Psychologists and psychiatrists recently started using electronic mail (e-mail) to conduct therapy. This article explores relevant ethical and legal issues including, among others, the nature of the professional relationship, boundaries of competence, informed consent, treating minors, confidentiality, and the duty to warn and protect. To illustrate these complex issues, two services currently operating are discussed. To address potential hazards to clients and the profession, a new ethical standard for e-mail therapists is offered.
Should we research, develop, and deploy climate engineering technology? Drawing upon contemporary moral and political theory, this book offers a normative perspective on such questions, ultimately making the case in favor of research and regulation guided by norms of legitimacy, distributive justice, and procedural justice.
With the lack of progress there has been so far on climate change, some have begun researching the potential of geoengineering to allay future climatic harms. However, others contend that such research should be abandoned. One of the most‐cited reasons as to why research into geoengineering should be abandoned is the idea that such research sits at the top of slippery slope. The Slippery Slope Argument warns that even mere research into geoengineering will create institutional momentum, ultimately leading to the (...) deployment of a technology that is untested and perhaps morally objectionable. This article clearly lays out the Slippery Slope Argument against geoengineering research and analyses its premises. I claim that both the empirical premise – that research will inevitably lead to deployment – and the normative premise – that we have decisive moral reasons to avoid deployment – are questionable. The main conclusion of the article is that while we should be cognizant of the potential for research to lead to undesirable deployment scenarios, engaging in research need not necessarily lead inexorably to deployment. While insufficient to ground a moratorium on research, the Slippery Slope Argument points to the need for regulation and oversight in order to prevent undesirable deployment. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: There is general agreement amongst those involved in the normative discussion about geoengineering that if we are to move forward with significant research, development, and certainly any future deployment, legitimate governance is a must. However, while we agree that the abstract concept of legitimacy ought to guide geoengineering governance, agreement surrounding the appropriate conception of legitimacy has yet to emerge. Relying upon Allen Buchanan’s metacoordination view of institutional legitimacy, this paper puts forward a conception of legitimacy appropriate for geoengineering (...) governance, outlining five normative criteria an institution ought to fulfill if it is to justifiably coordinate our action around geoengineering. (shrink)
Gene drive technology has immense potential. The ability to bypass the laws of Mendelian inheritance and almost ensure the transmission of specific genetic material to future generations creates boundless possibilities. But alongside these boundless possibilities are major social and ethical issues. This article aims to introduce gene drive technology, some of its potential applications, and some of the social and ethical issues that arise during research into the technology. For example, is investigation into gene drives hubristic? Would applications of gene (...) drives count as technological fixes? Or does research into such a technology sit on a slippery slope or lock us in to its full‐scale use? Are there perverse effects of engaging in research, and, most importantly, who ought to be included in the decision‐making process regarding research and field trials? Understanding the basic ethical landscape of this technology will prove invaluable to the public, scientists, and policy‐makers as research moves forward. (shrink)
In this paper I first argue that when answering the question of whether or not governments may restrict emigration, Brock and Blake are staking out positions not astronomically far from one another. Despite the ostensibly large philosophical gap between the two, both think that certain governments may restrict emigration when such restriction is agreed to in a morally binding contract. Secondly, both authors think that there are specific “circumstances” or “conditions” under which a contract that restricts emigration can be morally (...) binding. This second part of the paper will pose some questions that explore these various circumstances or conditions. The ultimate aim of the paper is to help point the debate in the right direction so as to further develop an answer to the question of whether or not governments may restrict emigration. (shrink)
