This paper offers a modified version of the certainty equivalence (CE) theory of utility for uncertain prospects and a new set of axioms as its basis. It shows that the CE and the von Neumann-Morgenstern (NM) approaches to uncertainty are opposite in spirit: The CE approach represents a flight from the world of uncertainty to the rules of certainty while the NM approach represents a flight from the world of certainty to one of uncertainty. The two approaches differ even in (...) their treatment of compound prospects and their actuarially identical simple counterparts. (shrink)
The law of informed consent to medical treatment has recently been extensively overhauled in England. The 2015 Montgomery judgment has done away with the long-held position that the information to be disclosed by doctors when obtaining valid consent from patients should be determined on the basis of what a reasonable body of medical opinion agree ought to be disclosed in the circumstances. The UK Supreme Court concluded that the information that is material to a patient’s decision should instead be judged (...) by reference to a new two-limbed test founded on the notions of the ‘reasonable person’ and the ‘particular patient’. The rationale outlined in Montgomery for this new test of materiality, and academic comment on the ruling’s significance, has focused on the central ethical importance that the law now accords to respect for patient autonomy in the process of obtaining consent from patients. In this paper, we dispute the claim that the new test of materiality articulated in Montgomery equates with respect for autonomy being given primacy in re-shaping the development of the law in this area. We also defend this position, arguing that our revised interpretation of Montgomery’s significance does not equate with a failure by the courts to give due legal consideration to what is owed to patients as autonomous decision-makers in the consent process. Instead, Montgomery correctly implies that doctors are ethically obliged to attend to a number of relevant ethical considerations in framing decisions about consent to treatment, which include subtle interpretations of the values of autonomy and well-being. Doctors should give appropriate consideration to how these values are fleshed out and balanced in context in order to specify precisely what information ought to be disclosed to a patient as a requirement of obtaining consent, and as a core component of shared decision-making within medical encounters more generally. (shrink)
The study examines the attitudes among physicians regarding acceptance of gifts, sponsorships, and drug samples in response to marketing efforts of pharmaceutical companies in India. The research also attempts to study physicians’ perceptions of the Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines on the code of conduct for pharmaceutical marketing practices and the influence of these guidelines on physicians’ actions. A structured questionnaire was developed for collecting primary data regarding exposure of physicians to promotional tools and physicians’ attitudes and practices with (...) regard to various professional ethical issues. One thousand physicians from private and government hospitals located in a metropolitan area were approached personally or through email for getting the questionnaire filled. A total of 189 completed and usable questionnaires could be obtained which is a response rate of approximately 20 %. Respondents in the study indicate being offered samples, sponsorship, and gifts by pharmaceutical companies with a frequency of at least once a month. Thus, many pharmaceutical firms are not following the code of conduct issued by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India. Further, though almost all physicians report being aware of the guidelines issued by the MCI, yet as many as 69 % of the sample admitted to be accepting gifts and sponsorships offered by the pharmaceutical firms. Educational programs were found to be influencing physician prescription behavior to a greater extent when compared with gifts. Frequency of offers made for gifts and sponsorships were found to be dependent upon physicians’ practice (number of prescriptions written) and the type of hospital they are associated with (private or government). The study focuses on sensitive yet critical ethical issues related to the promotional practices of pharmaceutical firms in India and physicians’ responses with regard to these promotional practices in the context of the guidelines of the Medical Council of India and the Department of Pharmaceuticals. (shrink)
Several modern commentators of Dignaga have puzzled over the 5th century Buddhist philosopher1s theory of the triple condition of the inferential sign. Th. Stcherbatsky (1932), Richard Hayes (1988) and Bimal K. Matilal (1986) have wondered at the reasons for Dignaga’s insistence on the inclusion of the secondcondition, which seems to be the logical equivalent of the third condition. Do the three criteria together furnish patterns of valid inference which differ from those patterns furnished by criteria one and three alone? In (...) this paper, I detail three types of cases which underline the importance of the inclusion of the second criterion. (shrink)
