The objective of this study is to compare the quantity of citations that retracted and nonretracted articles received in engineering based on articles indexed in the Web of Science database and published between 1945 and 2015. For data analysis, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used along with the Kolmogorov–Smirnov, Mann–Whitney, Tukey–Kramer tests and descriptive statistics. The data set included 238 retracted and 236 nonretracted articles, with the retracted articles cited 2,348 times and nonretracted articles cited 2,957 times. (...) The results highlight that retraction does not end citation, thus threatening scientific credibility. (shrink)
Following the “Encountering Human Rights” conference in January 2007, Emily Grabham interviewed Tania Pouwhare, a women’s rights activist working at the Women’s Resource Centre in London. Their discussion engaged with the professionalisation of activism, funding constraints and New Labour policies and their impact on immigrant women. Against a background of financial insecurity and huge demand for their services, many women’s organisations in the United Kingdom struggle to use human rights law to advance women’s rights. Nevertheless, the rhetoric of human (...) rights remains powerful within women’s activism, and law remains relevant as a potential form of ‘direct action’ and “another way of making a really big fuss”. (shrink)
In this article, I respond to David McIvor’s and Lars Rensmann’s discussion of my recent book, The Politics of Repressed Guilt: The Tragedy of Austrian Silence (2018, Edinburgh University Press). Both invited me to clarify my use of Arendt in my conception of embodied reflective judgment. I argue for a stronger connection between judgment and emotions than Arendt because one can effectively shut down critical thinking if one uses defense mechanisms to repress feelings of guilt. In response to McIvor, I (...) discuss the idea of the “subject-in-outline” and “embodied reflective spaces” to overcome the guilt/defense complex to engender a reparative politics of justice. Finally, in response to Rensmann, I point out that the lingering culture of repressed guilt helps us explain the general conditions that contributed to the rise of the far and extremist right in Austria, which I develop further in my new book Analyzing the Far Right. (shrink)
Rather than focusing on political and legal debates surrounding attempts to determine if and when genocidal rape has taken place in a particular setting, this essay turns instead to a crucial, yet neglected area of inquiry: the moral significance of genocidal rape, and more specifically, the nature of the harms that constitute the culpable wrongdoing that genocidal rape represents. In contrast to standard philosophical accounts, which tend to employ an individualistic framework, this essay offers a situated understanding of harm that (...) features the importance of interdependence and relationality and that conceptualizes harms as embodied and contextual. The paper ultimately reveals what is distinctive about this particular crime of sexual violence by exploring the logic of genocidal rape: genocidal rape involves the harm of forced self-betrayal unleashed relationally, causing victims as representatives of their group to participate inadvertently in the destruction of that group. (shrink)
Both philosophers and psychologists have argued for the existence of distinct kinds of explanations, including teleological explanations that cite functions or goals, and mechanistic explanations that cite causal mechanisms. Theories of causation, in contrast, have generally been unitary, with dominant theories focusing either on counterfactual dependence or on physical connections. This paper argues that both approaches to causation are psychologically real, with different modes of explanation promoting judgments more or less consistent with each approach. Two sets of experiments isolate the (...) contributions of counterfactual dependence and physical connections in causal ascriptions involving events with people, artifacts, or biological traits, and manipulate whether the events are construed teleologically or mechanistically. The findings suggest that when events are construed teleologically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to counterfactual dependence and relatively insensitive to the presence of physical connections, but when events are construed mechanistically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to both counterfactual dependence and physical connections. The conclusion introduces an account of causation, an "exportable dependence theory," that provides a way to understand the contributions of physical connections and teleology in terms of the functions of causal ascriptions. (shrink)
The new interdisciplinary field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy is the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field, by both philosophers and psychologists.
