Dysfunctions of the neural circuits that implement social behavior are necessary but not a sufficient condition to develop schizophrenia. We propose that schizophrenia represents a disease of general connectivity that impairs not only the “social brain” networks, but also different neural circuits related with higher cognitive and perceptual functions. We discuss possible mechanisms and evolutionary considerations.
In the Schrödinger equation, time plays a special role as an external parameter. We show that in an enlarged system where the time variable denotes an additional degree of freedom, solutions of the Schrödinger equation give rise to weights on the enlarged algebra of observables. States in the associated GNS representation correspond to states on the original algebra composed with a completely positive unit preserving map. Application of this map to the functions of the time operator on the large system (...) delivers the positive operator valued maps which were previously proposed by two of us as time observables. As an example we discuss the application of this formalism to the Wheeler-DeWitt theory of a scalar field on a Robertson-Walker spacetime. (shrink)
In *How Propaganda Works* Jason Stanley argues that democratic societies require substantial material equality because inequality causes ideologically flawed belief, which, in turn, make demagogic propaganda more effective. And that is problematic for the quality of democracy. In this brief paper I unpack that argument, in order to make two points: (a) the non-moral argument for equality is promising, but weakened by its reliance on a heavily moralised conception of democracy; (b) that problem may be remedied by whole-heartedly embracing a (...) more realistic conception of democracy. That conception is at least compatible with Stanley’s argument, if not implicit in parts of it. (shrink)
I argue that John Gray's modus vivendi-based justification for liberalism is preferable to the more orthodox deontological or teleological justificatory strategies, at least because of the way it can deal with the problem of diversity. But then I show how that is not good news for liberalism, for grounding liberal political authority in a modus vivendi undermines liberalism’s aspiration to occupy a privileged normative position vis-à-vis other kinds of regimes. So modus vivendi can save liberalism from moralism, but at cost (...) many liberals will not be prepared to pay. (shrink)
La epistemología de Kuhn ha inspirado investigaciones en el ámbito de la psicología del conocimiento. Del mismo modo los psicólogos investigadores de los procesos psico-cognitivos han tomado categorías kuhnianas para teorizar sus hallazgos. Finalmente, el mismo Kuhn se volvió hacia ellos para ilumin..
This article presents a critique of the health promotion policy of Japan, which is based on an examination of the social importance of and justification for health promotion. This is done to suggest the proper direction that the future Japanese policy could take, and to question the adequacy of the term of ‘health promotion’. We find the ‘social progress’ characterization of the ‘Second Term of National Health Promotion Movement in the Twenty-First Century - Health Japan 21 ’ to be problematic. (...) While there are clear restraints found in terms of social costs related to the policy, the aims toward social justice provided by the policy are not clear. Considering the social importance and justification of health promotion, and the present conditions seen in Japan, we believe that it is necessary clearly to position health promotion as a form of social justice. Having said this, the term ‘health promotion’ is in itself misleading and can belie the range of activities required to action these policies. Therefore, we propose considering the selection of a different and more appropriate term for health promotion that concretely defines policies that actively work toward definitive health equity. (shrink)
Destination therapy is the permanent implantation of a left ventricular assist device in patients with end-stage, severe heart failure who are ineligible for heart transplantation. DT improves both the quality of life and prognosis of patients with end-stage heart failure. However, there are also downsides to DT such as life-threatening complications and the potential for the patient to live beyond their desired length of life following such major complications. Because of deeply ingrained cultural and religious beliefs regarding death and the (...) sanctity of life, Japanese society may not be ready to make changes needed to enable patients to have LVADs deactivated under certain circumstances to avoid needless suffering. Western ethical views that permit LVAD deactivation based mainly on respect for autonomy and dignity have not been accepted thus far in Japan and are unlikely to be accepted, given the current Japanese culture and traditional values. Some healthcare professionals might regard patients as ineligible for DT unless they have prepared advance directives. If this were to happen, the right to prepare an advance directive would instead become an obligation to do so. Furthermore, patient selection for DT poses another ethical issue. Given the predominant sanctity of life principle and lack of cost-consciousness regarding medical expenses, medically appropriate exclusion criteria would be ignored and DT could be applied to various patients, including very old patients, the demented, or even patients in persistent vegetative states, through on-site judgment. There is an urgent need for Japan to establish and enact a basic act for patient rights. The act should include: respect for a patient’s right to self-determination; the right to refuse unwanted treatment; the right to prepare legally binding advance directives; the right to decline to prepare such directives; and access to nationally insured healthcare. It should enable those concerned with patient care involving DT to seek ethical advice from ethics committees. Furthermore, it should state that healthcare professionals involved in the discontinuation of life support in a proper manner are immune to any legal action and that they have the right to conscientiously object to LVAD deactivation. (shrink)