The present paper draws on climate science and the philosophy of science in order to evaluate climate-model-based approaches to assessing climate projections. We analyze the difficulties that arise in such assessment and outline criteria of adequacy for approaches to it. In addition, we offer a critical overview of the approaches used in the IPCC working group one fourth report, including the confidence building, Bayesian and likelihood approaches. Finally, we consider approaches that do not feature in the IPCC reports, including three (...) approaches drawn from the philosophy of science. We find that all available approaches face substantial challenges, with IPCC approaches having as a primary source of difficulty their goal of providing probabilistic assessments. (shrink)
This paper outlines a multi-agent architecture for regulated information exchange of crime investigation data between police forces. Interactions between police officers about information exchange are analysed as negotiation dialogues with embedded persuasion dialogues. An architecture is then proposed consisting of two agents, a requesting agent and a responding agent, and a communication language and protocol with which these agents can interact to promote optimal information exchange while respecting the law. Finally, dialogue policies are defined for the individual agents, specifying their (...) behaviour within a negotiation. Essentially, when deciding to accept or reject an offer or to make a counteroffer, an agent first determines whether it is obligatory or permitted to perform the actions specified in the offer. If permitted but not obligatory, the agent next determines whether it is in his interest to accept the offer. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 40 - 61 In this review article of Henk Nellen, _Hugo Grotius. A lifelong struggle for Peace in Church and State, 1583–1645_ the story of Grotius’s life is outlined and issues of interpretation are discussed. It is argued that this biography supports the argument that Grotius towards the end of his life was close to becoming a Catholic. It seems plausible that Grotius’s principled refusal to request permission to return to the Republic (...) may have been connected to his disappointment about his own less principled behaviour in 1618. (shrink)
Van den Belt recently examined the notion that synthetic biology and the creation of ‘artificial’ organisms are examples of scientists ‘playing God’. Here I respond to some of the issues he raises, including some of his comments on my previous discussions of the value of the term ‘life’ as a scientific concept.
Clarifying and analysing moral problems arising in the practice of palliative care was the objective of participatory observations in five palliative care settings. The results of these observations will be described in this contribution. The moral problems palliative caregivers have to deal with in their daily routines will be explained by comparison with the findings of a previously performed literature study. The specific differences in the manifestation of moral problems in the different palliative care settings will be highlighted as well.
Solidarity belongs to the basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and is part of the ethical repertoire of European moral traditions and European healthcare systems. This paper discusses how leaders of Catholic healthcare organizations (HCOs) can understand their institutional moral responsibility with regard to the preservation of solidarity. In dealing with this question, we make use of Taylor's philosophy of modern culture. We first argue that, just as all HCOs, Catholic ones also can embody and strengthen solidarity by just (...) doing their quintessential job, that is, to care for people with ill health. Second, we focus on the Catholic identity of these organizations and argue that this characteristic can empower a radical commitment to solidarity. Finally, we argue that CST provides a critical ethical framework for approaching solidarity from the perspective of the common good. (shrink)
As even its defenders admit, reflection in education suffers from a lack of conceptual clarity. In this essay, Henk Procee provides a philosophical analysis of the central concepts in this domain. In the current literature, these concepts are usually taken from the pragmatic school of John Dewey and from critical social theory associated with Jürgen Habermas. In contrast, Procee argues that Kant’s philosophy incorporates ideas better suited to understanding reflection in education — particularly through his distinction between understanding and (...) judgment , a distinction that supports an epistemology that accepts the special nature of reflection as judgment as opposed to formal learning . In addition, Procee discusses some consequences for the aims and methods of reflection in education. (shrink)
A new (sound and complete) proof style adequate for modal logics is defined from the polynomial ring calculus (PRC). The new semantics not only expresses truth conditions of modal formulas by means of polynomials, but also permits to perform deductions through polynomial handling. This paper also investigates relationships among the PRC here defined, the algebraic semantics for modal logics, equational logics, the Dijkstra–Scholten equational-proof style, and rewriting systems. The method proposed is throughly exemplified for S5, and can be easily (...) extended to other modal logics. (shrink)
