This article provides somephilosophical ``groundwork'' for contemporary debatesabout the status of the idea(l) of critical thinking.The major part of the article consists of a discussionof three conceptions of ``criticality,'' viz., criticaldogmatism, transcendental critique (Karl-Otto Apel),and deconstruction (Jacques Derrida). It is shown thatthese conceptions not only differ in their answer tothe question what it is ``to be critical.'' They alsoprovide different justifications for critique andhence different answers to the question what giveseach of them the ``right'' to be critical. It is arguedthat (...) while transcendental critique is able to solvesome of the problems of the dogmatic approach tocriticality, deconstruction provides the most coherentand self-reflexive conception of critique. A crucialcharacteristic of the deconstructive style of critiqueis that this style is not motivated by the truth ofthe criterion (as in critical dogmatism) or by acertain conception of rationality (as intranscendental critique), but rather by a concern forjustice. It is suggested that this concern should becentral to any redescription of the idea(l) ofcritical thinking. (shrink)
The aim of this pilot study was to examine the possible effects of a forum theatre intervention on moral team atmosphere, moral reasoning, fair play attitude and on- and off-field antisocial and prosocial behaviour in male adolescent soccer players from 10 to 18 years of age . From pre-test to post-test, small but positive changes were found in moral atmosphere, but not in moral reasoning or fair play attitude. Changes were also found in on-field antisocial behaviour, which showed a significant (...) decrease one month after the intervention. However, the changes in antisocial behaviour were not affected by the changes in moral team atmosphere. Off-field antisocial behaviour and both on- and off-field prosocial behaviour did not show a significant change. The results suggest that more extended efforts built on a similar approach are worth investigating. (shrink)
The structure and properties of any natural language expression depend on its component sub-expressions - "resources" - and relations among them that are sensitive to basic structural properties of order, grouping, and multiplicity. Resource-sensitivity thus provides a perspective on linguistic structure that is well-defined and universally-applicable. The papers in this collection - by J. van Benthem, P. Jacobson, G. Jäger, G-J. Kruijff, G. Morrill, R. Muskens, R. Oehrle, and A. Szabolcsi - examine linguistic resources and resource-sensitivity from a variety of (...) perspectives, including: - Modal aspects of categorial type inference; - Multi-dimensional type structures and grammatical architecture; - Resource-sensitive aspects of binding and anaphora; - Resource-sensitive inference and discourse context. In particular, the book contains a number of papers treating anaphorically-dependent expressions as functions, whose application to an appropriate argument yields a type and an interpretation directly integratable with the surrounding grammatical structure. To situate this work in a larger setting, the book contains two appendices: - an introductory guide to resource-sensivity; - notes on the historical background of resource-sensitive approaches to binding and anaphora. (shrink)
The political engagement of scientists is not necessarily left-wing, and even when it is, it can take widely varying forms. This is illustrated by the specific character of Dutch scientific activism in the 1930s and 40s, which took shape in a society where ‘pillarized’ social divisions were more important than horizontal class structure. This paper examines how, within this context, the Delft physicist Jan Burgers developed a version of scientific politics, built on a philosophy of value-laden science.
This paper presents a comprehensive account of Peirce's post-1900 theory of abduction. The account aims at bringing together various strands of discussion in Peirce's work, showing how their interaction creates a more coherent picture of his thoughts on abductive reasoning as manifest after the turn of the century. The discussion is of a historical nature, rather than a critical assessment.
