For more than 100 years, anthropologists have collected ethnographic research among communities who assert that the spirits, animal allies, and other entities of the unseen world are “really real,” yet we have historically contextualized this information under the umbrella of cultural relativism rather than taking the veracity of these claims seriously. In the last decade, some anthropologists claim that our discipline has finally undergone an ontological turn, which opens a door for anthropologists to finally take claims of nonhuman sentience seriously (...) under the umbrella of ontological, rather than cultural, relativism. This paper takes issue with ontological relativism as just one more frame for explaining away the stories of other-than-human consciousness that ethnographers report and suggests that there is an urgent need to consider the relevance, rather than the relativism, of other-than-human consciousness. It looks to Michael Harner's work as a welcome alternative to ontological relativism and encourages opening our minds to a reconsideration of what is “really real.”. (shrink)
This paper discusses archaeological, historical, and contemporary ethnographic evidence for the use of the San Pedro cactus in northern Peru as a vehicle for traveling between worlds and for imparting the “vista” (magical sight) necessary for shamanic healers to divine the cause of their patients' ailments. Using iconographic, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic evidence for the uninterrupted use of this sacred plant as a means of access to the Divine and as a tool for healing, it describes the relationship between San Pedro, (...) ancestor worship, water/fertility cults and also the common symbolic associations between San Pedro and wind-spirits. It closes by suggesting that the more than 2000 year time-depth of using this plant as a means for accessing the realms of Spirit and as a tool for healing should serve to challenge the unfortunate tendency in the contemporary United States to consider this plant as a “recreational drug.”. (shrink)
Newman Robert Glass argues that there are three workings of emptiness capable of grounding thinking and behavior: presence, difference, and essence. The first two readings, exemplified by Heidegger and Mark C. Taylor respectively, present opposing views of the work of emptiness in thinking. The third, essence, presents a position on the work of emptiness in desire and affect. Glass begins by offering a close analysis of presence and difference. He then fashions his own understanding of essence, or emptiness. He goes (...) on to use this third reading to construct a comprehensive Buddhist position based in desire and affect -- a Buddhism of essence. (shrink)
This book offers original readings of classic and contemporary black texts, highlighting the pain of racism and love-based strategies of antiracist resistance. Kathy Glass gives sustained attention to the impact of racist affect on the black body and how black women writers deploy emotional states to move readers to progressive political action.
Software piracy has become recognized as a major problem for the software industry and for business. One research approach that has provided a theoretical framework for studying software piracy has been to place the illegal copying of software within the domain of ethical decision making assumes that a person must be able to recognize software piracy as a moral issue. A person who fails to recognize a moral issue will fail to employ moral decision making schemata. There is substantial evidence (...) that many individuals do not perceive software piracy to be an ethical problem. This paper applies social exchange theory, in particular equity theory, to predict the influence of situational factors on subjects' intentions to participate in software piracy. Consistent with the predictions of equity theory this study found that input and outcome situational variables significantly effect a person's intentions to commit software piracy. (shrink)
In the form of inference known as inference to the best explanation there are various ways to characterise what is meant by the best explanation. This paper considers a number of such characterisations including several based on confirmation measures and several based on coherence measures. The goal is to find a measure which adequately captures what is meant by 'best' and which also yields the truth with a high degree of probability. Computer simulations are used to show that the overlap (...) coherence measure achieves this goal, enabling the true explanation to be identified almost as often as an approach which simply selects the most probable explanation. Further advantages to this approach are also considered in the case where there is uncertainty in the prior probability distribution. (shrink)
The gap between the number of organs available for transplant and the number of individuals who need transplanted organs continues to increase. At the same time, thousands of transplantable organs are needlessly overlooked every year for the single reason that they come from individuals who were declared dead according to cardio pulmonary criteria. Expanding the donor population to individuals who die uncontrolled cardiac deaths will reduce this disparity, but only if organ preservation efforts are utilized. Concern about potential legal liability (...) for temporary preservation of organs pending a search for family members appears to be one of the impediments to wider use of donation in cases of uncontrolled cardiac death in states without statutes explicitly authorizing such action. However, we think that the risk of liability for organ preservation under these circumstances is de minimis, and that concerns about legal impediments to preservation should yield to the ethical imperative of undertaking it. (shrink)
