ABSTRACT There is a growing acceptance of user rights models with regard to dependent populations such as nursing home residents, but classic theories of rights presuppose levels of human rationality and human agency often lacking in the case of highly dependent populations. While user rights models have strong advantages at a rhetorical level, the reduced capacity for dependent groups to assert their rights constitutes a significant structural limitation. Policies, practices and regulatory strategies developed on the assumption that very dependent groups (...) can indeed assert such rights thus proceed on a premise which is fatally flawed. (shrink)
Literary fiction is of crucial importance in human life. It is a source of understanding and insight into the nature of the human condition, yet ever since Plato, philosophers have struggled to provide a plausible explanation of how this can be the case. For surely the fictionality - the sheer invented character - of the literary text means that fiction presents not our world, but other worlds? In Fiction and the Weave of Life, John Gibson offers a novel and (...) intriguing account of the relationship between literature and everyday life, and shows how literature can give us an understanding of our world without literally being about our world. (shrink)
The cognitivist/non-cognitivist debate about the nature and value of literary fiction has witnessed a lot of spilled ink amongst philosophers over the past decade. Gibson characterizes this debate as a conflict between two apparently incompatible intuitions: the ‘humanist’ intuition that works of literary fiction have some sort of cognitive value in telling us about the world, and the ‘sceptical’ anti-humanist intuition that such works, and their proper appreciation, are not essentially concerned with the notions of truth and knowledge. The (...) vast majority of recent writers on this issue have defended various versions of cognitivism, but the novelty of Gibson's cognitivist – or as he calls it ‘humanist’ – position consists in attempting to reconcile the two sides of the debate.Gibson thus takes seriously various sceptical arguments, primarily semantic and epistemological, to the effect that works of fiction qua fiction do not or cannot make reference to or represent the ‘real’ world and insofar as they do refer to it, they provide no evidence in themselves for forming justified beliefs about their claims. These arguments, Gibson holds, place a necessary ‘textual constraint’ on any plausible humanism, …. (shrink)
Results from two self-paced reading experiments in English are reported in which subject- and object-extracted relative clauses (SRCs and ORCs, respectively) were presented in contexts that support both types of relative clauses (RCs). Object-extracted versions were read more slowly than subject-extracted versions across both experiments. These results are not consistent with a decay-based working memory account of dependency formation where the amount of decay is a function of the number of new discourse referents that intervene between the dependents (Gibson, (...) 1998; Warren & Gibson, 2002). Rather, these results support interference-based accounts and decay-based accounts where the amount of decay depends on the number of words or on the type of noun phrases that intervene between the dependents. In Experiment 2, presentation in supportive contexts was directly contrasted with presentation in null contexts. Whereas in the null context the extraction effect was only observed during the RC region, in a supportive context the extraction effect was numerically larger and persisted into the following region, thus showing that extraction effects are enhanced in supportive contexts. A sentence completion study demonstrated that the rate of SRCs versus ORCs was similar across null and supportive contexts (with most completions being subject-extractions), ruling out the possibility that an enhanced extraction effect in supportive contexts is due to ORCs being less expected in such contexts. However, the content of the RCs differed between contexts in the completions, such that the RCs produced in supportive contexts were more constrained, reflecting the lexical and semantic content of the preceding context. This effect, which we discuss in terms of expectations/lexico-syntactic priming, suggests that the enhancement of the extraction effect in supportive contexts is due to the facilitation of the subject-extracted condition. (shrink)
Gibson, Robin The concept of dying by euthanasia and indeed physician-assisted suicide is a highly emotive one. Assisted dying arouses intense feelings both in favour and against. The prospect of enduring a long drawn out dying process generates both fear and apprehension in both terminally ill and chronically ill patients. Many of them wish to choose the time and manner of their death. On the other side, passionate, mainly religious groups have campaigned long and hard to deny suffering people (...) assistance to die. As the law currently stands in Australia, there is a complete ban on both euthanasia and assistance in suicide. Even following a request by a patient, a medical practitioner who directly takes the life of his or her patient, can be charged with murder or manslaughter. Despite the repeal of laws that forbade committing or attempting to commit suicide, laws still exist which proscribe the provision of assistance to another to commit or attempt to commit suicide. (shrink)
