The specific heat of hydrogen gas at low temperatures was first measured in 1912 by Arnold Eucken in Walther Nernst’s laboratory in Berlin, and provided one of the earliest experimental supports for the new quantum theory. Even earlier, Nernst had developed a quantum theory of rotating diatomic gas molecules that figured in the discussions at the first Solvay conference in late 1911. Between 1913 and 1925, Albert Einstein, Paul Ehrenfest, Max Planck, Fritz Reiche, and Erwin Schrödinger, among many (...) others, attempted theoretical descriptions of the rotational specific heat of hydrogen, with only limited success. Quantum theory also was central to the study of molecular spectra, where initially it was more successful. Moreover, the two problems interacted in sometimes surprising ways. Not until 1927, following Werner Heisenberg’s discovery of the behavior of indistinguishable particles in modern quantum mechanics, did American theorist David Dennison find a successful theory of the specific heat of hydrogen. (shrink)
It is demonstrated that the reduction of a physical theory S to another one, T, in the sense that S can be derived from T holds in general only for the mathematical framework. The interpretation of S and the associated central terms cannot all be derived from those of T because of the qualitative differences between the cognitive levels of S and T. Their cognitively autonomous status leads to an epistemic as well as an ontological pluralism. This pluralism is consistent (...) with the unity of nature in the sense of a substantive monism. (shrink)
Computer simulation is shown to be philosophically interesting because it introduces a qualitatively new methodology for theory construction in science different from the conventional two components of "theory" and "experiment and/or observation". This component is "experimentation with theoretical models." Two examples from the physical sciences are presented for the purpose of demonstration but it is claimed that the biological and social sciences permit similar theoretical model experiments. Furthermore, computer simulation permits theoretical models for the evolution of physical systems which use (...) cellular automata rather than differential equations as their syntax. The great advantages of the former are indicated. (shrink)
: In 1927, Fritz Jahr, a Protestant pastor, philosopher, and educator in Halle an der Saale, published an article entitled "Bio-Ethics: A Review of the Ethical Relationships of Humans to Animals and Plants" and proposed a "Bioethical Imperative," extending Kant's moral imperative to all forms of life. Reviewing new physiological knowledge of his times and moral challenges associated with the development of secular and pluralistic societies, Jahr redefines moral obligations towards human and nonhuman forms of life, outlining the concept (...) of bioethics as an academic discipline, principle, and virtue. Although he had no immediate long-lasting influence during politically and morally turbulent times, his argument that new science and technology requires new ethical and philosophical reflection and resolve may contribute toward clarification of terminology and of normative and practical visions of bioethics, including understanding of the geoethical dimensions of bioethics. (shrink)
As Internet resources are usedmore frequently for research on social andpsychological behavior, concerns grow aboutwhether characteristics of such research affecthuman subjects protections. Early efforts toaddress such concerns have done more toidentify potential problems than to evaluatethem or to seek solutions, leaving bodiescharged with human subjects oversight in aquagmire. This article critiques some of theseissues in light of the US Code of FederalRegulations' policies for the Protection ofHuman Subjects, and argues that some of theissues have no pertinence when examined in thecontext (...) of common methodological approachesthat previous commentators failed to consider. By separating applicable contexts from thosethat are not, and by identifying cases wheresubjects' characteristics are irrelevant and/orimpossible to provide, oversight committees maybe able to consider research applications moreappropriately, and investigators may be lessethically bound to ascertain and demonstratethose characteristics. (shrink)
If community is determined primarily in consciousness as a mental state of oneness, can community exist when there is no accompanying mental state or collective intentionality that makes us realise that we are one community? Walther would respond affirmatively, arguing that there is a deep psychological structure of habit that allows us to continue to experience ourselves as a community. The habit of community works on all levels of our person, including our bodies, psyches and spirits. It allows us (...) to continue to be in community even though we are not always conscious of it. Husserl would describe this as part of the passive synthesis of Vergemeinschaftung. Walther’s analysis of the passive structure of habit opens up important possibilities for the inner consciousness of time. Drawing from Husserl’s and Walther’s analyses, I argue for the possibility of a communal inner time consciousness, or an inner awareness of timeconsciousness of the community, which gives rise to three constitutive moments: communal retention or communal memory, a sense of the communal present or a communal “now,” and communal protentions or anticipations. Ultimately, I will show how Walther’s treatment of habit demonstrates that time conditions the lived experience of community. One can, therefore, speak of a time of the community—its past, present and future—even though Walther herself does not explicitly develop this possibility. (shrink)
