In medical research, the ethical principle of respect for persons is operationalized into the process of informed consent. The consent tools should be contextualized and adapted to the different socio-cultural environment, especially when research crosses the traditional boundaries and reaches poor communities. We look at the challenges experienced in the malaria Quinact trial, conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and describe some lessons learned, related to the definition of acceptable representative, the role of independent witness and the impact of (...) socio-economic vulnerability. To ensure children's protection, consent is required by the parents or, in their absence, by a legally mandated representative. In our setting, children's responsibility is often entrusted permanently or temporarily to relatives or friends without a tribunal mandate. Hence, a notion of ‘culturally acceptable representative’ under supervision of the local Ethics Committee may be more suitable. To ensure protection of illiterate subjects, an independent witness is required to confirm that the consent was freely given. However, in low-literacy contexts, potential witnesses often don't have any previous relationship with patient and there may be power-unbalance in their relationship, rather than genuine dialogue. In poor communities, trial participation may be seen as an opportunity to secure access to healthcare. Poverty may also lead to ‘competition’ to access the research-related benefits, with a risk of disturbance at societal or household level. Adjusting consent procedures to sociocultural and socioeconomic realities is essential for fulfilling the underlying ethical principles. This requires a collaborative dialogue between researchers, regulators and ethics committees. (shrink)
Pascal was a scientist and man of the world who came to be a passionately devout Christian. The fragments of his great defense of Christianity, left unfinished at his death in 1662, survive in the form of the Pensees. This series of brief, dramatic notes on his religious convictions are here translated into English. These thoughts expose Pascal's vision of the world and display powerful reasoning and a profound faith.
"I know of no religious writer more pertinent to our time."—T. S. Eliot, Introduction to Pensees Intended to prove that religion is not contrary to reason, Pascal's Pensees rank among the liveliest and most eloquent defenses of Christianity. Motivated by the seventeenth-century view of the supremacy of human reason, Pascal (1623–1662) had intended to write an ambitious apologia for Christianity in which he argued the inability of reason to address metaphysical problems. His untimely death prevented the work's completion, but the (...) fragments published posthumously in 1670 as Pensees remain a vital part of religious and philosophical literature. W. F. Trotter translation. Introduction by T. S. Eliot. (shrink)
Cet ouvrage reprend dans une rédaction nouvelle six articles antérieurs à 1962. On y trouve « six études relativement indépendantes les unes des autres, mais mises bout à bout elles esquissent une histoire lacunaire de l’esprit de Pascal, et plus particulièrement de son dessein apologétique ». S’appuyant sur une érudition rigoureuse, ces six « approches concrètes » rattachent les textes à leur support matériel et les situent dans leur contexte culturel, ce qui permet au lecteur de rencontrer un Pascal vivant (...) au milieu des siens et de son époque. (shrink)
For much of his life Pascal (1623-62) worked on a magnum opus which was never published in its intended form. Instead, he left a mass of fragments, some of them meant as notes for the Apologie. These were to become known as the Pensées, and they occupy a crucial place in Western philosophy and religious writing. Pascal's general intention was to confound scepticism about metaphysical questions. Some of the Pensées are fully developed literary reflections on the human condition,, some contradict (...) others, and some remain jottings whose meaning will never be clear. The most important are among the most powerful aphorisms about human experience and behaviour ever written in any language. This translation is the only one based on the Pensées as Pascal left them. It includes the principal dossiers classified by Pascal, as well as the essential portion of the important Writings on Grace. A detailed thematic index gives access to Pascal's areas of concern, while the selection of texts and the introduction help to show why Pascal changed the plan of his projected work before abandoning the book he might have written. (shrink)
Henri Gaston Gouhier. INTRODUCTION Un point de vue sur Pascal L' inépuisable bibliographie pascal ici me ne devrait-elle pas écarter toute tentation d'y ajouter un livre ? Ce serait oublier que le sujet est, lui-même, inépuisable. Quel lecteur ...
