As part of the preparations to establish a population-based biobank in a large Israeli health organization, we aimed to investigate through focus groups the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of insured Israelis, toward biobanking, and then, after input from focus groups’ participants, to empirically assess the impact of a revised recruitment process on recruitment rates. 1) Six Focus group discussions were conducted with individuals who had routine blood laboratory tests taken in the last 2 years. 2) After addressing the issues raised (...) in the focus groups and revising the recruitment process, individuals undergoing routine blood tests in phlebotomy clinics were invited to participate in the future biobank. Six Focus group discussions were conducted with individuals who had routine blood laboratory tests taken in the last 2 years. After addressing the issues raised in the focus groups and revising the recruitment process, individuals undergoing routine blood tests in phlebotomy clinics were invited to participate in the future biobank. At the outset of the focus groups there was an overall positive response to the prospect of a population-based biobank. Concerns revolved around infringement on privacy, fears of the “big brother”, and anxiety about inequality. Reaction to the language of the informed consent document revolved around concerns over ability to maintain anonymity, to withdraw consent, involvement of commercial entities, and the general tenor of the informed consent, which was perceived as legalistic and unilateral. In general, the longer participants were exposed to discussion about the biobank, the less likely they were to consent to sign in. Overall, only 20% of the 60 participants stated they would agree to sign in by the end of the 2 hour group session. The feedback obtained from the focus groups was used in the second stage of the study. A team of recruiters received extensive training to enable fruitful discussion and a detailed explanation to questions and concerns raised during the recruitment process. During the second stage of the study, after revising the consent form and training recruiters, a 53% consent rate was observed among 10,262 participants, more than 4 fold higher than estimated at the focus group stage. The qualitative focus group research helped identify important perceptions and concerns, which were subsequently addressed in the revised consent form and in the discussion the recruiters had with potential biobank donors. (shrink)
This study provides a critical appraisal of Duncan Pritchard’s argument to the effect that ability to preserve certain eminently plausible transmission and/or closure principles for knowledge serves as a powerful adequacy test on alternative accounts of so-called Wittgensteinian certainties or hinge commitments. I argue that Pritchard fails to establish this claim—the transmission test does not favour his favourite conception over alternative conceptions premised on the idea that hinge commitments are not supportable via evidential-cognitive routes.
The age of maturity of children to consent for medical research is under debate, as different authorities regard the capacity of young teenagers as either satisfactory or not to grant consent without parental participation in the process. The present paper contrasts the generally accepted guideline for ethics in paediatric research in Canada with what the same children are allowed and expected to be able to do as babysitters. This comparison reveals deep incongruences in the way the maturity of the same (...) children is appreciated for two different tasks. (shrink)
The debate that raged in the interwar period between the Austrian economists and socialist economists was, narrowly conceived, a debate in positive economics. What was being discussed was certainly not the morality of capitalism or of socialism. Nor, strictly speaking, was the debate even about society's economic well-being under socialism; it concerned the ability of central planners to make decisions that take appropriate account of relevant resource scarcities, in the light of consumer preference rankings. To be sure, the extraordinary interest (...) which surrounded the debate and the passions that lurked barely below its surface testified to the powerful implications of the debate for crucial issues in welfare economics. The Austrians were not merely exploring the economies of socialism; they were in effect demonstrating that, as an economic system attempting to serve the needs of its citizens, socialism must inevitably fail. But, even if the debate is interpreted in its broadest terms, as a debate in welfare economics, it represented a sharp break widi traditional polemics relating to the socialism-capitalism issue. Traditionally the arguments for or against capitalism had, until 1920, been deeply involved in ediical questions. Mises's 1920 challenge to socialism, in contrast, was explicit in making no attempt to address any claims concerning the alleged moral superiority of socialism. He simply argued that, as an economic system, socialism was inherendy incapable of fulfilling the objectives of its proponents; central planners are unable to plan centrally. (shrink)
Recruitment of healthy children for drugresearch has emerged due in part to several newAmerican laws and policies that have led to asurge in pharmaceutical research involvingchildren-subjects. In this paper, I review theethical and scientific issues and the argumentsin favor and against this new practice.
