In this essay, I argue that bioethicists have a thus-far unfulfilled role to play in helping life scientists, including medical doctors and researchers, think about race. I begin with descriptions of how life scientists tend to think about race and descriptions of typical approaches to bioethics. I then describe three different approaches to race: biological race, race as social construction, and race as cultural driver of history. Taking into account the historical and contemporary interplay of these three approaches, I suggest (...) an alternative framework for thinking about race focused on how the idea of race functions socially. Finally, using assisted reproductive technologies as an example, I discuss how bioethicists and scientists might work together using this framework to improve not only their own but broader perspectives on race. (shrink)
This research documents consumers’ potential to monitor corporations’ License to Operate through their consumption responses to corporate social responsibility failures. The premise is that the type of social contracts or standards in place may determine how consumers, through their individual and collective behaviors, can play a direct role in influencing corporate behavior, when corporations fail to meet social responsibility standards. An experiment conducted with a large sample of consumers in the United States shows that consumers respond differently to a company’s (...) failure in its social responsibilities depending on whether the violated standard is a government mandate or a voluntary commitment and depending on the consumers’ own environmental consciousness. The findings highlight the potential power of individual consumers and consumer collectives in narrowing the governance gaps relative to social and environmental issues and reducing the likelihood of CSR failures. (shrink)
This paper explores the limitations of epistemic scientism for understanding the role the concept of race plays in assisted reproductive technology practices. Two major limitations centre around the desire to use scientific knowledge to bring about social improvement. In the first case, undue focus is placed on debunking the scientific reality of racial categories and characteristics. The alternative to this approach is to focus instead on the way the race idea functions in ART practices. Doing so reveals how the race (...) idea helps to define the reproductive “problems” different groups of women are experiencing and to dictate when and how they should be “helped”; helps to resolve tensions about who should be considered the real parents of children produced by reproductive technologies; and is used to limit ART use where that use threatens to denaturalize the very sociopolitical landscape the race idea has created. In the second case, scientific knowledge regarding reproduction is thought to call for technological control over that reproduction. This leads to an overemphasis on personal responsibility and a depoliticization of racialized social inequalities. (shrink)
Applying social construction theory to the study of other animals, this article reports research conducted on ecotourist constructions of orangutans. Two "stories" dominated: Orangutan as Child and Orangutan as Pristine. The cultural and historical specificity of these constructs as well as their implications for conservation are discussed.
Serving as a commentary on Kelly Oliver's essay, “Enhancing Evolution: Whose Body? Whose Choice?” this essay picks up on its themes of mastery, choice, the man-made, and the natural in order to further Oliver's critique of a particular liberal debate over the ethical permissibility of reprogenetics. The specific focus of the commentary is the hidden centrality of race to the reprogenetics debate, within which, I suggest, race serves as an implicit limit of acceptability in two important ways. First, on the (...) societal level, an explicitly racial focus marks the point at which a eugenic project becomes immoral, such that it is the refusal to mention race that renders the new eugenics acceptable. Second, in the realm of personal reproductive “choice,” race is portrayed as that which is naturally transmitted rather than deliberately chosen and, thus, serves as a limit on what are considered morally correct or even viable personal reproductive choices. The effect of this limiting and its naturalization is to obscure both the ways in which race has always been policed in reproduction and the social consequences of that policing and, thereby, to uphold the status quo of social inequality. (shrink)
This is an edited collection that is intended both as a primer for core concepts and principles in research ethics and as an in-depth exploration of the contextualisation of these principles in practice across key disciplines.
Wildlife tourism is often associated with charismatic megafauna in the public imagination. Entomotourism typically is not on the radar, but each year thousands of peoples visit monarch butterfly congregations and glow worm caves, and participate in guided firefly outings. Elsewhere, millions of peoples visit butterfly pavilions, insectariums, and bee museums. Calculations of visitation numbers aside, researchers in tourism studies have largely ignored the appeal of these animals, relegating these types of activities to the recreational fringe. By highlighting the popularity of (...) entomotourism, this article challenges the vertebrate bias prevalent in the social sciences and seeks to move entomotourism from the margins to the mainstream of research on tourism in human/animal studies. (shrink)
Empirical evidence of our changing climate is frequently interpreted through the lens of either optimism or pessimism. In tandem with this, ethical responses can oscillate from myopic ‘business as usual’ to misanthropic ‘lifeboat ethics’. In this paper I argue that these are inadequate and unworthy positions from which to begin in Christian ethics. The question of sharing the burdens of climate-change mitigation and adaptation is the crucial task facing the world community. The development of the burden-sharing rules—sector based as well (...) as country based—since the Kyoto agreement will be evaluated from the perspective of three theological ethical principles: justice, solidarity and subsidiarity. Lastly I suggest that creation serves as a ground for developing shared perspectives in the ethics of environmental questions in the context of intercultural and interfaith dialogue. (shrink)
End-of-life debates in medical ethics often centre around several interrelated issues: improving care, avoiding coercion, and recognising the dignity and rights of the terminally ill. Care ethics advocates relational autonomy and non-abandonment. These commitments, however, face system pressures—economic, social and legal—that can be coercive. This article takes up two related aspects in this domain of ethics. Firstly, that competence and communication are core clinical ethics principles that can sidestep the overplayed dichotomies in end-of-life care. And secondly, it questions the assumption (...) that advance directives are universally benevolent—comparing the provisions of the Council of Europe’s 1999 recommendations on protection of human rights and dignity of the dying within the framework of the Irish context. The article also registers the unintended impacts of changing legal frameworks in relation to euthanasia and assisted suicide in Europe, including recent proposals in the Netherlands. A focus on human dignity can provide a theologically and philosophically shared normative orientation that argues for present directives rather than only advance directives, and a presumption in favour of ‘living up to death’. Dignity approaches not only grant rights but secure them by supporting ongoing initiatives that honour, rather than erode, the ‘longevity dividend’. (shrink)
This paper attempts a critical examination of the thesis that an apprenticeship to a Lancaster druggist was, for Edward Frankland, a wholly inappropriate preparation for a career in chemistry. This view, which stems directly from Frankland himself, is defective in several ways. It fails to take into account certain benefits which he accepted as valuable; it implies an exceptional degree of ‘negligence’ which was in fact quite typical; it ignores certain positive indicators of the value of such experience; and it (...) involves questionable value-judgments on the behaviour of one individual, the druggist Stephen Ross. Although Frankland's perspective may be no longer acceptable, the reasons for its inadequacy are perhaps the most important aspect of the whole affair. Their identification raises questions of historiography of wider significance, while the whole episode underlines certain issues in scientific training that were to become crucial in the growth of Victorian chemistry in Britain. (shrink)
The role of intuition in Kant's theory of mathematics is similar to instantiation rules in first-order logic according to Jaakko Hintikka. This paper is a critical examination of Hintikka's interpretation and reconstruction of Kant's theory. It is argued that Kant's position is question-begging on this interpretation.