This paper discusses the Saudi Arabian case by Abdallah Adlan and Henk ten Have, published in a 2012 issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, regarding a congenitally disabled child enrolled in a research project examining the genetics of her condition. During the course of the study, her father was found not to be genetically related, and the case discussed the dilemma between disclosing to the family all findings as promised in consent documents or withholding paternity information because of (...) the likely severe social repercussions. Using Adlan and ten Have’s example, this paper proposes a framework to consider cases outside of the conventional bioethics frame of reference, splitting the bioethical task into three elements: understanding the problem from the patient’s and the clinician’s perspective and then engaging in dialogue to decide what to do next. The process of dialogue between affected parties is vital. Presuming that there is a common morality undermines the effectiveness of the dialogue needed to find a resolution. (shrink)
A review article of Dr. Henk E. S. Woldring. Karl Mannheim: the Development of his Thought Philosophy, Sociology and Social Ethics. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1986.Henk Woldring's extensive analysis of the life and thought of Kar! Mannheim raises many questions. It is a complex work, difficult to review within a short compass. Woldring has adopted (at least) three roles on the writing of this important work. He is the intellectual biographer, the critical theorist and also the critical commentator. As (...) biographer he reserves the first 60 pages far an outline of the colourfulllife and career of his subject. As critical theorist he seeks to construct an account of Mannheim's intellectual development in order to let hirn 'speak for hirnself', leading the reader to a deeper apprecia- tion of the inner tensions within his (i.e. Mannheim's) perspective. As a critical commentator Woldring reviews Mannheim's theoretical contribution as a 20th century attempt to relate science and culture, social planning and democracy, religious belief and the future of civilization. By these three routes Woldring places Mannheim within the thought climate of the 20th century. (shrink)
Dijkstra and Scholten have proposed a formalization of classical predicate logic on a novel deductive system as an alternative to Hilbert's style of proof and Gentzen's deductive systems. In this context we call it CED (Calculus of Equational Deduction). This deductive method promotes logical equivalence over implication and shows that there are easy ways to prove predicate formulas without the introduction of hypotheses or metamathematical tools such as the deduction theorem. Moreover, syntactic considerations (in Dijkstra's words, "letting the (...) symbols do the work") have led to the "calculational style," an impressive array of techniques for elegant proof constructions. In this paper, we formalize intuitionistic predicate logic according to CED with similar success. In this system (I-CED), we prove Leibniz's principle for intuitionistic logic and also prove that any (intuitionistic) valid formula of predicate logic can be proved in I-CED. (shrink)
The fundamental assumptions in Dijkstra''s influential article on computing science teaching are challenged. Dijkstra''s paper presents the radical novelties of computing, and the consequent problems that we must tackle through a formal, logic-based approach to program derivation. Dijkstra''s main premise is that the algorithmic programming paradigm is the only one, in fact, the only possible one. It is argued that there is at least one other, the network-programming paradigm, which itself is a radical novelty with respect to (...) the implementation of problems on computers. And, as one might expect of a radical alternative, it shows much of the conventional wisdom concerning computing science, which Dijkstra variously attacks and dispenses, to be special pleading; not universals of computing at all. Finally, we explore what is known of this new paradigm in order to see what light it sheds on the fundamental problems that computing really does present to us. Not surprisingly, some become less problematic, some disappear altogether and others take their place, but, in general, it must be of benefit to modern computer technology to gain a wider perspective on the possibilities instead of seeing everything through the traditional tunnel of programming as formula derivation, and computers as the requisite, special type of symbol manipulation device. (shrink)
Recent developments between Gasunie and Groningen illustrate the delicate issues which are raised by such company‐city partnerships. The author is a scientific researcher in Ethics at Nijenrode, The Netherlands School of Business. He wishes to thank Henk Pohlmann, Head of the department of Collective Relations and Social Policy of Gasunie, for information and discussion.
