Pain, suffering and positive emotions in patients in vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS) and minimally conscious states (MCS) pose clinical and ethical challenges. Clinically, we evaluate behavioural responses after painful stimulation and also emotionally-contingent behaviours (e.g., smiling). Using stimuli with emotional valence, neuroimaging and electrophysiology technologies can detect subclinical remnants of preserved capacities for pain which might influence decisions about treatment limitation. To date, no data exist as to how healthcare providers think about end-of-life options (e.g., withdrawal of artificial nutrition (...) and hydration) in the presence or absence of pain in non-communicative patients. Here, we aimed to better clarify this issue by re-analyzing previously published data on pain perception (Prog Brain Res 2009 177, 329–38) and end-of-life decisions (J Neurol 2010 258, 1058–65) in patients with disorders of consciousness. In a sample of 2259 European healthcare professionals we found that, for VS/UWS more respondents agreed with treatment withdrawal when they considered that VS/UWS patients did not feel pain (77%) as compared to those who thought VS/UWS did feel pain (59%). This interaction was influenced by religiosity and professional background. For MCS, end-of-life attitudes were not influenced by opinions on pain perception. Within a contemporary ethical context we discuss (1) the evolving scientific understandings of pain perception and their relationship to existing clinical and ethical guidelines; (2) the discrepancies of attitudes within (and between) healthcare providers and their consequences for treatment approaches, and (3) the implicit but complex relationship between pain perception and attitudes toward life-sustaining treatments. (shrink)
In this path breaking volume, leading researchers from psychology, linguistics, philosophy and primatology offer complementary perspectives on the role of intersubjectivity in the context of human development, comparative cognition and...
In this article, we analyse content from two recent reports to examine how a public health framework to cognitive enhancement is emerging. We find that, in several areas, these reports provide population-level arguments both for and against the use of cognitive enhancers. In discussing these arguments, we look at how these reports are indicative of potentially innovative frameworks—epidemiological, risk/benefit and socio-historical—by which to explore the public health impact of cognitive enhancement. Finally, we argue that these reports are suggestive of both (...) tensions between the bioethical and public health approaches and are also indicative of how these two frameworks can, in part, be seen as complementary. (shrink)
A recent discussion on cognitive enhancers has caused some controversy in the ethics and neuroscience fields by coming out in favour of making neuropharmaceuticals with enhancing properties available for general consumption. We highlight in this brief commentary why concerns regarding efficacy and safety, demands on resources, and public health are substantive enough to warrant serious reconsideration before pharmaceutical performance enhancement can be widely supported.
Objectives: To assess whether according to healthcare providers, the creation of an ethics service responds to a need; assess the importance of an ethics service for healthcare providers; determine what ethics services should be offered and the preferred formats of delivery; and identify key issues to be initially dealt with by the ethics service.Design: A survey of healthcare providers in Québec’s Centre Local de Services Communautaires , healthcare institutions dedicated to community health and social services.Findings: 96 respondents agreed that an (...) ethics service was needed, and on average the ethics service project was judged to be very important. Preferred formats for ethics consultation and education were identified, as well as key concerns such as the need of respect for the patient as a person, elder abuse and ethical issues in home care.Conclusion: This survey is helping in the implementation of an ethics service and can guide others in similar healthcare institutions. (shrink)
Background Debates and controversies have shaped the understanding and the practices related to death determined by neurological criterion . Confusion about DNC in the public domain could undermine this notion. This confusion could further jeopardise confidence in rigorous death determination procedures, and raise questions about the integrity, sustainability, and legitimacy of modern organ donation practices.Objective We examined the depictions of ‘brain death’ in major American and Canadian print media to gain insights into possible common sources of confusion about DNC and (...) the relationship between expert and lay views on this crucial concept.Methods We gathered 940 articles, available in electronic databases, published between 2005 and 2009 from high-circulation Canadian and American newspapers containing keywords ‘brain dead’ or ‘brain death’. Articles were systematically examined for content using the NVivo 8 software.Results Our results showed problematic aspects in American and Canadian media, with some salient differences. DNC was used colloquially in 39% of the articles and its medical meaning infrequently defined . The neurological criterion for determination of death was mentioned in less than 10% of the articles, and life support in about 20% of the articles. Organ donation issues related to DNC were raised more often in Canadian articles than in American articles .Interpretation Further discussion is needed to develop innovative strategies to bridge media representations of DNC with experts’ views in connection with organ donation practices. (shrink)
The history and genesis of major public clinical ethics controversies is intimately related to the publication of opinions and responses in media coverage. To provide a sample of public response in the media, this paper reports the results of a content analysis of letters to editors published in the four most prolific American newspapers for the Schiavo controversy. Opinions expressed in the letters sampled strongly supported the use of living wills and strongly condemned public attention to the case as well (...) as political interventions. Letters tended to be against withdrawal of life support, proxy consent and associated procedures as well as against court decisions and legal procedures. In comparison with reports written by journalists, letters to editors contained fewer controversial claims about Schiavo''s neurological condition and behavioural repertoire but similar loaded language to describe withdrawal of life support. Distinct public discourses can be encountered in different stakeholders suggesting complex and extensive pluralism even within the media. (shrink)
The strong weak truth table (sw) reducibility was suggested by Downey, Hirschfeldt, and LaForte as a measure of relative randomness, alternative to the Solovay reducibility. It also occurs naturally in proofs in classical computability theory as well as in the recent work of Soare, Nabutovsky, and Weinberger on applications of computability to differential geometry. We study the sw-degrees of c.e. reals and construct a c.e. real which has no random c.e. real (i.e., Ω number) sw-above it.
