Margaret Gilbert offers an incisive new approach to a classic problem of political philosophy: when and why should I do what the law tells me to do? Do I have special obligations to conform to the laws of my own country and if so, why? In what sense, if any, must I fight in wars in which my country is engaged, if ordered to do so, or suffer the penalty for law-breaking the law imposes - including the death penalty? (...)Gilbert's accessible book offers a provocative and compelling case in favour of citizens' obligations to the state, while examining how these can be squared with self-interest and other competing considerations. (shrink)
Holobionts, consisting of a host and diverse microbial symbionts, function as distinct biological entities anatomically, metabolically, immunologically, and developmentally. Symbionts can be transmitted from parent to offspring by a variety of vertical and horizontal methods. Holobionts can be considered levels of selection in evolution because they are well-defined interactors, replicators/reproducers, and manifestors of adaptation. An initial mathematical model is presented to help understand how holobionts evolve. The model offered combines the processes of horizontal symbiont transfer, within-host symbiont proliferation, vertical symbiont (...) transmission, and holobiont selection. The model offers equations for the population dynamics and evolution of holobionts whose hologenomes differ in gene copy number, not in allelic or loci identity. The model may readily be extended to include variation among holobionts in the gene identities of both symbionts and host. (shrink)
Currently, an increasing number of organizations are attempting to enhance inclusiveness of under represented individuals through proactive efforts to manage their diversity. In this article, we define diversity management against the backdrop of its predecessor, affirmative action. Next, selected examples of organizations that have experienced specific positive bottom line results from diversity management strategies are discussed. The present paper also provides a conceptual model to examine antecedents and consequences of effective diversity management. Additional research areas identified from the model and (...) literature review result in a number of research propositions intended to enhance the exploration and understanding of diversity management. (shrink)
Margaret Gilbert presents the first full-length treatment of a central class of rights: demand-rights. To have such a right is to have the standing or authority to demand a particular action of another person. Gilbert argues that joint commitment is a ground of demand-rights, and gives joint commitment accounts of both agreements and promises.
Although the concept of psychopathy retains its currency in British psychiatry, apparently being meaningful as well as useful to practitioners (1), it is often taken to refer to a purely legal category with social control functions rather than a medical diagnosis with treatment implications. I wish, in this brief article, to suggest that it is essentially, and most usefully, an ethical category which stands outside the diagnostic framework of present-day psychiatry.
Many opponents of BIG programs believe that receiving guaranteed subsistence income would act as a strong disincentive to work. In contrast, various areas of empirical research in psychology suggest that a BIG would not lead to meaningful reductions in work. To test these competing predictions, a comprehensive review of BIG outcome studies reporting data on adult labor responses was conducted. The results indicate that 93 % of reported outcomes support the prediction of no meaningful work reductions when the criterion for (...) support is set at less than a 5 % decrease in either average hours worked per week or the rate of labor participation. Overall, these results indicate that adult labor responses would show no substantial impact following a BIG intervention. (shrink)
Positions in dialogic dispute are presented enthymematically. It is important to explore the position the disputant holds. A model is offered which relies on the presentation of a counter-example to an inferred missing premiss. The example may be: [A+J embraced as falling under the rule; [A-] rejected as basically changing the position; or, [R] rejected as changing the proffered missing premiss. In each case the offered model indicates the next appropriate action. The focus of the model is on uncovering the (...) position actually held by the disputant as opposed to identifying the "logically correct" enthymematic premiss. (shrink)
This paper begins the development of a pragmatics of emotion based on the pragma-dialectical programme, Externalization, Socialization, Functionalization, and Dialectification, applied to the emotional mode of argumentation. The first step points out a systematic equivocation within pragma-dialectics between the notion of argument and that of 'dialectics.' With this cleared, it is shown that each of the first three main assumptions can be altered to accommodate a non-logical mode of communication. However, dialectification, insofar as it is actually defining of the dialectical (...) mode, must be created anew. A defining assumption for emotionality is presented as a replacement for dialectification. (shrink)
Voluntary participation is connected to cultural, political, religious and social contexts. Social and societal factors can provide opportunities, expectations and requirements for voluntary activity, as well as influence the values and norms promoting this. These contexts are especially central in the case of voluntary participation among students as they are often responding to the societal demands for building a career and qualifying for future assignments and/or government requirements for completing community service. This article questions how cultural values affect attitudes towards (...) volunteerism, using data from an empirical research project on student volunteering activity in 13 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region. The findings indicate that there are differences in motivation between countries which represent different cultural values. This article sets these findings in context by comparing structural and cultural factors which may influence volunteerism within each country. (shrink)
