Alienation and Connection addresses social constructs that perpetuate alienation through suffering. The contributors discuss how alienation through suffering in a variety of contexts can be transformed into connection and reconnection: human relationship with the environment, economic and social systems that disconnect and reconnect, cultural constructs that divide or can heal, encountered difference that brings opportunity, and various manifestations of personal pain that can be survived and even overcome.
This article argues for a rediscovery of a theology of work in South Africa that is based on the Protestant notion of calling and vocation. Such a view has the primary intention of emphasising obedience and faithfulness to God rather than self-fulfilment or achievement as the intentions of work. Such an approach can empower and equip the church and individual Christians for effective and faithful living in all spheres of life – both private and public. The article shows that the (...) influences of theological dualism, an unbalanced view of the clergy as primary agents of ministry and mission, and a structures-centred view of ministry and mission detracted from the importance of the church’s ministry in numerous spheres of society. A consequence of this was the introduction of a subtle dualism between faith and work. In response to this, the article considers how the church could become an agent of mission and transformation in the world of work. The conclusion of this article is that the South African church could benefit from revisiting and rediscovering a theology of work that is based on the Protestant emphasis of calling and vocation in the public sphere.Contribution: While this article engages the traditional protestant theological notions of calling and vocation, it argues that reconsidering these notions in relation to the contemporary world of work can renew a theology of work and ministry for South African churches to serve their members in achieving God’s will in society. (shrink)
This is a ‘study of Liberal Humanism in the novels of George Eliot, Henry James, E M Forster, Virginia Woolf and Angus Wilson’. The ‘free spirit’ is the person who, ‘freed’ of traditional or customary morality, has to learn an empirical or consequential morality in relations with other people and reconcile this with self-fulfilment as a new and conscious ideal. Such a spirit typifies the offspring of J S Mill and the liberal middle-class culture of the late nineteenth (...) century with its reliance on historical progress, the power of reason, tolerance and individual freedom. The dilemma of the contemporary liberal is summarised in an introductory chapter which does not however attempt any analysis more radical than the usual one. When the international conflicts of the twentieth century undermined its confidence liberalism lost its creative energy in the fields of political action and social reform, yet many middle-class people of liberal bent still retain in their private lives amidst an alien society a liberal-humanist morality of personal relationships worked out according to the motives and foreseen consequences of their actions. Certain characters and themes handled by the above line of novelists show their awareness of this liberal programme and its complications. (shrink)
Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defend a surprising answer last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. For replies to critics, see my publications of 1997 and (especially) 2004.
It is argued that reliance on the testimony of others cannot be viewed as reliance on a kind of evidence. Speech being essentially voluntary, the speaker cannot see his own choice of words as evidence of their truth, and so cannot honestly offer them to others as such. Rather, in taking responsibility for the truth of what he says, the speaker offers a guarantee or assurance of its truth, and in believing him the hearer accepts this assurance. I argue that, (...) contrary to appearances, this account is compatible with the hearer acquiring knowledge, and in fact throws interesting light on the idea of knowledge. -/- . (shrink)
Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? In Burke 1994, employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defended a surprising position last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. This paper defends that position against objections by Stone, Carter, Olson, and others. Most notably, it offers (...) a novel, conservative solution to the many-thinkers problem, a solution that enables us to accept the existence of brain-containing person-parts while denying that those person-parts are thinking, conscious beings. (shrink)
In these twelve papers notable ethicists use the resources of ethical theory to illuminate important theoretical and practical topics, including the nature of public health, notions of community, population bioethics, the legitimate role of law, the use of cost-effectiveness as a methodology, vaccinations, and the nature of infectious disease.