This edited volume examines the relationship between collective intentionality and inferential theories of meaning. The book consists of three main sections. The first part contains essays demonstrating how researchers working on inferentialism and collective intentionality can learn from one another. The essays in the second part examine the dimensions along which philosophical and empirical research on human reasoning and collective intentionality can benefit from more cross-pollination. The final part consists of essays that offer a closer examination of themes from inferentialism (...) and collective intentionality that arise in the work of Wilfrid Sellars. Groups, Norms, and Practices provides a template for continuing an interdisciplinary program in philosophy and the sciences that aims to deepen our understanding of human rationality, language use, and sociality. (shrink)
In the wake of the Scientific Revolution, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the complete demolition of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophes, including Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. The Radical Enlightenment played a part in this revolutionary process, which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of (...) the eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have received limited scholarly attention. The greatest obstacle to the movement finding its proper place in modern historical writing is its international scope: the Racial Enlightenment was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this wide-ranging volume, Jonathan Israel offers a novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to defend and justify the hypothesis that Perelman’s New Rhetoric can enable the French school of Discourse Analysis to readjust its theoretical positions concerning the ethics of discourse. While it is no longer necessary, in the wake of linguists such as Benveniste and Kerbrat-Orecchioni, to point out the founding role of the inscription of subjectivity in language, it is, paradoxically, still necessary to justify the legitimacy of choosing the axiological dimension of discourse and its (...) ethical issues as a scientific object. Indeed, very few linguists view Perelman’s New Rhetoric as a logic and a “pragmatics” of values; most of them prefer to view it as a technical reservoir of types of arguments (Cf. concerning the critical enumeration and classification of references to the NR, raised in approximately forty linguistic works, Koren 2002: 197–228). So far, the notions of “guarantee” and “commitment” are integrated in pragmatic linguistic theories; but these notions have mostly to do with a “commitment” vis-à-vis a referential truth. Truth is still considered as the ultimate value, as the normative reference to every questioning on discursive rectitude. We are thus left with an epistemological lacuna, namely the integration of the responsibility for value judgments in linguistic theories, that could be partially answered for by the New Rhetoric. An editorial from Le Monde will be analyzed to illustrate this point of view. (shrink)
The first major reassessment of the Western Enlightenment for a generation. Continuing the story he began in Radical Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel now focuses on the first half of the eighteenth century. He traces to their roots the core principles of Western modernity: the primacy of reason, democracy, racial equality, feminism, religious toleration, sexual emancipation, and freedom of expression.
That the Enlightenment shaped modernity is uncontested. Yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does. In Democratic Enlightenment , Israel demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. The American Revolution and its concerns certainly acted as a major factor in the intellectual ferment that (...) shaped the wider upheaval that followed, but the radical philosophes were no less critical than enthusiastic about the American model. From 1789, the General Revolution's impetus came from a small group of philosophe-revolutionnaires , men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups represented in the French National assembly, they nonetheless forged " la philosophie moderne "--in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas--into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America, Canada and eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. In addition, Israel argues that while all French revolutionary journals powerfully affirmed that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste "Revolution of reason." Acclaim for earlier volumes in the trilogy: "His vast--and vastly impressive--book sets out to redefine the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe. Magnificent and magisterialwill undoubtedly be one of the truly great historical works of the decade." -- Sunday Telegraph "The scholarship is breathtaking. Israel has read everything, absorbed every nuance, followed up every byway." -- New Statesman "An enormously impressive piece of scholarship. The breadth and depth of the author's reading are breathtaking and Enlightenment Contested is set to become the definitive work for philosophers as well as historians on this extraordinary period." -- Tribune. (shrink)
In recent years, artificial intelligence has been deployed by online platforms to prevent the upload of allegedly illegal content or to remove unwarranted expressions. These systems are trained to spot objectionable content and to remove it, block it, or filter it out before it is even uploaded. Artificial intelligence filters offer a robust approach to content moderation which is shaping the public sphere. This dramatic shift in norm setting and law enforcement is potentially game-changing for democracy. Artificial intelligence filters carry (...) censorial power, which could bypass traditional checks and balances secured by law. Their opaque and dynamic nature creates barriers to oversight, and conceals critical value choices and tradeoffs. Currently, we lack adequate tools to hold them accountable. This paper seeks to address this gap by introducing an adversarial procedure— – Contesting Algorithms. It proposes to deliberately introduce friction into the dominant removal systems governed by artificial intelligence. Algorithmic content moderation often seeks to optimize a single goal, such as removing copyright-infringing materials or blocking hate speech, while other values in the public interest, such as fair use or free speech, are often neglected. Contesting algorithms introduce an adversarial design which reflects conflicting values, and thereby may offer a check on dominant removal systems. Facilitating an adversarial intervention may promote democratic principles by keeping society in the loop. An adversarial public artificial intelligence system could enhance dynamic transparency, facilitate an alternative public articulation of social values using machine learning systems, and restore societal power to deliberate and determine social tradeoffs. (shrink)
