While the bioethics literature demonstrates that the field has spent substantial time and thought over the last four decades on the goals, methods, and desired outcomes for service and training in bioethics, there has been less progress defining the nature and goals of bioethics research and scholarship. This gap makes it difficult both to describe the breadth and depth of these areas of bioethics and, importantly, to gauge their success. However, the gap also presents us with an opportunity to define (...) this scope of work for ourselves and to help shape the broader conversation about the impact of academic research. Because of growing constraints on academic funding, researchers and scholars in many fields are being asked to demonstrate and also forecast the value and impact of their work. To do that, and also to satisfy ourselves that our work has meaningful effect, we must understand how our work can motivate change and how that change can be meaningfully measured. In a field as diverse as bioethics, the pathways to and metrics of change will likewise be diverse. It is therefore critical that any assessment of the impact of bioethics research and scholarship be informed by an understanding of the nature of the work, its goals, and how those goals can and ought to be furthered. In this paper, we propose a conceptual model that connects individual bioethics projects to the broader goals of scholarship, describing the translation of research and scholarly output into changes in thinking, practice, and policy. One of the key implications of the model is that impact in bioethics is generally the result of a collection of projects rather than of any single piece of research or scholarship. Our goal is to lay the groundwork for a thoroughgoing conversation about bioethics research and scholarship that will advance and shape the important conversation about their impact. (shrink)
A key focus for agri-food scholars today pertains to emerging “alternative food movements,” particularly their long-term viability, and their potential to induce transitions in our prevailing conventional global agri-food systems. One under-studied element in recent research on sustainability transitions more broadly is the role of disruptive events in the emergence or expansion of these movements. We present the findings of a case study of the effect of a sudden acute food safety crisis—bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease—on alternative beef (...) production in the Province of Alberta, Canada. Employing the conceptual lens of Sustainability Transition Theory, we explore the perspectives of conventional and alternative beef producers, treating alternative beef production as a niche operating within the dominant regime of global industrial agri-business. Three key findings are presented here. First, food safety risks and disruptive events can emerge as a direct consequence of the socio-ecological contradictions embedded in industrial agriculture, representing an opportunity for expansion of agricultural niches. Second, certain features of socio-economic regimes can also contribute to niche emergence, such as an economic system that disenfranchises beef-producing families. Finally, our study highlights the high level of diversity among niche agents and the complex and nuanced nature of their support for the niche. (shrink)
Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette experiment that was administered to representative samples of 1000 respondents (...) in the ten countries and the United States. The experiment investigated how the gender of the protagonist, his or her level of performance, the efficacy of the enhancer and the mode of enhancement affected support for neuroenhancement in both educational and employment contexts. Of these, higher efficacy and lower performance were found to increase willingness to support enhancement. A series of commonly articulated claims about the individual and societal dimensions of neuroenhancement were derived from the public engagement activities. Underlying these claims, multivariate analysis identified two social values. The Societal/protective highlights counter normative consequences and opposes the use enhancers. The Individual/proactionary highlights opportunities and supports use. For most respondents these values are not mutually exclusive. This suggests that for many neuroenhancement is viewed simultaneously as a source of both promise and concern. (shrink)
Who blows the whistle — a loner or a well-liked team player? Which of them is more likely to lead a successful opposition to perceived organizational wrongdoing? The potential influence of co-worker pressures to conform on whistle-blowing activity or the likely effects of whistle-blowing on the group have not been addressed. This paper presents a preliminary model of whistle-blowing as an act of nonconformity. One implication is that the success of an opposition will depend on the characteristics of the whistle-blower (...) and how the complaint is pursued. Specific hypotheses and general suggestions for future research and practice are offered. (shrink)
