This article reviews the strengths and limitations of five major paradigms of medical computer-assisted decision making (CADM): (1) clinical algorithms, (2) statistical analysis of collections of patient data, (3) mathematical models of physical processes, (4) decision analysis, and (5) symbolic reasoning or artificial intelligence (Al). No one technique is best for all applications, and there is recent promising work which combines two or more established techniques. We emphasize both the inherent power of symbolic reasoning and the promise of artificial intelligence (...) and the other techniques to complement each other. (shrink)
Dr Ian Ramsey has made considerable use of the word ‘disclosure’ in what he has to say about religion and in his attempts to give an account of the meaning of religious language. He sometimes speaks of ‘discernment’ or ‘insight’ but ‘disclosure’ is the word he normally favours. In what follows I shall ask: what a disclosure is, to what extent Dr Ramsey's use of the notion leads to confusions, and what questions have to be faced in order to resolve (...) these confusions. (shrink)
Hume's doctrine of natural belief allows that certain beliefs are justifiably held by all men without regard to the quality of the evidence which may be produced in their favour. Examples are belief in an external world and belief in the veracity of our senses. According to R. J. Butler, Hume argues in the Dialogues that belief in God is of this sort. More recently John Hick has argued that for some people it is as natural to believe in God (...) as to believe in an external world. I shall first inquire what Hume understands by reasonable belief and by natural belief. I shall then use the results of this investigation to argue, against Butler, that belief in God is not a natural belief; and against Hick, more briefly, that his thesis is not viable in as far as it depends upon Hume's doctrine of natural belief. These discussions are important to the philosophy of religion since by means of natural beliefs it could be urged that belief in God is something justifiable without reference to reason or evidence: a position which would be of immense value to the theist. (shrink)
It is a pleasure for me to give this opening address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on ‘Explanation’ for two reasons. The first is that it is succeeded by exciting symposia and other papers concerned with various special aspects of the topic of explanation. The second is that the conference is being held in my old alma mater , the University of Glasgow, where I did my first degree. Especially due to C. A. Campbell and George Brown there (...) was in the Logic Department a big emphasis on absolute idealism, especially F. H. Bradley. My inclinations were to oppose this line of thought and to espouse the empiricism and realism of Russell, Broad and the like. Empiricism was represented in the department by D. R. Cousin, a modest man who published relatively little, but who was of quite extraordinary philosophical acumen and lucidity, and by Miss M. J. Levett, whose translation of Plato's Theaetetus formed an important part of the philosophy syllabus. (shrink)
It is characteristic of realists to separate ontology from epistemology and of idealists to mix the two things up. By ‘idealists’ here I am mainly referring to the British neo-Hegelians but the charge of mixing up ontology and epistemology can be made against at least one ‘subjective idealist’, namely Bishop Berkeley, as his wellknown dictum ‘esse ispercipi’ testifies. The objective idealists rejected the correspondence theory of truth and on the whole accepted a coherence theory. The qualification is needed here because (...) H. H. Joachim, in The Nature of Truth, found the coherence theory unable to deal with the problem of error. (shrink)
In an article in Philosophy R. G. Swinburne set out to argue that none of Hume's formal objections to the design argument ‘have any validity against a carefully articulated version of the argument’ . This, he maintained, is largely because Hume's criticisms ‘are bad criticisms of the argument in any form’ . The ensuing controversy between Swinburne and Olding 1 has focused upon the acceptable/unacceptable aspects of the dualism presupposed in Swinburne's defence of the design argument; upon whether any simplification (...) is achieved by reducing scientific explanation to agent explanation; and upon the problems which arise from taking a man's acting upon his body as the analogy for understanding a disembodied agent acting upon matter. In this article I shall refer to the Swinburne-Olding controversy when appropriate but my main concern is to return to Swinburne's original article and argue, seriatim , that Hume's individual criticisms of the design argument are for the most part a great deal more powerful than Swinburne allowed. I shall contend that cumulatively they destroy the design argument as any sort of rational foundation for theistic belief. But first I shall indicate briefly the character of the argument together with one or two of the distinctions and refinements in terms of which it has been found helpful to carry on the discussion in recent years. (shrink)
It has frequently been lamented that while the human species has made immense progress in science it is nevertheless ethically backward. This ethical backwardness is all the more dangerous because the advanced state of scientific knowledge has made available a technology with which we are able to destroy ourselves—indeed a technology which may have got so much out of hand that we may not even have the capacity to prevent it from destroying us.
