Our aim in this article is to bring some clarity to the clinical ethics expertise debate by critiquing and replacing the taxonomy offered by the Core Competencies report. The orienting question for our taxonomy is: Can clinical ethicists offer justified, normative recommendations for active patient cases? Views that answer “no” are characterized as a “negative” view of clinical ethics expertise and are further differentiated based on why they think ethicists cannot give justified normative recommendations and what they think ethicists can (...) offer, if they cannot offer recommendations. Views that answer “yes” to the orienting question are characterized as a “positive” view of clinical ethics expertise. Positive views are distinguished according to four additional questions. First, how are those recommendations generated? Second, what is the nature of the recommendations? Third, we ask, how are the recommendations justified? And finally, how are the recommendations communicated? (shrink)
Humeans and anti-Humeans agree that laws of nature should explain scientifically particular matters of fact. One objection to Humean accounts of laws contends that Humean laws cannot explain particular matters of fact because their explanations are harmfully circular. This article distinguishes between metaphysical and semantic characterizations of the circularity and argues for a new semantic version of the circularity objection. The new formulation suggests that Humean explanations are harmfully circular because the content of the sentences being explained is part of (...) the content of the sentences doing the explaining. I describe the nature of partial content and demonstrate how this account of partial content renders Humean explanations ineffective while sparing anti-Humean explanations from the same fate. 1Introduction2Standard Formulations of the Circularity Charge3Humean Responses4Semantic Characterizations of the Circularity Worry 4.1Hempel and Oppenheim’s semantic circularity concern4.2A new version of the semantic circularity charge4.3Partial content as a guide to circularity5Humean Responses to the Semantic Circularity Charge 5.1Smuggling in metaphysics through the back door?5.2Do anti-Humean laws fare any better?5.3The over-generalization concern6ConclusionAppendix. (shrink)
Benner, Erica. Machiavelli’s Ethics. Princeton, 2009. 527p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780691141763, $75.00; ISBN 9780691141770 pbk, $35.00.
Reviewed in CHOICE, April 2010
This major new study of Machiavelli’s moral and political philosophy by Benner (Yale) argues that most readings of Machiavelli suffer from a failure to appreciate his debt to Greek sources, particularly the Socratic tradition of moral and political philosophy. Benner argues that when read in the light of his Greek sources, Machiavelli appears as much less the immoralist or (...) sophist he often is taken for and instead as a serious moral philosopher very much concerned with the republican ideals of justice and the rule of law. The author does not ignore Machiavelli’s more infamous dicta, but argues that a careful reading shows that they are expressions of views he ultimately rejects. Particularly noteworthy here is her careful attention to Machiavelli’s Florentine Histories. Benner’s reading of Machiavelli is far too complex and subtle for such a brief summary. Her research is meticulous and her arguments finely honed. This important contribution to both Machiavelli studies and the history of political philosophy will be indispensable for scholars. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty/researchers. — B. T. Harding
"Machiavelli's Ethics is a superb scholarly book. Erica Benner does truly impressive work in analyzing Machiavelli's views on the most fundamental ethical issues--including necessity and virtue, justice and injustice, and ends and means. She shows, with very solid evidence, that Machiavelli did in fact worry a lot about justice and that he put it at the core of his republican theory."--Maurizio Viroli, author of Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli
"Machiavelli's Ethics is excellent--learned, subtle, highly original, and a constant pleasure to read. And, since it is really a study of Machiavelli's thought in its entirety, it is also the first book of its kind. Its originality lies in taking seriously the claim by some sixteenth- and seventeenth-century readers--notably Bacon, Spinoza, and Alberico Gentili--that Machiavelli was essentially a moral and political philosopher. Erica Benner does a brilliant job of resurrecting this neglected Machiavelli."--Giulia Sissa, University of California, Los Angeles
About the book, from the publisher: Machiavelli's Ethics challenges the most entrenched understandings of Machiavelli, arguing that he was a moral and political philosopher who consistently favored the rule of law over that of men, that he had a coherent theory of justice, and that he did not defend the "Machiavellian" maxim that the ends justify the means. By carefully reconstructing the principled foundations of his political theory, Erica Benner gives the most complete account yet of Machiavelli's thought. She argues that his difficult and puzzling style of writing owes far more to ancient Greek sources than is usually recognized, as does his chief aim: to teach readers not how to produce deceptive political appearances and rhetoric, but how to see through them. Drawing on a close reading of Greek authors--including Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, and Plutarch--Benner identifies a powerful and neglected key to understanding Machiavelli.
