In recent decades, the governance of food safety, food quality, on-farm environmental management and animal welfare has been shifting from the realm of ‘the government’ to that of the private sector. Corporate entities, especially the large supermarkets, have responded to neoliberal forms of governance and the resultant ‘hollowed-out’ state by instituting private standards for food, backed by processes of certification and policed through systems of third party auditing. Today’s food regime is one in which supermarkets impose ‘private standards’ along the (...) food supply chain to ensure compliance with a range of food safety goals—often above and beyond those prescribed by government. By examining regulatory governance in Australia, Norway and the United Kingdom we highlight emerging trajectories of food governance. We argue that the imposition of the new private forms of monitoring and compliance continue the project of agricultural restructuring that began with government support for structural adjustment schemes in agriculture and that these are most evident in the UK and Australia where neoliberalism is an entrenched philosophy. However, despite Norway’s identity as a social democracy, we also identify neoliberal ‘creep’ into the system of food governance. Small-scale producers in all three nations are finding themselves increasingly subject to governance through private, market-based mechanisms that, to varying degrees, are dominated by major supermarket chains. The result is agricultural restructuring not through the traditional avenues of elected governments, but via non-elected market operatives. (shrink)
In Norway, the production andconsumption of organic food is still small-scale. Research on attitudes towards organic farming in Norway has shown that most consumers find conventionally produced food to be “good enough.” The level of industrialization of agriculture and the existence of food scandals in a country will affect consumer demand for organically produced foods. Norway is an interesting case because of its small-scale agriculture, few problems with food-borne diseases, and low market share for organic food. Similarities between groups of (...) consumers and producers of food, organic and conventional, when it comes to attitudes concerning environment, use of gene technology, and animal welfare have implications for understanding market conditions for organically produced food. The results of our study indicate that organic farmers and organic consumers in Norway have common attitudes towards environmental questions and animal welfare in Norwegian agriculture. Conventional farmers have a higher degree of agreement with the way agriculture is carried out today. Unlike organic farmers and consumers, conventional farmers do not see major environmental problems and problems with animal welfare in today's farming system. But like the organic farmers and consumers, and to a stronger degree than conventional consumers, conventional farmers renounce gene technology as a solution to environmental problems in agriculture. These results are discussed in relation to their importance for the market situation for organically produced foods. (shrink)
Dieser Beitrag bietet eine umfassende Diskussion des Textes “Humanismus und Christentum” des dänischen Philosophen und Theologen Knud E. Løgstrup. Er verortet den Text in seinem geistesgeschichtlichen Kontext und analysiert seine wichtigsten Argumente wie auch seine zentrale These, der zufolge Humanismus und Christentum einen entscheidenden Grundsatz teilen, insofern beide die Ethik als “stumm“ oder “unausgesprochen“ verstehen. Darüber hinaus wird dargelegt, wie Løgstrups Text zentrale Überlegungen in dessen späteren Publikationen, besonders in dem Hauptwerk Die ethische Forderung, vorwegnimmt.
The essays in this volume critically analyze and revitalize agrarian philosophy by tracing its evolution in the classical American philosophy of key figures such as Franklin, Jefferson, Emerson, Thoreau, Dewey, and Royce.
The Patient in the Family diagnoses the ways in which the worlds of home and hospital misunderstand each other. The authors explore how medicine, through its new reproductive technologies, is altering the stucture of families, how families can participate more fully in medical decision-making, and how to understand the impact on families of medical advances to extend life but not vitality.
This book explores the social practice of holding each other in our identities, beginning with pregnancy and on through the life span. Lindemann argues that our identities give us our sense of how to act and how to treat others, and that the ways in which we we hold each other in them is of crucial moral importance.
This important work of archaeological theory challenges us to reconsider our ideas about the nature of things, past and present, arguing that objects themselves possess a dynamic presence that we must take into account if we are to understand the world we and they inhabit.
