Practically every contemporary mainstream scientist presumes that all aspects of mind are generated by brain activity. We demonstrate the inadequacy of this picture by assembling evidence for a variety of empirical phenomena which it cannot explain. We further show that an alternative picture developed by F. W. H. Myers and William James successfully accommodates these phenomena, ratifies the common sense view of ourselves as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with contemporary physics and neuroscience.
Wilkinson (1991) suggests that the problems of polarity decisions and homoplasy in a cladistic analysis may be solved if cladists simply accept plesiomorphy as a reliable indicator of monophyly. Here we argue that: (1) Wilkinson's argument is based on misapprehension of synapomorphy and the problem of homoplasy; (2) His proposed methodology fails to consider the full ramifications of rooting, polarity, and parsimony; and (3) His method does not solve the problems he raises. We demonstrate the limitations of this methodology by (...) using Wilkinson's practical example. We find no justification for the assertion that plesiomorphy may reliably delimit monophyly and recommend against Wilkinson's suggested methodological revisions. (shrink)
In Beyond Physicalism, an interdisciplinary group of physical scientists, behavioral and social scientists, and humanists from the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research argue that physicalism must be replaced by an expanded scientific naturalism that accommodates something spiritual at the heart of nature.
Theological basis -- Religion and health care -- The dignity of human life -- The integrity of the human person -- Implications for health care -- Theological principles in health care ethics -- Method -- The levels and questions of ethics -- Freedom and the moral agent -- Right and wrong -- Metaethics -- Method in Catholic bioethics -- Catholic method and birth control -- The principle of double effect -- Application -- Forgoing treatment, pillar one: ordinary and extraordinary means (...) -- Forgoing treatment, pillar two: killing and allowing to die -- Forgoing treatment, pillar three: decisions by competent patients -- Forgoing treatment, pillar three: decisions for incompetent patients -- Forgoing treatment, pillar three: advance directives -- Hydration and nutrition -- Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia -- Medical futility -- Pain and pain management -- Ethics committees -- Embryonic stem cells and the beginning of human personhood -- Genetic engineering -- Allocating health care resources -- The use and misuse of the allocation argument. (shrink)
In the last two decades, there has been a pronounced growth of CSR rating agencies that assess corporations based on their social and environmental performance. This article investigates the impact of CSR ratings on the behavior of individual corporations. To what extent do corporations adjust their behavior based on how they rank? Our primary finding is that being dropped from a CSR ranking appears to do little to encourage firms to acknowledge and address problems related to their social and environmental (...) performance. Specific rankings appear not to have a widespread effect of influencing firms to acknowledge negative CSR events and publicly present plans and actions to address them. Whether firms are well or poorly ranked, they appear to focus on and publicly discuss their “positive” CSR activities. We discuss the wider significance of these results as well as the overall significance of CSR rankings for a global economy. (shrink)
Karl Rahner’s analysis of genetic manipulation is found most explicitly in two articles written in 1966 and 1968: “The Experiment with Man,” and “The Problem of Genetic Manipulation.” The articles have received some attention in ethical literature. The present paper analyzes Rahner’s use of theological and ethical principles, comparing and contrasting the two articles. In the first article, Rahner emphasizes humankind’s essential openness to self-creativity. What has always been true on the transcendental level—-we choose our final destiny and thus create (...) ourselves—-may now be possible as well on the categorial or historical level. Thus we Christians have no a-priori theological warrant for rejecting genetic manipulation.But there is a considerable difference in Rahner’s second article. Whereas in the first he makes no immediate ethical application, in the second he introduces both a normative principle—-there ought never be a fundamental separation of procreation and marital intercourse—-and a metaethical concept--his “moral instinct of faith”—-to enable him to deal specifically with artificial insemination by third party donor, a procedure he rejects. There is also a shift in emphasis in his anthropological approach from the first to the second article.A close analysis of his method here discloses some difficulties concerning the “moral instinct of faith” and forces us to ask how principles of theological anthropology are and ought to be applied to questions like genetic manipulation. I conclude with my own proposal for the use of theological principles in medical ethics. (shrink)