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Introduction Angus Dawson; Part I. Concepts: 1. Resetting the parameters: public health as the foundation for public health ethics Angus Dawson; 2. Health, disease and the goal of public health Bengt Brülde; 3. Selective reproduction, eugenics and public health Stephen Wilkinson; 4. Risk and precaution Stephen John; Part II. Issues: 5. Smoking, health and ethics Richard Ashcroft; 6. Infectious disease control Marcel Verweij; 7. Population screening Ainsley Newson; 8. Vaccination ethics Angus Dawson; (...) 9. Environment, ethics and public health: the climate change dilemma Anthony Kessel and Carolyn Stephens; 10. Public health research ethics: is non-exploitation the new principle for population-based research ethics? John McMillan; 11. Equity and population health: toward a broader bioethics agenda Norman Daniels; 12. Health inequities James Wilson; Index. (shrink)
Suppose a certain man, Dion, has his foot amputated, and lives to tell the tale. That tale involves a well-known metaphysical puzzle, for most of us assume that there was, before the operation, an object made up of all of Dion’s parts except those that overlapped with his foot-- ”all of Dion except for his foot”, we might say, or Dion’s “foot-complement”. Call that object Theon. (Anyone who doubts that there is such a thing as (...) class='Hi'>Dion’s undetached foot-complement may imagine that ‘Theon’ is a name for Dion’s undetached head. Surely there is such a thing as Dion’s head? And surely Dion could, in principle, survive if his head were detached from the rest of him and kept alive?) It seems obvious that Theon, like Dion, continues to exist after the operation, for you cannot destroy an object merely by changing its surroundings--merely by removing something that was never a part of it. The puzzle, then (which might be called the problem of undetached parts), is how Dion and Theon are related after the operation. The most common answer to this question is that Dion and Theon come to occupy just the same region of space and to be made of just the same matter after the operation. The next-mostpopular answer is that Dion and Theon are made up of temporal parts, and while those of their temporal parts that “occur” before the operation only partly overlap, Dion and Theon have the very same post-operative temporal parts. Much as two roads can merge and have spatial parts in common, Dion and Theon merge and have temporal parts in common. Less popular accounts of the relation between Dion and Theon involve relativizing identity to concepts or times, and denying that there is such a thing as Theon. Michael Burke has recently proposed an intriguing new solution (or resurrected an ancient one) to the problem of undetached parts.  He argues that, despite appearances, Theon-- Dion’s foot-complement--ceases to exist when Dion’s foot is removed.. (shrink)
Forster and Sober present a solution to the curve-fitting problem based on Akaike's Theorem. Their analysis shows that the curve with the best epistemic credentials need not always be the curve that most closely fits the data. However, their solution does not, without further argument, avoid the two difficulties that are traditionally associated with the curve-fitting problem: that there are infinitely many equally good candidate-curves relative to any given set of data, and that these best candidates include curves with (...) indefinitely many bumps. (shrink)
Part I: The 'explanatory gap'. 1. Why take morality to be objective? -- 2. The gap opens: evolution and our capacity for moral knowledge -- Part II: Secular responses. 3. Alternatives to realism: Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard -- 4. Procedures and reasons: Tim Scanlon and Christine Korsgaard -- 5. Natural goodness: Philippa Foot's moral objectivism -- 6. Natural goodness and 'second nature': John McDowell and David Wiggin -- Part III: Theism. 7. From goodness to God: closing the explanatory gap (...) -- 8. Purpose without theism? Axiarchism and Neoplatonism. (shrink)
Here is a puzzle from the Stoic, Chrysippus: There was once a man called Dion, who was unfortunate enough to have his foot annihilated. Thereafter, he was known as Theon. Theon is identical to what was left over after Dion’s foot was removed. That is, Theon is that part of Dion that does not include his foot. If all this is true, then Theon is a proper part of Dion. That is, he is a part of (...)Dion, but not identical to Dion. But if that’s right, then, surprisingly, Dion didn’t survive the loss of his foot. (shrink)
Background: The debate over the ethical implications of care robots has raised a range of concerns, including the possibility that such technologies could disrupt caregiving as a core human moral activity. At the same time, academics in information ethics have argued that we should extend our ideas of moral agency and rights to include intelligent machines. Research objectives: This article explores issues of the moral status and limitations of machines in the context of care. Design: A conceptual argument is developed, (...) through a four-part scheme derived from the work of Alasdair MacIntyre. No empirical data are used. Ethical consideration: No primary data were gathered for this study. Secondary sources and authorship have been acknowledged throughout. Findings / discussion: Certain kinds of social experience, including the narrative unity of a life, and the giving and receiving of care, are essential for moral development. Machines, no matter how advanced, cannot participate in such experiences in key respects, and thus cannot develop as practical reasoners. Conclusion: It follows that they cannot be moral agents and that they cannot care. There are, it seems, no such things as care robots. In view of the institutional power of tech companies and commissioning bodies, care practitioners need to take more of a lead in developing new assistive technologies which are appropriate to their practice. (shrink)
