This thesis explores, thematically and chronologically, the substantial concordance between the work of Martin Heidegger and T.S. Eliot. The introduction traces Eliot's ideas of the 'objective correlative' and 'situatedness' to a familiarity with German Idealism. Heidegger shared this familiarity, suggesting a reason for the similarity of their thought. Chapter one explores the 'authenticity' developed in Being and Time, as well as associated themes like temporality, the 'they' (Das Man), inauthenticity, idle talk and angst, and applies them to interpreting Eliot's poem, (...) 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'. Both texts depict a bleak Modernist view of the early twentieth-century Western human condition, characterized as a dispiriting nihilism and homelessness. Chapter two traces the chronological development of Ereignis in Heidegger's thinking, showing the term's two discernible but related meanings: first our nature as the 'site of the open' where Being can manifest, and second individual 'Events' of 'appropriation and revelation'. The world is always happening as 'event', but only through our appropriation by the Ereignis event can we become aware of this. Heidegger finds poetry, the essential example of language as the 'house of Being', to be the purest manifestation of Ereignis, taking as his examples Hölderlin and Rilke. A detailed analysis of Eliot's late work Four Quartets reveals how Ereignis, both as an ineluctable and an epiphanic condition of human existence, is central to his poetry, confirming, in Heidegger's words, 'what poets are for in a destitute time', namely to re-found and restore the wonder of the world and existence itself. This restoration results from what Eliot calls 'raid[s] on the inarticulate', the poet's continual striving to enact that openness to Being through which human language and the human world continually come to be. The final chapter shows how both Eliot and Heidegger value a genuine relationship with place as enabling human flourishing. Both distrust technological materialism, which destroys our sense of the world as dwelling place, and both are essentially committed to a genuinely authentic life, not the angstful authenticity of Being and Time, but a richer belonging which affirms our relationship with the earth, each other and our gods. (shrink)
This dissertation addresses the ontological significance of poetry in the thought of Martin Heidegger. It gives an account of both his earlier and later thinking. The central argument of the dissertation is that poetry, as conceptualised by Heidegger, is beneficial and necessary for the living of an authentic life. The poetry of T. S Eliot features as a sustaining voice throughout the dissertation to validate Heidegger's ideas and also to demonstrate some interesting similarities in their ideas. Chapter one demonstrates how (...) effectively certain concepts from Heidegger's 'Being and Time' can be applied in an analysis of T.S. Eliots celebrated poem 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'. The reading involves concepts such as angst, authenticity, inauthenticity, the they and idle talk as they appear in 'Being and Time' and then relates these to aspects of T.S Eliot's poem. Chapter two is an exegesis of Heideggers essay 'The Origin of the Work of Art' in order to understand the meaning of poetry as he describes it. The essay centres on the interpretation of a painting by Vincent van Gogh, and what the experience of the painting reveals to someone authentically engaging with the artwork. Heidegger attempts to establish what the essence of a thing is (the artwork as thing), for the 'origin' of the artwork resides in its 'thingliness'. He creates an important distinction between equipment and the artwork, as well as earth and the world in order to justify the unique, originary position that the artwork occupies. This leads Heidegger to create a new understanding of poetry (which is expanded to encompass all art forms) and to emphasise the importance of the human agent in both the creation and preservation of the artwork. Chapter three is an exploration of language in both the Heidegger of 'Being and Time' and the later Heidegger's thought. The aim is to explore the ontological effect that Heidegger's conception of language has for our existence. He places language within a primordial role arguing that it is not us who speak language, but language that speaks us. This conception has important consequences for our relationship with Being, and the way in which we understand our existence. The final chapter unifies the various themes of the dissertation into a cohesive argument. The chapter begins with a discussion on the meaning of our existence following the later Heidegger. This is nothing less than the guardianship of Being which can only be understood in its relation to our dwelling within the fourfold. In conclusion it is through the measure of the language of poetry that we can realise the possibility of authentic dwelling. (shrink)
This paper explores the incongruence between white South Africans’ pre- and post-apartheid experiences of home and identity, of which a wave of emigration is arguably a result. Among the commonest reasons given for emigrating are crime and affirmative action; however, this paper uncovers a deeper motivation for emigration using Charles Taylor’s concept of the social imaginary and Martin Heidegger’s concept of dwelling. The skewed social imaginary maintained by apartheid created an unrealistic sense of dwelling for most white South Africans. After (...) 1994, the conditions supporting this imaginary disintegrated. Many white South Africans feel so strong a sense of unease they can no longer dwell in the country. Many try to escape through emigration, but carry unresolved questions of identity and belonging to their new “homes.”. (shrink)