This important new interpretation is based on the most comprehensive study of Machiavelli's writings to date, including a detailed examination of all of his major works: The Prince, The Discourses, The Art of War, and Florentine Histories. It helps explain why readers such as Bacon and Rousseau could see Machiavelli as a fellow moral philosopher, and how they could view The Prince as an ethical and republican text. By identifying a rigorous structure of principles behind Machiavelli's historical examples, the book should also open up fresh debates about his relationship to later philosophers, including Rousseau, Hobbes, and Kant. . (shrink)
This article critically examines, and ultimately rejects, the best interest standard as the predominant, go-to ethical and legal standard of decision making for children. After an introduction to the presumption of parental authority, it characterizes and distinguishes six versions of the best interest standard according to two key dimensions related to the types of interests emphasized. Then the article brings three main criticisms against the best interest standard: (1) that it is ill-defined and inconsistently appealed to and applied, (2) that (...) it is unreasonably demanding and narrow, and (3) that it fails to respect the family. Finally, it argues that despite the best interest standard’s potent rhetorical power, it is irreparably encumbered by too much inconsistency and confusion and should be rejected. (shrink)
Identity and distinctness facts are ones like “The Eiffel Tower is identical to the Eiffel Tower,” and “The Eiffel Tower is distinct from the Louvre.” This paper concerns one question in the metaphysics of identity: Are identity and distinctness facts metaphysically fundamental or are they nonfundamental? I provide an overview of answers to this question.
I defend the following argument in this paper. Premise 1: Laws of nature are intrinsic to the universe. Premise 2: Humeanism maintains that laws of nature are extrinsic to the universe. Conclusion: Humeanism is false. This argument is inspired by John Hawthorne’s (2004) argument in “Why Humeans are out of their Minds”. My argument differs from his; Hawthorne focuses on Humean views of causation and how they interact with judgments about consciousness. He thinks Humeans are forced to treat certain mental (...) properties (insofar as they involve causal features) as extrinsic to conscious minds. I do not discuss causation or consciousness here. I focus on Humean accounts of laws. I argue that Humean laws are extrinsic to the entire universe. As such, Humeans are not just out of their minds; they are out of this world. I aim to show that premises 1 and 2 are well-supported and that denying either of them comes at a cost. Nevertheless, Humeans may prefer to reject 1 or 2 rather than give up Humeanism. Even if the Humean takes one of these routes, the argument above has philosophical import: it shows that Humeanism involves surprising commitments. (shrink)
Climate change adaptation is largely a local matter, and adaptation planning can benefit from local climate change projections. Such projections are typically generated by accepting climate model outputs in a relatively uncritical way. We argue, based on the IPCC’s treatment of model outputs from the CMIP5 ensemble, that this approach is unwarranted and that subjective expert judgment should play a central role in the provision of local climate change projections intended to support decision-making.
