008). In particular, some patient groups carry certain social vulnerabilities that can be exacerbated when they extend trust to health-care providers (HCPs). Informed by the feminist literature on epistemic hierarchy and oppression, this paper examines how calls to (...) trust may increase epistemic injustice and perpetuate the vulnerability and disablement of a particular group: people with impairments. This paper uses .. (shrink)
Today, more corporations disclose information about their environmental performance in response to stakeholder demands of environmental responsibility and accountability. What information do corporations disclose on their websites? This paper investigates the environmental management policies and practices of the 200 largest corporations in the world. Based on a content analysis of the environmental reports of Fortune’s Global 200 companies, this research analyzes the content of corporate environmental disclosures with respect to the following seven areas: environmental planning considerations, top management support to (...) the institutionalization of environmental concerns, environmental structures and organizing specifics, environmental leadership activities, environmental control, external validations or certifications of environmental programs, and forms of corporate environmental disclosures. (shrink)
Can the government stick us with privacy we don't want? It can, it does, and according to this author, may need to do more of it. Privacy is a foundational good, she argues, a necessary tool in the liberty-lover's kit for a successful life. A nation committed to personal freedom must be prepared to mandate inalienable, liberty-promoting privacies for its people, whether they eagerly embrace them or not. The eight chapters of this book are reflections on public regulation of privacy (...) at home; isolation and confinement for punitive and health reasons; religious modesty attire; erotic nudity; workplace and professional confidentiality; racial privacy; online transactions; social networking; and the collection, use and storage of electronic data. (shrink)
In recent decades, the intertwining ideas of self-determination and well-being have received tremendous support in bioethics. Discussions regarding self-determination, or autonomy, often focus on two dimensions—the capacity of the patient and the freedom from external coercion. The practice of obtaining informed consent, for example, has become a standard procedure in therapeutic and research medicine. On the surface, it appears that patients now have more opportunities to exercise their self-determination than ever. Nonetheless, discussions of patient autonomy in the bioethics literature, which (...) focus on individual patients making particular decisions, neglect the social structure within which health-care decisions are made. Looking through the lens of disability and informed by the feminist conception of relational autonomy, this essay argues that the issue of autonomy is much more complex than the individualist model suggests. The social system and the ableist ideology impose various forms of pressure or oppressive power that can affect people’s ability to choose according to their value system. Even if such powers are not directly coercive, they influence potential parents’ decisions indirectly—they structure their alternatives in such a way that certain options are never considered as viable and other decisions must be made. This paper argues that, instead of only focusing on the individual act of decision-making, we need to pay attention to the social structure that frames people’s decision. (shrink)
A feminist ethics that bases morality on dependence or vulnerability challenges the moral priority of uniform over disparate treatment. Persons with disabilities resist equality's homogenization of moral personhood. But displacing equality in favor of caring or trust reprises the repression of those already marginalized. The ethics of difference proves an ineffective remedy for the negative consequences attendant on how historically marginalized groups are different. An historicized conception of equality resolves the dilemma.
