Clinical ethics consultation, as an activity that may be provided by clinical ethics committees and consultants, is nowadays a well-established practice in North America. Although it has been increasingly implemented in Europe and elsewhere, no agreement can be found among scholars and practitioners on the appropriate role or approach the consultant should play when ethically problematic cases involving conflicts and uncertainties come up. In particular, there is no consensus on the acceptability of consultants making recommendations, offering moral advice upon request, (...) and expressing personal opinions. We translate these issues into the question of whether the consultant should be neutral when performing an ethics consultation. We argue that the notion of neutrality 1) functions as a hermeneutical key to review the history of CEC as a whole; 2) may be enlightened by a precise assessment of the nature and goals of CEC; 3) refers to the normative dimension of CEC. Here, we distinguish four different meanings of neutrality: a neutral stance toward the parties involved in clinical decision making, toward the arguments offered to frame the discussion, toward the values and norms involved in the case, and toward the outcome of decision making, that is to say the final decision and action that will be implemented. Lastly, we suggest a non-authoritarian way to intend the term “recommendation” in the context of clinical ethics consultation. (shrink)
The article by Conrad et al. (AJOB Neuroscience, 2019, 10:1) does not take into account another, still hypothetical, procedure for cognitive enhancement (CE) which would be appropriate to consider in the surveys, i.e. the possibility to genetically enhance the cognitive abilities of a future individual using genome editing techniques. In this case, the conclusions of the article in the context of the “self-others difference” and “safety/naturalness” would be questioned. In fact, the results of the hypothetical surveys with the variant “genome (...) editing” could be significantly different from those obtained in the survey proposed by the authors: an individual would decide not for himself, but for the CE in a future child. In light of these considerations, we hold that the article highlights just the attitudes toward the principle of autonomy and redistributive justice; however, by introducing the new hypothetical scenario of CE with genome editing the attitudes toward the principles of beneficence and non-instrumentalisation could also be appreciated. Special attention to future generations is necessary to inform potential CE public policy, though using genome editing to enhance cognition abilities is just a future hypothetical perspective. (shrink)
After the outbreak of the Arab Spring and, above all, the intensification of the Syrian crisis with Ankara starting to engage in a political confrontation with Assad’s Syria, Tehran tried to exploit its historic strategic alliance with Damascus in a search for projecting its influence abroad. As Turkey has been facing more and more hardships and experiencing political isolation, Iran seemed to be more comfortable with its external environment, benefiting from a convergence of interests with Russia. However, the advent of (...) ISIS created further disarray in the region, presenting opportunities for countries to cooperate especially for Erdogan’s new Turkey which was still focused on fighting Kurds. (shrink)
En su más reciente libro, Eleonora Orlando nos presenta una provocadora propuesta que busca cuestionar el éxito de la tradición fregeana en filosofía del lenguaje siguiendo líneas contextualistas y relevantistas. Este libro constituye una valiosa aportación a la filosofía del lenguaje contemporánea. Es una lectura obligatoria para todo aquel interesado en entender el estado actual de la filosofía del lenguaje. Además, la gran variedad de textos y posturas que lo comprenden constituyen por sí mismos valiosas y en ocasiones controvertidas (...) contribuciones a la discusión actual. De ahí que este libro sea también una extraordinaria invitación a continuar la ya centenaria discusión sobre la visión fregeana del lenguaje y si el contextualismo presenta una manera conveniente de mejorarla. En este artículo me propongo hacer un estudio crítico de este libro, particularmente de su desafío al fregeanismo. Para ello discutiré a detalle sus argumentos más antifregeanos, preguntándome al mismo tiempo si se trata de posturas incompatibles con la semántica fregeana o si, por el contrario, constituyen propuestas enteramente compatibles con esta. (shrink)
L'auteure, italienne antifasciste dès l'adolescence, ne cache pas, dans son introduction, qu'elle écrit ce livre « comme un récit à deux miroirs ». Intriguée dans son enfance par le personnage de la « savante et poétesse...martyre de la liberté » dont une plaque conserve, à Rome, le souvenir, elle s'identifie largement, devenue adulte, à celle qui dirige et rédige à Naples, sous la Révolution, il Monitore napoletano. Peu connue en France, l'héroïne de la révolution napolitaine, marquis..
