To describe the content of practice guidelines on euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) and to compare differences between settings and guidelines developed before or after enactment of the euthanasia law in 2002 by means of a content analysis. Most guidelines stated that the attending physician is responsible for the decision to grant or refuse an EAS request. Due care criteria were described in the majority of guidelines, but aspects relevant for assessing these criteria were not always described. Half of the (...) guidelines described the role of the nurse in the performance of euthanasia. Compared with hospital guidelines, nursing home guidelines were more often stricter than the law in excluding patients with dementia (30% vs 4%) and incompetent patients (25% vs 4%). As from 2002, the guidelines were less strict in categorically excluding patients groups (32% vs 64%) and in particular incompetent patients (10% vs 29%). Healthcare institutions should accurately state the boundaries of the law, also when they prefer to set stricter boundaries for their own institution. Only then can guidelines provide adequate support for physicians and nurses in the difficult EAS decision-making process. (shrink)
This book is a collection of 18 essays portraying a "humanistic" outlook on several contemporary moral problems, and includes such essayists as Kurt Baier, Carl Rogers, B. F. Skinner, Sidney Hook, Abraham Edel, John Somerville, and Corliss Lamont. Although each was requested first to give his own definition of humanism and then to work out one application of it from his particular field or interest, these directions are not always strictly adhered to. Half of the essays had in fact, already (...) been published in some form in The Humanist. The 5 topical headings of the book show the diversity of fields and interests portrayed: Ethics, Religion and the Meaning of Life; The Good Life; The Individual: Law, Morality and Social Organization; Justice and Society; and Death. Although the essays are of unequal philosophical depth and acumen, this variety may be appealing for some uses of this as a text. However, two of the essays in particular stand out for this reviewer: "Ethics Without Religion" by Kai Nielsen, which perceptively outlines the problematic for as well as against an ethics not rooted in religion, and "The Enforcement of Morals" by Ernest Nagel which aptly analyzes the problem of the relation between the spheres of morality and law taking as a focus the noted Hart-Devlin debate of this issue. The thread which Kurtz believes unites all of these essays is their portrayal of a humanistic viewpoint, a viewpoint which he attempts to summarize in his own 14-page introduction, "What is Humanism?" But defining humanism is not an easy task. One must steer between a strictly negative view which defines it only in relation to what it opposes, and a broader but rather indefinite view of it as some form of man-centered philosophy. Although Kurtz wants to be positive in his own definition, he seems unable to move away from a negative and rhetorical presentation in which theism is simply stated to be incompatible with humanism. Moreover, his outline of a humanistic ethics is somewhat superficial. For example, he seems unaware of the problems involved in holding that ethical values are man’s own "creation" and at the same time are normative and objective. Nevertheless, the book may be of some help as a supplementary text to stimulate undergraduate students in discussion and study of the topics treated therein.—B.A.M. (shrink)
The author states that his purpose in this work is not primarily Peirce scholarship but epistemology. But the concentration is on Peirce’s theory of knowledge, a concentration which centers around what the author thinks is Peirce’s most valuable contribution to the subject—a solution to the problem of skepticism. In contrast to Descartes’ assertion that knowledge must be based on primitive intuitions, Peirce contends that all thought is in process, an organically intertwined system of inferences, a continuous flow of signs. Because (...) thinking is a process in time, it is always fallible. Rather than this being a hindrance to knowledge, Davis sees this as the key to Peirce’s escape from skepticism, for the knowledge so described is a continuous self-corrective process, a web which, if we but make the effort to untangle it, will continue to reward us with advance toward the truth. Of more revolutionary importance to the theory of knowledge, according to Davis, is Peirce’s theory of abduction, his answer to the problem of how synthetic knowledge is possible. Abduction is the act of making up explanatory hypotheses. It issues in insights which are the outgrowth of creativity and imagination. The test of these unifying ideas is their appropriateness or ability to satisfy our sensibilities. It is instinct, or that to which we are naturally bent, which guides the abductive process. Throughout this book great emphasis is placed on the importance of this to Peirce and to an adequate epistemology of instinct, feelings, the work of the heart, or sensibility. The scientist, as Davis sees it, is thus akin in method to the creative artist. While Davis intends also to show how this aspect of Peirce is consistent with his pragmatic maxim, their relationship is never quite clarified in this work. Nevertheless, the book is a well-written and very readable treatment of Peirce’s epistemology. It also includes a great many comparisons with similar and contrasting positions as found in a wide range of contemporary and classical philosophical treatises.—B.A.M. (shrink)
