The anthology contains twenty-two essays and is divided into two parts. The essays are, in the main, critical responses to aspects of what has come to be known in action theory as the ‘Standard View’ – the view that traces back to Donald Davidson's contribution to twentieth-century philosophy of action. The view under criticism treats actions as bodily movements caused in a non-deviant way by belief–desire pairs, construes these belief–desire pairs as the primary reasons for the actions that they cause, (...) and embraces event-causality.The issue of how we should conceive of action is taken up in several essays. For example: in Essay 1, Fred Dretske challenges the view that actions are external events that are the effect of the reasons for which the action is done. In Essay 16, Helen Steward, proposes that, instead of treating the availability of a reason-giving explanation as essential to action, we should construe action as ‘an exercise of the power of bodily control by an animal’. In Essay 21, Jonathan Dancy argues for a deflationary approach to actions, which forgoes treating actions ‘as individuals, with identity conditions’.Other authors – for example, Stephen Everson, Rowland Stout and Maria Alvarez – focus on the issue of what reasons for action are. Are they psychological states, or propositions, or states of affairs? Also under review is how to distinguish different kinds of reason: normative and explanatory reasons, and even explanatory and motivating reasons. (shrink)
This paper documents a conversation between a philosopher and a human computer interaction researcher whose research has been enormously influenced by Wittgenstein. In particular, the in vivo use of categories in the design of communications and AI technologies are discussed, and how this meaning needs to evolve to allow creative design to flourish. The paper will be of interest to anyone concerned with philosophical tools in everyday action.
A balance needs to be struck between facilitating compassionate access to innovative treatments for those in desperate need, and the duty to protect such vulnerable individuals from the harms of untested/unlicensed treatments. We introduced a principle-based framework to evaluate such requests and describe its application in the context of recently evolved UK, US and European regulatory processes. 24 referrals were received by our quaternary children's hospital Clinical Ethics Committee over the 5-year period. The CEC-rapid response group evaluated individual cases within (...) 48-hours; the main referrers being haematology/oncology, immunology or transplant services. Most requests were for drug/vaccine/pre-trial access or biological/cellular therapies. The majority of individual requests were approved ; neutral or negative opinions were given in 5, including 3 group requests. Recently evolved regulatory processes share common criteria and conditions to our framework including: demonstration of clinical need; sound scientific basis with lack of viable alternative; risks-benefit/best interests evaluation; arrangements for fully informed consent; no compromise of arrangements to test treatment for licensing purposes; consideration of resource implications. There are differences between individual processes and with our framework, with respect to procedures, scope, application format, costs and obligation to make available all outcome data. Our experience has emphasized the need for an independent, principled, consistent, fair and transparent response to the increasing demand for innovative treatment on a compassionate basis. We believe that there is a need for harmonization of the recent proliferation of regulation and legislation in this area. (shrink)
The paper questions the effectiveness of the United Kingdom Central Council's (UKCC's) Code of Professional Conduct upon the moral climate of nursing. It challenges the claim that the empowerment of nurses is significantly enhanced by the Code or that it necessarily makes them more accountable for their practice. The position is taken that the Code, in the absence of an effective support network for whistle-blowers, places an unreasonable burden upon nurses in its exhortations to report unprofessional conduct. The paper acknowledges (...) the need to retain the Code, but with more modest claims being made concerning its empowering qualities. It is argued that unless more attention is focused on ways to support potential whistle-blowers, the Code will come to be seen as an irrelevance. Cet article met en question l'effet du Code du UKCC sur le climat moral des soins infirmiers. Il conteste l'affirmation que les infirmiers/ères sont considérablement plus fort à cause du Code ou qu'il les rend plus responsables dans leur pratique. La position