We consider Walker's thorough review in the context of thinking about future research on the relation between sleep and memory. We first address methodological issues including type of memory and sleep-stage dependency. We suggest a broader investigation of potential signaling molecules that may be critical to sleep-related consolidation. A brief review of the importance of the stress hormone cortisol illustrates this point.
Moral theories which, like those of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas, give a central place to the virtues, tend to assume that as traits of character the virtues are mutually compatible so that it is possible for one and the same person to possess them all. This assumption—let us call it the compatibility thesis—does not deny the existence of painful moral dilemmas: it allows that the virtues may conflict in particular situations when considerations associated with different virtues favour incompatible courses of (...) action, but holds that these conflicts occur only at the level of individual actions. Thus while it may not always be possible to do both what would be just and what would be kind or to act both loyally and honestly, it is possible to be both a kind and a just person and to have both the virtue of loyalty and the virtue of honesty. (shrink)
The practice of teaching virtue for pay was typical of the Greek sophists but consistently eschewed by their contemporary Socrates. Plato and Xenophon offer various explanations for Socrates' refusal to take pay, explanations intended not only to reflect favourably upon their teacher but also to reflect negatively upon the sophists. Indeed, Plato and Xenophon have been so persuasive in this regard that the mere fact of accepting pay has become a common source of invective against the sophists. This paper examines (...) and evaluates these passages of Plato and Xenophon in light of the historical information we have concerning sophistic and Socratic pedagogy in general and it reaches two major conclusions: first, that most of the reasons ascribed to Socrates for refusing to accept pay are sufficiently problematic to raise serious doubts about their authenticity and, second, that none of these reasons functions successfully as a general critique of the sophists. (shrink)
This essay reviews six different approaches to intellectual property. It and argues that none of these accounts provide an adequate justification of intellectual property laws and policies because there are many different types of intellectual property, and a variety of incommensurable values play a role in the justification of intellectual property. The best approach to intellectual property is to assess and balance competing moral values in light of the particular facts and circumstances.
Psychopaths routinely disregard social norms by engaging in selfish, antisocial, often violent behavior. Commonly characterized as mentally disordered, recent evidence suggests that psychopaths are executing a well-functioning, if unscrupulous strategy that historically increased reproductive success at the expense of others. Natural selection ought to have favored strategies that spared close kin from harm, however, because actions affecting the fitness of genetic relatives contribute to an individual’s inclusive fitness. Conversely, there is evidence that mental disorders can disrupt psychological mechanisms designed to (...) protect relatives. Thus, mental disorder and adaptation accounts of psychopathy generate opposing hypotheses: psychopathy should be associated with an increase in the victimization of kin in the former account but not in the latter. Contrary to the mental disorder hypothesis, we show here in a sample of 289 violent offenders that variation in psychopathy predicts a decrease in the genetic relatedness of victims to offenders; that is, psychopathy predicts an increased likelihood of harming non-relatives. Because nepotistic inhibition in violence may be caused by dispersal or kin discrimination, we examined the effects of psychopathy on (1) the dispersal of offenders and their kin and (2) sexual assault frequency (as a window on kin discrimination). Although psychopathy was negatively associated with coresidence with kin and positively associated with the commission of sexual assault, it remained negatively associated with the genetic relatedness of victims to offenders after removing cases of offenders who had coresided with kin and cases of sexual assault from the analyses. These results stand in contrast to models positing psychopathy as a pathology, and provide support for the hypothesis that psychopathy reflects an evolutionary strategy largely favoring the exploitation of non-relatives. (shrink)
