Background Ethics committees typically apply the common principles of autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence and justice to research proposals but with variable weighting and interpretation. This paper reports a comparison of ethical requirements in an international cross-cultural study and discusses their implications. Discussion The study was run concurrently in New Zealand, UK, Israel, Canada and USA and involved testing hypotheses about believability of testimonies regarding alleged child sexual abuse. Ethics committee requirements to conduct this study ranged from nil in Israel to considerable (...) amendments designed to minimise participant harm in New Zealand. Assessment of minimal risk is a complex and unreliable estimation further compounded by insufficient information on probabilities of particular individuals suffering harm. Estimating potential benefits/ risks ratio and protecting participants' autonomy similarly are not straightforward exercises. Summary Safeguarding moral/humane principles should be balanced with promotion of ethical research which does not impede research posing minimal risk to participants. In ensuring that ethical standards are met and research has scientific merit, ethics committees have obligations to participants (to meet their rights and protect them from harm); to society (to ensure good quality research is conducted); and to researchers (to treat their proposals with just consideration and respect). To facilitate meeting all these obligations, the preferable focus should be promotion of ethical research, rather than the prevention of unethical research, which inevitably results in the impediment of researchers from doing their work. How the ethical principles should be applied and balanced requires further consideration. (shrink)
Restorative justice should have greater weight as a criterion in criminal justice sentencing practice. It permits a realistic recognition of the kinds of harm and damage caused by offences, and encourages individualized non-custodial sentencing options as ways of addressing these harms. Non-custodial sentences have proven more effective than incarceration in securing social reconciliation and preventing recidivism, and they avoid the serious social and personal costs of imprisonment. This paper argues in support of restorative justice as a guiding idea in sentencing. (...) As part of this defence, it considers whether the use of the idea of restorative justice will conflate criminal law with civil law or displace the authority of the criminal courts, and whether the sentences it recommends are best thought of as punishments or alternatives to punishment. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction: does information matter?; Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen; Part I. History: 2. From matter to materialism ... and (almost) back Ernan McMullin; 3. Unsolved dilemmas: the concept of matter in the history of philosophy and in contemporary physics Philip Clayton; Part II. Physics: 4. Universe from bit Paul Davies; 5. The computational universe Seth Lloyd; 6. Minds and values in the quantum universe Henry Pierce Stapp; Part III. Biology: 7. The concept (...) of information in biology John Maynard Smith; 8. Levels of information: Shannon-Bolzmann-Darwin Terrence W. Deacon; 9. Information and communication in living matter Bernd-Olaf Küppers; 10. Semiotic freedom: an emerging force Jesper Hoffmeyer; 11. Care on earth: generating informed concern Holmes Rolston; Part IV. Philosophy and Theology: 12. The sciences of complexity - a new theological resource? Arthur Peacocke; 13. God as the ultimate informational principle Keith Ward; 14. Information, theology and the universe John F. Haught; 15. God, matter, and information: towards a Stoicizing Logos christology Niels Henrik Gregersen; 16. What is the 'spiritual body'? Michael Welker; Index. (shrink)
Ensuring patient participation in healthcare decision making remains a difficult task. Factors such as a lack of time in the consultation, medical objectivation, or the difficulties of translating individual patient experience into the treatment plan have been shown to limit patient contributions. Little research attention has focused however on how emotions experienced by both the patient and the healthcare provider may affect the ability of the patient to participate. In this research, patient’s and healthcare provider’s emotions were identified and analysed. (...) The research method showed fear as a prominent emotion experienced. This included patient’s fears both inside and outside the consultation, as well as the healthcare provider’s fears in their professional practice. Using Martha Nussbaum’s cognitive-evaluative theory of emotions as an additional means of analysis, the research looked at what this emotion could show about the importance of the object of this fear to the person’s eudaimonia (flourishing). At the end of the article, several solutions were proposed to help mitigate this fear to keep it from becoming a destructive force in the healthcare provider—patient relationship. (shrink)
There is growing recognition that good ethics can have a positive economic impact on the performance of firms. Many statistics support the premise that ethics, values, integrity and responsibility are required in the modern workplace. For consumer groups and society at large, research has shown that good ethics is good business. This study defines and traces the emergence and evolution within the business literature of the concepts of values, business ethics and corporate social responsibility to illustrate the increased emphasis that (...) has been placed on these issues over time. Two organizations that have successfully dealt with these issues were analyzed to identify the links among values, ethics, and corporate social responsibility as they are incorporated into the culture and management of a firm. This study identified the presence and implementation of values, business ethics, and CSR actions within the two organizations studied. (shrink)
