Ethical thought experiments such as the trolley dilemma have been investigated extensively in the past, showing that humans act in utilitarian ways, trying to cause as little overall damage as possible. These trolley dilemmas have gained renewed attention over the past few years, especially due to the necessity of implementing moral decisions in autonomous driving vehicles. We conducted a set of experiments in which participants experienced modified trolley dilemmas as drivers in virtual reality environments. Participants had to make decisions between (...) driving in one of two lanes where different obstacles came into view. Eventually, the participants had to decide which of the objects they would crash into. Obstacles included a variety of human-like avatars of different ages and group sizes. Furthermore, the influence of sidewalks as potential safe harbors and a condition implicating self-sacrifice were tested. Results showed that participants, in general, decided in a utilitarian manner, sparing the highest number of avatars possible with a limited influence by the other variables. Derived from these findings, which are in line with the utilitarian approach in moral decision making, it will be argued for an obligatory ethics setting implemented in ADVs. (shrink)
In this article I will look at literary imagination and the ways it is undermined and transformed by its relationship to apparatuses. I will compare the apparatus of Aby Warburg’s library with Peter Dittmer’s recent poetic apparatus Die Amme in order to find out how poetics gets trapped by, and responds to, the challenge of apparatuses by employing the logistics of writing. A key concern of this article is to determine the role that speculation plays in poetics, in the (...) apparatuses that govern writing, and in the economics of both. (shrink)
Historians have usually connected the presentation of nature as a part of natural history with the natural cabinet or the natural history museum. A closer look at travel and field work, however, shows that display of nature as a spatial concept and set of material conditions begins already in the first moment of collecting objects, specimens and economic information about a region. In 1720 Tsar Peter I of Russia sent the German physician Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt to Siberia to explore this (...) hitherto terra incognita. During his travels Messerschmidt established two main instruments for collecting data and things, which I shall describe as organizing, material principles for his field work: written lists and notes, and boxes and cases. An analysis of these material objects and their specific uses reveals the intellectual and practical traditions in which learned activities and strategies took place at the beginning of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Excerpt: How does subjective well-being change over the life course and what concepts do people draw upon when they answer questions about their well-being? Does well-being indeed change or are people endowed with a set level of happiness around which their well-being fluctuates? These are some of the questions this paper will address with a focus on three domains of life: family, work, and health.
A dominant view of guilt and shame is that they have opposing action tendencies: guilt- prone people are more likely to avoid or overcome dysfunctional patterns of behaviour, making amends for past misdoings, whereas shame-prone people are more likely to persist in dysfunctional patterns of behaviour, avoiding responsibility for past misdoings and/or lashing out in defensive aggression. Some have suggested that addiction treatment should make use of these insights, tailoring therapy according to people’s degree of guilt-proneness versus shame-proneness. In this (...) paper, we challenge this dominant view, reviewing empirical findings from others as well as our own to question (1) whether shame and guilt can be so easily disentangled in the experience of people with addiction, and (2) whether shame and guilt have the opposing action tendencies standardly attributed to them. We recommend a shift in theoretical perspective that explains our main finding that both emotions can be either destructive or constructive for recovery, depending on how these emotions are managed. We argue such management depends in turn on a person’s quality of self-blame (retributive or ‘scaffolding’), impacting upon their attitude towards their own agency as someone with fixed and unchanging dispositions (shame and guilt destructive for recovery) or as someone capable of changing themselves (shame and guilt productive for recovery). With an eye to therapeutic intervention, we then explore how this shift in attitude towards the self can be accomplished. Specifically, we discuss empathy-driven affective and narratively-driven cognitive components of a process that allow individuals to move away from the register of retributive self-blame into a register of scaffolding ‘reproach’, thereby enabling them to manage their experiences of both shame and guilt in a more generative way. (shrink)
This collection features eleven original essays, divided into three thematic sections, which explore the work of Wilfrid Sellars in relation to other twentieth-century thinkers. Section I analyzes Sellars’s thought in light of some of his influential predecessors, specifically Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rudolf Carnap, John Cook Wilson, and Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz. The second group of essays explores from different perspectives Sellars’s place within the analytic tradition, including his relation with analytic Kantianism and analytic pragmatism. The book’s final section extracts some of the most (...) significant lessons Sellars’s work has to offer for contemporary philosophy. These chapters address his views on inference, his views on truth and its connection to recent discussions about truth-relativism and truth-pluralism, his conception of self-knowledge, and his theory of perceptual experience. (shrink)
There have been few empirical studies into what non-medical factors influence physicians and nurses when deciding about admission and discharge of ICU patients. Information about the attitudes of healthcare professionals about this process can be used to improve decision-making about resource allocation in intensive care. To provide insight into ethical problems that influence the ICU admission and discharge process, we aimed to identify and explore ethical dilemmas healthcare professionals are faced with.