G. E. Moore's ‘A Defence of Common Sense’ has generated the kind of interest and contrariety which often accompany what is new, provocative, and even important in philosophy. Moore himself reportedly agreed with Wittgenstein's estimate that this was his best article, while C. D. Broad has lamented its very great but largely unfortunate influence. Although the essay inspired Wittgenstein to explore the basis of Moore's claim to know many propositions of common sense to be true, A. J. Ayer judges its (...) enduring value to lie in provoking a more sophisticated conception of the very type of metaphysics which disputes any such unqualified claim of certainty. (shrink)
Esse artigo mostra o significado da unicidade da ética e da estética no Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Primeiro, ele apresenta os principais aspectos ética tractatiana: que ela não hierarquiza fatos, que ela é eudemonista, e que ela não propõe qualquer finalidade externa às ações do sujeito ético. Segundo, ele mostra que a obra de arte é a expressão da vida de um ponto de vista ético, ou seja, ela é a expressão do significado da vida de um ponto de vista da eternidade. (...) Concluindo, ele mostra que essa concepção propõe uma delimitação absoluta que separa o que é arte e que não é arte. (shrink)
O artigo tenta compreender como o software livre tornou-se vetor de um movimento social militante para criação e difusão de bens comuns. Como, para além de suas características de “meio” esses softwares foram transformados em questões de política, economia, sociedade, cultura e ética? São emergência, os modos de organização e as ideologias desse movimento que o artigo se propõe a analisar.
Assim como em outras partes do mundo, a situação midiática na Ásia sofre a influência dos poderes políticos, econômicos e culturais, refletidos em uma variedade de sistemas de funcionamento da mídia. Este artigo é trecho de tese de doutorado defendida em 2007 e analisa os discursos jornalísticos em três jornais (da Indonésia, da Malásia e de Cingapura) referentes aos atentados de Bali em 2002; contra o hotel JW Marriott em Jacarta em 2003; contra a embaixada da Austrália em Jacarta em (...) 2004 e ao atentado suicida em Bali em 2005. (shrink)
This paper provides a new analysis of e - trust , trust occurring in digital contexts, among the artificial agents of a distributed artificial system. The analysis endorses a non-psychological approach and rests on a Kantian regulative ideal of a rational agent, able to choose the best option for itself, given a specific scenario and a goal to achieve. The paper first introduces e-trust describing its relevance for the contemporary society and then presents a new theoretical analysis of this phenomenon. (...) The analysis first focuses on an agent’s trustworthiness , this one is presented as the necessary requirement for e-trust to occur. Then, a new definition of e-trust as a second-order-property of first-order relations is presented. It is shown that the second-order-property of e-trust has the effect of minimising an agent’s effort and commitment in the achievement of a given goal. On this basis, a method is provided for the objective assessment of the levels of e-trust occurring among the artificial agents of a distributed artificial system. (shrink)
The E-Z Reader model (Reichle et al. 1998; 1999) provides a theoretical framework for understanding how word identification, visual processing, attention, and oculomotor control jointly determine when and where the eyes move during reading. In this article, we first review what is known about eye movements during reading. Then we provide an updated version of the model (E-Z Reader 7) and describe how it accounts for basic findings about eye movement control in reading. We then review several alternative models of (...) eye movement control in reading, discussing both their core assumptions and their theoretical scope. On the basis of this discussion, we conclude that E-Z Reader provides the most comprehensive account of eye movement control during reading. Finally, we provide a brief overview of what is known about the neural systems that support the various components of reading, and suggest how the cognitive constructs of our model might map onto this neural architecture. Key Words: attention; eye-movement control; E-Z Reader; fixations; lexical access; models; reading; regressions; saccades. (shrink)
