Chidiac, Anthony Saint Teresa of Calcutta made a significant impact on Christian spiritual thought and practice in the twentieth century by dedicating her entire life to serving the poorest of the poor. Her spirituality is based on the premise that through serving the marginalised and disenfranchised in our society we are in essence ministering to Christ and consequently helping to 'quench his thirst'. Her effective work made her one of the most highly respected and venerated figures of recent times, (...) and it made her a readily acknowledged saint by Christians and non-Christians alike. She generated a tremendous amount of publicity by her determination to help the poor and to love the unwanted, the most vulnerable in society. At times she was criticised unfairly by some people regarding her conservative stance on issues, her fundraising activities and her effectiveness in dealing with the issue of poverty. Nevertheless strong yardsticks of her success are the countless awards she received and her ability to establish a dynamic congregation of 4500 dedicated nuns, active in over 130 countries, who continue to make a real difference to our world. (shrink)
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be speciﬁc about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
Understanding the emergence of a tangible 4-dimensional space-time from a quantum theory of gravity promises to be a tremendously difficult task. This article makes the case that this task may not have to be carried. Space-time as we know it may be fundamental to begin with. I recall the common arguments against this possibility and review a class of recently discovered models bypassing the most serious objection. The generic solution of the measurement problem that is tied to semiclassical gravity as (...) well as the difficulty of the alternative make it a reasonable default option in the absence of decisive experimental evidence. (shrink)
The paper presents a research programme for the neuroscience of consciousness called 'neurophenomenology' and illustrates it with a recent pilot study . At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the neurophysiology of consciousness . At a methodological level, the neurophenomenological strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale neurodynamics of consciousness . The paper focuses on neurophenomenology in relation to (...) three challenging methodological issues about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: first-person reports can be biased or inaccurate; the process of generating first-person reports about an experience can modify that experience; and there is an 'explanatory gap' in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomenological data to third-person, biobehavioural data. (shrink)
This paper analyzes an explicit instantiation of the program of neurophenomenology in a neuroscientific protocol. Neurophenomenology takes seriously the importance of linking the scientific study of consciousness to the careful examination of experience with a specific first-person methodology. My first claim is that such strategy is a fruitful heuristic because it produces new data and illuminates their relation to subjective experience. My second claim is that the approach could open the door to a natural account of the structure of human (...) experience as it is mobilized in itself in such methodology. In this view, generative passages define the type of circulation which explicitly roots the active and disciplined insight the subject has about his/her experience in a biological emergent process. (shrink)
Recent brain imaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have implicated insula and anterior cingulate cortices in the empathic response to another’s pain. However, virtually nothing is known about the impact of the voluntary generation of compassion on this network. To investigate these questions we assessed brain activity using fMRI while novice and expert meditation practitioners generated a loving-kindness-compassion meditation state. To probe affective reactivity, we presented emotional and neutral sounds during the meditation and comparison periods. Our main hypothesis (...) was that the concern for others cultivated during this form of meditation enhances affective processing, in particular in response to sounds of distress, and that this response to emotional sounds is modulated by the degree of meditation training. The presentation of the emotional sounds was associated with increased pupil diameter and activation of limbic regions (insula and cingulate cortices) during meditation (versus rest). During meditation, activation in insula was greater during presentation of negative sounds than positive or neutral sounds in expert than it was in novice meditators. The strength of activation in insula was also associated with self-reported intensity of the meditation for both groups. These results support the role of the limbic circuitry in emotion sharing. The comparison between meditation vs. rest states between experts and novices also showed increased activation in amygdala, right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in response to all sounds, suggesting, greater detection of the emotional sounds, and enhanced mentation in response to emotional human vocalizations for experts than novices during meditation. Together these data indicate that the mental expertise to cultivate positive emotion alters the activation of circuitries previously linked to empathy and theory of mind in response to emotional stimuli.. (shrink)