In this lively undergraduate textbook, Kevin Gibson explores the relationship between ethics and the world of business, and how we can serve the interests of both. He builds a philosophical groundwork that can be applied to a wide range of issues in ethics and business, and shows readers how to assess dilemmas critically and work to resolve them on a principled basis. Using case studies drawn from around the world, he examines topics including stakeholder responsibilities, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, (...) and women and business. Because business can no longer be isolated from its effects on communities and the environment, these concerns are brought to the forefront. The book also captures the dynamic nature of business ethics in the era of globalization where jobs can be outsourced, products are made of components from scores of countries and sweatshops often provide the cheap goods the public demands. (shrink)
In an earlier paper, written in reaction to those who argued that the African National Congress (ANC) had no alternative but to implement neoliberal economic policies in the context of the 'Washington Consensus', I discussed the strategic choices and ideological pitfalls of the 'political class' who took over state power in South Africa after the end of apartheid and implemented its own homegrown structural adjustment programme (Gibson 2001). Much of this transition has been scripted by political science 'transition literature' (...) and much of it is proactive, mapping out what should be done to establish a 'pacted', 'elite' democracy overseeing neoliberal economic policies (O'Donnell, Schmitter & Whitehead 1986). From another vantage point, I argued that Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth is perhaps one of the most perceptive critiques of the transition literature available. This article continues the discussion. (shrink)
John Locke is probably one of the highest-regarded English philosophers, and the first of the British empiricists. His ideas on the mind and consciousness have continued to resonate throughout philosophy and philosophical thought ever since An Essay Concerning Human Understanding first appeared in 1690. James Gibson's Locke's Theory of Knowledge and its Historical Relations was first published in 1917, and saw its fourth reprinting in 1968. Here, it is made available for the first time in paperback. This hugely detailed (...) work is an invaluable collation of Locke's theories, exploring his thoughts on the problems of knowledge, the formation of ideas, causality and the self. Furthermore, Gibson also provides an in-depth historical evaluation of the effects of these theories on contemporary philosophy as a whole, and on thinkers such as Descartes, Kant and Leibniz more specifically. As such, this book is a valuable reference work for any student of philosophy. (shrink)
Metaphysics and Transcendence takes up this story for the future. Arthur Gibson presents a new metaphysics with a genealogy based on counter-intuition and locates counter-intuition and complexity at the foundations of truth. Having devised fresh concepts on the basis of the new frontiers of science and philosophy, the author presents original explanations of transcendence arguing that just as we need revolutionary and original ways of depicting the physical world, so it is with such topics as God, miracles, the resurrection, (...) the source and identity of consciousness and reason itself. (shrink)
Nature of the problem: Testimony from scientists. Reflex action and theism (1881) by W. James. The organization of thought (1916) by A.N. Whitehead. The changing scientific scene 1900-1950 (1952) by J.B. Conant. A note on methods of analysis (1943) by H.J. Muller. The way things are (1959) by P.W. Bridgman. A definition of style (1948) by J.R. Oppenheimer.--Consequences of the problem: Testimony from artists and writers. Existentialism (1947) by J.-P. Sartre. The testimony of modern art (1957) by W. Barrett. Parts (...) of speech and punctuation (1935) by G. Stein. The waves (1931) by V. Woolf. The imperfect paradise, by W. Stevens. A note on style and the limits of language, by W. Gibson. (shrink)
This is a book about how we see: the environment around us (its surfaces, their layout, and their colors and textures); where we are in the environment; whether or not we are moving and, if we are, where we are going; what things are good for; how to do things (to thread a needle or drive an automobile); or why things look as they do.The basic assumption is that vision depends on the eye which is connected to the brain. The (...) author suggests that natural vision depends on the eyes in the head on a body supported by the ground, the brain being only the central organ of a complete visual system. When no constraints are put on the visual system, people look around, walk up to something interesting and move around it so as to see it from all sides, and go from one vista to another. That is natural vision—and what this book is about. (shrink)
Using 94 published empirical articles in academic journals as a data base, this paper provides a critical review of the methodology employed in the study of ethical beliefs and behavior of organizational members. The review revealed that full methodological detail was provided in less than one half of the articles. Further, the majority of empirical research articles expressed no concern for the reliability or validity of measures, were characterized by low response rates, used convenience samples, and did not offer a (...) theoretic framework, hypotheses, or a definition of ethics. Several recommendations, including a reviewer rating form addressing methodological decisions and inclusion of methodologists on the review panel, are offered to improve methodological rigor in published ethics research. (shrink)
Cognitivism in respect to the arts refers to a constellation of positions that share in common the idea that artworks often bear, in addition to aesthetic value, a significant kind of cognitive value. In this paper I concentrate on three things: (i) the challenge of understanding exactly what one must do if one wishes to defend a cognitivist view of the arts; (ii) common anti-cognitivist arguments; and (iii) promising recent attempts to defend cognitivism.
