Poincaré in a 1909 lecture in Göttingen proposed a solution to the apparent incompatibility of two results as viewed from a definitionist perspective: on the one hand, Richard’s proof that the definitions of real numbers form a countable set and, on the other, Cantor’s proof that the real numbers make up an uncountable class. Poincaré argues that, Richard’s result notwithstanding, there is no enumeration of all definable real numbers. We apply previous research by Luna and Taylor on Richard’s paradox, (...) indefinite extensibility and unrestricted quantification to evaluate Poincaré’s proposal. We emphasize that Poincaré’s solution involves an early recourse to indefinite extensibility and argue that his proposal, if it is to completely avoid Richard’s paradox, requires rejecting absolutely unrestricted quantification: Richard’s paradox provides a context in which paradox seems inescapable if unrestricted quantification is possible. In proposing his solution to the apparent conflict between Richard’s and Cantor’s results, Poincaré employs temporal expressions whose exact meaning he does not clarify. We suggest an interpretation of these expressions in terms of order of availability and briefly discuss its explanatory power in topics like paradoxes, limitation theorems and indefinite extensibility. (shrink)
We develop an argument sketched by Luna (2011) based on the Pinocchio paradox, which was proposed by Eldridge-Smith and Eldridge- Smith (2010). We show that, upon plausible assumptions, the claim that mental states supervene on bodily states leads to the conclusion that some proposition is both paradoxical and not paradoxical. In order to show how the presence of paradoxes can be harnessed for philosophical argumentation, we present as well a couple of related arguments.
¿Podría estar amenazado el futuro de nuestra civilización por un abuso secular de la razón? Cabe argumentar que la Modernidad se construyó sobre la ambición cartesiana de conocer y regular el mundo mediante el discurso racional, postergando el conocimiento sensible y descartando cualquier posibilidad de un conocimiento intelectual diferente de la razón científico-matemática. Según el autor, esta ambición ha moldeado el quehacer científico, filosófico y matemático de la Modernidad y persiste todavía en el discurso ético-político del capitalismo global. Laureano (...) class='Hi'>Luna explora las limitaciones del proyecto racionalista moderno rastreando sus límites desde la lógica matemática hasta la racionalidad social, política y económica de la sociedad contemporánea, argumentando la tesis de que los límites del discurso racional que las paradojas o en el teorema de Gödel revelan en la lógica se reproducen en los ámbitos de la ciencia, la ética y la política, porque esos límites dependen todos de un rasgo esencial de la fenomenología del pensamiento. En la elaboración de esta síntesis la obra emprende un análisis de la racionalidad vigente que desemboca en la consideración de sus limitaciones para encarar el futuro. (shrink)
Through her reading of Euripides'Bacchae, Colridge's "Christabel," de Sade'sPhilosophy in the Bedroom, and Hitchcock'sPsycho author Alina M. Luna finds precedent for a destructive impulse lurking beneath the maternal gaze.