This paper analyses ethical training in neuroscience curricula at universities in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. The main findings are that 52 % of all courses have ethical training available, while in 82 % of those cases, the training is mandatory. In terms of specific contents of the teaching, ethical issues about ‘animal subjects and human participation in research’, ‘scientific misconduct’, and ‘treatment of data’ were the most prominent. A special emphasis during the research was (...) placed on the prevalence of dual-use bioethics. In total, only 3 % of all courses mention it in any of their modules. One of the major findings of the survey was the trend towards ‘mainstreaming’ ethics education particularly in the UK, which is to disperse ethics among the various modules within the education instead of relying on a single ethics module. The paper discusses the utility of this approach for science education as well as describes the overall difficulties that course coordinators face when trying to teach ethics based on the responses to the qualitative part to the survey. (shrink)
Criteria are given to characterize mature theories in contradistinction to developing theories. We lean heavily on the physical sciences. An established theory is defined as a mature one with known validity limits. The approximate truth of such theories is thereby given a quantitative character. Superseding theories do not falsify established theories because the latter are protected by their validity limits. This view of scientific realism leads to ontological levels and cumulativity of knowledge. It is applied to a defense of realism (...) against recent attacks by Laudan. (shrink)
The book includes all 15 long forgotten articles on bioethics and ethics written by Jahr from 1927 to 1947 in English translation. (Series: Practical Ethics / Ethik in der Praxis - Studies / Studien - Vol. 37).
The reduction from Einstein's to Newton's gravitation theories (and intermediate steps) is used to exemplify reduction in physical theories. Both dimensionless and dimensional reduction are presented, and the advantages and disadvantages of each are pointed out. It is concluded that neither a completely reductionist nor a completely antireductionist view can be maintained. Only the mathematical structure is strictly reducible. The interpretation (the model, the central concepts) of the superseded theory T′ can at best only partially be derived directly from the (...) superseding theory T; it is severely constrained by the mathematical structure, and it can involve qualitatively different central terms that cannot be logically related between T and T′. (shrink)
Epistemic two-dimensional semantics is a theory in the philosophy of language that provides an account of meaning which is sensitive to the distinction between necessity and apriority. While this theory is usually presented in an informal manner, I take some steps in formalizing it in this paper. To do so, I define a semantics for a propositional modal logic with operators for the modalities of necessity, actuality, and apriority that captures the relevant ideas of epistemic two-dimensional semantics. I also describe (...) some properties of the logic that are interesting from a philosophical perspective, and apply it to the so-called nesting problem. (shrink)
The chapter contextualizes and reconstructs Walther’s theory of social acts. In her view a given act qualifies as social if it is performed in the name of or on behalf of a community. Interestingly, Walther’s understanding of that notion is patently at odds with the idea of a social act originally propounded by Reinach. According to Reinach, an act is social if it “addresses” other persons and if it, for its success, requires them to grasp it. We claim (...) that to explain Walther’s reconfiguration of this concept, one has to look into the use that Husserl makes of it. Husserl adopts this idea from Reinach to tackle a problem that is not discussed by the latter. This is the problem of how communities, by means of social acts, are “constituted” in consciousness. Walther shares with Husserl the concern about the constitution of communities and her radical revision of Reinach’s idea is presented as an attempt to offer an alternative solution to Husserl’s problem. (shrink)