Generating and evaluating explanations is spontaneous, ubiquitous and fundamental to our sense of understanding. Recent evidence suggests that in the course of an individual’s reasoning, engaging in explanation can have profound effects on the probability assigned to causal claims, on how properties are generalized and on learning. These effects follow from two properties of the structure of explanations: explanations accommodate novel information in the context of prior beliefs, and do so in a way that fosters generalization. The study of explanation (...) thus promises to shed light on core cognitive issues, such as learning, induction and conceptual representation. Moreover, the influence of explanation on learning and inference presents a challenge to theories that neglect the roles of prior knowledge and explanation-based reasoning. (shrink)
Teleological explanations (TEs) account for the existence or properties of an entity in terms of a function: we have hearts because they pump blood, and telephones for communication. While many teleological explanations seem appropriate, others are clearly not warranted-for example, that rain exists for plants to grow. Five experiments explore the theoretical commitments that underlie teleological explanations. With the analysis of [Wright, L. (1976). Teleological Explanations. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press] from philosophy as a point of departure, we examine (...) in Experiment 1 whether teleological explanations are interpreted causally, and confirm that TEs are only accepted when the function invoked in the explanation played a causal role in bringing about what is being explained. However, we also find that playing a causal role is not sufficient for all participants to accept TEs. Experiment 2 shows that this is not because participants fail to appreciate the causal structure of the scenarios used as stimuli. In Experiments 3-5 we show that the additional requirement for TE acceptance is that the process by which the function played a causal role must be general in the sense of conforming to a predictable pattern. These findings motivate a proposal, Explanation for Export, which suggests that a psychological function of explanation is to highlight information likely to subserve future prediction and intervention. We relate our proposal to normative accounts of explanation from philosophy of science, as well as to claims from psychology and artificial intelligence. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to moral psychology assumed that moral judgments resulted from the application of explicit commitments, such as those embodied in consequentialist or deontological philosophies. In contrast, recent work suggests that moral judgments often result from unconscious or emotional processes, with explicit commitments generated post hoc. This paper explores the intermediate position that moral commitments mediate moral judgments, but not through their explicit and consistent application in the course of judgment. An experiment with 336 participants finds that individuals vary in (...) the extent to which their moral commitments are consequentialist or deontological, and that this variation is systematically but imperfectly related to the moral judgments elicited by trolley car problems. Consequentialist participants find action in trolley car scenarios more permissible than do deontologists, and only consequentialists moderate their judgments when scenarios that typically elicit different intuitions are presented side by side. The findings emphasize the need for a theory of moral reasoning that can accommodate both the associations and dissociations between moral commitments and moral judgments. (shrink)
Research in education and cognitive development suggests that explaining plays a key role in learning and generalization: When learners provide explanations—even to themselves—they learn more effectively and generalize more readily to novel situations. This paper proposes and tests a subsumptive constraints account of this effect. Motivated by philosophical theories of explanation, this account predicts that explaining guides learners to interpret what they are learning in terms of unifying patterns or regularities, which promotes the discovery of broad generalizations. Three experiments provide (...) evidence for the subsumptive constraints account: prompting participants to explain while learning artificial categories promotes the induction of a broad generalization underlying category membership, relative to describing items (Exp. 1), thinking aloud (Exp. 2), or free study (Exp. 3). Although explaining facilitates discovery, Experiment 1 finds that description is more beneficial for learning item details. Experiment 2 additionally suggests that explaining anomalous observations may play a special role in belief revision. The findings provide insight into explanation’s role in discovery and generalization. (shrink)
Recent imaging results suggest that individuals automatically share the emotions of others when exposed to their emotions. We question the assumption of the automaticity and propose a contextual approach, suggesting several modulatory factors that might influence empathic brain responses. Contextual appraisal could occur early in emotional cue evaluation, which then might or might not lead to an empathic brain response, or not until after an empathic brain response is automatically elicited. We propose two major roles for empathy; its epistemological role (...) is to provide information about the future actions of other people, and important environmental properties. Its social role is to serve as the origin of the motivation for cooperative and prosocial behavior, as well as help for effective social communication. (shrink)
Scientific and ‘intuitive’ or ‘folk’ theories are typically characterized as serving three critical functions: prediction, explanation, and control. While prediction and control have clear instrumental value, the value of explanation is less transparent. This paper reviews an emerging body of research from the cognitive sciences suggesting that the process of seeking, generating, and evaluating explanations in fact contributes to future prediction and control, albeit indirectly by facilitating the discovery and confirmation of instrumentally valuable theories. Theoretical and empirical considerations also suggest (...) why explanations may nonetheless feel intrinsically valuable. The paper concludes by considering some implications of the psychology of explanation for a naturalized philosophy of explanation. (shrink)