An Invitation to Feminist Ethics is a hospitable approach to the study of feminist moral theory and practice. Designed to be small enough to be used as a supplement to other books, it also provides the theoretical depth necessary for stand-alone use in courses in feminist ethics, feminist philosophy, and women's studies. The "overviews" section introduces important concepts in feminist ethical theory and contrasts that theory with the standard moral theories. The "close-ups" section looks at three topics--bioethics, violence, and the (...) globalized economy--to help students put the theories presented in the Overviews section to practical use. (shrink)
In this article we discuss what we call the deliberative division of epistemic labor. We present evidence that the human tendency to engage in motivated reasoning in defense of our beliefs can facilitate the occurrence of divisions of epistemic labor in deliberations among people who disagree. We further present evidence that these divisions of epistemic labor tend to promote beliefs that are better supported by the evidence. We show that promotion of these epistemic benefits stands in tension with what extant (...) theories in epistemology take rationality to require in cases of disagreement. We argue that the epistemic benefits that result from the deliberative division of epistemic labor can provide epistemic reason to maintain confidence in cases of disagreement. We then show that the deliberative division of epistemic labor constitutes a distinct kind of epistemic dependence. (shrink)
We demonstrate how to validly quantify into hyperintensional contexts involving non-propositional attitudes like seeking, solving, calculating, worshipping, and wanting to become. We describe and apply a typed extensional logic of hyperintensions that preserves compositionality of meaning, referential transparency and substitutivity of identicals also in hyperintensional attitude contexts. We specify and prove rules for quantifying into hyperintensional contexts. These rules presuppose a rigorous method for substituting variables into hyperintensional contexts, and the method will be described. We prove the following. First, it (...) is always valid to quantify into hyperintensional attitude contexts and over hyperintensional entities. Second, factive empirical attitudes validate, furthermore, quantifying over intensions and extensions, and so do non-factive attitudes, both empirical and non-empirical , provided the entity to be quantified over exists. We focus mainly on mathematical attitudes, because they are uncontroversially hyperintensional. (shrink)
The end-state comfort effect refers to the consistent tendency of healthy adults to end their movements in a comfortable end posture. In children with and without developmental coordination disorder, the results of studies focusing on ESC planning have been inconclusive, which is likely to be due to differences in task constraints. The present pilot study focused on the question whether children with and without DCD were able to change their planning strategy and were more likely to plan for ESC when (...) demanded by complex object manipulations at the end of a task. To this end, we examined ESC planning in 18 children with and without DCD using the previously used sword-task and the newly developed hammer-task. In the sword-task, children had to insert a sword in a wooden block, which could be relatively easily completed with an uncomfortable end-posture. In the hammer-task, children had to strike down a nail in a wooden pounding bench, which required additional force and speed demands, making it relatively difficult to complete the movement with an uncomfortable end-posture. In line with our hypothesis, the results demonstrated that children with and without DCD were more likely to plan for ESC on the hammer-task compared with the sword-task. Thus, while children with and without DCD show inconsistent ESC planning on many previously used tasks, the present pilot study shows that many of them are able to take into account the end-state of their movements if demanded by task constraints. (shrink)
Medicalization is frequently defined as a process by which some non-medical aspects of human life become to be considered as medical problems. Overdiagnosis, on the other hand, is most often defined as diagnosing a biomedical condition that in the absence of testing would not cause symptoms or death in the person’s lifetime. Medicalization and overdiagnosis are related concepts as both expand the extension of the concept of disease. They are both often used normatively to critique unwarranted or contested expansion of (...) medicine and to address health services that are considered to be unnecessary, futile, or even harmful. However, there are important differences between the concepts, as not all cases of overdiagnosis are medicalizations and not all