S’il fallait résumer en un mot l’importance de la contribution du présent ouvrage aux débats sur le genre , c’est celui de «désessentialisation» qui viendrait à l’esprit: tout comme il n’y a pas «la» femme, tout comme il n’y a pas «la» race, il n’y a pas «la» religion. Comme d’autres, le terrain de la religion est un terrain en tension, travaillé par des mouvements théologiques mais aussi idéologiques, sociaux et politiques; de même, la religion n’est pas autarcique par rapport (...) au monde dans lequel elle s’insère et s’exprime, et est affectée par lui. Les quelques 22 contributions réunies dans le présent ouvrage, qui fait suite à un colloque organisé par le Groupe Société Religions Laïcités en mai 2012, convergent toutes pour souligner ainsi, depuis des perspectives disciplinaires distinctesL’ouvrage recueille des contributions d’anthropologues, d’historien-nes, de sociologues, de politistes…. .. (shrink)
The communicative affordances of the participatory web have opened up new and multifarious channels for the proliferation of hate. In particular, women navigating the cybersphere seem to be the target of a disproportionate amount of hostility. This paper explores the contexts, approaches and conceptual synergies around research on online misogyny within the new communicative paradigm of social media communication. The paper builds on the core principle that online misogyny is demonstrably and inherently a discourse; therefore, the field is envisaged at (...) the intersection of digital media scholarship, discourse theorization and critical feminist explications. As an ever-burgeoning phenomenon, online hate has been approached from a range of disciplinary perspectives but has only been partially mapped at the interface of meaning making contents/processes and new mediation technologies. The paper aims to advance the state of the art by investigating online hate in general, and misogyny in particular, from the vantage point of Social Media Critical Discourse Studies ; an emerging model of theorization and operationalization of research combining tenets from Critical Discourse Studies with scholarship in digital media and technology research. Our SM-CDS approach to online misogyny demarcates itself from insinuation whereby the phenomenon is reduced to digital communicative affordances per se and argues in favor of a double critical contextualization of research findings at both digital participatory as well as social and cultural levels. (shrink)
In this paper, I criticize Mark Sainsbury's proposal concerning the semantic analysis of fictional discourse, as it has been put forward in chapter 6 of his Reference without Referents. His main thesis is that fictional names do not refer, and hence statements containing them are genuinely false and must be interpreted in terms of true paraphrases, arrived at on a case-by-case basis. In my opinion, the proposal has a problem derived from the fact that the relation between some problematic examples (...) -"Holmes is a detective", "Tony Blair admires Holmes"- and their suggested paraphrases needs to be clarified and further elaborated. /// En este artículo analizo críticamente el análisis semántico de los enunciados que contienen nombres de ficción propuesto por Mark Sainsbury en el capítulo 6 de su libro Reference without Referents. Su tesis principal es que los nombres de ficción carecen de referentes y, por lo tanto, los enunciados que los contienen son estrictamente falsos y deben ser interpretados en términos de ciertas paráfrasis. En mi opinión, la propuesta tiene el problema de que la relación entre ejemplos problemáticos de tales enunciados, como "Holmes es detective" o "Tony Blair admira a Holmes", y las paráfrasis ofrecidas requiere mayor desarrollo y fundamentación. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to explore the impact of Darwinism in metaethics and dispel some of the confusion surrounding it. While the prospects for a Darwinian metaethics appear to be improving, some underlying epistemological issues remain unclear. We will focus on the so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) which, when applied in metaethics, are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs so as to undermine their epistemic justification. The point is that an epistemic disanalogy (...) can be identified in the debate on EDAs between moral beliefs and other kinds of beliefs, insofar as only the former are regarded as vulnerable to EDAs. First, we will analyze some significant debunking positions in metaethics in order to show that they do not provide adequate justification for such an epistemic disanalogy. Then, we will assess whether they can avoid the accusation of being epistemically incoherent by adopting the same evolutionary account for all kinds of beliefs. In other words, once it is argued that Darwinism has a corrosive impact on metaethics, what if its universal acid cannot be contained? (shrink)
In a recent paper Samir Okasha has suggested an application of Arrow’s impossibility theorem to theory choice. When epistemic virtues are interpreted as ‘voters’ in charge of ranking competing theories, and there are more than two theories at stake, the final ordering is bound to coincide with the one proposed by one of the voters, provided a number of seemingly reasonable conditions are in place. In a similar spirit, Jacob Stegenga has shown that Arrow’s theorem applies to the amalgamation of (...) evidence; the ‘voters’ here are the different sources of evidence. As with Okasha’s proposal, it is not clear how to avoid Arrow’s pessimistic conclusion.In this paper we develop a novel argument that purports to show that, in typical examples, Arrow’s result does not obtain when dealing with evidence amalgamation. The reason is that we cannot escape the well-known Duhem problem: the evidence actually confirms complex conjunctions that include various auxiliary hypotheses. We argue that confirmational holism induces us to restrict the domain of a reasonable amalgamation function, thus violating one of Arrow’s conditions. The upshot is that we are now able to see the Duhem problem under a different, positive light – namely, as a phenomenon that makes the aggregation of the evidence possible in the first place, when there are at least three options on the table. (shrink)
In this comprehensive collection of essays, most of which appear for the first time, eminent scholars from many disciplines—philosophy, economics, sociology, political science, demography, theology, history, and social psychology—examine the causes, nature, and consequences of present-day consumption patterns in the United States and throughout the world.