Mental simulation — such as imagining tilting a glass to figure out the angle at which water would spill — can be a way of coming to know the answer to an internally or externally posed query. Is this form of learning a species of inference or a form of observation? We argue that it is neither: learning through simulation is a genuinely distinct form of learning. On our account, simulation can provide knowledge of the answer to a query even (...) when the basis for that answer is opaque to the learner. Moreover, through repeated simulation, the learner can reduce this opacity, supporting self-training and the acquisition of more accurate models of the world. Simulation is thus an essential part of the story of how creatures like us become effective learners and knowers. (shrink)
This paper argues for the reality of specificity as noteworthiness, a concept built upon Fodor and Sag’s (1982) view of referentiality. Support for this view of specificity comes from the behavior of indefinite this in spoken English, as well as from specificity markers in Samoan, Hebrew, and Sissala. It is shown that the conditions on the use of this-indefinites cannot be accounted for by previous analyses of specificity. The relationship between definiteness and specificity in article systems crosslinguistically is examined, and (...) a distinction between presuppositions and felicity conditions is argued for. Additional evidence for the reality of specificity comes from a study of article choice in the English of adult second language learners (whose L1s, Russian and Korean, lack articles). It is shown that the learners’ errors are tied to specificity: they consist largely of overuse of the in specific indefinite contexts, and overuse of a in non-specific definite contexts. It is concluded that specificity is a universal semantic distinction, which receives morphological expression crosslinguistically and is available to second language learners. (shrink)
Use of electronic health records within clinical encounters is increasingly pervasive. The digital record allows for data storage and sharing to facilitate patient care, billing, research, patient communication and quality-of-care improvement—all at once. However, this multifunctionality is also one of the main reasons care providers struggle with the EHR. These problems have often been described but are rarely approached from a philosophical point of view. We argue that a postphenomenological case study of the EHR could lead to more in-depth insights. (...) We will focus on two concepts—transparency and multistability—and translate them to the specific situation of the EHR. Transparency is closely related to an embodiment relation in which the user becomes less aware of the technology: it fades into the background, becoming a means of experience. A second key concept is that of multistability, referring to how a technology can serve multiple purposes or can have different meanings in different contexts. The EHR in this sense is multistable by design. Future EHR design could incorporate multistable information differently, allowing the provider to focus on patient care when interacting with the EHR. Moreover we argue that the use of the EHR in the daily workflow should become more transparent, while awareness of the computer in the specific context of the patient-provider relationship should increase. (shrink)
The new interdisciplinary field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy is the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field, by both philosophers and psychologists.
Recent theoretical and empirical work suggests that explanation and categorization are intimately related. This paper explores the hypothesis that explanations can help structure conceptual representations, and thereby influence the relative importance of features in categorization decisions. In particular, features may be differentially important depending on the role they play in explaining other features or aspects of category membership. Two experiments manipulate whether a feature is explained mechanistically, by appeal to proximate causes, or functionally, by appeal to a function or goal. (...) Explanation type has a significant impact on the relative importance of features in subsequent categorization judgments, with functional explanations reversing previously documented effects of [”]causal status’. The findings suggest that a feature’s explanatory importance can impact categorization, and that explanatory relationships, in addition to causal relationships, are critical to understanding conceptual representation. (shrink)
Using two samples drawn from contrasting developed and developing countries, this investigation considers the powerful, unique Millennial consumer group and their engagement in ethical consumerism. Specifically, this study explores the levers that promote their ethical consumption and the potential impact of country of residence on cause-related purchase decisions. Three distinct subgroups of ethical consumers emerge among Millennials, providing insight into their concerns and behaviors. Instead of being conceptualized as a single niche market, Millennials should be treated as a collection of (...) submarkets that differ in their levels of awareness of ethical issues, consider discrete motives when making consumption decisions, and are willing to engage in cause-related purchasing to varying degrees. These findings have several critical implications for theory and practice. (shrink)
