La réglementation européenne prévoit une évaluation des risques par les entreprises qui souhaitent (continuer de) produire et mettre sur le marché des pesticides et des substances chimiques industrielles. Cette information est produite par les industriels eux-mêmes et soumise à une évaluation par les agences nationales et européennes qui sont responsables de la mise en œuvre de ces réglementations (en France, l'ANSES , en Europe, l'EFSA et respectivement l'ECHA ). L'accès à ces informations soumises par les industriels et analysées par les (...) agences est essentiel pour s'assurer de la meilleure qualité de l'évaluation de ces risques. Les conséquences des évaluations du risque chimique touchent potentiellement des parties importantes de la population, car de nombreuses substances chimiques sont présentes dans nos vies. Il est donc important d'être capable d'assurer, par une veille collective, que ces évaluations soient réalisées de la meilleure manière possible et sur la base de données et méthodes scientifiques vérifiables. L'accès à l'information est fondé sur des principes généraux de transparence et de responsabilité des administrations de manière à faciliter la participation du public au processus démocratique et au contrôle des activités qui les concernent directement. Limiter l'accès à l'information revient à donner le pouvoir à certains acteurs d'influencer ces évaluations et pas à d'autres. Des questions de contrôle démocratique, d'équité et de justice évidentes se posent si l'exercice de ce pouvoir est d'une part donné aux acteurs industriels qui deviennent juges et parties (leur activité doit être régulée sur la base des informations qu'ils produisent eux-mêmes) et est d'autre part rendu difficile voire refusé aux acteurs de la société civile qui peuvent subir les effets des substances chimiques. Malheureusement aujourd'hui, différents facteurs restreignent l'effectivité du droit à l'information environnementale sur les risques chimiques et facilitent dans certains cas une telle injustice : * l'éclatement et le manque de lisibilité des textes encadrant cet accès à l'information, * les limitations juridiques au principe de liberté d'information qui ont été intégrés dans ces mêmes textes afin de défendre les intérêts des industriels, * les réticences administratives et la difficulté pratique des procédures et des recours, * et enfin les limitations pratiques à la compréhension et à l'utilité des données. (shrink)
Dans le domaine biomédical, qui est l’objet principal de cet article, la littérature montre une corrélation directe entre le financement d’une recherche par un industriel et la communication de résultats qui lui sont favorables. Cet effet, appelé « le biais de financement », persiste depuis les travaux des années 1990 jusqu’aux travaux récents. Il peut être élargi à d’autres domaines tels que l’agro-alimentaire, l’étude des risques environnementaux et sanitaires, etc. Les conflits d’intérêts peuvent influencer la recherche par des voies inconscientes (...) ou volontaires. Nous analysons les modes d’action possibles des conflits d’intérêts sur le déroulement de l’activité scientifique, ainsi que l’efficacité des diverses solutions qui ont été proposées pour gérer ces influences.In the field of biomedicine, which is the main object addressed in this article, the literature shows a direct correlation between industrial funding for research and the communication of results that are favourable to the industry. This effect, known as the “ funding effect”, has been persistenly found since the 1990s. It can also affect other fields such as agri-foods or environmental and health risk assessments. Conflicts of interest can influence research subconsciously or deliberately. In this article, we analyse the various ways in which conflicts of interest can influence the way scientific activities proceed, as well as the effectiveness of the different solutions put forward to manage the influence exerted. (shrink)
Dans un cadre réglementaire de mise sur le marché des substances chimiques, l’information sur les risques chimiques pour la santé et l’environnement doit être généralement produite par les industriels, qui la soumettent aux agences sanitaires. L’accès du public à cette information est régulé par des dispositifs juridiques internationaux, européens et nationaux, et fondé sur les principes de transparence et de liberté d’accès et de réutilisation. Cependant, différents facteurs restreignent l’effectivité du droit à l’information et par conséquent le contrôle démocratique et (...) scientifique sur l’évaluation du risque. Les textes juridiques sont éclatés entre la législation environnementale et celle sur l’accès aux données publiques. Le droit d’accès peut être limité juridiquement pour des raisons de confidentialité et de secret industriel, des dispositions qui permettent aux entreprises de protéger leurs intérêts commerciaux mais qui peuvent être interprétés de manière arbitraire par les agences. Enfin sur le plan pratique, le manque de lisibilité du format, le langage employé et les interfaces peuvent constituer des obstacles à l’accès effectif et à la réutilisation des données.Under the regulations governing marketing authorisation for chemical substances, information on chemical risks to health and the environment generally has to be produced