Introduction: is multiculturism good for anyone? -- Do people like their cultures? -- A philosophical prelude: what is multiculturalism? -- The costs of multiculturalism -- The diversity trap: why everybody wants to be an X -- White privilege and the asymmetry of choice -- Communities: respecting the establishment of religion -- Multiculturalism and the good life -- The cult of cultural self-affirmation -- Identity-making -- Identity politics: the making of a mystique -- Policy.
Sabellianism, the doctrine that the Persons of the Trinity are roles that a single divine being plays either simultaneously or successively, is commonly thought to entail that the Father is the Son. I argue that there is at least one version of Sabellianism that does not have this result and meets the requirements for a minimally decent doctrine of the Trinity insofar as it affirms that each Person of the Trinity is God and that the Trinity of Persons is God (...) while maintaining monotheism without undermining the distinctness of Persons. (shrink)
At first blush, the notion a “feminist epistemology” appears, at best, peculiar—not, as Sandra Harding suggests, because “‘woman the knower’ appears to be a contradiction in terms” but because it is hard to see how an epistemology, a philosophical theory of knowledge, can be either feminist or anti-feminist since it is not clear how such a theory might benefit or harm women.
BackgroundInnovations in technology have contributed to rapid changes in the way that modern biomedical research is carried out. Researchers are increasingly required to endorse adaptive and flexible approaches to accommodate these innovations and comply with ethical, legal and regulatory requirements. This paper explores how Dynamic Consent may provide solutions to address challenges encountered when researchers invite individuals to participate in research and follow them up over time in a continuously changing environment.MethodsAn interdisciplinary workshop jointly organised by the University of Oxford (...) and the COST Action CHIP ME gathered clinicians, researchers, ethicists, lawyers, research participants and patient representatives to discuss experiences of using Dynamic Consent, and how such use may facilitate the conduct of specific research tasks. The data collected during the workshop were analysed using a content analysis approach.ResultsDynamic Consent can provide practical, sustainable and future-proof solutions to challenges related to participant recruitment, the attainment of informed consent, participant retention and consent management, and may bring economic efficiencies.ConclusionsDynamic Consent offers opportunities for ongoing communication between researchers and research participants that can positively impact research. Dynamic Consent supports inter-sector, cross-border approaches and large scale data-sharing. Whilst it is relatively easy to set up and maintain, its implementation will require that researchers re-consider their relationship with research participants and adopt new procedures. (shrink)
There appear to be at least two important disanalogies between the situation of women and that of racial and ethnic minorities whose members are generally regarded as paradigmatic victims of oppression. First, in the case of oppressed racial and ethnic minorities it is relatively easy to identify the oppressors and the policies which serve to keep the oppressed in their place; it is not so easy to determine who the oppressors of women are--surely men are not universally blameworthy--nor even to (...) ascertain which policies are oppressive. Secondly, unlike most members of disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities, many women seem actively to support the very policies and institutions which contribute to their oppression. (shrink)
Modal counterpart theory identifies a thing’s possibly being F with its having a counterpart that is F at another possible world; temporal counterpart theory, the stage view, according to which people and other ordinary objects are instantaneous stages, identifies a thing’s having been F or going to be F, with its having a counterpart that is F at another time. Both counterpart theories invite what has been called ‘the argument from concern’ : 327–54). Why should I be concerned about my (...) counterparts at other possible worlds or other times? I care about how things might have gone for me—not how they go for other people at other possible worlds; I care about my prospects—not the way go for other people at other times. Jiri Benovsky has argued that while modal counterpart theory can be defended against this style of argument, temporal counterpart theory cannot. I argue that temporal counterpart theory, like modal counterpart theory, resists the argument from concern. (shrink)
Currently a number of feminists in philosophy and religious studies as well as other academic disciplines have argued that policies, practices and doctrines assumed to be sexneutral are in fact male-biased. Thus, Rosemary Reuther, reflecting on the development of theology in the Judeo-Christian tradition suggests that the long-term exclusion of women from leadership and theological education has rendered the “official theological culture” repressive to women and dismissive of women’s experience: “To begin to take women seriously,” she notes, “will involve a (...) profound and radical transformation of our religions.”3 Such a project exists in tension with what is generally regarded as Christian orthodoxy and so, as Reuther suggests, challenges the assumptions and categories of traditional theology. (shrink)
