Background While prenatal surgery historically was performed exclusively for lethal conditions, today intrauterine surgery is also performed to decrease postnatal disabilities for non-lethal conditions. We sought to describe physicians' attitudes about prenatal surgery for lethal and non-lethal conditions and to elucidate characteristics associated with these attitudes. Methods Survey of 1200 paediatric surgeons, neonatologists and maternal–fetal medicine specialists. Results Of 1176 eligible physicians, 670 responded. In the setting of a lethal condition for which prenatal surgery would likely result in the child (...) surviving with a severe disability, most respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that they would recommend the surgery. Male physicians were twice as likely to recommend surgery for the lethal condition, as were physicians who believe that abortion is morally wrong. Older physicians were less likely to recommend surgery. For non-lethal conditions, most respondents agreed that they would recommend prenatal surgery, even if the surgery increases the risk of prematurity or fetal death. Compared with MFMs, surgeons were less likely to recommend such surgery, as were physicians not affiliated with a fetal centre, and physicians who were religious. Conclusion Physician’s attitudes about prenatal surgery relate to physicians’ beliefs about disability as well as demographic, cultural and religious characteristics. Given the variety of views, parents are likely to receive different recommendations from their doctors about the preferable treatment choice. (shrink)
This essay was originally presented at the Rutgers Institute for Law and Philosophy as part of the Symposium on The Evolution of Criminal Law Theory. It is a Reply to Professor Donald Drippsâ politically-based justification for blackmailâs prohibition. Under Drippsâ account, by exacting payment from the victim blackmail is an impermissible form of private punishment that usurps the stateâs public monopoly on law enforcement. This essay demonstrates that Drippsâ account is either under-inclusive or over-inclusive or both. Drippsâ account is applied (...) to a number of the standard blackmail scenarios by which theories of blackmail are typically assessed. Drippsâ account is under-inclusive by failing to treat as blackmail Victim-Welcomed Blackmail, Non-Monetary Blackmail, Rebuffed Blackmail, and Non-Informational Blackmail which the law considers as blackmail. And it is over-inclusive by treating as blackmail Victim-Initiated Exchange and Unconditional Disclosure which the law does not recognize as blackmail. (shrink)
What is the relationship between the permissibility/impermissibility of the part and the permissibility/impermissibility of the whole? Does the moral or legal status of a constituent part of an actor’s course of conduct govern the status of the actor’s whole course of conduct or, conversely, does the moral and legal status of the actor’s whole course of conduct govern the status of the constituent parts? This broader issue is examined in the more specific contexts of the contrived defense and deterrent threat (...) doctrines. The latter doctrine concerns whether a prima facie impermissible act of carrying out a threatened action may be rendered permissible if embedded within an overall permissible course of action including the issuance of a deterrent threat that fails to induce compliance. The contrived defense doctrine addresses the permissibility of an actor who contrives or culpably causes the conditions of her own defense. This essay considers the claim—advanced by Claire Finkelstein and Leo Katz—that the contrived defense and deterrent threat doctrines are sufficiently related such that the preferable approach to each doctrine informs and supports the preferable approach to the other. In each, the permissible/impermissible status of the whole governs the status of the part. Regarding contrived defenses, the impermissibility of the actor’s whole course of conduct renders the otherwise permissible constituent part relating to the defense also impermissible. And regarding deterrent threats, the permissibility of the actor’s whole course of conduct renders the otherwise impermissible constituent parts also permissible. This essay challenges the claimed linkage between the contrived defense and deterrent threat doctrines by proposing hypothetical situations in which the claimed parallel doctrines collapse into each other. As a result, the application of the preferred approaches to each doctrine generates a contradiction. (shrink)
In response to a growing perception that America's youth lack the necessary values to grow and develop into adulthood in a socially healthy manner, character education has emerged as a rapidly growing proactive approach that serves to develop good character among young people. The authors examine several of the virtues thought to underlie good character from Character Counts!, a popular character education program, and emphasize the cultural complexities involved when promoting character education in a pluralistic society. 2012 APA, all rights (...) reserved). (shrink)
An introduction to the March, 2005 symposium “The Political Theory of Organizations: A Retrospective Examination of Christopher McMahon’s Authority and Democracy” held in San Francisco as part of the Society for Business Ethics Group Meeting at the Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association.
Christopher Peacocke’s A Study of Concepts is a dense and rewarding work. Each chapter raises many issues for discussion. I know three different people who are writing reviews of the volume. It testifies to the depth of Peacocke’s book that each reviewer is focusing on a quite different set of topics.