The French medical context is characterized by institutionalization of the ethical reflection in health care facilities and an important disparity between spaces of ethical reflection. In theory, the healthcare professional may mobilise an arsenal of resources to help him in his ethical reflection. But what happens in practice? We conducted semi-structured interviews with 22 health-care professionals who did and did not have recourse to clinical ethical committees. We also implemented two focus groups with 18 professionals involved in various spaces of (...) ethical reflection in order to let them debate about a better way to organize ethical reflection in their institutional contexts. The qualitative analysis allows to us to underline the coexistence of different conceptions of ethics among health care professionals. We also observed that the participants in our study shared the experience of ethically problematic situations as roadblocks in the process of communication and decision-making. We therefore report the factors which favour or inhibit the ethical course leading to the resolution or at the very least soothing of the situation at hand. Finally, we discuss methodological issues and underline the fact that while the patient is at the heart of the professional’s ethical preoccupations, this does not imply that they are actors in decisions that concern them. (shrink)
Although T.L.S. Sprigge described idealist philosophy as the stage beyond religion, his pantheistic idealism, while not itself a religion, offers a conception of God that seeks to meet the aspiration of human beings to understand their own place in the universe. While he shared with most mid twentieth century British philosophers a basic assumption of the primacy of experience, Sprigge took this strong empiricist assumption in a Berkeleyian rather than a Humean direction. This enabled him to find a place for (...) the phenomenon of religious consciousness, which he saw as the source of a yearning that can be met by absolute idealism's conception of a ‘Whole’ that encompasses ourselves and all aspects of our world. He describes this recognition as the faltering adumbration of a truth – one that is sometimes encountered in aesthetic experience, and sometimes more directly in the lives of mystics. The metaphysical basis for this form of absolute idealism is provided by a concept of time in which each fleeting ‘now’ has a fixed and permanent place, and by a theory of identity according to which personal individuality is dissolved in a unitary ‘Whole’. (shrink)
The history of the welfare state is not only or even primarily a story of men and measures but also one of concepts and social ideals. Over the last hundred and twenty years or so, the body of policies, rules, and practices which we collectively term the welfare state has become the most prominent feature of politics and state activity in every developed country. This reflects not only institutional and procedural pressures on the political process during this period, but also (...) the gradual permeation of all parties and arguments by a particular conception of welfare which has determined and limited the range and terms of debate. Both theoretical debate and concrete measures reflect pervasive assumptions and generalized arguments about the nature and content of collective and individual welfare, their preconditions, and their consequences. (shrink)
Brenda Almond throws down a timely challenge to liberal consensus about personal relationships. She maintains that the traditional family is fragmenting in Western societies, causing serious social problems. She urges that we reconsider our attitudes to sex and reproduction in order to strengthen our most important social institution, the family.
The finite age of the universe and the existence of cosmological horizons provides a strong argument that the observable universe represents a finite causal region with finite material and informational resources. A similar conclusion follows from the holographic principle. In this paper I address the question of whether the cosmological information bound has implications for fundamental physics. Orthodox physics is based on Platonism: the laws are treated as infinitely precise, perfect, immutable mathematical relationships that transcend the physical universe and remain (...) totally unchanged by physical processes, however extreme. If instead the laws of physics are regarded as akin to computer software, with the physical universe as the corresponding hardware, then the finite computational capacity of the universe imposes a fundamental limit on the precision of the laws and the specifiability of physical states. That limit depends on the age of the universe. I examine how the imprecision of the laws impacts on the evolution of highly entangled states and on the problem of dark energy. (shrink)
This book discusses deep problems about our place in the world with a minimum of jargon. It argues that 'absolutist' ideas dating back to Plato continue to mislead generations of mathematicians, physicists and theologians, and reveals the underlying reasons for the current conflicts between science and religion.
