This essay explores the epistemological significance of the kinds of beliefs that grow out of traumatic experiences, such as the rape survivor's belief that she is never safe. On current theories of justification, beliefs like this one are generally dismissed due to either insufficient evidence or insufficient propositional content. Here, Freedman distinguishes two discrete sides of the aftermath of psychic trauma, the shattered self and the shattered worldview. This move enables us to see these beliefs as beliefs; in other (...) words, as having cognitive content. Freedman argues that what we then need is a theory of justification that allows us to handpick reliable sources of information on sexual violence, and give credibility where deemed appropriate. She advances a mix of reliabilism and coherentism that privileges feminism. On this account, the evidence for the class of beliefs in question will depend on an act of sexual violence (or testimony, or statistics) to the extent that the act is a reliable indication of the prevalence of sexual violence against women. (shrink)
There have been many efforts to infer causation from association byusing statistical models. Algorithms for automating this processare a more recent innovation. In Humphreys and Freedman[(1996) British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47, 113–123] we showed that one such approach, by Spirtes et al., was fatally flawed. Here we put our arguments in a broader context and reply to Korb and Wallace [(1997) British Journal for thePhilosophy of Science 48, 543–553] and to Spirtes et al.[(1997) British Journal for (...) the Philosophy of Science 48, 555–568]. Their arguments leave our position unchanged: claims to have developed a rigorous engine for inferring causation from association are premature at best, the theorems have no implications for samples of any realistic size, and the examples used to illustrate the algorithms are indicative of failure rather than success. The gap between association and causation has yet to be bridged. (shrink)
Nanotechnology: Considering the Complex Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues with the Parameters of Human Performance Content Type Journal Article Pages 265-275 DOI 10.1007/s11569-008-0047-6 Authors Linda MacDonald Glenn, Albany Medical College/Center Alden March Bioethics Institute Albany NY 12208 USA Jeanann S. Boyce, Montgomery College Dept. of Computer Science and Business 7600 Takoma Avenue Takoma Park MD 20912 USA Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757 Journal Volume Volume 2 Journal Issue Volume 2, Number 3.
In this powerful memoir, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman travels back to a Paris night in 1990 when she was twenty-two and, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever by a brutal rape. _One Hour in Paris_ takes the reader on a harrowing yet inspirational journey through suffering and recovery both personal and global. We follow Freedman from an apartment in Paris to a French courtroom, then from a trauma center in Toronto to a rape clinic in (...) Africa. At a time when as many as one in three women in the world have been victims of sexual assault and when many women are still ashamed to come forward, Freedman’s book is a moving and essential look at how survivors cope and persevere. At once deeply intimate and terrifyingly universal, _One Hour in Paris _weaves together Freedman’s personal experience with the latest philosophical, neuroscientific, and psychological insights on what it means to live in a body that has been traumatized. Using her background as a philosopher, she looks at the history of psychological trauma and draws on recent theories of posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroplasticity to show how recovery from horrific experiences is possible. Through frank discussions of sex and intimacy, she explores the consequences of sexual violence for love and relationships, and she illustrates the steep personal cost of sexual violence and the obstacles faced by individual survivors in its aftermath. Freedman’s book is an urgent call to face this fundamental social problem head-on, arguing that we cannot continue to ignore the fact that sexual violence against women is rooted in gender inequalities that exist worldwide—and must be addressed. _One Hour in Paris_ is essential reading for survivors of sexual violence as well as an invaluable resource for therapists, mental health professionals, and family members and friends of victims. (shrink)
Authors frequently refer to gene-based selection in biological evolution, the reaction of the immune system to antigens, and operant learning as exemplifying selection processes in the same sense of this term. However, as obvious as this claim may seem on the surface, setting out an account of “selection” that is general enough to incorporate all three of these processes without becoming so general as to be vacuous is far from easy. In this target article, we set out such a general (...) account of selection to see how well it accommodates these very different sorts of selection. The three fundamental elements of this account are replication, variation, and environmental interaction. For selection to occur, these three processes must be related in a very specific way. In particular, replication must alternate with environmental interaction so that any changes that occur in replication are passed on differentially because of environmental interaction. One of the main differences among the three sorts of selection that we investigate concerns