by the industries concerned for submission to the health agencies. Public access to this information is governed by international, European and national legal provisions, and based on the principles of transparency and the freedom to access and re-use the information. However, various factors are restricting the effectiveness of this right to information and, consequently, restricting democratic and scientific oversight of risk assessments. The relevant legal texts are split between environmental legislation and legislation on access to public data. The right of access can be legally limited on grounds of confidentiality and protection of trade secrets, under provisions that allow businesses to protect their commercial interests but which can be interpreted arbitrarily by the health agencies. Finally, on the practical level, the lack of clarity of the format, the language used and the interfaces can be an obstacle to effective access and re-use of the data. (shrink)
Le conseil d’administration du CNRS a adopté le 23 juin 2011 la charte interne de l’expertise, qui adapte aux spécificités de ses propres activités le texte de la Charte nationale de l’expertise. La charte interne du CNRS est guidée par la volonté de répondre efficacement à deux enjeux majeurs de l’expertise scientifique : la crédibilité des experts et la qualité du processus et du produit de l’expertise.The CNRS governing board adopted its internal Charter on Expert Studies on 23 June 2011, (...) which adapts the National Charter on Expert Studies to the specific features of CNRS activities. The internal CNRS Charter rests on the principle of efficient striving to address two major issues concerning scientific expert studies : the credibility of experts and the quality of expert study processes and output. (shrink)
A critical approach on tolerance can be done as an endeavor to asset its rational arguments brought in its support or/and as a justification of its moral value within the process of human being completion. The commitment to such critical task is more necessary as it is unyieldingness summon in contemporary debates in political religious and, especially moral contexts, it has been equally valorized and contested. The most remarkable analyses of this rather summary rubric for many and often contradictory connotations, (...) then concept, underline the idea that a limit-matter is at stake: can be tolerated the intolerable? Because these boundaries are hard to be distinguished the critical position intellectually reasonable seems to be that of examining if is not more socially profitable and morally justifiable to be tolerant rather than intolerant.Developing possible arguments for and against the universal value of tolerance, critical discourse imposes a very meaningful statement: to uphold our humanity, even the demand for our right to intolerance must be done within the framework and with the means of tolerance. (shrink)
L’image publique négative de la chimie, science et industrie, est une préoccupation importante pour nombre de chimistes. La proclamation de l’année 2011 comme « Année de la Chimie » par l’ONU en est une preuve. En réponse à cette préoccupation, deux modèles d’interaction avec le public peuvent être identifiés parmi les chimistes. Une première approche, structurée autour de l’idée d’« acceptabilité », vise à l’éducation du grand public et à la démonstration des bénéfices de la chimie dans la vie quotidienne. (...) Une deuxième approche, qui peut être appelée « dialogique », considère que les relations entre chimie et société vont au-delà d’une question d’image, et constituent surtout une question de fond. Comme pour d’autres sciences, il s’agit d’un changement nécessaire dans les pratiques des chercheurs et des industriels. Cet article analyse ces deux courants de pensée de façon comparative, selon trois aspects structurants : le concept de communication, l’image du public et les terrains de la communication.The negative public image of chemistry, science and industry, is a major concern for many chemists. Proclaiming the year 2011 as "Year of Chemistry" by the UN is proof. In response to this concern, two models of interaction with the public can be identified among chemists. One approach, structured around the idea of "acceptability", aims to educate the general public and to demonstrate the benefits of chemistry in everyday life. A second approach, which can be called "dialogical", considers the relationship between chemistry and society beyond a question of image, and are mostly a matter of substance. Like other sciences, it is a necessary change in the practices of researchers and industrialists. This article analyzes these two currents of thought in a comparative manner, according to three structural aspects: the concept of communication, public image and communication fields. (shrink)
In his account of our belief in the Causal Maxim Hume argued, among other things, that it is not absolutely necessary for any event to be caused. Harold Noonan attempts an objection to Hume’s argument: in showing (i) the absolute possibility for any event to exist without its actual cause, Hume would not thereby show (ii) the absolute possibility for any event to exist uncaused. For this objection to succeed, Noonan needs two further assumptions: first, that Hume indeed could (...) not move plausibly from (i) to (ii); second, that Hume needed to move from (i) to (ii) to show (ii). Both assumptions are false. (shrink)