cases of medicalizations are overdiagnosis. The objective of this article is to clarify the differences between medicalization and overdiagnosis. It will demonstrate how the subject matter of medicalization traditionally has been non-medical phenomena, while the subject matter of overdiagnosis has been biological or biomolecular conditions or processes acknowledged being potentially harmful. They also refer to different types of uncertainty: medicalization is concerned with indeterminacy, while overdiagnosis is concerned with lack of prognostic knowledge. Medicalization is dealing with sickness while overdiagnosis with disease. Despite these differences, medicalization and overdiagnosis are becoming more alike. Medicalization is expanding, encompassing the more “technical” aspects of overdiagnosis, while overdiagnosis is becoming more ideologized. Moreover, with new trends in modern medicine, such as P4 medicine, medicalization will become all-encompassing, while overdiagnosis more or less may dissolve. In the end they may converge in some total “iatrogenization.” In doing so, the concepts may lose their precision and critical sting. (shrink)
Introduction With an ageing population, end-of-life care is increasing in importance. The present work investigated characteristics and time trends of older peoples' attitudes towards euthanasia and an end-of-life pill. Methods Three samples aged 64 years or older from the Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam (N=1284 (2001), N=1303 (2005) and N=1245 (2008)) were studied. Respondents were asked whether they could imagine requesting their physician to end their life (euthanasia), or imagine asking for a pill to end their life if they became tired (...) of living in the absence of a severe disease (end-of-life pill). Using logistic multivariable techniques, changes of attitudes over time and their association with demographic and health characteristics were assessed. Results The proportion of respondents with a positive attitude somewhat increased over time, but significantly only among the 64–74 age group. For euthanasia, these percentages were 58% (2001), 64% (2005) and 70% (2008) (OR of most recent versus earliest period (95% CI): 1.30 (1.17 to 1.44)). For an end-of-life pill, these percentages were 31% (2001), 33% (2005) and 45% (2008) (OR (95% CI): 1.37 (1.23 to 1.52)). For the end-of-life pill, interaction between the most recent time period and age group was significant. Conclusions An increasing proportion of older people reported that they could imagine desiring euthanasia or an end-of-life pill. This may imply an increased interest in deciding about your own life and stresses the importance to take older peoples' wishes seriously. (shrink)
The degree of doxastic revision required in response to evidence of disagreement is typically thought to be a function of our beliefs about (1) our interlocutor’s familiarity with the relevant evidence and arguments, and their intellectual capacities and virtues, relative to our own, or (2) the expected probability of our interlocutor being correct, conditional on our disagreeing. While these two factors are typically used interchangeably, I show that they have an inverse correlation in cases of disagreement about politically divisive propositions. (...) This presents us with a puzzle about the epistemic impact of disagreement in these cases. The most significant disagreements on (1) are the least significant disagreements on (2), and vice versa. I show that assessing the epistemic status of an interlocutor by reference to either (1) or (2) has uncomfortable consequences in these cases. I then argue that this puzzle cannot be escaped by claiming that we usually have dispute-independent reason to reject the significance of politically charged disagreement altogether. (shrink)
Background: Visual technologies are central to youth culture and are often the preferred communication means of adolescents. Although these tools can be beneficial in fostering relations, adolescents’ use of visual technologies and social media also raises ethical concerns. Aims: We explored how school public health nurses identify and resolve the ethical challenges involved in the use of visual technologies in health dialogues with adolescents. Research design: This is a qualitative study utilizing data from focus group discussions. Participants and research context: (...) We conducted focus group discussions using two semi-structured discussion guides with seven groups of public health nurses working in Norwegian school health services. The data were collected during January and October 2016. Discussions were audio recorded, transcribed, and coded into themes and subthemes using systematic text condensation. Ethical considerations: The leader of the public health nursing service who agreed to provide access for the study and the Norwegian Center for Research