This article discusses Heidegger’s interpretation of Parmenides given in his last public lecture ‘The Principle of Identity’ in 1957. The aim of the piece is to illustrate just how original and significant Heidegger’s reading of Parmenides and the principle of identity is, within the history of Philosophy. Thus the article will examine the traditional metaphysical interpretation of Parmenides and consider G.W.F. Hegel and William James’ account of the principle of identity in light of this. It will then consider Heidegger’s contribution, (...) his return to and re-interpretation of Parmenides in his last lecture. Heidegger will, through the Parmenidean claim that ‘Thinking and Being are one’ deconstruct the traditional metaphysical understanding of the principle of identity, and in its place offer a radically different conception of how our relationship, our ‘belonging together’ with Being can be understood. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
Colonialism’s legacy in South Africa includes persistent economic inequality which, since the country’s universities charge fees, bars many from higher education, perpetuating the marginalisation of those previously disadvantaged by the apartheid regime. In 2015-6, country-wide unrest raged across university campuses, as students protested the yearly cycle of tuition increases under the slogan #FeesMustFall, demanding “free, decolonised education”. Protests ended in December 2017 when the government announced a sliding-scale payment policy alleviating the economic burden for poorer students. This paper sets the (...) #FMF movement and its twin demands within the context of decoloniality, and argues that while free education has been achieved, imagining and implementing decolonised education for South Africa in an increasingly globalised world is a more challenging, elusive goal. (shrink)
No one is quite sure what happened to T.S. Eliot in that rose-garden. What we do know is that it formed the basis for Four Quartets, arguably the greatest English poem written in the twentieth century. Luckily it turns out that Martin Heidegger, when not pondering the meaning of being, spent a great deal of time thinking and writing about the kind of event that Eliot experienced. This essay explores how Heidegger developed the concept of Ereignis, “event” which, in the (...) context of Eliot’s poetry, helps us understand an encounter with the “heart of light” a little better. (shrink)
T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets is foremost a meditation on the significance of place. Each quartet is named for a place which holds importance for Eliot, either because of historical or personal memory. I argue that this importance is grounded in an ontological topology, by which I mean that the poem explores the fate of the individual and his/her heritage as inextricably bound up with the notion of place. This sense of place extends beyond the borders of a single life to (...) encompass the remembered past and the unknown future. How this broader narrative of the passing and enduring of human existence can be better understood is a primary concern of the work of Martin Heidegger, in whose Being and Time the historical, situated context of an individual within a community is an important theme. Even more important is his later work in which this theme is extended to include place and dwelling. Dwelling is a particularly rich and poetic idea, weaving the narratological, topological and temporal aspects of human existence together, offering a challenge to modern technology thinking. This paper explores Heidegger’s thoughts on the topology of Being within the context of a poem which, I contend, is also telling the story of human situatedness, and attempting to understand what it means to truly dwell. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to read Martin Heidegger’s later philosophy in terms of the assertion that themes such as the fourfold (das Geviert) and poetic dwelling could be interpreted as mythical elements within his writing. Heidegger’s later thought is often construed as challenging and difficult due to its quasi-mystical nature. However, this paper aims to illustrate that if one approaches his later thought from the perspective of myth, a different dimension of Heidegger’s thinking is revealed which is perhaps (...) more tenable than attempting to address his later thought purely from a philosophical position. In brief, Heidegger’s concept of the fourfold involves the following entities: mortals, divinities, the sky and the earth. His argument is that for mortals to dwell poetically (implying the living of a meaningful, holistic life) they must recognise and assume the guardianship of Being (which is inclusive of all the elements of the fourfold). Heidegger argues that our guardianship of Being will be a natural extension of our existence, once we realise the holiness or sacred nature of Being as such. Thus, the concept of the fourfold represents the possibility of existing in a harmonious, caring (or saving), relationship with Being. However, following Heidegger this holistic (and, arguably mythical) depiction of our existence is extremely unlikely due to the rampant nature of technological enframing (Gestell) that dictates the use of human and natural resources. Conceptually though, if this holistic depiction is approached taking into account Ricoeur’s argument regarding myth then it becomes tenable. Ricoeur writes that myth has a symbolic function in terms of its power of discovery and revelation and this implies that myth has a projected horizon. This horizon, Ricoeur writes, is a ‘disclosure of unprecedented worlds, an opening on to other possible worlds which transcend the established limits of our actual world’ (1997: 8). Thus, applying these characterisations of myth to elements of Heidegger’s later philosophy will reveal a justifiable and coherent interpretation of his concept of the fourfold from a mythical perspective. Such a reading demonstrates the centrality of the fourfold in Heidegger’s later thought, which more strictly philosophical approaches may undervalue. In closing this paper suggests the usefulness of a mythological approach to the later Heidegger, and demonstrates the continued vitality of myth, as a profoundly human paradigm which, as Heidegger recognised, can simultaneously complement and transcend our more restricted rational endeavours. (shrink)
