The anthology, Feminist Bioethics, edited by Jackie Leach Scully, Laurel E. Baldwin-Ragaven, and Petya Fitzpatrick, examines how feminist bioethics theoretically and methodologically challenges mainstream bioethics, and whether these approaches are useful for exploring difference in other contexts. It offers critical conceptual analyses of "autonomy", "universality", and "trust", and covers topics such as testing for hereditary cancer, prenatal selection for sexual orientation, midwifery, public health, disability, Indigenous research reform in Australia, and China's one child policy.
The last few years have seen feminist bioethics experiencing a growing interest in the theme of disability: how bioethics as a whole can or should approach disability, and how the different perspectives brought by feminist bioethics can contribute to bioethical thinking about it. This interest was apparent in the pioneer work of disabled feminists such as Adrienne Asch, continued through the engagement of feminist theorists like Eva Feder Kittay, and appears more generally in feminist bioethics, for example in Jackie (...) Leach Scully's "Disability Bioethics," in the section on disability in Feminist Bioethics: At the Center, on the Margins (Scully, Baldwin-Ragaven, and Fitzpatrick 2010), and in IJFAB's special issue .. (shrink)
This book reconceives disability as a set of social relations and practices, as experienced embodiment, and as an emancipatory movement, as well as a biomedical phenomenon. The author brings new attention to complex ethical questions surrounding disability, looking at not only the biomedical understanding of impairment, but also its cultural representations and social organization.
The purpose of this essay is to shed some light on a certain type of sentence, which I call a borderline contradiction. A borderline contradiction is a sentence of the form F a ∧ ¬F a, for some vague predicate F and some borderline case a of F , or a sentence equivalent to such a sentence. For example, if Jackie is a borderline case of ‘rich’, then ‘Jackie is rich and Jackie isn’t rich’ is a borderline (...) contradiction. Many theories of vague language have entailments about borderline contradictions; correctly describing the behavior of borderline contradictions is one of the many tasks facing anyone offering a theory of vague language. Here, I first briefly review claims made by various theorists about these borderline contradictions, attempting to draw out some predictions about the behavior of ordinary speakers. Second, I present an experiment intended to gather relevant data about the behavior of ordinary speakers. Finally, I discuss the experimental results in light of several different theories of vagueness, to see what explanations are available. My conclusions are necessarily tentative; I do not attempt to use the present experiment to demonstrate that any single theory is incontrovertibly true. Rather, I try to sketch the auxiliary hypotheses that would need to be conjoined to several extant theories of vague language to predict the present result, and offer some considerations regarding the plausibility of these various hypotheses. In the end, I conclude that two of the theories I consider are better-positioned to account for the observed data than are the others. But the field of logically-informed research on people’s actual responses to vague predicates is young; surely as more data come in we will learn a great deal more about which (if any) of these theories best accounts for the behavior of ordinary speakers. (shrink)
This article reviews the incredible growth of electronic commerce (e-commerce) and presents ethical issues that have emerged. Security concerns, spamming, Web sites that do not carry an "advertising" label, cybersquatters, online marketing to children, conflicts of interest, manufacturers competing with intermediaries online, and "dinosaurs" are discussed. The power of the Internet to spotlight issues is noted as a significant force in providing a kind of self-regulation that supports an ethical e-commerce environment.