Philosophers from the modern age and current philosophers share some common concerns. One is whether the ordinary objects of human perception—the objects humans see, hear, feel, taste, and smell—exist independently of our perception of them in a shared, stable, spatially-localized environment that also exists independently of perception. Another is whether a particular range of properties—colors, flavors, odors, sounds, feels—are properties of the ordinary objects of human perception, relations whose relata are properties of ordinary objects and types of typical human experiences, (...) or properties of, or identical with, types of typical human experiences.Because both modern and current philosophers have... (shrink)
I have argued that substance ontology cannot be used to determine the moral status of embryos. Patrick Lee, Christopher Tollefsen, and Robert George wrote a Reply to those arguments in this Journal. In that Reply, Lee, Tollefsen, and George defended and clarified their position that their substance ontology arguments prove that the zygote and the adult into which it develops are the same entity that share the same essence. Here, I show the following: Even using the substance ontology framework (...) to which Lee, Tollefsen, and George subscribe, we cannot know when in development substance changes cease. Substance ontology cannot therefore be used to assign moral status to embryos. The Lee, Tollefsen, and George substance ontology framework should not be applied to the study of development or to biological discourse in general, because this framework depends on premises that do not apply. (shrink)
Christopher Insole argues that we have underestimated the importance of the following theological problem in the development of Kant’s mature, critical philosophy: “How can it be said that we are free, given that we are created by God?” (p. 5). The author makes a strong case that this problem was formative for a range of Kant’s pre-critical views. What role it continues to play in the 1780s and beyond will be, as the author himself notes, controversial. Chapters 1–3 contain (...) lucid and, especially for those familiar only with Kant’s critical period, helpful discussions of several pre-critical texts together with an engagement with selected secondary literature. Thus, readers who know only Kant’s destruction of the divine proofs, in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), may be surprised to find him defending versions of the ontological and cosmological proofs in The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God (1763). Here Insole’s exposition is nuanced... (shrink)
In a 1991 issue of the journal Semiotica, Christopher Hookway published a review essay devoted to my book on Peirce's Philosophy of Religion, which had appeared two years earlier, in 1989. Sometime later, in the year 2000, an adapted version of that essay was included as chapter eleven in Hookway's book entitled Truth, Rationality and Pragmatism: Themes from Peirce.1 Hookway graciously admitted that he agreed with much of my interpretation of Peirce, but that he would focus his analysis on (...) those matters that he understood differently from me. Since the philosophical issues that Hookway raised are still salient, I now propose to offer my long-delayed response. The contrast between... (shrink)
I thank Christopher Framarin for his response and would like to address three points he raises in this brief rejoinder.Framarin's book is a self-standing analysis of the central argument of the Gītā, and the reader should take my comments about his papers as additional material in support of the book. In drawing attention to them, my aim was to stress Framarin's long engagement with the subject.Although Framarin's book deals quite extensively with other texts from the Indian tradition, the Gītā (...) is central to the analysis. In fact, Framarin explicitly turns to the other texts "[a]s a means to answering the second question," namely whether the claim that action entails desire is widely held in the Indian tradition. .. (shrink)
Ours is a discipline in which agreement is often a form of discourtesy, and so I must thank Christopher Janaway and Robert Pippin for doing me the courtesy of disagreeing with several issues in my book, most of which I will not be able to discuss here. Both are kind and generous friends, which is why they both begin by saying some very nice things about Nietzsche: Life as Literature.1 Or are they? Yes, they are, but that is not (...) to say they do so simply because they are kind and generous. Mindful of Pippin’s understanding of Hegel on the importance of a social and cultural context for meaningful human action, I would say that their attitude is channeled through the almost ironclad social practice—or convention—that .. (shrink)
The question of the relation of my work to that of Martin Luther King Jr. cannot be resolved with the theoretical tools Christopher Beem brings to the task. Stanley Fish has written that "those who detach King's words from the history that produced them erase the fact of that history from the slate, and they do so, paradoxically, in order to prevent that history from being truly and deeply altered." The vice of liberalism is not selfishness so much as (...) a forgetfulness that spreads like a blight from the habit of abstraction. Martin Luther King Jr. remembered his people, his savior, and his church, and he called the rest of us to share those memories. Therein lay his strength. (shrink)
New York City has a long history of gentrification, well demonstrated by the strategies of “revitalization” and “re-development” that have occurred in Harlem throughout the last century. Less well known is the historical, political, and social context surrounding New York’s Pier 45, also known as the Christopher Street Pier. As a historically-known gathering spot for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, the Christopher Street Pier gained recognition for harbouring what could be described as a queer public . However, (...) recent processes of gentrification have changed Pier 45 into the Hudson River Park, ostensibly privatizing the site. With reference to Braidotti’s nomadic subject, this paper explores the Christopher Street Pier as a representation of queer geographies. Further, it argues that the re-appropriation of the once queer public space of Pier 45 exposes a municipal agenda of surveillance in relation to sexualized and racialized identities. Through reference to the activist practices of FIERCE, a local NGO, I show how the nomadic subjectivities of queer youth open up a discussion of ethical responsibility and point toward strategic movements of resistance in the face of gentrification in New York’s West Village. (shrink)
Responding to criticisms raised by Christopher Norris, this paper defends an anti-relativist reading of the work of both Davidson and Heidegger arguing that that there are important lessons to be learnt from their example - one can thus be an anti-relativist (as well as a certain sort of realist) without giving up on Davidson or on Heidegger.