est prise que le Code, en l'absence d'un réseau efficace de soutien pour les 'Whistleblowers' (personnes qui dévoilent un système), met un fardeau excessif sur les infirmiers/ères dans ses exhortations de signaler une conduite contraire au Code professionnel. Cet article reconnâit la nécessité de retenir le Code, mais avec des demandes plus modestes concernant ses pouvoirs de rendre fort. Il est soutenu que si non plus d'attention est concentré sur les moyens de soutenir les 'Whistlebowers', le Code va devenir hors de propos. Dieser Artikel bezweifelt die Wirksamkeit des Kodex des UKCC über das moralische Klima der Krankenpflege. Er stellt die Behauptung in Frage, dass der Kodex das Pflegepersonal bedeutend ermächtigt, oder dass er es mehr verantwortlich macht für seine Praxis. Die Position ist hier, dass der Kodex, in der Abwesenheit von effektiver Unterstützung für 'Whistleblowers' (d.h. Leute, die ein System verpfeifen), zu viel vom Pflegepersonal verlangt, in seiner Ermahnung, berufswidrige Praxis zu melden. Dieser Artikel anerkennt die Notwendigkeit, den Kodex zu behalten, aber mit kleineren Ansprüchen für seine ermächtigenden Qualitäten. Wenn nicht mehr Aufmerksamkeit gelegt wird, auf welche Weise die 'Whistleblowers' unterstützt werden können, dann wird der Kodex als eine Nebensächlichkeit verurteilt. (shrink)
In the UK an increasing number of Clinical Ethics Committees (CECs) have been developed mainly in response to local need and interest. Their functions include education of health professionals, of policy and guideline development, and case review (both retrospective analysis of topics and advice on acute cases). The UK Clinical Ethics Network, a charitable foundation provides CEC s with help, support and advice and enables them to share their experience The legal status of UK CECs is unclear but some legal (...) commentators have suggested that CECs lack competencies and procedural rules necessary for acute case review. The UKCEN has proposed core competencies for CECs that lists the ethical, operational and procedural skills, knowledge and personal attributes required and how they may be acquired, assessed and maintained. Their implementation might lead to the development of ethical and legal governance which should benefit to future patient care. (shrink)
Global health research partnerships have many benefits, including the development of research capacity and improving the production and use of evidence to improve global health equity. These partnerships also include many challenges, with power and resource differences often leading to inequitable and unethical partnership dynamics. Responding to these challenges and to important gaps in partnership scholarship, the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research conducted a three-year, multi-regional consultation to capture the research partnership experiences of stakeholders in South Asia, Latin America, (...) and sub-Saharan Africa. The consultation participants described persistent inequities in the conduct of global health research partnerships and called for a mechanism through which to improve accountability for ethical conduct within partnerships. They also called for a commitment by the global health research community to research partnership ethics. The Partnership Assessment Toolkit is a practical tool that enables partners to openly discuss the ethics of their partnership and to put in place structures that create ethical accountability. Clear mechanisms such as the PAT are essential to guide ethical conduct to ensure that global health research partnerships are beneficial to all collaborators, that they reflect the values of the global health endeavor more broadly, and that they ultimately lead to improvements in health outcomes and health equity. (shrink)
A majority of Americans say they are Christians. In fact, when you ask what they really believe about God you find that almost half are really deists. Let’s look at the data. A 2006 Pew survey reports that about 50 percent of Americans are Protestants and another 25 percent Catholics, which would indicate a strong Christian majority of 75 percent. Like most such surveys, however, Pew simply asked people to state their religious affiliations. A 2005 survey by Baylor University tried (...) something different and questioned people about what they actually believe. The results were surprising and have great significance in properly comprehending religious belief in the U.S. For some reason, they have received little attention. (shrink)
Interview with Constantine Sigov, dedicated to the history of the "European Dictionary of Philosophies": from the emergence of an idea in the early 90's in France until the accomplishment of the Ukrainian edition in 2019.