In this paper I will analyze several cases from the American Civil War, the two World Wars and the American Vietnam War, and contemporary research in enhancement substance, to determine how drug use can be analyzed and understood in both physical and moral (ethical) terms. This will require a discussion of drug use at different levels. First, I will address the consequences of drug use for the physical and mental sanity of soldiers, during and after wartime, irrespective of the reason (...) for drug use. Second, I will look into the moral questions related to drug use for the enhancement of soldiers, that is, as a method for modern warfare. The moral dimension has at least two different angles: (i) the moral responsibility of superiors administering drugs to their inferiors who are exposed to the rule of full obedience, and (ii) the ethical consequences of enhancement for moral judgment by soldiers in the gray zone between acts of war and war crimes (the difference between the Super soldier and the Killing machine). (shrink)
This article supports calls for an increased integration of patients into taxonomic decision making in psychiatry by arguing that their exclusion constitutes a special kind of epistemic injustice: preemptive testimonial injustice, which precludes the opportunity for testimony due to a wrongly presumed irrelevance or lack of expertise. Here, this presumption is misguided for two reasons: the role of values in psychiatric classification and the potential function of first-person knowledge as a corrective means against implicitly value-laden, inaccurate, or incomplete diagnostic criteria (...) sets. This kind of epistemic injustice leads to preventable epistemic losses in psychiatric classification, diagnosis, and treatment. (shrink)
Schleiermachers Wissenschaftslehre wird in dieser Untersuchung als eine universale Prinzipienlehre und formale Strukturtheorie rekonstruiert. Es werden mit einem interdisziplinären Ansatz im Anschluß an und in Weiterführung von Überlegungen Schleiermachers zur Struktur von Wirklichkeit und zu ihrer Erkenntnis grundlegende Fragen der Bildung und Konzeptualisierung von Wissenschaften im allgemeinen und von Theologie im besonderen behandelt. Über seine Platoninterpretation, die Rolle der Naturphilosophie, und eine Analyse zentraler Texte Schleiermachers wird erkennbar, daß sich hinter der dyadisch bestimmten Semantik de facto eine triadische Elementarstruktur verbirgt, (...) die über das Operieren mit Dualen zu generieren versucht wird und von der her allererst seine Theorieanlage und Systementscheidungen plausibel werden. Diss. theol. Heidelberg 2000, ausgezeichnet mit dem Ruprecht-Karls-Preis 2000. (shrink)
Whereas right-libertarians do not think that it is a requirement of justice that we raise revenues for persons with disabilities, both left-libertarians and liberal egalitarians think that there is such a requirement. An issue remains for the latter two theorists—how ought we to raise this revenue? Liberal egalitarians typically endorse either universal taxation or taxation of the wealthy. Left-libertarians, on the other hand, cannot so easily appeal to the methods of universal taxation and taxation of the wealthy, as they are (...) illegitimately coercive. One such method left open to the left-libertarian is one proposed by Michael Otsuka. He argues that both left-libertarians and liberal egalitarians should find the method of taxation of the unjust to be a reasonably strong way of raising revenue. In this paper, I point out problems with Otsuka’s argument, as well as directly criticize the method of taxation of the unjust. (shrink)
The Dutch system of obstetric care is often recommended for midwife-attended births, the high number of home deliveries, and the low rate of intervention during pregnancy and labour. In this contribution, the question is addressed whether processes of medicalization can be demonstrated in the Dutch midwife practice. Medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth is often criticized because it creates dependency on the medical system and infringement of the autonomy of pregnant women. It is concluded that medicalization is present in the practice (...) of Dutch independent midwives, however it is less clear and outspoken than in hospital policies. (shrink)
Gilbert et al. argue that the concerns about the influence of Deep Brain Stimulation on – as they lump together – personality, identity, agency, autonomy, authenticity and the self are due to an ethics hype. They argue that there is only a small empirical base for an extended ethics debate. We will critically examine their claims and argue that Gilbert and colleagues do not show that the identity debate in DBS is a bubble, they in fact give very little evidence (...) for that. Rather they show the challenges of doing research in a field that is stretched out over multiple disciplines. In that sense their paper is an important starting point for a discussion on methodology and offers valuable lessons for a future research agenda. (shrink)
People struggling with addiction are neither powerless over their addiction, nor are they fully in control. Lewis vigorously objects to the brain disease model of addiction, because it makes people lose belief in their self-efficacy, and hence hinders their recovery. Although he acknowledges that there is a compulsive state in addiction, he objects to the claim that this compulsion is carved in stone. Lewis argues that the BDMA underestimates the agency of addicted people, and hence hinder their recovery. Lewis’s work (...) offers us a very much to be welcomed neurobiology of recovery. It offers addicted people a hopeful and respectful narrative for their recovery that treats them as agents rather than as damaged brains. However, I argue that overestimating people’s agency can also result in people losing belief in their self-efficacy. Lewis’s strong focus on the agency of addicted people might not match their experiences of struggle, hence reinforcing their feelings of guilt when they fail to control their use. I propose to replace the notion of addiction as a disease with a notion of a disease-like stage in addiction. I call this stage the duress stage in addiction, in which the addictive behaviour is largely impervious to the agent’s values and to available techniques of self-control. However, the agent can overcome this stage by developing new techniques of self-control, by building on their self-concept and belief in self-efficacy, by changing their environments and habits, and by engaging in projects that are meaningful to the agent. (shrink)
This article examines the relation between the critical theory of Moishe Postone and the philosophy of Theodor Adorno. While the former is clearly influenced by the latter, these influences mostly stay implicit. When explicit, he does not so easily put his own thought in line with Adorno’s and is highly critical of him. I will investigate the ways in which ideas from Adorno made their way into Postone’s work, but also where the latter diverts from them. As will be shown, (...) Postone’s critical theory runs into a problem when one examines the immanent ground of his critical norm, freedom. Adorno, on the contrary, does succeed in employing the same norm in his own immanent critique. I will conclude that the problem Postone encounters can be avoided by being more of an ‘Adornian’, and that his theory allows this. (shrink)
The reception and revival of Ibn Rušd in the Arab world of the 20th century provides a profound insight into the efforts of prominent Arab intellectuals to redefine Islamic culture and reveals the possibilities and limits of a dialogue with the West.