In its ideal conception, the post-apartheid education landscape is regarded as a site of transformation that promotes democratic ideals such as citizenship, freedom, and critical thought. The role of the educator is pivotal in realising this transformation in the learners she teaches, but this realisation extends beyond merely teaching the curriculum to the educator herself, as the site where these democratic ideals are embodied and enacted. The teacher is thus centrally placed as a moral agent whose behaviour, in the classroom (...) space particularly, should, ideally, represent and communicate the values we aspire to cultivate in post-apartheid South African society generally. Thus, this notion of what teaching encompasses fits broadly into the conception of a “practice” in the sense developed by Alasdair MacIntyre, in that it is a transformative activity the enactment of which not only benefits the practitioner, but also extends to and benefits the broader community as well. Furthermore, practices are grounded in features of social or moral life we hold to be significant and, importantly, it is only through their active cultivation that they can be made tangible and further developed. MacIntyre’s theory of virtue is based on a three-fold interrelationship between practices, how they meaningfully narrate and shape an individual life, and how, in turn, this builds and sustains our moral and social traditions. Using these ideas to analyse post-apartheid South Africa, and the structural transformation paradox it is in, reveals the difficult and complex nature of a society that is in this transitional space. The claim is that attentiveness to practices in the educational space, and to the way they shape and inform moral and social traditions, is necessary to more fully understand and guide this societal transformation. (shrink)
This critical review aims to more fully situate the claim Martin Heidegger makes in ‘Letter on Humanism’ that a “productive dialogue” between his work and that of Karl Marx is possible. The prompt for this is Paul Laurence Hemming’s recently published Heidegger and Marx: A Productive Dialogue over the Language of Humanism (2013) which omits to fully account for the historical situation which motivated Heidegger’s seemingly positive endorsement of Marxism. This piece will show that there were significant external factors which (...) influenced Heidegger’s claim and that, when seen within his broader corpus, these particular comments in “Letter on Humanism” are evidently disingenuous, given that his general opinion of Marxism can only be described as vitriolic. Any attempt to explore how such a “productive dialogue” could be construed must fully contextualise Heidegger’s claim for it. This piece will aim to do that, and more broadly explore Heidegger’s general opinion of Marxism. (shrink)
This paper draws together as many as possible of the clues and pieces of the puzzle surrounding T. S. Eliot’s “infamous” literary term “objective correlative”. Many different scholars have claimed many different sources for the term, in Pound, Whitman, Baudelaire, Washington Allston, Santayana, Husserl, Nietzsche, Newman, Walter Pater, Coleridge, Russell, Bradley, Bergson, Bosanquet, Schopenhauer and Arnold. This paper aims to rewrite this list by surveying those individuals who, in different ways, either offer the truest claim to being the source of (...) the term, or contributed the most to Eliot’s development of it: Allston, Husserl, Bradley and Bergson. What the paper will argue is that Eliot’s possible inspiration for the term is more indebted to the idealist tradition, and Bergson’s aesthetic development of it, than to the phenomenology of Husserl. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger defines the world as ‘the ever non-objective to which we are subject as long as the paths of birth and death . . . keep us transported into Being’. He writes that the world is ‘not the mere collection of the countable or uncountable, familiar and unfamiliar things that are at hand . . . The world worlds’. Being able to fully and richly express how the world worlds is the task of the artist, whose artwork is the (...) crystallization of this ‘worlding’. For Heidegger it is especially the poet who is attuned to this ‘worlding’, for the poet’s work is focussed on and happens within language itself. The poet is a ‘world-maker’, but this ‘worlding’ is not directed at creating a fictional world; rather it is aimed at revealing the world itself, drawing to the foreground the ‘ever non-objective’ nature of the world, the world happening and unfolding through and with us. This paper, using T.S. Eliot’s poetry, particularly Four Quartets as an example, will delve into how the language of the poet is able to articulate this seemingly invisible boundary between the everyday world and that same world revealed as a mysterious potential that ‘worlds’. The ‘religious imagination’ is central in how this transformation of reality, through poetic language, can manifest. Paul Ricoeur’s work on the poetic and religious dimensions of imagination, particularly the notion of ‘hope’ provides the theoretical underpinnings to explain this transformation. (shrink)
Roger Shepard's creativity and scientific contributions have left an indelible mark on Psychology and Cognitive Science. In this tribute, I acknowledge and show how his approach to universal laws helped Oden and me shape and develop our universal law of pattern recognition, as formulated in the Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception (FLMP). [Shepard; Tenenbaum & Griffiths].