Data that reviewed and approved the study. All participants gave informed consent. Findings: In adolescents’ use of visual materials with public health nurses, ethical concerns were raised regarding suicide ideations, socially unacceptable content, violation of privacy, and presentations of possible child neglect. The nurses utilized their professional knowledge and experience when identifying and navigating these ethical dilemmas; they resolved ethical uncertainties through peer discussion and collaboration with fellow nurses and other professionals. Discussion: We discussed the findings in light of Annemarie Mol’s interpretation of the ethics of care. Mol expands the notion of ethical care to include the action of technologies. Conclusion: Although the increasing use of visual technologies offered benefits, school nurses faced ethical challenges in health dialogues with adolescents. To address and navigate these ethical issues, they relied on their experience and caring practices based on their professional ethics. Uncertainties were resolved through peer dialogue and guidance. (shrink)
Overdiagnosis and disease are related concepts. Widened conceptions of disease increase overdiagnosis and vice versa. This is partly because there is a close and complex relationship between disease and overdiagnosis. In order to address the problems with overdiagnosis, we may benefit from a closer understanding this relationship. Accordingly, the objective of this article is to elucidate the relationship between disease and overdiagnosis. To do so, the article starts with scrutinizing how overdiagnosis can explain the expansion of the concept of disease. (...) Then it investigates how definitions of disease address various challenges of overdiagnosis. The article specifically investigates recent attempts to clarify the relationship between the concepts of disease and overdiagnosis. Several shortcomings are identified and lead to a closer analysis of overdiagnosis in the diagnostic process. Contrary to recent contributions to the field, it is argued that cases of overdiagnosis are not cases of disease. They are non-verified labelling of disease. It is revealed how overdiagnosis establishes an unwarranted link between indicative phenomena, such as polyps or cell changes, and harm, and thereby generates a link to disease. One implication of this study is that we should stop attributing disease language to indicative phenomena. That is, we should stop calling it “cancer screening” when we are actually searching for polyps. Another implications is that we should strive for scientific progress in differentiating phenomena that are of negative value to us from those that are not. In overdiagnosis we diagnose something that is not disease: it is over-diagnosis. (shrink)
I will assess earlier approaches to the morphology of the G-stem imperative in Semitic and mount a reconstruction that supports a specific set of disyllabic patterns for the imperative of the basic stem in Proto-Semitic, i.e., qutul, qitil, and qital. The most common process envisioned for the formation of the imperative is clipping from the prefix conjugation, but the most recent full treatment of the topic is Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal’s revision and expansion of a century-old proposal that qatul, qatil, and (...) qital are the patterns of the imperative in Proto-Semitic. I refute both the clipping approach and Bar-Asher’s patterns in favor of qutul, qitil, and qital, which are the most economical and precise reconstruction in accounting for the realizations of the imperative in the various branches of Semitic. (shrink)
"A first-rate introduction to the field, accessible to scholars working from a variety of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Highly recommended... " —Choice "... offers both broad theoretical considerations and applications to specific art forms, diverse methodological perspectives, and healthy debate among the contributors.... [an] outstanding volume."—Philosophy and Literature "... this volume represents an eloquent and enlightened attempt to reconceptualize the field of aesthetic theory by encouraging its tendencies toward openness, self-reflexivity and plurality." —Discourse & Society "All of the authors challenge (...) the traditional notion of a pure and disinterested observer that does not allow for questions of race/ethnicity, class, sexual preference, or gender." —Signs These essays examine the intellectual traditions of the philosophy of art and aesthetics. Containing essays by scholars and by the writer Marilyn French, the collection ranges from the history of aesthetic theory to a philosophical reflection on fashion. The contributions are unified by a sustained scrutiny of the nature of "feminist," "feminine," or "female" art, creativity, and interpretation. (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.