Corporate America is institutionalizing ethics through a variety of structures, systems, and processes. This study sought to identify managerial perceptions regarding the institutionalization of ethics in organizations. Eighty-six corporate level marketing and human resource managers of American multi-national corporations responded to a mail survey regarding the various implicit and explicit ways by which corporations institutionalize ethics. The results revealed that managers found ethics to be good for the bottom line of the organizations, they did not perceive the need for additional (...) formalization of ethics, and that they perceived implicit forms of institutionalizing ethics (e.g., leadership, corporate culture, top management support) to be more effective than the explicit forms of institutionalizing ethics (e.g., ethics ombudspeople, ethics committees, ethics newsletters). Implications of the survey and future research directions conclude the paper. (shrink)
Disagreement about the properattitude toward disability proliferates. Yetlittle attention has been paid to an importantmeta-question, namely, whether ``disability'' isan essentially contested concept. If so, recentdebates between bioethicists and the disabilitymovement leadership cannot be resolved. Inthis essay I identify some of the presumptionsthat make their encounters so contentious. Much more must happen, I argue, for anydiscussions about disability policy andpolitics to be productive. Progress depends onconstructing a neutral conception ofdisability, one that neither devaluesdisability nor implies that persons withdisabilities are inadequate. So, (...) first, I clearaway the conceptual underbrush that makes usthink our idea of disability must bevalue-laden. Second, I sketch someconstituents of, and constraints upon, aneutral notion of disability. (shrink)
This article engages Axel Honneth’s recent work on Georg Lukács’ concept of reification in order to formulate a politically relevant and historically specific critique of capitalism that is applicable to theorizing contemporary democratic practice. I argue that Honneth’s attempt to reorient the critique of reification within the terms of a theory of recognition has done so at the cost of sacrificing the core of the concept, which forged a connection between the socio-political analysis of capitalist domination and an analysis of (...) the unengaged, spectatorial stance of human beings toward the world, showing how they together impede emancipatory social transformation. In order to accomplish the unfinished task of rendering the critique of reification applicable to contemporary critical theory, I seek to synthesize the advantages of Honneth’s approach, which focuses on the normative aspects of the critique of reification, with Lukács’ emphasis on the practical, political-economic dimensions of reification and the historically specific pathologies of the capitalist social form. (shrink)
This debate article explores how smart technologies may create a double-edged sword for patient safety and effective therapeutic relationships. Increasing utilization of health monitoring devices by patients will likely become an important aspect of self-care and preventive medicine. It may also help to enhance accurate symptom reports, diagnoses, and prompt referral to specialist care where appropriate. However, the development, marketing, and use of such technology raise significant ethical implications for therapeutic relationships and patient safety. Drawing on lessons learned from other (...) direct-to-consumer health products such as genetic testing, this article explores how smart technology can also pose regulatory challenges and encourage overutilization of healthcare services. In order for smart technology to promote safer care and effective therapeutic encounters, the technology and its utilization must be safe. This article argues for unified regulatory guidelines and better education for both healthcare providers and patients regarding the benefits and risks of these devices. (shrink)
The essays in this volume present versions of feminism that are explicitly liberal, or versions of liberalism that are explicitly feminist. By bringing together some of the most respected and well-known scholars in mainstream political philosophy today, Amy R. Baehr challenges the reader to reconsider the dominant view that liberalism and feminism are 'incompatible.'.
CYNTHIA FLEURY / LYNDA LOTTE. — Anita Erba, vous faites partie des nouveaux courants de la peinture en Israël. La spécificité de votre travail consiste en ce qu’il est au carrefour de l’Orient et de l’Occident. Comment définissez-vous votre travail artistique? Quelle est son évolution interne et comment se traduit-elle par rapport aux supports choisis?ANITA.
This paper relates Donaldson and Dunfee’s Integrative Social Contracts Theory to the problem of gender discrimination. We make the assumption that multinational managers might seek some guidance from ISCT to resolve ethical issues of gender discrimination in countries indifferent or hostile to gender equaIity. The role of Donaldson and Dunfee’s “hypernorms” seems especially cruciaI, and we find that, under their writings thus far, no “hypernorms” exist to make unethical the most blatant acts of sex discrimination in a host country whose (...) local norms tolerate such discrimination. The genesis of “hypernorms” as “global moral minimums” is recounted, and specific application of ISCT to a familiar ethics case (“A Foreign Assignment”) is provided. (shrink)
This collection showcases the work of 18 analytical feminists from a variety of traditional areas of philosophy. It highlights successful uses of concepts and approaches from traditional philosophy, and illustrates the contributions that feminist approaches have made and could make to the analysis of issues in key areas of traditional philosophy, while also demonstrating that traditional philosophy ignores feminist insights and feminist critiques of traditional philosophy at its own peril.
Introduction -- The self-interest based contractarian response to the skeptic -- A feminist ethics response to the skeptic -- Deformed desires -- Self-interest versus morality -- The amoralist -- The motive skeptic -- The interdependency thesis.