Modal counterpart theory identifies a thing’s possibly being F with its having a counterpart that is F at another possible world; temporal counterpart theory identifies a thing’s having been F or going to be F, with its having a counterpart that is F at another time. Benovsky, J. 2015. “Alethic Modalities, Temporal Modalities, and Representation.” Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 29: 18–34 in this journal endorses modal counterpart theory but holds that temporal counterpart theory is untenable because it does not license (...) the ascription of the intuitively correct temporal properties to ordinary objects, and hence that we should understand ordinary objects, including persons, as transtemporal ‘worms’. I argue that the worm theory is problematic when it comes to accounting for what matters in survival and that temporal counterpart theory provides a plausible account of personal persistence. (shrink)
I was an altar girl at St. Mary the Virgin, New York City–one of the first, in fact. In the mid‑70s, one of my friends approached the Rector and negotiated a deal: we women, who were interested in acolyting, would be allowed to serve at mass during the week, in street clothes, on the condition that we form and staff an altar guild.
The concepts of time and identity seem at once unproblematic and frustratingly difficult. Time is an intricate part of our experience -- it would seem that the passage of time is a prerequisite for having any experience at all -- and yet recalcitrant questions about time remain. Is time real? Does time flow? Do past and future moments exist? Philosophers face similarly stubborn questions about identity, particularly about the persistence of identical entities through change. Indeed, questions about the metaphysics of (...) persistence take on many of the complexities inherent in philosophical considerations of time. This volume of original essays brings together these two essentially related concepts in a way not reflected in the available literature, making it required reading for philosophers working in metaphysics and students interested in these topics. The contributors, distinguished authors and rising scholars, first consider the nature of time and then turn to the relation of identity, focusing on the metaphysical connections between the two, with a special emphasis on personal identity. The volume concludes with essays on the metaphysics of death, issues in which time and identity play a significant role. This groundbreaking collection offers both cutting-edge epistemological analysis and historical perspectives on contemporary topics. Contributors:_ _Harriet Baber, Lynne Rudder Baker, Ben Bradley, John W. Carroll, Reinaldo Elugardo, Geoffrey Gorham, Mark Hinchliff, Jenann Ismael, Barbara Levenbook, Andrew Light, Lawrence B. Lombard, Ned Markosian, Harold Noonan, John Perry, Harry S. Silverstein, Matthew H. Slater, Robert J. Stainton, Neil A. Tognazzini The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
This essay proposes recognition theory as a preferred approach to explaining poor women’s puzzling preference for patriarchal subordination even after they have accessed an ostensibly empowering asset: microfinance. Neither the standard account of adaptive preference offered by Martha Nussbaum nor the competing account of constrained rational choice offered by HarrietBaber satisfactorily explains an important variation of what Serene Khader, in discussing microfinance, dubs the self-subordination social recognition paradox. The variation in question involves women who, refusing to reject (...) the combined socio-economic benefits of patriarchal recognition and empowering microfinance, dissemble their subordination to men. In this situation, women experience a genuine form of divided consciousness which recognition theory frames as an identity crisis. Understanding the pathological nature of deceit as a way of life that blurs the boundaries between rational choice and rationalization, recognition theory shows how dissemblance itself is constrained by conflicting recognition orders in ways that prevent women who live such a life from successfully emancipating themselves. In this respect, recognition theory provides an important ---albeit, from the standpoint of recent feminist and intersectional research on identity and autonomy, inadequately qualified---norm of personal integrity and genuine agency requisite for conceptualizing adaptive preferences. (shrink)
This reflection item provides an edited account of human rights lawyer Harriet Wistrich’s conversation with Manvir Grewal, Visiting Lecturer and Ph.D. student, and Harriet Samuels, Reader in Law at the University of Westminster. It summarises the exchange which focused on Harriet Wistrich’s career trajectory and the many public interest law cases that she has brought on behalf her clients, mainly women, in both domestic and international forums. It also includes a condensed version of the question and answer (...) session with the audience. Questions included the broader issues around domestic violence, rape, coercive control, sex work and the nature of feminism. (shrink)