During the short span of a few months in 2008, 14 trillion dollars of highly rated bonds fell into junk status, surprising the global financial system and accelerating an economic decline. The result was the worst fracture of the US financial system since the Great Depression. Credit rating agencies (CRAs) in particular have come under intense scrutiny as a result of this latest disaster, both domestically and internationally, including many congressional inquiries and government investigations. Most of the public and scholarly (...) discussions about CRAs focus on reforming the financial system so that the crisis of the magnitude of the 2008 disaster will not happen again. An important overtone of industry criticisms includes a sense of ethical impropriety on the part of CRAs and ethical uncertainty about the institutional mechanisms that are currently in place. Rarely, however, are the ethics of the industry the explicit subject of analysis. In this article, we discuss the lessons from the policy debates and recent legislation to develop an account of the ethics of the CRA industry. (shrink)
In the last few years, many countries have introduced laws combating the phenomenon colloquially known as ‘revenge porn’. While new laws criminalising this practice represent a positive step forwards, the legislative response has been piecemeal and typically focuses only on the practices of vengeful ex-partners. Drawing on Liz Kelly’s pioneering work, we suggest that ‘revenge porn’ should be understood as just one form of a range of gendered, sexualised forms of abuse which have common characteristics, forming what we are (...) conceptualising as the ‘continuum of image-based sexual abuse’. Further, we argue that image-based sexual abuse is on a continuum with other forms of sexual violence. We suggest that this twin approach may enable a more comprehensive legislative and policy response that, in turn, will better reflect the harms to victim-survivors and lead to more appropriate and effective educative and preventative strategies. (shrink)
Altruism is generally accepted to be the practice of unselfish concern for the well-being of others coupled with an associated measure of personal cost. Altruism as an actionable treatise for living aims to benefit society. While altruistic acts have traditionally been viewed as virtuous, in some cases, positive outcomes might not be forthcoming if the actor is not enlightened about the consequences of specific courses of action. While this precept has been argued extensively in historical commentary, no formal definition exists (...) for it. This article terms this concept as ‘unenlightened altruism’. The article reviews the scant extant discourse on ‘unenlightened altruism’ in scholarly literature, provides a formal definition for the ideology, opines consequentialist implications and correlates it to related ethical constructs. From the consequentialist standpoint, it is argued that it might be more ethical not to act than to act out of unenlightened altruism. (shrink)
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Community (EC) has been criticized for causing a misallocation of resources, inequitable income transfers, and enormous budgetary costs. The purpose of this paper is to examine the political economy of agriculture and agricultural policy in the EC. The results of the analysis indicate that conflicts between national political objectives and broader, community-wide concerns are important factors in the performance of EC agriculture. The pressures for reform of the CAP will lead to modification (...) of the system, but changes in EC agricultural policy are likely to be moderate because of the inherent inertia of the policy-making process. As a result, the agricultural system in the EC will probably continue to evolve in an atmosphere of crisis with most reforms directed at symptoms rather than fundamental problems. (shrink)
Building on the groundbreaking research of Irreducible Mind and Beyond Physicalism, Edward Kelly and Paul Marshall gather a cohort of leading scholars to address the most recent advances in the psychology of consciousness.
Psychical researchers have long recognized the difficulties posed for interpretation of ostensible evidence of postmortem survival by paranormal interactions and other psychological processes involving only living persons. Myers, for example, says It became gradually plain to me that before we could safely mark off any group of manifestations as definitely implying an influence from beyond the grave, there was need of a more searching review of the capacities of man’s incarnate personality than psychologists... had thought it worth their while to (...) undertake. Myers himself of course became convinced that he had obtained compelling evidence of survival, but others in his own circle, familiar with most if not quite all of the same evidence, remained unpersuaded. That early episode pretty much set the pattern for the subsequent history of the subject: Despite the advent of more and better evidence of types Myers and his colleagues already knew about, and additional kinds of evidence not as well-known or even unknown to them such as drop-in mediumistic communicators and cases of the reincarnation type, serious and open-minded students of the survival literature have remained deeply divided right to the present day as to whether the available evidence justifies rational belief in the possibility of survival, and if so to what degree. (shrink)