_sciousness called ‘neurophenomenology’ (Varela 1996) and illustrates it with a_ _recent pilot study (Lutz et al., 2002). At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology_ _pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the_ _neurophysiology of consciousness (Varela 1995; Thompson and Varela 2001;_ _Varela and Thompson 2003). At a methodological level, the neurophenomeno-_ _logical strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about_ _subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale_ _neurodynamics of consciousness (Lutz 2002). The paper (...) foocuses on_ _neurophenomenology in relation to three challenging methodological issues_ _about incorporating first-person data into cognitive neuroscience: (i) first-person_ _reports can be biased or inaccurate; (ii) the process of generating first-person_ _reports about an experience can modify that experience; and (iii) there is an ‘ex-_ _planatory gap’ in our understanding of how to relate first-person, phenomeno-_ _logical data to third-person, biobehavioural data._. (shrink)
Publié en 1683 comme un « préambule » à la réfutation du Traité de la nature et de la grâce de Nicolas Malebranche, l’ouvrage Vraies et fausses idées d’Antoine Arnauld a connu un étonnant destin. Cette défense très argumentée de la conception cartésienne des idées est peu à peu devenue un texte incontournable dans les débats de philosophie de la connaissance, cité et commenté aussi bien par les auteurs classiques que dans les débats anglosaxons contemporains.Ce volume en propose la (...) première édition critique annotée en français. Des annexes apportent en outre quelques outils pour se repérer dans l’important corpus de textes de philosophie de la connaissance rédigés par Arnauld. (shrink)
The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training (...) attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain atten- tion. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behav- ioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function. (shrink)
It is widely agreed that fiction is necessarily incomplete, but some recent work postulates the existence of universal fictions—stories according to which everything is true. Building such a story is supposedly straightforward: authors can either assert that everything is true in their story, define a complement function that does the assertoric work for them, or, most compellingly, write a story combining a contradiction with the principle of explosion. The case for universal fictions thus turns on the intuitive priority we assign (...) to the law of non-contradiction. My goal in this paper is to show that our critical and reflective literary practices set constraints on story-telling which preclude universal fictions. I will raise four stumbling blocks for universal fictionalists: the gap between saying and making true, our actual interpretive reactions to story-level contradictions, the criteria we accept for what counts as a story in our literary practices, and the undesirability of the universal fictionalist’s closure principles. (shrink)
We argue that ecology in general and biodiversity and ecosystem function research in particular need an understanding of functions which is both ahistorical and evolutionarily grounded. A natural candidate in this context is Bigelow and Pargetter’s evolutionary forward-looking account which, like the causal role account, assigns functions to parts of integrated systems regardless of their past history, but supplements this with an evolutionary dimension that relates functions to their bearers’ ability to thrive and perpetuate themselves. While Bigelow and Pargetter’s account (...) focused on functional organization at the level of organisms, we argue that such an account can be extended to functional organization at the community and ecosystem levels in a way that broadens the scope of the reconciliation between ecosystem ecology and evolutionary biology envisioned by many BEF researchers. By linking an evolutionary forward-looking account of functions to the persistence-based understanding of evolution defended by Bouchard and others, and to the theoretical research on complex adaptive systems, we argue that ecosystems, by forming more or less resilient assemblages, can evolve even while they do not reproduce and form lineages. We thus propose a Persistence Enhancing Propensity account of role functions in ecology to account for this overlap of evolutionary and ecological processes. (shrink)