A key distinction in ethics is between members and nonmembers of the moral community. Over time, our notion of this community has expanded as we have moved from a rationality criterion to a sentience criterion for membership. I argue that a sentience criterion is insufficient to accommodate all members of the moral community; the true underlying criterion can be understood in terms of whether a being has interests. This may be extended to conscious, self-aware machines, as well as to any (...) autonomous intelligent machines. Such machines exhibit an ability to formulate desires for the course of their own existence; this gives them basic moral standing. While not all machines display autonomy, those which do must be treated as moral patients; to ignore their claims to moral recognition is to repeat past errors. I thus urge moral generosity with respect to the ethical claims of intelligent machines. (shrink)
Although personal attributes have gained recognition as an important area of effective corporate governance, scholarship has largely overlooked the value and implications of individual virtue in governance practice. We explore how authenticity—a personal and morally significant virtue—affects the primary monitoring and strategy functions of the board of directors as well as core processes concerning director selection, cultivation, and enactment by the board. While the predominant focus in corporate governance research has been on structural factors that influence firm financial outcomes, this (...) paper shifts attention to the role of authenticity and its relationship to individual board member qualities and collective board activities. We explore how authenticity has the potential to influence board dynamics and decision making and to enhance transparency and accountability. (shrink)
Two experiments are reported that employed think-aloud methods to test predictions concerning relevance effects and rationalisation processes derivable from Evans' (1996) heuristic-analytic theory of the selection task. Evans' account proposes that card selections are triggered by relevance-determining heuristics, with analytic processing serving merely to rationalise heuristically cued decisions. As such, selected cards should be associated with more references to both their facing and their hidden sides than rejected cards, which are not subjected to analytic rationalisation. Experiment 1 used a standard (...) selection-task paradigm, with negative components permuted through abstract conditional rules. Support was found for all heuristic-analytic predictions. This evidence was shown to be robust in Experiment 2, where "select - don't select" decisions were enforced for all cards. Both experiments also clarify the role played by secondary heuristics in cueing the consideration of hidden card values during rationalisation. We suggest that whilst Evans' heuristic-analytic model and Oaksford and Chater's (e.g., 2003) optimal data selection model can provide compelling accounts of our protocol findings, the mental models theory fares less well as an explanation of our full dataset. (shrink)
What are the affordances of artifacts? One view is that the affordances of artifacts, just as the affordances of natural objects, pertain to possible ways in which they can be manipulated. Another view maintains that, given that artifacts are sociocultural objects, their affordances pertain primarily to their culturally-derived function. Whereas some have tried to provide a unifying notion of affordance to capture both aspects, here I argue that they should be kept separate. In this paper, I introduce a distinction between (...) standard affordances, which concern the function of artifacts, and ad-hoc affordances, which refer to how artifacts are manipulated. I then argue for the neuropsychological plausibility of such a distinction, linking it to the dissociation between function knowledge and manipulation knowledge. Finally, I defend the equal status of these forms of knowledge and, hence, of standard and ad-hoc affordances, and I show that this has some implications for the debate on the role of motor processes in the conceptual knowledge of artifacts. (shrink)
Time has been considered a crucial factor in distinguishing between two levels of self-awareness: the “core,” or “minimal self,” and the “extended,” or “narrative self.” Herein, I focus on this last concept of the self and, in particular, on the relationship between the narrative self and language. In opposition to the claim that the narrative self is a linguistic construction, my idea is that it is created by the functioning of mental time travel, that is, the faculty of human beings (...) to project themselves mentally backwards in time to relive, or forward to anticipate, events. Moreover, I propose that narrative language itself should be considered a product of a core brain network that includes mechanisms, such as mental time travel, mindreading, and visuo-spatial systems. (shrink)