E. F. Carritt (1876-1964) was educated at and taught in Oxford University. He made substantial contributions both to aesthetics and to moral philosophy. The focus of this entry is his work in moral philosophy. His most notable works in this field are The Theory of Morals (1928) and Ethical and Political Thinking (1947). Carritt developed views in metaethics and in normative ethics. In meta-ethics he defends a cognitivist, non-naturalist moral realism and was among the first to respond to A. J. (...) Ayer’s emotivist challenge to this view. In normative ethics he advocates a deontological view in which there is a plurality of obligations and of non-instrumental goods. In the context of defending this view he raised some penetrating and novel criticisms of ideal utilitarianism. He held that it is not acceptable to revise our reflective common-sense moral attitudes in the face of philosophical moral theories, and that moral philosophy is only indirectly practical. (shrink)
Contemporary health care relies on electronic devices. These technologies are not ethically neutral but change the practice of care. In light of Sennett’s work and that of other thinkers (Dewey, Dreyfus, Borgmann) one worry is that “e-care”—care by means of new information and communication technologies—does not promote skilful and careful engagement with patients and hence is neither conducive to the quality of care nor to the virtues of the care worker. Attending to the kinds of knowledge involved in care work (...) and their moral significance, this paper explores what “craftsmanship” means in the context of medicine and health care and discusses whether today the care giver’s craftsmanship is eroded. It is argued that this is a real danger, especially under modern conditions and in the case of telecare, but that whether it happens, and to what extent it happens, depends on whether in a specific practice and given a specific technology e-carers can develop the know-how and skill to engage more intensely with those under their care and to cooperate with their co-workers. (shrink)
I have two aims in this paper. In §§2-4 I contend that Moore has two arguments (not one) for the view that that ‘good’ denotes a non-natural property not to be identified with the naturalistic properties of science and common sense (or, for that matter, the more exotic properties posited by metaphysicians and theologians). The first argument, the Barren Tautology Argument (or the BTA), is derived, via Sidgwick, from a long tradition of anti-naturalist polemic. But the second argument, the Open (...) Question Argument proper (or the OQA), seems to have been Moore’s own invention and was probably devised to deal with naturalistic theories, such as Russell’s, which are immune to the Barren Tautology Argument. The OQA is valid and not (as Frankena (1939) has alleged) question-begging. Moreover, if its premises were true, it would have disposed of the desire-to-desire theory. But as I explain in §5, from 1970 onwards, two key premises of the OQA were successively called into question, the one because philosophers came to believe in synthetic identities between properties and the other because it led to the Paradox of Analysis. By 1989 a philosopher like Lewis could put forward precisely the kind of theory that Moore professed to have refuted with a clean intellectual conscience. However, in §§6-8 I shall argue that all is not lost for the OQA. I first press an objection to the desire-to-desire theory derived from Kripke’s famous epistemic argument. On reflection this argument looks uncannily like the OQA. But the premise on which it relies is weaker than the one that betrayed Moore by leading to the Paradox of Analysis. This suggests three conclusions: 1) that the desire-to-desire theory is false; 2) that the OQA can be revived, albeit in a modified form; and 3) that the revived OQA poses a serious threat to what might be called semantic naturalism. (shrink)
The effectiveness of information retrieval technology in electronic discovery (E-discovery) has become the subject of judicial rulings and practitioner controversy. The scale and nature of E-discovery tasks, however, has pushed traditional information retrieval evaluation approaches to their limits. This paper reviews the legal and operational context of E-discovery and the approaches to evaluating search technology that have evolved in the research community. It then describes a multi-year effort carried out as part of the Text Retrieval Conference to develop evaluation methods (...) for responsive review tasks in E-discovery. This work has led to new approaches to measuring effectiveness in both batch and interactive frameworks, large data sets, and some surprising results for the recall and precision of Boolean and statistical information retrieval methods. The paper concludes by offering some thoughts about future research in both the legal and technical communities toward the goal of reliable, effective use of information retrieval in E-discovery. (shrink)
In “Imaging or Imagining? A Neuroethics Challenge In- The assumption at issue here is the assumption that the formed by Genetics,” Judy Illes and Eric Racine (see this ismind literally is the brain (i.e., is numerically identical to sue) argue that “traditional bioethics analysis” (TBA), as de-.