To practise ‘fairly and justly’ a clinician must balance the needs of both the many and the few: the individual patient in front of them, and the many unseen patients in the waiting room, and in the county. They must consider the immediate clinical needs of those in the present, and how their actions will impact on future patients. The good medical practice guidance ‘Make the care of your patient your first concern’ provides no guidance on how doctors should act (...) when they care for multiple patients with conflicting needs. Moreover, conflicting needs extend far past simply those between different patients. At an organisational level, financial obligations must be balanced with clinical ones; the system must support those who work within it in a variety of roles; and, finally, in order for a healthcare service to be sustainable, the demands of current and future generations must be balanced.The central problem, we propose, is that there is no shared philosophical framework on which the provision of care or the development of health policy is based, nor is there a practical, fair and transparent process to ensure that the service is equipped to deal justly with new challenges as they emerge. Many philosophers have grappled with constructing a set of principles which would lead to a ‘good’ society which is just to different users; prominent among them is Rawls.Four important principles can be derived using a Rawlsian approach: equity of access, distributive justice, sustainability and openness. However, Rawls’ approach is sometimes considered too abstract to be applied readily to policymaking; it does not provide clear guidance for how individuals working within existing institutions can enact the principles of justice. We therefore combine the principles derived from Rawls with Scanlonian contractualism: by demanding that decisions are made in a way which cannot be ‘reasonably rejected’ by different stakeholders, we ensure that conflicting needs are considered robustly.We demonstrate how embedding this framework would ensure just policies and fair practice. We illustrate this by using examples of how it would help prevent injustice among different socioeconomic groups, prevent intergenerational injustice and prevent injustice in a crisis, for example, as we respond to new challenges such as COVID-19.Attempts to help individual doctors practise fairly and justly throughout their professional lives are best focused at an institutional or systemic level. We propose a practical framework: combining Scanlonian contractualism with a Rawlsian approach. Adopting this framework would equip the workforce and population to contribute to fair policymaking, and would ultimately result in a healthcare system whose practice and policies—at their core—were just. (shrink)
With by far the lowest population density in the United States, myriad challenges attach to healthcare delivery in Alaska. In the “Size, Population, and Accessibility” section, we characterize this geographic context, including how it is exacerbated by lack of infrastructure. In the “Distributing Healthcare” section, we turn to healthcare economics and staffing, showing how these bear on delivery—and are exacerbated by geography. In the “Health Care in Rural Alaska” section, we turn to rural care, exploring in more depth what healthcare (...) delivery looks like outside of Alaska’s major cities. This discussion continues in the “Alaska’s Native Villages” section, which specifically analyzes healthcare in Alaska’s indigenous villages, some of the smallest and most isolated communities in the United States. Though many of the ways we could improve Alaskan health care for Alaskan residents are limited by its unique features, the “Justice and Healthcare Delivery” and “Technology and Telemedicine” sections consider ways in which certain policies and technology—including telemedicine—could mitigate the challenges developed in previous sections. (shrink)
In 2013, the first gun printed out of plastic by a 3D-printer was successfully fired in the US. This event caused a major media hype about the dangers of being able to print a gun. Law enforcement agencies worldwide were concerned about this development and the potentially huge security implications of these functional plastic guns. As a result, politicians called for a ban of these weapons and a control of 3D-printing technology. This paper reviews the security implications of 3D-printing technology (...) and 3D guns. It argues that current arms control and transfer policies are adequate to cover 3D-printed guns as well. However, while this analysis may hold up currently, progress in printing technology needs to be monitored to deal with future dangers pre-emptively. (shrink)