In this article, I respond to Laury Naranch’s and Mary Caputi’s discussion of my book Power and Feminist Agency in Capitalism (2017). In response to Naranch, I clarify how the political subject-in-outline translates into collective political action through the figure of the Chicana working-class woman. I also explain why the proletariat, more so than the precariat, implies a radical political imaginary if we rethink this concept in the context of my idea of the political subject-in-outline. I also clarify that my (...) chapters on Marx expose how Adorno and Marx have problematic imaginations of the working-class woman, which counter their otherwise radical imaginary. In response to Caputi, I clarify the meaning of capitalism in my book and underline that we need a rigorous critique of capitalism to counter the rise of the Far Right. I also explain why the fluid subject does not have agency and why the subject-in-outline is a better way to theorize transformative feminist agency. I also clarify that my conception of feminist political subjectivity does not assume a privileged vantage point outside power structures. (shrink)
What distinguishes evils from ordinary wrongs? Is hatred a necessarily evil? Are some evils unforgivable? Are there evils we should tolerate? What can make evils hard to recognize? Are evils inevitable? How can we best respond to and live with evils? Claudia Card offers a secular theory of evil that responds to these questions and more. Evils, according to her theory, have two fundamental components. One component is reasonably foreseeable intolerable harm -- harm that makes a life indecent and (...) impossible or that makes a death indecent. The other component is culpable wrongdoing. Atrocities, such as genocides, slavery, war rape, torture, and severe child abuse, are Card's paradigms because in them these key elements are writ large. Atrocities deserve more attention than secular philosophers have so far paid them. They are distinguished from ordinary wrongs not by the psychological states of evildoers but by the seriousness of the harm that is done. Evildoers need not be sadistic:they may simply be negligent or unscrupulous in pursuing their goals. Card's theory represents a compromise between classic utilitarian and stoic alternatives (including Kant's theory of radical evil). Utilitarians tend to reduce evils to their harms; Stoics tend to reduce evils to the wickedness of perpetrators: Card accepts neither reduction. She also responds to Nietzsche's challenges about the worth of the concept of evil, and she uses her theory to argue that evils are more important than merely unjust inequalities. She applies the theory in explorations of war rape and violence against intimates. She also takes up what Primo Levi called "the gray zone", where victims become complicit in perpetrating on others evils that threaten to engulf themselves. While most past accounts of evil have focused on perpetrators, Card begins instead from the position of the victims, but then considers more generally how to respond to -- and live with -- evils, as victims, as perpetrators, and as those who have become both. (shrink)
The issue of how to incorporate the individual's first‐hand experience of illness into broader medical understanding is a major question in medical theory and practice. In a philosophical context, phenomenology, with its emphasis on the subject's perception of phenomena as the basis for knowledge and its questioning of naturalism, seems an obvious candidate for addressing these issues. This is a review of current phenomenological approaches to medicine, looking at what has motivated this philosophical approach, the main problems it faces and (...) suggesting how it might become a useful philosophical tool within medicine, with its own individual, but interrelated, contribution to make to current medical debates. After the general background, there is a brief summary of phenomenological ideas and their current usage in a medical context. Next is a critique of four key claims within current phenomenological medical works, concerning both the role phenomenology plays and the supposedly clear divide between phenomenology and other approaches. There are significant problems within these claims, largely because they overlook the complexity of the questions they consider. Finally, there is some more in‐depth examination of phenomenology itself and the true complexity of phenomenological debate concerning subjectivity. The aim is to show that it will be both more productive and truer to phenomenology itself, if we use phenomenology as a philosophical method for explicating and gaining deeper understanding of complex and fundamental problems, which are central to medicine, rather than as providing simple, but flawed solutions. (shrink)
In 1967, American biologist Adrian Wenner (1928-) launched an extensive challenge to Karl von Frisch's (1886-1982) theory that bees communicate to each other the direction and distance of food sources by a symbolic dance language. Wenner and various collaborators argued that bees locate foods solely by odors. Although the dispute had largely run its course by 1973 -- von Frisch was awarded a Nobel Prize, while Wenner withdrew from active bee research -- it offers us a rare window into mid-twentieth (...) century discussions about animals, language, and cognition. Historians, sociologists, and scientists have commented on the debate and its outcome, but none has seriously questioned why von Frisch and Wenner pursued such different explanations of the bees' dances. In this paper, I explore von Frisch and Wenner's differing visions of animals and their behaviors and show how these contributed to their respective positions. Von Frisch's early-twentieth-century training in experimental physiology disposed him to focus on individual animals, their abilities, and their behaviors' evolutionary significance. Wenner, by contrast, was trained in mathematics and statistics and the Schneirla school of behavior. He viewed the bees' behaviors probabilistically with an eye toward the entire hive and its surroundings and ultimately explained them in terms of simple stimulus--response conditioning. Finally, while the debate was resolved in von Frisch's favor, he neither waged nor won the battle by himself. Instead, I show that practitioners, whose agendas ranged from the nascent fields of sociobiology to cognitive ethology, took up the cause of the communicating bees. (shrink)