Given the very large numbers of documents involved in e-discovery investigations, lawyers face a considerable challenge of collaborative sensemaking. We report findings from three workplace studies which looked at different aspects of how this challenge was met. From a sociotechnical perspective, the studies aimed to understand how investigators collectively and individually worked with information to support sensemaking and decision making. Here, we focus on discovery-led refinement; specifically, how engaging with the materials of the investigations led to discoveries that supported refinement (...) of the problems and new strategies for addressing them. These refinements were essential for tractability. We begin with observations which show how new lines of enquiry were recursively embedded. We then analyse the conceptual structure of a line of enquiry and consider how reflecting this in e-discovery support systems might support scalability and group collaboration. We then focus on the individual activity of manual document review where refinement corresponded with the inductive identification of classes of irrelevant and relevant documents within a collection. Our observations point to the effects of priming on dealing with these efficiently and to issues of cognitive ergonomics at the human–computer interface. We use these observations to introduce visualisations that might enable reviewers to deal with such refinements more efficiently. (shrink)
The information overload in E-Discovery proceedings makes reviewing expensive and it increases the risk of failure to produce results on time and consistently. New interactive techniques have been introduced to increase reviewer productivity. In contrast, the techniques presented in this article propose an alternative method that tries to reduce information during culling so that less information needs to be reviewed. The proposed method first focuses on mapping the email collection universe using straightforward statistical methods based on keyword filtering combined with (...) date time and custodian identities. Subsequently, a social network is constructed from the email collection that is analyzed by filtering on date time and keywords. By using the network context we expect to provide a better understanding of the keyword hits and the ability to discard certain parts of the collection. (shrink)
: O presente artigo evidencia, por um lado, o mérito da filosofia de Espinosa, pelo fato de haver submetido a oposição das partes e do todo, do corpo e da alma, da matéria e do espírito, à unidade da substância, já que toda parte singular da substância pertence à sua natureza. Por outro lado, destaca a crítica de Feuerbach a Espinosa, porque a filosofia deste é, na verdade, uma filosofia da identidade, que não reconhece, como Hegel também assinala, a substância (...) como espírito e o espírito como substância, e não determina suficientemente a unidade da matéria e do espírito, já que falta a ela a realidade da diferença, da determinidade. Enquanto Espinosa identifica Deus com a natureza (Deus sive natura) e, mediante a natureza divina (a substância), supera a contradição de Descartes entre matéria (res extensa) e espírito (res cogitans), Feuerbach quer, em oposição ao panteísmo, a diferença entre natureza e Deus (aut Deus aut natura). (shrink)
E-inclusion is getting a lot of attention in Europe these days. The European Commission and EU Member States have initiated e-inclusion strategies aimed at reaching out to the e-excluded and bringing them into the mainstream of society and the economy. The benefits of mainstreaming the excluded are numerous. Good practices play an important role in the strategies, and examples can be found in e-health, e-learning, e-government, e-inclusion and other e-domains. So laudable seems the rationale for e-inclusion, few have questioned the (...) benefits. In fact, e-inclusion does raise ethical issues, and this paper discusses a few of the key ones. The paper draws several conclusions, principally regarding the need for some empirical research on what happens to the e-excluded once they have access to information and communications technologies, notably the Internet. (shrink)
Retrieval of relevant unstructured information from the ever-increasing textual communications of individuals and businesses has become a major barrier to effective litigation/defense, mergers/acquisitions, and regulatory compliance. Such e-discovery requires simultaneously high precision with high recall (high-P/R) and is therefore a prototype for many legal reasoning tasks. The requisite exhaustive information retrieval (IR) system must employ very different techniques than those applicable in the hyper-precise, consumer search task where insignificant recall is the accepted norm. We apply Russell, et al.’s cognitive task (...) analysis of sensemaking by intelligence analysts to develop a semi-autonomous system that achieves high IR accuracy of F1 ≥ 0.8 compared to F1 < 0.4 typical of computer-assisted human-assessment (CAHA) or alternative approaches such as Roitblat, et al.’s. By understanding the ‘Learning Loop Complexes’ of lawyers engaged in successful small-scale document review, we have used socio-technical design principles to create roles, processes, and technologies for scalable human-assisted computer-assessment (HACA). Results from the NIST-TREC Legal Track’s interactive task from both 2008 and 2009 validate the efficacy of this sensemaking approach to the high-P/R IR task. (shrink)
