Nicholas Rescher claims that rational decision theory “may leave us in the lurch”, because there are two apparently acceptable ways of applying “the standard machinery of expected-value analysis” to his Dr. Psycho paradox which recommend contradictory actions. He detects a similar contradiction in Newcomb’s problem. We consider his claims from the point of view of both Bayesian decision theory and causal decision theory. In Dr. Psycho and in Newcomb’s Problem, Rescher has used premisses about probabilities which he assumes to be (...) independent. From the former point of view, we show that the probability premisses are not independent but inconsistent, and their inconsistency is provable within probability theory alone. From the latter point of view, we show that their consistency can be saved, but then the contradictory recommendations evaporate. Consequently, whether one subscribes to evidential or causal decision theory, rational decision theory is not in any way vitiated by Rescher’s arguments. (shrink)
This article discusses the 2005 OUP biography of Michael Polanyi by William T. Scott and Martin X. Moleski S.J., Michael Polanyi, Scientist and Philosopher . The discussants are N. E. Wetherick, Brian G Gowenlock, and John Puddefoot; Martin X. Moleski, S. J. briefly responds, providing a previously unpulished letter from Polanyi to Reverend Dr. Knox, a Presbyterian mininster.
This volume contains essays by twenty-two eminent scholars from across North America and Europe, examining various aspects of the Hebraic, Hellenic, patristic, medieval, and early modern understandings of God and creation.
Transpersonal Psychology concerns the study of those states and processes in which people experience a deeper sense of who they are, or a greater sense of connectedness with others, with nature, or the spiritual dimension. Pioneered by respected researchers such as Jung, Maslow and Tart, it has nonetheless struggled to find recognition among mainstream scientists. Now that is starting to change. Dr. Michael Daniels teaches the subject as part of a broadly-based psychology curriculum, and this book brings together the (...) fruits of his studies over recent years. It will be of special value to students, and its accessible style will appeal also to all who are interested in the spiritual dimension of human experience. The book includes a detailed 38-page glossary of terms and detailed indexes. (shrink)
Hegel's philosophy has often been compared to a circle of circles: an ascending spiral to its admirers, but a vortex to its critics. The metaphor reflects Hegel's claim to offer a conception of philosophical reason so comprehensive as to include all others as partial forms of itself. It is a claim which faces the writer on Hegel with peculiar difficulties. Criticism, it would appear, can always be outflanked; criticism of the system can be turned back into criticism within the system. (...)Michael Rosen discusses the philosophical issues involved in historical interpretation before presenting a novel and challenging solution to the problem of Hegel's openness to criticism. Contrary to received opinion, Hegel's philosophy does not, he argues, draw upon a universal and pre-suppositionless conception of rationality. Rather, Hegel's originality lies in founding his system upon a particular, avowedly mystical conception of philosophical experience. This experience - Hegel calls it 'pure Thought' - is fundamental. Pure Thought makes speculative reasoning intelligible and, hence, underpins the claim to rationality of the entire system. Dr Rosen's conclusion is that all attempts at rehabilitation of Hegel are based on misunderstanding. When restored to their speculative-mystical shell the irrational kernel of Hegel's concepts becomes apparent. (shrink)
After the opening address by Dr. J. W. Cook, chairman of the meeting, who welcomed the participants and outlined the programme of speakers, Professor Michael Polanyi of Manchester University, chairman of the Committee on Science and Freedom, spoke on the background and activities of the Committee and showed how the apartheid issue fitted into the series of 'campaigns' which the Committee has fought on behalf of academic freedom.