This is an attempt to interpret the history of mechanism vs. vitalism in relation to the changing framework of culture and to show the interrelation between both these views and experimental science. After the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, causal mechanism of classical physics provided the framework for the study of nature. The teleological and holistic properties of life, however, which are incompatible with this theory yielded — as a result both of internal developments within biology and of a (...) general reaction against dogmatic rationalism — to a vitalistic interpretation of life which ascribed a mysterious force to living organisms. It will be shown that both mechanism and vitalism are related to the experimental climate of the time in which they were popular. The controversy has now lost its raison d'être as a result of the development of the theory of systems and of a better understanding of the chemistry and evolution of life. (shrink)
Stress is increasingly being recognized as one of the main factors that is negatively affecting our health, and therefore there is a need to regulate daily stress and prevent long-term stress. This need seems particularly important for adults with mild intellectual disabilities who have been shown to have more difficulties coping with stress than adults without intellectual disabilities. Hence, the development of music therapy interventions for stress reduction, particularly within populations where needs may be greater, is becoming increasingly important. In (...) order to gain more insight into the practice-based knowledge on how music therapists lower stress levels of their patients with MID during music therapy sessions, we conducted focus group interviews with music therapists working with adults with MID from different countries and clinical institutions in Europe. Results provide an overview of the most-used interventions for stress reduction within and outside of music. Data-analysis resulted in the further specification of therapeutic goals, intervention techniques, the use of musical instruments, and related therapeutic change factors. The main findings indicate that music therapists used little to no receptive interventions for stress reduction, but preferred to use active interventions, which were mainly based on musical improvisation. Results show that three therapy goals for stress relief could be distinguished. The goal of “synchronizing” can be seen as a sub goal because it often precedes working on the other two goals of “tension release” or “direct relaxation,” which can also be seen as two ways of reaching stress reduction in adults with MID through music therapy interventions. Furthermore, the tempo and the dynamics of the music are considered as the most important musical components to reduce stress in adults with MID. Practical implications for stress-reducing music therapy interventions for adults with MID are discussed as well as recommendations for future research. (shrink)
An increasing number of older patients have to decide on a treatment plan for advanced chronic kidney disease, involving dialysis or conservative care. Shared decision-making is recommended as the model for decision-making in such preference-sensitive decisions. The aim of SDM is to come to decisions that are consistent with the patient’s values and preferences and made by the patient and healthcare professional working together. In clinical practice, however, SDM appears to be not yet routine and needs further implementation. A shift (...) from a biomedical to a person-centered conception might help to make the process more shared. Shared should, therefore, be interpreted as two persons bringing two perspectives to the table, that both need to be explored during the decision-making process. Starting from the patient’s perspective will enable to determine the mutual goals of care first and, subsequently, determine the best way for achieving those goals. To perform such SDM, the healthcare professional needs to become a skilled companion, being part of the patient’s relational context, and start asking the right questions about what matters to the patient as person. In this article, we describe the need for a person-centered conception of SDM for the setting of older patients with advanced CKD. (shrink)
BackgroundThe Netherlands is one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal under strict conditions. This study investigates whether Dutch newspaper articles use the term ‘euthanasia’ according to the legal definition and determines what arguments for and against euthanasia they contain.MethodsWe did an electronic search of seven Dutch national newspapers between January 2009 and May 2010 and conducted a content analysis.ResultsOf the 284 articles containing the term ‘euthanasia’, 24% referred to practices outside the scope of the law, mostly relating to (...) the forgoing of life-prolonging treatments and assistance in suicide by others than physicians. Of the articles with euthanasia as the main topic, 36% described euthanasia in the context of a terminally ill patient, 24% for older persons, 16% for persons with dementia, and 9% for persons with a psychiatric disorder. The most frequent arguments for euthanasia included the importance of self-determination and the fact that euthanasia contributes to a good death. The most frequent arguments opposing euthanasia were that suffering should instead be alleviated by better care, that providing euthanasia can be disturbing, and that society should protect the vulnerable.ConclusionsOf the newspaper articles, 24% uses the term ‘euthanasia’ for practices that are outside the scope of the euthanasia law. Typically, the more unusual cases are discussed. This might lead to misunderstandings between citizens and physicians. Despite the Dutch legalisation of euthanasia, the debate about its acceptability and boundaries is ongoing and both sides of the debate are clearly represented. (shrink)
BackgroundResearch ethics committees (RECs) are tasked to assess the risks and the benefits of a trial. Currently, two procedure-level approaches are predominant, the Net Risk Test and the Component Analysis.DiscussionBy looking at decision studies, we see that both procedure-level approaches conflate the various risk-benefit tasks, i.e., risk-benefit assessment, risk-benefit evaluation, risk treatment, and decision making. This conflation makes the RECs’ risk-benefit task confusing, if not impossible. We further realize that RECs are not meant to do all the risk-benefit tasks; instead, (...) RECs are meant to evaluate risks and benefits, appraise risk treatment suggestions, and make the final decision.ConclusionAs such, research ethics would benefit from looking beyond the procedure-level approaches and allowing disciplines like decision studies to be involved in the discourse on RECs’ risk-benefit task. (shrink)