Stephen Davies presents a fascinating exploration of the idea that art, and our aesthetic sensibilities more generally, should be understood as an element in human evolution. He asks: Do animals have aesthetics? Do our aesthetic preferences have prehistoric roots? Is art universal? What is the biological role of aesthetic and artistic behaviour?
In this richly argued and provocative book, David Davies elaborates and defends a broad conceptual framework for thinking about the arts that reveals important continuities and discontinuities between traditional and modern art, and between different artistic disciplines. Elaborates and defends a broad conceptual framework for thinking about the arts. Offers a provocative view about the kinds of things that artworks are and how they are to be understood. Reveals important continuities and discontinuities between traditional and modern art. Highlights core (...) topics in aesthetics and art theory, including traditional theories about the nature of art, aesthetic appreciation, artistic intentions, performance, and artistic meaning. (shrink)
Medical care of critically ill and injured infants and children globally should be based on best research evidence to ensure safe, efficacious treatment. In South Africa and other low and middle-income countries, research is needed to optimise care and ensure rational, equitable allocation of scare paediatric critical care resources.
Symbolic Worlds contains fifteen chapters, with all but the first published between 1972 and 1996. The unifying theme concerns aspects of the symbolic function in language, science, art, ritual, and play. The approach is nominalist and heavily influenced by the work of Nelson Goodman.
Many philosophers and psychologists argue that normal adult human beings possess a primitive or 'folk' psychological theory. Recently, however, this theory has come under challenge from the simulation alternative. This alternative view says that human bings are able to predict and explain each others' actions by using the resources of their own minds to simuate the psychological etiology of the actions of others. The thirteen essays in this volume present the foundations of theory of mind debate, and are accompanied by (...) an extensive introduction. (shrink)
Professor Strawson was interviewed on video on location at King's College, London during the Spring of 1992. Professor Strawson discusses his thoughts on a variety of topics on which he has written previously, providing some illuminating insights into how his thoughts has progressed. The text published here is en excerpt from this interview, translated with kind permission of Mr Rudolf V. Fara, the producer, in which prof. Strawson discusses his philosophical views with Martin Davies, Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy (...) at Oxford University, and Mark Sainsbury, Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King's College, University of London. (shrink)
Перевод статьи: Davies T., Chandler R. Online deliberation design: Choices, criteria, and evidence // Democracy in motion: Evaluating the practice and impact of deliberative civic engagement / Nabatchi T., Weiksner M., Gastil J., Leighninger M. (eds.). -- Oxford: Oxford univ. press, 2013. -- P. 103-131. А. Кулик. -/- Вниманию читателей предлагается обзор эмпирических исследований в области дизайна онлайн-форумов, предназначенных для вовлечения граждан в делиберацию. Размерности дизайна определены для различных характеристик делиберации: назначения, целевой аудитории, разобщенности участников в пространстве и во (...) времени, среды коммуникации и организации делиберативного процесса. После краткого обзора критериев оценки вариантов дизайна рассматриваются эмпирические данные, соотносящиеся с каждым из вариантов. Эффективность онлайн-делиберации зависит от того, насколько условия коммуникации соотносятся с заданиями делиберации. Компромиссы, как, например, между анонимным или идентифицируемым участием, предполагают различные дизайны в зависимости от цели делиберации и состава участников. Выводы исследования получены на материале существующих технологий и могут измениться по мере коэволюции технологий и пользователей. (shrink)
Those who would defend liberal democracy in today?s changing world face a new toleration debate. While we still want to help our children grow up to see the world from other perspectives than their own, we are no longer as sure as we were that we know what toleration means or what it entails. Where education is concerned, it seems the focus is on tolerance as an attitude?encouraging people to be tolerant?but where the public debate is concerned, the focus is (...) narrower. It becomes a question of what should be tolerated and what the law should allow or proscribe. But however interpreted, the underlying unclarity remains and it inevitably affects educational choices. Must we approve as well as permit? Must we refrain from judgement? Is tolerance something that is due to people themselves or does it include their views and opinions? And how should we respond if it should turn out to be impossible to tolerate one group or view without discriminating against another? In this paper I discuss two particular aspects of the new toleration debate, both of which involve presuppositions about personal and family life and religious and cultural identity. These are: (1) the moral and political issues prompted by the presence of newcomers in societies with different religious and cultural traditions from their own; and (2) a new and combative form of secularism within those societies. (shrink)
