We review three possible theoretical mechanisms for the placebo effect: conditioning, expectancy and endogenous opiates and consider the implications of the first two for clinical research and practice in the area of pain management. Methodological issues in the use of placebos as controls are discussed and include subtractive versus additive expectancy effects, no treatment controls, active placebo controls, the balanced placebo design, between- versus within-group designs, triple blind methodology and the double expectancy design. Therapeutically, the possibility of shaping negative placebo (...) responses through placebo sag, overservicing and the use of placebos on their own are explored. Suggestions for using conditioned placebos strategically in conjunction with nonplacebos are made and ways of maximizing the placebo component of nonplacebo treatments are examined. Finally, the importance of investigating the placebo effect in its own right is advocated in order to better understand the long-neglected psychological aspects of the therapeutic transaction. (shrink)
Although it has been shown that immersive virtual reality can be used to induce illusions of ownership over a virtual body , information on whether this changes implicit interpersonal attitudes is meager. Here we demonstrate that embodiment of light-skinned participants in a dark-skinned VB significantly reduced implicit racial bias against dark-skinned people, in contrast to embodiment in light-skinned, purple-skinned or with no VB. 60 females participated in this between-groups experiment, with a VB substituting their own, with full-body visuomotor synchrony, reflected (...) also in a virtual mirror. A racial Implicit Association Test was administered at least three days prior to the experiment, and immediately after the IVR exposure. The change from pre- to post-experience IAT scores suggests that the dark-skinned embodied condition decreased implicit racial bias more than the other conditions. Thus, embodiment may change negative interpersonal attitudes and thus represent a powerful tool for exploring such fundamental psychological and societal phenomena. (shrink)
Amongst intellectuals and activists, neoliberalism has become a potent signifier for the kind of free-market thinking that has dominated politics for the past three decades. Forever associated with the conviction politics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the free-market project has since become synonymous with the 'Washington consensus' on international development policy and the phenomenon of corporate globalization, where it has come to mean privatization, deregulation, and the opening up of new markets. But beyond its utility as a protest slogan (...) or buzzword as shorthand for the political-economic Zeitgeist, what do we know about where neoliberalism came from and how it spread? Who are the neoliberals, and why do they studiously avoid the label? Constructions of Neoliberal Reason presents a radical critique of the free-market project, from its origins in the first half of the 20th Century through to the recent global economic crisis, from the utopian dreams of Friedrich von Hayek through the dogmatic theories of the Chicago School to the hope and hubris of Obamanomics. The book traces how neoliberalism went from crank science to common sense in the period between the Great Depression and the age of Obama. Constructions of Neoliberal Reason dramatizes the rise of neoliberalism and its uneven spread as an intellectual, political, and cultural project, combining genealogical analysis with situated case studies of formative moments throughout the world, like New York City's bankruptcy, Hurricane Katrina, and the Wall Street crisis of 2008. The book names and tracks some of neoliberalism's key protagonists, as well as some of the less visible bit-part players. It explores how this adaptive regime of market rule was produced and reproduced, its logics and limits, its faults and its fate. (shrink)
New brain-computer interface and neuroimaging techniques are making differentiation less ambiguous and more accurate between unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients and patients with higher cognitive function and awareness. As research into these areas continues to progress, new ethical issues will face physicians of patients suffering from total locked-in syndrome, characterized by complete loss of voluntary muscle control, with retention of cognitive function and awareness detectable only with neuroimaging and brain-computer interfaces. Physicians, researchers, ethicists and hospital ethics committees should be aware of (...) and prepared to handle ethical issues unique to these totally locked-in patients. Several thought experiments are discussed, to highlight potential ethical dilemmas surrounding surrogate decision-making, autonomy, end-of-life care, and pediatric care, which will be unique to total LIS patients. These, along with other ethical problems especially relevant to total LIS patients, merit further discussion among physicians, researchers, ethicists and hospital ethics committees, to facilitate consensus regarding these issues, and improve patient care. (shrink)
Each story is presented as a narrative, so readers can ponder: What would I do if this happened to me? When they've finished the book, they'll feel prepared with an array of theoretical and practical approaches for thinking on their feet.