Organ transplantation has become a proven, cost-effective lifesaving treatment, but its promise is contingent on the number of available organs. The growing gap between the demand and supply results in unnecessary loss and diminished quality of life as well as high costs for surviving patients and health insurers. Twenty years after the enactment of the National Organ Transplantation Act, it is time to rethink the moral basis and overall design of organ transplantation policy. We propose a national plan for organ (...) transplantation insurance under which the federal government would assume responsibility for increasing the organ supply and would cover all costs associated with transplantation for patients not otherwise covered. (shrink)
The voluntary and informed consent of subjects has been the central focus of concern in research reviews, overshadowing the importance of all other considerations. The Nuremberg Code, with its rights-based protection of the subject's autonomy above all else, made it difficult to justify research with no intended benefit when subjects are incompetent to make a valid informed choice to participate. Subsequent codes providing for research with incompetent subjects followed the lead of Nuremberg, substituting the informed authorization of a proxy for (...) the informed consent of the subject. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the determination of the proof-strength of the power set axiom relative to axiom systems for Feferman's explicit mathematics. As conjectured by Feferman, we obtain that the presence of the power set axiom does not increase proof-strength. Results are achieved by reducing the systems including the power set axiom to subsystems of classical analysis. In those cases where only the induction axiom is available, we make use of the technique of asymmetrical interpretations.
This article reviews four areas of pediatric research in which we have identified questionable levels of allowable risk, exceeding those foreseen by the Commission. They are the following: the categorization of increasingly risky interventions as minimal risk in a variety of protocols; the increasing number of applications for federal panel review of research not otherwise approvable because of higher projected risk levels; research on asymptomatic at risk children; and the inclusion of children and adolescents in placebo-controlled trials for participants of (...) all ages without performing subgroup analysis. While embracing the imperative to include children in research is an encouraging step towards providing the pediatric population with effective medical care and finally eradicating the therapeutic orphan, we must ensure that this research does not become overly permissive. (shrink)
Several studies have explored differences between North American and European doctor patient relationships. They have focused primarily on differences in philosophical traditions and historic and socioeconomic factors between these two regions that might lead to differences in behaviour, as well as divergent concepts in and justifications of medical practice. However, few empirical intercultural studies have been carried out to identify in practice these cultural differences. This lack of standard comparative empirical studies led us to compare differences between France and the (...) USA regarding end-of-life decision-making. We tested certain assertions put forward by bioethicists concerning the impact of culture on the acceptance of advance directives in such decisions. In particular, we compared North American and French intensive care professional's attitudes toward: (1) advance directives, and (2) the role of the family in decisions to withhold or withdraw life-support. (shrink)
The determinative issue in applying the insanity defense is whether the defendant experienced a legally relevant functional impairment at the time of the offense. Categorical exclusion of personality disorders from the definition of mental disease is clinically and morally arbitrary because it may lead to unfair conviction of a defendant with a personality disorder who actually experienced severe, legally relevant impairments at the time of the crime. There is no need to consider such a drastic approach in most states and (...) in the federal courts, where the sole test of insanity is whether the defendant was “unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct at the time of the offense.” This is because the only symptoms that are legally relevant in such jurisdictions are those that impair reality-testing and thereby affect the person's capacity to understand the nature and consequences of her actions. However, if the test of insanity includes a “volitional prong” (inability to control one's behavior), some way must be found to limit the scope of the defense to the core cases (involving psychotic conditions) to which it has traditionally been applied, and to prevent a shift toward a deterministic account of criminal conduct — i.e., “people can't help being who they are and doing what they do.” The best way of accomplishing this is to limit the definition of mental disease to severe disorders characterized by gross disturbances of the person's capacity to understand reality. (shrink)