Epistemic transparency tells us that, if an agent S knows a given proposition p , then S knows that she knows that p . This idea is usually encoded in the so-called KK principle of epistemic logic. The paper develops an argument in favor of a moderate version of KK , which I dub quasi-transparency , as a normative rather than a descriptive principle. In the second Section I put forward the suggestion that epistemic transparency is not a demand of (...) ideal rationality, but of ideal epistemic responsibility, and hence that ideally responsible agents verify transparency principles of some sort; I also contend that their satisfaction should not be tied to an internalist epistemology. The central argument in favor of transparency is then addressed in Sections 3 to 8, through the development of a formal system. I show that, in a well-behaved formal setting, a moderate version of transparency is imposed upon us as a result of a number of independent decisions on the structure of higher-order probabilities, as long as we request that our probability and knowledge attributions cohere with each other. Thus I give a rationale to build a model for a hierarchy of languages with different levels of knowledge and probability operators; we obtain an analogous to KK for successive knowledge operators without actually demanding transitivity. The formal argument reinforces the philosophical intuition that epistemic transparency is an important desideratum we should not be too ready to dismiss. (shrink)
Some propositions are structurally unknowable for certain agents. Let me call them ‘Moorean propositions’. The structural unknowability of Moorean propositions is normally taken to pave the way towards proving a familiar paradox from epistemic logic—the so-called ‘Knowability Paradox’, or ‘Fitch’s Paradox’—which purports to show that if all truths are knowable, then all truths are in fact known. The present paper explores how to translate Moorean statements into a probabilistic language. A successful translation should enable us to derive a version of (...) Fitch’s Paradox in a probabilistic setting. I offer a suitable schematic form for probabilistic Moorean propositions, as well as a concomitant proof of a probabilistic Knowability Paradox. Moreover, I argue that traditional candidates to play the role of probabilistic Moorean propositions will not do. In particular, we can show that violations of the so-called ‘Reflection Principle’ in probability need not yield structurally unknowable propositions. Among other things, this should lead us to question whether violating the Reflection Principle actually amounts to a clear case of epistemic irrationality, as it is often assumed. This result challenges the importance of the principle as a tool to assess both synchronic and diachronic rationality—a topic which is largely independent of Fitch’s Paradox—from a somewhat unexpected source. (shrink)
The so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments are arguments that appeal to the evolutionary genealogy of our beliefs to undermine their justification. When applied to morality, such arguments are intended to undermine moral realism. In this paper I will discuss Andreas Mogensen’s recent effort to secure moral realism against EDAs. Mogensen attempts to undermine the challenge provided by EDAs in metaethics through the distinction between proximate and ultimate causes in biology. The problem with this move is that the proximate/ultimate distinction is misconceived. (...) If ultimate and proximate causes are properly understood to be complementary, such distinction cannot affect EDAs in metaethics. Therefore, I will argue, Mogensen’s argument fails and moral realism is still in danger. (shrink)
Evidence-based approaches to policy-making are growing in popularity. A generally embraced view is that with the appropriate evidence at hand, decision and policy making will be optimal, legitimate and publicly accountable. In practice, however, evidence-based policy making is constrained by a variety of problems of evidence. Some of these problems will be explored in this article, in the context of the debates on evidence from which they originate. It is argued that the source of much disagreement might be a failure (...) to addressing crucial philosophical assumptions that inform, often silently, these debates. Three controversial questions will be raised which appear central to some of the challenges faced by evidence-based policy making: firstly, how do certain types of facts candidate themselves as evidence; secondly, how do we decide what evidence we have, and how much of it; and thirdly, can we combine evidence. In addressing these questions it will be shown how a philosophically informed debate might prove instrumental in clarifying and settling practical difficulties. (shrink)
The image of man’s dominion over nature is deeply rooted in Western thought. It first appears, in different forms, in the Book of Genesis. It also reappears as one of the leading images of the emerging ‘new science’ in the 16th century. Francis Bacon puts particular emphasis on this image, which he takes to be the guiding principle of his new vision of science and practical knowledge. It is this vision which, as is widely acknowledged, will open the path to (...) modern science. In what follows I will first sketch some relevant background for the emergence of this image. I will then analyse how the image takes shape in the context of Bacon’s philosophical project, paying attention to the novelties of his project but also to its continuities with tradition. It is indeed this mixture of past and future which suggests how natural order and human rule come to speak as one voice in the vision of the new science. (shrink)
The purpose of the present article is to disentangle both Parfit’s and Whitehead’s views on personal identity. Issues regarding what it means to be a singular individual, how a person can remain the same over time, and what makes an individual an original being with specific characteristics will be examined.