The Monist’s call for papers for this issue ended: “if formalism is true, then it must be possible in principle to mechanize meaning in a conscious thinking and language-using machine; if intentionalism is true, no such project is intelligible”. We use the Grelling-Nelson paradox to show that natural language is indefinitely extensible, which has two important consequences: it cannot be formalized and model theoretic semantics, standard for formal languages, is not suitable for it. We also point out that object-object mapping (...) theories of semantics, the usual account for the possibility of non intentional semantics, doesn’t seem able to account for the indefinitely extensible productivity of natural language. (shrink)
In this article, the authors focus on Argentina's activity in the developing field of regenerative medicine, specifically stem cell research. They take as a starting point a recent article by Shawn Harmon (published in this journal) who argues that attempts to regulate the practice in Argentina are morally incoherent. The authors try to show first, that there is no such ‘attempt to legislate’ on stem cell research in Argentina and this is due to a number of reasons that they explain. (...) Second, by examining the role played by different values, conflicting legal and moral views, and the influence of various actors, they attempt to show that the legislative silence regarding stem cell research may not necessarily be a manifestation of a legal/moral disconnection but rather a survival strategy for navigating the long and heated battle on the moral status of the embryo and the kind of treatment it deserves. (shrink)
This target article considers the ethical implications of providing prenatal diagnosis (PND) and antenatal screening services to detect fetal abnormalities in jurisdictions that prohibit abortion for these conditions. This unusual health policy context is common in the Latin American region. Congenital conditions are often untreated or under-treated in developing countries due to limited health resources, leading many women/couples to prefer termination of affected pregnancies. Three potential harms derive from the provision of PND in the absence of legal and safe abortion (...) for these conditions: psychological distress, unjust distribution of burdens between socio-economic classes, and financial burdens for families and society. We present Iran as a comparative case study where recognition of these ethical issues has led to the liberalization of abortion laws for fetuses with thalassemia. We argue that physicians, geneticists and policymakers have an ethical and professional duty of care to advocate for change in order to ameliorate these harms. (shrink)
This paper challenges the traditional account of vulnerability in healthcare which conceptualizes vulnerability as a list of identifiable subpopulations. This list of ‘usual suspects’, focusing on groups from lower resource settings, is a narrow account of vulnerability. In this article we argue that in certain circumstances middle-class individuals can be also rendered vulnerable. We propose a relational and layered account of vulnerability and explore this concept using the case study of cord blood (CB) banking. In the first section, two different (...) approaches to ‘vulnerability’ are contrasted: categorical versus layered. In the second section, we describe CB banking and present a case study of CB banking in Argentina. We examine the types of pressure that middle-class pregnant women feel when considering CB collection and storage. In section three, we use the CB banking case study to critique the categorical approach to vulnerability: this model is unable to account for the ways in which these women are vulnerable. A layered account of vulnerability identifies several ways in which middle-class women are vulnerable. Finally, by utilizing the layered approach, this paper suggests how public health policies could be designed to overcome vulnerabilities. (shrink)
We use two logical resources, namely, the notion of recursively defined function and the Benardete-Yablo paradox, together with some inherent features of causality and time, as usually conceived, to derive two results: that no ungrounded causal chain exists and that time has a beginning.
The structure of Yablo’s paradox is analysed and generalised in order to show that beginningless step-by-step determination processes can be used to provoke antinomies, more concretely, to make our logical and our on-tological intuitions clash. The flow of time and the flow of causality are usually conceived of as intimately intertwined, so that temporal causation is the very paradigm of a step-by-step determination process. As a conse-quence, the paradoxical nature of beginningless step-by-step determina-tion processes concerns time and causality as usually (...) conceived. (shrink)
Computationalism is the claim that all possible thoughts are computations, i.e. executions of algorithms. The aim of the paper is to show that if intentionality is semantically clear, in a way defined in the paper, then computationalism must be false. Using a convenient version of the phenomenological relation of intentionality and a diagonalization device inspired by Thomson's theorem of 1962, we show there exists a thought that canno be a computation.
