Justifying involuntary psychiatric treatment on the basis of a judgment that a person lacks capacity is usually expressed in terms of a person’s ability to make a decision about his or her health and treatment. Typically, this relates to the ability to refuse treatment. Exactly what “capacity” means, however, and how one determines when another individual lacks capacity, or lacks sufficient capacity, in this context is particularly controversial, with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities insisting (...) that involuntary treatment be abandoned altogether and capacity tests avoided.Capacity is a concept that has multiple meanings and applications across different disciplines and... (shrink)
The BankXX system models the process of perusing and gathering information for argument as a heuristic best-first search for relevant cases, theories, and other domain-specific information. As BankXX searches its heterogeneous and highly interconnected network of domain knowledge, information is incrementally analyzed and amalgamated into a dozen desirable ingredients for argument (called argument pieces), such as citations to cases, applications of legal theories, and references to prototypical factual scenarios. At the conclusion of the search, BankXX outputs the set of argument (...) pieces filled with harvested material relevant to the input problem situation.This research explores the appropriateness of the search paradigm as a framework for harvesting and mining information needed to make legal arguments. In this article, we describe how legal research fits the heuristic search framework and detail how this model is used in BankXX. We describe the BankXX program with emphasis on its representation of legal knowledge and legal argument. We describe the heuristic search mechanism and evaluation functions that drive the program. We give an extended example of the processing of BankXX on the facts of an actual legal case in BankXX's application domain — the good faith question of Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy law. We discuss closely related research on legal knowledge representation and retrieval and the use of search for case retrieval or tasks related to argument creation. Finally we review what we believe are the contributions of this research to the understanding of the diverse disciplines it addresses. (shrink)
In this article we evaluate the BankXX program from several perspectives. BankXX is a case-based legal argument program that retrieves cases and other legal knowledge pertinent to a legal argument through a combination of heuristic search and knowledge-based indexing. The program is described in detail in a companion article in Artificial Intelligence and Law 4: 1--71, 1996. Three perspectives are used to evaluate BankXX:(1) classical information retrieval measures of precision and recall applied against a hand-coded baseline; (2) knowledge-representation and case-based (...) reasoning, where the baseline is provided by the functionality of a well-known case-based argument program, HYPO (Ashley, 1990); and (3) search, in which the performance of BankXX run with various parameter settings, for instance, resource limits, is compared. In this article we report on an extensive series of experiments performed to evaluate the program. We also describe two additional experiments concerning(1) the program's search behavior; and (2) the use of a modified form of precision and recall based on case similarity. Finally we offer some general conclusions that might be drawn from these particular experiments. (shrink)
Biobanks are increasingly being linked together into global networks in order to maximise their capacity to identify causes of and treatments for disease. While there is great optimism about the potential of these biobank networks to contribute to personalised and data-driven medicine, there are also ethical concerns about, among other things, risks to personal privacy and exploitation of vulnerable populations. Concepts drawn from theories of globalisation can assist with the characterisation of the ethical implications of biobank networking across borders, which (...) can, in turn, inform more ethically sophisticated responses. Using the China Kadoorie Biobank as a case study, we show how distinguishing between the subnational, transnational, supranational and extranational spheres of operation and influence can help researchers, institutions and regulators to understand and manage the ethical issues raised by the globalisation of biobanking. (shrink)
BackgroundBiobanks provide an important foundation for genomic and personalised medicine. In order to enhance their scientific power and scope, they are increasingly becoming part of national or international networks. Public trust is essential in fostering public engagement, encouraging donation to, and facilitating public funding for biobanks. Globalisation and networking of biobanking may challenge this trust.MethodsWe report the results of an Australian study examining public attitudes to the networking and globalisation of biobanks. The study used quantitative and qualitative methods in conjunction (...) with bioethical analysis in order to determine factors that may contribute to, and threaten, trust.ResultsOur results indicate a generally high level of trust in biobanks and in medical research more broadly. Key factors that can reduce perceived trustworthiness of biobanks are commercialisation and involvement in global networking.ConclusionsWe conclude that robust ethical oversight and governance standards can both promote trust in global biobanking and ensure that this trust is warranted. (shrink)
The application of evolutionary ideas to socioeconomic systems has been an increasingly prominent theme in the work of Friedrich Hayek, and the motif has become dominant in his recent book. In an earlier issue of this journal, Viktor Vanberg raises two substantive criticisms of Friedrich Hayek' theory of cultural evolution that invoke some important questions concerning use of the evolutionary analogy in social science.