'When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?' - Michel de Montaigne. Why do we live with pets? Is there something more to our relationship with them than simply companionship? What is it we look for in our pets and what does this say about us as human beings? In this fascinating book, Erica Fudge explores the nature of this most complex of relationships and the (...) difficulties of knowing what it is that one is living with when one chooses to share a home with an animal. Fudge argues that our capacity for compassion and ability to live alongside others is evident in our relationships with our pets, those paradoxical creatures who give us a sense of comfort and security while simultaneously troubling the categories human and animal. For what is a pet if it isn't a fully-fledged member of the human family? This book proposes that by crossing over these boundaries pets help construct who it is we think we are. Drawing on the works of modern writers, such as J. M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Jacques Derrida, Fudge shows how pets have been used to think with and to undermine our easy conceptions of human, animal and home. Indeed, "Pets" shows our obsession with domestic animals that reveals many of the paradoxes, contra - dictions and ambiguities of life. Living with pets provides thought-provoking perspectives on our notions of possession and mastery, mutuality and cohabitation, love and dominance. We might think of pets as simply happy, loved additions to human homes but as this captivating book reveals perhaps it is the pets that make the home and without pets perhaps we might not be the humans we think we are. For anyone who has ever wondered, like Montaigne, what their cat is thinking, it will be illuminating reading. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine has beendefined as the conscientious and judicious useof current best evidence in making clinicaldecisions. This paper will attempt to explicatethe terms ``conscientious'''' and ``judicious''''within the evidence-based medicine definition.It will be argued that ``conscientious'''' and``judicious'''' represent virtue terms derived fromvirtue ethics and virtue epistemology. Theidentification of explicit virtue components inthe definition and therefore conception ofevidence-based medicine presents an importantstarting point in the connection between virtuetheories and medicine itself. In addition, aunification of virtue theories andevidence-based medicine will illustrate theneed for (...) future research in order to combinethe fields of virtue-based approaches andclinical practice. (shrink)
Classical cognitive science has been characterized by an association with the computational theory of mind. Although this association has produced highly significant results, it has also limited the scope of scientific psychology. In this paper, we analyse the limits of the specific kind of computational model represented by the Chomskian-Fodorian tradition in the study of mind and language. In our opinion, the adhesion to the principle of formality imposed by this specific computational model has motivated the exclusion of consciousness in (...) the reflection on language and, consequently, has led to the inability to account for some aspects of language functioning at the processing level of discourse. The aim of this article is to restore the role of consciousness in discourse comprehension and production processes. Specifically, we argue that the ability to produce and understand discourses is based on individuals’ capacity for navigation in space and time. We will show that the space–time orientation is guaranteed by the projection of the self, which involves a special kind of consciousness. (shrink)
This discussion aims to give a normative theoretical basis for a “best judgment” model of surrogate decision making rooted in a regulative ideal of love. Currently, there are two basic models of surrogate decision making for incompetent patients: the “substituted judgment” model and the “best interests” model. The former draws on the value of autonomy and responds with respect; the latter draws on the value of welfare and responds with beneficence. It can be difficult to determine which of these two (...) models is more appropriate for a given patient, and both approaches may seem inadequate for a surrogate who loves the patient. The proposed “best judgment” model effectively draws on the values incorporated in each of the traditional standards, but does so because these values are important to someone who loves a patient, since love responds to the patient as the specific person she is. (shrink)
Models of discourse and narration elaborated within the classical compositional framework have been characterized as bottom-up models, according to which discourse analysis proceeds incrementally, from phrase and sentence local meaning to discourse global meaning. In this paper we will argue against these models. Assuming as a case study the issue of discourse coherence, we suggest that the assessment of coherence is a top-down process, in which the construction of a situational interpretation at the global meaning level guides local meaning analysis. (...) In support of our hypothesis, we explore the role of executive functions (brain functions involved in planning and organization of goal-oriented behaviors) in coherence’s establishment, discussing the results of several studies on narrative abilities of patients with brain injuries. We suggest that, compared to other models of discourse processing focused on comprehension, our model is a viable candidate for an integrated account of discourse comprehension and production. (shrink)
This commentary paper examines the issue of contract cheating in higher education, drawing on research and current debate in the field of academic integrity. Media coverage of this issue has reflected significant concerns in the field about students’ use of custom academic writing services, along with sector and national calls for action that would lead to making such essay mills illegal. However, recent studies have revealed the complex nature of contract cheating, with a relatively low proportion of students engaging in (...) outsourcing behaviours involving a third party. This paper focuses on how universities and colleges can respond to this emergent concern, and proposes that institutions extend and establish strategies to embed the values, principles and practices aligned to academic integrity. As part of this endeavour, five areas of consideration are offered for higher education institutions that relate to: determining academic integrity strategy; reviewing institutional policy; understanding students; re-visiting assessment practices; and implications for staff professional development. (shrink)
