The active debate about the return of incidental or secondary findings in research has primarily focused on return to research participants, or in some cases, family members. Particular attention has been paid to return of genomic findings. Yet, research may generate other types of findings that warrant consideration for return, including findings related to the pathology of donated biospecimens. In the case of deceased biospecimen donors who are also organ and/or tissue transplant donors, pathology incidental findings may be relevant not (...) to family members, but to potential organ or tissue transplant recipients. This paper will describe the ethical implications of pathology incidental findings in the Genotype-Tissue Expression project, the process for developing a consensus approach as to if/when such findings should be returned, possible implications for other research projects collecting postmortem tissues and how the scenario encountered in GTEx fits into the larger return of results/incidental findings debate. (shrink)
By "scepticism" Naess means an activity or characteristic attitude, anti-conceptual, non-assertive, and ad hoc. The real sceptic has not yet happened on an argument with no countervailing ones, but he is a "great champion of trust and confidence and of common sense in action." This sceptic is the Pyrrhonist as pictured by Sextus Empiricus; the sceptic of twentieth century epistemology, who asserts that we don't know what we think we do, would be called an Academician. After chapters on historical, psychological, (...) and psychiatric aspects of Pyrrhonism, the author illustrates the Academic-Sceptic distinction in a closely argued chapter on the Ayer-Chisholm analysis of "S knows that p." Naess holds that the applicability of a claim to know is a function of the definiteness of intention. Therefore, there are conditions under which the know-don't know distinction cannot be usefully applied. It is one thing, with Moore and Pap, to agree that one has got his right hand, and another to assert that "I know physical objects exist." Naess' sceptic does not commit himself when both assertion and denial involve doctrinally contaminated ways of expression.--M. B. M. (shrink)
Contains extensive and uninterrupted selections from Plato, Aristotle, Butler, Hume, Kant, Mill, Moore, Ayer, and Toulmin. An introductory essay discusses agent morality vs. action morality, self-interest and benevolence, feeling and reason, rules and consequences, particular actions and general practices, and ethical absolutism vs. ethical relativism with reference, for the most part, to the selections which follow. The only disappointing selection is Plato's, which fails to contain any of Plato's own positive ethical theory.—M. W.
Grice tells us that the grounds of judgments of obligation are the fundamental principles of morals, and that it is on these that judgments of moral good depend. He offers a double theory of obligation: basic, grounded in social contract; and ultra, grounded in the character of the particular moral agent. The book presents this case attractively. Although character is thus given a central role, Grice has very little to say about it. He discusses several related problems in ethical theory, (...) as derived from Mill, Sidgwick, and G. E. Moore, and brings to bear considerable analytic technique; a strong example is the distinctions drawn between a motive and a reason for acting, and between a reason for acting and a reason for a judgment. Despite convincing use of examples, and competent reasoning, the upshot is yet another attempt to "ground" morals on a principle from which "moral scientists" can deduce the details. The opposition Grice presents to "the mistaken and almost universal assumption that the ground of moral 'ought' judgments must be some quite simple proposition to the effect that something is good," is his proposal that such grounds are the two simple propositions that some things are obligatory. His characterization of science as "a systematic body of knowledge" completes the nineteenth century flavor of the book. Missing are the concepts of interaction between the character of citizens and the goals of the society in which their contracts and obligations take place, and of the unique contribution of science to morals, that heuristic method which forces change of the body of knowledge, the techniques of investigation, and appropriately to Grice's case, of the character of its practitioners.—M. B. M. (shrink)
Olthuis makes a singular contribution in bringing the "Philosophy of the Law-Idea" to the attention of philosophers who lack other access to this development in contemporary Dutch thought. His presentation concentrates on applications to ethics. He begins with a thorough exposition of G. E. Moore's ethical theory, to which he applies "history's critique"--a resumé of Ayer and Stevenson, of Oxford meta-ethics, and of the "new wave" of naturalism set in motion by Anscombe and Foot in 1958. Olthuis finds that (...) neither Moore nor the subsequent philosophers could long stave off the irreconcilable extreme of absolute value or absolute relativism. "... the main source of difficulty in the constrictive nature of the... ontological schema," and, underlying that, in the claim that theoretical thought is neutral. In a valuable final chapter, he presents a "perspective for a way out" based on work by H. Dooyeweerd and D. H. Th. Vollenhoven. One key to their Philosophy of the Law-Idea lies in "norm-laws." Like "natural" laws, what is subject to them cannot withdraw. Unlike "natural" laws, they demand human acknowledgment to be fulfilled. He rejects both "ought" and "goodness" as adequate primitive concepts for ethics in favor of stress upon its irreducible "sphere-sovereignty." The cosmos stands under a structural law-order, made up of many modal laws determining the many modalities of reality. Within the normative, ethics is only one special modal science. Its job is to investigate the ethical norm-law, that which is subject to it, and the correlations between these two.--M. B. M. (shrink)
Employing the tools of logical analysis, Åquist presents a very careful, though cumbrously formalistic, reassessment of Price's Review of the Principal Questions in Morals, a treatise which he considers as the best in its field before Sidgwick and Moore.--A. P. D. M.