We give a historical overview of the development of almost 50 years of empirical research on the affordances in the past and in the present. Defined by James Jerome Gibson in the early development of the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action as the prime of perception and action, affordances have become a rich topic of investigation in the fields of human movement science and experimental psychology. The methodological origins of the empirical research performed on affordances can be traced back (...) to the mid 1980’s and the works of Warren and Michaels. Most of the research in Ecological Psychology performed since has focused on the actualization of discretely defined actions, the perception of action boundaries, the calculation of pi-numbers, and the measurement of response times. The research efforts have resulted in advancements in the understanding of the dynamic nature of affordances, affordances in a social context and the importance of calibration for perception of affordances. Although affordances are seen as an instrumental part of the control of action most studies investigating affordances do not pay attention to the control of the action. We conclude that affordances are still primarily treated as a utility to select behaviour, which creates a conceptual barrier that hinders deeper understanding of affordances. A focus on action-boundaries has largely prevented advancement in other aspects of affordances, most notably an integrative understanding of the role of affordances in the control of action. (shrink)
Background As our society is ageing, nursing homes are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with an expanding population of patients with dementia and a decreasing workforce. A potential answer to this problem might lie in the use of technology. However, the use and application of surveillance technology in dementia care has led to considerable ethical debate among healthcare professionals and ethicists, with no clear consensus to date. Aim To explore how surveillance technology is viewed by care professionals and ethicists (...) working in the field, by investigating the ideal application of surveillance technology in the residential care of people with dementia. Methods Use was made of the concept mapping method, a computer-assisted procedure consisting of five steps: brainstorming, prioritising, clustering, processing by the computer and analysis. Various participants (ranging from ethicists to physicians and nurses) were invited on the basis of their professional background. Results The views generated are grouped into six categories ranging from the need for a right balance between freedom and security, to be beneficial and tailored to the resident, and clearly defined procedures to competent and caring personnel, active monitoring and clear normative guidance. The results are presented in the form of a graphic chart. Conclusions There appears to be an inherent duality in the views on using surveillance technology which is rooted in the moral conflict between safety and freedom. Elaboration of this ethical issue has proved to be very difficult. (shrink)
Ecologists are challenged by the need to bridge and synthesize different approaches and theories to obtain a coherent understanding of ecosystems in a changing world. Both food web theory and regime shift theory shine light on mechanisms that confer stability to ecosystems, but from different angles. Empirical food web models are developed to analyze how equilibria in real multi-trophic ecosystems are shaped by species interactions, and often include linear functional response terms for simple estimation of interaction strengths from observations. Models (...) of regime shifts focus on qualitative changes of equilibrium points in a slowly changing environment, and typically include non-linear functional response terms. Currently, it is unclear how the stability of an empirical food web model, expressed as the rate of system recovery after a small perturbation, relates to the vulnerability of the ecosystem to collapse. Here, we conduct structural sensitivity analyses of classical consumer-resource models in equilibrium along an environmental gradient. Specifically, we change non-proportional interaction terms into proportional ones, while maintaining the equilibrium biomass densities and material flux rates, to analyze how alternative model formulations shape the stability properties of the equilibria. The results reveal no consistent relationship between the stability of the original models and the proportionalized versions, even though they describe the same biomass values and material flows. We use these findings to critically discuss whether stability analysis of observed equilibria by empirical food web models can provide insight into regime shift dynamics, and highlight the challenge of bridging alternative modelling approaches in ecology and beyond. (shrink)
The aim of this study was to explore stakeholder perceptions of the contribution of an Automatic Milking System (AMS) to sustainable development of organic dairy production in Denmark and the Netherlands. In addition, reasons for the current difference in AMS use on organic dairy farms between both countries were explored. To answer above mentioned aims, farmers and advisors in both countries were interviewed using a focus group approach. Questions of the interviews were based on a literature review on sustainability issues (...) affected by introduction of AMS. Participants expressed no moral problems regarding AMS use. They, however, pointed out uncertainty about the economic gain, difficulties with grazing, adaptation problems to technology, and image problems towards consumers. The latter results from a reduction in grazing time affecting both animal welfare and product quality. The participants did not recognize eutrophication, as result of high stocking density on farmstead lots, as a problem caused by AMS. The milk quality problem related to AMS use, although acknowledged as crucial towards consumers, was not prioritized very highly, especially not by the farmers in both countries. All groups were, however, unanimous in their perception of how important image was as far as the consumers are concerned. The perception analysis revealed that Dutch participants were more concerned about the economic payoff of AMS use, and showed more reluctance towards enlargement than Danish ones. In addition, they acknowledged the small-scale naturalness of organic production. These differences in perception could possibly explain observed differences in AMS use in organic dairy production between Denmark and the Netherlands. (shrink)