Whole-genome analysis and whole-exome analysis generate many more clinically actionable findings than traditional targeted genetic analysis. These findings may be relevant to research participants themselves as well as for members of their families. Though researchers performing genomic analyses are likely to find medically significant genetic variations for nearly every research participant, what they will find for any given participant is unpredictable. The ubiquity and diversity of these findings complicate questions about disclosing individual genetic test results. We outline an approach for (...) disclosing a select range of genetic results to the relatives of research participants who have died, developed in response to relatives? requests during a pilot study of large-scale medical genetic sequencing. We also argue that studies that disclose individual research results to participants should, at a minimum, passively disclose individual results to deceased participants? relatives. (shrink)
Previous research on cross-situational word learning has demonstrated that learners are able to reduce ambiguity in mapping words to referents by tracking co-occurrence probabilities across learning events. In the current experiments, we examined whether learners are able to retain mappings over time. The results revealed that learners are able to retain mappings for up to 1 week later. However, there were interactions between the amount of retention and the different learning conditions. Interestingly, the strongest retention was associated with a learning (...) condition that engendered retrieval dynamics that initially challenged the learner but eventually led to more successful retrieval toward the end of learning. The ease/difficulty of retrieval is a critical process underlying cross-situational word learning and is a powerful example of how learning dynamics affect long-term learning outcomes. (shrink)
The enforcement of racial segregation during apartheid was aimed not only at regulating public spaces, residential areas and the workforce, but also at shaping the subjectivities of individuals who were socialised to see themselves through the lens of a white racial hierarchy. The ideology of white supremacy and superiority that informed apartheid policy was largely justified using Christonormative epistemologies that sought to legitimate the racial hierarchy as having basis in Holy Scripture and as an extension of God’s will. At the (...) same time, apartheid policy fragmented religious communities, entrenching race as a central component of spiritual subjectivities. Twenty years after the end of apartheid, the legacy of apartheid continues to shape the lives and opportunities of all people living in South Africa, despite many gains made in working towards a non-racial, non-sexist democracy. While much scholarly attention has been paid to postapartheid contexts of work, residency and recreation, relatively little attention has been paid to spaces of worship. This is surprising, given that religious belief and practice are widespread in South Africa in the first instance, and that Christian belief, in particular, was so central to the social imaginary of apartheid, in the second. Thus, in efforts to transform society and advance social justice, it is imperative to consider diversity, difference and otherness from the perspective of, and in relation to, contemporary religious communities and contexts. This article will consider some of the factors shaping dynamics of diversity and difference within the context of religious communities in South Africa, over 20 years into democracy. (shrink)
Voices on the political right have long claimed that the welfare state ought to be kept small, and that charities can take over many of the tasks involved in helping those at the bottom of society. The arguments in favor of this claim are controversial, but even if they are accepted at face value the policy proposal remains problematic. For the proposal presupposes that charities would, in fact, be able to raise enough money to provide adequate help to those in (...) need, and therefore assumes that charities are able to very significantly increase the number and/or size of donations they receive. We argue that there are good reasons for doubting that charities will be able to do this. Our argument turns on the fact that the most powerful strategy for eliciting donations—namely, allowing donors to use their donation to signal their pro-sociality—has an inbuilt upper limit. If too much emphasis is placed on the signaling opportunities donating to charity provides, donating no longer functions as an effective signal and the motivation to donate declines. (shrink)
Contestations over the rights of sexual minorities and gender-nonconforming people in Africa are profoundly shaped by two discourses that both emerge from polarized domestic political debates in the United States: a human rights–centered discourse of “LGBT*I” identity politics that promotes visibility and equal protections and privileges for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and intersex individuals; and a Christonormative “family values” agenda that promotes the heterosexual nuclear family as the foundation of civilization. Analysis considers these contemporary discourses in relation to entangled colonial (...) constructions of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy used to justify the conquest and exploitation of Africa. This article takes particular interest in the power relations that are constituted through these discourses so as to uncover the underlying interests at stake within them. Through consultation with critiques advanced within critical race and critical queer theory, and critical philosophical arguments on the epistemic dimensions of racialized, sexed, and gendered oppressions, it is argued that these discourses advance U.S. hegemonic interests and reinscribe Western hegemony. It is concluded that struggles for equality among sexual minorities and gender-nonconforming people must be approached as part-and-parcel of decolonial struggles to dismantle white supremacist and Western structures of oppression. (shrink)