Open access: Philosophers and policy-makers concerned with the ethics, economics, and politics of development argue that the phenomenon of “adaptive preference” makes preference-utilitarian measures of well-being untenable. Poor women in the Global South, they suggest, adapt to deprivation and oppression and may come to prefer states of affairs that are not conducive to flourishing. This critique, however, assumes a questionable understanding of preference utilitarianism and, more fundamentally, of the concept of preference that figures in such accounts. If well-being is understood (...) as preference satisfaction, it is easy to see why poor women in the Global South are badly off: even if they do not desire more favorable conditions, they nevertheless prefer them, and that preference is not satisfied. Preferentism provides a rationale for improving economic conditions and dismantling the unjust institutions that prevent them from climbing higher on their preference rankings. Utilitarianism, therefore, insofar as utility is understood as preference satisfaction, is good for women. (shrink)
Humeans and anti-Humeans agree that laws of nature should explain scientifically particular matters of fact. One objection to Humean accounts of laws contends that Humean laws cannot explain particular matters of fact because their explanations are harmfully circular. This article distinguishes between metaphysical and semantic characterizations of the circularity and argues for a new semantic version of the circularity objection. The new formulation suggests that Humean explanations are harmfully circular because the content of the sentences being explained is part of (...) the content of the sentences doing the explaining. I describe the nature of partial content and demonstrate how this account of partial content renders Humean explanations ineffective while sparing anti-Humean explanations from the same fate. 1Introduction2Standard Formulations of the Circularity Charge3Humean Responses4Semantic Characterizations of the Circularity Worry 4.1Hempel and Oppenheim’s semantic circularity concern4.2A new version of the semantic circularity charge4.3Partial content as a guide to circularity5Humean Responses to the Semantic Circularity Charge 5.1Smuggling in metaphysics through the back door?5.2Do anti-Humean laws fare any better?5.3The over-generalization concern6ConclusionAppendix. (shrink)
Our aim in this article is to bring some clarity to the clinical ethics expertise debate by critiquing and replacing the taxonomy offered by the Core Competencies report. The orienting question for our taxonomy is: Can clinical ethicists offer justified, normative recommendations for active patient cases? Views that answer “no” are characterized as a “negative” view of clinical ethics expertise and are further differentiated based on why they think ethicists cannot give justified normative recommendations and what they think ethicists can (...) offer, if they cannot offer recommendations. Views that answer “yes” to the orienting question are characterized as a “positive” view of clinical ethics expertise. Positive views are distinguished according to four additional questions. First, how are those recommendations generated? Second, what is the nature of the recommendations? Third, we ask, how are the recommendations justified? And finally, how are the recommendations communicated? (shrink)
Is Utilitarianism Bad for Women? Philosophers and policy-makers concerned with the ethics, economics, and politics of development argue that the phenomenon of ‘adaptive preference’ makes preference-utilitarian measures of well-being untenable. Poor women in the Global South, they suggest, adapt to deprivation and oppression and may come to prefer states of affairs that are not conducive to flourishing. This critique, however, assumes a questionable understanding of preference utilitarianism and, more fundamentally, of the concept of preference that figures in such accounts. If (...) well-being is understood as preference-satisfaction it is easy to see why poor women in the Global South are badly off: even if they do not desire more favorable conditions they nevertheless prefer them, and that preference is not satisfied. Preferentism provides a rationale for improving economic conditions and dismantling the unjust institutions that prevent them from climbing higher on their preference-rankings. Utilitarianism, therefore, insofar as utility is understood as preference satisfaction, is good for women. (shrink)
This paper offers a metaphysical explanation of the identity and distinctness of concrete objects. It is tempting to try to distinguish concrete objects on the basis of their possessing different qualitative features, where qualitative features are ones that do not involve identity. Yet, this criterion for object identity faces counterexamples: distinct objects can share all of their qualitative features. This paper suggests that in order to distinguish concrete objects we need to look not only at which properties and relations objects (...) instantiate but also how they instantiate these properties and relations. I propose that objects are identical when they stand in certain qualitative relations in virtue of their existence. And concrete objects are distinct when they do not stand in the same kinds of relations to one another in virtue of their existence. (shrink)
Climate change adaptation is largely a local matter, and adaptation planning can benefit from local climate change projections. Such projections are typically generated by accepting climate model outputs in a relatively uncritical way. We argue, based on the IPCC’s treatment of model outputs from the CMIP5 ensemble, that this approach is unwarranted and that subjective expert judgment should play a central role in the provision of local climate change projections intended to support decision-making.
