Objectives: To test the range of beliefs regarding the ethics of testing, in resource poor settings, new therapies that are less efficacious but more affordable and feasible than the best current therapeutic standard. Design: Using a web-based survey, we presented a hypothetical scenario proposing to test a therapy for HIV disease ("therapeutic inoculation") known to be less efficacious than highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Respondents evaluated various trial designs as ethical or unethical. Participants: 604 subscribers to two listservs for individuals (...) interested in international health research ethics. Main outcome measures: Proportion of respondents endorsing trials testing this "substandard" therapy, and proportion endorsing placebo-controlled trials. Results: There were 215 respondents from 47 countries. Forty-five percent of respondents were from low or middle income countries; 96% devoted at least some time to research activities; and 75% had "some" or "considerable" research experience in developing countries. Of respondents, 97% (95% CI 94.7 to 99.4) endorsed testing therapeutic inoculation, without HAART, in patients with HIV disease; 86% (95% CI 81.4% to 90.7%) endorsed testing against placebo. Sixty-eight percent explicitly endorsed principles where the standard of care for subjects in clinical trials is determined by local, not universal, standards. There were no differences in responses based on respondent education-level or the income-level of their country of citizenship. Conclusion: There was broad agreement that a therapy of potential local benefit may be tested, even when that therapy is known to be inferior to the standard of care in wealthy countries. Most agreed that a placebo control may be used in some circumstances. (shrink)
Selections from Hume's major writings are grouped under the headings: Reason and Experience, Reason and Sentiment, and Reason and Religion. There is also a short conclusion entitled "Skepticism." A Treatise on Human Nature, An Enquiry Concerning the Human Understanding, and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals are from the 1962 and 1947 translations by André Leroy. The Dialogues on Natural Religion were translated in 1912 by Maxime David. Part I gives Hume's account of impressions, ideas, and their relations. (...) Also covered are the crucial arguments on causality from the Treatise and the Enquiry Concerning Understanding--including the role of experience of constant conjunction and the role of instinct in our construction and use of the notion of causality. Part II contains the famous statement from the Treatise that moral matters are "more rightly felt than judged of" and a treatment of the natural and artificial virtues. Considering its central place in recent ethics, the English-speaking reader would miss the familiar lines remarking the passage from "is" to "ought." Part III and the Conclusion are drawn entirely from the Dialogues on Natural Religion.--M. B. M. (shrink)
F. A. Hayek is uniquely responsible for his fellow economists grasping the importance of the decentralization of knowledge: as Hayek shows in his pathbreaking “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” knowledge nowhere exists as a coherent whole and to pretend otherwise is a most serious error. Hayek also shares responsibility for the popularity of a strong form of the methodological individualist research program which asserts that since collectives as such have no impact on the choices of individuals, investigators ought to (...) purge any reliance on collectives from our analysis. (shrink)
It used to be that a book on utopia that did not quote Oscar Wilde's homily about a map of the world without utopia was itself not worth glancing at, for it left out the one thing we thought we could all agree on. But what if the world map only serves to reinforce the systems of domination inherent to colonialism, racism, capitalism, and patriarchy? And why should the quest for utopia take us to the high seas anyway, rather than (...) surveying those existing social formations that resist oppression?For David Bell, Wilde was wrong. Utopia is on the world map, but it lies neither in the unexplored place on the horizon for which humanity is forever setting sail nor in some nonexistent linear future: following Tom Moylan's... (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Method: Neglected Aspects By Gordon Baker. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 pp. 328. £40.00 HB.. Wittgenstein's Copernican Revolution: The Question of Linguistic Idealism By Ilham Dilman. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002. pp. 240. £52.50 HB. Wittgenstein: Connections and Controversies By P. M. S. Hacker. Oxford: Oxford University Press,. pp. 400. £45.00 HB; £19.99 PB. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: An Introduction By David G. Stern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. pp. 224. £40.00 HB; £10.99 PB.