First, two aspects of the partiality issue are identified: (1) Is it right/reasonable for professionals to favour their clients interests over either those of other individuals or those of society in general? (2) Are special non-universalisable obligations attached to certain professional roles?Second, some comments are made on the notions of partiality and reasonableness. On partiality, the assumption that only two positions are possible – a detached universalism or a partialist egoism – is challenged and it is suggested that partiality, e.g. (...) to family members, lies between these two positions, being neither a form of egoism, nor of impersonal detachment. On reasonableness, it is pointed out that reasonable is an ambiguous concept, eliding the notions of the morally right and the rational. (shrink)
We provide a battery of examples of delusions against which theoretical accounts can be tested. Then, we identify neuropsychological anomalies that could produce the unusual experiences that may lead, in turn, to the delusions in our battery. However, we argue against Maher’s view that delusions are false beliefs that arise as normal responses to anomalous experiences. We propose, instead, that a second factor is required to account for the transition from unusual experience to delusional belief. The second factor in the (...) aetiology of delusions can be described superficially as a loss of the ability to reject a candidate for belief on the grounds of its implausibility and its inconsistency with everything else that the patient knows. But we point out some problems that confront any attempt to say more about the nature of this second factor. (shrink)
This essay evaluates Charles Taylor's defence of a politics of recognition in light of his broader account of modern identity and the self. I argue that his call for a politics of recognition betrays what is most ethically promising in his own account of modern subjectivity – namely, its emphasis on and affirmation of inner multiplicity. The first part of the paper identifies the ways in which his account of the self affirms inner multiplicity. The second part of the paper (...) outlines how a politics of recognition circumscribes this inner plurality by rendering core aspects of personal identity rigid and by promoting attitudes that inhibit attentiveness to multiplicity within the self. By outlining the ways in which it circumscribes inner multiplicity, I show that Taylor's preferred form of politics undermines two of his own central goals: that of securing the conditions in which authentic identity can be realized and that of promoting mutually receptive relations among diverse selves. A form of liberalism that strives for neutrality with respect to cultural symbols and practices more effectively facilitates the realization of these goals. (shrink)
In seeking for an understanding of ethical practices in health care situations, our challenge is always both to recognize and respond to the call of individuals in need. In attuning ourselves to the call of the vulnerable other an ethical moment arises. Asking ‘how are you?’ in health care practice is our very first possibility to learn how a particular person finds herself or himself in this particular situation. Here, ‘how are you?’ shows itself as an ethical question that opens (...) up a relational space that calls forth a response. It is a way to understand the situated moments in which we are already that enables us to act respectfully. Our ethical frameworks assist us in trying to decide what is the right thing to do given a set of circumstances. Yet there is a prior step that already calls us to ethical attention; this is when we ask ‘how are you?’, which transforms a seemingly small interaction into an ethical moment. ‘How are you?’ is a question that turns us back to who we are as health care professionals and calls us to be more deeply attentive to the moment. When we sincerely ask ‘how are you?’ we enact our ethical commitments to one another. (shrink)
Positivist medical historians, guided by the savoir of modern western biomedicine, have long depicted medieval medicine as an aberration along the continuum of scientific and medical progress. Historical epistemology, founded in the ideas of Cavailles, Foucault, Davidson, and Hacking, however, allows the historian to disrupt this false continuum and to unchain medieval medicine from modern medicine. Postmodernist approaches, such as those sourced in Lyotard, Barthes, and Derrida, allow the historian to further deconstruct medieval and modern medical discourse, revealing a multitude (...) of narrative lenses spinning around biomedical and biocultural strands. In liberating these two medical systems and setting them within the distinct historical and epistemological contexts that both shaped and were shaped by them, the historian can revision the theories, practices, and culture of medieval medicine without having to anachronistically justify them according to modern medical discourse. (shrink)