Identity and distinctness facts are ones like “The Eiffel Tower is identical to the Eiffel Tower,” and “The Eiffel Tower is distinct from the Louvre.” This paper concerns one question in the metaphysics of identity: Are identity and distinctness facts metaphysically fundamental or are they nonfundamental? I provide an overview of answers to this question.
Benner, Erica. Machiavelli’s Ethics. Princeton, 2009. 527p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780691141763, $75.00; ISBN 9780691141770 pbk, $35.00.
Reviewed in CHOICE, April 2010
This major new study of Machiavelli’s moral and political philosophy by Benner (Yale) argues that most readings of Machiavelli suffer from a failure to appreciate his debt to Greek sources, particularly the Socratic tradition of moral and political philosophy. Benner argues that when read in the light of his Greek sources, Machiavelli appears as much less the immoralist or (...) sophist he often is taken for and instead as a serious moral philosopher very much concerned with the republican ideals of justice and the rule of law. The author does not ignore Machiavelli’s more infamous dicta, but argues that a careful reading shows that they are expressions of views he ultimately rejects. Particularly noteworthy here is her careful attention to Machiavelli’s Florentine Histories. Benner’s reading of Machiavelli is far too complex and subtle for such a brief summary. Her research is meticulous and her arguments finely honed. This important contribution to both Machiavelli studies and the history of political philosophy will be indispensable for scholars. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty/researchers. — B. T. Harding
"Machiavelli's Ethics is a superb scholarly book. Erica Benner does truly impressive work in analyzing Machiavelli's views on the most fundamental ethical issues--including necessity and virtue, justice and injustice, and ends and means. She shows, with very solid evidence, that Machiavelli did in fact worry a lot about justice and that he put it at the core of his republican theory."--Maurizio Viroli, author of Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli
"Machiavelli's Ethics is excellent--learned, subtle, highly original, and a constant pleasure to read. And, since it is really a study of Machiavelli's thought in its entirety, it is also the first book of its kind. Its originality lies in taking seriously the claim by some sixteenth- and seventeenth-century readers--notably Bacon, Spinoza, and Alberico Gentili--that Machiavelli was essentially a moral and political philosopher. Erica Benner does a brilliant job of resurrecting this neglected Machiavelli."--Giulia Sissa, University of California, Los Angeles
About the book, from the publisher: Machiavelli's Ethics challenges the most entrenched understandings of Machiavelli, arguing that he was a moral and political philosopher who consistently favored the rule of law over that of men, that he had a coherent theory of justice, and that he did not defend the "Machiavellian" maxim that the ends justify the means. By carefully reconstructing the principled foundations of his political theory, Erica Benner gives the most complete account yet of Machiavelli's thought. She argues that his difficult and puzzling style of writing owes far more to ancient Greek sources than is usually recognized, as does his chief aim: to teach readers not how to produce deceptive political appearances and rhetoric, but how to see through them. Drawing on a close reading of Greek authors--including Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, and Plutarch--Benner identifies a powerful and neglected key to understanding Machiavelli.