In Eckhart, Heidegger, and the Imperative of Releasement, Ian Alexander Moore investigates Martin Heidegger’s use of releasement. Moore argues that this conceptual development was greatly influenced by Meister Eckhart’s thought. In addition to their shared use of releasement, Moore suggests, both Heidegger and Eckhart share similar philosophical strategies. The task of Moore’s monograph is to illuminate how releasement functions in Heidegger’s work and to argue that Eckhart was one of Heidegger’s central influences. This review examines Moore’s method for assessing the (...) function of releasement in Heidegger and Eckhart’s thought, while noting the distinctive and compelling aspects of this monograph. (shrink)
The colonization of a new planet will inevitably bring about new bioethical issues. One is the possibility of pregnancy during the mission. During the journey to the target planet or moon, and for the first couple of years before a colony has been established and the colony has been accommodated for children, a pregnancy would jeopardize the safety of the crew and the wellbeing of the child. The principal concern with a pregnancy during an interplanetary mission is that it could (...) put the entire crew in danger. Resources such as air, food, and medical supplies will be limited and calculated to keep the crew members alive. We explore the bioethical concerns of near-future space travel. (shrink)
The information theoretic principle of rational adaptation predicts that individuals with aphasia adapt to their language impairments by relying more heavily on comparatively unimpaired non-linguistic knowledge to communicate. This prediction was examined by assessing the extent to which adults with chronic aphasia due to left-hemisphere stroke rely more on conceptual rather than lexical information during verb retrieval, as compared to age-matched neurotypical controls. A primed verb naming task examined the degree of facilitation each participant group received from either conceptual event-related (...) or lexical collocate cues, compared to unrelated baseline cues. The results provide evidence that adults with aphasia received amplified facilitation from conceptual cues compared to controls, whereas healthy controls received greater facilitation from lexical cues. This indicates that adaptation to alternative and relatively unimpaired information may facilitate successful word retrieval in aphasia. Implications for models of rational adaptation and clinical neurorehabilitation are discussed. (shrink)
Background Financial relationships between physicians and industry are extensive and public reporting of industry payments to physicians is now occurring. Our objectives were to describe physician recipients of large total payments from these seven companies, and to examine discrepancies between these payments and conflict of interest (COI) disclosures in authors’ concurrent publications. Methods The investigative journalism organization, ProPublica, compiled the Dollars for Docs database of payments to individuals from publically available data from seven US pharmaceutical companies during the period 2009 (...) to 2010. We examined the cohort of 373 physicians in this database who each received USD $100,000 or more in the reporting period 2009 to 2010. Results These physicians received a total of $52,600,624 during this period (mean payment per physician $141,020). The predominant specialties were internal medicine and psychiatry. 147 of these physicians authored a total of 134 publications in the first quarter of 2011 and 77% (103) of these publications provided a COI disclosure. 69% of the 103 publications did not contain disclosures of the payment listed in the Dollars for Docs database. Conclusions With increased public reporting of industry payments to physicians, it is apparent that large sums are being paid for services such as consulting and peer education. In over two-thirds of publications where COI disclosures were provided, the disclosures by physician authors did not include industry payments that were documented in the Dollars for Docs database. (shrink)
Hortense Spillers ends “Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe” with a provocative suggestion: “Actually claiming the monstrosity … ‘Sapphire’ might rewrite after all a radically different text for female empowerment.” In this article, I knead the material, representational, and performative powers operating through conceptually separate and yet deeply entangled contested terrains: the “real,” or the scene of “actual mutilation,” whose high crimes against the flesh coincide with the construction of the “symbolic.” Through Baradian performativity, I read Spillers's theorization on the name as (...) an event wherein proprietary relationships, which necessarily oscillate between material/signification binaries, are called forth in historical terrain in the moment of racial address. Paying close attention to her grammar, the first half of this article tracks Spillers's movement through an undercurrent of American historical mythology that, as she demonstrates, misnames the black mother. The rest of this article then takes up to what extent certain “mocking doubles”—minstrel and/or monstrous tropes resuscitated but not redeemed or even necessarily renamed—might agitate their way toward new texts for female empowerment and the cultivation of the black mother's power to “name.”. (shrink)
Machery proposes that the construct of detracts from research progress. However, ignoring development also detracts from research progress. Developmental research has advanced our understanding of how concepts are acquired and thus is essential to a complete theory. We propose a framework that both accounts for development and holds great promise as a new direction for thinking about concepts.