Recent events and advances address the possibility of cloning endangered and extinct species. The ethics of these types of cloning have special considerations, uniquely different from the types of cloning commonly practiced. Cloning of cheetahs may be ethically appropriate, given certain constraints. However, the ethics of cloning extinct species varies; for example, cloning mammoths and Neanderthals is more ethically problematic than conservation cloning, and requires more attention. Cloning Neanderthals in particular is likely unethical and such a project should not be (...) undertaken. It is important to discuss and plan for the constraints necessary to mitigate the harms of conservation and extinct cloning, and it is imperative that scientific and public discourse enlighten and guide actions in the sphere of cloning. (shrink)
Frigg and Reiss (2009) argue that philosophical problems in simulation bear enough resemblance to recognized issues in the philosophy of modeling that they only pose challenges analogous to those found in standard analytic models used to represent natural systems. They suggest that there are no new philosophical problems in computer simulation modeling beyond those found in traditional mathematical modeling. Winsberg (2009) has countered that there appear to be genuinely new epistemological problems in simulation modeling because the knowledge obtained from them (...) is ‘downward, motley, and autonomous.’ Here I draw out some specific ways that these epistemological problems are manifest in complex ecological simulation, especially in agent-based models. These models contain novel features that were impossible to anticipate prior to the computer revolution, and continue to present difficulties and challenges of both a practical and philosophical nature (Humphreys 2002). (shrink)
Computer simulation has become important in ecological modeling, but there have been few assessments on how complex simulation models differ from more traditional analytic models. In Part I of this paper, I review the challenges faced in complex ecological modeling and how models have been used to gain theoretical purchase for understanding natural systems. I compare the use of traditional analytic simulation models and point how that the two methods require different kinds of practical engagement. I examine a case study (...) of three models from the insect resistance literature in transgenic crops to illustrate and explore differences in analytic and computer simulation models. I argue that analyzing simulation models has been often inappropriately managed with expectations derived from handling analytic models. In Part II, I look at simulation as a hermeneutic practice. I argue that simulation models are a practice or techné. I the explore five aspects of philosophical hermeneutics that may be useful in complex ecological simulation: (1) an openness to multiple perspectives allowing multiple levels of scientific pluralism, (2) the hermeneutic circle, a back and forth in active communication among both modelers and ecologists; (3) the recognition of human factors and the nature of human practices as such, including recognizing the role of judgments and choices in the modeling enterprise; (4) the importance of play in modeling; (5) the non-closed nature of hermeneutic engagement, continued dialogue, and recognizing the situatedness, incompleteness, and tentative nature of simulation models. (shrink)
In this essay I discuss the ways in which not recognizing that the death of organisms plays a part in our food producing systems, distances us from life’s ecological processes and explore how this plays a role in devaluing the sources of our food. I argue that modern society’s deep separation from our agricultural systems play a part in our current ecological illiteracy.
Researchers developed and tested an online training module with both experienced public relations professionals and newcomers to the field with the hopes of helping them sharpen and refine their ethical decision-making skills. The study found that although most testers reported the Web site was difficult to navigate and/or found the ethical content to be complex, the majority believed their ethical decision-making abilities were improved.
Understanding ecological boundaries is recognized by ecologists as important for understanding ecosystem dynamics. All borders are borders in relation to some organism. However, much of the literature on habitat change ignores this basic ecological fact. In addition, borders are highly influenced by accidental or historical features of ecosystems, and researchers have in many cases defined them only in terms of convenience. Several viewpoints explored in this article reflect this skepticism about identifying ecosystems as real structured entities. I draw on Ghiselin’s (...) hypothesis that species are not natural kinds but individuals, to develop a relational approach to ecological boundaries. I argue that with regard to ecology a border is always a border for a specific organism, and is a border in a specific manner for that organism. I draw on studies of two species of tsetse fly found in the Mauhoun river basin in Burkina Faso to illustrate why this relational approach is important. This approach may also help identify weaknesses in conservation efforts that have not properly asked the question, “Boundary for what?”. (shrink)
It is important to recognize that the problem dealt with by Plato in the central part of the Sophist is one which arises from the use of certain Greek phrases, and has no necessary or direct connexion with metaphysics. We tend to obscure this fact if we use English terms such as ‘Being’, ‘Reality’, ‘Existence’, etc., in discussing the dialogue, and indeed make it almost impossible to understand what Plato is trying to do. It is the way in which die (...) Greek terms ỗν and μή ỗν and other such terms are used by the ‘sophists’ which gives rise to the problem. (shrink)