Originally published in 1949. This meticulously researched book presents a comprehensive outline and discussion of Aristotle’s mathematics with the author's translations of the greek. To Aristotle, mathematics was one of the three theoretical sciences, the others being theology and the philosophy of nature . Arranged thematically, this book considers his thinking in relation to the other sciences and looks into such specifics as squaring of the circle, syllogism, parallels, incommensurability of the diagonal, angles, universal proof, gnomons, infinity, agelessness of the (...) universe, surface of water, meteorology, metaphysics and mechanics such as levers, rudders, wedges, wheels and inertia. The last few short chapters address ‘problems’ that Aristotle posed but couldn’t answer, related ethics issues and a summary of some short treatises that only briefly touch on mathematics. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best life available for (...) humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
According to the distinguished philosopher Richard Wollheim, an emotion is an extended mental episode that originates when events in the world frustrate or satisfy a pre-existing desire. This leads the subject to form an attitude to the world which colours their future experience, leading them to attend to one aspect of things rather than another, and to view the things they attend to in one light rather than another. The idea that emotions arise from the satisfaction or frustration of desires—the (...) ‘match-mismatch’ view of emotion aetiology—has had several earlier incarnations in the psychology of emotion. Early versions of this proposal were associated with the attempt to replace the typology of emotion found in ordinary language with a simpler theory of drives and to define new emotion types in terms of general properties such as the frustration of a drive. The match-mismatch view survived the demise of that revisionist project and is found today in theories that accept a folk-psychological-style taxonomy of emotion types based on the meaning ascribed by the subject to the stimulus situation. For example, the match-mismatch view forms part of the subtle and complex model of emotion episodes developed over many years by Nico Frijda. According to Frijda, information about the ‘situational antecedents’ of an emotion—the stimulus in its context, including the ongoing goals of the organism—is evaluated for its relevance to the multiple concerns of the organism. Evaluation of match-mismatch—the degree of compatibility between the situation and the subject's goals—forms part of this process. (shrink)
In his recent article 1 Stewart Sutherland rightly and trenchantly criticizes some accounts of hope which ignore, or radically misrepresent, how it is conceived in religious contexts. The most surprising, to me, is Chesterton's, that hope is ‘the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate’. Surprising, not so much for its content as for its source. However, this particular example could be of one who would risk giving scandal for the sake of wit; what he (...) could have had in mind is that ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ . Sutherland also makes clear the unhelpfulness of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ analysts' account of the concept; not least because it is given without reference to the religious concept, and often is irrelevant to the notion of hope ‘in its proper conceptual surroundings’. (shrink)
Wittgenstein always thought that he had not been understood, and indeed that it was very unlikely that many people ever would understand him. Russell not only failed to understand Wittgenstein's later work; according to Wittgenstein himself, Russell profoundly failed to understand even the Tractatus. Professor Anscombe says even she did not understand him, and that to attempt to give an account of what he says is only to express one's own ordinariness or mediocrity or lack of complexity. Certainly, most people (...) acquainted with the Tractatus, when that work was Wittgenstein's only published book, gave it what now seems a quite crass positivistic interpretation. Wittgenstein's own preface to the Tractatus, despite its last sentence, does not help. He does tell us that the whole sense of the work is that what can be said can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must consign to silence: but this does not make it clear that what we cannot talk about is all that is really important. Even when one has realised all this, however, one is aware mostly of one's failure to understand; and that if one did get any distance in understanding the last sixth of the Tractatus, the process would be extremely difficult, and the results quite astonishing. (shrink)