We explore how principles predicting the success of a medical information commons advantaged or disadvantaged three MIC initiatives in three Canadian provinces. Our MIC case examples demonstrate that practices and policies to promote access to and use of health information can help improve individual healthcare and inform a learning health system. MICs were constrained by heterogenous health information protection laws across jurisdictions and risk-averse institutional cultures. A networked approach to MICs would unlock even more potential for national and international data (...) collaborations to improve health and healthcare. (shrink)
Le terme ktitor accompagne souvent la représentation d'un acte de don dans la peinture murale byzantines et post-byzantines. Même si le terme "ktitor" a été traduit le plus souvent par "fondateur", sémantiquement et historiquement, on retrouve dans le mot le sens de possession. Les ktitores - des propriétaires modaux, offrent leurs dons, dont le destinataire final est Dieu. Les panneaux votifs de Théodore Métochite , du sebastokrator Kalojan , de Stefan Uroš III , de Mircea l'Ancien témoignent des droits, des (...) intentions et de la foi du ktitor. Avec le christianisme, le sens du don s'est inversé et out don humain n'est qu'un contre-don à Dieu pour son sacrifice premier. (shrink)
The opportunities to become a good person are not the same for everyone. Modern European ethical theory, especially Kantian ethics, assumes the same virtues are accessible to all who are capable of rational choice. Character development, however, is affected by circumstances, such as those of wealth and socially constructed categories of gender, race, and sexual orientation, which introduce factors beyond the control of individuals. Implications of these influences for morality have, since the work of Williams and Nagel in the seventies, (...) raised questions in philosophy about the concept of moral luck. In The Unnatural Lottery, Claudia Card examines how luck enters into moral character and considers how some of those who are oppressed can develop responsibility. Luck is often best appreciated by those who have known relatively bad luck and have been unable to escape steady comparison of their lot with those of others. The author takes as her paradigms the luck of middle and lower classes of women who face violence and exploitation, of lesbians who face continuing pressure to hide or self-destruct, of culturally Christian whites who have ethnic privilege, and of adult survivors of child abuse. How have such people been affected by luck in who they are and can become, the good lives available to them, the evils they may be liable to embody? Other philosophers have explored the luck of those who begin from privileged positions and then suffer reversals of fortune. Claudia Card focuses on the more common cases of those who begin from socially disadvantaged positions, and she considers some who find their good luck troubling when its source is the unnatural lottery of social injustice. (shrink)
In pedagogical contexts and in everyday life, we often come to believe something because it would best explain the data. What is it about the explanatory endeavor that makes it essential to everyday learning and to scientific progress? There are at least two plausible answers. On one view, there is something special about having true explanations. This view is highly intuitive: it’s clear why true explanations might improve one’s epistemic position. However, there is another possibility—it could be that the process (...) of seeking, generating, or evaluating explanations itself puts one in a better epistemic position, even when the outcome of the process is not a true explanation. In other words, it could be that accurate explanations are beneficial, or it could be that high-quality explaining is beneficial, where there is something about the activity of looking for an explanation that improves our epistemic standing. The main goal of this paper is to tease apart these two possibilities, both theoretically and empirically, which we align with “Inference to the Best Explanation” and “Explaining for the Best Inference”, respectively. We also provide some initial support for EBI and identify promising directions for future research. (shrink)
Information and computer technology has come to play an increasingly important role in medicine, to the extent that e-health has been described as a disruptive innovation or revolution in healthcare. The attention is very much focused on the technology itself, and advances that have been made in genetics and biology. This leads to the question: What is changing in medicine today concerning e-health? To what degree could these changes be characterized as a ‘revolution’? We will apply the work of Thomas (...) Kuhn, Larry Laudan, Michel Foucault and other philosophers—which offers an alternative understanding of progress and revolution in medicine to the classic discovery-oriented approach—to our analysis. Nowadays, the long-standing curative or reactive paradigm in medicine is facing a crisis due to an aging population, a significant increase in chronic diseases and the development of more expensive diagnostic tools and therapies. This promotes the evolution towards a new paradigm with an emphasis on preventive medicine. E-health constitutes an essential part of this new paradigm that seeks to solve the challenges presented by an aging population, skyrocketing costs and so forth. Our approach changes the focus from the technology itself toward the underlying paradigm shift in medicine. We will discuss the relevance of this approach by applying it to the surge in digital self-tracking through health apps and wearables: the recognition of the underlying paradigm shift leads to a more comprehensive understanding of self-tracking than a solely discovery-oriented or technology-focused view can provide. (shrink)