Vulnerability is an important criterion to assess the ethical justification of the inclusion of participants in research trials. Currently, vulnerability is often understood as an attribute inherent to a participant by nature of a diagnosed condition. Accordingly, a common ethical concern relates to the participant’s decisionmaking capacity and ability to provide free and informed consent. We propose an expanded view of vulnerability that moves beyond a focus on consent and the intrinsic attributes of participants. We offer specific suggestions for how (...) relational aspects and the dynamic features of vulnerability could be more fully captured in current discussions and research practices. (shrink)
The prospect of using genome technologies to modify the human germline has raised profound moral disagreement but also emphasizes the need for wide-ranging discussion and a well-informed policy response. The Hinxton Group brought together scientists, ethicists, policymakers, and journal editors for an international, interdisciplinary meeting on this subject. This consensus statement formulated by the group calls for support of genome editing research and the development of a scientific roadmap for safety and efficacy; recognizes the ethical challenges involved in clinical reproductive (...) applications of genome editing but, importantly, rejects the idea that human reproductive germline modification is necessarily morally unacceptable; and highlights the importance of meaningful engagement in discussions of genome editing and the development of regulation and oversight mechanisms to govern future uses of such technologies. (shrink)
Pragmatic clinical trials offer important benefits, such as generating evidence that is suited to inform real-world health care decisions and increasing research efficiency. However, PCTs also present ethical challenges. One such challenge involves the management of information that emerges in a PCT that is unrelated to the primary research question, yet may have implications for the individual patients, clinicians, or health care systems from whom or within which research data were collected. We term these findings as?pragmatic clinical trial collateral findings,? (...) or?PCT-CFs?. In this article, we explore the ethical considerations associated with the identification, assessment, and management of PCT-CFs, and how these considerations may vary based upon the attributes of a specific PCT. Our purpose is to map the terrain of PCT-CFs to serve as a foundation for future scholarship as well as policy-making and to facilitate careful deliberation about actual cases as they occur in practice. (shrink)
Given dramatic increases in recent decades in the pace of scientific discovery and understanding of the functional organization of the brain, it is increasingly clear that engagement with the neuroscientific literature and research is central to making progress on philosophical questions regarding the nature and scope of human freedom and responsibility. While patterns of brain activity cannot provide the whole story, developing a deeper and more precise understanding of how brain activity is related to human choice and conduct is crucial (...) to the development of realistic, just, and intellectually rigorous models of human agency and moral responsibility. In this special issue, we acknowledge that “free will” and “moral responsibility” are not concepts with which neuroscience can directly engage, and instead focus on self-governance, and the capacities that contribute to self-governance, which are more tractable for scientific investigation and are prerequisites for the presence of moral responsibility. (shrink)
In this international and interdisciplinary collection of critical essays, distinguished contributors examine a crucial premise of traditional readings of Plato's dialogues: that Plato's own doctrines and arguments can be read off the statements made in the dialogues by Socrates and other leading characters. The authors argue in general and with reference to specific dialogues, that no character should be taken to be Plato's mouthpiece. This is essential reading for students and scholars of Plato.
Phillips & Silverstein offer an exciting synthesis of ongoing efforts to link the clinical and cognitive manifestations of schizophrenia with cellular accounts of its pathophysiology. We applaud their efforts but wonder whether the highly inclusive notion of “context” adequately captures some important details regarding schizophrenia and NMDA/glutamate function that are suggested by work on language processing and cognitive electrophysiology.
From the most prominent thinkers in Latin American philosophy, literature, politics, and social science comes a challenge to conventional theories of globalization. The contributors to this volume imagine a discourse in which revolution requires no temporalized march of progress or takeovers of state power but instead aims at local control and the material conditions for human dignity.