In a series of essays, Miss Rand expounds her "Objectivist Ethics." Man will discover, if he is sufficiently rational, those goals and values which are peculiar to him alone, i.e., those which will enable him to survive, and which require complex thought processes. The result of this search is that the moral man is he who achieves his maximum happiness; relationships, whether economic or emotional, are to be based on trade, and no interests conflict if they are viewed in a (...) properly wide context. The essays are quite readable, although not so arresting as Miss Rand's novels; however, the ethics collapses when it is applied to a populous society whose environment is either agriculturally poor or highly mechanized. Given these conditions, if a man views his interest from the limited standpoint of Objectivism, there is a necessary conflict of interests.—J. M. B. (shrink)
Inasmuch as a good many of the Australian philosophers one would like to see included are not represented, and some of the contributors are no longer teaching in Australia, the title of this volume is somewhat misleading. It contains an introduction by Alan Donagan and the following original essays: J. Passmore, "Russell and Bradley"; L. Goddard, "The Existence of Universals"; B. Ellis, "An Epistemological Concept of Truth"; P. Herbst, "Fact, Form, and Intentionality"; M. Deutscher, "A Causal Account of Inferring"; D. (...) M. Armstrong, "Colour-Realism and the Argument from Microscopes"; K. Campbell, "Colours"; C. B. Martin, "People"; M. C. Bradley, "Two Arguments Against the Identity Thesis"; D. H. Monro, "Mill's Third Howler"; G. Schlesinger, "The Passage of Time." Though the essays are original and admirable, there does not seem to be anything distinctively Australian, rather than American or British, about their contents. Perhaps the most enlightening fact about them is that neither the Andersonian tradition of Sydney nor the Wittgensteinian tradition of Melbourne which dominated the Australian philosophical scene in the early 1950's is pre-eminent any longer, or even in evidence.--A. B. M. (shrink)
This article describes a community service project in which M.B.A. students learn about and experience directly the dynamics of leadership and power. The purposes of this project are to help students better understand the social reality of powerlessness, and how they, through their political activism and influence management skills, can improve the situations and lives of powerless people in the local community. In so doing, students begin to see the connection between political action and moral ends, the fundamental learning objective (...) of this project.Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it. (shrink)
H.B.D. Kettlewell is best known for his pioneering work on the phenomenon of industrial melanism, which began shortly after his appointment in 1951 as a Nuffield Foundation research worker in E.B. Ford's newly formed sub-department of genetics at the University of Oxford. In the years since, a legend has formed around these investigations, one that portrays them as a success story of the 'Oxford School of Ecological Genetics', emphasizes Ford's intellectual contribution, and minimizes reference to assistance provided by others. The (...) following essay reviews the important influence Ford, E.A. Cockayne, and P.M. Sheppard played in Kettlewell's research, leading up to his most famous experiments in 1953. It documents several reasons for doubting that Ford was as intellectually involved in the design of these investigations as he has previously been portrayed. It clarifies Kettlewell's intellectual contribution to the investigations for which he is famous, as well as the pivotal roles Cockayne and Sheppard played in the design, execution and interpretation of these investigations. (shrink)
Le nom de Lebina est connu des spécialistes d'histoire soviétique : en 1982, elle a publié un petit livre sur la jeunesse ouvrière de Leningrad (1921-1925) qui offrait des aperçus intéressants sur la vie quotidienne et les loisirs. À cette époque, la sexualité constituait un sujet tabou dans l'historiographie soviétique : c'est en 1989 seulement qu'un historien, Bordjugov, a osé aborder la question de la prostitution dans les années 1920 et 1930. L'ouvrage de Lebina et Skarovskij est, ..