Performance measurement has far-reaching implications for not-for-profit organizations because it serves to legitimize, attract resources, and preserve expectations of stakeholders. However, the existing theory and practice of not-for-profit performance measurement have fallen short, due in part, to an overuse of profit-oriented philosophies. Therefore, we examine not-for-profit performance measurement by utilizing Marques’ “five spiritual practices of Buddhism.” Marques’ spiritual practices—a pro-scientific philosophy, greater personal responsibility, healthy detachment, collaboration, and embracing a wholesome view—are the foundation of our research design. Responses from senior (...) not-for-profit practitioners support the linkages between spiritual practices and not-for-profit performance measurement. We identify three essential performance measurement principles and elaborate on their capacity to generate awareness, higher meaning, and connectedness within not-for-profits. (shrink)
We examine how the shift to remote work altered responsibilities for domestic labor among partnered couples and single parents. The study draws on data from a nationally representative survey of 2,200 US adults, including 478 partnered parents and 151 single parents, in April 2020. The closing of schools and child care centers significantly increased demands on working parents in the United States, and in many circumstances reinforced an unequal domestic division of labor.
_ The Subject of Human Being_ discusses the basic powers of human kind arising from the foundation of the biological brain and manifesting in extraordinary psychological and social capacities and developments. The book consolidates theoretical insights into social ontology from several thinkers, whose profound advances toward understanding the relationship between individuals and society ought to revolutionize social theory as understood and practiced in the social sciences and humanities. Drawing from critical realist social theory developed by Bhaskar and Margaret Archer, John (...) Searle’s philosophy of mind and social ontology, Husserlean and Sartrean phenomenology of consciousness, and Lacanian and existential psychoanalytic theory, the book seeks to portray a unified social ontology that is materialist, emergent, realist, dialectical, processual, and liberatory. Offering a dialectical and progressive view of human being to counter the forces of exploitation and division inflicted on human kind and the ecosystems in which we reside, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of critical realism, philosophy and sociology. (shrink)
In Emotions, Values, and Agency, Christine Tappolet develops a sophisticated, perceptual theory of emotions and their role in wide range of issues in value theory and epistemology. In this paper, we raise three worries about Tappolet's proposal.
Food producers have answered increasing consumer demand for transparency through disclosure of information on food labels. Food safety labels act as a signal to consumers that certain products may pose a risk to human health. These labels are based on developments in microbiology and/or represent a required response to foodborne illness outbreaks. However, the scope of the risk posed by product consumption, as well as who is most vulnerable to harm, varies based on the ethical reasoning underlying the presence of (...) the label on the package. This paper applies Thompson ‘s theory on two contrasting ethical approaches to risk communication – choice optimization and informed consent – to evaluate the four most common food safety labels in the US: i) unpasteurized juice warnings; ii) egg carton safe handling instructions; iii) consumer advisories on restaurant menus; and iv) date labeling. While the choice optimization approach dictates that food safety labels are a necessary tool to equip consumers with specific information that will promote public health, informed consent obliges producers to disclose all relevant risk information so consumers can choose one product or another based on its adherence to individual values. This paper finds that the US food safety regime represents a blending of these two ethical foundations, leading to substantial variation in risk consumer tolerance and/or aversion. One effect of the intermingling of these two ethical approaches is choice overload among consumers for newer food safety labels. This paper concludes with a discussion of policy prioritization in the context of an increasingly crowded food label marketplace. (shrink)
Historically, entities with a vested interest in a product that critics have suggested is harmful have consistently used research to back their claims that the product is safe. Prominent examples are: tobacco, lead, bisphenol A, and atrazine. Research literature indicates that about 80–90% of studies with industry affiliation found no harm from the product, while only about 10–20% of studies without industry affiliation found no harm. In parallel to other historical debates, recent studies examining a possible relationship between mercury exposure (...) and autism spectrum disorder show a similar dichotomy. Studies sponsored and supported by industry or entities with an apparent conflict of interest have most often shown no evidence of harm or no “consistent” evidence of harm, while studies without such affiliations report positive evidence of a Hg/autism association. The potentially causal relationship between Hg exposure and ASD differs from other toxic products since there is a broad coalition of entities for whom a conflict of interest arises. These include influential governmental public health entities, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the coal burning industry. This review includes a systematic literature search of original studies on the potential relationship between Hg and ASD from 1999 to August 2015, finding that of the studies with public health and/or industry affiliation, 86% reported no relationship between Hg and ASD. However, among studies without public health and/or industry affiliation, only 21% find no relationship between Hg and ASD. The discrepancy in these results suggests a bias indicative of a conflict of interest. (shrink)
