: This article examines Peirce's semiotic philosophy and its development in the light of his characterisations of "representationism" and "presentationism". In his definitions of these positions, Peirce overtly pits the representationists, who treat percepts as representatives, against the presentationists, according to whom percepts do not stand for hidden realities. The article shows that Peirce's early writings—in particular the essay "On the Doctrine of Immediate Perception" and certain key texts from the period 1868–9—advocate an inferentialist approach clearly associated with representationism. However, (...) although Peirce continues to deny the cognitive import of first impressions throughout his philosophical career, the new view of perception that emerges in the early 1900s indicates a significant move in the direction of a presentationist point of view, a development partly corresponding to changes in his theory of categories. The strongest evidence for this reading is found in Peirce's contention that the percept is not a sign. The discussion concludes with considerations of possible objections and alternatives to the proposed interpretation in addition to some reflections on the consequences and relevance of Peirce's turn toward presentationism. (shrink)
The article explains why Soviet dissidents and the reformers of the Gorbachev era chose to characterize the Soviet system as totalitarian. The dissidents and the reformers strongly disagreed among themselves about the origins of Soviet totalitarianism. But both groups stressed the effects of totalitarianism on the individual personality; in doing so, they revealed themselves to be the heirs of the tsarist intelligentsia. Although the concept of totalitarianism probably obscures more than it clarifies when it is applied to regimes like the (...) Nazi and the Soviet, the decision of the dissidents and the reformers to use the term enabled them to clarify their own values and the reasons they felt compelled to criticize the Soviet Union and to call for its radical reform. (shrink)
The subject of sexuality among elderly patients with dementia was examined, focusing on two main aspects: the sexual behaviour of institutionalized elderly people with dementia; and the reactions of other patients, staff and family members to this behaviour. The behaviour was found to be mostly heterosexual and ranged from love and caring to romance and outright eroticism. Reactions varied, being accepting of love and care but often objecting to erotic behaviour. Understanding of the sexual needs of elderly people should become (...) an integral part of the training and continued education of health care staff, thus helping to resolve conflicts and clarify common misconceptions. (shrink)
T. L. Short's Peirce's Theory of Signs offers a strong interpretation of semeiotic, advocating a developmental and naturalistic position. This commentary examines some of the main features of Short's approach, raising a number of critical questions concerning the growth of Peirce's thought and the problem of anthropomorphism. First, two possible weaknesses in Short's account of the development of semeiotic, connected to the treatment of the "New List of Categories" and the role of the index, are noted. Next, the menace of (...) anthropomorphism is placed in the context of Peirce's startling affirmation of this point of view. Finally, the article draws attention to Short's bold claim that Peirce's theory of signs needs to be modified in order to accommodate a plurality of final interpretants in view of varying purposes. (shrink)
: T. L. Short's Peirce's Theory of Signs offers a strong interpretation of semeiotic, advocating a developmental and naturalistic position. This commentary examines some of the main features of Short's approach, raising a number of critical questions concerning the growth of Peirce's thought and the problem of anthropomorphism. First, two possible weaknesses in Short's account of the development of semeiotic, connected to the treatment of the "New List of Categories" and the role of the index, are noted. Next, the menace (...) of anthropomorphism is placed in the context of Peirce's startling affirmation of this point of view. Finally, the article draws attention to Short's bold claim that Peirce's theory of signs needs to be modified in order to accommodate a plurality of final interpretants in view of varying purposes. (shrink)
Paternalism in the medical care of children is appropriate and ethically justifiable. However, dilemmatic disagreement by paternalistic agents as to which clinical choice is in the child's best interest may occur because of the underlying conflict between two rival standards for the moral value of life: longevity versus quality. Neither standard is unreasonable. Either could be the basis for choice of medical care by the parents or by the pediatrician. Having the child choose between options disputed by his parents and (...) the pediatrician is unlikely to resolve their conflict. Exercise of informed consent by the adolescent requires agreement by his parents to relinquish their paternalistic veto. The probable best-interest choice by the child when he has matured could be reasonably made from either standard. Therefore, the longevity/quality of life question ought not ordinarily to be foreclosed by paternalistic authority which opts for one standard to the exclusion of the other. Medical interventions, paternalistically determined, are justified in the face of deteriorating quality, but only as long as the interventions themselves do not cause deterioration. Application of this limitation of paternalism to the zone of agreement between the rival life standards is made to clinical case examples. Multiple extrinsic criteria may measure the quality of life. Three quality factors, sensation of pain, capacity to communicate and physical functioning are considered. The extent of the zone of agreement between the two life standards varies because quality of life is a relative good, contingent both upon which extrinsic criteria are selected to assess it and upon the priorities which are set among these criteria. (shrink)
This article describes, analyzes, and advocates for management of clinical healthcare conflict by a process commonly referred to as bioethics mediation. Section I provides a brief introduction to classical mediation outside the realm of clinical healthcare. Section II highlights certain distinguishing characteristics of bioethics mediation. Section III chronicles the history of bioethics mediation and references a number of seminal writings on the subject. Finally, Section IV analyzes barriers that have, thus far, limited the widespread implementation of bioethics mediation.