Research has linked witnessing abuse to nonhuman animals with the committal of such acts. This study reports frequency data based on adolescents' self-reported witnessing of animal abuse and involvement in animal-directed behaviors. The study investigates associations between witnessing abuse and engaging in both positive and negative animal-directed behaviors. 281 adolescents, 12-18 years of age, completed measures of animal cruelty and the humane treatment of animals. As predicted, the study found a history of witnessing animal abuse associated with significantly higher levels (...) of animal cruelty. The study reported significantly higher levels of cruelty for those who had witnessed a friend, relative, parent, or sibling abuse an animal and significantly lower levels for those who had witnessed a stranger abuse an animal. Participants who "Frequently" witnessed animal abuse reported significantly higher levels of cruelty than those who viewed abuse "A few times". There was no association found between humane treatment of animals and the witnessing of animal abuse. Positive influences, peer mentors and humane education, would help to combat this cycle of abuse. (shrink)
In this paper I am concerned with the problem of applying the notion of rigidity to general terms. In Naming and Necessity, Kripke has clearly suggested that we should include some general terms among the rigid ones, namely, those common nouns semantically correlated with natural substances, species and phenomena, in general, natural kinds -'water', 'tiger', 'heat'- and some adjectives -'red', 'hot', 'loud'. However, the notion of rigidity has been defined for singular terms; after all, the notion that Kripke has provided (...) us with is the notion of a rigid designator. But general terms do not designate single individuals: rather, they apply to many of them. In sum, the original concept of rigidity cannot be straightforwardly applied to general terms: it has to be somehow redefined in order to make it cover them. As is known, two main positions have been put forward to accomplish that task: the identity of designation conception, according to which a rigid general term is one that designates the same property or kind in all possible worlds, and the essentialist conception, which conceives of a rigid general term as an essentialist one, namely, a term that expresses an essential property of an object. My purpose in the present paper is to defend a particular version of the identity of designation conception: on the proposed approach, a rigid general term will be one that expresses the same property in all possible worlds and names the property it expresses. In my opinion, the position can be established on the basis of an inference to the best explanation of our intuitive interpretation and evaluation, relative to counterfactual circumstances, of statements containing different kinds of general terms, which is strictly analogous to our intuitive interpretation and evaluation, relative to such circumstances, of statements containing different kinds of singular ones. I will argue that it is possible to offer a new solution to the trivialization problem that is thought to threaten all versions of the identity of designation conception of rigidity. Finally, I will also sketch a solution to the so-called 'over-generalization and under-generalization problems', both closely related to the above-mentioned one. (shrink)
How does science enter policy making, and for what purpose? Surely consulting scientific facts in making policy is done with a view to making policy decisions more reliable, and ultimately more objective. In this paper I address the way/s by which science contributes to achieving objectivity in policy making and social debate, and argue that objectivity is not exhausted by what scientific evidence contributes to either. In policy making and social debates, scientific evidence is taken into account alongside other relevant (...) factors. Such complex contexts of practical interaction constitute a challenge both for the objectivity of scientific evidence, and for the objectivity of the role of the scientist in the policy-making process I analyse a case study - the ongoing debate over the spread of bovine TB in the UK - that displays some of the worries and several of the aspects we ought to keep in mind when we bring scientific objectivity to bear on social debate and policy making. I argue in favour of a picture where scientific objectivity enters a productive and effective dialogue with practical objectivity. (shrink)