This study explores the reflective processes of Scottish artist, Norman Gilbert, as he created twenty-five drawings depicting his wife, Pat Gilbert, as she lay dying following an Alzheimer’s-related stroke. Norman, ninety-one, had drawn Pat regularly over their sixty-five-year marriage. One week after Pat died, Norman was interviewed by a family friend to chronicle his reflections on the drawings. The drawings along with the interview transcript are analyzed qualitatively as a case study. Norman’s Hospital Drawings of Pat transform what (...) was initially a private experience into a shared comprehension of end of life and bereavement. (shrink)
A definition of [George] Eliot as renunciatory culture-mother may seem an odd preface to a discussion of Silas Marner since, of all her novels, this richly constructed work is the one in which the empty pack of daughterhood appears fullest, the honey of femininity most unpunished. I want to argue, however, that this “legendary tale,” whose status as a schoolroom classic makes it almost as much a textbook as a novel, examines the relationship between woman’s fate and the structure of (...) society in order to explicate the meaning of the empty pack of daughterhood. More specifically, this story of an adoptive father, an orphan daughter, and a dead mother broods on events that are actually or symbolically situated on the margins or boundaries of society, where culture must enter into a dialectical struggle with nature, in order to show how the young female human animal is converted into the human daughter, wife, and mother. Finally, then, this fictionalized “daughteronomy” becomes a female myth of origin narrated by a severe literary mother uses the vehicle of a half-allegorical family romance to urge acquiescence in the law of the Father.If Silas Marner is not obviously a story about the empty pack of daughterhood, it is plainly, of course, a “legendary tale” about a wanderer with a heavy yet empty pack. In fact, it is through the image of the packman that the story, in Eliot’s own words, “came across my other plans by a sudden inspiration”—and, clearly, her vision of this burdened outsider is a re-vision of the Romantic wanderer who haunts the borders of society, seeking a local habitation and a name.11 I would argue further, though, that Eliot’s depiction of Silas Marner’s alienation begins to explain Ruby Redinger’s sense that the author of this “fluid and metaphoric” story “is” both Eppie, the redemptive daughter, and Silas, the redeemed father. For in examining the outcast weaver’s marginality, this novelist of the “hidden life” examines also her own female disinheritance and marginality.12 11. Eliot to Blackwood, 12 Jan. 1861, quoted in Ruby V. Redinger, George Eliot: The Emergent Self , p. 436. As Susan Garber has suggested to me, the resonant image of the “packman” may be associated with the figure of Bob Jakin in The Mill on the Floss , the itinerant pack-bearing peddler who brings Maggie Tulliver a number of books, the most crucial of which is Tomas à Kempis’ treatise on Christian renunciation .12. Rediner, George Eliot, p. 439; Eliot, “Finale,” Middlemarch, p. 896. Sandra M. Gilbert, now professor of English at the University of California, Davis, will join the Department of English at Princeton University in fall 1985. Her most recent works include a collection of poems, Emily’s Bread , and, coedited with Susan Gubar, The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English . In addition, she is at work on Mother Rites: Studies in Literature and Maternity, a project from which “Life’s Empty Pack” is drawn, and, with Susan Gubar, on No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, a sequel to their collaborative Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination . “Costumes of the Mind: Transvestitism as Metaphor in Modern Literature” appeared in the Winter 1980 issue of Critical Inquiry. (shrink)
While new generations of implantable brain computer interface devices are being developed, evidence in the literature about their impact on the patient experience is lagging. In this article, we address this knowledge gap by analysing data from the first-in-human clinical trial to study patients with implanted BCI advisory devices. We explored perceptions of self-change across six patients who volunteered to be implanted with artificially intelligent BCI devices. We used qualitative methodological tools grounded in phenomenology to conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Results (...) show that, on the one hand, BCIs can positively increase a sense of the self and control; on the other hand, they can induce radical distress, feelings of loss of control, and a rupture of patient identity. We conclude by offering suggestions for the proactive creation of preparedness protocols specific to intelligent—predictive and advisory—BCI technologies essential to prevent potential iatrogenic harms. (shrink)
The everyday concept of a social group is approached by examining the concept of going for a walk together, an example of doing something together, or "shared action". Two analyses requiring shared personal goals are rejected, since they fail to explain how people walking together have obligations and rights to appropriate behavior, and corresponding rights of rebuke. An alternative account is proposed: those who walk together must constitute the "plural subject" of a goal. The nature of plural subjecthood, the thesis (...) that social groups are plural subjects, and the relation of these ideas to Rousseau's and Hobbes 's, are briefly explored. (shrink)