General anesthesia provides an alternative to typical laboratory paradigms for investigating implicit learning. We assess the evidence that a simple type of learning—priming—can occur without consciousness. Although priming has been shown to be a small but persistent phenomenon in surgical patients there is reason to question whether it occurs implicitly due to problems in detecting awareness using typical clinical signs. This paper reviews the published studies on priming during anesthesia that have included a measure of awareness or of anesthetic depth. (...) We conclude that perceptual priming, but not conceptual priming, takes place in the absence of conscious awareness. (shrink)
Infectious disease outbreaks in residential care are complex to manage and difficult to control. Research in this setting that includes individuals who lack capacity must conform to national legislation. We report here on our study that is investigating outbreaks of scabies, an itchy skin infection, in the residential care setting in the southeast of England. There appears to be a gap in legislative advice regarding the inclusion of people who lack capacity in research that takes place during time-limited acute scenarios (...) such as outbreaks. We received inconsistent advice from experts regarding, in particular, the role of nominated consultees. There is a potential inequality for vulnerable populations who cannot themselves provide informed consent in terms of their access to participation in a range of health-related research. (shrink)
Mitochondrial replacement techniques are intended to avoid the transmission of mitochondrial diseases from mother to child. MRT represent a potentially powerful new biomedical technology with ethical, policy, economic and social implications. Among other ethical questions raised are concerns about the possible effects on the identity of children born from MRT, their families, and the providers or donors of mitochondria. It has been suggested that MRT can influence identity directly, through altering the genetic makeup and physical characteristics of the child, or (...) indirectly through changing the child's experience of disease, and by generating novel intrafamilial relationships that shape the sense of self. In this article I consider the plausibility and ethical implications of these proposed identity effects, but I focus instead on a third way in which identity may be affected, through the mediating influence of the wider social world on MRT effects on identity. By taking a narrative approach, and examining the nature and availability of identity narratives, I conclude that while neither direct genetic nor indirect experiential effects can be excluded, social responses to MRT are more likely to have a significant and potentially damaging influence on the generation of MRT children's narratives of identity. This conclusion carries some implications for the collective moral responsibility we hold to ensure that MRT, if implemented, are practised in ethically justifiable ways. (shrink)
This paper is based on linked qualitative studies of the donation of human embryos to stem cell research carried out in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and China. All three studies used semi-structured interview protocols to allow an in-depth examination of donors’ and non-donors’ rationales for their donation decisions, with the aim of gaining information on contextual and other factors that play a role in donor decisions and identifying how these relate to factors that are more usually included in evaluations made (...) by theoretical ethics. Our findings have implications for one factor that has previously been suggested as being of ethical concern: the role of gratitude. Our empirical work shows no evidence that interpersonal gratitude is an important factor, but it does support the existence of a solidarity-based desire to “give something back” to medical research. Thus, we use empirical data to expand and refine the conceptual basis of bioethically theorizing the IVF–stem cell interface. (shrink)
This article outlines aconceptual framework for examining recentoutbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 infectionassociated with the consumption of beef in theUnited States. We argue that beef produced inthis country is generally safer frombacteriological contamination than in the past.Paradoxically, increasing intensification andconcentration in the meat subsector since theearly 1980s has (a) altered agro-food ecology,including characteristics of foodborne bacteriaand human physiology; (b) created conditionsfavorable for the rapid amplification of lowconcentrations of pathogens; and (c) reducedthe beef industry's flexibility to introducechanges necessary to preclude and/or (...) controlthe rapid spread of pathogens in meat and meatproducts. As a result, beef industry currentlyis capable of producing large quantities ofbacteriologically safe meat whilesimultaneously becoming more vulnerable to foodcontaminations that can be fatal in some cases.The limitations and effectiveness of a newregulatory regime, the HACCP (Hazard Analysisand Critical Control Points) system as well asother efforts to decontaminate the beef supplyare discussed. (shrink)