With the significant disconnect between the collective aim of limiting warming to well below 2°C and the current means proposed to achieve such an aim, the goal of this paper is to offer a moral assessment of prominent alternatives to current international climate policy. To do so, we’ll outline five different policy routes that could potentially bring the means and goal in line. Those five policy routes are: exceed 2°C; limit warming to less than 2°C by economic de-growth; limit warming (...) to less than 2°C by traditional mitigation only; limit warming to less than 2°C by traditional mitigation and widespread deployment of Negative Emissions Technologies ; and limit warming to less than 2°C by traditional mitigation, NETs, and Solar Radiation Management as a fallback. In assessing these five policy routes, we rely primarily upon two moral considerations: the avoidance of catastrophic climate change and the right to sustainable development. We’ll conclude that we should continue to aim at the two-degree target, and that to get there we should use aggressive mitigation, pursue the deployment of NETs, and continue to research SRM. (shrink)
Each year, over 200 million people are infected with the malaria parasite, nearly half a million of whom succumb to the disease. Emerging genetic technologies could, in theory, eliminate the burden of malaria throughout the world by intentionally eradicating the mosquitoes that transmit the disease. In this paper, we offer an ethical examination of the intentional eradication of Anopheles gambiae, the main malaria vector of sub-Saharan Africa. In our evaluation, we focus on two main considerations: the benefit of alleviating the (...) malaria burden, and the loss of value that would accompany the eradication of the species. We outline a typology of the different ways in which species are valued or could be valuable, then use that typology to appraise the value of the species in question. We argue that Anopheles gambiae has minor instrumental value, little final subjective value and no objective final value. (shrink)
The nature of well-being is one of the most enduring and elusive subjects of human inquiry. Well-Being draws upon the latest scientific research to transform our understanding of this ancient question. With contributions from leading authorities in psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience, this volume presents the definitive account of current scientific efforts to understand human pleasure and pain, contentment and despair. The distinguished contributors to this volume combine a rigorous analysis of human sensations, emotions, and moods with a broad assessment (...) of the many factors, from heredity to nationality, that bear on our well-being. Using the tools of experimental science, the contributors confront the puzzles of human likes and dislikes. Why do we grow accustomed and desensitized to changes in our lives, both good and bad? Does our happiness reflect the circumstances of our lives or is it determined by our temperament and personality? Why do humans acquire tastes for sensations that are initially painful or unpleasant? By examining the roots of our everyday likes and dislikes, the book also sheds light on some of the more extreme examples of attraction and aversion, such as addiction and depression. Among its wide ranging inquiries, Well-Being examines systematic differences in moods and behaviors between genders, explaining why women suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than men, but are also more inclined to express positive emotions. The book also makes international comparisons, finding that some countries' populations report higher levels of happiness than others. The contributors deploy an array of methods, from the surveys and questionnaires of social science to psychological and physiological experiments, to develop a comprehensive new approach to the study of well-being. They show how the sensory pleasures of the body can tells us something about the higher pleasures of the mind and even how the effectiveness of our immune system can depend upon the health of our social relationships. (shrink)
Computational philosophy is the use of mechanized computational techniques to unearth philosophical insights that are either difficult or impossible to find using traditional philosophical methods. Computational metaphysics is computational philosophy with a focus on metaphysics. In this paper, we develop results in modal metaphysics whose discovery was computer assisted, and conclude that these results work not only to the obvious benefit of philosophy but also, less obviously, to the benefit of computer science, since the new computational techniques that led to (...) these results may be more broadly applicable within computer science. The paper includes a description of our background methodology and how it evolved, and a discussion of our new results. (shrink)
In the months preceding the writing of this review, bioethics has been in the news a great deal. In congressional and public policy debates surrounding stem cell research, human cloning, and the Human Genome Project, bioethics and bioethicists have gained national attention and been subject to public scrutiny. Commentators have asked who these self-appointed moral experts are to tell us what is right and wrong.
(2013). Matching bias in syllogistic reasoning: Evidence for a dual-process account from response times and confidence ratings. Thinking & Reasoning: Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 54-77. doi: 10.1080/13546783.2012.735622.