This article explains problems and opportunities created by standardized ethics initiatives (e.g., the UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative, and SA 8000) from the perspective of stakeholder theory. First, we outline differences and commonalities among currently existing initiatives and thus generate a common ground for our discussion. Second, based on these remarks, we critically evaluate standardized ethics initiatives by drawing on descriptive, instrumental, and normative stakeholder theory. In doing so, we explain why these standards are helpful tools when it (...) comes to ‘managing’ stakeholder relations but also face considerable limitations that can eventually hamper their successful expansion. We suspect that this discussion is necessary to conduct meaningful empirical research in the future and also to provide managers with a more clear-cut picture about a successful application of such initiatives. Third, we outline possible ways to cope with the identified problems and thus demonstrate how standard-setting institutions can improve the initiatives they offer. (shrink)
We critically assess integrative social contracts theory (ISCT) and show that the concept particularly lacks of moral justification of substantive hypernorms. By drawing on Habermasian philosophy, in particular discourse ethics and its recent application in the theory of deliberative democracy , we further advance ISCT and show that social contracting in business ethics requires a well-justified procedural rather than a substantive focus for managing stakeholder relations. We also replace the monological concept of hypothetical thought experiments in ISCT by a concept (...) of practical discourse to better govern business activities on the macro-level of organizational actors such as firms, governments, and NGOs. (shrink)
Working within the tradition of continental philosophy, this article argues in favour of a phenomenological understanding of language as a crucial component of bioethical inquiry. The authors challenge the ‘commonsense’ view of language, in which thinking appears as prior to speaking, and speech the straightforward vehicle of pre-existing thoughts. Drawing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's (1908–1961) phenomenology of language, the authors claim that thinking takes place in and through the spoken word, in and through embodied language. This view resituates bioethics as a (...) matter of bodies that speak. It also refigures the meaning of ethical self-reflexion, and in so doing offers an alternative view on reflexivity and critique. Referring to the Kantian critical tradition and its reception by Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, we advance a position we call ‘critical ethical reflexivity’. We contend that Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of language offers valuable insight into ethical reflexivity and subject formation. Moreover, his understanding of language may foster new qualitative empirical research in bioethics, lead to more nuanced methods for interpreting personal narratives, and promote critical self-reflexion as necessary for bioethical inquiry. (shrink)
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is optimistically portrayed in contemporary media. This already happened with psychosurgery during the first half of the twentieth century. The tendency of popular media to hype the benefits of DBS therapies, without equally highlighting risks, fosters public expectations also due to the lack of ethical analysis in the scientific literature. Media are not expected (and often not prepared) to raise the ethical issues which remain unaddressed by the scientific community. To obtain a more objective portrayal of (...) DBS in the media, a deeper collaboration between the science community and journalists, and particularly specialized ones, must be promoted. Access to databases and articles, directly or through science media centers, has also been proven effective in increasing the quality of reporting. This article has three main objectives. Firstly, to explore the past media coverage of leukotomy, and to examine its widespread acceptance and the neglect of ethical issues in its depiction. Secondly, to describe how current enthusiastic coverage of DBS causes excessive optimism and neglect of ethical issues in patients. Thirdly, to discuss communication models and strategies to enhance media and science responsibility. (shrink)
In their article published in Nanoethics, “Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Brain-Implants Using Nano-Scale Materials and Techniques”, Berger et al. suggest that there may be a prima facie moral obligation to improve neuro implants with nanotechnology given their possible therapeutic advantages for patients [Nanoethics, 2:241–249]. Although we agree with Berger et al. that developments in nanomedicine hold the potential to render brain implant technologies less invasive and to better target neural stimulation to respond to brain impairments in the near (...) future, we argue against presenting the development of nanobionic clinical devices in terms of a moral obligation to conduct this research. In the first part of the paper, we consider what a duty to pursue new technologies might mean, and in the second we explore some of the negative consequences of defending such development as a moral obligation based on potential benefit. We argue that promoting the advances available to brain implants through developments in nanotechnology and bionics could contribute to medical rhetoric that indirectly increases the risk of exposing patients to harm when participating in clinical trials. We argue that rather than there being a moral obligation to improve nanobionics implants because of their potential benefit, the pursuit of improved neuro implants must be balanced against the prima facie obligations to protect patients against harm and to promote and protect patient autonomy. (shrink)