In 1997, thanks to a conference paper by Rolf Löther of Berlin Humboldt University, the name of Fritz Jahr (1895-1953) was mentioned for the first time as the creator of the term and concept of bioethics (Bio-Ethik). As yet, Hans-Martin Sass of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics has been the only one to analyze Jahr's ideas more thoroughly, dedicating to the subject a series of papers (see Sass 2007). In December 2010, a collection of 15 papers by Jahr was (...) published in the German original, while in May 2011, a selection of 16 papers appeared in English translation (Jahr 2011).So who, in fact, was Jahr? A humble teacher and curate who never left his home city of Halle, an old university center on the Saale River in .. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with a propositional modal logic with operators for necessity, actuality and apriority. The logic is characterized by a class of relational structures defined according to ideas of epistemic two-dimensional semantics, and can therefore be seen as formalizing the relations between necessity, actuality and apriority according to epistemic two-dimensional semantics. We can ask whether this logic is correct, in the sense that its theorems are all and only the informally valid formulas. This paper gives outlines of two (...) arguments that jointly show that this is the case. The first is intended to show that the logic is informally sound, in the sense that all of its theorems are informally valid. The second is intended to show that it is informally complete, in the sense that all informal validities are among its theorems. In order to give these arguments, a number of independently interesting results concerning the logic are proven. In particular, the soundness and completeness of two proof systems with respect to the semantics is proven (Theorems 2.11 and 2.15), as well as a normal form theorem (Theorem 3.2), an elimination theorem for the actuality operator (Corollary 3.6), and the decidability of the logic (Corollary 3.7). It turns out that the logic invalidates a plausible principle concerning the interaction of apriority and necessity; consequently, a variant semantics is briefly explored on which this principle is valid. The paper concludes by assessing the implications of these results for epistemic two-dimensional semantics. (shrink)
Our cognitive capabilities force us into a description of the world by levels. But theories on different levels result in descriptions that differ qualitatively. Therefore, the resulting incommensurability requires ontological bridges between such theories. These are obtained uniquely when the equations of the reduced theory are compared with a suitable limit of the equations of the reducing theory. Four case studies from theoretical physics and astronomy support this claim, two for theories of composites and two for non-composites (field theories). These (...) results a coherent view of a single real world despite its ontological pluralism. The cumulativity of scientific knowledge is thus ensured and realism is supported. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson has argued that in the debate on modal ontology, the familiar distinction between actualism and possibilism should be replaced by a distinction between positions he calls contingentism and necessitism. He has also argued in favor of necessitism, using results on quantified modal logic with plurally interpreted second-order quantifiers showing that necessitists can draw distinctions contingentists cannot draw. Some of these results are similar to well-known results on the relative expressivity of quantified modal logics with so-called inner and outer (...) quantifiers. The present paper deals with these issues in the context of quantified modal logics with generalized quantifiers. Its main aim is to establish two results for such a logic: Firstly, contingentists can draw the distinctions necessitists can draw if and only if the logic with inner quantifiers is at least as expressive as the logic with outer quantifiers, and necessitists can draw the distinctions contingentists can draw if and only if the logic with outer quantifiers is at least as expressive as the logic with inner quantifiers. Secondly, the former two items are the case if and only if all of the generalized quantifiers are first-order definable, and the latter two items are the case if and only if first-order logic with these generalized quantifiers relativizes. (shrink)
Organizations interested in employee ethics compliance face the problem of conflict between employee and organizational ethical standards. Socializing new employees is one way of assuring compliance. Important for longer term employees as well as new ones, however, is making those standards visible and then operable in the daily life of an organization. This study, conducted in one large organization, found that, depending on organizational level, awareness of an organization's ethical standards is predicted by managerial adherence to and organizational compliance with (...) those standards and/or discussions with peers. Regardless of level, organizational commitment was predicted most strongly by managerial adherence to organizational standards. These findings have theoretical implications for the fields of business ethics, organizational identity and organizational socialization and practical implications for the implementation of ethics policies. (shrink)
Theory reduction is analyzed and examples are presented from various branches of physics. The procedure takes different forms in different theories. Examples from various theories are arranged in increasing order of difficulty. Special emphasis is placed on the quantum to classical reduction. It is argued that there is good and interesting physics in theory reduction and that it deserves more attention than it has been receiving in the past.