Whether adolescents should be allowed to make their own medical decisions has been a topic of discussion in bioethics for at least two decades now. Are adolescents sufficiently capacitated to make their own medical decisions? Is the mature-minor doctrine, an uncommon legal exception to the rule of parental decision-making authority, something we should expand or eliminate? Bioethicists have dealt with the curious liminality of adolescents—their being neither children nor adults—in a variety of ways. However, recently there has been a trend (...) to rely heavily, and often exclusively, on emerging neuroscientific and psychological data to answer these questions. Using data from magnetic resonance imaging and functional MRI studies on the adolescent brain, authors have argued both that the adolescent brain isn't sufficiently mature to broadly confer capacity on this population and that the adolescent brain is sufficiently mature to assume adolescent capacity. Scholars then accept these data as sufficient for concluding that adolescents should or should not have decision-making authority. Two critical mistakes are being made here. The first is the expectation that neuroscience or psychology is or will be able to answer all our questions about capacity. The second, and more concerning, mistake is the conflation of decision-making capacity with decision-making authority. (shrink)
Twenty-two years after Charles Darwin began to think of character divergence from a common ancestor in his Notebook B, the now famous and iconic branching diagram appeared in the fourth chapter of On the Origin of Species.
In the United States, the IRS now requires charities to publicly disclose any significant asset diversion, which is the theft or unauthorized use of assets, that the charity identifies during the year. We use this new disclosure to investigate whether strong governance reduces the likelihood of a charitable asset diversion. Specifically, for a sample of 1528 charities from 2008 to 2012, we simultaneously examine eleven measures of governance that capture four broad governance constructs: board monitoring, independence of key individuals, tone (...) at the top, and capital provider oversight. We find consistent evidence that good governance across all four constructs is negatively associated with the probability of an asset diversion. Of the eleven governance measures, our results indicate that monitoring by debt holders and government grantors, audits, and keeping managerial duties in-house are most strongly associated with lower incidence of fraud. Our results also indicate that the likelihood of a fraud is negatively associated with a board review of the Form 990, the existence of a conflict of interest policy, and the presence of restricted donations. In addition, we document that the likelihood of an asset diversion is negatively associated with program efficiency and positively associated with growth and organizational complexity. (shrink)
Of late years, even in Italy, no really new personalities or original orientations of thought have made their appearance in philosophy. The best that has been done in our studies consists in ample work consolidating the mental positions already gained during the prewar period, and in slow but unceasing efforts of philosophic thought to permeate the other strata of our culture. It is not paradoxical to affirm that to-day the best fruits of the renewed philosophic education are to be gathered (...) not in books of philosophy, but in books of literary and artistic criticism, of history, and of political and moral science. All this is not merely fortuitous, but proceeds directly and consciously from the trend of the new Italian philosophic thought, which shrinks from isolating itself in an intellectual and fictitious superworld, preferring on the contrary to be a living methodology of the sciences, and to give to its universals the relief and, I might almost say, the savour, of particular things. (shrink)
I argue for a new reading of Kant's claim that respect is the moral incentive; this reading accommodates the central insights of the affectivist and intellectualist readings of respect, while avoiding shortcomings of each. I show that within Kant's ethical system, the feeling of respect should be understood as paradigmatic of a kind of pleasure, pleasure in the moral. The motivational power of respect arises from its nature as pleasurable feeling, but the feeling does not directly motivate individual dutiful actions. (...) Rather, the feeling is motivational in the sense that, after an agent has acted in a morally good way, the pleasure that results from that action contributes to the cultivation of virtue in the agent and, consequently, morally good actions in the future. Understanding the feeling of respect to be moral pleasure not only gives us insight into how finite rational beings develop virtue, but also a new way of understanding respect as an incentive. (shrink)
Additive manufacturing has spread widely over the past decade, especially with the availability of home 3D printers. In the future, many items may be manufactured at home, which raises two ethical issues. First, there are questions of safety. Our current safety regulations depend on centralized manufacturing assumptions; they will be difficult to enforce on this new model of manufacturing. Using current US law as an example, I argue that consumers are not capable of fully assessing all relevant risks and thus (...) continue to require protection; any regulation will likely apply to plans, however, not physical objects. Second, there are intellectual property issues. In combination with a 3D scanner, it is now possible to scan items and print copies; many items are not protected from this by current intellectual property laws. I argue that these laws are ethically sufficient. Patent exists to protect what is innovative; the rest is properly not protected. Intellectual property rests on the notion of creativity, but what counts as creative changes with the rise of new technologies. (shrink)