A great deal of modern Protestant theology looks very much like an attempt to conduct a salvage operation which is designed to make clear how it is possible to retain belief in Jesus Christ, and at the same time remain intellectually honest. For the same sceptical challenge which faces the secular historian also faces the theologian. If Christians are correct in arguing that the locus of God's revelation to man is in Jesus of Nazareth, then in order to know about (...) this supposed revelation, it is necessary to know about a period of time in the past; it is necessary to know the history of the man's life and actions. Theologians are therefore faced with the question: how, if at all, is it possible to bridge the logical gap between statements describing what Jesus of Nazareth said and did, and statements describing the evidence for what Jesus of Nazareth said and did. The solution found to this question by theologians tends to be determined by their conscious and unconscious philosophical presuppositions; just as it did in the examples discussed above of secular critical philosophies of history. (shrink)
This paper is partly to get rid of some irritation which I have felt at the quite common tendency of philosophers to elucidate ‘is red’ in terms of ‘looks red’. For a relatively recent example see, for example, Frank Jackson and Robert Pargetter, ‘An Objectivist′s Guide to Subjectivism about Colour’. However rather than try to make a long list of references, I would rather say ‘No names, no pack drill’. I have even been disturbed to find the use of the (...) words ‘looks red’ that I am opposing ascribed to me by Keith Campbell in his useful article ‘David Armstrong and Realism about Colour’. I am not saying that such talk is necessarily wrong. Talk of ‘looks red’ may be a way of harmlessly referring to the behavioural discriminations with respect to colour of a human percipient. Where it is dangerous, at least to those of us who wish to argue for a broadly physicalist account of the mind, is that it may have concealed overtones of reference to epiphenomenal and irreducibly psychic properties of experiences. Moreover even if it does not do so it may be fence sitting on this issue and liable to misinterpretation. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Exploring the Depth of Dream Experience: The Enactive Framework and Methods for Neurophenomenological Research” by Elizaveta Solomonova & Xin Wei Sha. Upshot: Enaction and neurophenomenology are indeed appropriate and productive theoretical and methodological tools for studying perception. But moving from the perceptual domain to the hallucinatory and dreaming domain with these tools requires a prior careful examination of the similarities and differences across these domains. The authors point in the right direction for studying dream (...) experience, but underestimate the objective and subjective differences between domains, producing thereby both an unwarranted blurring of their boundaries and an unnecessary explanatory burden on the approach defended. (shrink)
Ethics support services like Moral Case Deliberation intend to support healthcare professionals in ethically difficult situations. To assess outcomes of MCD, the Euro-MCD Instrument has been developed. Field studies to test this instrument are needed and have been conducted, examining important outcomes before MCD participation and experienced outcomes. The current study aimed to describe how participants’ perceive the importance of MCD outcomes after MCD; compare these perceptions with those before MCD participation; and test the factor structure of these outcomes. Swedish, (...) Norwegian and Dutch healthcare professionals rated the importance of outcomes in the Euro-MCD Instrument after four and eight MCDs. Ratings were compared with those before MCD participation using paired and independent samples t-tests. The factor structure was tested using exploratory factor analyses. After 4 and 8 MCDs, 443 respectively 247 respondents completed the instrument. More than 69% rated all MCD outcomes as ‘quite’ or ‘very’ important, especially outcomes from Enhanced Collaboration, Improved Moral Reflexivity and Improved Moral Attitude. Significant differences for 16 outcomes regarding ratings before and after MCD participation were not considered meaningful. Factor analyses suggested three categories, which seemingly resemble the domains Improved Moral Reflexivity, Enhanced Collaboration and a combination of Improved Moral Attitude and Enhanced Emotional Support. After participation in MCDs, respondents confirmed the importance of outcomes in the Euro-MCD Instrument. The question on perceived importance and the categorization of outcomes need reconsideration. The revised instrument will be presented elsewhere, based on all field studies and theoretical reflections. (shrink)
Orthologic is defined by weakening the axioms and rules of inference of the classical propositional calculus. The resulting Lindenbaum-Tarski quotient algebra is an orthoimplication algebra which generalizes the author's implication algebra. The associated order structure is a semi-orthomodular lattice. The theory of orthomodular lattices is obtained by adjoining a falsity symbol to the underlying orthologic or a least element to the orthoimplication algebra.