The metaphor of “the ghastly kitchen” of life science research, the places that, said the nineteenth-century physiologist Claude Bernard, stirred “the fetid and throbbing ground of life,” is well known. In the seventeenth century, the kitchen, and particularly the scullery, was the site of the slaughter, butchery, and dismemberment by carving of a variety of animals. The tools and techniques employed in these activities overlapped considerably with those of animal and human dissection. Dissection often took place in residences and the (...) kitchen was the most likely place for this activity. This challenges historians’ identification of the kitchen as an exclusively female realm. The preparation of food and medicines occurred in tandem with experimental natural philosophy, sharing tools as well as the sensory apparatus of cooking, including tasting and smelling. (shrink)
As a U.S. civil rights policy, affirmative action commonly denotes race-conscious and result-oriented efforts by private and public officials to correct the unequal distribution of economic opportunity and education attributed to slavery, segregation, poverty and racism. Opponents argue that affirmative action (1) violates ideals of color-blind public policies, offending moral principles of fairness and constitutional principles of equality and due process; (2) has proven to be socially and politically divisive; (3) has not made things better; (4) mainly benefits middle-class, wealthy (...) and foreign-born blacks; (4) stigmatizes its beneficiaries; and (5) compromises the self-esteem and self-respect of beneficiaries who know that they have been awarded preferential treatment. By way of a thought experiment, imagine that after decades of public policy and experimentation, the United States public finally came to agree: affirmative action is morally and legally wrong. Employing such a thought experiment, this essay by a beneficiary of affirmative action—written in response to James Sterba’s Affirmative Action for the Future (2009)—examines duties of moral repair and the possibility that the past beneficiaries of affirmative action owe apologies, compensation or some other highly personal form of corrective accountability. Beneficiaries of affirmative action have experienced woundedness and moral insecurity. Indeed, the practice of affirmative action comes with a psychology, a set of psychological benefits and burdens whose moral logic those of us who believe in our own fallibility—as much as we believe in the justice of what we have received and conferred on others—should address. (shrink)
Elizabeth Barnes’s recently proposed value-neutral model for disability provoked a familiar storm of oft-made objections from philosophers who appear committed to equating being disabled with being intrinsically or inescapably disadvantaged. Their narrow framing of the options for disabled people is influenced, I suggest, by purposes to which “disability” now is put. But there are both epistemic and moral reasons to refrain from importing the normative narrowness imposed by these purposes into our philosophical investigation of disability. Barnes’s ontological account opens up (...) our framing options. Developing a full institutional theory of disability that both rests on and extrapolates from a social ontology of disablement is a promising direction for exploration at the intersect of metaphysics and public policy in the new field of Philosophy and Disability. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This article deals with the communicational aspects of Aristotle’s theory of signification as laid out in the initial chapters of the De Interpretatione (Int.).1 We begin by outlining the reception and main interpretations of the chapters under discussion, rather siding with the linguistic strand. We then argue that the first four chapters present an account of verbal communication, in which words signify things via thoughts. We show how Aristotle determines voice as a conventional and hence accidental medium of signification: (...) words as ‘spoken sounds’ are tokens of thoughts, which in turn are signs or natural likenesses of things. We argue that, in this way, linguistic expressions may both signify thoughts and refer to things. This double account of signification also explains the variety of ontological, logical and psychological interpretations of the initial chapters of Int. (shrink)
While disability has emerged as a major theme in academic and political discourses, a perusal of many bioethics textbooks reveals that most editors and philosophers still do not consider disability to be central to developing either critical perspective or social conscience in addressing the core questions in bioethics. This essay explores how disability issues are typically portrayed in bioethics textbooks by looking at the examples of genetic testing and medically assisted death. It explains how incorporation of disability perspectives helps to (...) provide students with opportunities for a fuller understanding of many concepts that are central to moral and political philosophy, such as equality, justice, the good life, moral agency, and autonomy. (shrink)
