This paper provides a method for characterizing space events using the framework of conceptual spaces. We focus specifically on estimating and ranking the likelihood of collisions between space objects. The objective is to design an approach for anticipatory decision support for space operators who can take preventive actions on the basis of assessments of relative risk. To make this possible our approach draws on the fusion of both hard and soft data within a single decision support framework. Contextual data is (...) also taken into account, for example data about space weather effects, by drawing on the Space Domain Ontologies, a large system of ontologies designed to support all aspects of space situational awareness. The framework is coupled with a mathematical programming scheme that frames a mathematically optimal approach for decision support, providing a quantitative basis for ranking potential for collision across multiple satellite pairs. The goal is to provide the broadest possible information foundation for critical assessments of collision likelihood. (shrink)
The poetry and journalistic essays of Katherine Tillman often appeared in publications sponsored by the American Methodist church. Collected together for the first time, her works speak to the struggles and triumphs of African-American women.
Material traces of the past are notoriously inscrutable; they rarely speak with one voice, and what they say is never unmediated. They stand as evidence only given a rich scaffolding of interpretation which is, itself, always open to challenge and revision. And yet archaeological evidence has dramatically expanded what we know of the cultural past, sometimes demonstrating a striking capacity to disrupt settled assumptions. The questions we address in Evidential Reasoning are: How are these successes realized? What gives us confidence (...) in the credibility and robustness, the trustworthiness, of the evidential claims based on archaeological data? And, what constitute best practices in building evidential claims, critically scrutinizing them and putting them to work in archaeological contexts? Rather than retreat to abstractions about how how science operates in the ideal, we approach this question by interrogating a number of close-to-the-ground case studies with the aim of teasing out the wisdom embodied in archaeological practice. The cases we consider – of fieldwork, strategies for working with old evidence, and the role of external resources – illuminate the role of various types of inferential scaffolding and bring into focus practice-grounded epistemic norms that we believe serve archaeologists better than the all-or-nothing ideals of truth and objectivity that dominate programmatic debate. (shrink)
Paul Grice (1913-1988) is best known for his psychological account of meaning, and for his theory of conversational implicature. This is the first book to consider Grice's work as a whole. Drawing on the range of his published writing, and also on unpublished manuscripts, lectures and notes, Siobhan Chapman discusses the development of his ideas and relates his work to the major events of his intellectual and professional life.
Recognizing the potential hidden artistic contributions of persons with dementia opens new opportunities for interpretation and potential communication. This visual essay explores the authors’ responses to the fragile objects of art produced by a person with severe dementia and examines what may be learned from them.
In the U.S., there is no requirement for research sponsors to compensate human research subjects who experience injuries as a result of their participation. In this article, we review the moral justifications that compel the establishment of a better research-related injury compensation system. We explore how other countries and certain institutions within the U.S. have adopted various systems of compensation. The existence of these systems demonstrates both that the U.S. lags behind other nations in its protection of human research subjects (...) and that the establishment of a compensation system is both practical and feasible. We then examine factors which have prevented the U.S. from establishing its own compensation system. We consider possible alternatives for the U.S. by examining the advantages and disadvantages of both established and proposed systems. We offer a new proposal that addresses the justice concerns which compel the establishment of a national compensation system, distributes the burdens of such a system on multiple stakeholders that benefit from research, and has the additional advantage of minimizing the administrative and logistical challenges associated with initiating such a system. (shrink)
This paper provides a methodological analysis of Libertarian Paternalism, as put forward in the book Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (Yale University Press, 2008). Libertarian Paternalism aims to use the accumulated findings of behavioural economics in order to assist decision-makers to make better choices. The philosophical debate about this proposal has focused on normative issues with regards to this proposal. This paper analyses Libertarian Paternalism descriptively and points out four methodological conditions for successful Nudges. On that basis, a (...) methodological critique of Libertarian Paternalism is mounted: the success conditions suggest that Nudges might be even harder to implement and to justify than commonly assumed in the philosophical debate. (shrink)
In two recent papers, Christian List and Philip Pettit have argued that there is a problem in the aggregation of reasoned judgements that is akin to the aggregation of the preference problem in social choice theory. 1 Indeed, List and Pettit prove a new general impossibility theorem for the aggregation of judgements, and provide a propositional interpretation of the social choice problem that suggests it is a special case of their impossibility result. 2 Specifically, they show that no judgement aggregation (...) function for a group is possible if the group seeks to satisfy certain `minimal conditions' designed to ensure that the function is both responsive to the individually rational views of its members and collectively rational in the set of judgements it holds. In this article, I resist the List and Pettit claim that there is the same propensity for collective irrationality or incoherence in the aggregation of reasoned judgements as there is in the aggregation of preference. I argue that reason, because it has a logical structure that is lacking in mere preference, has the effect of giving priority to some aggregations over others, a priority that is not permitted by one of the conditions imposed by List and Pettit. This avoids the incoherence that would otherwise exist if these different aggregations, not consistent with one another, were to compete at the same level of priority. The priority of some aggregations is particularly apparent, I shall argue, if one views the aggregation of judgements through the lens of common law decision-making. Key Words: social choice judgement Condorcet jury theorem collective rationality public reason doctrinal paradox discursive dilemma. (shrink)