The conservative German publicist and political theorist, Constantin Frantz (1817–1891), occupies an ambiguous place in German intellectual history. Some, such as Friedrich Meinecke, located him within the rich intellectual tradition of German federalism, highlighting his hostility to the idea of the “nation-state” and the traditions of nationalism, Realpolitik and militarism. Others, by contrast, have situated him within a long genealogy of German fascism, identifying his remarkable 1852 work, Louis Napoleon, as a kind of precursor or antecedent of twentieth-century fascist (...) ideology. This interpretation raises broader questions about the historiography on Bonapartism and Caesarism, which has often been motivated by an interest in the intellectual origins of modern fascism. The present article supplies a reinterpretation of Frantz’s thinking about Bonapartism (Napoleonismus) and Caesarism by focusing on a much broader range of his intellectual output and by tracking the development of his view of Bonapartism’s significance between 1851 and the early 1870s. The main outcome is not just to question Frantz’s place in the “prehistory” of fascism, but also to show how deeply nineteenth-century debates about Bonapartism were connected to concerns about liberalism, democracy, nationalism and imperialism. (shrink)
The management of child protection concerns arouses strong emotions and controversies and creates ethical tensions for all concerned. This paper provides a rational analysis of some of the issues involved and suggests responses to them. The ethical and legal duties of health-care professionals are to act in the best interests of the child by safeguarding children and reporting concerns. But this may involve conflicts with parents and produce reluctance of professionals to become involved, especially in controversial types of abuse. Mandatory (...) reporting of concerns might overcome such reluctance, but may be ineffective in the face of diagnostic uncertainties. Assembly of a stronger diagnostic evidence base would seem ethically justified, but organization of the necessary case controlled studies might be problematic. Even with a comprehensive evidence base, individual diagnoses of abuse will always involve value judgements that should be underpinned by effective training and assessment of core competencies of professionals. These manoeuvres are unlikely to prevent both justified and vexatious complaints, often in relation to breaches in professional duties or concerning professional misconduct. The tendency to blame experts may have contributed to a reluctance of other professionals to become involved, despite proposals for reforms in the expert witness and court systems. Current approaches to child protection may neither promote greater understanding nor be in the best interests of children. A revised social contract for the effective protection of children could include: a duty of care that adequately addresses the primacy of the child's welfare; the acquisition of a sound evidence base; professional transparency and accountability (but with protection from malicious and vexatious complaints); and a shift emphasis towards a more inquisitorial system that embraced the principles of truth and reconciliation. (shrink)
This paper seeks to develop a phenomenological account of the disorientation of grief, specifically the relationship between disorientation and the breakdown in practical self-understanding at the heart of grief. I argue that this breakdown cannot be sufficiently understood as a breakdown of formerly shared practices and habitual patterns of navigating lived-in space that leaves the bereaved individual at a loss as to how to go on. Examining the experience of losing a loved person and a loved person-to-be, I instead propose (...) that this breakdown should be understood primarily in relation to a distinctive kind of futurity operative in disorientation,irrespectiveof the extent to which there is a breakdown of formerly shared practices and habitual patterns of navigating lived-in space. Drawing on the resources afforded by Heidegger’s phenomenology, I argue that it is acore characteristicof the experience of disorientation in grief that the grieving person can no longer meaningfully press ahead into aspecific futural self. This view comes with certain advantages over existing accounts of the temporality of grief for making sense of the disorientated relationship to futurity, which the appeal to Heideggerian resources makes possible. (shrink)
We outline a process, undertaken at a large tertiary children's hospital, intended to provide practical guidance and support for those involved in the management of children with life-limiting conditions. Initial discussions with representatives of clinical and support services identified communication problems and ethical dilemmas as key issues. These were further explored in multidisciplinary hospital meetings, culminating in a conference (Living Well, Dying Well) where individual perspectives - clinical, multi-faith, parental and legal - and cases were presented. Communication problems were found (...) to involve unrealistic expectations, failures of anticipation and difficulties in discussing sensitive issues, while ethical dilemmas arose from balancing burdens and benefits, clinical uncertainty, respecting autonomy and achieving equity and justice in delivery of care. An integrated service has been developed that is intended to provide clinical and spiritual care, psychosocial and ethical support, advice and mediation for children, families and staff, and to address the latter's educational and training needs. (shrink)
The Judeo-Christian tradition testifies to a God that cries out, demanding that justice "roll down like waters, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" (Amos 5:24). Christians agree that being advocates for justice is critical to the Christian witness. And yet one need not look widely to see that Christians disagree about what social justice entails. What does justice have to do with healthcare reform, illegal immigration, and same-sex marriage? Should Christians support tax policies that effectively require wealthy individuals to fund programs (...) that benefit the poor? Does justice require that we acknowledge and address the inequalities borne out of histories of gender and ethnic exclusivity? Is the Christian vision distinct from non-Christian visions of social justice? Christians disagree over the proper answer to these questions. In short, Christians agree that justice is important but disagree about what a commitment to justice means. Christian Faith and Social Justice makes sense of the disagreements among Christians over the meaning of justice by bringing together five highly regarded Christian philosophers to introduce and defend rival perspectives on social justice in the Christian tradition. While it aspires to offer a lucid introduction to these theories, the purpose of this book is more than informative. It is purposefully dialogical and is structured so that contributors are able to model for the reader reasoned exchange among philosophers who disagree about the meaning of social justice. The hope is that the reader is left with a better understanding of range of perspectives in the Christian tradition about social justice. (shrink)
Caplan has argued that the philosophy of medicine does not exist. Although I will not deny the points he makes, I will argue that the philosophy of medicine has characteristics of a developing field with the potential to meet all of Caplan's criteria. The argument is based on Dewey's established views on logical development for a field of inquiry, as well as pointing out how other criteria Caplan imposes can be fulfilled.