the role of organisms. In traditional biological evolution, organisms play a central role with respect to environmental interaction. Although environmental interaction can occur at other levels of the organizational hierarchy, organisms are the primary focus of environmental interaction. In the functioning of the immune system, organisms function as containers. The interactions that result in selection of antibodies during a lifetime are between entities (antibodies and antigens) contained within the organism. Resulting changes in the immune system of one organism are not passed on to later organisms. Nor are changes in operant behavior resulting from behavioral selection passed on to later organisms. But operant behavior is not contained in the organism because most of the interactions that lead to differential replication include parts of the world outside the organism. Changes in the organism's nervous system are the effects of those interactions. The role of genes also varies in these three systems. Biological evolution is gene-based (i.e., genes are the primary replicators). Genes play very different roles in operant behavior and the immune system. However, in all three systems, iteration is central. All three selection processes are also incredibly wasteful and inefficient. They can generate complexity and novelty primarily because they are so wasteful and inefficient. Key Words: evolution; immunology; interaction; operant behavior; operant learning; replication; selection; variation. (shrink)
Increasing evidence from psychology and neuroscience suggests that emotion plays an important and sometimes critical role in moral judgment and moral behavior. At the same time, there is increasing psychological and neuroscientific evidence that brain regions critical in emotional and moral capacity are impaired in psychopaths. We ask how the criminal law should accommodate these two streams of research, in light of a new normative and legal account of the criminal responsibility of psychopaths.
This paper reports the results of a four year study to measure the effect of a Business and Society course on the ethical judgment of students. The research involves a matched pre/post survey with control design, with the Business and Society course functioning as the treatment variable. The subjects were undergraduate and graduate (M.B.A.) business students (n=460). The answer to the question posed by the title of this paper is yes, in a more ethical direction.
For a long time, several natural phenomena have been considered unproblematically selection processes in the same sense of “selection.” In our target article we dealt with three of these phenomena: gene-based selection in biological evolution, the reaction of the immune system to antigens, and operant learning. We characterize selection in terms of three processes (variation, replication, and environmental interaction) resulting in the evolution of lineages via differential replication. Our commentators were largely supportive with respect to variation and environmental interaction but (...) critical with respect to replication, in particular its appeal to information. With some reservations, our commentators think that our general analysis of selection may fit gene-based selection in biological evolution and the reaction of the immune system but not operant learning. If nothing else, this article shows that the notion of selection is not as straightforward as it may seem. (shrink)
This paper compares the ethical decisions and attitudes of business students and practitioners. Recent unpublished data from a national study of over 1600 students are contrasted with information reported previously. Students are found consistently to make less ethical choices than practitioners, and there is some indication that students are making less ethical choices in the 1980s than in the 1960s. In addition, both students and practitioners agree that buyers should beware, view the role of business more narrowly, and find fewer (...) incentives to behave ethically over time. Codes of ethics appear to be less influential than the individual''s strong personal value system and one''s superiors behaving ethically; support for codes is declining. The paper concludes with observations about the limitations and possibilities for survey research in this area drawing on other studies that used the same instrument utilized for this paper. Some implications for future research are suggested. (shrink)
Helen Longino argues that the way to ensure scientific knowledge is objective is to have a diversity of scientific investigators. This is the best example of recent feminist arguments which hold that the real value of diversity is epistemic, and not political, but it only partly succeeds. In the end, Longino's objectivity amounts to intersubjective agreement about contextually based standards, and while her account gives us a good reason for wanting diversity in our scientific communities, this reason turns out to (...) be political. (shrink)
Duty and Healing positions ethical issues commonly encountered in clinical situations within Jewish law. The concept of duty is significant in exploring bioethical issues, and this book presents an authentic and non-parochial Jewish approach to bioethics, while it includes critiques of both current secular and Jewish literatures. Among the issues the book explores are the role of family in medical decision-making, the question of informed consent as a personal religious duty, and the responsibilities of caretakers. The exploration of contemporary ethical (...) problems in healthcare through the lens of traditional sources in Jewish law is an indispensable guide of moral knowledge. (shrink)