Research on bias in peer review examines scholarly communication and funding processes to assess the epistemic and social legitimacy of the mechanisms by which knowledge communities vet and self-regulate their work. Despite vocal concerns, a closer look at the empirical and methodological limitations of research on bias raises questions about the existence and extent of many hypothesized forms of bias. In addition, the notion of bias is predicated on an implicit ideal that, once articulated, raises questions about the normative implications (...) of research on bias in peer review. This review provides a brief description of the function, history, and scope of peer review; articulates and critiques the conception of bias unifying research on bias in peer review; characterizes and examines the empirical, methodological, and normative claims of bias in peer review research; and assesses possible alternatives to the status quo. We close by identifying ways to expand conceptions and studies of bias to countenance the complexity of social interactions among actors involved directly and indirectly in peer review. (shrink)
Do you believe it to be impossible that God is infinite, without parts?-Yes. I wish therefore to show you an infinite and indivisible thing. It is a point moving everywhere with an infinite velocity; for it is one in all places, and is all totality in every place. Let this effect of nature, which previously seemed to you impossible, make you know that there may be others of which you are still ignorant. Do not draw this conclusion from your experiment, (...) that there remains nothing for you to know; but rather that there remains an infinity for you to know. (shrink)
Cette étude considére le § 301 du Gai Savoir, à partir du § 98 même ouvrage. Dans le sillage de la «nouvelle justice» brièvement présentée dans le § 289, ce § 301 remaine en profondeur l'opposition traditionelle entre l'actif et le contemplatif; suivre pas à pas ect aphorisme permet ainsi de constituer «l'homme juste» en problime qui est cet «homme juste»? Brutus? Shakespeare? Le «poète»? Et donc: comment appréhender la «nouvelle justice»?Diese Untersuchung befasst sich mit dem § 301 der Fröhlichen (...) Wissenschaft, gestützt auf § 98 desselben Werks. Im Zuge der "neuen Gerechtigkrit", die in § 289 kurz dargestellt worden war, formt dieser § 301 den traditionellen Gegensatz zwischen dem Aktiven und dem Contemplativen grundlegend um. Die schrittweise Betrachtung dieses Aphorismus erlaubt dann, den "gerechten Menschen" zum Problem zu machen: wer ist dieser "gerechter Mensch"? Brutus? Shakespeare? Der "Dichter"? Und somit: wie ist die "neue gerechtigkeit" aufzufassen? This articles considers § 301 of The Gay Science in the light of § 98 of the same work. In the wake of the "new justice" briefly presented in § 289, § 301 is an in-depth reconsideration of the traditional opposition between the active and the contemplative; thus a step by step approach to this aphorism allows one to establish "the just man" as a problem: who is that "just man"? Brutus? Shakespeare? The "poet"? Hence, how is the notion of "new justice" to be grasped? (shrink)
Il s’agit ici de l’expérience rouennaise bien connue, pour laquelle Blaise Pascal aurait dressé deux longs tubes de verre remplis d’eau et de vin dans le but d’attester de la possibilité de l’existence du vide. Grâce à la première narration sur le vide de Gilles Personne de Roberval, on apprend qu’elle aurait eu lieu à plusieurs reprises en public, courant janvier et février 1647. Roberval apporte de nombreuses informations sur cette expérience, ce que ne fait pas Blaise Pascal (...) dans ses Expériences nouvelles touchant le vide. Au congrès de Royaumont de 1954, Alexandre Koyré avait fortement soupçonné Pascal de ne jamais avoir réalisé cette expérience. Kimiyo Koyanagi a surenchéri, lors d’un colloque organisé à Rouen en 1999, en accusant Pascal de n’avoir fait aucune des huit expériences de Rouen dont il se prévalait. Ces accusations reposent en grande partie sur des reconstitutions de cette expérience qui ont montré des phénomènes soit non mentionnés par Pascal soit contredisant ce qui est relaté par lui ou Roberval. Nous allons, au contraire, tenter de montrer comment Blaise Pascal a très bien pu faire cette expérience et quelle a été sa démarche pour y parvenir. Notre propos reposera sur une reconstitution de cette expérience effectuée en février 2010 à l’institut universitaire de technologie d’Orsay. (shrink)