This important new interpretation is based on the most comprehensive study of Machiavelli's writings to date, including a detailed examination of all of his major works: The Prince, The Discourses, The Art of War, and Florentine Histories. It helps explain why readers such as Bacon and Rousseau could see Machiavelli as a fellow moral philosopher, and how they could view The Prince as an ethical and republican text. By identifying a rigorous structure of principles behind Machiavelli's historical examples, the book should also open up fresh debates about his relationship to later philosophers, including Rousseau, Hobbes, and Kant. . (shrink)
This article critically examines, and ultimately rejects, the best interest standard as the predominant, go-to ethical and legal standard of decision making for children. After an introduction to the presumption of parental authority, it characterizes and distinguishes six versions of the best interest standard according to two key dimensions related to the types of interests emphasized. Then the article brings three main criticisms against the best interest standard: (1) that it is ill-defined and inconsistently appealed to and applied, (2) that (...) it is unreasonably demanding and narrow, and (3) that it fails to respect the family. Finally, it argues that despite the best interest standard’s potent rhetorical power, it is irreparably encumbered by too much inconsistency and confusion and should be rejected. (shrink)
What are the affordances of artifacts? One view is that the affordances of artifacts, just as the affordances of natural objects, pertain to possible ways in which they can be manipulated. Another view maintains that, given that artifacts are sociocultural objects, their affordances pertain primarily to their culturally-derived function. Whereas some have tried to provide a unifying notion of affordance to capture both aspects, here I argue that they should be kept separate. In this paper, I introduce a distinction between (...) standard affordances, which concern the function of artifacts, and ad-hoc affordances, which refer to how artifacts are manipulated. I then argue for the neuropsychological plausibility of such a distinction, linking it to the dissociation between function knowledge and manipulation knowledge. Finally, I defend the equal status of these forms of knowledge and, hence, of standard and ad-hoc affordances, and I show that this has some implications for the debate on the role of motor processes in the conceptual knowledge of artifacts. (shrink)
A key distinction in ethics is between members and nonmembers of the moral community. Over time, our notion of this community has expanded as we have moved from a rationality criterion to a sentience criterion for membership. I argue that a sentience criterion is insufficient to accommodate all members of the moral community; the true underlying criterion can be understood in terms of whether a being has interests. This may be extended to conscious, self-aware machines, as well as to any (...) autonomous intelligent machines. Such machines exhibit an ability to formulate desires for the course of their own existence; this gives them basic moral standing. While not all machines display autonomy, those which do must be treated as moral patients; to ignore their claims to moral recognition is to repeat past errors. I thus urge moral generosity with respect to the ethical claims of intelligent machines. (shrink)
Although personal attributes have gained recognition as an important area of effective corporate governance, scholarship has largely overlooked the value and implications of individual virtue in governance practice. We explore how authenticity—a personal and morally significant virtue—affects the primary monitoring and strategy functions of the board of directors as well as core processes concerning director selection, cultivation, and enactment by the board. While the predominant focus in corporate governance research has been on structural factors that influence firm financial outcomes, this (...) paper shifts attention to the role of authenticity and its relationship to individual board member qualities and collective board activities. We explore how authenticity has the potential to influence board dynamics and decision making and to enhance transparency and accountability. (shrink)
Two experiments are reported that employed think-aloud methods to test predictions concerning relevance effects and rationalisation processes derivable from Evans' (1996) heuristic-analytic theory of the selection task. Evans' account proposes that card selections are triggered by relevance-determining heuristics, with analytic processing serving merely to rationalise heuristically cued decisions. As such, selected cards should be associated with more references to both their facing and their hidden sides than rejected cards, which are not subjected to analytic rationalisation. Experiment 1 used a standard (...) selection-task paradigm, with negative components permuted through abstract conditional rules. Support was found for all heuristic-analytic predictions. This evidence was shown to be robust in Experiment 2, where "select - don't select" decisions were enforced for all cards. Both experiments also clarify the role played by secondary heuristics in cueing the consideration of hidden card values during rationalisation. We suggest that whilst Evans' heuristic-analytic model and Oaksford and Chater's (e.g., 2003) optimal data selection model can provide compelling accounts of our protocol findings, the mental models theory fares less well as an explanation of our full dataset. (shrink)
