Obtaining prospective written consent from women to participate in trials when they are experiencing an obstetric emergency is challenging. Alternative consent pathways, such as gaining verbal consent at enrolment followed, later, by obtaining written consent, have been advocated by some clinicians and bioethicists but have received little empirical attention. We explored women’s and staff views about the consent procedures used during the internal pilot of a trial, where the protocol permitted staff to gain verbal consent at recruitment. Interviews with staff (...) and participating women. Data were analysed thematically and interviews were cross-compared to identify differences and similarities in participants’ views about the consent procedures used. Women and some staff highlighted benefits to obtaining verbal consent at trial enrolment, including expediting recruitment and reducing the burden on those left exhausted by their births. However, most staff with direct responsibility for taking consent expressed extreme reluctance to proceed with enrolment until they had obtained written consent, despite being comfortable using verbal procedures in their clinical practice. To account for this resistance, staff drew a strong distinction between research and clinical care and suggested that a higher level of consent was needed when recruiting into trials. In doing so, staff emphasised the need to engage women in reflexive decision-making and highlighted the role that completing the consent form could play in enabling and evidencing this process. While most staff cited their ethical responsibilities to women, they also voiced concerns that the absence of a signed consent form at recruitment could expose them to greater risk of litigation were an individual to experience a complication during the trial. Inexperience of recruiting into peripartum trials and limited availability of staff trained to take consent also reinforced preferences for obtaining written consent at recruitment. While alternative consent pathways have an important role to play in advancing emergency medicine research, and may be appreciated by potential recruits, they may give rise to unintended ethical and logistical challenges for staff. Staff would benefit from training and support to increase their confidence and willingness to recruit into trials using alternative consent pathways. This qualitative research was undertaken as part of the GOT-IT Trial. Date of registration 26/03/2014. (shrink)
This work is a "prolegomena to the study of evil," the beginning of a more ambitious project designated by the author an "ideational critique of society." Such an endeavor would include a "rhetoric that grasps the structures of consciousness, the phenomenology of history, and the dramaturgy of contemporary scenes." The bulk of the present study constitutes an essay in phenomenological sociology. Each of the seven deadly sins is insightfully described in terms of its dominant features as well as in relation (...) to and distinction from allied or similar phenomena. Significantly, the presiding intellectual presences are as often Homer, Augustine, Gregory the Great, and Aquinas as more contemporary ones such as Simmel, Marx, Weber, and Freud. The scope and sensitivity of the author is further manifested in his illuminating use of literary figures including Dante, Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Artaud. Lyman maintains that "sin has been neglected by sociology" and views this work as a first step in remedying such neglect. At the outset he states that he is not offering a way out of or elimination of evil nor the promise of good. Fortunately, much of the book and in particular its concluding chapter serves as at least a strong qualification of this posture. Though holding out no hope for redemption or a final release from sin and evil, Lyman’s effort would seem to have a commendable melioristic aim. He is concerned, however, to avoid what is for him the besetting sin of contemporary sociology—the attempt to present a sociological blueprint for earthly happiness. Lyman would like to see sociology respect "the social visions that the reason of ordinary people produces," while neither applauding nor opposing them. "The sociological task would then be to describe the processes of social architectonics, and not to build the new society in advance of them." It is evident that Lyman wishes to avoid explaining away sin or reducing it to psychological or societal deviance but it would have been helpful to have had some suggestion of his ontology or metaphysics of sin. The "reality" of sin and evil remains unclarified throughout these analyses. The citations from Homer, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Dante, and other such figures are presented without irony or condescension. Now it may be possible to distill psychological and sociological insights from these thinkers while rejecting or ignoring their theological dimensions. To do so, however, involves a process of abstraction and a contextualism which hardly leaves the phenomena as presented by these thinkers untouched and unchanged. Hence, it would seem that some justification for the "sin" character of these actions in their contemporary milieu is called for. Lyman hints that he is unhappy with the neutralization of sin resulting from contemporary social science. What is not clear is whether he rejects the naturalistic assumptions which undergird and indeed make inevitable such neutralizing interpretations. The background assumption of Lyman’s study is a Nietzschean-like "sociology of the absurd" which presupposes "a world that is ultimately and essentially without meaning" but is made meaningful "by the actions and beliefs of the people who participate in it." This is, of course, a radically different world than the one within which the sin-evil language emerged and gave this language its depth and significance. One aspect of Lyman’s continuing task, therefore, would be to show how it is possible to speak meaningfully of sin and evil when the belief in a transcendent which constituted these phenomena in their classical modes is absent. Nietzsche’s challenge must be faced: after the "death of God" we can still speak of "good and bad" but can we any longer speak of "good and evil"?—E.F. (shrink)
This book, outstanding in its field, presents in a clear, impressively thorough way the philosophical problems concerned with relativity theory and the topology and metrics of space and time. Many of the author's points will be familiar to the readers of his earlier articles, some of which this work is meant to supersede. Unifying all the many discussions is a rigorous and thorough-going empiricism that relies heavily on the results of investigations of physicists and mathematicians and that masterfully clips the (...) wings of those who would take flight from these results into the airy realms of speculative cosmology.—A. E. F. (shrink)
An intellectual defense of Christianity which argues that contemporary apologetics are much too defensive intellectually. Cleobury contends that the insights of the Christian faith are most compatible with an idealistic world view. This he presents and defends with subtlety.--F. E. B.
