Kant is well known for his restrictive conception of proper science. In the present paper I will try to explain why Kant adopted this conception. I will identify three core conditions which Kant thinks a proper science must satisfy: systematicity, objective grounding, and apodictic certainty. These conditions conform to conditions codified in the Classical Model of Science. Kant’s infamous claim that any proper natural science must be mathematical should be understood on the basis of these conditions. In order to substantiate (...) this reading, I will show that only in this way it can be explained why Kant thought (1) that mathematics has a particular foundational function with respect to the natural sciences and (2) as such secures their scientific status. (shrink)
In Direct Belief I argue for the Theory of Direct Belief, which treats having a belief about an individual as an unmediated relation between the believer and the individual the belief is about. After a critical review of alternative positions, I use Grice’s theory of conversational implicature to provide a detailed pragmatic account of substitution failure in belief ascriptions and go on to defend this view against objections, including those based on an unwarranted “Inner Speech” Picture of Thought. The work (...) serves as a case study in pragmatic explanation, dealing also with methodological issues about context-sensitivity in language and the relation between semantics and pragmatics. (shrink)
Jonathan Berg argues for the Theory of Direct Belief, which treats having a belief about an individual as an unmediated relation between the believer and the individual the belief is about. After a critical review of alternative positions, Berg uses Grice's theory of conversational implicature to provide a detailed pragmatic account of substitution failure in belief ascriptions and goes on to defend this view against objections, including those based on an unwarranted "Inner Speech" Picture of Thought. The work (...) serves as a case study in pragmatic explanation, dealing also with methodological issues about context-sensitivity in language and the relation between semantics and pragmatics. (shrink)
By considering the museum itself as art, rather than as a receptacle, Hein's Public Art: Thinking Museums Differently argues for an improved understanding of the role museums play in shaping public discourse.
Contents: Preface. Johannes BRANDL: Semantic Holism Is Here To Stay. Michael DEVITT: A Critique of the Case for Semantic Holism. Georges REY: The Unavailability of What We Mean: A Reply to Quine, Fodor and LePore. Joseph LEVINE: Intentional Chemistry. Louise ANTHONY: Conceptual Connection and the Observation/Theory Distinction. Gilbert HARMAN: Meaning Holism Defended. Kirk A. LUDWIG: Is Content Holism Incoherent? Anne BEZUIDENHOUT: The Impossibility of Punctate Mental Representations. Takashi YAGISAWA: The Cost of Meaning Solipsism. Alberto PERUZZI: Holism: The Polarized Spectrum. Jonathan (...)BERG: Inferential Roles, Quine, and Mad Holism. Jerry FODOR & Ernest LEPORE: Replies. (shrink)
Geoffrey Berg finds a previously undiscovered 'black hole' at the very core of Philosophy. This must cause extensive 'universal uncertainty' that is insurmountable by any human or any intelligence.This book strips away common human delusions about 'goodness', God and the ultimate knowability of the Universe. It focuses on the logical limitations to knowledge for humans, aliens and even artificial intelligences.The book is original and radical, yet entirely logical in its approach. It presents and justifies in quite simple language an (...) entirely different view on philosophical questions to any of the great philosophers. (shrink)
Biology in the Critical Philosophy and the Opus postumum Hein van den Berg. Parts of Chap. 2 have been previously published in Hein van den Berg (2011), “ Kant's Conception of Proper Science.” Synthese 183 (1): 7–26. Parts of Chap.