This paper addresses the mereological problem of the unity of structured propositions. The problem is how to make multiple parts interact such that they form a whole that is ultimately related to truth and falsity. The solution I propose is based on a Platonist variant of procedural semantics. I think of procedures as abstract entities that detail a logical path from input to output. Procedures are modeled on a function/argument logic, but are not functions. Instead they are higher-order, fine-grained structures. (...) I identify propositions with particular kinds of molecular procedures containing multiple sub-procedures as parts. Procedures are among the basic entities of my ontology, while propositions are derived entities. The core of a structured proposition is the procedure of predication, which is an instance of the procedure of functional application. The main thesis I defend is that procedurally conceived propositions are their own unifiers detailing how their parts interact so as to form a unit. They are not unified by one of their constituents, e.g., a relation or a sub-procedure, on pain of regress. The relevant procedural semantics is Transparent Intensional Logic, a hyperintensional, typed λ-calculus, whose λ-terms express four different kinds of procedures. While demonstrating how the theory works, I place my solution in a wider historical and systematic context. (shrink)
Theories of structured meanings are designed to generate fine-grained meanings, but they are also liable to overgenerate structures, thus drawing structural distinctions without a semantic difference. I recommend the proliferation of very fine-grained structures, so that we are able to draw any semantic distinctions we think we might need. But, in order to contain overgeneration, I argue we should insert some degree of individuation between logical equivalence and structural identity based on structural isomorphism. The idea amounts to forming an equivalence (...) class of different structures according to one or more formal criteria and designating a privileged element as a representative of all the elements, i.e., a first among equals. The proposed method helps us to a cluster of notions of co-hyperintensionality. As a test case, I consider a recent objection levelled against the act theory of structured propositions. I also respond to an objection against my methodology. (shrink)
In the debate on conscientious objection in healthcare, proponents of conscience rights often point to the imperative to protect the health professional’s moral integrity. Their opponents hold that the moral integrity argument alone can at most justify accommodation of conscientious objectors as a “moral courtesy”, as the argument is insufficient to establish a general moral right to accommodation, let alone a legal right. This text draws on political philosophy in order to argue for a legal right to accommodation. The moral (...) integrity arguments should be supplemented by the requirement to protect minority rights in liberal democracies. Citizens have a right to live in accordance with their fundamental moral convictions, and a right to equal access to employment. However, this right should not be unconditional, as that would unduly infringe on the rights of other citizens. The right must be limited to cases where the moral basis is more fundamental in a sense that all reasonable citizens in a liberal democracy should accept, such as the constitutive role of the inviolability of human life in liberal democracies. There should be a legal, yet circumscribed, right to accommodation for conscientious objectors refusing to provide healthcare services that they reasonably consider to involve the intentional killing of a human being. (shrink)
The Scandinavian welfare states have public health care systems which have universal coverage and traditionally low influence of private insurance and private provision. Due to raises in costs, elaborate public control of health care, and a significant technological development in health care, priority setting came on the public agenda comparatively early in the Scandinavian countries. The development of health care priority setting has been partly homogeneous and appears to follow certain phases. This can be of broader interest as it may (...) shed light on alternative models and strategies in health care priority setting. Some general trends have been identified: from principles to procedures, from closed to open processes, and from experts to participation. Five general approaches have been recognized: The moral principles and values based approach, the moral principles and economic assessment approach, the procedural approach, the expert based practice defining approach, and the participatory practice defining approach. There are pros and cons with all of these approaches. For the time being the fifth approach appears attractive, but its lack of true participation and the lack of clear success criteria may pose significant challenges in the future. (shrink)