This rather discursive study draws upon many sources in maintaining that freedom is the touchstone for an understanding of the human condition, both of man's possibility and his development in a world of chance and change. Kallen argues that mankind can best achieve liberty by adopting a pragmatic view of ideas which neither neglects the actual nor distorts the ideal. -- F. E. B.
In this subtle but laborious exposition and defense of a difficult doctrine of classical Calvinism, Berkouwer interprets both Calvin and certain classical creedal statements. His defense depends upon the contention that most criticisms of the doctrine rest upon misinterpretations. --F. E. B.
This introductory essay sketches the problem of the good life by a brief description of moral experience and discusses some major alternative answers. Freund suggests that the good life has as its final value "the unity of communion, fellowship, and creativeness" and concludes with a plea for a re-examination of our educational procedures.--F. E. B.
This collection of essays is an extended discussion of the relation between religion and culture. Tillich, in defining religion in terms of ultimate concern, cuts across, and at times seems to undercut, traditional views about religion. "Religion is the meaning-giving substance of culture, and culture is the totality of forms in which the basic concern of religion expresses itself." His analyses, although oversimplified in certain respects, point out important inter-relationships and offer suggestive interpretations. --F. E. B.
An excellent and succinct historical survey of the major philosophies of law as seen in the leading political philosophers, this work explores the connection between views of law and the philosophical outlooks on which they are based. It also includes a short analysis of some current problems, such as the relation of law to justice, and it suggests the feasibility of international constitutional law.--F. E. B.
The author conceives of his grandiose world view and proposals for biological human selectivity as based on a new scientific philosophy, but the book seems to share little with either organized science or disciplined philosophy.--F. E. B.
McIntyre defines history as "meaningful occurrence, and more particularly occurrence the meaning of which is a construct out of certain categories, namely, Necessity, Providence, Incarnation, Freedom and Memory."--F. E. B.
In this provocative, if puzzling, "treatment of religion on the basis of the methods of empirical and existential philosophy," the author makes common cause with the positivists in rejecting metaphysics as illegitimate system-making. He accepts the conception of philosophy as analysis of languages, but insists that a "situational" or existential analysis must be carried out as well-particularly in the case of the "convictional language" of religion. Precisely what is involved in this "situational" analysis, and how it differs from logical analysis (...) is often hard to tell, and one wishes for a fuller discussion of the cognitive claim of convictional language.--F. E. B. (shrink)
An examination of the place and importance accorded to love in the systems representative of the Platonic-Christian, the utilitarian, and humanist world views. By a formal, literary analysis of parts of a major work of each of nine moralists, the author brings out their views on man and love. Despite a rather weak conclusion, and a few somewhat strained interpretations, her argument is clear and her analyses penetrating.--F. E. B.
Two essays in this collection appear to be of special interest. W. K. Frankena presents an acute analysis of the question whether a person can have an obligation without any corresponding motivation, and concludes that the discussion should move to a new level because the arguments on both sides are inconclusive. Gilbert Ryle suggests that it is absurd to talk about forgetting the difference between right and wrong because such "knowledge" is not mere information or technique, but involves appreciation and (...) taking things seriously.--F. E. B. (shrink)
Melden approaches some important ethical problems by a careful analysis of moral rights in the moral community. A right for him is a moral role or status in the moral community; that community is served and preserved by right action. The discussion, although extremely succinct at times, ranges over a number of important points. -- F. E. B.
A concise summary of what is known and conjectured about the Roman tragic poet Pacuvius and his works. The author notes, in passing, lines from the fragments of the plays which reveal the contemporary interest in philosophical speculation.--F. E. B.
A good presentation of an exciting "educator, citizen, reformer in Midwestern America before and after the Civil War," active in the abolitionist movement and founder of two American colleges.--F. E. B.
A popular introduction to ethics, intended to "stimulate thinking" rather than offer a final solution, which discusses thirteen theories in terms of a number of tests of a good theory of right action.--F. E. B.
A study of the religion of Jesus in terms of its pagan and Jewish sources, its inner meaning and finally its redevelopment in the pagan world. Larson argues that the religion of the Essene Jesus was a grand "synthesis of human experience drawn from many cultures" and that this religion has been greatly distorted by the ritual of the Church.--F. E. B.
A tentative but suggestive attempt to state "the principles of an historical psychology," this book protests against a static view of man and proposes a dynamic theory of human transformation.--F. E. B.
Wind makes abundant references to such classical philosophers as Plato, Plotinus, and Seneca in his elucidation of Renaissance works of art in terms of pagan myths and rites. His study is scholarly and full and is well illustrated with excellent plates.--F. E. B.
Meinecke sought in the nation-state the means for harmonizing the need for power and the demands of justice. This sensitive and scholarly intellectual biography may serve as a commentary on the important German political philosophers and on German political history over the last 160 years--F. E. B.
The editor's purpose is to introduce Hegel to the modern reader by means of a digest of Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind, The Science of Logic and the Philosophy of History. The selections are too brief to be very useful.--F. E. B.
In this extended examination of the Oxford deontologists' claim that rightness cannot be based upon goodness, Johnson argues that although the deontologists' arguments against the utilitarians are valid, their positive position must be rejected. Because Ross's "ought-can" argument and the "infinite regress" argument break down, the moral goodness of motives must be regarded as a necessary but not sufficient condition for moral rightness. Johnson proposes an alternative axiology theory which includes an "organic" as well as a moral and utilitarian goodness.--F. (...) E. B. (shrink)