Diagnostic terms in psychiatry like ‘schizophrenia’ and ‘bipolar disorder’ are deeply contested in the professional community, by mental health activists and the public. In this paper, we provide a theoretical framework for considering diagnostic terms as ordinary linguistic expressions and illustrate this approach by a corpus linguistic analysis of ‘schizophrenia.’ Our aim is to show how a focus on language itself can inform current and future debates about psychiatric terminology and provide new insights on relevant processes concerning their actual usage (...) and change over time. We hope that this contributes to enhancing mutual understanding between different discourse spheres and stakeholders. (shrink)
At present, the debate on global justice, a debate which is at the core of global ethics, is largely being conducted by European and American scholars from different disciplines without taking into account views and concepts from other regions of the world, particularly, from the Global South. The lack of a truly intercultural, interreligious, and international exchange of ideas provokes doubts whether the concepts of global justice introduced so far are able to transcend regional and cultural horizons. The article introduces (...) concepts of justice from African scholars, whose voices have remained marginal until now, like the Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka, the Ethiopian philosopher Teodros Kiros, and the debate on ubuntu, one of the most controversial concepts in southern Africa today. These concepts focus on issues that are seldom considered in the debate on global justice, such as the importance of bodily needs as a prerequisite for human beings to act as moral beings and the importance of human rel.. (shrink)
Applied Ethics Under what conditions is an abortion morally permissible? Does a citizen have a moral obligation to actively participate (perhaps by voting) in the democratic process of one’s nation (assuming one is living in a democracy)? What obligations, if any, does one have to the global poor? Under what conditions is female genital excision […].
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has elicited numerous criticisms throughout its history. Its particularly controversial status has not been resolved by the recent release of the DSM-5 ; rather, the new edition has amplified debates in psychiatry as well as philosophy and the wider public. To a certain extent, such controversies are to be expected because of the influential role the DSM plays in science and health care. Researchers have often been required to use the DSM classification (...) to get funded and published, clinicians need to use it for diagnosis, and patients need a DSM code to get reimbursed for treatment.1 Classification in psychiatry shapes the course of research... (shrink)
Psychiatric classification, as exemplified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is dealing with a lack of trust and credibility—in the scientific, but also in the public realm. Regarding the latter in particular, one possible remedial measure for this crisis in trust lies in an increased integration of patients into the DSM revision process. The DSM, as a manual for clinical practice, is forced to make decisions that exceed available data and involve value-judgments. Regarding such decisions, public epistemic (...) trustworthiness requires that these value-judgments should be representative of those of the affected public, and that the public has a reason to believe such a representation to be realized. Due to the long tradition of distrust in psychiatry, such a reason can in this case best be provided by an actual integration of patients into the decision-making process, rather than by their representation through scientific experts. (shrink)
This article gives an overview of the influence of the work of Michel Foucault on the philosophy of Agamben. Discussed are Foucault’s influence on the Homo Sacer cycle, on (the development) of Agamben’s notion of power (and on his closely related notion of freedom and art of life), as well as on Agamben’s philosophy of language and methodology. While most commentaries focus on Agamben’s interpretation of Foucault’s concept of biopower, his work also contains many interesting references to Foucault on freedom (...) and possibilities—and I think that it is here that Foucault’s influence on Agamben is most deeply felt. This article focuses on the shifts Agamben takes while looking for the Entwicklungsfähigkeit in the work of Foucault. (shrink)