In the past century, nearly all of the biological sciences have been directly affected by discoveries and developments in genetics, a fast-evolving subject with important theoretical dimensions. In this rich and accessible book, Paul Griffiths and Karola Stotz show how the concept of the gene has evolved and diversified across the many fields that make up modern biology. By examining the molecular biology of the 'environment', they situate genetics in the developmental biology of whole organisms, and reveal how the (...) molecular biosciences have undermined the nature/nurture distinction. Their discussion gives full weight to the revolutionary impacts of molecular biology, while rejecting 'genocentrism' and 'reductionism', and brings the topic right up to date with the philosophical implications of the most recent developments in genetics. Their book will be invaluable for those studying the philosophy of biology, genetics and other life sciences. (shrink)
In _ Psychiatry in the Scientific Image, _Dominic Murphy looks at psychiatry from the viewpoint of analytic philosophy of science, considering three issues: how we should conceive of, classify, and explain mental illness. If someone is said to have a mental illness, what about it is mental? What makes it an illness? How might we explain and classify it? A system of psychiatric classification settles these questions by distinguishing the mental illnesses and showing how they stand in relation to one (...) another. This book explores the philosophical issues raised by the project of explaining and classifying mental illness. Murphy argues that the current literature on mental illness -- exemplified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- is an impediment to research; it lacks a coherent concept of the mental and a satisfactory account of disorder, and yields too much authority to commonsense thought about the mind. He argues that the explanation of mental illness should meet the standards of good explanatory practice in the cognitive neurosciences, and that the classification of mental disorders should group symptoms into conditions based on the causal structure of the normal mind. (shrink)
There is an idea, extremely common among social contract theorists, that the primary function of social institutions is to secure some form of cooperative benefit. If individuals simply seek to satisfy their own preferences in a narrowly instrumental fashion, they will find themselves embroiled in collective action problems â interactions with an outcome that is worse for everyone involved than some other possible outcome. Thus they have reason to accept some form of constraint over their conduct, in order to achieve (...) this superior, but out-of-equilibrium outcome. A social institution can be defined as a set of norms that codify these constraints.1 Simplifying somewhat, one can then say that social institutions exist in order to secure gains in Pareto-efficiency. (shrink)
In four new and nine previously published essays, Joseph Heath provides a compelling new framework for thinking about the moral obligations of economic actors. The "market failures" approach to business ethics that he develops provides the basis for a unified theory of business ethics, corporate law, economic regulation, and the welfare state.
Given its brevity, Plato's Meno covers an astonishingly wide array of topics: politics, education, virtue, definition, philosophical method, mathematics, the nature and acquisition of knowledge and immortality. Its treatment of these, though profound, is tantalisingly short, leaving the reader with many unresolved questions. This book confronts the dialogue's many enigmas and attempts to solve them in a way that is both lucid and sympathetic to Plato's philosophy. Reading the dialogue as a whole, it explains how different arguments are related to (...) one another and how the interplay between characters is connected to the philosophical content of the work. In a new departure, this book's exploration focuses primarily on the content and coherence of the dialogue in its own right and not merely in the context of other dialogues, making it required reading for all students of Plato, be they from the world of classics or philosophy. (shrink)
Do states have the right to prevent potential immigrants from crossing their borders, or should people have the freedom to migrate and settle wherever they wish? Christopher Heath Wellman and Phillip Cole develop and defend opposing answers to this timely and important question.
Images have power - for good or ill. They may challenge us to see things anew and, in widening our experience, profoundly change who we are. The change can be ugly, as with propaganda, or enriching, as with many works of art. Sight and Sensibility explores the impact of images on what we know, how we see, and the moral assessments we make. Dominic Lopes shows how these are part of, not separate from, the aesthetic appeal of images. His (...) book will be essential reading for anyone working in aesthetics and art theory, and for all those intrigued by the power of images to affect our lives. '...tightly focused and carefully argued... an exceptionally interesting contribution to the philosophy of art: it contains subtle, concise, and convincing discussions of a number of difficult concepts and contentious doctrines... lucid and meticulous'. (shrink)
For centuries, philosophers have identified beauty with what brings pleasure. Dominic McIver Lopes challenges this interpretation by offering an entirely new theory of beauty - that beauty engages us in action, in concert with others, in the context of social networks - and sheds light on why aesthetic engagement is crucial for quality of life.