This book puts forward a much-needed reappraisal of Immanuel Kant's conception of and response to skepticism, as set forth principally in the Critique of Pure Reason. It is widely recognized that Kant's theoretical philosophy aims to answer skepticism and reform metaphysics--Michael Forster makes the controversial argument that those aims are closely linked. He distinguishes among three types of skepticism: "veil of perception" skepticism, which concerns the external world; Humean skepticism, which concerns the existence of a priori concepts and synthetic (...) a priori knowledge; and Pyrrhonian skepticism, which concerns the equal balance of opposing arguments. Forster overturns conventional views by showing how the first of these types was of little importance for Kant, but how the second and third held very special importance for him, namely because of their bearing on the fate of metaphysics. He argues that Kant undertook his reform of metaphysics primarily in order to render it defensible against these types of skepticism. Finally, in a critical appraisal of Kant's project, Forster argues that, despite its strengths, it ultimately fails, for reasons that carry interesting broader philosophical lessons. These reasons include inadequate self-reflection and an underestimation of the resources of Pyrrhonian skepticism. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that bioethics is in crisis and that it will not have a future unless it begins to embrace a more Socratic approach to its leading assumptions. The absence of a critical and sceptical spirit has resulted in little more than a dominant ideology. I focus on three key issues. First, that too often bioethics collapses into medical ethics. Second, that medical ethics itself is beset by a lack of self-reflection that I characterize here as a (...) commitment to three dogmas. Third, I offer a more positive perspective by suggesting how bioethics may benefit from looking towards public health ethics as a new source of inspiration and direction. (shrink)
Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, was a thinker of extraordinary depth and range - he wrote on philosophy, mathematics, psychology, physics, logic, phenomenology, semiotics, religion and ethics - but his writings are difficult and fragmentary. This book provides a clear and comprehensive explanation of Peirce's thought. His philosophy is presented as a systematic response to 'nominalism', the philosophy which he most despised and which he regarded as the underpinning of the dominant philosophical worldview of his time. The book explains (...) Peirce's challenge to nominalism as a theory of meaning and shows its implications for his views of knowledge, truth, the nature of reality, and ethics. It will be essential reading both for Peirce scholars and for those new to his work. (shrink)
Two recent papers by Michael Burke bearing upon the persistence of people and commonplace things illustrate the fact that the quest for synchronic ontological economy is likely to encourage a disturbing diachronic proliferation of entities. This discussion argues that Burke's promise of ontological economy is seriously compromised by the fact that his proposed metaphysic does violence to standard intuitions concerning the persistence of people and commonplace things. In effect, Burke would have us achieve synchronic economy (rejection of coincident entities) by (...) postulating strongly counterintuitive transtemporal claims of numerical diversity. The argument is made that the price of Burkean economy is too high. (shrink)
Surgeon Henry Marsh begins his autobiography, Do No Harm, with a quotation from the French practitioner René Leriche, “Every surgeon carries within himself a small cemetery, where from time to time he goes to pray—a place of bitterness and regret, where he must look for an explanation for his failures”. This article uses memoirs and oral history interviews to enter the operating theatre and consider the contemporary history of surgeons’ embodied experiences of patient death. It will argue that these experiences (...) take an under-appreciated emotional toll on surgeons, but also that they are deployed as a narrative device through which surgeons construct their professional identity. Crucially, however, there is as much forgetting as remembering in their accounts, and the ‘labour’ of death has been increasingly shifted out of the operating theatre, off the surgeons’ hands and into the laps of others. The emotional costs of surgical care remain understudied. Indeed, while many researchers agree that undergoing surgery can be a troubling emotional experience for the patient, less scholarly attention has been paid to the emotional demands performing surgery makes on surgical practitioners. Is detachment the modus operandi of the modern surgeon and if so, is it tenable in moments of emotional intensity—like patient death? (shrink)