Both the psychology of perception and the philosophy of perception seem to show a new face when the process is considered at its own level, distinct from that of sensation. Unfamiliar conceptions in physics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and phenomenology are required to clarify the separation and make it plausible. But there have been so many dead ends in the effort to solve the theoretical problems of perception that radical proposals may now be acceptable. Scientists are often more conservative than philosophers (...) of science. I end, therefore, as I began, with a plea for help. (shrink)
We have two aims in this paper. The first is to provide the reader with a critical guide to recent work on relativity and persistence by Balashov, Gilmore and others. Much of this work investigates whether endurantism can be sustained in the context of relativity. Several arguments have been advanced that aim to show that it cannot. We find these unpersuasive, and will add our own criticisms to those we review. Our second aim, which complements the first, is to demarcate (...) the most defensible form of relativistic endurantism. A recurring theme of this paper is that even those philosophers who do worry about relativity have not taken it seriously enough. (shrink)
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
In this article, we describe the influence of violations of community standards of fairness (Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler, 1986a) on subsequent ethical decision-making and emotions. Across two studies, we manipulated explanations for a common action, and we find that explanations that violate community standards of fairness (e.g., by taking advantage of an in crease in market power) lead to greater intentions to behave unethically than explanations that are consistent with community standards of fairness (e.g., by passing along a price increase). (...) We find that perceptions of justifiability mediate this relationship. We also find that individuals derive significant psychological benefits (greater satisfaction, greater happiness, and reduced anger) from engaging in unethical behavior following perceived violations of fairness. (shrink)
Background Planning for the next pandemic influenza outbreak is underway in hospitals across the world. The global SARS experience has taught us that ethical frameworks to guide decision-making may help to reduce collateral damage and increase trust and solidarity within and between health care organisations. Good pandemic planning requires reflection on values because science alone cannot tell us how to prepare for a public health crisis. Discussion In this paper, we present an ethical framework for pandemic influenza planning. The ethical (...) framework was developed with expertise from clinical, organisational and public health ethics and validated through a stakeholder engagement process. The ethical framework includes both substantive and procedural elements for ethical pandemic influenza planning. The incorporation of ethics into pandemic planning can be helped by senior hospital administrators sponsoring its use, by having stakeholders vet the framework, and by designing or identifying decision review processes. We discuss the merits and limits of an applied ethical framework for hospital decision-making, as well as the robustness of the framework. Summary The need for reflection on the ethical issues raised by the spectre of a pandemic influenza outbreak is great. Our efforts to address the normative aspects of pandemic planning in hospitals have generated interest from other hospitals and from the governmental sector. The framework will require re-evaluation and refinement and we hope that this paper will generate feedback on how to make it even more robust. (shrink)
W. V. Quine (1908-2000) was quite simply the most distinguished analytic philosopher of the later half of the twentieth century. His celebrated attack on the analytic/synthetic tradition heralded a major shift away from the views of language descended from logical positivism. His most important book, Word and Object, introduced the concept of indeterminacy of radical translation, a bleak view of the nature of the language with which we ascribe thoughts and beliefs to ourselves and others. Quine is also famous for (...) the view that epistemology should be naturalized, that is conducted in a scientific spirit with the object of investigating the relationship between the inputs of experience and the outputs of belief. The eleven essays in this volume cover all the central topics of Quine's philosophy: the underdetermination of physical theory, analycity, naturalism, propositional attitudes, behaviorism, reference and ontology, positivism, holism and logic. (shrink)