With the addition of the words "Anglo-American" after "Contemporary," the title of this book could serve as its review. The emphasis of the collection is on analytic British and American ethical theory since 1950, although the editors do dip back into 1903 for G. E. Moore. There are five sections: Moral Reasoning and the Is-Ought Controversy; Rules, Principles, and Utilitarianism; Concepts of Morality; Why be Moral?; and Normative, Religious, and Metaethics. The editors have kept their explanatory material to a (...) minimum, three pages serving to introduce most sections. The eleven pages of bibliography list selections of the same genre, mainly from the 1950's and 60's. Comparing this book with Philipa [[sic]] Foot's 1967 Theories of Ethics, which has the same emphasis, almost the same contributors, and several of the same articles, Pahel and Schiller give us a longer, more substantial, hard-cover book, and in this larger compass are able to provide more examples of dialogue between authors, critics, and replies.--M. B. M. (shrink)
The editors tell us this book is an outgrowth of their course in philosophical arguments. It contains both readings from traditional sources, and new material especially for this book. It is thus of interest as a potential text, as a source book, and for its original contributions. To consider it first as a text, it would be a challenging and valuable choice for sophisticated students. As a source-book, it is a good anthology of hard-core arguments on seven metaphysical topics. Authors (...) selected include Aristotle, Plato, Church Fathers, Rationalists, Locke and Hume, Bradley and Moore, Kant, Frege, Carnap, C. I. Lewis, Russell, and others. Selections run from a page or two to 16-page Hume excerpts. The last section, on The Nature of Metaphysics, contains essays newly written for this volume by A. J. Ayer, Brand Blanshard, John Passmore, and M. Lazerowitz. Other new material elsewhere in the book includes Alice Ambrose on Wittgenstein, and the introduction by W. E. Kennick. The latter suggests that in metaphysics there are arguments but no proofs, and that metaphysics has four curious characteristics: its disputes are never resolved; in these disputes the array of experts on each side is likely to be equally impressive; antinomies seem unavoidable; and metaphysics frequently conflicts with common sense. Ayer's article is called "Metaphysics and Common Sense." Using Carnap's distinction of "internal" and "external" questions, he finds metaphysical questions to be external. His explanation of what these are and why anyone would wish to raise them yields three legitimate ways in which metaphysics can add to our understanding of the world, and concludes that "it would be a mistake to forego the more imaginative kinds of conceptual exploration." In both tone and content this essay is a surprise for readers who know earlier work by Ayer. Passmore attempts to correct the popular tendency to confuse the philosopher with the sage. He places metaphysics, mathematics, and empirical science within "rational discussion": each is speculation, each has its characteristic control procedure. Blanshard's article attempts to defend metaphysics against criticisms such as those made by Dewey, Wittgenstein, and Freud. Lazerowitz treats the thesis that "metaphysics works by unseen paradoxes."--M. B. M. (shrink)