Fairness, the notion that people deserve or have rights to certain resources or kinds of treatment, is a fundamental dimension of moral cognition. Drawing on recent evidence from economics, psychology, and neuroscience, we ask whether self-interest is always intuitive, requiring self-control to override with reasoning-based fairness concerns, or whether fairness itself can be intuitive. While we find strong support for rejecting the notion that self-interest is always intuitive, the literature has reached conflicting conclusions about the neurocognitive systems underpinning fairness. We (...) propose that this disagreement can largely be resolved in light of an extended Social Heuristics Hypothesis. Divergent findings may be attributed to the interpretation of behavioral effects of ego depletion or neurostimulation, reverse inference from brain activity to the underlying psychological process, and insensitivity to social context and inter-individual differences. To better dissect the neurobiological basis of fairness, we outline how future research should embrace cross-disciplinary methods that combine psychological manipulations with neuroimaging, and that can probe inter-individual, and cultural heterogeneities. (shrink)
Hilde Lindemann Nelson focuses on the stories of groups of people--including Gypsies, mothers, nurses, and transsexuals--whose identities have been defined by those with the power to speak for them and to constrain the scope of their actions. By placing their stories side by side with narratives about the groups in question, Nelson arrives at some important insights regarding the nature of identity. She regards personal identity as consisting not only of how people view themselves but also of how others (...) view them. These perceptions combine to shape the person's field of action. If a dominant group constructs the identities of certain people through socially shared narratives that mark them as morally subnormal, those who bear the damaged identity cannot exercise their moral agency freely.Nelson identifies two kinds of damage inflicted on identities by abusive group relations: one kind deprives individuals of important social goods, and the other deprives them of self-respect. To intervene in the production of either kind of damage, Nelson develops the counterstory, a strategy of resistance that allows the identity to be narratively repaired and so restores the person to full membership in the social and moral community. By attending to the power dynamics that constrict agency, Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair augments the narrative approaches of ethicists such as Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Rorty, and Charles Taylor. (shrink)
There is a tendency in the business ethics literature to think of ethics in restrictive terms: what one should not do, and how to control this. Drawing on Lawrence Kohlberg''s theory of moral development, the paper focuses on, and draws attention to, another more positive aspect of ethics: the capacity of ethics to inspire and empower individuals, as well as groups. To understand and facilitate such empowerment, it is argued that it is necessary to move beyond Kohlberg''s justice reasoning so (...) as to appreciate the value and importance of feeling and care. Accordingly, we draw upon case study material to review the meaning of Kohlberg''s higher stages — 5, 6 and 7 — to question the meaning of ethical reasoning. With such deeper understanding of particular ethical codes or practices, it is thought that members of organisations may come closer to thespirit, as opposed to the letter, of ethical conduct in organisations. This, we argue, is consistent with the degree of trust and integrity demanded by leaner, post-bureaucratic ways of organizing and conducting business as well as being personally beneficial to the people involved. (shrink)
This article presents and evaluates arguments supporting that an approval procedure for genome-edited organisms for food or feed should include a broad assessment of societal, ethical and environmental concerns; so-called non-safety assessment. The core of analysis is the requirement of the Norwegian Gene Technology Act that the sustainability, ethical and societal impacts of a genetically modified organism should be assessed prior to regulatory approval of the novel products. The article gives an overview how this requirement has been implemented in the (...) regulatory practice, demonstrating that such assessment is feasible and justified. Even in situations where genome-edited organisms are considered comparable to non-modified organisms in terms of risk, the technology may have—in addition to social benefits—negative impacts that warrant assessments of the kind required in the Act. The main reason is the disruptive character of the genome editing technologies due to their potential for novel, ground-breaking solutions in agriculture and aquaculture combined with the economic framework shaped by the patent system. Food is fundamental for a good life, biologically and culturally, which warrants stricter assessment procedures than what is required for other industries, at least in countries like Norway with a strong tradition for national control over agricultural markets and breeding programs. (shrink)
Logical semantics includes once again structured meanings in its repertoire. The leading idea is that semantic and syntactic structure are more or less isomorphic. A key motive for reintroducing sensitivity to semantic structure is to obtain fine‐grained meanings, which are individuated more finely than in possible‐world semantics, namely up to necessary equivalence. Just getting the truth‐conditions right is deemed insufficient for a full semantic analysis of sentences. This paper surveys some of the most recent contributions to the program of structured (...) meaning, while providing historical background. I suggest that to make substantial advances the program needs to solve the problem of propositional unity and develop an intensional mereology of abstract objects. (shrink)