A viable theory of literary humanism must do justice to the idea that literature offers cognitive rewards to the careful reader. There are, however, powerful arguments to the effect that literature is at best only capable of offering idle visions of a world already well known. In this essay I argue that there is a form of cognitive awareness left unmentioned in the traditional vocabulary of knowledge acquisition, a form of awareness literature is particularly capable of offering. Thus even if (...) it is the case that literature has nothing interesting to give us in the way of knowledge, the literary humanist can consistently maintain that literary experience is thoroughly cognitive. (shrink)
The present study applied Ajzen's (1985) theory of planned behavior to the explanation of ethical decision making. Nurses in three hospitals were provided with scenarios that depicted inadequate patient care and asked if they would report health professionals responsible for the situation. Study results suggest that the theory of planned behavior can explain a significant amount of variation in the intent to report a colleague. Attitude toward performing the behavior explained a large portion of the variance; subjective norms explained a (...) moderate amount of the variance; and, perceived behavioral control added little to the explanation of variance. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
It is often assumed that literary meaning is essentially linguistic in nature and that literary interpretation is therefore a purely linguistic affair. This essay identifies a variety of literary meaning that cannot be reduced to linguistic meaning. Meaning of this sort is generated not by a communicative act so much as through a creative one: the construction of a fictional world. The way in which a fictional world can bear meaning turns out to be strikingly unlike the way a sentence (...) can, and this, I argue, has important implications for the theory of interpretation. (shrink)
Background: Demand for organisational ethics capacity is growing in health organisations, particularly among managers. The role of clinical ethicists in, and perspective on, organisational ethics has not been well described or documented in the literature. Objective: To describe clinical ethicists’ perspectives on organisational ethics issues in their hospitals, their institutional role in relation to organisational ethics, and their perceived effectiveness in helping to address organisational ethics issues. Design and Setting: Qualitative case study involving semi-structured interviews with 18 clinical ethicists across (...) 13 health organisations in Toronto, Canada. Results: From the clinical ethicists’ perspective, the most pressing organisational ethics issues in their organisations are: resource allocation, staff moral distress linked to the organisation’s moral climate, conflicts of interest, and clinical issues with a significant organisational dimension. Clinical ethicists were consulted in particular on issues related to staff moral distress and clinical issues with an organisational dimension. Some ethicists described being increasingly consulted on resource allocation, conflicts of interest, and other corporate decisions. Many clinical ethicists felt they lacked sufficient knowledge and understanding of organisational decision-making processes, training in organisational ethics, and access to organisational ethics tools to deal effectively with the increasing demand for organisational ethics support. Conclusion: Growing demand for organisational ethics expertise in healthcare institutions is reshaping the role of clinical ethicists. Effectiveness in organisational ethics entails a re-evaluation of clinical ethics training to include capacity building in organisational ethics and organisational decision-making processes as a complement to traditional clinical ethics education. (shrink)
This study applies a theoretical framework, the theory of reasoned action, to the examination of unethical decision making in job-related situations encountered by CPAs. A survey methodology was employed in which respondents were asked to use both self-reported and randomized response techniques for reporting unethical behavior. The results indicate that individuals are unwilling to accurately report either unethical behavior or intention, particularly in situations where there is no question as to the unacceptability of the action or the potential penalty as (...) presented in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Implications for the accounting profession and research are discussed. (shrink)
The so-called "Prisoner''s Dilemma" is often referred to in business ethics, but probably not well understood. This article has three parts: (1) I claim that models derived from game theory are significant in the field for discussions of prudential ethics and the practical decisions managers make; (2) I discuss using them as a practical pedagogical exercise and some of the lessons generated; (3) more speculatively, I suggest that they are useful in discussions of corporate personhood.