There has long been a suspicion that Kant's test for the universalizability of maxims can be easily subverted: instead of risking failing the test, design your maxim for any action whatsoever in a manner guaranteed to pass. This is the problem of maxim-fiddling. The present discussion of this problem has two theses: 1] That extant approaches to maxim-fiddling are not satisfactory;2] That a satisfactory response to maxim-fiddling can be articulated using Kantian resources, especially the first two (...) formulations of the categorical imperative. This approach to maxim-fiddling draws our attention to a Kantian notion of an offence against morality itself that has largely been overlooked. (shrink)
Suppose that the value of each act of compliance with some maxim is lower than the value of each act of non-compliance, even though maxim-compliance overall would be best for the agent. In such a case we have what I will call value-discrepancy between act and maxim. While the value of overall maxim-compliance is high, no particular act of compliance with the maxim seems to be worth it. Consequentialism is the thesis that the rightness of (...) an option is determined by the comparative value of that option, and that the value of an option is determined in some way by the value of its outcomes. What should the consequentialist say about maxim-compliance in cases of value discrepancy? An enormous amount of work has been done on the possible value-discrepancy between individual compliance, and group compliance. Call this the multiple-agent problem. Less work has been done on the related but distinct single-agent problem: value discrepancy between act and maxim for a single perduring individual over an extended period of time. There is a reason for the comparative lack of attention directed at the single-agent problem. An analogy is often drawn between a group of synchronic agents and a single perduring agent, and it is usually assumed that solutions to the one problem will be strict analogues to solutions to the other. But the enthusiasm for this analogy has become exaggerated. Significant disanalogies between the two cases have been ignored. As a result, simple and elegant solutions to the single-agent problem, which are often not available in the multiple-agent case, are overlooked. I offer such a solution. (shrink)
A stable classification of practical principles into mutually exclusive types is foundational to Kant’s moral theory. Yet, other than a few brief hints on the distinction between maxims and laws, he does not provide any elaborate discussion on the classification and the types of practical principles in his works. This has led Onora O’Neill and Lewis Beck to reinterpret Kant’s classification of practical principles in a way that would clarify the conceptual connection between maxims and laws. In this paper I (...) argue that the revised interpretations of O’Neill and Beck stem from a mistaken reading of the fundamental basis of the classification of practical principles. To show this, I first argue that Kant distinguishes between maxims and laws on the bases of validity and reality. I then argue that although a practical principle necessarily has the feature of validity, its reality in actually moving the agents to action sufficiently makes a principle a practical principle. If this is so, I argue that the classification of practical principles must be based on the extent to which they are effective in human agents. Such a classification yields us three exhaustive and mutually exclusive types namely, “maxims that are not potential laws”, “maxims that are potential laws” and “laws that are not maxims”. (shrink)
This article takes up the challenge that the motto “Do What is Right Though the World Should Perish” invites for an answer to Kant's arguments in defense of the motto. His argumentation is discussed, as well as the underlying assumptions concerning the role of Providence, the rejection of moral conflict, and the prudential risks associated with abandoning moral absolutism. The first two are rejected, the third seen as only partially tenable. Finally, the question is taken up what to do about (...) moral prohibitions in a world in which they can quite literally prevent or bring about universal perishing. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that in Mengzi 2A2 Mengzi 孟子 proposes his method for cultivating righteousness by showing that on the way of achieving yi, such topics as the unperturbed hearts, cultivating courage, Gaozi’s 告子 maxim, and the flood-like qi 氣 ultimately converge. Toward this aim, first, I argue that Mengzi’s short remark “bi you shi yan er wu zheng, xin wu wang, wu zhu zhang 必有事焉而勿正, 心勿忘, 勿助長” can be read as his maxim for achieving yi (...) that structurally parallels with the preceding maxim of Gaozi that Mengzi quoted. It tells us that neither our blind obedience to the words nor our impetuous boost of qi is helpful for achieving yi; instead we should concentrate on the heart’s moral sentiments and perform righteous actions. Second, I argue that Mengzi believes that qi is crucial in one’s proper self-cultivation. The centrality of moral sentiment in his teaching redirects our attention to qi’s positive aspects—exemplified by the flood-like qi—though qi’s impulsivity often makes it appear negative. If the four sprouts are to accompany the spontaneous movement of qi, it can be said that properly expressed qi signals the moral health of one’s heart. Moreover, I show that strong positive qi not only constitutes moral sentiment that serves as a fair standard for self-examination but also leads the will to perform moral actions without delay. (shrink)