In this work, we provide a broad overview of the distinct stages of E-Discovery. We portray them as an interconnected, often complex workflow process, while relating them to the general Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). We start with the definition of E-Discovery. We then describe the very positive role that NIST’s Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) has added to the science of E-Discovery, in terms of the tasks involved and the evaluation of the legal discovery work performed. Given the critical nature (...) that data analysis plays at various stages of the process, we present a pyramid model, which complements the EDRM model: for gathering and hosting; indexing; searching and navigating; and finally consolidating and summarizing E-Discovery findings. Next we discuss where the current areas of need and areas of growth appear to be, using one of the field’s most authoritative surveys of providers and consumers of E-Discovery products and services. We subsequently address some areas of Artificial Intelligence, both Information Retrieval-related and not, which promise to make future contributions to the E-Discovery discipline. Some of these areas include data mining applied to e-mail and social networks, classification and machine learning, and the technologies that will enable next generation E-Discovery. The lesson we convey is that the more IR researchers and others understand the broader context of E-Discovery, including the stages that occur before and after primary search, the greater will be the prospects for broader solutions, creative optimizations and synergies yet to be tapped. (shrink)
Autonomous e-coaching systems offer their users suggestions for action, thereby affecting the user's decision-making process. More specifically, the suggestions that these systems make influence the options for action that people actually consider. Surprisingly though, options and the corresponding process of option generation --- a decision-making stage preceding intention formation and action selection --- has received very little attention in the various disciplines studying decision making. We argue that this neglect is unjustified and that it is important, particularly for designers of (...) autonomous e-coaching systems, to understand how human option generation works. The aims of this paper are threefold. The first aim is to generate awareness with designers of autonomous e-coaching systems that these systems do in fact influence their users' options. The second is to show that understanding the interplay between a person's options and the e-coaching system's suggestions is important for improving the effectiveness of the system. The third is that the very same interplay is also crucial for designing e-coaching systems that respect people's autonomy. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed the emergence of anew policy style within the E.U., characterized by voluntary policy transfer between member states and soft policy instruments including exchange of best practice, targets, benchmarking and national league tables. This article examines how these methods have been used by gender mainstreaming advocates and evaluates the impact of this strategy to-date upon E.U. policy-making procedures and outputs. It is argued that mainstreaming has provided new opportunities for feminists to influence the E.U. policy agenda, but (...) that the impact of mainstreaming varies between sectors and member states. The concluding section considers the implications of E.U. mainstreaming from the perspective of the European Women's Lobby(E.W.L.). This discussion highlights the potential opportunities and risks for feminists of mainstreaming. (shrink)
This article is aimed at contributing to the study of the relationship that new religious movements entertain with technology and science. It focuses on an object that is central in Scientology's teachings and practice: the Electropsychometer or E-meter. In interaction with the general public, such as in a 2014 TV Super Bowl advertisement, Scientology seems to claim a unique relationship with science and technology in the form of a “combination” and a “connection” evoked while displaying this very E-meter. Hence, exploring (...) the teachings related to it is relevant in order to understand how such combination or connection is conceptualized. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the ethics of e - trust and e - trustworthiness in the context of health care, looking at direct computer-patient interfaces (DCPIs), information systems that provide medical information, diagnosis, advice, consenting and/or treatment directly to patients without clinicians as intermediaries. Designers, manufacturers and deployers of such systems have an ethical obligation to provide evidence of their trustworthiness to users. My argument for this claim is based on evidentialism about trust and trustworthiness: the idea that trust (...) should be based on sound evidence of trustworthiness. Evidence of trustworthiness is a broader notion than one might suppose, including not just information about the risks and performance of the system, but also interactional and context-based information. I suggest some sources of evidence in this broader sense that make it plausible that designers, manufacturers and deployers of DCPIs can provide evidence to users that is cognitively simple, easy to communicate, yet rationally connected with actual trustworthiness. (shrink)
The paper deals with involutive FL e -monoids, that is, commutative residuated, partially-ordered monoids with an involutive negation. Involutive FL e -monoids over lattices are exactly involutive FL e -algebras, the algebraic counterparts of the substructural logic IUL. A cone representation is given for conic involutive FL e -monoids, along with a new construction method, called twin-rotation. Some classes of finite involutive FL e -chains are classified by using the notion of rank of involutive FL e -chains, and a kind (...) of duality is developed between positive and non-positive rank algebras. As a side effect, it is shown that the substructural logic IUL plus t ↔ f does not have the finite model property. (shrink)