In modern work on the Parmenides it is commonly supposed that in the First Part of the dialogue Plato's main concern is criticism of his own doctrine of Forms, or of some formulations of that doctrine, and that the criticisms have some sort of validity and are in some degree ‘damaging’ to the doctrine. It is thus often assumed that Plato's purpose is to make the reader ask himself, ‘Where is Plato wrong? Where is his doctrine of Forms, or his (...) statement of it, inadequate?’ This is no doubt due partly to the fact that no reply is offered to the criticisms, and partly to the fact that they are put into the mouth of Parmenides, for whom Plato had a very great respect. Nevertheless, Plato can hardly have had a greater respect for Parmenides than he had for Socrates; and therefore on general grounds it is at least as likely that he intends us to ask ourselves the question, ‘Where is Parmenides wrong, or inadequate?’ It is, of course, obvious that Socrates is represented as a young man, who, in his enthusiasm for a new doctrine which he has invented himself, has not thought out all the difficulties involved in it or prepared replies to all the possible criticisms. Yet again, on general principles it is not likely that Plato would have written a dialogue primarily to represent Parmenides' position as substantially more satisfactory than that of Socrates. It is therefore of the first importance not merely to have clearly in our minds the nature and purpose of the doctrine of Forms, but also to examine carefully the basis of the criticisms which Parmenides is made to bring against Socrates, and the methods by which Parmenides conducts his arguments. (shrink)
Early 20th century philosopher Henri Bergson posited an initial push that propelled the diversity of life forward into a varied, novel future: The élan vital, a necessary force or impulse that animated life’s progress and development. His idea had largely been abandoned by mid-century. Even so, much of the conceptual and explanatory work this impulse targeted is yet in want of an explanation. In particular, Bergson’s derelict ideas on evolution addressed three areas that have once again become relevant in the (...) effort to unite evolutionary genetics, biological development, and ecological context : the purposeful nature of individual organisms and their parts; the integrative, holistic, non-linear emergent dynamics seen in evolutionary processes; and how genuine novelty emerges into the universe :422, 2016; Simondon et al. in On the mode of existence of technical objects. Univocal series, Univocal Publishing LLC, Minneapolis, 2017; Bang, in: Winther-Lindqvist, Bang, Valsiner Nothingness: philosophical insights into psychology, Transaction Publishers, Somerset, 2016; Moreno and Mossio in Biological autonomy: a philosophical and theoretical enquiry. History, philosophy and theory of the life sciences, Springer, Dordrecht, 2015). In this paper I argue that Bergson’s ideas may yet be relevant to these questions, and his work warrants a reexamination in light of current problems in evolutionary biology. This is not a call to ‘return’ to Bergson, nevertheless his notions about complexity suggest ways of looking at current biological problems in ways that offer a heuristic insight worth entertaining. Bergson’s Nobel Prize-winning book, Creative Evolution, provided a strikingly prescient early 20th century framework for understanding how Darwinian evolution acts as an engine for generating new forms, University Press of America, Lanham, Bergson 1911). (shrink)
Life is a relationship among various kinds of agents interacting at different scales in ways that are multifarious, complex, and emergent. Life is always a part of an ecological embedding in communities of interaction, which in turn structure and influence how life evolves. Evolution is essential for understanding life and biodiversity. Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution suggests a way of examining “tendencies” without “teleology.” In this paper I reexamine that work in light of recent concepts in evolutionary ecology, and explore how (...) agential aspects of life are essential for understanding how emergence provides a basis for a process-based metaphysics of life. In support of this project, I will explore how the major transitions of life on Earth have proceeded through increasing levels of cooperation among agents (e.g., mitochondria in animal cells forming a mutualistic relationship), which have allowed further emergences and complexity to evolve. This complexity always, however, emerges in the context of ecological relationships and a nonteleological evolutionary process. Yet, while nonteleological, the progression of life thus far on this planet seems to hold the promise of certain tendencies that seem inherent in life itself. (shrink)
Although the criteria of double effect is usually used with issues of warfare and human health, such as abortion and euthanasia, the authors suggest using T. A. Cavanaugh's version of double effect reasoning when deliberating about cases that deal with the social media. With the creation of a modified version of Cavanaugh's three criteria, both social media users and those who evaluate decisions in that medium will have an alternate ethical decision-making model to use. The authors show how one might (...) use this model in the age of anytime, anywhere technology. (shrink)
The misunderstanding of philosopher Immanuel Kant's principle of morality - the categorical imperative - by journalism professionals, professors, and students comes in many forms. To better understand Kant's ethical theory, however, one must go beyond Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and study his Doctrine of Virtue: Part 2 of The Metaphysics of Morals; to apply the categorical imperative, one must also understand the importance Kant placed on moral education.
The great number of contradictory statements which confront us when we examine the various explanations of Anaxagoras' philosophy make it more than usually important to decide what is to be admitted as first-hand evidence and what is not. I purpose, then, to begin by accepting the barest minimum of data, and I shall try to exclude any direct comments upon Anaxagoras' work by later writers. Sufficient justification for such a course may be found in the bewildering masses of confusion which (...) have gathered around his teaching. (shrink)
The former part of this paper attempted to show— 1. That in Anaxagoras' scheme of physics the following substances were elements: The animal substances ; The vegetable substances ; The so-called Opposites ; and 2. That there is no evidence that Anaxagoras asserted any substances to be homoeomerous, and that, even if he had done so, the word ‘homoeomerous’ does not bear the meanings often attached to it by those theories which assume he made the assertion. The meaning of is, (...) μοιομερς is, not ‘simple in substance,’ i.e. ‘elementary,’ but ‘simple in formation.’. (shrink)