Spiritualism designates a philosophy that lays claim to the separation of mind and body and the ontological and epistemological primacy of the former. In France, it is associated with the names of Victor Cousin and René Descartes, or more precisely with what Cousin made of Descartes as the founding father of a brittle rational psychology, closed off from the positive sciences, and as a critic in respect to the empiricist legacy of the idéologues. Moreover, by considering merely the end result, (...) severed from its polemical genesis, we are prevented from understanding how the category of experience constituted a crucial question for spiritualism itself. Through returning to the origin of these discussions in the 1826 preface to Cousin’s Fragments philosophiques, this essay pursues a threefold path: to show that the public birth of Cousinian spiritualism coincides with the affirmation of applying the experimental method, issuing from Bacon, to the study of facts of consciousness; that Cousin’s later evolution follows a process of radicalization—that is, in this context, of ontologization and of reduction; and that by recovering this genesis, we can distinguish many forms of spiritualisms committed to the experimental method, both in alliance with the early Cousin and against the later Cousin. In this way, we can rediscover the interwoven philosophical links, lost in the process of institutionalization, between metaphysical demands and empiricist concerns, or between “French” philosophy and the legacy of Condillac. (shrink)
Results of recent research on hydatidiform moles and teratomas show that during pregnancy the embryo does not receive any message or information from the mother able to control the mechanisms of development or to produce the type of cellular differentiation necessary for building the tissues of the new human adult. Thus, the biological identity of the new human being does not depend on the sojourn in the uterus; the preimplantation embryo is the same individual of the human species as the (...) adult, into whom the embryo can in principle develop. (shrink)
Nietzsche once proclaimed himself the 'Buddha of Europe', and throughout his life Buddhism held enormous interest for him. While he followed Buddhist thinking in demolishing what he regarded as the two-headed delusion of Being and Self, he saw himself as advocating a response to the ensuing nihilist crisis that was diametrically opposed to that of his Indian counterpart. In this book Antoine Panaïoti explores the deep and complex relations between Nietzsche's views and Buddhist philosophy. He discusses the psychological models (...) and theories which underlie their supposedly opposing ethics of 'great health' and explodes the apparent dichotomy between Nietzsche's Dionysian life-affirmation and Buddhist life-negation, arguing for a novel, hybrid response to the challenge of formulating a tenable post-nihilist ethics. His book will interest students and scholars of Nietzsche's philosophy, Buddhist thought and the metaphysical, existential and ethical issues that emerge with the demise of theism. (shrink)
This paper analyzes community ecologist Charles Elton’s ideas on animal communities, and situates them with respect to the classical opposition between organicist–holistic and individualistic–reductionist ecological views drawn by many historians of ecology. It is argued that Elton espoused a moderate ecological holism, which drew a middle way between the stricter ecological holism advocated by organicist ecologists and the merely aggregationist views advocated by some of their opponents. It is also argued that Elton’s moderate ecological holism resonated with his preference for (...) analogies between ecological communities and human societies over more common ones between communities and individual organisms. I discuss, on the one hand, how the functionalist-interactionist approach to community ecology introduced by Elton entailed a view of ecological communities as more or less self-maintaining functionally organized wholes, and how his ideas on this matter were incorporated into their views by organicist ecologists Frederic Clements, Victor Shelford, and Warder C. Allee et al. On the other hand, I identify some important divergences between Elton’s ecological ideas and those of organicist ecologists. Specifically, I show how Elton’s ideas on species distribution, animal migrations, and ecological succession entailed a view of animal communities as exhibiting a weaker degree of part-whole integration than that attributed to them by Clements and Shelford; and how Elton’s mixed stance on the balance of nature idea and his associated views on community stability attributed to communities a weaker form of self-regulation than that attributed to them by Allee et al. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper studies Antoine Le Grand's account of organic identity over time in human bodies. In response to Aristotelian critics who argued that the Cartesian rejection of the Aristotelian ontology of matter and form had put in jeopardy the diachronic identity of material substances in general and of living bodies in particular, Le Grand argued that the identity over time of the human body could be accounted for without the traditional notions of matter and form. The paper shows how (...) he drew on both the Cartesian metaphysics of mind and body and contemporary views on human anatomy and organic generation to develop a unique account of bodily identity over time in human animals. (shrink)