This edited volume of 13 new essays aims to turn past discussions of natural kinds on their head. Instead of presenting a metaphysical view of kinds based largely on an unempirical vantage point, it pursues questions of kindedness which take the use of kinds and activities of kinding in practice as significant in the articulation of them as kinds. The book brings philosophical study of current and historical episodes and case studies from various scientific disciplines to bear on natural kinds (...) as traditionally conceived of within metaphysics. Focusing on these practices reveals the different knowledge-producing activities of kinding and processes involved in natural kind use, generation, and discovery. -/- Specialists in their field, the esteemed group of contributors use diverse empirically responsive approaches to explore the nature of kindhood. This groundbreaking volume presents detailed case studies that exemplify kinding in use. Newly written for this volume, each chapter engages with the activities of kinding across a variety of disciplines. Chapter topics include the nature of kinds, kindhood, kinding, and kind-making in linguistics, chemical classification, neuroscience, gene and protein classification, colour theory in applied mathematics, homology in comparative biology, sex and gender identity theory, memory research, race, extended cognition, symbolic algebra, cartography, and geographic information science. -/- The volume seeks to open up an as-yet unexplored area within the emerging field of philosophy of science in practice, and constitutes a valuable addition to the disciplines of philosophy and history of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. -/- Contributions from a diverse group of established and junior scholars in the fields of Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science including Hasok Chang, Jordi Cat, Sally Haslanger, Joyce C. Havstad, Catherine Kendig, Bernhard Nickel, Josipa Petrunic, Samuli Pöyhönen, Thomas A. C. Reydon, Quayshawn Spencer, Jackie Sullivan, Michael Wheeler, and Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther. (shrink)
Evaluative processes have their roots in early evolutionary history, as survival is dependent on an organism’s ability to identify and respond appropriately to positive, rewarding or otherwise salubrious stimuli as well as to negative, noxious, or injurious stimuli. Consequently, evaluative processes are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom and are represented at multiple levels of the nervous system, including the lowest levels of the neuraxis. While evolution has sculpted higher level evaluative systems into complex and sophisticated information-processing networks, they do not (...) come to replace, but rather to interact with more primitive lower level representations. Indeed, there are basic features of the underlying neuroarchitectural plan for evaluative processes that are common across levels of organization—including that of evaluative bivalence. (shrink)
It has been estimated that U.S. companies with global business operations can reduce their U.S. tax bill by up to 10 percentage points if they reincorporate in a zero or low tax offshore jurisdiction. But this activity, at a time of national crisis following the September 11 terrorists' attacks and recent spate of corporate scandals, has received a less than sympathetic response from the U.S. media, ordinary taxpayers, shareholders and politicians as concerns are raised about the reduction of the tax (...) base and the lack of oversight and regulation in offshore centres. Offshore reincorporation has been condemned as immoral, unconscionable, dishonest and unpatriotic, accusations that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the companies concerned. In question is their right to conduct business in the U.S. and in particular, their right to still be viewed as American. Their legitimacy once bestowed so readily by the company's shareholders is now being questioned not only by shareholders but also the media, politicians, government regulators, pension funds and labour unions. Expatriate companies have been slow to respond to questions of their legitimacy, viewing their offshore move as a financial decision needing only the consent of their shareholders. However, times have changed and corporate legitimacy is now in the hands of all the company's stakeholders. Companies will need to explicitly consider the determinants of their legitimacy and the implications of the implied social contract under which they operate, to remain relevant in the days ahead. (shrink)
Although living conditions have improved throughout history, protest, at least in the last few decades, seems to have increased to the point of becoming a normal phenomenon in modern societies. Contributors to this volume examine how and why this is the case and argue that although problems such as poverty, hunger, and violations of democratic rights may have been reduced in advanced Western societies, a variety of other problems and opportunities have emerged and multiplied the reasons and possibilities for protest.
In this age of DIY Health—a present that has been described as a time of “ludic capitalism”—one is constantly confronted with the injunction to manage risk by means of making healthy choices and of informed participation in various self-surveillant technologies of bioinformatics. Neoliberal governmentality has been redacted by poststructuralist scholars of bioethics as defined by the two-fold emergence of, on the one hand, populations and on the other, the self-determining individual—as biopolitical entities. In this article, we provide a genealogical-phenomenological schematization (...) (GPS analysis) of the narration of cancer in relation to “sexual minority populations.” Canonical discourses concerning minority sexualities are articulated by means of a logic of “inclusion and reification” that organizes the interiorization of norms of embodied relationality, and a positive liaison with biomedical technologies and techniques in the taking up of a rhetorical style of biographical compliance. Neoliberal DIY Health logics conflate participation with agency, and institute norms of recognition that constrain visibility to: citizens who make healthy choices and manage risk, heroic cancer stories, stories of the reconstruction of states of normalcy, or of survival against all odds. Alternatively, we trace the performative articulations of queer narrative practices that constitute an ephemeral, nomadic praxiology—a doing of knowledge in cancer’s queer narration. Queer cancer narrative practices represent a relationship to health and embodiment that is predicated, not on normalcy, but predicated on troubling norms, on artful failure, and on engaging in a kind of affective mapping that might be thought constitutive of a speculative bioethical relation to the self as other. (shrink)