Dijkstra and Scholten have proposed a formalization of classical predicate logic on a novel deductive system as an alternative to Hilbert's style of proof and Gentzen's deductive systems. In this context we call it CED . This deductive method promotes logical equivalence over implication and shows that there are easy ways to prove predicate formulas without the introduction of hypotheses or metamathematical tools such as the deduction theorem. Moreover, syntactic considerations have led to the "calculational style," an impressive array (...) of techniques for elegant proof constructions. In this paper, we formalize intuitionistic predicate logic according to CED with similar success. In this system , we prove Leibniz's principle for intuitionistic logic and also prove that any valid formula of predicate logic can be proved in I-CED. (shrink)
This article explores a new reading of an important section of Part II of Spinoza’s Ethics. It recognizes that Spinoza actually differentiates between the human mind conceived from the viewpoint of its cause and the human mind conceived from the viewpoint of its nature. It shows, most importantly, that Spinoza assigns different objects to those ‘minds’. Consequently they represent different knowledge of the body. It will appear that the human mind in respect of its cause represents non-conscious knowledge of the (...) human body and that the human mind in respect of its nature represents conscious knowledge of the human body. It will be shown that knowledge of the inner processes of the human body and of the body per se belongs to the domain of non-conscious knowledge. The same conclusion will be obtained in an analysis that starts from the distinction between the formal and the objective being of the human mind. (shrink)
Achieving understanding of nature is one of the aims of science. In this paper we offer an analysis of the nature of scientific understanding that accords with actual scientific practice and accommodates the historical diversity of conceptions of understanding. Its core idea is a general criterion for the intelligibility of scientific theories that is essentially contextual: which theories conform to this criterion depends on contextual factors, and can change in the course of time. Our analysis provides a general account of (...) how understanding is provided by scientific explanations of diverse types. In this way, it reconciles conflicting views of explanatory understanding, such as the causal-mechanical and the unificationist conceptions. (shrink)
Background Clinical moral case deliberation consists of the systematic reflection on a concrete moral case␣by health care professionals. This paper presents the study of a 4-year moral deliberation project.Objectives The objectives of this paper are to: (a) describe the practice and the theoretical background of moral deliberation, (b) describe the moral deliberation project, (c) present the outcomes of␣the evaluation of the moral case deliberation sessions, and (d) present the implementation process.Methods The implementation process is both monitored and supported by an (...) interactive responsive evaluation design with: (a) in-depth interviews, (b) Maastricht evaluation questionnaires, (c) evaluation survey, and (d) ethnographic participant observation. In accordance with the theory of responsive evaluation, researchers acted both as evaluators and moderators (i.e. ethicists).Results Both qualitative and quantitative results showed that the moral case deliberations, the role of the ethics facilitator, and the train-the-facilitator program were regarded as useful and were evaluated as (very) positive. Health care professionals reported that they improved their moral competencies (i.e. knowledge, attitude and skills). However, the new trained facilitators lacked a clear organisational structure and felt overburdened with the implementation process. The paper ends with both practical and research suggestions for future moral deliberation projects. (shrink)
Vulnerability has become a popular though controversial topic in bioethics, notably since 2000. As a result, a common body of knowledge has emerged distinguishing between different types of vulnerability, criticizing the categorization of populations as vulnerable, and questioning the practical implications. It is argued that two perspectives on vulnerability, i.e., the philosophical and political, pose challenges to contemporary bioethics discourse: they re-examine the significance of human agency, the primacy of the individual person, and the negativity of vulnerability. As a phenomenon (...) of globalization, vulnerability can only be properly addressed in a global bioethics that takes the social dimension of human existence seriously. (shrink)
Ludwik Fleck is widely recognized as a precursor of Science and Technology Studies, but his case study on the development of the Wassermann reaction as a test for detecting syphilis has never been subjected to detailed empirical scrutiny. The fact that Fleck?s monograph is based on a limited set of documentary sources makes his work vulnerable to uncharitable critics. The problematic relation between thought collective and individual scientists in Fleck?s theoretical approach is another reason for a systematic re-examination of his (...) case study, using materials on the early period in the history of the Wassermann reaction (1906?1912). My re-examination highlights several problems in Fleck?s account: a misinterpretation of the switch from antigen detection to antibody detection; a neglect of the ?clinical connection?; an overemphasis on the importance of collective experience leading to implausible views on gross retrospective distortions supposedly inflicted by this experience upon the memories of individual participants; and, finally, a misjudgement of the significance of the acrimonious dispute over the intellectual ownership of the Wassermann reaction. What remains unscathed is Fleck?s picture of a zig-zag course of development from false initial assumptions via detours and cul-de-sacs to a clinically usable test in the end. (shrink)
One of the most attractive, but nevertheless highly controversial proposals to alleviate the negative effects of today’s international patent regime is the Health Impact Fund (HIF). Although the HIF has been drafted to facilitate access to medicines and boost pharmaceutical research, we have analysed the burdens for the global poor a similar proposal designed to promote the use and development of climate-friendly technologies would have. Drawing parallels from the access to medicines debate, we suspect that an analogous “Climate Impact Fund” (...) will increase the already very high scientific and technological supremacy of the developed world over the Global South. We advocate countering this dominance on the ground that countries with scarce research and development capacities will be in a difficult position to reject technologies and will not have a say on how such technologies should look like. Further, addressing global hazards should be an inclusive endeavour and not only a privilege reserved for the developed world. Incentivizing grassroots innovation would be a major step to promote scientific and technological inclusion. (shrink)