This experiment investigated the effect of format (line vs. bar), viewers’ familiarity with variables, and viewers’ graphicacy (graphical literacy) skills on the comprehension of multivariate (three variable) data presented in graphs. Fifty-five undergraduates provided written descriptions of data for a set of 14 line or bar graphs, half of which depicted variables familiar to the population and half of which depicted variables unfamiliar to the population. Participants then took a test of graphicacy skills. As predicted, the format influenced viewers’ interpretations (...) of data. Specifically, viewers were more likely to describe x–y interactions when viewing line graphs than when viewing bar graphs, and they were more likely to describe main effects and “z–y” (the variable in the legend) interactions when viewing bar graphs than when viewing line graphs. Familiarity of data presented and individuals’ graphicacy skills interacted with the influence of graph format. Specifically, viewers were most likely to generate inferences only when they had high graphicacy skills, the data were familiar and thus the information inferred was expected, and the format supported those inferences. Implications for multivariate data display are discussed. (shrink)
The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision published its policy statement and technical report on newborn circumcision in September 2012.1 ,2 Since that time, some individuals and groups have voiced objections to the work of the Task Force, while others have conveyed their support. The AAP task force is pleased that the policy statement and technical reports on circumcision have stimulated debate on this topic and welcomes respectful discussion and dialogue about the scientific and ethical issues that surround (...) neonatal circumcision. We believe this is a complex issue that does not lend itself to simplistic solutions. The Task Force encourages those of all viewpoints to contribute to a vibrant, thoughtful and respectful evidence-based dialogue. We appreciate that the free exchange of competing ideas is a necessary component of scientific discovery. We also recognise that all clinical decisions carry ethical dimensions and that a respectful and thoughtful dialogue about these issues is important. However, the Task Force also feels strongly that this debate and the academic literature are demeaned when those with an ideological agenda disseminate inaccurate information, misapply scientific principles, make accusations that are unsupported, communicate in a vitriolic tone, and attempt to discredit and mischaracterise alternative views and those who hold them. Healthy debate and …. (shrink)
A series of studies investigated the capacity of children between the ages of 7 and 12 to give free and informed consent to participation in psychological research. Children were reasonably accurate in describing the purpose of studies, but many did not understand the possible benefits or especially the possible risks of participating. In several studies children's consent was not affected by the knowledge that their parents had given their permission or by the parents saying that they would not be upset (...) if the children refused. In contrast, other studies found that children were much more likely to stop their participation if the experimenter said explicitly that she would not be upset if they stopped. We suggest that experimenters should pay more attention to describing the possible risks and benefits of participation in research, and that they should also make it clearer to children that they are free to stop once they have begun. (shrink)
After sketching the conflict between objectivists and subjectivists on the foundations of statistics, this paper discusses an issue facing statisticians of both schools, namely, model validation. Statistical models originate in the study of games of chance, and have been successfully applied in the physical and life sciences. However, there are basic problems in applying the models to social phenomena; some of the difficulties will be pointed out. Hooke's law will be contrasted with regression models for salary discrimination, the latter being (...) a fairly typical application in the social sciences. (shrink)
In summary, the usual elements of a typical health care ethics consultation note might reasonably accommodate the needs and expectations of relevant parties, and would therefore include: 1. identification of the relevant ethical issues, questions, or dilemmas; 2. reference to any relevant facts--medical, nursing, social, psychological, spiritual, legal, political, etc.; 3. a prioritized list of recommendations to improve coordinated care; 4. a clear and concise articulation of relevant arguments, wtih specific reference to the list of recommendations as well as to (...) the institution's overall ethos; 5. a contextual statement, identifying the perceived degree of consensus or support for the recommendations and conclusions, as well as any inherent agendas. (shrink)