In this book Joseph Heath brings Jürgen Habermas's theory of communicative action into dialogue with the most sophisticated articulation of the instrumental conception of practical rationality-modern rational choice theory. Heath begins with an overview of Habermas's action theory and his critique of decision and game theory. He then offers an alternative to Habermas's use of speech act theory to explain social order and outlines a multidimensional theory of rational action that includes norm-governed action as a specific type.In the (...) second part of the book Heath discusses the more philosophical dimension of Habermas's conception of practical rationality. He criticizes Habermas's attempt to introduce a universalization principle governing moral discourse, as well as his criteria for distinguishing between moral and ethical problems. Heath offers an alternative account of the level of convergence exhibited by moral argumentation, drawing on game-theoretic models to specify the burden of proof that the theory of communicative action and discourse must assume. (shrink)
On 24 July 2017, the long-running, deeply tragic and emotionally fraught case of Charlie Gard reached its sad conclusion. Following further medical assessment of the infant, Charlie’s parents and doctors finally reached agreement that continuing medical treatment was not in Charlie’s best interests. Life support was subsequently withdrawn and Charlie died on 28 July 2017.Box 1 ### Case summary and timeline21–23 Charlie Gard was born at full term, apparently healthy, in August 2016. At a few weeks of age his parents (...) noticed early signs of muscle weakness. At 2 months of age, he was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital with poor feeding, failure to thrive and respiratory failure. He was admitted to intensive care, where investigations led to the diagnosis of a rare severe mitochondrial disorder – infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The specific genetic form of MDDS in Charlie Gard had previously been reported in approximately 15 infants, with typical clinical features including early onset, rapid progression and death in infancy.24 By that point, Charlie was paralysed and unable to breathe without respiratory support. He was found to have congenital deafness, and his heart, liver and kidneys were affected by the disorder. Doctors felt that Charlie’s prognosis was extremely poor. In early 2017, Charlie’s parents identified an experimental treatment, previously used in a different form of MDDS, which they hoped might benefit Charlie. In mouse models of a myopathic form of MDDS, early supplementation with deoxypryrimidine nucleosides apparently bypasses the genetic defect and leads to a reduction in the biochemical defect and in the severity of the clinical phenotype.25 26 Doctors at GOSH initially planned to use nucleoside treatment in Charlie, but in January he developed evidence of electrical seizures, and clinicians became convinced that treatment, both continued intensive care and the requested …. (shrink)
Les Arts et les Images se veut une introduction aux principaux terrains d’investigation de Dominic McIver Lopes, philosophe canadien contemporain, figure incontournable de l’esthétique et de la philosophie de l’art en langue anglaise au cours des vingt dernières années. Il ouvre une réflexion sur les méthodes employées en esthétique et philosophie de l’art aujourd’hui, qu’on soit un philosophe dit « analytique » ou bien « continental », Lopes cherchant à penser le lien entre les deux traditions. -/- À travers (...) leur textes respectifs, Laure Blanc-Benon, Jacques Morizot et Frédéric Pouillaude instaurent un dialogue avec Dominic McIver Lopes, sur plusieurs de ses livres : Understanding Pictures (1996), ouvrage de référence sur la question philosophique des images et de la représentation, Beyond Art (2014), livre qui traite de la question classique au XXe siècle de la définition de l’œuvre d’art, et Four Arts of Photography (2016) dans lequel Dominic Lopes met en avant une nouvelle philosophie de la photographie. À ce dialogue s’ajoutent trois textes de Lopes inédits en français, portant sur la méthode de l’esthétique et de la philosophie de l’art et également sur la question de la beauté et de la valeur esthétique. (shrink)
Ethical analyses, professional guidelines and legal decisions support the equivalence thesis for life-sustaining treatment: if it is ethical to withhold treatment, it would be ethical to withdraw the same treatment. In this paper we explore reasons why the majority of medical professionals disagree with the conclusions of ethical analysis. Resource allocation is considered by clinicians to be a legitimate reason to withhold but not to withdraw intensive care treatment. We analyse five arguments in favour of non-equivalence, and find only relatively (...) weak reasons to restrict rationing to withholding treatment. On the contrary, resource allocation provides a strong argument in favour of equivalence: non-equivalence causes preventable death in critically ill patients. We outline two proposals for increasing equivalence in practice: (1) reduction of the mortality threshold for treatment withdrawal, (2) time-limited trials of intensive care. These strategies would help to move practice towards more rational treatment limitation decisions. (shrink)
