: The transplantation of adult human neural stem cells into prenatal non-humans offers an avenue for studying human neural cell development without direct use of human embryos. However, such experiments raise significant ethical concerns about mixing human and nonhuman materials in ways that could result in the development of human-nonhuman chimeras. This paper examines four arguments against such research, the moral taboo, species integrity, "unnaturalness," and human dignity arguments, and finds the last plausible. It argues that the transfer of human (...) brain or retinal stem cells to nonhuman embryos would not result in the development of human-nonhuman chimeras that denigrate human dignity, provided such stem cells are dissociated. The article provides guidelines that set ethical boundaries for conducting such research that are consonant with the requirements of human dignity. (shrink)
In Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick contrasts entitlement theories of justice and “traditional” theories such as Rawls', utilitarianism or egalitarianism, and advocates the former against the latter. What exactly is an entitlement theory of justice? Nozick's book offers two distinct characterizations. On the one hand, he explicitly describes “the general outlines of the entitlement theory” as maintaining “that the holdings of a person are just if he is entitled to them by the principles of justice in acquisition and transfer, (...) or by the principle of rectification of injustice ”. On the other hand, his famous “Wilt Chamberlain” argument against alternative theories is first said to apply to “non-entitlement conceptions”, and later to any “end-state principle or distributional patterned principle of justice” — which amounts to an implicit characterization of an entitlement conception as a conception of justice which is neither end-state nor patterned. (shrink)
Wim van der Steen charts the conceptual foundations of evolutionary theory and evaluates applications of the theory. Conceptual analysis shows that evolutionary theory is a body of interesting natural history at a low level of generality. Asserting that laws of evolution do not exist, he shows that evolutionary approaches do not allow for sweeping claims about man.
Cultural forces shape much of medicine including psychiatry, and medicine shapes much of our culture. Medicine provides us with beneficial treatments of disease, but it also causes harm, increasingly so in the form of overmedication enhanced by the pharmaceutical industry. The book explores boundaries of medicine and psychiatry in a cultural setting by building bridges between unconnected literatures. Boundaries have to be redrawn since effects of the environment, biological, social and political, on health and disease are undervalued. Potential beneficial effects (...) of diet therapies are a recurrent theme throughout the text, with particular emphasis on omega-3 fatty acids. Deficiencies of these acids in common diets may contribute to many chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders. The book uncovers limitations of evidence-based medicine, which fosters a restrictive view of health and disease. Case studies include: the biology of migraine; limitations of biological psychiatry; conventional versus alternative medicine; science, religion and near-death experiences. (shrink)
Offers a practical philosophy of the life sciences, showing how scientific reasoning can, in limited contexts, be translated into the language of philosophy, and how science can correct the philosophy of science.
Chapter 1 Introduction The man was coughing again. Shocked he was as he discovered that his saliva had a reddish taint. Would he have a lung disease after all? Cancer perhaps? Long ago, relatives of his had died from LC, lung cancer.