Violence is often considered gendered on the basis that it is violence against women. This assumption is evident both in “gender-based violence” interventions in Africa and in the argument that gender is irrelevant if violence is also perpetrated against men. This article examines the relation of partner violence not to biological sex, but to gender as conceptualized in feminist theory. It theorizes the role of gender as an analytical category in dominant social meanings of “wifebeating” in Tanzania by analyzing arguments (...) for and against wife-beating expressed in 27 focus group discussions in the Arumeru and Kigoma-Vijijini districts. The normative ideal of a “good beating” emerges from these data as one that is supported by dominant social norms and cyclically intertwined with “doing gender.” The author shows how the good beating supports, and is in turn supported by, norms that hold people accountable to their sex category. These hegemonic gender norms prescribe the performance of masculinity and femininity, power relations of inequality, and concrete material exploitation of women’s agricultural and domestic labor. The study has implications for policy and practice in interventions against violence, and suggests untapped potential in theoretically informed feminist research for understanding local power relations in the Global South. (shrink)
Aim of the paper is to present a new logic of technical malfunction. The need for this logic is motivated by a simple-sounding philosophical question: Is a malfunctioning corkscrew, which fails to uncork bottles, nonetheless a corkscrew? Or in general terms, is a malfunctioning F, which fails to do what Fs do, nonetheless an F? We argue that ‘malfunctioning’ denotes the modifier Malfunctioning rather than a property, and that the answer depends on whether Malfunctioning is subsective or privative. If subsective, (...) a malfunctioning F is an F; if privative, a malfunctioning F is not an F. An intensional logic is required to raise and answer the question, because modifiers operate directly on properties and not on sets or individuals. This new logic provides the formal tools to reason about technical malfunction by means of a logical analysis of the sentence “a is a malfunctioning F”. (shrink)
This paper offers a moral history of the industrialisation of seaweed harvesting in Norway. Industrialisation is often seen as degrading natural resources. Ironically, we argue, it is precisely the scale and scope of industrial utilisation that may enable non-instrumental valuations of natural resources. We use the history of the Norwegian seaweed industry to make this point. Seaweed became increasingly interesting to harvest as a fruit and then as a crop of the sea in the early twentieth century following biochemical applications (...) for alginates derived from seaweed. When harvesting was mechanised, however, attention turned to the environmental and aesthetic value of kelp forests. Further, the sale of the industry to the American FMC corporation flagged the national value of these plants. In sum epistemic, aesthetic and moral appreciations of natural resources are tangled up and co-evolve with their industrial utilisation, in an ecology of values. Our account uses interview and ethnographic material from key sites in Norway. (shrink)
New emerging biotechnologies, such as gene editing, vastly extend our ability to alter the human being. This comes together with strong aspirations to improve humans not only physically, but also mentally, morally, and socially. These conjoined ambitions aggregate to what can be labelled “the gene editing of super-ego.” This article investigates a general way used to argue for new biotechnologies, such as gene-editing: if it is safe and efficacious to implement technology X for the purpose of a common good Y, (...) why should we not do so? This is a rhetorical question with a conditional, and may be dismissed as such. Moreover, investigating the question transformed into a formal argument reveals that the argument does not hold either. Nonetheless, the compelling force of the question calls for closer scrutiny, revealing that this way of arguing for biotechnology is based on five assumptions. Analysis of these assumptions shows their significant axiological, empirical, and philosophical challenges. This makes it reasonable to claim that these kinds of question based promotions of specific biotechnologies fail. Hence, the aspirations to make a super-man with a super-ego appear fundamentally flawed. As these types of moral bioenhancement arguments become more prevalent, a revealing hype test is suggested: What is special with this technology, compared to existing methods, that makes it successful in improving human social characteristics in order to make the world a better place for all? Valid answers to this question will provide good reasons to pursue such technologies. Hence, the aim is not to bar the development of modern biotechnology, but rather to ensure good developments and applications of highly potent technologies. So far, we still have a long way to go to make persons with goodness gene. (shrink)