:Neuroprosthetic speech devices are an emerging technology that can offer the possibility of communication to those who are unable to speak. Patients with ‘locked in syndrome,’ aphasia, or other such pathologies can use covert speech—vividly imagining saying something without actual vocalization—to trigger neural controlled systems capable of synthesizing the speech they would have spoken, but for their impairment.We provide an analysis of the mechanisms and outputs involved in speech mediated by neuroprosthetic devices. This analysis provides a framework for accounting for (...) the ethical significance of accuracy, control, and pragmatic dimensions of prosthesis-mediated speech. We first examine what it means for the output of the device to be accurate, drawing a distinction between technical accuracy on the one hand and semantic accuracy on the other. These are conceptual notions of accuracy.Both technical and semantic accuracy of the device will be necessary for the user to have sufficient control over the device. Sufficient control is an ethical consideration: we place high value on being able to express ourselves when we want and how we want. Sufficient control of a neural speech prosthesis requires that a speaker can reliably use their speech apparatus as they want to, and can expect their speech to authentically represent them. We draw a distinction between two relevant features which bear on the question of whether the user has sufficient control: voluntariness of the speech and the authenticity of the speech. These can come apart: the user might involuntarily produce an authentic output or might voluntarily produce an inauthentic output. Finally, we consider the role of the interlocutor in interpreting the content and purpose of the communication.These three ethical dimensions raise philosophical questions about the nature of speech, the level of control required for communicative accuracy, and the nature of ‘accuracy’ with respect to both natural and prosthesis-mediated speech. (shrink)
This work is a study of Blaise Pascal's Pensees. It proposes to show the way in which Pascal's philosophy of mind---his conception of order and the relation of reason, the emotions, and the will to the self---which emerges from his skepticism, can be used to draw out his views on morality, despite the fragmentary state of the work. The thesis begins with a consideration of the three major philosophical precursors to Pascal's project: Augustine, Montaigne, and Descartes. It continues with (...) an account of order in the Pensees, centering on the heart, the two minds, and the three discontinuous orders, connecting Pascal's views to those of a number of 20th century analytic philosophers. It goes on to consider the order of the body and the order of charity in specific detail, showing how Pascal discusses each of these through a dialectical process that begins in a pre-critical, unreflective state, moves through a first, rational and philosophical, criticism, and finally turns that criticism against philosophy itself. The thesis concludes by briefly considering three figures whose ideas, to some extent, carry on and expand those of Pascal: Rousseau, Maistre, Tocqueville. (shrink)
Pascal’s protean genius beggars description. Though most widely known today for his apologetic and/or polemical work in Christian theology, he was also a philosopher of enduring importance, a noted mathematician, and a physicist who undertook important experiments in support of Toricelli’s claim that nature exhibits no horror vacui. On a more practical level, he invented, patented and massproduced a calculator, helped establish public transit in Paris, etc.
Advancements in novel neurotechnologies, such as brain computer interfaces and neuromodulatory devices such as deep brain stimulators, will have profound implications for society and human rights. While these technologies are improving the diagnosis and treatment of mental and neurological diseases, they can also alter individual agency and estrange those using neurotechnologies from their sense of self, challenging basic notions of what it means to be human. As an international coalition of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners, we examine these challenges and make (...) recommendations to mitigate negative consequences that could arise from the unregulated development or application of novel neurotechnologies. We explore potential ethical challenges in four key areas: identity and agency, privacy, bias, and enhancement. To address them, we propose democratic and inclusive summits to establish globally-coordinated ethical and societal guidelines for neurotechnology development and application, new measures, including “Neurorights,” for data privacy, security, and consent to empower neurotechnology users’ control over their data, new methods of identifying and preventing bias, and the adoption of public guidelines for safe and equitable distribution of neurotechnological devices. (shrink)
Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) Blaise Pascal was a French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, inventor, and theologian. In mathematics, he was an early pioneer in the fields of game theory and probability theory. In philosophy he was an early pioneer in existentialism. As a writer on theology and religion he was a defender of Christianity. Despite chronic ill […].