Moral judgments, whether delivered in ordinary experience or in the courtroom, depend on our ability to infer intentions. We forgive unintentional or accidental harms and condemn failed attempts to harm. Prior work demonstrates that patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex deliver abnormal judgments in response to moral dilemmas and that these patients are especially impaired in triggering emotional responses to inferred or abstract events, as opposed to real or actual outcomes. We therefore predicted that VMPC patients would deliver (...) abnormal moral judgments of harmful intentions in the absence of harmful outcomes, as in failed attempts to harm. This prediction was confirmed in the current study: VMPC patients judged attempted harms, including attempted murder, as more morally permissible relative to controls. These results highlight the critical role of the VMPC in processing harmful intent for moral judgment. (shrink)
This paper reinforces the current consensus against the applicability of the selected effect theory of function in ecology. It does so by presenting an argument which, in contrast with the usual argument invoked in support of this consensus, is not based on claims about whether ecosystems are customary units of natural selection. Instead, the argument developed here is based on observations about the use of the function concept in functional ecology, and more specifically, research into the relationship between biodiversity and (...) ecosystem functioning. It is argued that a selected effect account of ecological functions is made implausible by the fact that it would conflict with important aspects of the understanding of function and ecosystem functional organization which underpins functional ecology’s research program. Specifically, it would conflict with (1) Functional ecology’s adoption of a context-based understanding of function and its aim to study the functional equivalence between phylogenetically-divergent organisms; (2) Functional ecology’s attribution to ecosystems of a lower degree of part-whole integration than the one found in paradigm individual organisms; and (3) Functional ecology’s adoption of a physiological or metabolic perspective on ecosystems rather than an evolutionary one. (shrink)
The discovery of the concrete basis for genes, and especially the clarification of mechanisms regulating gene expressions (in particular those that bear on the stepwise processing of hereditary information from the sequences of DNA nucleotides to the proteins) was to give flesh to the concept of a genetic program, for these regulations introduce relationships of order between the various elements of information contained in the genes. These order relations are then revealed during the time-dependent expression of the genetic program. They (...) can lead, in the case of a given program, to a plethora of particular outcomes, because the number of possible combinations rapidly becomes enormous. Since the discoveries of Jacob and Monod, it is clear that the genes specifying the regulatory functions will be responsible for phenotypic variability, especially for the apparently ideal adaptation of a living organism to its environment, and more generally for all the genotype-bound manifestations as they unfold in time. -/- Thus we are led to consider three particular characteristics that allow for the representation of living beings: a program, which summarizes the hereditary constraints and is, in fact, the abstract notion underlying the definition of all individuals in a given class (species); an initial state of the system that represents the context in which the program must express itself at the time of the individual's birth; and a particular outcome of each program, which coincides with individual development. The set of all outcomes constitutes the genetic envelope and allows the essential characteristics of the program to be obtained by induction. Theoretically, a structured set equivalent to the aforementioned one could be reconstructed by providing the program, the initial state, and the totality of the events of the external environment, producing any interaction whatever with the individual. -/- As a consequence, the observation of a phenotype does not tell in any straightforward way, what is the direct consequence of the expression of a particular gene, or of a specific feature of the environment. A phenocopy is a particular example of a phenotype that is the result of a gene expression mimicking a particular gene-directed phenotype, without however corresponding to a pparticular mutation of a known gene. (shrink)
NOTES: Based on the book Socrates on trial written by Andrew Irvine and published by the University of Toronto Press. Performed at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, May 31-June 7, 2008. CONTENTS: Trailer, Who was Socrates?, Selected scenes, The production, Credits. UBC Library Catalogue Permanent URL: http://resolve.library.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/catsearch?bid=3956307.