In this paper, I take a critical stance on the emerging field of nanoethics. After an introductory section, “Conceptual Foundations of Nanotechnology” considers the conceptual foundations of nanotechnology, arguing that nanoethics can only be as coherent as nanotechnology itself and then discussing concerns with this latter concept; the conceptual foundations of nanoethics are then explicitly addressed in “Conceptual Foundations of Nanoethics”. “Issues in Nanoethics” considers ethical issues that will be raised through nanotechnology and, in “What’s New?”, it is argued that (...) none of these issues is unique to nanotechnology. In “It’s a Revolution!”, I express skepticism about arguments which hold that, while the issues themselves might not be unique, they nevertheless are instantiated to such a degree that extant moral frameworks will be ill-equipped to handle them. In “What’s Different?”, I draw plausible distinctions between nanoethics and other applied ethics, arguing that these latter might well identify unique moral issues and, as such, distinguish themselves from nanoethics. Finally, in “What Now?”, I explore the conclusions of this result, ultimately arguing that, while nanoethics may fail to identify novel ethical concerns, it is at least the case that nanotechnology is deserving of ethical attention, if not a new associative applied ethic. (shrink)
It seems that the revitalisation of Fritz Jahr’s thought has come just at the right time. During the course of its rapid development, bioethics managed to assume different forms, but also to become both reduced in its underlying intention and hyper-specialised in its theoretical and practical aspects. Summed up in his bioethical imperative, Fritz Jahr’s thought prompts us to re-examine both its underlying intention and its field of interest. Accordingly, this paper centres on Jahr’s bioethical imperative, its origins, (...) construction and implications, aiming to scrutinise Jahr’s original thought and his message within the contemporary discourse on bioethics in general and that on integrative bioethics in particular. The latter is examined only in its outlines, leaving room for a possible upgrade. Lastly, the paper looks at the Rijeka Declaration as a document that represents an attempt to both conceptually and methodologically transform contemporary bioethics within the context of Jahr’s thought.*. (shrink)
In Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture, Fritz Allhoff demonstrates the weakness of the case against torture; while allowing that torture constitutes a moral wrong, he nevertheless argues that, in exceptional cases, it represents the ...
It is claimed that the `problem of the arrow of time in classical dynamics' has been solved. Since all classical particles have a self-field (gravitational and in some cases also electromagnetic), their dynamics must include self-interaction. This fact and the observation that the domain of validity of classical physics is restricted to distances not less than of the order of a Compton wavelength (thus excluding point particles), leads to the conclusion that the fundamental classical equations of motion are not invariant (...) under time reversal: retarded self-interactions lead to different equations than advanced ones. Since causality (the time order of cause and effect) requires retarded rather than advanced self-interaction, it is causality which is ultimately responsible for the arrow of time. Classical motions described by equations with advanced self-interactions differ from retarded ones and do not occur in nature. (shrink)
: Genetic interventions raise a host of moral issues and, of its various species, germ-line genetic enhancement is the most morally contentious. This paper surveys various arguments against germ-line enhancement and attempts to demonstrate their inadequacies. A positive argument is advanced in favor of certain forms of germ-line enhancements, which holds that they are morally permissible if and only if they augment Rawlsian primary goods, either directly or by facilitating their acquisition.
Freiheitsentziehende Maßnahmen in Altenpflegeheimen sind unter pflegerischen und ethischen, aber auch betreuungsrechtlichen und vor allem strafrechtlichen Gesichtspunkten von besonderer Bedeutung. Häufig sind eingeschränkte Mobilität, Verringerung der kognitiven Funktionen, große Hilfsbedürftigkeit des älteren Menschen der auslösende Faktor für den Einsatz derartiger Einschränkungen. Daneben gibt es jedoch Hinweise, dass die Anwendung freiheitsentziehender Maßnahmen auch mit organisatorischen Abläufen in Altenpflegeeinrichtungen zusammenhängt. Der vorliegende Beitrag diskutiert, wieweit freiheitsentziehende und freiheitsbeschränkende Maßnahmen bei alten Menschen überhaupt zulässig sind und zeigt auf, dass die Entwicklung von alternativen (...) Betreuungs- und Versorgungsansätzen dazu beitragen kann, dass durch weniger freiheitsentziehende Maßnahmen in der stationären Pflege die Würde der alten Menschen gewahrt bleibt. (shrink)
This essay presents some general background on nanomedicine, particularly focusing on some of the investment that is being made in this emerging field. The bulk of the essay, however, consists of explorations of two areas in which the impacts of nanomedicine are likely to be most significant: diagnostics and medical records and treatment, including surgery and drug delivery. Each discussion includes a survey some of the ethical and social issues that are likely to arise in these applications.