My goal in this paper is to show that it is not the case that positive duties can be derived from Kant’s so-called universalizability tests. I begin by explaining in detail what I mean by this and distinguishing it from a few things that I am not doing in this paper. After that, I confront the idea of a maxim contradictory, a concept that is advanced by many com- mentators in the attempt to derive positive duties from the universalizability (...) tests. I ex- plain what a maxim contradictory is and how the concept is used to derive positive duties. Then I argue that the notion of a maxim contradictory presupposes an objectionable form of maxim realism. I move from there to the idea of a maxim contrary and the deliberative field. These two ideas are used in tandem by commentators who do not appeal to maxim contradictories. I explain how these concepts are used to derive positive duties and then I argue that there is a systematic error in the derivations that enables one to see that they cannot work. (shrink)
Nonclassical theories of truth have in common that they reject principles of classical logic to accommodate an unrestricted truth predicate. However, different nonclassical strategies give up different classical principles. The paper discusses one criterion we might use in theory choice when considering nonclassical rivals: the maxim of minimal mutilation.
In his Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Thomas Reid offers a barrage of objections to the view, held by David Hume, that conceivability implies possibility. In this paper, I present Reid's first two objections to the ‘maxim of conceivability’ and defend Hume from them. The first objection concerns our ability to understand impossible claims, while the second concerns thoughts about impossible claims (such as, for instance, the thought that they are impossible). Reid's objections have special force against (...) Hume because of his commitment to analyse all operations of the understanding in terms of conception. I argue that these objections fail, on the grounds that they presuppose substantive views about language which we are not warranted in attributing to Hume. Ultimately, Reid's objections help us draw out a set of intertwined issues about the language-mind relationship in Hume. (shrink)
Addressing the question in the form of Kant’s maxim, this paper moves on to a more controversial topic in biomedical ethics, physician-assisted suicide. However, my conclusion is tentative, and what is worse, negative: I partially approve suicide. It does not imply a moral hazard. The situation is opposite: in the present times, terminal patients seriously wish it. I, as an author, put an emphasis on this very respect. Now suicide is, for certain circles, nothing but justice. The arguments of (...) thinkers who approve suicide are also cited from this angle. (shrink)
This paper discusses the volenti non fit injuria maxim. The volenti maxim states that a person is not wronged by that to which she consents, provided her consent is valid. I will argue, however, that the volenti maxim does not apply to all instances of valid consent. In some cases the consenter is wronged even if his consent is valid. Valid consent can only release others from consent-sensitive duties, not from consent-insensitive duties. If the consentee flouts a (...) consent-insensitive duty the consentee wrongs the consenter and thereby commits a wrong. (shrink)
The argument that follows has a certain air of prestidigitation about it. I attempt to show that, given a couple of innocent-seeming suppositions, it is possible to derive a positive and complete theory of normative ethics from the Humean maxim "You can't get ought from is." This seems, of course, absurd. If the reasoning isn't completely unhinged, you may be sure, the trick has to lie in those "innocent-seeming" props. And, in fact, you are right. But every argument has (...) to begin somewhere, and, however questionable, those suppositions just don't seem to harbor serious normative import. (shrink)
Hume's maxim consists of two principles which are logically independent of each other: (1) whatever is conceivable is possible; and (2) whatever is inconceivable is impossible. Thomas Reid offered several arguments against the former principle, while John Stuart mill argued against the latter. The primary concern of this paper is to examine whether Reid and mill were successful in calling Hume's maxim into question.
It is impolite to discuss matters of religion or politics in mixed company. So goes the popular adage which all of us were supposed to have learned as children from our mothers. Let's call it Mom's Maxim. We tend to accept Mom's Maxim. But is it philosophically sound? In this short essay, we raise some objections to Mom's Maxim and make a case for an alternative which we call Mill's Principle.