BackgroundECMO is a particularly scarce resource during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its allocation involves ethical considerations that may be different to usual times. There is limited pre-pandemic literature on the ethical factors that ECMO physicians consider during ECMO allocation. During the pandemic, there has been relatively little professional guidance specifically relating to ethics and ECMO allocation; although there has been active ethical debate about allocation of other critical care resources. We report the results of a small international exploratory survey of ECMO (...) clinicians’ views on different patient factors in ECMO decision-making prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We then outline current ethical decision procedures and recommendations for rationing life-sustaining treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and examine the extent to which current guidelines for ECMO allocation adhere to these ethical guidelines and recommendations.MethodsAn online survey was performed with responses recorded between mid May and mid August 2020. Participants were sourced from the ECMOCard study group—an international group of experts taking part in a prospective international study of ECMO and intensive care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey compared the extent to which certain ethical factors involved in ECMO resource allocation were considered prior to and during the pandemic.ResultsWhen initiating ECMO during the pandemic, compared to usual times, participants reported giving more ethical weight to the benefit of ECMO to other patients not yet admitted as opposed to those already receiving ECMO,. If a full unit were referred a good candidate for ECMO, participants were more likely during the pandemic to consider discontinuing ECMO from a current patient with low chance of survival. If the clinical team recommends that ECMO should cease, but family do not agree, the majority of participants indicated that they would continue treatment, both in usual circumstances and during the pandemic.ConclusionsWe found differences during the COVID-19 pandemic in prioritisation of several ethical factors in the context of ECMO allocation. The ethical principles prioritised by survey participants were largely consistent with ECMO allocation guidelines, current ethical decision procedures and recommendations for allocation of life-sustaining treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. (shrink)
This contribution is a review article on the three most important books by F. Gerrit Immink in practical theology. His approach to this discipline is studying faith praxis of the Protestantse Kerk in Nederland which is a church in the Reformed tradition. In his first book he explained his approach to practical theology in a discussion with the action theory and hermeneutical-communucative approaches. His choice for the study of faith praxis opens the way for a more theological approach to him (...) in which communication between God and people is an important aspect. His second book forms the central part of this article. He uses the concept performance in the liturgy which is adopted from the theater world. In the performance by means of the execution of the liturgy by the congregation they all get involved in the message from the Bible of that Sunday, they are touched by it, it has an effect on them, and they get a new perspective on the problems of everyday life. This is possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. The epiclese prayers in the liturgy are prayers for the enlightening and work by the Spirit. He discusses singing, praying, preaching, baptism and Holy Communion in detail. The main idea is that the performance in the liturgy does something to you, it has an effect on you, something happens to you. To my mind there is no need to choose between the ritual approach and the approach he is putting on the table. The approaches can enrich each other. (shrink)
Epistemology is often a problem for libertarianism. Many libertarian texts assume that they need to do more than explain and defend the libertarian conjecture. Instead, they try to offer epistemological support for it (whether empirically or morally); which falsificationism and, more broadly, critical rationalism explains is not possible. Moreover, they often mistake this attempt at support for an explanation of libertarianism (which ought to include an abstract theory of liberty and how it relates to liberty in practice). Therefore, when a (...) criticism of falsificationism appears on a libertarian website it seems useful to reply to it (even though no discussion of libertarianism itself is involved). (shrink)