OBJECTIVES: To analyse the attitudes of medical personnel towards terminally ill patients and their right to be fully informed. DESIGN: Self-administered questionnaire composed of 56 closed questions. SETTING: Three general hospitals and eleven health centres in Granada (Spain). The sample comprised 168 doctors and 207 nurses. RESULTS: A high percentage of medical personnel (24.1%) do not think that informing the terminally ill would help them face their illness with greater serenity. Eighty-four per cent think the patient's own home is the (...) best place to die: 8.9% of the subjects questioned state that the would not like to be informed of an incurable illness. CONCLUSION: In our opinion any information given should depend on the patient's personality, the stage of the illness and family circumstances. Our study confirms that a hospital is not the ideal environment for attending to the needs of the terminally ill and their families. (shrink)
Background: Sharing information with relatives of elderly patients in primary care and in hospital has to fit into the complex set of obligations, justifications and pressures concerning the provision of information, and the results of some studies point to the need for further empirical studies exploring issues of patient autonomy, privacy and informed consent in the day-to-day care of older people.Objectives: To know the frequency with which “capable” patients over 65 years of age receive information when admitted to hospital, the (...) information offered to the families concerned, the person who gives consent for medical intervention, and the degree of satisfaction with the information received and the healthcare provided.Method: A descriptive questionnaire given to 200 patients and 200 relatives during the patients’ stay in hospital.Results: Only 5% of patients confirmed that they had been asked whether information could be given to their relatives. A significantly higher proportion of relatives received information on the successive stages of the care offered than did patients themselves. As the age of the patients increased, so the number who were given information, understood the information and were asked for their consent for complementary tests decreased. The degree of satisfaction with the information offered was high for both patients and relatives , despite the irregularities observed.Conclusions: The capacity of elderly patients to participate in the decision-making process is frequently doubted simply because they have reached a certain age and it is thought that relatives should act as their representatives. In Spain, the opinion of the family and doctors appears to play a larger role in making decisions than does the concept of patient autonomy. (shrink)
Keynes is widely accepted to have proved the existence of a consumption gap as a cause of economic depressions. Such a gap meant that, ironically, depressions could get worse as a result of the greater wealth produced by the modern economy, since, as Keynes argued, the wealthy consumed proportionately less than the lower?income groups. Textual analysis, however, shows that Keynes's arguments amounted to assumptions, not demonstrations. And a survey of the empirical research of the subsequent half?century reveals a lack of (...) convincing evidence of the consumption gap. (shrink)
In this article I focus on two issues concerning bioethics in Argentina: reproductive health and ethics in research. Although these topics are quite dissimilar, they share a particular feature: their special relationship with context.
This compact and innovative book tackles one of the central issues in drug policy: the lack of a coherent conceptual structure for thinking about drugs. Drugs generally fall into one of seven categories: prescription, over the counter, alternative medicine, common-use drugs like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine; religious-use, sports enhancement; and of course illegal street drugs like cocaine and marijuana. Our thinking and policies varies wildly from one to the other, with inconsistencies that derive more from cultural and social values than (...) from medical or scientific facts. Penalties exist for steroid use, while herbal remedies or cold medication are legal. Native Americans may legally use peyote, but others may not. Penalties may vary for using different forms of the same drug, such as crack vs. powder cocaine. Herbal remedies are unregulated by the FDA; but medical marijuana is illegal in most states. Battin and her contributors lay a foundation for a wiser drug policy by promoting consistency and coherency in the discussion of drug issues and by encouraging a unique dialogue across disciplines. The contributors are an interdisciplinary group of scholars mostly based at the University of Utah, and include a pharmacologist, a psychiatrist, a toxicologist, a trial court judge, a law professor, an attorney, a diatary specialist, a physician, a health expert on substance abuse, and Battin herself who is a philosopher. They consider questions like the historical development of current policy and the rationales for it; scientific views on how drugs actually cause harm; how to define the key notions of harm and addiction; and ways in which drug policy can be made more consistent. They conclude with an examination of the implications of a consistent policy for various disciplines and society generally. The book is written accessibly with little need for expert knowledge, and will appeal to a diverse audience of philosophers, bioethicists, clinicians, policy makers, law enforcement, legal scholars and practitioners, social workers, and general readers, as well as to students in areas like pharmacy, medicine, law, nursing, sociology, social work, psychology, and bioethics. (shrink)
Assuming the indefinite extensibility of any domain of quantification leads to reasoning with extensible domain semantics. It is showed that some theorems (e.g. Thomson's) in conventional semantics logic are not theorems in a logic provided with this new semantics.