Euthanasia has once again become headline news in the UK, with the announcement by Dr Michael Irwin, a former medical director of the United Nations, that he has helped at least 50 people to die, including two between February and July 1997. He has been quoted as saying that his ‘conscience is clear’ and that the time has come to confront the issue of euthanasia. For the purposes of this article, the term ‘beneficent voluntary active euthanasia’ (BVAE) will be (...) used: beneficent from the prima facie principle of beneficence, to do good, and voluntary to indicate that this must be carried out at the request of a competent client. This implies adherence to another prima facie principle, that of respect for autonomy. Active implies that something is done or given with the intention of hastening death. The word euthanasia itself simply means ‘good death’. This article examines the moral positions of two nurses and one junior doctor towards the subject of BVAE and an attempt is made to represent the main conflicting moral positions. The central arguments against BVAE and counterarguments are presented. The conclusion reached is that consenting adults should not be prevented from availing themselves of BVAE if another consenting adult (a medical doctor) is available and capable of carrying out their wishes. This being the case, it is suggested that BVAE should be available as an option in hospices and in the community. The aims of this article are: to generate debate among professionals; to present a three-way discussion that might be useful as a focus for educational purposes, particularly at undergraduate level; to challenge professionals to confront the issue of euthanasia; and to plead the case of those who request assistance in exercising autonomy by gaining control over their own deaths. (shrink)
Der Selbstbestimmungdes Patienten kommt in der modernen Debatte über das Gesundheitswesen eine zentrale Bedeutung zu. Selbstbestimmung ist aber ein voraussetzungsvoller Begriff, der für Patientengruppen wie Demenzbetroffene, deren Entscheidungs- und Einwilligungsfähigkeit nachlässt oder nicht mehr gegeben ist, eine Reihe von Fragen aufwirft. Auf der Grundlage der jeweiligen Symptomentwicklung der Demenzerkrankung und eigener Erfahrungen im Umgang mit Demenzbetroffenen wirdde rEntwicklungdes Willens in den verschiedenen Stadien der Demenz nachgegangen. Dabei wird den Dimensionen der Differenziertheit der Denkinhalte, der Beurteilungsbasis und der Entscheidungskonstanz eine besondere (...) Bedeutung zugemessen und für eine Graduierung der Selbstbestimmungsmöglichkeiten im Umgang mit Demenzbetroffenen plädiert. Wegen der Schwererkennbarkeit der oft verschlüsselten Willensbekundungen Demenzbetroffener wird der Willenswahrnehmung und dem Training der genauen Beobachtung, Einfühlung und Sensibilität im Umgang mit den Betroffenen großes Gewicht beigemessen. Als Ziel wird die jeweils weitestgehende Selbstbestimmung, im Verlaufe der Erkrankung auch Teilselbstbestimmung und schließlich Mitwirkung bei der individuellen Wohlbestimmung im Sinne eines Grundrechtsschutzes vertreten. (shrink)
Die Arzneimittelzulassung und der Aufnahmeprozess zur Kostenerstattung sollen die Entwicklung und Vermarktung von pharmazeutischen Innovationen mit Patientennutzen nicht behindern, zugleich aber die Wirtschaftlichkeit der Arzneimittelversorgung für die Kostenträger nicht gefährden. Eine Anpassung der Verfahren an die Merkmale personalisierter Arzneimittel erscheint notwendig. Dabei ist allerdings zu fragen, ob eine ungerechtfertigte Privilegierung erfolgt. In den USA und in der EU werden die jeweiligen Zulassungsverfahren für Arzneimittel und Tests schrittweise angepasst und integriert. Zulassung und Erstattungsentscheidungen sollen koordiniert werden. Eine Privilegierung, wie bei Arzneimitteln (...) für seltene Indikationen (Orphan Drugs), findet jedoch für personalisierte Medizin nicht statt. Es bestehen keine unzumutbaren Hürden für die Hersteller. Zurückhaltung bei der Entwicklung innovativer Produkte wäre deshalb nicht gerechtfertigt. (shrink)
Socrates taught that philosophy begins with conversation, with the questioning and response that marks dialectic. This book also developed through a serious of conversations. Thus, acknowledgment is above all due to those with whom I shared and developed the themes of the present work. I am grateful, first of all, to Dr. Barabara Weber of the University of Regensburg, with whom I worked out the conceptions of the central chapter of this book, “Public Space, during a daylong conversation in Strasbourg. (...) Dr. Michael Staudigl and I worked on the theme of violence during my stay at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. My gratitude goes out not just to Dr. Staudigl, but also to the Institute for its hospitality. I also would like to acknowledge Prof. Branko Kuln of the University of Ljubljana for the many insights he shared with me on the theme of politics and religion. I wish also to thank Prof. Ernst Hankammer of Bonn-Mehlen for his friendship and the many political discussions we have had over the years. Finally, I must express my gratitude to my wife, Josephine. Without her careful proofreading and suggestions for improving my text, it would not have reached its present form. (shrink)
This paper examines the concept of ‘openness with patients’ from the stand-point of the limitations of biomedical ethics. Initially we review contemporary critiques of bioethics and, in particular, of principlism; we relate how other; somewhat neglected, forms of medical ethics can yield useful information and provide moral guidance.The main section of the paper then shows how a bioethical approach to openness misses the social context in our example, the viewpoints of patients; we present some of the increasing wealth of research (...) evidence which points towards patients wanting more information and a greater degree of openness.Finally we put forward that a principlist’s objection to active encouragement of openness might be based on the risk of infringing upon the ‘right not to know’. We reject this by arguing how rights can be trumped. (shrink)
The following thoughts grew through a year of seminars with Dr. Michael Herzfeld (Indiana University). Readers of his forthcoming book entitled Anthropology through the Looking-Glass: Critical Ethnography in the Margins of Europe (Cambridge 1987) may note some ideas strikingly similar to those expressed in these pages. I am indebted to him for much of the stimulus and inspiration, as well as for concrete suggestions for revision, and to him I offer this sincere dedication.