Biologists and philosophers often use the language of determination in order to describe the nature of developmental phenomena. Accounts in terms of determination have often been reductionist. One common idea is that DNA is supposed to play a special explanatory role in developmental explanations, namely, that DNA is a developmental determinant. In this article we try to make sense of determination claims in developmental biology. Adopting a manipulationist approach, we shall first argue that the notion of developmental determinant is causal. (...) We suggest that two different theses concerning developmental determination can be articulated: determination of occurrence and structural determination. We shall argue that, while the first thesis is problematic, the second, opportunely qualified, is feasible. Finally, we shall argue that an analysis of biological causation in terms of determination cannot account for entangled dynamics. Characterising causal entanglement as a particular kind of interactive causation whereby difference-making causes ascribable to different levels of biological organisation influence a particular ontogenetic outcome, we shall, via two illustrative examples, diagnose some potential limits of a reductionist, molecular and intra-level understanding of biological causation. (shrink)
Attention to internal body sensations is practiced in most meditation traditions. Many traditions state that this practice results in increased awareness of internal body sensations, but scientific studies evaluating this claim are lacking. We predicted that experienced meditators would display performance superior to that of nonmeditators on heartbeat detection, a standard noninvasive measure of resting interoceptive awareness. We compared two groups of meditators (Tibetan Buddhist and Kundalini) to an age- and body mass index-matched group of nonmeditators. Contrary to our prediction, (...) we found no evidence that meditators were superior to nonmeditators in the heartbeat detection task, across several sessions and respiratory modulation conditions. Compared to nonmeditators, however, meditators consistently rated their interoceptive performance as superior and the difficulty of the task as easier. These results provide evidence against the notion that practicing attention to internal body sensations, a core feature of meditation, enhances the ability to sense the heartbeat at rest. (shrink)
This article offers an analysis of ecologist Charles Elton’s “functional” concept of the niche and of the notion of function implicitly associated with it. It does so in part by situating Elton’s niche concept within the broader context of the “functionalist-interactionist” approach to ecology he introduced, and in relation to his views on the relationship between ecology and evolution. This involves criticizing the common claim that Elton’s idea of species as fulfilling functional roles within ecological communities committed him to an (...) idea of communities as units of selection. While such a claim implicitly attributes to Elton an understanding of function along the lines of the selected-effects theory of function advocated by many biologists and philosophers of biology, Elton’s use of the niche concept, I maintain, involves an understanding of function more along the lines of alternative nonselectionist theories such as the causal-role, goal-contribution, and organizational theories. I also briefly discuss how ecologists after Elton also tend to have typically adopted a nonselectionist understanding of the function concept, similar to his. (shrink)
According to portfolio managers, agriculture in general, and farmland in particular, can be considered an emerging asset class. Specialized financial vehicles, such as private equity and mutual funds, are emerging and competing to attract potential investment in this asset class. In recent years, there has been significant development of such vehicles targeting South Africa’s farming sector. These innovations are led by a group of market intermediaries who endeavour to “re-shape” South African farmland as an opportunity for institutional investors. These “pioneers” (...) engage in a multifaceted mediation process between global financial investors on one hand, and the South African agricultural sector on the other. Drawing upon an empirical study of such intermediaries in South Africa, this paper analyses the concrete mechanisms that facilitate this particular form of commodification. The paper presents and compares the intermediaries, giving particular attention to their structure, governance mechanisms and asset allocations within this “market in the making”. It describes how intermediaries develop different paths of asset valorization to unlock the “financial value” of South African farmlands. But, it also highlights some of the difficulties faced in the process of translating between international investors and local managers, questioning the “land-asset fiction” that is materializing through the subordination of farmland to the needs of financial society. (shrink)
It is commonly thought that authors can make anything whatsoever true in their fictions by artistic fiat. Harry Deutsch originally called this position the Principle of Poetic License. If true, PPL sets an important constraint on accounts of fictional truth: they must be such as to allow that, for any x, one can write a story in which it is true that x. I argue that PPL is far too strong: it requires us to abandon the law of non-contradiction and (...) entails a radical revision of otherwise ordinary commitments about truth in fiction. (shrink)
Danchin argues that if scientists can reach a level of understanding of genomes, they will be able to resolve the major biological puzzle of the 21st century: the enigma of the living machine that creates the living machine.
Christopher Boorse’s Biostatistical Theory of Health has been the main contender among naturalistic accounts of health for the last 40 years. Yet, a recent criticism of this theory, presented by Elselijn Kingma, identifies a dilemma resulting from the BST’s conceptual linking of health and statistical typicality. Kingma argues that the BST either cannot accommodate the situation- specificity of many normal functions or cannot account for many situation-specific diseases. In this article, we expand upon with Daniel Hausman’s response to Kingma’s dilemma. (...) We propose that recalling Boorse’s specification that health is an intrinsic property of its bearers and explicating this intrinsic property in relation to the concept of homeostasis can illuminate how proponents of naturalistic accounts of health should deal with the situation- specificity of normal functions. We argue that beyond what Boorse and Hausman have delineated, the situation- specificity of normal function cannot be fully captured in a simple dichotomy between normal and abnormal environment or between relevant and irrelevant situations. By bringing homeostasis to the fore of the analysis of health, we set out a richer picture of what the various situations that affect living organisms’ functional performance can be. Accordingly, we provide a broader classification of these various situations which, we contend, better accounts for the main intuitions that philosophers of medicine have sought to accommodate than previous naturalistic theories of health. (shrink)
The Rhetoric to Alexander (about 340 B.C.) contains a list of proofs (pisteis) and other types of argumentation which may be seen as the oldest surviving typology of argumentation schemes (avant la lettre). In the present article this typology is derived and compared with modern proposals. The conclusion is that the oldest typology is surprisingly similar to the most recent classifications.