This paper reports on an experimental investigation of the scope of English a indefinites and a certain indefinites. Three experiments test whether native English speakers allow indefinites to scope out of syntactic islands, and to take intermediate as well as widest scope. The experimental findings indicate that a indefinites and a certain indefinites have different ranges of interpretations available to them. Experiment 1 shows that a certain indefinites, unlike a indefinites, cannot be interpreted in the scope of an intensional operator, (...) and further shows that functional readings are available to a certain indefinites but not to a indefinites. Experiment 2 focuses on the availability of long-distance readings of indefinites out of scope islands, and shows that the most accessible reading for a certain indefinites is the widest-scope reading, while the most accessible reading for a indefinites is the narrow-scope reading. Experiment 3 shows that modification of an a indefinite by a relative clause does not facilitate long-distance readings, as long as it does not restrict the domain to a singleton set. Overall, these findings are consistent with the proposal of Schwarz (Proceedings of the Thirteenth Amsterdam Colloquium, ILCC, University of Amsterdam, 192–197, 2001) that a certain indefinites and a indefinites are derived by different semantic mechanisms. The behavior of a certain indefinites is shown to be consistent with the contextually determined choice function approach Kratzer (Events in grammar, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 165–196, 1998) and the singleton indefinite approach Schwarzschild (J Semant 19:289–314, 2002). In contrast, a indefinites are most compatible with a purely quantificational approach, contra much recent theoretical literature. These findings highlight the value of conducting experimental studies testing the predictions of semantic theories. (shrink)
This paper deals with Claudia Card's important contributions to a theory of evil that steps out from traditional models of thinking about this problem (theodicies, metaphysical theories, etc.). Instead, our author seeks to explore important elements from other theorists (such as Kant and Nietzsche) in order to build up her ideas of what she calls the "atrocity paradigm." This critical essay focuses mainly in the spaces where Card's conclusions need to rethink the limits and constraints of her theory.
Recent expansions of federal and state law enforcement databanks to include DNA samples and profiles of innocent persons threaten individual privacy, impose unjustifiable costs on society, and may undermine our pursuit of justice. The move to permanently retain DNA from arrestees and proposals for a universal database should be vigorously opposed on matters of principle, legality, and practicality.
On November 2, 2004, California voters approved Proposition 69, “The DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime, and Innocence Protection Act” by a margin of approximately 60 to 40 percent. Given the limited amount of information provided to voters during the initiative process, it is unclear how many of the yea-sayers were apprised of the full implications of this measure. Indeed, by voting “yes” on Proposition 69, California has elected to house the most radical and costly state criminal DNA database in the country. (...) This dangerous expansion of California's database poses tremendous threats to civil liberties and social justice while offering little, if anything, by way of increasing the safety of its citizens.Prior to November 2, California law required the permanent retention of DNA samples from felons convicted of serious, violent crimes. The new law expands the database to include DNA samples from all felons and individuals with past felony convictions - including juveniles - and, beginning in five years, all adults arrested for any felony offense. (shrink)
The new field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy will be the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field. It will feature papers by philosophers, papers by psychologists, and papers co-authored by people in both disciplines. The series heralds the emergence of a truly interdisciplinary field in which people from different disciplines are working together to address a (...) shared set of questions.The inaugural volume is roughly structured into four sections. The first three papers focus on recent developments in moral psychology, a topic that has seen lively debate and a great deal of progress over the last decade. The second section highlights three contributions that bring new methods to moral psychology: formal modeling and special populations. The third section brings together four papers that adopt an experimental philosophy approach to novel topics, including intuitive dualism, generics, joint action, and happiness. And the last two papers provide critical and historical context to the development of experimental philosophy. (shrink)
BackgroundDecisions about withdrawal of life support for infants have given rise to legal battles between physicians and parents creating intense media attention. It is unclear how we should evaluate when life is no longer worth living for an infant. Public attitudes towards treatment withdrawal and the role of parents in situations of disagreement have not previously been assessed.MethodsAn online survey was conducted with a sample of the UK public to assess public views about the benefit of life in hypothetical cases (...) similar to real cases heard by the UK courts. We then evaluated these public views in comparison with existing ethical frameworks for decision-making.ResultsOne hundred and thirty participants completed the survey. The majority agreed that an infant’s life may have no benefit when well-being falls below a critical level. Decisions to withdraw treatment were positively associated with the importance of use of medical resources, the infant’s ability to have emotional relationships, and mental abilities. Up to 50% of participants in each case believed it was permissible to either continue or withdraw treatment.ConclusionDespite the controversy, our findings indicate that in the most severe cases, most people agree that life is not worth living for a profoundly disabled infant. Our survey found wide acceptance of at least the permissibility of withdrawal of treatment across a range of cases, though also a reluctance to overrule parents’ decisions. These findings may be useful when constructing guidelines for clinical practice. (shrink)