*Principia Logico-Metaphysica* (a developing, online manuscript) contains a foundational logical theory for metaphysics, mathematics, and the sciences. It contains a canonical development of Abstract Object Theory [AOT], a metaphysical theory (inspired by ideas of Ernst Mally, formalized by Zalta) that differentiates between ordinary and abstract objects. -/- This article reports on recent work in which AOT has been successfully represented and partly automated in the proof assistant system Isabelle/HOL. Initial experiments within this framework reveal a crucial but overlooked fact: a (...) deeply-rooted and known paradox is reintroduced in AOT when the logic of complex terms is simply adjoined to AOT's specially-formulated comprehension principle for relations. This result constitutes a new and important paradox, given how much expressive and analytic power is contributed by having the two kinds of complex terms in the system. Its discovery is the highlight of our joint project and provides strong evidence for a new kind of scientific practice in philosophy, namely, *computational metaphysics*. -/- Our results were made technically possible by a suitable adaptation of Benzm\"uller's metalogical approach to universal reasoning by semantically embedding theories in classical higher-order logic. This approach enables the fruitful reuse of state-of-the-art higher-order proof assistants, such as Isabelle/HOL, for mechanizing and experimentally exploring challenging logics and theories such as AOT. Our results also provide a fresh perspective on the question of whether relational type theory or functional type theory better serves as a foundation for logic and metaphysics. (shrink)
Principia Logico-Metaphysica contains a foundational logical theory for metaphysics, mathematics, and the sciences. It includes a canonical development of Abstract Object Theory [AOT], a metaphysical theory that distinguishes between ordinary and abstract objects. This article reports on recent work in which AOT has been successfully represented and partly automated in the proof assistant system Isabelle/HOL. Initial experiments within this framework reveal a crucial but overlooked fact: a deeply-rooted and known paradox is reintroduced in AOT when the logic of complex terms (...) is simply adjoined to AOT’s specially formulated comprehension principle for relations. This result constitutes a new and important paradox, given how much expressive and analytic power is contributed by having the two kinds of complex terms in the system. Its discovery is the highlight of our joint project and provides strong evidence for a new kind of scientific practice in philosophy, namely, computational metaphysics. Our results were made technically possible by a suitable adaptation of Benzmüller’s metalogical approach to universal reasoning by semantically embedding theories in classical higher-order logic. This approach enables one to reuse state-of-the-art higher-order proof assistants, such as Isabelle/HOL, for mechanizing and experimentally exploring challenging logics and theories such as AOT. Our results also provide a fresh perspective on the question of whether relational type theory or functional type theory better serves as a foundation for logic and metaphysics. (shrink)
We advance a model of human probability judgment and apply it to the design of an extrapolation algorithm. Such an algorithm examines a person's judgment about the likelihood of various statements and is then able to predict the same person's judgments about new statements. The algorithm is tested against judgments produced by thirty undergraduates asked to assign probabilities to statements about mammals.
Some scientists suggest that it might be possible to reflect a portion of incoming sunlight back into space to reduce climate change and its impacts. Others argue that such solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering is inherently incompatible with democracy. In this article, we reject this incompatibility argument. First, we counterargue that technologies such as SRM lack innate political characteristics and predetermined social effects, and that democracy need not be deliberative to serve as a standard for governance. We then rebut each (...) of the argument’s core claims, countering that (1) democratic institutions are sufficiently resilient to manage SRM, (2) opting out of governance decisions is not a fundamental democratic right, (3) SRM may not require an undue degree of technocracy, and (4) its implementation may not concentrate power and promote authoritarianism. Although we reject the incompatibility argument, we do not argue that SRM is necessarily, or even likely to be, democratic in practice. (shrink)
I will suggest that we can begin to see why Edwards and Berkeley sound so much alike by considering how both think of minds or spiritual substances notas things modeled on material bodies but as the acts by which things are identified. Those acts cannot be described using the Aristotelian subject-predicatelogic on which the metaphysics of substance, properties, attributes, or modes is based because subjects, substances, etc. are themselves initially distinguishedthrough such acts. To think of mind as opposed to matter, (...) or of acts of mind as opposed to mind itself, is already to assume the differentiation enacted by thoseacts. I argue that even though Edwards and Berkeley refer to distinctions such as mind vs. matter, they think that it is important to avoid treating mind, its acts, and its objects in terms of subject-predicate logic or substance metaphysics. (shrink)
Using a survey of 393 employees who were natives and residents of China, Japan, and South Korea, we examined the extent to which employees from different countries within East Asia experience distributive justice when they perceived that their work outcomes relative to a referent other were equally poor, equally favorable, more poor, or more favorable. As predicted, we found that when employees perceived themselves relative to a referent other to be recipients of more favorable outcomes, Chinese and Korean employees were (...) less likely than Japanese employees to experience distributive injustice. We also found that these differences were partially mediated by employees’ level of materialism. Theoretical and practical implications of our findings are discussed. (shrink)