Accrediting institutions and state departments of education are requiring descriptions to work together to tie teacher education curriculum to state and national standards. Most state and national accrediting bodies have at least one diversity standard. Principle Three of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium states, “The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners”. This article describes how the college of education faculty at Fort Hays State (...) University in Kansas and the faculty at Stillman College, a historically black college in Alabama, are creatlng an electronic learning community to meet this challenge. The program uses the case study method to lead students to think critically about their own dispositions and the strategies they are using to prepare their future teachers to meet the diverse needs of their future classrooms. (shrink)
Noxious markets, inequality and social meanings In this thoughtful and timely book, Debra Satz provides a convincing justificatory framework for our ongoing discomfort at the intrusion of markets into many areas of our lives that hitherto had been free from commercial influence. Her central problem is the commodification of everyday life. We inhabit social worlds which are highly commodified and in which the market is often prescribed as a universal panacea for any social problem we confront. Yet despite such (...) overt marketisation in the culture at large, nonetheless there remains the widespread belief that there are some things that should not be for sale: the very thought of selling certain goods remains repugnant. Satz's task in this book is to explain why such misgivings are correct. How might we best account for the intuition that some things should not be for sale? At the heart of her tale is a concern with the inequality that markets often bring in their wake. (shrink)
Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right is written in a manner that is accessible to all. Frankfurt’s arguments are, as usual, clear and persuasive. Korsgaard’s, Bratman’s, and Dan-Cohen’s comments are thought provoking. There are, however, two main areas in which Frankfurt’s arguments need clarification (the notion of wholehearted identification, and the concept of ambivalence), and there are misunderstandings of Frankfurt at work in Korsgaard’s (relationship between the self and the will, and concept of the will for Frankfurt) and Bratman’s (...) (meaning of "necessity" for Frankfurt) comments. (shrink)
Preparing the Next Generation of Oral Historians is an invaluable resource to educators seeking to bring history alive for students at all levels. Filled with insightful reflections on teaching oral history, it offers practical suggestions for educators seeking to create curricula, engage students, gather community support, and meet educational standards. By the close of the book, readers will be able to successfully incorporate oral history projects in their own classrooms.
Cultural Semiosis traces the theoretical itinerary of the signifier in the continental tradition. Cultural semiosis provides links for cultural studies to the philosophical, the literary, the historical and the social. Understood semiotically, cultural signs and signifiers are inscribed in the fabric of cultural practices. Cultural semiosis enters the spaces of everyday language, visuality, sexuality and symbolization. These original essays interpret and provide tools for the understanding of cultural studies within a philosophical framework. Contributors: M. Alison Arnett, Debra Bergoffen, Peter (...) Carravetta, Alessandro Carrera, Julia Kristeva, John Llewelyn, Michael Naas, Kelly Oliver, Adi Ophir, Francois Raffoul, Mark Roberts, Stephanie Sage, Hugh J. Silverman. (shrink)
We inhabit a world in which the market is a dominant institutional form of social organization. This influence is not without its critics, and there is considerable debate amongst political philosophers and policy-makers about whether the range of the market should expand or contract and, further, about the extent to which the market should be subject to constraints and government regulation. The expansion of the market into realms hitherto unknown is the theme of a number of recent books, including Michael (...) Sandel's What Money Can't Buy and Debra Satz's Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale, which build on earlier work by, amongst others, Elizabeth Anderson, Margaret Jane Radin, and Michael Walzer. (shrink)
In an earlier Dissecting Bioethics contribution, Debra J. H. Mathews, Joseph J. Fins, and Eric Racine challenge standard ways of thinking about the therapeutic misconception in the context of consent for research participation. They propose that instead of demanding “rational congruence” between how researchers and participants conceive of a given protocol, we should accept a less stringent standard of “reasonable coherence.” While Mathews, Fins, and Racine (MFR) provide some important insights, their proposal needs refinement. There is room for a (...) wide but not unlimited range of participant hopes and motivations. However, their model of reasonable coherence is too weak a standard for whether participants have adequate understanding of the scientific goals of a protocol. By the time participants are recruited for medical research, the goals of the protocol, having been set and agreed to through accepted scientific processes, are no longer open for alternate interpretations. This paper discusses this and other objections to MFR’s proposal. It then suggests that a concept of “deal breakers” might be useful in this context. (shrink)
In Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale, philosopher Debra Satz takes a penetrating look at those commodity exchanges that strike most of us as problematic. What considerations, she asks, ought to guide the debates about such markets? What is it about a market involving prostitution or the sale of kidneys that makes it morally objectionable? How is a market in weapons or pollution different than a market in soybeans or automobiles? Are laws and social policies banning the (...) more noxious markets necessarily the best responses to them? Satz contends that categories previously used by philosophers and economists are of limited utility in addressing such questions because they have assumed markets to be homogenous. Accordingly, she offers a broader and more nuanced view of markets--one that goes beyond the usual discussions of efficiency and distributional equality--to show how markets shape our culture, foster or thwart human development, and create and support structures of power. (shrink)