The computer revolution has had an enormous effect on all aspects of the practice of medicine, yet little thought has been given to the role of social media in identifying treatment choices for incompetent patients. We are currently living in the ?Internet age? and many people have integrated social media into all aspects of their lives. As use becomes more prevalent, and as users age, social media are more likely to be viewed as a source of information regarding medical care (...) preferences. This article explores the ethical and legal issues raised by the use of social media in surrogate decision making. (shrink)
BackgroundFor many decades, the debate on children’s competence to give informed consent in medical settings concentrated on ethical and legal aspects, with little empirical underpinnings. Recently, data from empirical research became available to advance the discussion. It was shown that children’s competence to consent to clinical research could be accurately assessed by the modified MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research. Age limits for children to be deemed competent to decide on research participation have been studied: generally children of 11.2 (...) years and above were decision-making competent, while children of 9.6 years and younger were not. Age was pointed out to be the key determining factor in children’s competence. In this article we reflect on policy implications of these findings, considering legal, ethical, developmental and clinical perspectives.DiscussionAlthough assessment of children’s competence has a normative character, ethics, law and clinical practice can benefit from research data. The findings may help to do justice to the capacities children possess and challenges they may face when deciding about treatment and research options. We discuss advantages and drawbacks of standardized competence assessment in children on a case-by-case basis compared to application of a fixed age limit, and conclude that a selective implementation of case-by-case competence assessment in specific populations is preferable. We recommend the implementation of age limits based on empirical evidence. Furthermore, we elaborate on a suitable model for informed consent involving children and parents that would do justice to developmental aspects of children and the specific characteristics of the parent-child dyad.SummaryPrevious research outcomes showed that children’s medical decision-making capacities could be operationalized into a standardized assessment instrument. Recommendations for policies include a dual consent procedure, including both child as well as parents, for children from the age of 12 until they reach majority. For children between 10 and 12 years of age, and in case of children older than 12 years in special research populations of mentally compromised patients, we suggest a case-by-case assessment of children’s competence to consent. Since such a dual consent procedure is fundamentally different from a procedure of parental permission and child assent, and would imply a considerable shift regarding some current legislations, practical implications are elaborated. (shrink)
For decades, the discussion on children’s competence to consent to medical issues has concentrated around normative concerns, with little progress in clinical practices. Decision-making competence is an important condition in the informed consent model. In pediatrics, clinicians need to strike a proper balance in order to both protect children’s interests when they are not fully able to do so themselves and to respect their autonomy when they are. Children’s competence to consent, however, is currently not assessed in a standardized way. (...) Moreover, the correlation between competence to give informed consent and age in children has never been systematically investigated, nor do we know which factors exactly contribute to children’s competence. (shrink)
This paper focuses on tacit versus explicit uses of plural performance metrics as a primary methodological characteristic. This characteristic usefully distinguishes two schools of normative analysis and their approaches to normative interpretations of bounded rationality. Both schools of thought make normative claims about bounded rationality by comparing the performance of decision procedures using more than one performance metric. The consistency school makes tacit reference to performance metrics outside its primary axiomatic framework, but lexicographically promotes internal axiomatic consistency as the primary, (...) and in most cases sufficient, normative outcome with which to undertake welfare comparisons. The consistency school's axiomatization program, in both neoclassical and behavioral forms, pre-commits to welfare interpretations that follow a hierarchy of rationalities based on the stringency of restrictions that different axiomatizations impose on choice data. In contrast, the ecological rational.. (shrink)
Although law is established on a strong presumption that persons younger than a certain age are not competent to consent, statutory age limits for asking children’s consent to clinical research differ widely internationally. From a clinical perspective, competence is assumed to involve many factors including the developmental stage, the influence of parents and peers, and life experience. We examined potential determining factors for children’s competence to consent to clinical research and to what extent they explain the variation in competence judgments.
Opponents of abortion sometimes hold that it is impermissible because fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. But miscarriage, which ends up to 89 % of pregnancies, is much deadlier than abortion. That means that if opponents of abortion are right, then miscarriage is the biggest public-health crisis of our time. Yet they pay hardly any attention to miscarriage, especially very early miscarriage. Attempts to resolve this inconsistency by adverting to the distinction between killing and letting die or to (...) the difficulty of preventing miscarriage fail, leaving a dilemma. Opponents of abortion should either advocate a substantial shift in our political and medical priorities or else give up the view that fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. (shrink)
The focus on animal welfare in society has increased during the last 50 years. Animal welfare legislation and private standards have developed, and today many farmers within animal production have both governmental legislation and private standards to comply with. In this paper intentions and values are described that were expressed in 14 animal welfare legislation and standards in four European countries; Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. It is also discussed if the legislation and standards actually accomplish what they, in (...) their overall description and ethics, claimed to do, i.e. if this is followed up by relevant paragraphs in the actual body of the text in the legislation and standards respectively. The method used was an on-line questionnaire from the EconWelfare research project and text analyses. This study shows that the ethical values within a set of legislation or private standards are not always consistently implemented, and it is not always possible to follow a thread between the intentions mentioned initially and the actual details of the legislation or standard. Since values will differ so will also the animal welfare levels and the implications of similar concepts in the regulations. In general, the regulations described were not based on animal welfare considerations only, but also other aspects, such as food safety, meat quality, environmental aspects and socio-economic aspects were taken into account. This is understandable, but creates a gap between explicit and implicit values, which we argue, can be overcome if such considerations are made more transparent to the citizens/consumers. (shrink)