In contrast to eudaimonism, Kant argues that moral reasoning and prudential reasoning are two distinct uses of practical reason, each with its own standard for good action. Despite Kant’s commitment to the ineradicable potential for fundamental conflict between these types of practical reasoning, I argue that once we shift to consideration of a developmental narrative of these faculties, we see that virtuous moral reasoning is able to substantively influence prudential reasoning, while prudential reason should be responsive to such influence. Further, (...) Kant indicates the integration of virtue as a commitment concerning practical priorities, and so too what should and should not agree with the agent, is beneficial for prudential reasoning by prudential reasoning’s own standards. Although Kant’s ethical system breaks from eudaimonism in significant ways, it retains the eudaimonist claim that virtuously-informed pursuits of happiness are not only better for virtue, but also better for happiness. (shrink)
This book gives a radical, new, chapter-by-chapter reading of Machiavelli's The Prince, arguing that it is an ironic masterpiece with a moral purpose. It outlines Machiavelli's most important ironic techniques: a normatively coded use of language.
When the human understanding of beasts in the past is studied, what are revealed is not only the foundations of our own perception of animals, but humans contemplating their own status. This book argues that what is revealed in a wide range of writing from the early modern period is a recurring attempt to separate the human from the beast. Looking at the representation of the animal in the law, religious writings, literary representation, science and political ideas, what emerges is (...) a sense of the fragility of humanity, a sense of a species which always requires an external addition--property, civilization, education--to be fully human. (shrink)
Central to Confucian teachings in the Analects is the ideal of self-cultivation—in particular that of the junzi 君子 (“gentleman” “nobleman”) ideal. At the same time that Confucius recommends that individuals follow such an ideal, he also places limits on who actually might attain it. By examining statements involving such terms as the junzi, the “petty man” ( xiao ren 小人), and the “masses” ( min 民, or zhong 眾), or common people, this essay highlights the sociopolitical and gender restrictions informing (...) one of the most basic, yet lofty, ethical goals of the text. A new means is also offered of discussing these socially delimited discrepancies in moral cultivation by referring to leading, or self-determining agency in association with junzi on the one hand, and to conformist agency for women and common people on the other. (shrink)
Since its origins in the mid-1980s, DNA profiling has become the most powerful tool for identification in contemporary society. Practitioners have deployed it to determine parentage, verify claims to identity in various civil contexts, identify bodies in wars and mass disasters, and infer the identity of individuals who have left biological traces at crime scenes. Thus DNA profiling can be used to implicate or exonerate individuals from participation in particular social relations and activities; this affords it a growing importance in (...) major social institutions such as the family, the criminal justice system, immigration services, and health services. There are key state, security, civil liberty, personal, and commercial considerations surrounding the reliability and social implications of DNA profiling in establishing the identities of “family members,” “claimants,” “customers,” “suspects,” and “citizens.”Given that DNA profiling is increasingly influential in forensic inquiries, the recently-developed practice in the UK of “familial searching” of DNA databases has the potential to become a significant aspect of investigations. (shrink)
This article argues humans should not be defined strictly at their physical boundaries with clear distinctions between anatomical bodies, mental states, and the rest of the world. Rather, diverse mental states, which are often diagnosed as “mental illness,” take shape within greater environmental forces and flows, including those that are constructed online. Drawing from a multi-sited ethnography of The Icarus Project, a radical mental health community, the author situates online narratives written by two of its members within posthuman emotional ecologies (...) in which the exchange of ideas online affects mental states in a profound way. These narratives can be seen as a new type of psychiatric resistance based in new technologies, one that “uncivilizes” mental illness by searching for alternative frameworks and metaphors to understand lived experiences with mental distress. This ethnographic perspective differs significantly from traditional bio-psychiatric models and interventions and can offer both patients and mental healthcare providers with an alternative language to frame mental health. (shrink)
Clinical Ethics and the Dynamics of Group Decision-Making: Applying the Psychological Data to Decisions Made by Ethics Committees Content Type Journal Article Pages 207-228 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9096-7 Authors Erica K. Rangel, Saint Louis University Department of Health Care Ethics 6333 North Rosebury Ave #3W St. Louis MO 63105 USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 2.