Peer review of grant applications, it has been suggested, might be distorted by what is popularly termed old boyism, cronyism, or particularism. We argue that the existing debate emphasizes the more uninteresting aspects of the peer review system and that the operation of old boyism, as currently understood would have little effect on the overall direction of science. We identify a phenomenon of cognitive particularism, which we consider to be more important than the institutional cronyism analyzed in previous studies. We (...) illustrate with material drawn from observation of grant-awarding commit tees of the Science and Engineering Research CounciL In the concluding discussion, we explore some of the possible implications for the peer review system. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who (...) may be uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness is one of the key English-language texts in the post-war settlement literature of the early 1940s. This article analyses the book on three interconnected levels: the nature of the argument made by Niebuhr in the book, its place in the broader post-war settlement literature of the early 1940s, and its relevance to the current problems of right-wing populism and the climate crisis. While the main theme of the book (...) is the necessity and impossibility of democracy, it shares with the work of Isaiah Bowman and David Mitrany a concern for the tension between the state and interdependence. The deepening of this tension since has helped keep Niebuhr relevant, although his initial distinction between the children of light and the children of darkness has been complicated by both populism and the climate crisis. (shrink)
Blindsight is the term commonly used to describe visually guided behaviour elicited by a stimulus falling within the scotoma (blind area) caused by a lesion of the striate cortex. Such is normally held to be unconscious and to be mediated by subcortical pathways involving the superior colliculus. Blindsight is of considerable theoretical importance since it suggests that destriate man is more like destriate monkey than had been previously believed and also because it supports the classical notion of two visual systems. (...) It is also of potential clinical importance, since it has been claimed recently that systematic practice in blindsight can lead to the recovery of normal visual function in patients with cortical lesions. From a review of the literature it is concluded that all of the phenomena of blindsight can be attributed either to light scatter into unimpaired parts of the visual field or to residual vision resulting from spared striate cortex. The possible contribution f other factors is also considered. It is concluded that blindsight studies have generally failed to control for such nonblindsight interpretations partly because of poor methodology and partly because of difficulties in defining the term. (shrink)
The inaugural collection in an exciting new exchange between philosophers and geographers, this volume provides interdisciplinary approaches to the environment as space, place, and idea. Never before have philosophers and geographers approached each other's subjects in such a strong spirit of mutual understanding. The result is a concrete exploration of the human-nature relationship that embraces strong normative approaches to environmental problems.
In this paper, we explore the literature on cognitive heuristics and biases in light of virtue epistemology, specifically highlighting the two major positions—agent-reliabilism and agent-responsibilism —as they apply to dual systems theories of cognition and the role of motivation in biases. We investigate under which conditions heuristics and biases might be characterized as vicious and conclude that a certain kind of intellectual arrogance can be attributed to an inappropriate reliance on Type 1, or the improper function of Type 2, (...) cognitive processes. By the same token, the proper intervention of Type 2 processes results in the virtuous functioning of our cognitive systems. Moreover, the role of motivation in attenuating cognitive biases and the cultivation of certain epistemic habits points to the tenets of agent-responsibilism.. (shrink)
The purpose of the Instruction Dignitas personae, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is not only to reaffirm the validity of the teaching laid out in Donum vitae, with regard to both the principles on which it is based and the moral evaluations which it expresses, but to add needed clarification on reproductive technologies in the light of more recent developments. In addition to the reproductive technologies discussed in Dignitas personae, namely, homologous and heterologous artificial (...) insemination, in vitro fertilization, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, the author also discusses other reproductive technologies, not covered by the Instruction, such as gamete intrafallopian transfer, zygote intrafallopian transfer, tubal embryo transfer, and pronuclear-stage embryo transfer. After analyzing each of these the author offers a general ethical evaluation. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 10.1 : 51–59. (shrink)
In Italy, at the end of the tenth century, a pedant named Regulus (?) who had a copy of the De Verborum Significatu (or had made extracts from one), wishing to read Plautus (so often quoted by Festus), took the opportunity of an illness to appeal to certain prelates whose church-library contained a MS. of the comedian. Through their stupidity he received not Plautus, but Plato, i.e. Chalcidius' translation of the Timaeus. Disappointed, but not deterred, he wrote the following letter (...) (in a sort of rhyming prose, affected by the litterati of that time) on the fly-leaf and returned the MS. (now Bamberg. Class. 18), hoping that by much repetition he might hammer into their dull heads the difference between PL-AU-TUS and PL-A-TO and yet save them from chagrin and resentment (the material for the letter was supplied by Festus, although the opening illustration comes from Chalcidius). (shrink)
During a transverse acceleration of a light clock from rest, the mirrors must be tilted so as to retain the light pulse. The mirrors therefore have a normal velocity which increases the frequency of the pulse at each reflection. If a mirror is annihilated, the frequency of the escaping pulse, as a result of many reflections, is that of the relativistic Doppler effect. This holds for any acceleration, if the Fitzgerald contraction is assumed, thereby furnishing a new mechanism (...) for such frequencies. The traditional mechanism, in which the source (subject to the time dilation) generates a pulse modulated by the source motion, is therefore not a unique explanation of the Doppler effect. The new mechanism permits the speculation that radiation preexists in atomic sources, rather than being generated at the instant of release. (shrink)
Judaism in the twentieth century began to return to its scriptural, communal roots after a centuries-long detour through Greek-influenced natural philosophy, a detour during which science and ethics were assumed to be partners and Jewish ethics drew heavily on natural philosophy and science. Twentieth-century philosophical ethics and science, particularly biological science, have developed in such a way as to make any continuation of that historical partnership problematic. This is not altogether regrettable because the problematizing of this long-standing partnership has driven (...) Jewish ethics back to its real roots: covenantal relationship, and moral wisdom and discernment. (shrink)
What makes a leader ethical? This paper critically examines the answer given by developmental theory, which argues that individuals can develop through cumulative stages of ethical orientation and behavior (e.g. Hobbesian, Kantian, Rawlsian), such that leaders at later developmental stages (of whom there are empirically very few today) are more ethical. By contrast to a simple progressive model of ethical development, this paper shows that each developmental stage has both positive (light) and negative (shadow) aspects, which affect the ethical (...) behaviors of leaders at that stage. It also explores an unexpected result: later stage leaders can have more significantly negative effects than earlier stage leadership. (shrink)
Philosophers and geographers have converged on the topic of public space, fascinated and in many ways alarmed by fundamental changes in the way post-industrial societies produce space for public use, and in the way citizens of these same societies perceive and constitute themselves as a public. This volume advances this inquiry, making extensive use of political and social theory, while drawing intimate connections between political principles, social processes, and the commonplaces of our everyday environments.