§ 1. Apparent philosophical disagreement: a philosophical problem. Philosophers are frequently criticized for their remarkable inability to reach consensus. “‘The same problems,’ we hear it often, ‘the same disputes, the same sheer failure. Why not abandon it and come out? Is there nothing else more worth your labour?’”. In science there are established results and generally accepted theories. Philosophy, by contrast, seems to breed only disagreement and controversy. Unless philosophers are simply a peculiarly argumentative lot, we are told, the fact (...) that philosophy is marked by widespread disagreement must indicate something about the nature of the philosophical enterprise. And the usual conclusion is that either it is intrinsically flawed or it is not as it has appeared to be, a search for truth. (shrink)
Representing Stephen Davies's best shorter writings, these essays outline developments within the philosophy of music over the last two decades, and summarize the state of play at the beginning of a new century. Including two new and previously unpublished pieces, they address both perennial questions and contemporary controversies, such as that over the 'authentic performance' movement, and the impact of modern technology on the presentation and reception of musical works. Rather than attempting to reduce musical works to a single (...) type, Davies recognizes a great variety of kinds, and a complementary range of possibilities for their rendition. (shrink)
I review and reconsider some of the themes of ‘Two notions of necessity’ (Davies and Humberstone, 1980) and attempt to reach a deeper understanding and appreciation of Gareth Evans’s reﬂections (in ‘Reference and contingency’, 1979) on both modality and reference. My aim is to plot the relationships between the notions of necessity that Humberstone and I characterised in terms of operators in two-dimensional modal logic, the notions of superﬁcial and deep necessity that Evans himself described, and the epistemic notion (...) of a priority. (shrink)
What are musical works? Are they discovered or created? Can recordings substitute faithfully for live performances? This book considers these and other intriguing questions. It first outlines the nature of musical works, their relation to performances, and their notational specification; it then considers authenticity in performance, musical traditions, and recordings. Comprehensive and original, the volume discusses many kinds of music, applying its conclusions to issues as diverse as the authentic performance movement, the cultural integrity of ethnic music, and the implications (...) of the dominance of recorded over live music. (shrink)
Theoretical explication of a growing body of empirical data on consciousness-related anomalous phenomena is unlikely to be achieved in terms of known physical processes. Rather, it will first be necessary to formulate the basic role of consciousness in the definition of reality before such anomalous experience can adequately be represented. This paper takes the position that reality is constituted only in the interaction of consciousness with its environment, and therefore that any scheme of conceptual organization developed to represent that reality (...) must reflect the processes of consciousness as well as those of its environment. In this spirit, the concepts and formalisms of elementary quantum mechanics, as originally proposed to explain anomalous atomic-scale physical phenomena, are appropriated via metaphor to represent the general characteristics of consciousness interacting with any environment. More specifically, if consciousness is represented by a quantum mechanical wave function, and its environment by an appropriate potential profile, Schrödinger wave mechanics defines eigenfunctions and eigenvalues that can be associated with the cognitive and emotional experiences of that consciousness in that environment. To articulate this metaphor it is necessary to associate certain aspects of the formalism, such as the coordinate system, the quantum numbers, and even the metric itself, with various impressionistic descriptors of consciousness, such as its intensity, perspective, approach/avoidance attitude, balance between cognitive and emotional activity, and receptive/assertive disposition. With these established, a number of the generic features of quantum mechanics, such as the wave/particle duality, and the uncertainty, indistinguishability, and exclusion principles, display metaphoric relevance to familiar individual and collective experiences. Similarly, such traditional quantum theoretic exercises as the central force field and atomic structure, covalent molecular bonds, barrier penetration, and quantum statistical collective behavior become useful analogies for representation of a variety of consciousness experiences, both normal and anomalous, and for the design of experiments to study these systematically. (shrink)
Humanism offers students a clear and lucid introductory guide to the complexities of Humanism, one of the most contentious and divisive of artistic or literary concepts. Showing how the concept has evolved since the Renaissance period, Davies discusses humanism in the context of the rise of Fascism, the onset of World War II, the Holocaust, and their aftermath. Humanism provides basic definitions and concepts, a critique of the religion of humanity, and necessary background on religious, sexual and political themes (...) of modern life and thought, while enlightening the debate between humanism, modernism and antihumanism through the writings and works of such key figures as Pico Erasmus, Milton, Nietzsche, and Foucault. (shrink)