Criticisms have been made against international laws and conventions on asylum and refugees, arguing that these have been based on a male model of definition, which have ignored women’s persecutions. This article will argue that recent developments in European asylum policy have the potential to deepen this discrimination and to further reduce the rights of female asylum seekers. Although there have been some positive developments in jurisprudence that have recognised that gender-specific persecution may be the basis for granting asylum, these (...) advances remain relatively sporadic and are undermined by the operation of random and discretionary exercises of power by bureaucrats and decision makers in many cases. Further, although new developments in asylum policy are in theory “gender neutral,” differences in the material circumstances of men and women who arrive to seek asylum may mean in effect that the implications of these policies are deeply gendered. (shrink)
Primary research on HIV/AIDS in India has predominantly focused on known risk groups such as sex workers, STI clinic attendees and long-distance truck drivers, and has largely been undertaken in urban areas. There is evidence of HIV spreading to rural areas but very little is known about the context of the infection or about issues relating to health and social impact on people living with HIV/AIDS. In-depth interviews with nineteen men and women infected with HIV who live in rural areas (...) were used to collect experiences of testing and treatment, the social impacts of living with HIV and differential impacts on women and men. Eight focus group discussions with groups drawn from the general population in the four villages were used to provide an analysis of community level views about HIV/AIDS. While men reported contracting HIV from sex workers in the cities, women considered their husbands to be the source of their infection. Correct knowledge about HIV transmission co-existed with misconceptions. Men and women tested for HIV reported inadequate counselling and sought treatment from traditional healers as well as professionals. Owing to the general pattern of husbands being the first to contract HIV women faced a substantial burden, with few resources remaining for their own or their children’s care after meeting the needs of sick husbands. Stigma and social isolation following widowhood were common, with an enforced return to the natal home. Implications for potential educational and service interventions are discussed within the context of gender and social relations. (shrink)
Doppelt (1986,1990), Siegel (1990), and Rosenberg (1996) argue that the pivotal feature of Laudan's normative naturalism, namely his axiology, lacks a naturalistic foundation. In this paper I show that this objection turns on a misunderstanding of Laudan's use of the term 'naturalism'. Specifically, I argue that there are two important senses of naturalism running through Laudan's work. Once these two strands are made explicit, the objection raised by Doppelt and others simply disappears.
Bub's criticism of Bell's locality postulate is discussed. The locality postulate is explained, and it is shown that Bub is in fact arguing against a class of theories which are subject to stronger restrictions than this postulate, and therefore his “refutation” of the latter is misleading.
OBJECTIVE: Pilot study to characterize treatment differences between patients treated in clinical trials and those treated in a clinical setting. Previous studies have shown higher survival rates for participants in trials of cancer therapy. This difference is observed even after rates are adjusted for important covariates such as age and stage of disease. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: Oncology outpatient department in a tertiary care hospital. PATIENTS: Ninety women 18 to 70 years of age with early-stage breast cancer who were (...) diagnosed in 1990. Fifty-one of the women were treated through clinical trials and 39 were treated outside of clinical trials. OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of blood tests, telephone calls, clinic visits and imaging procedures as well as intensity of chemotherapy and use of radiation therapy. The age of the patient and the stage of disease were important covariates. RESULTS: After the analysis was controlled for patient age and stage of disease, patients treated through a clinical trial were more likely to receive standard-dose chemotherapy (p = 0.020, 95% confidence interval 1.20 to 200.73) and more frequent blood tests (p < 0.001, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.13) than other patients treated in the clinic. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide a plausible mechanism for the observed survival advantage for participants in clinical trials in oncology. Further study is called for. If these results are confirmed, they have important implications for informed consent to participate in clinical trials and for clinical practice. (shrink)
Robert Brandom grants that an individual can know even if she cannot provide a reasoned defense of her non-accidentally true beliefs about the world. Brandom is wrong, I argue, to suggest that this phenomenon of super blindsightedness is rare or fringe. This oversight becomes clear when we turn from the eccentric example of the industrial chicken-sexer to the case of the survivor of sexual violence. What we have in this instance is a subject who, qua survivor, has certain reliably formed, (...) that is, non-accidentally true, beliefs about which she has deep conviction, but which she cannot defend because she has blocked from memory the details of her traumatic experience. She is super blindsighted. In light of the universality and everydayness of sexual violence this phenomenon is, I conclude, run of the mill. Thus, even if Brandom is right that reliabilism cannot replace reason-giving from its central role in a cognitive practice, it takes up a vital role alongside it. (shrink)