What is biological complexity? How many sorts exist? Are there levels of complexity? How are they related to one another? How is complexity related to the emergence of new phenotypes? To try to get to grips with these questions, we consider the archetype of a complex biological system, Escherichia coli. We take the position that E. coli has been selected to survive adverse conditions and to grow in favourable ones and that many other complex systems undergo similar selection. We invoke (...) the concept of hyperstructures which constitute a level of organisation intermediate between macromolecules and cells. We also invoke a new concept, competitive coherence, to describe how phenotypes are created by a competition between maintaining a consistent story over time and creating a response that is coherent with respect to both internal and external conditions. We suggest how these concepts lead to parameters suitable for describing the rich form of complexity termed hypercomplexity and we propose a relationship between competitive coherence and emergence. (shrink)
WHAT DOES RESPECT REQUIRE OF RELIGIOUSLY MOTIVATED CITIZENS AS they support coercive public policies? In his recent work, Christopher Eberle argues against the doctrine of restraint, a norm that requires citizens to refrain from supporting laws for which public reasons are unavailable. Against Eberle, I defend the doctrine of restraint as a necessary corollary to liberal democratic respect. For this defense, I draw from one imaginary case, Robert Audi's example of "sacred dandelions" and laws banning lawn maintenance, and one real-world (...) dispute, current debates about same-sex marriage policies. I argue that the doctrine of restraint when coupled with an inclusive definition of public reason better accords with our intuitive sense of what respect requires in both cases. (shrink)
To discover a unifying theory of biology, it is necessary first to believe in its existence and second to seek its elements. Such a theory would explain the regulation of the cell cycle, differentiation and the origin of life. Some elements of the theory may be obtained by considering both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell cycles. These elements include cytoskeletal proteins, calcium, cyclins, protein kinase C, phosphorylation, transcriptional sensing, autocatalytic gene expression and the physical properties of lipids. Other more exotic candidate (...) elements include the dynamic enzoskeleton, ATP generation, mechanotransduction, the piezoelectric effect and resonance. Bringing these disparate elements together — and discovering others — will require extensive collaborations between specialists from different sciences. This can only be achieved within the context of an integrated approach to biology. (shrink)
This essay considers more closely Nigel Biggar’s account of the role love plays in orienting and qualifying the moral experience of just warriors. The evidence that Biggar employs is highly selective and belies a more complex picture of the motivations of soldiers, the experience of killing, and the moral ends of training for modern warfare. This essay argues that a more ambivalent account of love can be reconciled more easily with recent research on the experience of moral injury among combat (...) veterans and is a more useful starting point for grounding the Christian community’s service to combat veterans. (shrink)
Childbearing trans and nonbinary people are confronted with the heteronormative and cisgender frameworks that underpin “maternity” services. We explored the educational needs of 108 perinatal staff in the United Kingdom as related to the needs of trans and nonbinary service users. Participants were most confident in formulating care plans and least confident about the provision of colleagues’ perinatal care in this context. While the majority of participants were positive toward the trans and nonbinary communities, they considered that those communities remain (...) marginalized in perinatal services. Transphobic, anti-trans, and nonbinary attitudes were highlighted by our respondents. Our findings suggest that caregivers witnessed transphobia among colleagues and were apprehensive themselves about providing care to childbearing trans and nonbinary people. They reported a cisheteronormative model of care that lacked awareness of trans and nonbinary issues. The educational needs identified included information about the practicalities of childbearing as a trans or nonbinary person, how to use inclusive language effectively, and creating policies and processes for supporting childbearing trans and nonbinary people. These caregivers’ preferences included hearing from trans and nonbinary people and sharing best practices among themselves, with open discussions about how to be inclusive. (shrink)
In this paper, I aim to defend Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics against what I call the radical hermeneutic critique, specifically the critique developed in Robert Bernasconi’s article “’You Don’t Know What I’m Talking About’: Alterity and the Hermeneutic Ideal” (1995). Key to this critique is the claim that Gadamer’s account does not rise to the ethical task of embracing the alterity of the Other, but instead reduces it to a projection of one’s self. The implication is therefore that Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics (...) has to be rejected on ethical grounds, as it does not appreciate but assimilates the alterity of the Other. In contrast to this radical hermeneutic critique, I argue that Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics can accommodate an Other that is not assimilated but appreciated, on the condition that the unique status of a dialogue with the Other as a person is no longer neglected, as Gadamer does, but instead truly distinguished from a dialogue with the Other as a text. (shrink)
