There is little to refute in Collerton et al.'s argument that recurrent complex visual hallucinations involve multiple physiological mechanisms, and the target article's proposed PAD model implicitly incorporates this concept, advancing the field. The novel concept in this model is the intrusion of hallucinatory proto-objects into relatively preserved scenes. The weakness of the model is the lack of physiological detail for this mechanism.
Daniel Halliday examines the morality of the right to bequeath or transfer wealth, and argues that inheritance is unjust to the extent that it enhances the intergenerational replication of inequality, concentrating opportunities in certain groups. He presents an egalitarian case for imposition of a significant inheritance tax.
The gift of life argument, the claim that suicide is immoral because our lives are not ours to dispose of as we are their guardians or stewards, is a persistent theme in debates about the morality of suicide, assisted-suicide, and euthanasia. I argue that this argument suffers from a fatal internal incoherence. The gift can either be interpreted literally or analogically. If it is interpreted literally there are serious problems in understanding who receives the gift. If it is understood analogically (...) the question arises whether the gift is understood to be a finite or everlasting existence. If it is finite then it is hard to see how one can be punished for bringing that existence to an end for one will not be around to be punished. If the existence is infinite it is impossible to see how one can be punished for ending one’s life because one cannot end it. However, there is still ethical mileage to be gained from the description of life as a gift and in the concluding section I indicate one way in which this is so. (shrink)
This article defends the view that markets in education need to be restricted, in light of the problem posed by what I call the ‘educational arms race’. Markets in education have a tendency to distort an important balance between education’s role as a gatekeeper – its ‘screening’ function – and its role in helping children develop as part of a preparation for adult life. This tendency is not merely a contingent fact about markets: It can be traced to ways in (...) which education is a partly positional good and how markets respond to demand for positional goods over non-positional goods. The problem with arms races is that they allow markets to facilitate wider use of defection in a collective action problem. Using these claims, I argue that markets in education have a distinctive tendency to become objectionably exploitative. I conclude by applying some of my conclusions to illuminate various egalitarian claims about justice in education. (shrink)
This paper examines a rarely-discussed argument for the right to bequeath wealth. This argument, popular among libertarians, asserts that opposition to the practice of inheritance is prone to over-generalize, such that opponents of inheritance cannot avoid condemning other uses of private property, like gift-giving. The argument is motivated by an interesting methodological claim, namely, that the morality of bequest ought to be evaluated from the perspective of the donor, and not evaluated in ways that invoke the effects of bequest on (...) the distribution of wealth. This paper argues that this donor-centric approach ultimately favors restricting the right of bequest. Specifically, I maintain that bequest generally carries a lower opportunity cost than other uses of property. Accordingly, inheritance tax is less coercive than other taxes, and bequest is less obviously as generous an act as gift giving. While the arguments made here will encourage traditional opponents of inheritance (such as egalitarians), I also suggest why they might be welcomed by at least some types of libertarian. (shrink)
The concept of medical futility has come to be seen in some quarters as a value-neutral trump card when dealing with issues of power and conflicting values in medicine. I argue that this concept is potentially useful, but only in a social context that provides a normative framework for its use. This social context needs to include a broad consensus about the purpose of medicine and the nature of the physician-patient relationship.
In this paper, I am going to explore some of the moral considerations relating to smoking licences. And I shall offer a limited defence of licences as a replacement for sales tax on tobacco products. This defence will include some moral arguments in favour of one particular licence design over others.
This paper is concerned with Rawls's (1993) account of an overlapping consensus and recent proposals to introduce citizenship education in parts of the UK. It is argued that both Rawls and the proposals mistake the significance and nature of such a consensus. Partly as a result of this mistake the proposals are insufficiently radical.