In her article, Pascale Hess raises the issue of whether her proposed model may be extrapolated and applied to clinical research fields other than stem cell-based interventions in the brain (SCBI-B) (Hess 2012). Broadly summarized, Hess’s model suggests prioritizing efficacy over safety in phase 1 trials involving irreversible interventions in the brain, when clinical criteria meet the appropriate population suffering from “degenerative brain diseases” (Hess 2012). Although there is a need to reconsider the traditional phase 1 model, especially with respect (...) to first-in-human clinical trials involving novel technologies, the question arises as to whether it is appropriate to advocate for a new model that prioritizes efficacy over safety across all phase 1 clinical research trials involving irreversible interventions in the brain. -/- . (shrink)
IntroductionCardiology is characterized by its state-of-the-art biomedical technology and the predominance of Evidence-Based Medicine. This predominance makes it difficult for healthcare professionals to deal with the ethical dilemmas that emerge in this subspecialty. This paper is a first endeavor to empirically investigate the axiological foundations of the healthcare professionals in a cardiology hospital. Our pilot study selected, as the target population, cardiology personnel not only because of their difficult ethical deliberations but also because of the stringent conditions in which they (...) have to make them. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reconsider clinical ethics and Value-Based Medicine. This study proposes a qualitative analysis of the values and the virtues of healthcare professionals in a cardiology hospital in order to establish how the former impact upon the medical and ethical decisions made by the latter.ResultsWe point out the need for strengthening the roles of healthcare personnel as educators and guidance counselors in order to meet the ends of medicine, as well as the need for an ethical discernment that is compatible with our results, namely, that the ethical values developed by healthcare professionals stem from their life history as well as their professional education.ConclusionWe establish the kind of actions, communication skills and empathy that are required to build a stronger patient-healthcare professional relationship, which at the same time improves prognosis, treatment efficiency and therapeutic adhesion. (shrink)
The paper explores the question of the relationship between the practice of original philosophical inquiry and the study of the history of philosophy. It is written from my point of view as someone starting a research project in the history of philosophy that calls this issue into question, in order to review my starting positions. I argue: first, that any philosopher is sufficiently embedded in culture that her practice is necessarily historical; second, that original work is in fact in part (...) a reconstruction by reinterpretation of the past and that therefore it bears some relation to historiographic techniques for the restoration of damaged objects and texts; and third that the special oddities of the relations of present and past do not fail to ensnare the philosopher, who must restore the past but freely break from it. I describe this relationship as proleptic. Finally, I argue that this is a moral imperative in writing philosophy, derived from the imperative to be honest. (shrink)
Over the last half-century, quality control standards have had the perverse effect of restricting the circulation of non-commercially bred vegetable cultivars in Britain. Recent European and British legislation attempts to compensate for this loss of agrodiversity by relaxing genetic purity standards and the cost of seed marketing for designated “Amateur” and “Conservation” varieties. Drawing on fieldwork conducted at a British allotment site, this article cautions against bringing genetically heterogeneous cultivars into the commercial sphere. Such a move may intensify the horticultural (...) “deskilling” of British allotment gardeners, who have come to rely on commercial seed catalogs as sources of germplasm and knowledge. Horticultural deskilling also entails the delegation of seed selection activities to professional breeders and the potential loss of agrodiversity. The activities of dedicated seed savers who save and circulate the seed of genetically heterogeneous “heritage” varieties, in a manner similar to the management of landraces in the global South, may provide a better model for attempts to safeguard vegetable diversity in the global North. (shrink)
This symposium explores the well-being of Latinx farmworkers living and laboring in the United States. Our primary aim is to take a deeper look at the lived experiences of farmworkers. In the introduction, we explore the various ways in which well-being is framed in diverse academic disciplines, and how the concept of well-being has been employed in previous research on Latinx farmworkers. We argue that ethnographic methods have potential to represent farmworker experiences in a more nuanced manner than many other (...) social science approaches. We advocate further research and action in terms of farmworker safety, health, food security and food provisioning, rural isolation and access to housing, poverty and job security. Finally, we argue that farmworkers should be considered active and important actors in the context of global environmental change. Ultimately, the well-being of armworkers is co-dependent on global environmental health and sustainability. (shrink)