I defend the following argument in this paper. Premise 1: Laws of nature are intrinsic to the universe. Premise 2: Humeanism maintains that laws of nature are extrinsic to the universe. Conclusion: Humeanism is false. This argument is inspired by John Hawthorne’s (2004) argument in “Why Humeans are out of their Minds”. My argument differs from his; Hawthorne focuses on Humean views of causation and how they interact with judgments about consciousness. He thinks Humeans are forced to treat certain mental (...) properties (insofar as they involve causal features) as extrinsic to conscious minds. I do not discuss causation or consciousness here. I focus on Humean accounts of laws. I argue that Humean laws are extrinsic to the entire universe. As such, Humeans are not just out of their minds; they are out of this world. I aim to show that premises 1 and 2 are well-supported and that denying either of them comes at a cost. Nevertheless, Humeans may prefer to reject 1 or 2 rather than give up Humeanism. Even if the Humean takes one of these routes, the argument above has philosophical import: it shows that Humeanism involves surprising commitments. (shrink)
Time has been considered a crucial factor in distinguishing between two levels of self-awareness: the “core,” or “minimal self,” and the “extended,” or “narrative self.” Herein, I focus on this last concept of the self and, in particular, on the relationship between the narrative self and language. In opposition to the claim that the narrative self is a linguistic construction, my idea is that it is created by the functioning of mental time travel, that is, the faculty of human beings (...) to project themselves mentally backwards in time to relive, or forward to anticipate, events. Moreover, I propose that narrative language itself should be considered a product of a core brain network that includes mechanisms, such as mental time travel, mindreading, and visuo-spatial systems. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine has beendefined as the conscientious and judicious useof current best evidence in making clinicaldecisions. This paper will attempt to explicatethe terms ``conscientious'''' and ``judicious''''within the evidence-based medicine definition.It will be argued that ``conscientious'''' and``judicious'''' represent virtue terms derived fromvirtue ethics and virtue epistemology. Theidentification of explicit virtue components inthe definition and therefore conception ofevidence-based medicine presents an importantstarting point in the connection between virtuetheories and medicine itself. In addition, aunification of virtue theories andevidence-based medicine will illustrate theneed for (...) future research in order to combinethe fields of virtue-based approaches andclinical practice. (shrink)
This commentary paper examines the issue of contract cheating in higher education, drawing on research and current debate in the field of academic integrity. Media coverage of this issue has reflected significant concerns in the field about students’ use of custom academic writing services, along with sector and national calls for action that would lead to making such essay mills illegal. However, recent studies have revealed the complex nature of contract cheating, with a relatively low proportion of students engaging in (...) outsourcing behaviours involving a third party. This paper focuses on how universities and colleges can respond to this emergent concern, and proposes that institutions extend and establish strategies to embed the values, principles and practices aligned to academic integrity. As part of this endeavour, five areas of consideration are offered for higher education institutions that relate to: determining academic integrity strategy; reviewing institutional policy; understanding students; re-visiting assessment practices; and implications for staff professional development. (shrink)
'When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?' - Michel de Montaigne. Why do we live with pets? Is there something more to our relationship with them than simply companionship? What is it we look for in our pets and what does this say about us as human beings? In this fascinating book, Erica Fudge explores the nature of this most complex of relationships and the (...) difficulties of knowing what it is that one is living with when one chooses to share a home with an animal. Fudge argues that our capacity for compassion and ability to live alongside others is evident in our relationships with our pets, those paradoxical creatures who give us a sense of comfort and security while simultaneously troubling the categories human and animal. For what is a pet if it isn't a fully-fledged member of the human family? This book proposes that by crossing over these boundaries pets help construct who it is we think we are. Drawing on the works of modern writers, such as J. M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Jacques Derrida, Fudge shows how pets have been used to think with and to undermine our easy conceptions of human, animal and home. Indeed, "Pets" shows our obsession with domestic animals that reveals many of the paradoxes, contra - dictions and ambiguities of life. Living with pets provides thought-provoking perspectives on our notions of possession and mastery, mutuality and cohabitation, love and dominance. We might think of pets as simply happy, loved additions to human homes but as this captivating book reveals perhaps it is the pets that make the home and without pets perhaps we might not be the humans we think we are. For anyone who has ever wondered, like Montaigne, what their cat is thinking, it will be illuminating reading. (shrink)