The act of understanding is at the heart of all scientific activity; without it any ostensibly scientific activity is as sterile as that of a high school student substituting numbers into a formula. Ordinary language often uses visual metaphors in connection with understanding. When we finally understand what someone is trying to point out to us, we exclaim: “I see!” When someone really understands a subject matter, we say that she has “insight”. There appears to be a link between visualization (...) and understanding, and between visualizability and intelligibility. This applies in science no less than in daily life: visualization is regarded as a useful means of achieving scientific understanding, even in the .. (shrink)
Most philosophers in the analytical philosophy answer the question what personal identity is in psychological terms. Arguments for substantiating this view are mainly based on thought experiments of brain transfer cases and the like in which persons change brains. However, in these thought experiments the remaining part of the body plays only a passive part. In this paper I argue that the psychological approach of personal identity cannot be maintained, if the whole body is actively involved in the analysis, and (...) that the body is an intrinsic part of what I am as a person. (shrink)
Business ethics in Westenr and Northern Europe has acquired a certain momentum during the last fifteen years, both as an academic discipline and as a point of reference in business policies. The article reports about developments in academia in various countries, and the founding of national and Europe-wide networks and organizations bringing together representatives from business as well as from universities. It presents sources of information on the state of affairs, and proposes some parameters by which the national varieties of (...) posssible alliances between ethical thinking and business policies can be depicted more adequately. The thesis of the report is that, in order to be operational, business ethics in Western and Northern Europe has to become part of the total configuration of economic, historical and ideological components that shape the social fabric on a national level. (shrink)
This article analyses an episode in the earlyhistory of quantum theory: the controversy betweenPauli and Heisenberg about the anomalous Zeemaneffect, which was a main stumbling block for the oldquantum theory of Bohr. It is argued that theindividual philosophical views of both Pauli andHeisenberg directed their attempts to solve theanomaly and decisively influenced the solutions theyproposed. The results of this case study arecompared with the assertions of four theories ofscientific change, namely those of Kuhn, Lakatos,Laudan and Giere.
In this paper I present my reflections on the ethics of science as described by Merton and as actually practiced by scientists and technologists. This ethics was the subject of Kuipers' paper "'Default norms' in Research Ethics" (Kuipers 2001). There is an implicit assumption in this ethics, notably in Merton's norm of communism, that knowledge is always, or unconditionally good, and hence that scientific research, and the dissemination of its results, is unconditionally good. I will give here reasons why scientists (...) are not permitted to proceed, as they actually do, on the basis of this assumption. There is no factual or other binding justification for this assumption, and the activities it gives rise to frequently conflict with the broadly accepted ethical principle of restricted liberty. A recent discussion on the risks and hazards of science and on the issue of relinquishment is presented. What is shown in this paper is that the scientists and technologists participating in this discussion frequently violate core values of science relating to logical and empirical scrutiny and systematic criticism, as mentioned in Merton's norms of universalism, organized skepticism, and disinterestedness. It is concluded that, in order to live up to these values and in order to operate in agreement with broader ethical principles, science should stimulate open and critical discussion on the hazards and negative effects of science and technology, and on the present failure on the part of law and politics to control those hazards and negative effects. Science should also take the possibility of relinquishing certain themes of research seriously as long as such flaws in the systems of law and political decision-making persist. (shrink)
The absence of appropriate information about imperceptible and ethical food characteristics limits the opportunities for concerned consumer/citizens to take ethical issues into account during their inescapable food consumption. It also fuels trust crises between producers and consumers, hinders the optimal embedment of innovative technologies, “punishes” in the market ethical producers, and limits the opportunities for politically liberal democratic governance. This paper outlines a framework for the ethical characterization and subsequent optimization of foods (ECHO). The framework applies to “imperceptible,” “pragmatic,” and (...) “reasonable” food characteristics about which consumers/citizens maintain concerns. A political perspective is assumed in that valid information is taken to serve the politically liberal and democratic functions of the market by allowing concerned citizens to make informed choices in their role as food consumers. Information is aggregated by multi-attribute modeling. It takes the form of “maximized” (“utilitarian”) to “most balanced” (MINMAX) non-binary aggregate comparative rankings of perceptibly substitutable food products. The model requires the description of characteristics by means of criteria and weights (structural input), and technical input on the performance of food for these criteria (product input). Structural input is grounded on relevantly concerned citizen/consumers’ perceptions. It is culture and times dependent. Availability of product input is assumed. Uses for the amelioration of the aforementioned limitations are discussed. So long as, and to the extent that, certain ethical concerns are not addressed by public policy, the ECHO framework may facilitate offering members of society a necessary (though not a sufficient) condition for regulating the ethical aspects of food production in self-regulated markets as consumers, when they are constrained to do so through their government as citizens. In doing that, the framework may contribute to the development of the ethical dimension of food production and may bring rewards for food supply actors that take reasonable concerns of citizen/consumers into account. (shrink)