Riassunto: L’indagine sui fondamenti neurali del giudizio morale è uno dei principali ed attuali temi di ricerca della Neuroscienza, il quale si intreccia inevitabilmente con tematiche relative all’Intelligenza Artificiale, al futuro dei trasporti e alla Filosofia della Mente. Gli esseri umani sono naturalmente dotati di un innato senso della morale, il quale è governato dalle intuizioni, ma sono anche provvisti di alcuni principi razionali. Il giudizio e il comportamento morale sono il risultato dell’integrazione fra le emozioni e i processi razionali, (...) proprio come i processi cognitivi erano una combinazione di istinto e pura computazione. Nella parte finale di questo lavoro, ho preso in considerazione i problemi di natura morale derivanti dall’introduzione dei veicoli a guida autonoma, i quali si presentano come un’applicazione diretta del problema del carrello : come dovrebbe essere programmato un veicolo per comportarsi nel caso di un incidente inevitabile, nel quale deve scegliere tra due mali? Parole chiave: Processi decisionali; Neuroscienza; Giudizi morali; Prospettiva comparata; Problema del carrello Brains and Trolleys: Formalizing Morality in Automated Driving Cars: Inquiry into the neural bases of moral judgment is one of the current frontiers in neuroscientific research and is intertwined with issues in Artificial Intelligence, the future of transport, and Philosophy of Mind. Humans are naturally endowed with an innate moral sense, which is governed by intuition and informed by rational rules. Moral judgment and behavior are the byproduct of the integration of emotional and rational processes, just as cognitive processes are the result of a combination of emotional instinct and computational rationality. In the latter part of this work, I also consider the ethical issues raised by the introduction of Automated Driving Systems by reexamining the Trolley Problem : how should an autonomous vehicle be programmed to behave in the event of an unavoidable accident, in which it has to choose between two harmful consequences harms? Keywords: Decision-making; Neuroscience; Moral Judgments; Comparative Perspective; Trolley Problem. (shrink)
I develop a strategy for representing epistemic states and epistemic changes that seeks to be sensitive to the difference between voluntary and involuntary aspects of our epistemic life, as well as to the role of pragmatic factors in epistemology. The model relies on a particular understanding of the distinction between full belief and acceptance , which makes room for the idea that our reasoning on both practical and theoretical matters typically proceeds in a contextual way. Within this framework, I discuss (...) how agents can rationally shift their credal probability functions so as to consciously modify some of their contextual acceptances; the present account also allows us to represent how the very set of contexts evolves. Voluntary credal shifts, in turn, might provoke changes in the agent’s beliefs, but I show that this is actually a side effect of performing multiple adjustments in the total lot of the agent’s acceptance sets. In this way we obtain a model that preserves many pre-theoretical intuitions about what counts as adequate rationality constraints on our actual practices—and hence about what counts as an adequate, normative epistemological perspective. (shrink)
The paper suggests a way of modeling belief changes within the tradition of formal belief revision theories. The present model extends the scope of traditional proposals, such as AGM, so as to take care of “structural belief changes” – a type of radical shifts that is best illustrated with, but not limited to, instances of scientific discovery; we obtain AGM expansions and contractions as limiting cases. The representation strategy relies on a non-standard use of a semantic machinery. More precisely, the (...) model seeks to correlate knowledge states with interpretations of a given formal language L, in such a way that the epistemic state of an agent at a given time gives rise to a picture of how things could be, if there weren’t anything else to know. Interpretations of L proceed along supervaluational ideas; hence, the model as a whole can be seen as a particular application of supervaluational semantics to epistemic matters. (shrink)
A few years ago an interesting exhibition took place in Cambridge under the title ‘N01SE’.2 The title recalls of course the word ‘noise’ but written as ‘N01SE’ it also refers to the binary code which is the basic language of calculators - from the simplest to the most sophisticated,. The title of this exhibition could then be read in two ways. On one side, by playing with the word ‘noise/n01se’, we are presented with the idea that there might be a (...) core of information in any situation of noise, provided that there is a context, an interpretation, a point of view which allows us to identify such information and to decode it. On the other side, we are prompted to reflect critically on the assumptions and goals of the revolutionary field of contemporary digital technologies, whose promise is indeed that of a complete removal of any sort of noise. Is such a promise achievable? At what costs? Should noise, any form of noise, be removed? Is noise inevitably the dark side of any form of information? Is it the opposite of order? Are there contexts in which we can value its presence? Can noise turn into its purported opposite? Attendance at the Cambridge exhibition is what originally prompted some of the thoughts and ideas I explore in this paper. (shrink)
RESEÑAS. Margarita M. Valdés y Miguel Ángel Fernández (compiladores), Normas, virtudes y valores epistémicos. Ensayos de epistemología contemporánea, Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, UNAM, México, 2011, 550 pp.