Contextualists about knowledge ascriptions perceive an analogy between the semantics they posit for “know(s)” and the semantics of comparative terms like “tall” and “flat”. Jason Stanley has recently raised a number of objections to this view. This paper offers a response by way of an alternative analogy with modified comparatives, which resolves most of Stanley’s objections. Rather than being ad hoc, this new analogy in fact fits better with platitudes about knowledge and facilitates a better understanding of the semantics of (...) gradability, such that an explanation of most of Stanley’s disanalogies becomes available. In addition, I argue that there are reasons to doubt Stanley’s claim that “knows(s)” cannot switch its content within a discourse, due to what may happen when we ascribe knowledge of more than one proposition. (shrink)
Epistemological contextualism is often defended by appealing to the context sensitivity of our intuitions about knowledge ascriptions. A popular invariantist response is to explain this feature by an appeal to pragmatic implicature. In this paper I argue that this rejoinder faces a hitherto underestimated problem relating to the fact that such supposed implicatures do not appear cancellable, contrary to what we should expect. I defend contextualism by demonstrating that the current invariantist explanation of this lack of cancellability is unsuccessful, owing (...) to a failure to appreciate the diversity of circumstances in which knowledge ascriptions may be used. (shrink)
This article provides a survey of various topics in which questions about taxation feature alongside questions about justice. It seeks to argue mainly that taxation is a rather fragmentary domain of inquiry about which it is hard to envisage the development of views about what justice requires with respect to tax policy in general. Guided by this idea, the article attempts to highlight some aspects of taxation whose connection with justice has been under-explored by philosophers, as well as to acquaint (...) the reader with a sense of the more thoroughly researched areas. (shrink)
G.E. Moore’s principle of organic unity holds that the intrinsic value of a whole may differ from the sum of the intrinsic values of its parts. Moore combined this principle with invariabilism about intrinsic value: An item’s intrinsic value depends solely on its bearer’s intrinsic properties, not on which wholes it has membership of. It is often said that invariabilism ought to be rejected in favour of what might be called ‘conditionalism’ about intrinsic value. This paper is an attempt to (...) show how invariabilism might be ﬁlled out in ways that allow its proponents to answer their conditionalist opponents. The main point consists in identifying how some amount of extrinsic part-value may contribute to whole-value that is nevertheless intrinsic. This enables an invariabilist to explain how the intrinsic value of a whole may differ from the sum of its intrinsic part-values, without abandoning the Moorean doctrine that intrinsic value supervenes on intrinsic properties (the proposal is nevertheless consistent with the view that invariabilist and conditionalist accounts might exist side by side). I ﬁnish with a brief explanation of how the main proposal could help construct invariabilist accounts of particular organic unities, looking beyond the more general argument they have with conditionalists. (shrink)
This paper focuses on recent debates over the nature ofliberalism and its central feature of reason, both inside and outside ofeducational philosophy. Central ideas from Jonathan and Hirst contributeas do those from Rawls, Gadamer, Wittgenstein, Taylor, and Ackermantoward a less traditional contextualized and contingent view.
Transcription is a fundamental cellular process and the first step in gene regulation. Although RNA polymerase (RNAP) is highly processive, in growing cells the progression of transcription can be hindered by obstacles on the DNA template, such as damaged DNA. The authors recent findings highlight a trade‐off between transcription fidelity and DNA break repair. While a lot of work has focused on the interaction between transcription and nucleotide excision repair, less is known about how transcription influences the repair of DNA (...) breaks. The authors suggest that when the cell experiences stress from DNA breaks, the control of RNAP processivity affects the balance between preserving transcription integrity and DNA repair. Here, how the conflict between transcription and DNA double‐strand break (DSB) repair threatens the integrity of both RNA and DNA are discussed. In reviewing this field, the authors speculate on cellular paradigms where this equilibrium is well sustained, and instances where the maintenance of transcription fidelity is favored over genome stability. (shrink)
This paper addresses the issue of how lifelonglearning, globalisation and capitalism arerelated within late modernity. It is criticalof the argument that there is now anincreasingly homogenous global economy that isknowledge based and that unambiguously requiresa high level of cognitive skills in itsworkers. The idea that globalisation producessuch rapid changes in the world of work thatlearning must be ongoing to cope with it ischallenged.
Contemporary discussions of the relationship between negligence liability and the provision of services by both public and private organizations frequently suggest the emergence of a ‘compensation culture’. Despite empirical evidence that compensation culture claims are somewhat inflated, an anxiety persists that risks of tortious liability may still undermine the implementation of public policy. Concerns about the potential negative effects of liability on public administration frame the problem in various ways. First, there is an anxiety that public authorities may overreact to (...) liability risks by becoming excessively risk averse. Secondly, there is a fear that compensation claiming will divert financial resources away from service delivery and towards the payment of insurance premiums and compensation awards. Thirdly, there is the fear that insurance companies will, as ‘risk bullies’, curtail public service activities. And, finally, there is the suggestion that risk management, including legal risk management, is becoming the dominant mode of government decision-making to the exclusion of professional judgement. This article addresses these concerns through a set of empirical case studies about the management of liability risks associated with road maintenance services. Although our findings suggest that public authorities respond to liability risks in a variety of ways, we found only limited evidence of the above concerns. In general terms, it was a case of public authorities being risk aware and responsive as opposed to risk averse. (shrink)