Au regard du vieux débat sur la « fuite des cerveaux », le devoir de promouvoir le développement des pays pauvres semblait incompatible avec le droit humain à l’émigration. A l’encontre de cette idée, Jagdish Bhagwati a proposé dans les années 70 une mesure qui permettait au personnel qualifié de quitter les pays pauvres, tout en taxant leur revenu au bénéfice de leurs pays d’origine. Cet article discute (et rejette) trois justifications possibles de la taxe Bhagwati. Il conclut qu’une (...) telle mesure ne peut être défendue ni comme une compensation pour ce que le pays aurait gagné si les diplômés n’avaient pas émigré, ni comme une obligation de réciprocité basée sur l’investissement dans l’éducation, ni comme une mesure de diminution de l’inégalité entre les opportunités des migrants et de ceux qui restent au pays. Si la mobilité géographique va de pair avec la mobilité sociale, taxer les migrants revient à taxer la mobilité sociale, plutôt que les hauts revenus eux-mêmes. (shrink)
In this paper, the main outlines of the discussions between Niels Bohr with Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and Erwin Schrödinger during 1920–1927 are treated. From the formulation of quantum mechanics in 1925–1926 and wave mechanics in 1926, there emerged Born's statistical interpretation of the wave function in summer 1926, and on the basis of the quantum mechanical transformation theory—formulated in fall 1926 by Dirac, London, and Jordan—Heisenberg formulated the uncertainty principle in early 1927. At the Volta Conference in Como in (...) September 1927 and at the fifth Solvay Conference in Brussels the following month, Bohr publicly enunciated his complementarity principle, which had been developing in his mind for several years. The Bohr-Einstein discussions about the consistency and completeness of qnautum mechanics and of physical theory as such—formally begun in October 1927 at the fifth Solvay Conference and carried on at the sixth Solvay Conference in October 1930—were continued during the next decades. All these aspects are briefly summarized. (shrink)
In this study, I discuss the development of the ideas of Josiah Willard Gibbs' Elementary Principles in Statistical Mechanics and the fundamental role they played in forming the modern concepts in that field. Gibbs' book on statistical mechanics became an instant classic and has remained so for almost a century.
Brain drain critiques and human rights advocates have conflicting views on emigration. From a brain drain perspective, the emigration harms a country when emigrants are skilled and the source country is poor. From the human rights perspective, the right "to leave any country, including one's own" is a fundamental right, protected for all, whatever their skills. Is the concern with poverty and social justice at odds with the right to emigrate? At the beginning of the l970s, the economist Jagdish (...) Bhagwati replied in the negative. He imagined a tax on the income earned by the skilled migrants in the destination country, to the benefit of the source country. He thus sought to reconcile the right to emigration and the brain drain effects. -/- This article argues that there is no need to tax skilled migrants in order to reconcile the right to emigration and social justice. Social justice is not incompatible with the right to emigration but rather with restrictions on mobility. If it is both the case that equal opportunities are a minimal requisite for social justice, and that access to opportunities implies freedom of movement, as I shall argue, then the brain drain criticism doesn't satisfy the minimal requirements of social justice. -/- The article is divided into three parts. Each part rejects one of the possible justifications of the Bhagwati tax, that is, as a way, for skilled migrants, (i.) to compensate the welfare loss occasioned to their country of origin; (ii.) to discharge for their obligation to the national community when it publicly financed their education; and (iii.) to compensate for the resulting inequality of opportunities between themselves and their non-migrant compatriots. (shrink)
Max Planck introduced the concept of zero-point energy in spring 1911. In the early struggles to establish the concept of the energy-quantum, it provided a helpful heuristic principle, to guide as well as supplement the efforts of some leading physicists in understanding the laws that applied in the atomic domain. The history and growth of this concept, and its application in the general development of quantum theory during the past many decades are studied under three principal headings: (1) The Birth (...) of the Concept of zero-Point Energy; (2) Does Zero-Point Energy Really Exist? and (3) The Ground State of Quantum Systems. (shrink)
In this series of articles the early life and work of the young Julian Schwinger is explored. After a brilliant beginning at Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D., Schwinger went to work with J. Robert Oppenheimer in Berkeley. His stay, work, and interactions with Oppenheimer are discussed.