This conceptual article has three parts: In the first, I discuss the shortcomings of treating the environment as a stakeholder and conclude that doing so is theoretically vague and lacks prescriptive force. In the second part, I recommend moving from broad notions of preserving nature and appeals to beauty to a more concrete analytic framework provided by the idea of human sustainability. Using sustainability as the focus of concern is significant as it provides us with a more tenable and quantifiable (...) standard for action, as in the case of carbon offsets and development of measures such as the United Nations Sustainability Indicators. In the final section, I draw on notions of stewardship to suggest that stakeholder management has a positive responsibility to promote sustainability. (shrink)
Medical ethics committees are increasingly called on to assist doctors, patients, and families in resolving difficult ethics issues. Although committees are becoming more sophisticated in the substance of medical ethics, little attention has been given to the processes these committees use to facilitate decision-making. In 1990, the National Institute for Dispute Resolution in Washington, D.C., provided a planning grant from its Innovation Fund to the Institute of Public Law of the University of New Mexico School of Law to look at (...) what ethics committees can learn from facilitation and mediation techniques. The study's thesis was that, if adapted for use by medical ethics committees, facilitation and mediation techniques can be helpful to those bodies in case review consultations and in other internal committee processes. This article reports on that project. (shrink)
This paper traces out the sense and the source of quine's naturalism. Quine's usage of the term 'naturalism' has two senses: his negative usage amounts to a denial of first philosophy; his affirmative usage amounts to an affirmation of scientism. He argues the former largely on the grounds of holism. He argues the latter on the grounds of unregenerate realism. As quine's holism and unregenerate realism are themselves well grounded, So therefore is his naturalization of epistemology.
Background In Canadian jurisdictions without specific legislation pertaining to research consent, the onus is placed on researchers to determine whether a child is capable of independently consenting to participate in a research study. Little, however, is known about how child health researchers are approaching consent and capacity assessment in practice. The aim of this study was to explore and describe researchers' current practices. Methods The study used a qualitative descriptive design consisting of 14 face-to-face interviews with child health researchers and (...) research assistants in Southern Ontario. Transcribed interviews were analysed for common themes. Results Procedures for assessing capacity varied considerably from the use of age cutoffs to in-depth engagement with each child. Three key issues emerged from the accounts: (1) requirements that consent be provided by a single person thwarted researchers' abilities to support family decision-making; (2) little practical distinction was made between assessing if a child was capable, versus determining if study information had been adequately explained by the researcher; and (3) participants' perceived that review boards' requirements may conflict with what they considered ethical consent practices. Conclusion The results suggest that researchers' consent and capacity knowledge and skills vary considerably. Perceived discrepancies between ethical practice and ethics boards' requirements suggest the need for dialogue, education and possibly ethics board reforms. Furthermore we propose, where appropriate, a ‘family decision-making’ model that allows parents and their children to consent together, thereby shifting the focus from separate assent and consent procedures to approaches that appropriately engage the child and family. (shrink)
The notion of role morality suggests individuals may adopt a different morality depending on the roles they undertake. Investigating role morality is important, since the mentality of role morality may allow agents to believe they can abdicate moral responsibility when acting in a role. This is particularly significant in the literature dealing with professional morality where professionals, because of their special status, may find themselves at odds with their best moral judgments. Here I tell four stories and draw out some (...) distinctions. I conclude that role morality is a genuine and useful distinction. However, I suggest that the purported distinction between role morality and professional morality is over‐determined. Therefore, alleged conflicts between the demands of role and profession are not conflicts between different kinds of demands, but rather conflicts arising from divergent roles that most workers will encounter regularly. Another analytical perspective is to look at moral choices at work in terms of power and the ability to bring about change. Finally, I draw the implication that we should stress moral awareness at a fairly abstract level for all employees and reinforce the moral primacy of individual choice. (shrink)
The leading contemporary French philosopher Alain Badiou has been a lifelong devotee of Beckett's work. This ground-breaking study provides a full introduction to and critique of Badiou's philosophy, politics, ethics and aesthetics, and his interpretation of the Irish writer, as a basis for a major new reading of the Beckett corpus.