This article explores the socio-ethical concerns raised by the familial searching of forensic databases in criminal investigations, from the perspective of family and kinship studies. It discusses the broader implications of this expanded understanding for wider debates about identity, privacy and genetic databases.
We first describe recent empirical research on racial cognition, particularly work on implicit racial biases that suggests they are widespread, that they can coexist with explicitly avowed anti-racist and tolerant attitudes, and that they influence behavior in a variety of subtle but troubling ways. We then consider a cluster of questions that the existence and character of implicit racial biases raise for moral theory. First, is it morally condemnable to harbor an implicit racial bias? Second, ought each of us to (...) suspect ourselves of racial bias, and therefore correct for it in ordinary activity, such as grading student papers? (shrink)
This article is a response to McLeod and Baylis (2007) who speculate on the dangers of requesting fresh ‘spare’ embryos from IVF patients for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, particularly when those embryos are good enough to be transferred back to the woman. They argue that these embryos should be frozen instead. We explore what is meant by ‘spare’ embryos. We then provide empirical evidence, from a study of embryo donation and of embryo donors' views, to substantiate some of (...) their speculations about the problems associated with requesting fresh embryos. However, we also question whether such problems are resolved by embryo freezing, since further empirical evidence suggests that this raises other social and ethical problems for patients. There is little evidence that the request for embryos for research, in itself, causes patients distress. We suggest, however, that no requests for fresh embryos should be made in the first cycle of IVF treatment. Deferring the request to a later cycle ensures that potential donors are better informed (by experience and reflection) about the possible destinations of their embryos and about the definition of ‘spare embryos’. Both this article, and that by McLeod and Baylis, emphasize the need to consider the views and experiences of embryo donors when evaluating the ethics of embryo donation for hESC research. (shrink)
A number of significant contributions in the last four decades show that non-normal modal logics can be fruitfully employed in several applied fields. Well-known domains are epistemic logic, deontic logic, and systems capturing different aspects of action and agency such as the modal logic of agency, concurrent propositional dynamic logic, game logic, and coalition logic. Semantics for such logics are traditionally based on neighbourhood models. However, other model-theoretic semantics can be used for this purpose. Here, we systematically study multi-relational structures, (...) whose investigation is still relatively underdeveloped. After a brief introduction to two different versions of multi-relational semantics – which we call strong and weak multi-relational semantics – we proceed to study several modal schemata. Special attention is paid to the schemata CON and D. Finally we offer completeness proofs for several systems using both strong and weak semantic tools: The proofs thus cover both classical system.. (shrink)
This article is both a work of historical reconstruction and a theoretical intervention. It looks at some influential contemporary accounts of human-animal relations and outlines a body of ideas from the 17th century that challenges what is presented as representative of the past in posthumanist thinking. Indeed, this article argues that this alternative past is much more in keeping with the shifts that posthumanist ideas mark in their departure from humanism. Taking a journey through ways of thinking that will, perhaps, (...) be unfamiliar, the revised vision of human-animal relations outlined here emerges not from a history of philosophy but from an archival study of people’s relationships with and understandings of their livestock in early modern England. At stake are conceptions of who we are and who we might have been, and the relation between those two, and the livestock on 17th-century smallholdings are our guides. (shrink)