Legal decision-making emphasizes, in a very self-conscious way, the justificatory significance of reasons. This paper argues that the obligation to provide reasons for choices, which must be articulated and structured around a set of generally shared and publicly comprehensible categories of thought, can serve to make the space of possible choices ‘concept sensitive’ in a very useful way. In particular, concept sensitivity has the effect of restricting certain movements within the choice space so that some of the systematic difficulties in (...) achieving an equilibrium in social choice which arise out of an excess of rational doing are avoided. The resulting equilibrium is path dependent. But because it is dependent on a choice path which ‘makes sense’ (or is ordered by thought precisely because it is concept sensitive), it is not the sort of arbitary path-dependent social choice which originally concerned Kenneth Arrow. This paper illustrates these points with examples from criminal law procedure, contract law and constitutional law. (shrink)
On the received view, the Representational Theory of Measurement reduces measurement to the numerical representation of empirical relations. This account of measurement has been widely criticized. In this article, I provide a new interpretation of the Representational Theory of Measurement that sidesteps these debates. I propose to view the Representational Theory of Measurement as a library of theorems that investigate the numerical representability of qualitative relations. Such theorems are useful tools for concept formation that, in turn, is one crucial aspect (...) of measurement for a broad range of cases in linguistics, rational choice, metaphysics, and the social sciences. (shrink)
We confront the philosophical literature on fair division problems with axiomatic and game-theoretic work in economics. Firstly, we show that the proportionality method advocated in Curtis is not implied by a general principle of fairness, and that the proportional rule cannot be explicated axiomatically from that very principle. Secondly, we suggest that Broome’s notion of claims is too restrictive and that game-theoretic approaches can rectify this shortcoming. More generally, we argue that axiomatic and game-theoretic work in economics is an indispensable (...) ingredient of any theorizing about fair division problems and allocative justice. (shrink)
Dementia is more than a disease. What dementia is, how it is understood, and how it is experienced is influenced by multiple factors including our societal preoccupation with individual identity. This essay introduces empirical and theoretical evidence of alternative ways of understanding dementia that act as a challenge to common assumptions. It proposes that dementia be understood as an experience of systems, particularly networks of people affected by the diagnosis. Taking this step reveals much about the dementia experience, and about (...) what can be learned from persons with dementia and their networks of family, friends, and carers. It also suggests that dementia may be best thought of as an ecology that arises from the interaction between neuropathological change, people, language, and meaning. While challenging, this perspective may provide new ways of responding to dementia and caring for those affected by it. (shrink)
Philosophical theories of fairness propose to divide a good that several individuals have a claim to in proportion to the strength of their respective claims. We suggest that currently, these theories face a dilemma when dealing with a good that is indivisible. On the one hand, theories of fairness that use weighted lotteries are either of limited applicability or fall prey to an objection by Brad Hooker. On the other hand, accounts that do without weighted lotteries fall prey to three (...) fairness paradoxes. We demonstrate that division methods from apportionment theory, which has hitherto been ignored by philosophical theories of fairness, can be used to provide fair division for indivisible goods without weighted lotteries and without fairness paradoxes. (shrink)
A number of studies have shown that seemingly morally irrelevant factors influence the moral judgments of ordinary people. Some argue that philosophers are experts and are significantly less susceptible to such effects. We tested whether an unconscious cleanliness prime – the smell of Lysol – affects the judgments of both non-philosophers and professional philosophers. Our results suggest that the direction of cleanliness effects depends both on the respondent and whether the question is framed in the second or third person. They (...) also provide evidence that cleanliness cues affect the moral judgments of both non-philosophers and philosophers, challenging the philosopher-as-expert view. (shrink)
This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of 'rule' utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among (...) the salient topics covered are: an account of the utilitarian function in society of generally accepted moral rules; a discussion of how we interpret existing moral rules and create new ones; and a defence of 'rule' utilitarianism against the charge that it either commits one to irrational rule worship, or collapses into a form of 'act' utilitarianism. This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of 'rule' utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. (shrink)
