In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits toward performing (...) the forgotten action does not. We argue that this result has important implications for a long-running debate about the nature of responsible agency. (shrink)
ABSTRACTResearch about the structure of character has largely assessed purported universal attributes. However, character develops within specific social, cultural and institutional contexts. As part of the first wave of a longitudinal study of character development among cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, an institution with a core mission to develop leaders of character, we examined the factor structure of a set of 15 character attributes of specific relevance to the West Point context. Data were derived from (...) self-report surveys completed in spring 2017. Results of exploratory factor analysis identified a 4-factor structure of character: Relational, Commitment, Honor and Machiavellian and a confirmatory factor analysis provided evidence for the validity and measurement equivalence of the factors. We discuss implications for promoting and assessing character within the context of USMA and other institutions seeking to develop leaders of character. (shrink)
This volume of articles, literature and case studies illustrates the central importance of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are structured around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective.
Various U.S. laws, such as the Clean Air Act and the Food Quality Protection Act, require additional protections for susceptible subpopulations who face greater environmental health risks. The main ethical rationale for providing these protections is to ensure that environmental health risks are distributed fairly. In this article, we consider how several influential theories of justice deal with issues related to the distribution of environmental health risks; show that these theories often fail to provide specific guidance concerning policy choices; and (...) argue that an approach to public decision making known as accountability for reasonableness can complement theories of justice in establishing acceptable environmental health risks for the general population and susceptible subpopulations. Since accountability for reasonableness focuses on the fairness of the decision-making process, not the outcome, it does not guarantee that susceptible subpopulations will receive a maximum level of protection, regardless of costs or other morally relevant considerations. (shrink)
Research on the folk psychology of free will suggests that people believe free will is incompatible with determinism and that human decision-making cannot be exhaustively characterized by physical processes. Some suggest that certain elements of Western cultural history, especially Christianity, have helped to entrench these beliefs in the folk conceptual economy. Thus, on the basis of this explanation, one should expect to find three things: (1) a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, (2) that people (...) with predominantly incompatibilist commitments are likely to exhibit stronger dualist beliefs than people with predominantly compatibilist commitments, and (3) people who self-identify as Christians are more likely to be dualists and incompatibilists than people who do not self-identify as Christians. We present the results of two studies (n = 378) that challenge two of these expectations. While we do find a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, we found no significant difference in dualist tendencies between compatibilists and incompatibilists. Moreover, we found that self-identifying as Christian did not significantly predict preference for a particular metaphysical conception of free will. This calls into question assumptions about the relationship between beliefs about free will, dualism, and Christianity. (shrink)
This edited volume illustrates the central importance of diversity of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are organised around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective. This introductory chapter opens up crucial issues of methodology and of practical application in this highly innovative approach to the role of ethics in healthcare.
In 2007, Massachusetts instituted a universal coverage health plan that requires all citizens to purchase insurance. I argue that there is nothing wrong in principle with the use of an individual mandate to force citizens to secure health insurance. I argue that state neutrality is not tenable on this issue. Then I proceed to show that even if state neutrality were viable, it is not a violation of state neutrality (thought of as neutrality of intent) to force citizens to insure (...) themselves with the primary purpose of securing the normative good of health. I adapt recent work on universal medical coverage to demonstrate that such a mandate is in keeping with several principles of fairness shared in liberal democratic societies. This argument not only applies to the Massachusetts plan but likely to any other health care coverage schemes using individual mandates in the US political context, including recently passed federal health care reform measures. However, even though the Massachusetts plan may provide increased access to health care for many, there are still legitimate worries that it currently places disproportionate financial burdens on the working poor and thus will need refinement. (shrink)
Endothelial cells, when cultured on gelled basement membrane matrix exert forces of tension through which they deform the matrix and at the same time they aggregate into clusters. The cells eventually form a network of cord-like structures connecting cell aggregates. In this network, almost all of the matrix has been pulled underneath the cell cords and cell clusters. This phenomenon has been proposed as a possible model for the growth and development of planar vascular systems in vitro. Our hypothesis is (...) that the matrix is reorganized and the cellular networks form as a result of traction forces exerted by the cells on the matrix and the latter's elasticity. We construct and analyze a mathematical model based on this hypothesis and examine conditions necessary for the formation of the pattern. We show cell migration is not necessary for pattern formation and that isotropic, strain-stimulated traction is sufficient to form the observed patterns. (shrink)
Le premier site naturel de compensation français a été inauguré le 11 mai 2009 sur le site d’un verger abandonné dans la plaine de Crau. Cette opération avait notamment pour objectif d’expérimenter le premier mécanisme d’offre de compensation français via la réhabilitation d’une végétation herbacée permettant le retour des oiseaux steppiques emblématiques de cet espace. Impliqués dans le comité local de pilotage, des écologues ont conseillé les techniques de réhabilitation et expertisé leurs effets sur la biodiversité tout en réalisant des (...) recherches expérimentales pour étendre la restauration à la végétation et à certains groupes d’insectes. Après 7 années de suivis, les résultats montrent que la réhabilitation a bien permis la création d’une végétation favorable au retour de l’avifaune steppique mais le succès des expérimentations de restauration ne peut pas encore être définitivement prédit sur le long terme. Ces résultats soulignent les difficultés scientifiques et techniques de la restauration et limitent donc le mécanisme de compensation à la réhabilitation de certaines composantes ou fonctions. The first French ecological offset area was inaugurated on May 11th 2009 at the site of an abandoned orchard in the Crau plain. One of the objectives of this intervention was to test the first French mitigation bank rehabilitating the herbaceous vegetation in order to encourage the return of steppe birds emblematic of this area. The ecologists involved in the local steering committee proposed rehabilitation techniques and assessed their impact on biodiversity while at the same time carrying out experimental research designed to extend the restoration process to plant communities and some groups of insects. The results of various studies showed that the rehabilitation scheme led to the development of a plant community favorable to the return of steppe birds. However, the long-term results of the restoration experiments cannot be definitively predicted. Thus, these results highlight the scientific and technical difficulties facing the restoration process and hence restrict the compensation mechanism to the rehabilitation of some of their components or functions. (shrink)