Is there any reason not to spy on other people as necessary to get the facts straight, especially if you can put the facts you uncover to good use? To “spy” is secretly to monitor or investigate another's beliefs, intentions, actions, omissions, or capacities, especially as revealed in otherwise concealed or confidential conduct, communications and documents. By definition, spying involves secret, covert activity, though not necessarily lies, fraud or dishonesty. Nor does spying necessarily involve the use of special equipment, such (...) as a tape recorder or high-powered binoculars. Use of a third party agent, such as a “private eye” or Central Intelligence Agency operative is not necessary for surveillance to count as spying. Spying is morally troublesome both because it violates privacy norms and because it relies on secrecy and, perhaps, nefarious deception. Contemporary technologies of data collection make secret, privacy-invading surveillance easy and nearly irresistible. For every technology of confidential personal communication - telephone, mobile phone, computer email - there are one or more counter-technologies of eavesdropping. But covert surveillance conducted by amateur and professional spies still includes old-fashioned techniques of stealth, trickery and deception known a half century ago: shadowing by car, peeking at letters and diaries, donning disguises, breaking and entering, taking photographs, and tape recording conversations. The ethical examination of spying cannot be reduced to a conversation about reigning in the mischief potential of twenty-first century technology. We do need to concern ourselves with what tomorrow's spies will do with nanotechnology, but plenty of spying is possible with the time-tested techniques of the Baby Boomers, or even, for that matter, the Victorians. The philosophical problem I wish to consider here is the ethical limits of spying on others, when the reasons for spying are good. I explore the plausibility of three interrelated ideas. The first idea is one I will call the anti-spying principle: spying on other adults is prima facie unethical. The second idea is an exception to the anti-spying principle: spying on others is ethically permissible, even mandatory, in certain situations, where the ends are good. The third and final idea is a constraint on exceptions to the anti-spying principle: where spying is ethically permitted or required, there are ethical limits on the methods of spying. The virtuous spy will violate privacy and transparency norms, of course; but he or she will, to the extent possible, continue to act with respect for the moral autonomy and for the moral and legal interests of the investigative target. (shrink)
The aim of the present paper is to evaluate the notion of collective guilt feeling both in the light of research in affectivity and in collective intentionality. The paper is divided into an introduction and three main sections. Section 1) highlights relevant features of guilt‐family emotions such as the relation between feeling guilt and objective guilt, the relation between feeling guilt and its content, and the relation between feeling guilt and the ‘self’. Moreover, the distinction between feeling guilt and feeling (...) regret is given due attention. Section 2) examines Margaret Gilbert's arguments in favor of a collectivist view of collective guilt feeling , according to which groups do genuinely feel guilt. Against the collectivist position I argue for an individualist ‘membership account’ of collective guilt feeling in terms of individual members' we‐feeling of guilt. The membership account of collective guilt feeling is vindicated on grounds of a naturalist and non‐judgmentalist understanding of emotions, as well as on the logic of personal pronouns. It combines individualism regarding the subject of the feeling with collectivism regarding the irreducibility of we‐feelings and provides, as I further argue, the required moral force attributed to collective guilt feeling. The concern of section 3) is the question of the appropriate emotional response to collective wrongdoing. I argue against the view that group members are categorically ‘committed to feel guilt as a body’ for wrongdoings committed by the group. Given that individual members often do not participate in their groups' wrongdoings, it seems unjust to impose a requirement for feeling guilt upon them. I suggest that in a general account of the appropriate assessment of collective wrongdoing, feeling regret is the better candidate than feeling guilt for the role of the minimally required emotional response.For us collectively to feel guilt over our action A is for us to be jointly committed to feeling guilt as a body over our action A. [. . .] The parties [. . .] constitute, as far as possible, a single subject of guilt feelings .[A] collective cannot respond affectively [. . .], only its constitutive members can. The lack of an affective counter‐response is troubling, because the efficacy of responses of accountability partially depends upon affect. The response of shame, guilt, and regret help to register the significance of the harm. (shrink)