PURPOSE: There is an increasing demand for researchers to provide research results to participants. Our aim was to define an appropriate process for this, based on needs and attitudes of participants. METHODS: A multicenter survey in five sites in the United States and Canada was offered to parents of children with cancer and adolescents with cancer. Respondents indicated their preferred mode of communication of research results with respect to implications; timing, provider, and content of the results; reasons for and against (...) providing results; and barriers to providing results. RESULTS: Four hundred nine parents (including 19 of deceased children) and 86 adolescents responded. Most parents (n = 385; 94.2%) felt that they had a strong right to research results. For positive results, most wanted a letter or e-mail summary (n = 238; 58.2%) or a phone call followed by a letter (n = 100; 24.4%). If the results were negative, phone call (n = 136; 33.3%) or personal visits (n = 150; 36.7%) were preferred. Parents wanted the summary to include long-term sequelae and suggestions for participants (n = 341; 83.4%), effect on future treatments (n = 341; 83.4%), and subsequent research steps (n = 284; 69.5%). Understanding the researcher was a main concern about receiving results (n = 145; 35.5%). Parents felt that results provide information to support quality of life (n = 315; 77%) and raise public awareness of research (n = 282; 68.9%). Adolescents identified similar preferences. CONCLUSION: Parents of children with cancer and adolescents with cancer feel strongly that they have a right to be offered research results and have specific preferences of how and what information should be communicated. (shrink)
Globalization, a process characterized by the growing interdependence of the world's people, impacts health systems and the social determinants of health in ways that are detrimental to health equity. In a world in which there are few countervailing normative and policy approaches to the dominant neoliberal regime underpinning globalization, the human rights paradigm constitutes a widely shared foundation for challenging globalization's effects. The substantive rights enumerated in human rights instruments include the right to the highest attainable level of physical and (...) mental health and others that are relevant to the determinants of health. The rights stipulated in these documents impose extensive legal obligations on states that have ratified these documents and confer health entitlements on their residents. Human rights norms have also inspired civil society efforts to improve access to essential medicines and medical services, particularly for HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, many factors reduce the potential counterweight human rights might exert, including and specifically the nature of the human rights approach, weak political commitments to promoting and protecting health rights on the part of some states and their lack of institutional and economic resources to do so. Global economic markets and the relative power of global economic institutions are also shrinking national policy space. This article reviews the potential contributions and limitations of human rights to achieving greater equity in shaping the social determinants of health. (shrink)
PURPOSE: The offer to return research results to participants is increasingly recognized as an ethical obligation, although few researchers routinely return results. We examined the needs and attitudes of parents of children with cancer and of adolescents with cancer to the return of research results. METHODS: Seven experts in research ethics scored content validity on parent and adolescent questionnaires previously developed through focus group and phone interviews. The questionnaires were revised and provided to 30 parents and 10 adolescents in a (...) tertiary care oncology setting. RESULTS: The content validity index for individual questions and the overall questionnaires scored as 0.86 for both questionnaires. All 30 parents and 10 adolescents who agreed to participate returned questionnaires. The majority (>95%) indicated that they had a strong or very strong right to receive results. Letter or e-mail was a satisfactory means to return results described as good or neutral (66% parents, 100% adolescents) but more participants wished face-to-face disclosure of results with negative implications (50% parents, 60% adolescents). Very few wanted results disseminated through a Web site. The majority acknowledged the need for peer-review before disclosure (60% of adolescents and parents) but did not want "to be the last to know." CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that pediatric oncology patients and parents of children with cancer strongly feel that they have a right to research results, and that they wish to receive these in a timely manner. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This article focuses on Arne Naess's work in the philosophy of language, which he began in the mid-1930s and continued into the 1960s. This aspect of his work is nowadays relatively neglected, but it deserves to be revisited. Firstly, it is intrinsically interesting to the history of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century, because Naess questioned some of the established philosophical methodologies and assumptions of his day. Secondly, it suggests a compelling but unacknowledged intellectual pedigree for some recent developments (...) in linguistics. Naess's philosophy of language developed from his reaction against logical positivism, in particular against what he saw as its unempirical assumptions about language. He went on to establish ?empirical semantics?, in which the study of language was based on real-life linguistic data, drawn primarily from questionnaires issued to philosophically naïve subjects. He also experimented with methods for ?occurrence analysis?, but concluded that the collection and analysis of sufficiently large bodies of naturally-occurring data was impractical. Empirical semantics was not well received by Naess's philosophical contemporaries. It was also seen as being at odds with contemporary trends in linguistics. However, some present-day branches of linguistics have striking resonances with Naess's work from as much as seventy years ago. In sociolinguistics, questionnaires have become an established means of collecting linguistic data. In corpus linguistics, advances in technology have made Naess's unobtainable ideal of ?occurrence analysis? a viable methodology. Some of the principal conclusions reached as a result of this methodology are strikingly similar to Naess's own findings. (shrink)