On March, 24, 2020, 818 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in New South Wales, Australia, and new cases were increasing at an exponential rate. In anticipation of resource constraints arising in clinical settings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a working party of ten ethicists was convened at the University of Sydney to draft an ethics framework to support resource allocation decisions. The framework guides decision-makers using a question-and-answer format, in language that avoids philosophical and medical technicality. The (...) working party met five times over the following week and then submitted a draft Framework for consideration by two groups of intensivists and one group of academic ethicists. It was also presented to a panel on a national current affairs programme. The Framework was then revised on the basis of feedback from these sources and made publicly available online on April 3, ten days after the initial meeting. The framework is published here in full to stimulate ongoing discussion about rapid development of user-friendly clinical ethics resources in ongoing and future pandemics. (shrink)
There can be little doubt that without Spinoza, German Idealism would have been just as impossible as it would have been without Kant. Yet the precise nature of Spinoza's influence on the German Idealists has hardly been studied in detail. This volume of essays by leading scholars sheds light on how the appropriation of Spinoza by Fichte, Schelling and Hegel grew out of the reception of his philosophy by, among others, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Jacobi, Herder, Goethe, Schleiermacher, Maimon and, of course, (...) Kant. The volume thus not only illuminates the history of Spinoza's thought, but also initiates a genuine philosophical dialogue between the ideas of Spinoza and those of the German Idealists. The issues at stake - the value of humanity; the possibility and importance of self-negation; the nature and value of reason and imagination; human freedom; teleology; intuitive knowledge; the nature of God - remain of the highest philosophical importance today. (shrink)
A number of ethical frameworks have been proposed to support decision-making in public health and the evaluation of public health policy and practice. This is encouraging, since ethical considerations are of paramount importance in health policy. However, these frameworks have various deficiencies, in part because they incorporate substantial ethical positions. In this article, we discuss and criticise a framework developed by James Childress and Ruth Bernheim, which we consider to be the state of the art in the field. Their framework (...) distinguishes aims, such as the promotion of public health, from constraints on the pursuit of those aims, such as the requirement to avoid limitations to liberty, or the requirement to be impartial. We show how this structure creates both theoretical and practical problems. We then go on to present and defend a more practical framework, one that is neutral in avoiding precommitment to particular values and how they ought to be weighted. We believe ethics is at the very heart of such weightings and our framework is developed to reflect this belief. It is therefore both pluralist and value-based. We compare our new framework to Childress and Bernheim’s and outline its advantages. It is justified by its impetus to consider a wide range of alternatives and its tendency to direct decisions towards the best alternatives, as well as by the information provided by the ranking of alternatives and transparent explication of the judgements that motivate this ranking. The new framework presented should be useful to decision-makers in public health, as well as being a means to stimulate further reflection on the role of ethics in public health. (shrink)
It is argued that to possess the concept of distress is to be able to apply the concept to others, and that this implies a qualified form of altruism, in the sense that to perceive another as being in distress is, other things being equal, to see them as in need of help and be moved to help them.
BackgroundThe overwhelming scarcity of organs within renal transplantation forces researchers and transplantation teams to seek new ways to increase efficacy. One of the possibilities is the use of personalized medicine, an approach based on quantifiable and scientific factors that determine the global immunological risk of rejection for each patient. Although this approach can improve the efficacy of transplantations, it also poses a number of ethical questions.MethodsThe qualitative research involved 22 semi-structured interviews with nephrologists involved in renal transplantation, with the goal (...) of determining the professionals' views about calculating the global immunological risk and the attendant ethical issues.ResultsThe results demonstrate a general acceptance of this approach amongst the participants in the study. Knowledge of each patient's immunological risk could improve treatment and the post-graft follow-up. On the other hand, the possibility that patients might be excluded from transplantation poses a significant ethical issue. This approach is not seen as something entirely new, given the fact that medicine is increasingly scientific and evidence-based. Although renal transplantation incorporates scientific data, these physicians believe that there should always be a place for clinical judgment and the physician-patient relationship.ConclusionsThe participants see the benefits of including the calculation of the global immunological risk within transplantation. Such data, being more precise and rigorous, could be of help in their clinical work. However, in spite of the use of such scientific data, a place must be retained for the clinical judgment that allows a physician to make decisions based on medical data, professional expertise and knowledge of the patient. To act in the best interests of the patient is key to whether the calculation of the global immunological risk is employed. (shrink)