From the title and subtitle of Christopher D. Tirres’s book, we already ascertain that the work addresses four discrete philosophic disciplines or traditions: American pragmatism, Latin American liberation, aesthetics, and ethics. And at first glance, each of the four does not evoke an immediate connection to the other three, but Tirres is capable of putting them into a genuine conversation. Tirres’s book is organized into eight chapters, with the first and eighth serving respectively as a succinct introduction and conclusion. (...) I will analyze these eight chapters as three separate yet interrelated projects. In the introduction, entitled “American Faith in a New Key,” we find a concise statement of his.. (shrink)
An introduction to the March, 2005 symposium "The Political Theory of Organizations: A Retrospective Examination of Christopher McMahon's "Authority and Democracy" held in San Francisco as part of the Society for Business Ethics Group Meeting at the Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association.
In his recent book, Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus, Christopher Brown has argued that the metaphysics of St. Thomas is preferable to contemporary analyticviews because it can solve the “problem of material constitution” without requiring us to relinquish any of the common-sense beliefs that generate that problem. In this critical study, I show that in the case of both substances and aggregates, Brown’s Aquinas endorses views that are extremely implausible. Consequently, even if it is granted that the solutions (...) to the PMC fall right out of his views, it is still not clear that this gives us reason to prefer his ontology to its competitors. I also consider Brown’s take on the status of the human being after death. (shrink)
Christopher Johnson has put forward in this journal the view that ad hominem reasoning may be more generally reasonable than is allowed by writers such as myself, basing his view on virtue epistemology. I review his account, as well as the standard account, of ad hominem reasoning, and show how the standard account would handle the cases he sketches in defense of his own view. I then give four criticisms of his view generally: the problems of virtue conflict, vagueness, (...) conflation of speech acts, and self-defeating counsel. I then discuss four reasons why the standard account is superior: it better fits legal reality, the account of other fallacies, psychological science, and political reality. (shrink)
In these comments I shall concentrate on one topic, namely Peacocke’s proposals concerning what is involved in possessing the concept of belief. The proposals are, of course, presented by him within the framework of a general theory of concepts, some parts of which are illuminating and others of which are more debatable. But differences about these issues are not germane to what follows and for our purposes I shall assume the correctness of the broad lines of his theory.
U.S. Latino/a theologians share much with Latin American liberation theologians, but they have also explicitly differentiated themselves from their southern partners. One prominent focus in this effort is U.S. Latino/a attention to popular religion, in contrast to a Latin American stress on political, structural change. On this interpretation, U.S. Latino/as’ practice of everyday life is a form of “aesthetic resistance” to, and freedom from, WASP hegemony—quite a different situation and response from the south. However, the question has been raised whether, (...) in turning to the aesthetic dimensions of lo cotidiano, U.S. Latino/a theologians had not abandoned a critical, ethical edge essential for any.. (shrink)
This commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics is in a style familiar from the writings of Leo Strauss and his students. The reader is presented with a paraphrase of the whole of Aristotle’s text, marked by seemingly odd omissions, emphases, and offhand remarks. One soon sees that the book is written in code. Only as the book progresses is the author more explicit concerning what he takes to be the main lines of Aristotle’s esoteric teaching, which is as follows.Aristotle writes the Metaphysics (...) for students being initiated into philosophy. These students have already left behind a mythical world-view, but not all are.. (shrink)