Recent years have seen a proliferation of non-governmental organisations with a mission to help redress various social and environmental problems, but the effectiveness of these organisations in carrying out their stated goals is rarely assessed or critically examined. It has become increasingly clear, however, that these organisations vary greatly in their level of competence and professionalism. Many of them are ineffective, and in some cases they may even exacerbate the problems they set out to solve. These difficulties are based upon (...) flawed assumptions about how civil society can correct social ills, and about how institutions that are intermediate between the individual and the state can carry out effective change. To illustrate these points with an environmental example, we present the case of Jamaica's coral reefs, which have been under stress for decades. Both the causes of reef degradation and the solutions to these problems can be clearly outlined. Many well-intentioned organisations and individuals have been involved in the attempt to stem or reverse the damage, and significant funding has been channelled through these agencies. In spite of this, there has been no documented improvement in the condition of the reefs, apart from some natural regeneration that owed nothing whatever to any human activity. The problem is that the known solutions have not been implemented. This has happened for several reasons. First, government organisations have actively encouraged NGOs to undertake the responsibility of protecting sections of the coastline, but without any proper assessment of the capacity of those organisations to do so, and in some cases actively preventing them from acquiring that capacity. Second, the proliferation of NGOs has been counter-effective, resulting in duplication of effort, competition for limited funds, and conscious or unconscious misrepresentation of results. Third, the utilisation of NGOs to solve environmental problems often results in an increase in the number of levels of management, resulting in inefficient utilisation of funds. The known solutions to the degradation in the Jamaican marine environment principally involve reducing fishing pressures at a national level and the reduction of pollution by local municipalities. The effective role of NGOs in bringing about these two solutions therefore differs: where national changes are necessary, government centralisation and effective enforcement are necessary, although NGOs could still play a useful auxiliary or augmenting role. With local problems like municipal pollution, NGOs may be better able to lead in catalysing and implementing change, although the government could usefully provide coordination and support. These differences illustrate the fallacy in the simplistic assumption that rising public concern, increased levels of funding and a growing number of people and/or organisations involved in conservation will lead to environmental improvement. Effective hierarchical organisation is still a prerequisite for bringing about effective solutions, although the mode of organisation adopted should be a function of the particular solution necessary. Finally, since many NGOs have effectively functioned as parasitical organisations that have consumed public funding without any discernible public benefit, NGOs should be subject to the same scrutiny and assessment as any private sector organisation contracted to the government and/or donor agencies, and those who fail to perform should be barred from further receipt of public funds. (shrink)
Using ideas from evolution and postformal stages of hierarchical complexity, a hypothetical scenario, premised on genetic engineering advances, portrays the development of a new humanoid species, Superions. How would Superions impact and treat current humans? If the Superion scenario came to pass, it would be the ultimate genocidal terrorism of eliminating an entire species, Homo Sapiens. We speculate about defenses Homo Sapiens might mount. The tasks to relate two species (systems) constitutes a postformal, Metasystematic task. Developing a system of discourse (...) to prevent destruction requires postformal Paradigmatic-stage tasks. Implications are twofold: species survival and sufficient evolution to survive. (shrink)
All lives contain negative events, but how we think about these events differs across individuals; negative events often include positive details that can be remembered alongside the negative, and the ability to maintain both representations may be beneficial. In a survey examining emotional responses to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the current study investigated how this ability shifts as a function of age and individual differences in initial experience of the event. Specifically, this study examined how emotional importance, involvement, and (...) self-reported surprise upon hearing about the event related to the tendency to report focusing on the negative and positive aspects of the bombings. Structural equation models revealed that while greater emotional importance and surprise were associated with a greater focus on negative elements, involvement and age were associated with increased consideration of positive aspects. Further, emotional importance was more strongly related to an increased focus on negative aspects for young adults and an increased focus on positive aspects for older adults, highlighting a tendency for older adults to enhance positive features of an otherwise highly negative event. (shrink)