One of the crucial debates within pragmatism concerns the import of Charles S. Peirce’s “pragmatic maxim.” The aim of this article is to show that Peirce maintains a twofold attitude toward his maxim. I would call this twofold approach ‘problematical,’ not because it is the origin of inconsistencies within Peirce’s thought, but because the collocation and use of the pragmatic maxim constitutes a genuine problem upon which Peirce continued to reflect throughout his life.1 This problem concerns the (...) relationship among semantics, metaphysics, and what Peirce called the “Normative Sciences,” i.e., the inquiry into the correct normative criteria for human self-control.On the one hand, Peirce stresses repeatedly that his.. (shrink)
Much has been written on the pragmatic maxim introduced in the 1878 essay 'How to Make Our Ideas Clear'. It was not there so named, but a quarter century later, at the outset of his Lectures on Pragmatism delivered at Harvard in 1903, Peirce quoted it and named it.1 At the conclusion of those lectures occurs another statement named a 'maxim' and implied to be pragmatism's. This 1903 maxim is almost as well-known as the 1878 maxim (...) but has received little comment.2 Was it only a figurative expression of the original maxim? That view cannot survive a careful reading of it and of the lectures which it concludes.3Neither maxim states a theory of meaning, but each implies... (shrink)
Problems arising from the transformation of Hungary from a monolithic society into a market economy are addressed. In the past, under communism, the worker was a faceless digit in a mass proletariat. He had no rights, but also no sense of obligation to society and the community. How can the business community instil in its worker a sense of their own unique individuality and role in their company and in society, a psychological awakening that will benefit not only the works (...) himself but his employer and the company's end product? This new corporate culture must trickle down from the management who must undertake the task of re?educating their workers in the interests of improved production and a better society. The author calls this the Molecule Maxim, in that management must stop thinking from the top downwards and start at the bottom of the pyramid, radiating outwards and upwards from this infinitesimal particle?the molecule?around which to build the concept, aim the creativity and thus the ultimate success and profitability of the company. (shrink)
The paper attempts to look at silence from the point of view of Grice's maxim of quantity, viz. if one has nothing to say, then one is silent. This will be examined against the background of studies that have been published over the last decades especially anthropological research on tribes in Africa and North America, and studies on Finnish silence.
This article examines the normative force of consent, explaining how consent works its “moral magic” in transforming the moral quality of conduct that would otherwise constitute a wrong against the consenting person. Dempsey offers an original account of the normative force of consent, according to which consent (when valid) creates an exclusionary permission . When this permission is taken up, the moral quality of the consented-to conduct is transformed, such that it no longer constitutes a wrong against the consenting person. (...) Building on this account of how consent works, Dempsey identifies two sets of cases in which consent fails to transform the moral quality of one’s conduct: cases in which one is consent-insensitive to the rational force of another’s consent, and cases in which one acts for sadistic reasons. (shrink)
According to the traditional philosophical definition, you lie if and only if you assert what you believe to be false with the intent to deceive. However, several philosophers (e.g., Carson 2006, Sorensen 2007, Fallis 2009) have pointed out that there are lies that are not intended to deceive and, thus, that the traditional definition fails. In 2009, I suggested an alternative definition: you lie if and only if you say what you believe to be false when you believe that one (...) of Paul Grice's conversational norms (“Do not say what you believe to be false”) is in effect. Faulkner (forthcoming), Stokke (forthcoming), and Pruss (2012) have subsequently argued that my 2009 definition fails as well because it counts some statements that are clearly not lies as being lies. In this paper, I identify some additional counter-examples of this sort. But I argue that my 2009 definition can easily be revised to deal with such counter-examples once we clarify that the relevant norm is really against communicating something false rather than against merely saying it. Nevertheless, I show that even this revised version of my 2009 definition fails because it counts some statements that are lies as not being lies. Lies told by young children – which uncontroversially count as lies on the traditional philosophical definition – suggest that lying (as well as asserting in general) does not require believing that such a norm is in effect. Even so, I claim that, since all liars intend to do something that would violate this norm if it were in effect, there is a successful definition of lying that is at least in the spirit of my 2009 definition. (shrink)