Classical cognitive science has been characterized by an association with the computational theory of mind. Although this association has produced highly significant results, it has also limited the scope of scientific psychology. In this paper, we analyse the limits of the specific kind of computational model represented by the Chomskian-Fodorian tradition in the study of mind and language. In our opinion, the adhesion to the principle of formality imposed by this specific computational model has motivated the exclusion of consciousness in (...) the reflection on language and, consequently, has led to the inability to account for some aspects of language functioning at the processing level of discourse. The aim of this article is to restore the role of consciousness in discourse comprehension and production processes. Specifically, we argue that the ability to produce and understand discourses is based on individuals’ capacity for navigation in space and time. We will show that the space–time orientation is guaranteed by the projection of the self, which involves a special kind of consciousness. (shrink)
Utilising empirical ethics analysis, we evaluate the merits of systems proposed to increase deceased organ donation in South Africa. We conclude that SA should maintain its soft opt-in policy, and enhance it with ‘required transplant referral’ in order to maximise donor numbers within an ethically and legally acceptable framework. In SA, as is the case worldwide, the demand for donor organs far exceeds the supply thereof. Currently utilising a soft opt-in system, SA faces the challenge of how to increase donor (...) numbers in a context which is imbued with inequalities in access to healthcare, multiplicitous personal beliefs and practices, distrust of organ transplant and varying levels of education and health literacy. We argue that a hard opt-in, opt-out or mandated consent system would be problematic, and we present empirical data from Gauteng Province illustrating barriers to ethically sound practice in soft consent systems. Ultimately, we argue that in spite of some limitations, a soft opt-in system is most realistic for SA because its implementation does not require extensive public education campaigns at national level, and it does not threaten to further erode trust at a clinical level. However, to circumvent some of the clinical-level barriers identified in our empirical study, we propose a contextually sensitive option for “enabling” soft opt-in through “required transplant referral”. We argue that this system is legally defensible, enhances ethical practice and could also increase donor numbers as it has in many other countries. (shrink)
Models of discourse and narration elaborated within the classical compositional framework have been characterized as bottom-up models, according to which discourse analysis proceeds incrementally, from phrase and sentence local meaning to discourse global meaning. In this paper we will argue against these models. Assuming as a case study the issue of discourse coherence, we suggest that the assessment of coherence is a top-down process, in which the construction of a situational interpretation at the global meaning level guides local meaning analysis. (...) In support of our hypothesis, we explore the role of executive functions (brain functions involved in planning and organization of goal-oriented behaviors) in coherence’s establishment, discussing the results of several studies on narrative abilities of patients with brain injuries. We suggest that, compared to other models of discourse processing focused on comprehension, our model is a viable candidate for an integrated account of discourse comprehension and production. (shrink)
This article explores the co-existence of, and relationship between, alternative education in the form of home education and mainstream schooling. Home education is conceptually subordinate to schooling, relying on schooling for its status as alternative, but also being tied to schooling through the dominant discourse that forms our understandings of education. Practitioners and other defenders frequently justify home education by running an implicit or explicit comparison with school; a comparison which expresses the desire to do ‘better’ than school whilst simultaneously (...) encompassing the desire to do things differently. These twin aims, however, are not easy to reconcile, meaning that the challenge to schooling and the submission to norms and beliefs that underlie schooling are frequently inseparable. This article explores the trajectories of ‘better than’ and ‘different from’ school as representing ideas of utopia and heterotopia respectively. In particular I consider Foucault's notion of the heterotopia as a means of approaching the relationship between school and other forms of education. Whilst it will be argued that, according to Derrida's ideas of discursive deconstruction, alternative education has to be expressed through the dominant educational discourse, it will also be suggested that employing the idea of the heterotopia is a strategy which can help us explore the alternative in education. (shrink)