Obtaining informed consent has typically become a stylized ritual of presenting and signing a form, in which physicians are acting defensively and patients lack control over the content and flow of information. This leaves patients at risk both for being under-informed relative to their decisional needs and of receiving more information than they need or desire. By personalizing the process of seeking and receiving information and allowing patients to specify their desire for information in a prospective manner, we aim to (...) shift genuine control over the informational process to patients. A new paradigm of Information on Demand, such as we suggest, would also enhance legal certainty, achieve greater congruence between the information patients want and the information they receive, and promote more meaningful patient-physician interactions, a desirable outcome that has been difficult to achieve by other means. (shrink)
The continuous pursuit and support of medical research on both a societal and individual level is frequently presupposed as laudable, or even obligatory. However, some critics have challenged the assumption that medical research ought to be conducted. These critics reject claims that there is a moral obligation to pursue research, and that medical research may always be justifiable given adequate safeguards and regulations. We align ourselves with critics of the research imperative to the extent that we believe that medical research (...) may only be an imperfect obligation, grounded in the principle of beneficence. Our central purpose in this article, however, is not to advance an original argument concerning the .. (shrink)
The revelation that data obtained for the US-based National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) from subjects enrolled at Hôpital Saint-Luc in Montreal was falsified has eroded public trust in research. Institutions can educate researchers and help prevent unethical research practices by establishing procedures to monitor research involving human subjects. Research monitoring encompasses four categories of activity: annual reviews of continuing research, monitoring of informed consent, monitoring of adherence to approved protocols and monitoring of the integrity of data. The (...) authors describe characteristics of research projects that may call for monitoring procedures in each category. The form taken by such monitoring depends on the nature of the protocol. Although appropriate research monitoring requires substantial investment of personnel and financial resources, it is required under guidelines regulating research involving human subjects in Canada. Research monitoring is a step forward in re-establishing public confidence in medical research. (shrink)
In contemporary educational contexts there is considerable variation in how argumentation works and what forms and styles it takes. Influencing factors include the educational purpose and task, the level of education, and the discipline or curriculum subject in which it occurs. This paper offers a theoretical framework and a set of multimodal analytical tools which can provide a rich and systematic account of such variation. Using naturalistic data from three different educational sites I illustrate how such a framework reveals the (...) diverse ways in which students use language and other modes of meaning making as they engage in processes of argumentation. In particular, I consider how new technologies have caused shifts in the distribution of meaning across different semiotic modes (such as visual images, space, colour and graphics) and how this impacts upon both argumentation process and product. The educational implications of such changes are also considered. (shrink)
Richard Dawkins has a dilemma when it comes to design arguments. On the one hand, he maintains that it was Darwin who killed off design and so implies that his rejection of design depends upon the findings of modern science. On the other hand, he follows Hume when he claims that appealing to a designer does not explain anything and so implies that rejection of design need not be based on the findings of modern science. These contrasting approaches lead to (...) the following dilemma: if he claims that Darwinism is necessary for rejecting design, he has no satisfactory response to design arguments based on the order in the laws of physics or the fine-tuning of the physical constants; alternatively, if Humean arguments are doing most of the work, this would undermine one of his main contentions, that atheism is justified by science and especially by evolution. In any case, his Humean arguments do not provide a more secure basis for his atheism because they are seriously flawed. A particular problem is that his argument for the improbability of theism rests on a highly questionable application of probability theory since, even if it were sound, it would only establish that the prior probability of God’s existence is low, a conclusion which is compatible with the posterior probability of God’s existence being high. (shrink)
While most of hume's criticisms of the doctrine of substance are epistemological and theory-Independent, We show that in "treatise" i.Iv.5, Hume develops a metaphysical criticism of the cartesian theory of substance. Using three of pierre bayle's arguments of his own ends, He argues that on an empiricist theory of meaning, The cartesian theory of substance is reduced to absurdity.