There are not enough solid organs available to meet the needs of patients with organ failure. Thousands of patients every year die on the waiting lists for transplantation. Yet there is one currently available, underutilized, potential source of organs. Many patients die in intensive care following withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment whose organs could be used to save the lives of others. At present the majority of these organs go to waste.In this paper we consider and evaluate a range of ways (...) to improve the number and quality of organs available from this group of patients. Changes to consent arrangements (for example conscription of organs after death) or changes to organ donation practice could dramatically increase the numbers of organs available, though they would conflict with currently accepted norms governing transplantation.We argue that one alternative, Organ Donation Euthanasia, would be a rational improvement over current practice regarding withdrawal of life support. It would give individuals the greatest chance of being able to help others with their organs after death. It would increase patient autonomy. It would reduce the chance of suffering during the dying process. We argue that patients should be given the choice of whether and how they would like to donate their organs in the event of withdrawal of life support in intensive care.Continuing current transplantation practice comes at the cost of death and prolonged organ failure. We should seriously consider all of the alternatives. (shrink)
There is considerable overlap between the interests of business ethicists and those of political philosophers. Questions about the moral justifiability of the capitalist system, the basis of property rights, and the problem of inequality in the distribution of income have been of central importance in both fields. However, political philosophers have developed, especially over the past four decades, a set of tools and concepts for addressing these questions that are in many ways quite distinctive. Most business ethicists, on the other (...) hand, consider their field to be primarily a domain of applied ethics, and so adopt methods and conceptual frameworks developed by moral philosophers. In this paper, we discuss some of the salient differences between these two approaches, and suggest some ways in which business ethicists could benefit from taking a more “political philosophy” approach to these questions. Throughout, we underline the importance of seeking greater compatibility among the principles used in normative theorizing about markets, regulations, corporate governance, and business practices. (shrink)
One of the most influential ideas in the field of business ethics has been the suggestion that ethical conduct in a business context should be analyzed in terms of a set of fiduciary obligations toward various “stakeholder” groups. Moral problems, according to this view, involve reconciling such obligations in cases where stakeholder groups have conflicting interests. The question posed in this paper is whether the stakeholder paradigm represents the most fruitful way of articulating the moral problems that arise in business. (...) By way of contrast, I outline two other possible approaches to business ethics: one, a more minimal conception, anchored in the notion of a fiduciary obligation toward shareholders; and the other, a broader conception, focused on the concept of market failure. I then argue that the latter offers a more satisfactory framework for the articulation of the social responsibilities of business. (shrink)
When is it permissible to allow a newborn infant to die on the basis of their future quality of life? The prevailing official view is that treatment may be withdrawn only if the burdens in an infant's future life outweigh the benefits. In this paper I outline and defend an alternative view. On the Threshold View, treatment may be withdrawn from infants if their future well-being is below a threshold that is close to, but above the zero-point of well-being. I (...) present four arguments in favor of the Threshold View, and identify and respond to several counterarguments. I conclude that it is justifiable in some circumstances for parents and doctors to decide to allow an infant to die even though the infant's life would be worth living. The Threshold View provides a justification for treatment decisions that is more consistent, more robust, and potentially more practical than the standard view. (shrink)
Dominic Scott compares the Republic and Nicomachean Ethics from a methodological perspective. He argues that Plato and Aristotle distinguish similar levels of argument in the defence of justice, and that they both follow the same approach: Plato because he thinks it will suffice, Aristotle because he thinks there is no need to go beyond it.
There is not one but many ways to picture the world--Australian "x-ray" pictures, cubish collages, Amerindian split-style figures, and pictures in two-point perspective each draw attention to different features of what they represent. Understanding Pictures argues that this diversity is the central fact with which a theory of figurative pictures must reckon. Lopes advances the theory that identifying pictures' subjects is akin to recognizing objects whose appearances have changed over time. He develops a schema for categorizing the different ways pictures (...) represent--the different kinds of meaning they have--and argues that that depiction's epistemic value lies in its representational diversity. He also offers a novel account of the phenomenology of pictorial experience, comparing pictures to visual prostheses like mirrors and binoculars. (shrink)