Throughout this essay, I will consider an argument frequently used to justify paternalistic behavior toward a specific class of persons: illiterate people. The argument states that illiterate people are uneducated, lack information and understanding, and are thus unable to make decisions. Therefore, it is argued, paternalism in their case is justified. The conclusion is that illiterate persons cannot be autonomous. The justification for this view is based on an a priori attitude: since it is impossible to communicate, physicians should decide (...) which kind of treatment the illiterate patient should receive. This argument is frequently used even though its proponents may not be aware of its implications. Given the importance and uncritical acceptance this argument has in Argentina, and also in other Latin American countries, I think it is relevant to analyze carefully what it means. I propose a thorough analysis of this argument, of its implications and an evaluation of whether it is acceptable. (shrink)
Patrick Grim has put forward a set theoretical argument purporting to prove that omniscience is an inconsistent concept and a model theoretical argument for the claim that we cannot even consistently define omniscience. The former relies on the fact that the class of all truths seems to be an inconsistent multiplicity (or a proper class, a class that is not a set); the latter is based on the difficulty of quantifying over classes that are not sets. We first address the (...) set theoretical argument and make explicit some ways in which it depends on mathematical Platonism. Then we sketch a non Platonistic account of inconsistent multiplicities, based on the notion of indefinite extensibility, and show how Grim’s set theoretical argument could fail to be conclusive in such a context. Finally, we confront Grim’s model theoretical argument suggesting a way to define a being as omniscient without quantifying over any inconsistent multiplicity. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the consonant relationship between economics and ethics and how, together, they can be applicable to interpret economic trends within the media industry. The theory assumes that ethics may be quantified as either a cost or benefit and by using economic models and principles ethics can be used as a means to prevent potential losses and, therefore, sustain or increase its gains.
One striking discovery of Michel Foucault’s Archaeology of Modernity is that no morality is formulated in modernity. Modernity thinks so much of the unthought that it fails to address the ethical question of how one is to live well.1 Thinking the unthought is constitutive of “modern morality,” which is not morality at all.2 If morality is nothing but the effort to answer how one is to live well, then, modernity fails to address this moral, ethical question. When “man”3 emerges as (...) the positive figure in the field of knowledge, modern thought needs to grapple with those dim, yet positive forces that motivate action. “What is essential [to modern episteme] is that thought, both for itself and in the density of its workings, should be both knowledge and a modification of what it knows, reflection and a transformation of the mode of being of that on which it reflects.”. (shrink)
Godel's and Tarski's theorems were inspired by paradoxes: the Richard paradox, the Liar. Godel, in the 1951 Gibbs lecture argued from his metatheoretical results for a metaphysical claim: the impossibility of reducing, both, mathematics to the knowable by the human mind and the human mind to a finite machine (e.g. the brain). So Godel reasoned indirectly from paradoxes for metaphysical theses. I present four metaphysical theses concerning mechanism, reductive physicalism and time for the only purpose of suggesting how it could (...) be argued for them directly from paradoxical sentences. (shrink)
I address the claim by Valor and Martínez that Goldstein's cassationist approach to Liar-like paradoxes generates paradoxes it cannot solve. I argue that these authors miss an essential point in Goldstein's cassationist approach, namely the thesis that paradoxical sentences are not able to make the statement they seem to make.
We offer a number of arguments for or against particular metaphysical theses. All of them are based in phenomena or results in mathematical logic, broadly conceived, and are offered as exemplification of the possibility of arguing in metaphysics from such results.
This target article considers the ethical implications of providing prenatal diagnosis and antenatal screening services to detect fetal abnormalities in jurisdictions that prohibit abortion for these conditions. This unusual health policy context is common in the Latin American region. Congenital conditions are often untreated or under-treated in developing countries due to limited health resources, leading many women/couples to prefer termination of affected pregnancies. Three potential harms derive from the provision of PND in the absence of legal and safe abortion for (...) these conditions: psychological distress, unjust distribution of burdens between socio-economic classes, and financial burdens for families and society. We present Iran as a comparative case study where recognition of these ethical issues has led to the liberalization of abortion laws for fetuses with thalassemia. We argue that physicians, geneticists and policymakers have an ethical and professional duty of care to advocate for change in order to ameliorate these harms. (shrink)