Science is not value-free and ethics is not fact-free. Science and ethics should be similar, but they are not. The author indicates how research in ethics is to change in the face of this. Ethicists should accommodate empirical work in their programs and they should take heed of methodologies developed in science and philosophy of science. They should abandon the search for a single overarching theory of morality. Controversies in ethics are often spurious for lack of articulate methodological key concepts. (...) For example, disagreements over the value of general theories are misguided since disputants implicitly use different notions of generality and different notions of theory. An appropriate methodology does not suffice for the resolution of controversies but it is indispensable for consensus. The book argues these theses in a general way and applies them to the subject of egoism and altruism in ethics. Further case studies concern the environment and psychiatric disorders. (shrink)
The paper discusses ten philosophical problems in deontic logic: how to formally represent norms, when a set of norms may be termed ‘coherent’, how to deal with normative conﬂicts, how contraryto-duty obligations can be appropriately modeled, how dyadic deontic operators may be redeﬁned to relate to sets of norms instead of preference relations between possible worlds, how various concepts of permission can be accommodated, how meaning postulates and counts-as conditionals can be taken into account, and how sets of norms may (...) be revised and merged. The problems are discussed from the viewpoint of input/output logic as developed by van der Torre & Makinson. We argue that norms, not ideality, should take the central position in deontic semantics, and that a semantics that represents norms, as input/output logic does, provides helpful tools for analyzing, clarifying and solving the problems of deontic logic. (shrink)
The essays collected together in this volume originated with a symposium which addressed a variety of issues associated with the publications of Professor W.H. Dray in the philosophy of history. In this expanded version of the original symposium, to which Professor Dray has provided a critical response, a group of prominent philosophers and historians address the central questions posed by contemporary philosophy of history - such as, the logic and methodology of historical explanation, the selection and uses of evidence, the (...) fact/value relationship, the nature of historical causation, the question of conflicting interpretations and their possible resolution, the idea of history as a school of practical wisdom, and the question whether history has any discernable pattern or meaning. These issues are approached from the experience of both historians and philosophers and represent an important increment to the long-standing and continuing debates concerning the nature and aims of the practice and philosophy of history. (shrink)
This article reflects a conversation between Jan G. van der Watt and Stephan Joubert. The article serves as the introduction to the Special Collection: ‘From timely exegesis to contemporary ecclesiology: Relevant hermeneutics and provocative embodiment of faith in a Corona-defined world – Festschrift for Stephan Joubert, sub-edited by Willem Oliver ’. Following a brief bio-statement as introduction, the following issues are discussed: the collection for the Jerusalem church; relevance of theology for society; social-scientific exegesis; the ancient concept of grace; Bible (...) translation in South Africa; public theology on the electronic platform; biblical examples of leadership and electronic media in religious activities and education.Contribution: This Festschrift represents current trends in biblical scholarship and ecclesial leadership. It contributes to the public discourse in church and society, especially the role of the electronic media in current Fourth Industrial Revolution. (shrink)
The King Report on Corporate Governance (1994) evoked unprecedented interest in corporate governance in South Africa. This does not mean that corporate governance was not an issue of concern before the release of this historical report. To the contrary, corporate governance in its broader sense has been at stake since the inception of the first publicly owned companies in South Africa. This article intends to give an overview of corporate governance in South Africa. It starts by making a distinction between (...) broad and narrow conceptions of corporate governance. Before applying this distinction to the practice of corporate governance in South Africa, a brief overview of the corporate landscape in South Africa is provided. Then the South African situation with regard to broad and narrow corporate governance respectively is analysed. The article ends with a discussion of the review of corporate governance that currently is in the making in South Africa. Throughout the article both the financial and ethical dimensions of corporate governance is attended to. (shrink)
The pivotal problem of comorbidity research lies in the psychometric foundation it rests on, that is, latent variable theory, in which a mental disorder is viewed as a latent variable that causes a constellation of symptoms. From this perspective, comorbidity is a (bi)directional relationship between multiple latent variables. We argue that such a latent variable perspective encounters serious problems in the study of comorbidity, and offer a radically different conceptualization in terms of a network approach, where comorbidity is hypothesized to (...) arise from direct relations between symptoms of multiple disorders. We propose a method to visualize comorbidity networks and, based on an empirical network for major depression and generalized anxiety, we argue that this approach generates realistic hypotheses about pathways to comorbidity, overlapping symptoms, and diagnostic boundaries, that are not naturally accommodated by latent variable models: Some pathways to comorbidity through the symptom space are more likely than others; those pathways generally have the same direction (i.e., from symptoms of one disorder to symptoms of the other); overlapping symptoms play an important role in comorbidity; and boundaries between diagnostic categories are necessarily fuzzy. (shrink)