A finished sketch for a light-and-shadow projection device by the Paduan mechanical artisan Johannes de Fontana (c.1395–1455), in his manuscript book of drawings now known as Liber Bellicorum Instrumentorum, depicts a machine for communicating ideas or information through spectacle. The manuscript is fairly well known, and this sketch is just one of many interesting images worthy of study in its 70 leaves. A couple dozen manuscripts of the mechanical arts from this period survive, the best-studied of which fall into the (...) “Sienese school” and the “German school.” Fontana falls outside these, for he had far less influence than the Sienese. His work also is too early, it seems, to count in narratives directed toward the flowering of technological illustration in the sixteenth century. Of his images of subjects other than hydraulic and military machines only one deep study has been made, concerning two of the automata, although the present sketch has lately attracted a glance or two. Historians of technology pay scant attention to the first half of the fifteenth century, five decades that seem merely to repeat medieval knowledge and have the disadvantage to their prestige of falling “before Leonardo.” Whether one views Fontana as an engineer or as a science fiction illustrator, a great deal in the manuscript has not been given its due. The brief normative account in the literature so far on Fontana focuses on politics and warfare. My account in the case of his castellus image in this paper emphasizes issues of imagery, communication, subjectivity, moral feeling, spiritual life, and personhood. This account runs along two lines. For the first, I will suggest some untried ideas for approaching this image. In part this is in pursuit of what Jonathan Sawday calls the imaginative history of machines and mechanisms, though more largely it concerns contributing to a broad-range history of communication and persuasion. If we look at the image from our standpoint in aworld accustomed to the reproduction of images, we readily see in it an early step toward our present control of the display and diffusion of images. Fontana’s castle of shadows(castellus umbrarum), based on a worldwide transfer of technical knowledge about imagery in antiquity (and even in pre-history), presents some of the continuing questions driving thereproduction of imagery and the dispersal of information. As a practical matter, a sense ofproximity to Fontana and his time, as opposed to a sense of untranslatable distance, helps to broaden the historiography. My second line of thought is to oppose my account of Fontana’s’s castellus to an interpretation, and to the thinking behind it, that has started to appear on the borders of disciplinary history. This other interpretation reflects an increasingly influential approach to the history of technology and cultural theory that employs a growing and powerful line of philosophical thought. In 2003 Philippe Codognet, a philosopher of technology, published an essay in which he described Fontana’s castle of shadows as a specimen of the pre-historyof virtual reality devices. His reference of the castle of shadows is a bit casual, perhaps accidental in feeling; but it has begun to stimulate interest in Fontana’s striking idea and hasgiven it a bit of renown. Codognet’s view (along with his reproduction of the image) has been picked up by thinkers who are concerned with post-humanistic ideas derived from philosophical work in which the distinction between human persons and objects is deflated in such a way that both persons and objects are correctly characterized by attributes commonly divided into subjective and objective. What’s more, they are characterized by attributes that, under this view, are incorrectly distinguished from one another as the human, the organic, and the inorganic. The ontology supporting this approach denies the privileged epistemological relationship of humans to the world. This school of thought is object-oriented ontology, also known in a more radical form as speculative realism. Its potential influence on historiography is great, and part of it is and will be valuable. Its current actual influence is centered on medieval cultural studies and on the history of technology. (shrink)
Problems with clinical research that create conflicts between doctors' therapeutic and research obligations may be fueled by a rigid view of science as determiner of truth, a heavy reliance on statistics, and certain features of randomized clinical trials. I suggest some creative, feminist approaches to such research and explore ways to provide choice for patients and to use values in directing both therapy and science - to enhance the effectiveness of each.
Although Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen and modified to be an organism that would facilitate a reductionist program for neurogenetics, recent research has provided evidence for properties that are emergent from the neurons. While neurogenetic advances have been made using C. elegans which may be useful in explaining human neurobiology, there are severe limitations on C. elegans to explain any significant human behavior.
Alfred Freddoso has argued that Cartesian dualism cannot serve as the model for a philosophical anthropology that will be consistent with the plain sense of Church teachings. I disagree. Although the interpretation of Cartesian dualism to which Freddoso objects is not unwarranted by the Cartesian texts, a close reading of those texts suggests a diff erent interpretation. I shall defend a reading of Cartesian dualism that departs from the one which Freddoso discusses. I shall then demonstrate that this alternative reading (...) is consonant with the teachings of the Church. (shrink)
This is an attempt to clarify the relation between Schmitt and Hobbes by examining Hobbes's thinking about enemies and enmity. On the one hand, Hobbes shares a strong war/crime distinction with Schmitt. On the other hand, Hobbes never suggests that lethal enmity gives a ?meaningful? tension to human life. Hobbes also describes the way feverish human minds may imagine enemies where none exist. This is another non?Schmittian theme. Although Schmitt was a profoundly anti?Hobbesian thinker for these and other reasons, an (...) examination of Hobbes with the Schmittian question (?who is the enemy??) in mind, proves exceptionally fruitful, opening up aspects of Hobbes's political theory that have hitherto lingered in obscurity. (shrink)
A common objection to Quine's set theory "New Foundations" is that it is inadequately motivated because the restriction on comprehension which appears to avert paradox is a syntactical trick. We present a semantic criterion for determining whether a class is a set which motivates NF.