Most of the discussion in bioethics and health policy concerning social responsibility for health has focused on society’s obligation to provide access to healthcare. While ensuring access to healthcare is an important social responsibility, societies can promote health in many other ways, such as through sanitation, pollution control, food and drug safety, health education, disease surveillance, urban planning and occupational health. Greater attention should be paid to strategies for health promotion other than access to healthcare, such as environmental and public (...) health and health research.Lifestyle plays a major role in most of the illnesses in industrialised nations.1 Six of the 10 leading factors contributing to the global burden of disease are lifestyle related: unsafe sex, high blood pressure, tobacco use, alcohol use, high cholesterol and obesity.2 Lifestyle-related illnesses also contribute to the rising costs of healthcare. Spending on healthcare accounts for about 16% of the gross domestic product in the USA, or US$1.9 trillion.3 Although smoking has declined steadily there since the 1960s, smoking-related medical expenses are still about US$75.5 billion per year.4 Obesity, which has been climbing in the past two decades, accounts for about US$75 billion in healthcare costs there each year.5 Alcoholism and drug addiction in the USA account for annual healthcare costs of about US$22.5 billion and US$12 billion, respectively.6,7 Federal government spending on healthcare relating to HIV/AIDS is over US$13 billion per year.8Given the well-documented relationship between lifestyle, disease burden and healthcare costs, it makes economic and medical sense to hold individuals morally responsible for their health-related choices. While this view has a great deal of intuitive appeal, it also faces numerous objections.9–12 First, holding individuals entirely responsible for their own health conflicts with medicine’s obligation to treat the sick and society’s obligation …. (shrink)
Unlike its predecessors, this systematic survey of the law of Athens is based on explicit discussion of how the subject might be studies, incorporating topics such as the democratic political system and social structure. Technical and legal terms are explained in a comprehensive glossary.
The phrase “minimal risk,” as defined in the United States’ federal research regulations, is ambiguous and poorly defined. This article argues that most of the ambiguity that one finds in the phrase stems from the “daily life risks” standard in the definition of minimal risk. In this article, the author argues that the daily life risks standard should be dropped and that “minimal risk” should be defined as simply “the probability and magnitude of the harm or discomfort anticipated in research (...) are not greater than those encountered during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests”. (shrink)
This essay develops a framework for thinking about the moral basis for the commodification of human reproductive materials. It argues that selling and buying gametes and genes is morally acceptable although there should not be a market for zygotes, embryos, or genomes. Also a market in gametes and genes should be regulated in order to address concerns about the adverse social consequences of commodification.
Inappropriate authorship is a common problem in biomedical research and may be becoming one in bioethics, due to the increase in multiple authorship. This paper investigates the authorship policies of bioethics journals to determine whether they provide adequate guidance for researchers who submit articles for publication, which can help deter inappropriate authorship. It was found that 63.3% of bioethics journals provide no guidance on authorship; 36.7% provide guidance on which contributions merit authorship, 23.3% provide guidance on which contributions do not (...) merit authorship, 23.3% require authors to take responsibility for their contributions or for the article as a whole, 20% provide guidance on which contributions merit an acknowledgement but not authorship, 6.7% require authors to describe their contributions, and only 3.3% distinguish between authorship in empirical and conceptual research. To provide authors with effective guidance and promote integrity in bioethics research, bioethics journals should adopt authorship policies that address several important topics, such as the qualifications for authorship, describing authorship contributions, taking responsibility for the research and the difference between authorship in empirical and conceptual research. (shrink)
In gorgias, socrates stands accused of argumentative "foul play" involving manipulation by shame. Polus says that Socrates wins the fight with Gorgias by shaming him into the admission that "a rhetorician knows what is right . . . and would teach this to his pupils" . And later, when Polus himself has been "tied up" and "muzzled" , Callicles says that he was refuted only because he was ashamed to reveal his true convictions . These allegations, if justified, directly undermine (...) Socrates' claim to be improving his interlocutors by argument. For if Socrates' use of shame tends to produce insincere assertion, then elenchus cannot serve as a tool for moral reform.In an important recent paper, Jessica Moss presents a new apologia for Socrates on these old charges. According to Moss, although Socrates adopts a strategy of shaming rather than reasoning his interlocutors into agreement, this is legitimate because his appeals to shame function as appeals to a moral sense, which connect a person to his own "deep" convictions. Moreover, she claims that shame "can be a more effective tool of persuasion than reason," for it is capable, where reason is not, of dislodging a person's "intuitive" moral beliefs. This essay argues that each of these points is mistaken. (shrink)