The jurists of classical Islamic Law defined the interior forum as a limit to the religious validity of the sentences of Muslim judges , because these have neither access to God's knowledge nor to the individual believer’s conscience and motivations. They can base their decisions solely on exterior appearances and can, therefore, neither be sure that their judgments correspond to the facts nor to the intentions and memories of the individuals concerned. This holds especially true for questions of belief and (...) unbelief. From the eighth to the nineteenth century, the norms of Islamic law were the result of learned debates among independent jurists and their schools of law. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it was integrated into the codes enacted by the competent institutions of the national states and lost its normative authority in most spheres of the modern state law. It remained dominant only in personal statute law, i.e. the rules concerning marriage and divorce, family and succession. From the early seventies of the twentieth century, opposition against the neglect of religious norms in modern state law was centered on the demand for the “codification of Islamic law” . Its leaders were jurists trained in modern law faculties, who wanted to insert the norms of classical Islamic Law into the codes of the national state with which they are familiar. The ethical debates of classical Islamic law, obviously, did not lend themselves easily to such an approach.The jurists movement for the codification of Islamic law gained in momentum during the eighties when, in a number of states, it succeeded in assuring for the classical apostasy rules a place in the modern criminal codes. In other states, such as Egypt, the highest courts opened the way for apostasy trials. The analysis of one apostasy judgment of the highest Egyptian court shows that the court understands belief and apostasy as objective facts that can be separated from the person who professes or denies them. It is on this question that my lecture focuses. The court effectively claims the role of the highest instance in questions of belief and unbelief. Belief and apostasy thus become depersonalized objective facts without any relation to the intentions of the individuals concerned. The court’s sentence does not refer to the believer’s own interior forum : the concept seems to be irrelevant to the judges. Their definition of apostasy serves to control the ideas that can legitimately be discussed in the public sphere. It denies bold reinterpretations of Islam, but also a number of political persuasions and theories, the right of access to the public space and assigns them the private sphere as their legitimate abode. A new concept of private and public is thus developed in the detailed reasoning by which the court justifies its judgment.There is, to my understanding, nothing in the religion of Islam that renders such a stance necessary. Other courts, in Egypt, develop other ideas of the principles of Islamic normativity and in other Arab states go so far as to develop a concept of privacy that would forbid the debates discussed in this lecture. It seems important to underline that the use of classical elements in the court’s judgment does not conceal the fact that the ethical criteria of classical Muslim law find little place in this jurisdiction that represents a special version of modern legal positivism. (shrink)
I argue, first, that the deprived individuals whose predicaments Nussbaum cites as examples of "adaptive preference" do not in fact prefer the conditions of their lives to what we should regard as more desirable alternatives, indeed that we believe they are badly off precisely because they are not living the lives they would prefer to live if they had other options and were aware of them. Secondly, I argue that even where individuals in deprived circumstances acquire tastes for conditions that (...) we regard as bad, they are typically better off having their acquired preferences satisfied. If they are badly off it is because they cannot get what we and they, would regard as more desirable alternatives. Preference utilitarianism explains why individuals in such circumstances are badly off whether they have adapted to their deprived circumstances or not. Even if they prefer the conditions of their lives to all other available alternatives, most would prefer alternatives that are not available to them which would, on the preferentist account, make them better off. And that, on the preferentist account, is the basis for a radical critique of unjust institutions that limit people's options and prevent them from getting what they want. (shrink)