In this paper we present the results of a simulation study of credence developments in groups of communicating Bayesian agents, as they update their beliefs about a given proposition p. Based on the empirical literature, one would assume that these groups of rational agents would converge on a view over time, or at least that they would not polarize. This paper presents and discusses surprising evidence that this is not true. Our simulation study shows that these groups of Bayesian agents (...) show group polarization behavior under a broad range of circumstances. This is, we think, an unexpected result, that raises deeper questions about whether the kind of polarization in question is irrational. If one accepts Bayesian agency as the hallmark of epistemic rationality, then one should infer that the polarization we find is also rational. On the other hand, if we are inclined to think that there is something epistemically irrational about group polarization, then something must be off in the model employed in our simulation study. We discuss several possible interfering factors, including how epistemic trust is defined in the model. Ultimately, we propose that the notion of Bayesian agency is missing something in general, namely the ability to respond to higher-order evidence. (shrink)
Naturalized bioethics represents a revolutionary change in how health care ethics is practised. It calls for bioethicists to give up their dependence on utilitarianism and other ideal moral theories and instead to move toward a self-reflexive, socially inquisitive, politically critical, and inclusive ethics. Wary of idealisations that bypass social realities, the naturalism in ethics that is developed in this volume is empirically nourished and acutely aware that ethical theory is the practice of particular people in particular times, places, cultures, and (...) professional environments. These essays situate the bioethicist within the clinical or research context, take seriously the web of relationships in which all human beings are nested, and explore a number of the different kinds of power relations that inform health care encounters. Naturalized Bioethics aims to help bioethicists, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, disability studies scholars, medical researchers, and other health professionals address the ethical issues surrounding health care. (shrink)
Soames's cognitive propositions are strings of acts to be performed by an agent, such as predicating a property of an individual. King takes these structured propositions to task for proliferating too easily. King's objection is based on an example that purports to show that three of Soames's propositions are really just one proposition. I translate the informally stated propositions King attributes to Soames into the intensional λ-calculus. It turns out that they are all β-equivalent to the proposition King claims Soames's (...) three propositions are identical to. I argue on philosophical grounds against identifying β-equivalent propositions. The reason is that β-conversion obliterates too many of the procedural distinctions that are central to an act-based theory such as Soames's and which are worth preserving. In fact, β-expansion allows the addition of a fifth proposition that highlights additional procedural distinctions and propositional structure. The welcome conclusion is that we have five procedurally distinct, if equivalent, propositions. (shrink)
This article attempts to rehabilitate the concept of fetishism and to contribute to the debate on the social role of objects as well as to fashion theory. Extrapolating from Michel Serres’ theory of the quasi-objects, I distinguish two phenomenologies possessing almost opposite characteristics. These two phenomenologies are, so I argue, essential to quasi-object theory, yet largely ignored by Serres’ sociological interpreters. They correspond with the two different theories of fetishism found in Marx and Durkheim, respectively. In the second half of (...) the article, I introduce the fashion object as a unique opportunity for studying the interchange between these two forms of fetishism and their respective phenomenologies. Finally, returning to Serres, I briefly consider the theoretical consequences of introducing the fashion object as a quasi-object. (shrink)
This article argues that anthropology may represent untapped perspectives of relevance to social theory. The article starts by critically reviewing how anthropology has come to serve as the ‘Other’ in various branches of social theory, from Marx and Durkheim to Parsons to Habermas, engaged in a hopeless project of positing ‘primitive’ or ‘traditional’ society as the opposite of modernity. In contemporary debates, it is becoming increasingly recognized that social theory needs history, back to the axial age and beyond. The possible (...) role of anthropology in theorizing modernity receives far less attention. That role should go much beyond representing a view from ‘below’ or a politically correct appreciation of cultural diversity. It involves attention to key theoretical concepts and insights developed by maverick anthropologists like Arnold van Gennep, Marcel Mauss, Victor Turner and Gregory Bateson, concepts that uniquely facilitate an understanding of some of the underlying dynamics of modernity. (shrink)
The topic of this paper is the notion of technical (as opposed to biological) malfunction. It is shown how to form the property being a malfunctioning F from the property F and the property modifier malfunctioning (a mapping taking a property to a property). We present two interpretations of malfunctioning. Both interpretations agree that a malfunctioning F lacks the dispositional property of functioning as an F. However, its subsective interpretation entails that malfunctioning Fs are Fs, whereas its privative interpretation entails (...) that malfunctioning Fs are not Fs. We chart various of their respective logical consequences and discuss some of the philosophical implications of both interpretations. (shrink)