In this series of articles the early life and work of the young Julian Schwinger are explored. In the present article, Schwinger's work at the MIT Radiation Laboratory during the Second World War is described.
In this series of articles the early life and work of the young Julian Schwinger are explored. In the present article, we discuss Schwinger's winding up his work at the MIT Radiation Laboratory, being offered a tenured professorship at Harvard University, getting married, and settling down into a highly productive teaching and research career.
In this series of articles the life and work of the young Julian Schwinger are explored. In this second article in the series, Schwinger's work at Columbia University, up to the completion of his doctorate and a little after, is discussed. Schwinger soon matured into a brilliant theoretical physicist.
This article is in three parts. Part I gives an account of Erwin Schrödinger's growing up and studies in Vienna, his scientific work—first in Vienna from 1911 to 1920, then in Zurich from 1920 to 1925—on the dielectric properties of matter, atmospheric electricity and radioactivity, general relativity, color theory and physiological optics, and on kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. Part II deals with the creation of the theory of wave mechanics by Schrödinger in Zurich during the early months of 1926; (...) he laid the foundations of this theory in his first two communications toAnnalen der Physik. Part III deals with the early applications of wave mechanics to atomic problems—including the demonstration of equivalence of wave mechanics with the quantum mechanics of Born, Heisenberg, and Jordan, and that of Dirac—by Schrödinger himself and others. The new theory was immediately accepted by the scientific community. (shrink)
Julian Schwinger was one of the leading theoretical physicists of the twentieth century. His contributions are as important, and as pervasive, as those of Richard Feynman, with whom he shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Physics. Yet, while Feynman is universally recognized as a cultural icon, Schwinger is little known even to many within the physics community. In his youth, Julian Schwinger was a nuclear physicist, turning to classical electrodynamics after World War II. In the years after the war, he (...) was the first to renormalize quantum electrodynamics. Subsequently, he presented the most complete formulation of quantum field theory and laid the foundations for the electroweak synthesis of Glashow, Weinberg, and Salam, and he made fundamental contributions to the theory of nuclear magnetic resonance, to many-body theory, and to quantum optics. He developed a unique approach to quantum mechanics, measurement algebra, and a general quantum action principle. His discoveries include 'Feynman's' parameters and 'Glauber's' coherent states; in later years he also developed an alternative to operator field theory which he called Source Theory, reflecting his profound phenomenological bent. His late work on the Thomas-Fermi model of atoms and on the Casimir effect continues to be an inspiration to a new generation of physicists. This biography describes the many strands of his research life, while tracing the personal life of this private and gentle genius. (shrink)
This paper deals with the development of, and the current discussion about, the interpretation of quantum mechanics. The following topics are discussed: 1. The Copenhagen Interpretation, 2. Formal Problems of Quantum Mechanics, 3. Process of Measurement and the Equation of Motion, 4. Macroscopic Level of Description, 5. Search for Hidden Variables, 6. The Notion of “Reality” and Epistemology of Quantum Mechanics, 7. Quantum Mechanics and the Explanation of Life.The Bohr‐Einstein dialogue on the validity of the quantum mechanical description of physical (...) reality lasted over two decades. Since the early nineteen fifties, Wiper has provided much of the point and counterpoint of the continuing discussion on the interpretation and epistemology of quantum mechanics. We have explored Wiper's views in some detail against the background of historical development and current debate. (shrink)
This article (Part III) deals with the early applications of wave mechanics to atomic problems—including the demonstration of the formal mathematical equivalence of wave mechanics with the quantum mechanics of Born, Heisenberg, and Jordan, and that of Dirac—by Schrödinger himself and others. The new theory was immediately accepted by the scientific community.
This article (Part II) deals with the creation of the theory of wave mechanics by Erwin Schrödinger in Zurich during the early months of 1926; he laid the foundations of this theory in his first two communications toAnnalen der Physik. The background of Schrödinger's work on, and his actual creation of, wave mechanics are analyzed.