Julian Dodd has characterized the default position in metaphysics as meta-ontologically realist: the answers to first-order ontological questions are thought to be entirely independent of the things we say and think about the entities at issue. Consequently, folk ontologies are liable to substantial error. But while this epistemic humility is commendable where the ontology of natural kinds is concerned, it seems misplaced with respect to social kinds since their ontology is dependent upon the human social world. Using art and art-kinds (...) as paradigmatic examples of social kinds, I argue that meta-ontological realism sets conditions that are too strict to apply to social kinds. Nevertheless, I argue that we should not be too quick to embrace the conclusion that our folk theories of social kinds cannot err substantially. By modelling the reference of social kind-terms on that of natural kind-terms, it becomes clear that in both cases, our sole epistemic privilege lies in our ability to pinpoint the subject of our inquiries. (shrink)
Science and engineering rely on the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge to make discoveries and create new designs. Discovery-driven genome research rests on knowledge passed on via gene annotations. In response to the deluge of sequencing big data, standard annotation practice employs automated procedures that rely on majority rules. We argue this hinders progress through the generation and propagation of errors, leading investigators into blind alleys. More subtly, this inductive process discourages the discovery of novelty, which remains essential in biological (...) research and reflects the nature of biology itself. Annotation systems, rather than being repositories of facts, should be tools that support multiple modes of inference. By combining deduction, induction and abduction, investigators can generate hypotheses when accurate knowledge is extracted from model databases. A key stance is to depart from ‘the sequence tells the structure tells the function’ fallacy, placing function first. We illustrate our approach with examples of critical or unexpected pathways, using MicroScope to demonstrate how tools can be implemented following the principles we advocate. We end with a challenge to the reader. (shrink)
To fulfill their crucial duty of relieving suffering in their patients, physicians may have to administer palliative sedation when they implement treatment-limitation decisions such as the withdrawal of life-supporting interventions in patients with poor prognosis chronic severe brain injury. The issue of palliative sedation deserves particular attention in adults with serious brain injuries and in neonates with severe and irreversible brain lesions, who are unable to express pain or to state their wishes. In France, treatment limitation decisions for these patients (...) are left to the physicians. Treatment-limitation decisions are made collegially, based on the presence of irreversible brain lesions responsible for chronic severe disorders of consciousness. Before these decisions are implemented, they are communicated to the relatives. Because the presence and severity of pain cannot be assessed in these patients, palliative analgesia and/or sedation should be administered. However, palliative sedation is a complex strategy that requires safeguards to prevent a drift toward hastening death or performing covert euthanasia. In addition to the law on patients' rights at the end of life passed in France on April 22, 2005, a recent revision of Article 37 of the French code of medical ethics both acknowledges that treatment-limitation decisions and palliative sedation may be required in patients with severe brain injuries and provides legal and ethical safeguards against a shift towards euthanasia. This legislation may hold value as a model for other countries where euthanasia is illegal and for countries such as Belgium and Netherlands where euthanasia is legal but not allowed in patients incapable of asking for euthanasia but in whom a treatment limitation decision has been made. (shrink)
Art historians and philosophers often talk about the interpretive significance of titles, but few have bothered with their historical origins. This omission has led to the assumption that an artwork's title is its proper name, since names and titles share the essential function of facilitating reference to their bearers. But a closer look at the development of our titling practices shows a significant point of divergence from standard analyses of proper names: the semantic content of a title is often crucial (...) to the identification, individuation, and interpretation of its associated artwork. This paper represents a first step towards an empirically centred study of our titling practices. I argue that, in order to accept titles as proper names, we must first recognize the social, rather than the referential, function of naming. (shrink)