In recent years, schools and education authorities world wide have been paying increasing attention to issues surrounding diversity and religious tolerance. The term 'tolerance' is, however, clouded by considerable confusion and vagueness. This article seeks to contribute to recent scholarly attempts at understanding tolerance and the term that denotes it. After a brief semantic analysis of the term 'tolerance', arguments concerning the onticity of tolerance as phenomenon or entity are discussed. By examining its onticity we explore and explain some of (...) the essential features of tolerance. The article ends with a brief discussion of some of the implications of our examination that we foresee for education. (shrink)
According to the logic of collective action, mere awareness of the causes of environmental degradation will not motivate rational agents to reduce pollution. Yet some government policies aim to enlist citizens in schemes of voluntary cooperation, drawing on an ethos of collective responsibility. Are such policies doomed to failure? This book provides a novel application of rational choice theory to a large-scale survey of environmental attitudes in The Netherlands. Its main findings are that rational citizens are motivated to cooperate towards (...) a less polluted environment to a large extent, but that their willingness to assume responsibility depends on the social context of the collective action problem they face. This empirical study is an important volume in the development of a more consistent foundation for rational choice theory in policy analysis, which seeks to clarify major theoretical issues concerning the role of moral commitment, self-interest and reciprocity in environmental behaviour. (shrink)
Research suggests that sedentary behavior is negatively associated with cognitive outcomes. Interrupting prolonged sitting has been shown to improve cognitive functions, including executive functioning, which is important for academic performance. No research has been conducted on the effect of standing on EF in VET students, who make up a large proportion of the adolescent population and who are known to sit more than other students of this age. In this study, we investigated the acute effects of reducing SB by short (...) time standing on EF in vocational education and training students. In a randomized crossover study, 165 VET students were first taught for 15 min in seated position. After this, they performed while seated the Letter Memory Test for updating, and the Color Shape Test for shifting and inhibition. Students were randomly assigned to a sitting or standing condition. All students were taught again for 15 min and then took the same tests in the condition they were allocated to, respectively, standing or seated. After 1 week, the test procedure was repeated, in which students switched conditions. Mixed model analyses showed no significant effect of sitting or standing on updating, shifting, or inhibition. Also, no significant differences were found for the order of condition on updating, shifting, or inhibition. Our results suggest that 40 min of standing does not significantly influence EF among VET students. (shrink)
Two decades of research on euthanasia in the Netherlands have resulted into clear insights in the frequency and characteristics of euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands. These empirical studies have contributed to the quality of the public debate, and to the regulating and public control of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. No slippery slope seems to have occurred. Physicians seem to adhere to the criteria for due care in the large majority of cases. Further, it has been shown (...) that the majority of physicians think that the euthanasia Act has improved their legal certainty and contributes to the carefulness of life-terminating acts. In 2005, eighty percent of the euthanasia cases were reported to the review committees. Thus, the transparency envisaged by the Act still does not extend to all cases. Unreported cases almost all involve the use of opioids, and are not considered to be euthanasia by physicians. More education and debate is needed to disentangle in these situations which acts should be regarded as euthanasia and which should not. Medical end-of-life decision-making is a crucial part of end-of-life care. It should therefore be given continuous attention in health care policy and medical training. Systematic periodic research is crucial for enhancing our understanding of end-of-life care in modern medicine, in which the pursuit of a good quality of dying is nowadays widely recognized as an important goal, in addition to the traditional goals such as curing diseases and prolonging life. (shrink)
Lon Fuller, one of the great American jurists of this century, is often remembered only for his stand on the morality of law in the Fuller-Hart debate. Rediscovering Fuller considers the full range of Fuller's writings, from his early engagement with legal fictions and his critique of legal positivism to his later work on implicit law and the art of institutional design. Contributors from the fields of both civil law and common law argue that Fuller's insights are highly relevant to (...) contemporary concerns. The book contains essays by K. Winston, D. Dyzenhaus, P. Cliteur, F. Schauer, P. Westerman, W. van der Burg, D. Luban, G. Postema, P. Teachout, R. Macdonald, W. Witteveen, J. Allison, M. Hertogh, K. Soltan, J. Allan, F. Mootz, J. Vining, and a preface by Ph. Selznick. "At some point in the future, when we become more open to the moral relevance of social inquiry, more empirical in our study of philosophical issues, more capable of uniting moral and social theory, Lon Fuller's work will stand as a landmark. This volume will help show the way." —Ph. Selznick. (shrink)