As do all forms of science, medical theories have a factual as well as a logical basis. New information is presented in medical research articles. These papers have three separate arguments: the argument of the hypothesis, the argument of the experimental protocol, and the argument of the hypothesis's judgment. These arguments may be examples of the hypothetico-deductive or confirmational model of scientific inference. The logical form of these arguments are informal and inductive rather than formal and deductive. Understanding the nature (...) of the logic of the medical research article may help avoid erroneous conclusions. (shrink)
The paper suggests that some of the preconditions for peace may have a better chance of being fulfilled in the 1990's than they had previously during this century of wars and other bloody upheavals. Most importantly, it highlights the fact (through giving examples) that business can use the sophisticated technology developed for arms manufacture for the production of consumer goods; so that the argument that industries will fail and employees lose their jobs if there is global arms reduction no longer (...) holds. Ways of dampening demand for arms are also discussed. (shrink)
History casts a spell on our minds more powerful than science or religion. It does not root us in the past at all. It rather flatters us with the belief in our ability to recreate the world in our image. It is a form of self-assertion that brooks no opposition or dissent and shelters us from the experience of time. So argues Constantin Fasolt in The Limits of History , an ambitious and pathbreaking study that conquers history's power by (...) carrying the fight into the center of its domain. Fasolt considers the work of Hermann Conring (1606-81) and Bartolus of Sassoferrato (1313/14-57), two antipodes in early modern battles over the principles of European thought and action that ended with the triumph of historical consciousness. Proceeding according to the rules of normal historical analysis--gathering evidence, putting it in context, and analyzing its meaning--Fasolt uncovers limits that no kind of history can cross. He concludes that history is a ritual designed to maintain the modern faith in the autonomy of states and individuals. God wants it, the old crusaders would have said. The truth, Fasolt insists, only begins where that illusion ends. With its probing look at the ideological underpinnings of historical practice, The Limits of History demonstrates that history presupposes highly political assumptions about free will, responsibility, and the relationship between the past and the present. A work of both intellectual history and historiography, it will prove invaluable to students of historical method, philosophy, political theory, and early modern European culture. (shrink)
The Spirit of Montesquieu’s Persian Letters explores Montesquieu’s careful treatment of the spiritual, ethical, and civic dilemmas France encountered in the early 18th Century. In examining Montesquieu’s response to Bourbon France’s commercial and political culture of this time, it will help deepen our understanding of his political philosophy.
With AI permeating our lives, there is widespread concern regarding the proper framework needed to morally assess and regulate it. This has given rise to many attempts to devise ethical guidelines that infuse guidance for both AI development and deployment. Our main concern is that, instead of a genuine ethical interest for AI, we are witnessing moral diplomacies resulting in moral bureaucracies battling for moral supremacy and political domination. After providing a short overview of what we term ‘ethics washing’ in (...) the AI industry, we analyze the 2021 UNESCO Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts (Category II) tasked with drafting the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and show why the term ‘moral diplomacy’ is better suited to explain what is happening in the field of the ethics of AI. Our paper ends with some general considerations regarding the future of the ethics of AI. (shrink)
Research involving human participants has been conducted in the Philippines since the beginning of the Spanish colonial period. Such studies are expected to adhere to internationally accepted ethical guidelines. This paper discusses trends in clinical research ethics in the Philippines during the American colonial period (1898‐1946). Specifically, studies were assessed on: 1) their observance of ethical protocols, including review; 2) identification of inclusion and exclusion criteria in the selection of participants; 3) use of vulnerable subjects; and 4) practice of the (...) informed consent process. Only the informed consent process had a significant logistic correlation with progression of years. Recruitment of vulnerable groups was common during this period; children and prisoners were the most common participants. Trends in medical ethics in the Philippines reflected those in the United States prior to the publication of the Nuremberg Code, which served as a milestone in the protection of human welfare in clinical research. (shrink)