O presente artigo objetiva discutir a lógica subjacente ao movimento dialético da figura do Senhor e do Servo. Jean-Pierre Labarrière é quem afirma categoricamente a tese segundo a qual há uma Lógica por trás do movimento da Consciência. Ora, a questão fundamental que se coloca, nesse caso,é: qual a lógica que preside o movimento da consciência para a consciência de si, culminado em sua unidade no momento da Razão? A hipótese aqui perseguida, situando-se na esteira da interpretação de Labarrière, é (...) de que a lógica que se encontra "por trás da consciência", nessa figura da Fenomenologiado Espírito, é a mesma lógica que Hegel apresenta na Doutrina da Essência, na Ciência da Lógica. Paratanto, explicitar as categorias lógicas da Doutrina da Essência e acompanhar o seu desdobramento configuram o objetivo central deste trabalho. (shrink)
O presente artigo pretende sublinhar, na forma de breves apontamentos gerais, os contornos mais amplos da crítica de Honneth a alguns aspectos do pensamento habermasiano. Tal crítica é norteada especialmente por uma investigação dos critérios morais e normativos das lutas sociais que Honneth recupera, por meio de uma apropriação crítica do pensamento do jovem Hegel. O ponto central defendido por Honneth é que as possibilidades da experiência interativo-comunicativa não podem ser resumidas ou tomadas exclusivamente na interação linguística, nem mesmo esta (...) última pode ser perseguida em seu aspecto ideal, sem a pressuposição dos contextos conflituosos nos quais ela sempre está inserida. (shrink)
In this paper it is exactly proved that the standard transformations of the three-dimensional (3D) vectors of the electric and magnetic fields E and B are not relativistically correct transformations. Thence the 3D vectors E and B are not well-defined quantities in the 4D space-time and, contrary to the general belief, the usual Maxwell equations with the 3D E and B are not in agreement with the special relativity. The 4-vectors E a and B a , as well-defined 4D quantities, (...) are introduced instead of ill-defined 3D E and B. The proof is given in the tensor and the Clifford algebra formalisms. (shrink)
Recent trends towards an e-Science offer us the opportunity to think about the specific epistemological changes created by computational empowerment in scientific practices. In fact, we can say that a computational epistemology exists that requires our attention. By ‘computational epistemology’ I mean the computational processes implied or required to achieve human knowledge. In that category we can include AI, supercomputers, expert systems, distributed computation, imaging technologies, virtual instruments, middleware, robotics, grids or databases. Although several authors talk about the extended mind (...) and computational extensions of the human body, most of these proposals don’t analyze the deep epistemological implications of computer empowerment in scientific practices. At the same time, we must identify the principal concept for e-Science: Information . Why should we think about a new epistemology for e-Science? Because several processes exist around scientific information that require a good epistemological model to be understood. (shrink)
The ageing society poses significant challenges to Europe’s economy and society. In coming to grips with these issues, we must be aware of their ethical dimensions. Values are the heart of the European Union, as Article 1a of the Lisbon Treaty makes clear: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity…”. The notion of Europe as a community of values has various important implications, including the development of inclusion policies. A special case of exclusion concerns the (...) gap between those people with effective access to digital and information technology and those without access to it, the “digital divide”, which in Europe is chiefly age-related. Policies to overcome the digital divide and, more generally speaking, e-inclusion policies addressing the ageing population raise some ethical problems. Among younger senior citizens, say those between 65 and 80 years old, the main issues are likely to be universal access to ICT and e-participation. Among the older senior citizens, say those more than 80 years old, the main issues are mental and physical deterioration and assistive technology. An approach geared towards the protection of human rights could match the different needs of senior citizens and provide concrete guidance to evaluate information technologies for them. (shrink)
Recent trends towards an e-Science offer us the opportunity to think about the specific epistemological changes created by computational empowerment in scientific practices. In fact, we can say that a computational epistemology exists that requires our attention. By ‘computational epistemology’ I mean the computational processes implied or required to achieve human knowledge. In that category we can include AI, supercomputers, expert systems, distributed computation, imaging technologies, virtual instruments, middleware, robotics, grids or databases. Although several authors talk about the extended mind (...) and computational extensions of the human body, most of these proposals don’t analyze the deep epistemological implications of computer empowerment in scientific practices. At the same time, we must identify the principal concept for e-Science: Information. Why should we think about a new epistemology for e-Science? Because several processes exist around scientific information that require a good epistemological model to be understood. (shrink)