The physician-patient relationship has changed over the last several decades, requiring a systematic reevaluation of the competing demands of patients, physicians, and families. In the era of genetic testing, using a model of patient care known as the family covenant may prove effective in accounting for these demands. The family covenant articulates the roles of the physician, patient, and the family prior to genetic testing, as the participants consensually define them. The initial agreement defines the boundaries of autonomy and benefit (...) for all participating family members. The physician may then serve as a facilitator in the relationship, working with all parties in resolving potential conflicts regarding genetic information. The family covenant promotes a fuller discussion of the competing ethical claims that may come to bear after genetic test results are received. (shrink)
This essay delineates and analyzes two kinds of questions that sport ethicists tend to ask: questions about athletic excellence and questions about justice. To pass ethical judgements when delving into questions concerning athletic excellence, sportspeople rely largely on a sport’s internal values, primary skills, or sport-specific athletic excellences. In contrast, questions about justice do not and should not include the reference or application of principles derived from the nature of a sport. Instead, sportspeople must refer to general theories, most often (...) based on the rights and obligations of fellow citizens. There are multiple benefits to pointing out this distinction. First, it can help sportspeople and sport philosophers recognize the normative standards most appropriate within specific debates. Second, the distinction may explain why some disputes in sport philosophy remained unresolved. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, an awareness of the differences between these types... (shrink)
Genetic database initiatives have given rise to considerable debate about their potential harms and benefits. The question arises as to whether existing ethical frameworks are sufficient to mediate between the competing interests at stake. One approach is to strengthen mechanisms for obtaining informed consent and for protecting confidentiality. However, there is increasing interest in other ethical frameworks, involving solidarity — participation in research for the common good — and the sharing of the benefits of research.
The protection of human subjects in biomedical research relies on two principal mechanisms: assessing and comparing the risks and potential benefits of proposed research, and obtaining potential subjects' informed consent. While these have been discussed extensively in the literature, no attention has been paid to whether the processes should be different when the objective of an experimental biomedical intervention is to improve individual appearance, performance, or capability rather than to prevent, cure, or mitigate disease . This essay examines this question (...) in order to ensure that subjects in biomedical enhancement research receive adequate protection. (shrink)
The field of global health has reached a critical juncture, where both its visibility and the complexity of its challenges are unprecedented. The World Health Organization, as the only global health actor possessing both democratic and formal legal legitimacy, is best positioned to capitalize on this new, precarious situation in public health and respond with the governance innovation that is needed to bring the increasingly chaotic network of activities and entities affecting health outcomes under the fold of a centralized, standard-setting (...) agency. One such proposed innovation to guide normative and strategic coordination in global health is the creation of a Committee C of the World Health Assembly that would promote consensus building and multi-stakeholder decision-making within the unique convening power of the World Health Organization. (shrink)
When people die suddenly and unexpectedly ethical issues often come to the fore. The aim of the study was to describe experiences of members of stroke teams in stroke units of ethical problems and how the teams manage the situation when caring for patients faced with sudden and unexpected death from stroke. Data were collected through four focus group interviews with 19 team members in stroke-unit teams, and analysed using interpretive content analysis. Three themes emerged from the analysis characterized by (...) information, decisions about care and support for the next-of-kin in the changing and uncertain situation, with mutual trust as the core. Mutual trust, both within the stroke team and with next-of-kin was seen by the stroke-team members as a way of handling ethical problems by administering care with the patient’s best interest at heart. (shrink)
Genetic testing is currently subject to little oversight, despite the significant ethical issues involved. Repeated recommendations for increased regulation of the genetic testing market have led to little progress in the policy arena. A 2005 Internet search identified 13 websites offering health-related genetic testing for direct purchase by the consumer. Further examination of these sites showed that overall, biotech companies are not providing enough information for consumers to make well-informed decisions; they are not consistently offering genetic counseling services; and some (...) sites even offer tests with little evidence of clinical value. This article aims to raise company and consumer awareness about the ethical concerns surrounding the direct-to-consumer marketing of health-related genetic tests. It also suggests ways that biotech companies can bring their services to the public in an ethically responsible manner, without increased regulatory oversight. (shrink)
In forms of physical recreation associated with ‘wilderness experiences’, such as backcountry hiking or mountain climbing, technology is omnipresent. As a result, some may wonder whether genuine wilderness experiences are possible. In this essay, I argue that wilderness experiences are possible and that they can be enhanced through games. That is, I contend there are often physically challenging aspects to wilderness experiences that certain games can help to promote. This analysis will stress the fact that Bernard Suits delineated two comparable (...) but distinct ways to engage in games. Following Suits’s logic, I explain how ‘literal skills’ like walking or climbing can function as the ‘constitutive skills’ of games. I then consider how games predicated on ‘literal skills’ can help promote the meanings available in wilderness experiences. (shrink)