The prevalence of social production and the increase in User Generated Content destabilize some of the fundamental premises of our current copyright law. Copyright law is primarily designed to regulate the relationships of a single owner with other non-owners and is focused on the sovereignty of the author/owner. Social production, by contrast, requires us to articulate a matrix of relationships between the individual, the facilitating platform and the communities and crowds involved in social production. The transition from industrial production to (...) social production transforms the social relations associated with the production of content and therefore requires adjustment of the institutions that design such relations. This Article closely examines the social dimension of content production and analyzes the consequences for the governance of content in the social web. The Article proceeds as follows: Part I describes social production and analyzes the implications for the stakeholders involved. I focus on three key features of social production which affect why we create, how we create, and what assets are generated by the process of creation. Part II explains why social production might be incompatible with the current copyright regime. In particular, I argue that copyright law mainly defines rights against strangers and fails to provide a framework for managing the rights and interests within a gigantic group of collaborators. Furthermore, the exclusivity offered by copyright law may undermine social motivation and collaborative production. Finally, in Part III, I outline some of the challenges for legal policy. (shrink)
Copyright law in recent years has undergone a process of privatization. While weakening the enforceability of conventional legislation (copyright rules), cyberspace facilitates alternative types of regulation such as contracts and technical self-help measures. Regulation by the code is significantly different from traditional types of public ordering (copyright law) and private ordering (contracts). Norms that technically regulate the use of information are not merely self-made they are also self-enforced. Furthermore, the law was recruited to uphold the superiority of such technical self-help (...) measures. The recently adopted U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) 1998 prohibits the development and use of technologies designed to circumvent copyright management systems. The underlying assumption of this legislation is that in Cyberspace, the target of regulation should become the technologies that affect users'' behavior rather than the behaviors themselves. This paper critically examines this regulatory approach and highlights its shortcomings. (shrink)
Recent studies based on next‐generation DNA sequencing have revealed that the female inactive X chromosome is replicated in a rapid, unorganized manner, and undergoes increased rates of mutation. These observations link the organization of DNA replication timing to gene regulation on one hand, and to the generation of mutations on the other hand. More generally, the exceptional biology of the inactive X chromosome highlights general principles of genome replication. Cells may control replication timing by a combination of intrinsic replication origin (...) properties, local chromatin states and global levels of replication factors, leading to a functional separation between the activity of genes and their mutation. (shrink)
This paper is a polemic response to the essay “The Semantics of Proper Names and Identity Theory of Predication” by L. Novák (SN 1–2/2004). In the first part of the article, the so-called descriptive theories of proper names and Kripke’s challenge to these views are briefly presented. It is pointed out that Novák’s exposition rests upon certain presuppositions in the theories of meaning and mind, which are controversial and which – without further argument – can hardly cast doubt on the (...) so-called New Theory of Reference. Furthermore, it is argued that Novák’s “minimal sense” of a proper name is too minimalistic and cannot be of service to the original idea of descripitivism. In the second part of the paper, an attempt is made to show that Novák’s extensional-intensional identity theory of predication is not based on identity, insofar as it is characterised by the axioms of the theory of identity. (shrink)
Cieľom štúdie je vysvetliť motiváciu a podstatu filozofických koncepcií, podľa ktorých je tvrdenie normatívny fenomén. Začnem tým, že zmapujem kľúčové myšlienky k problematike tvrdenia, a lokalizujem typické normatívne prístupy. Potom rozoberiem, čo vlastne znamená povedať, že tvrdenie je normatívnym fenoménom špecifického druhu, a predložím špekulatívno-hypotetickú rekonštrukciu genézy tvrdiacej jazykovej hry - presnejšie, jej protoformy - ktorá by mala vyzdvihnúť jej charakteristické sociálno-normatívne aspekty. Na tomto základe postavím kritické porovnanie dvoch reprezentatívnych normatívnych prístupov k tvrdeniu: pragmatického inferencializmu Roberta Brandoma a Knowledge (...) Account of Assertion Timothyho Williamsona. Budem argumentovať, že Brandomov prístup adekvátnejšie vystihuje sociálnu povahu tvrdenia, esenciálnu pre túto rečovú hru. (shrink)
Táto kritická štúdia sa zameriava na problematiku spolupráce a pravidiel, diskutovanú Jaroslavom Peregrinom v knihe Človek a pravidla. Okrem extenzívneho exkurzu do osnovy Peregrinových hlavných myšlienok a argumentov budú systematicky analyzované niektoré kľúčové otázky patriace do tejto interdisciplinárnej teoretickej oblasti, pričom sa kriticky posúdia niektoré prvky Peregrinovho špecifického prístupu. Konkrétne, budem argumentovať, že Peregrinom preferovaná koncepcia pravidla - ako propozičného poznania, že niečo by malo nejako byť - nemôže dobre slúžiť jeho zámerom, ak chce udržať jeho evolučný prístup k pravidlám.