The advent of social networking sites has changed the face of the information society Mason wrote of 23 years ago necessitating a reevaluation of the social contracts designed to protect the members of the society. Despite the technological and societal changes that have happened over the years, the information society is still based on the exchange of information. This paper examines various historical events involving social networking sites through the lens of the PAPA framework (Mason 1986 ) to highlight select (...) ethical issues regarding the sharing of information in the social-networking age. Four preliminary principles are developed to guide the ethical use of social networking sites (SNS). (shrink)
The locked-in syndrome is a state of profound paralysis with preserved awareness of self and environment who typically results from a brain stem stroke. Although patients in LIS have great difficulty communicating, their consciousness, cognition, and language usually remain intact. Medical decision-making by LIS patients is compromised, not by cognitive impairment, but by severe communication impairment. Former systems of communication that permitted LIS patients to make only “yes” or “no” responses to questions was sufficient to validate their consent for simple (...) medical decisions but not for consequential medical decisions such as whether to refuse further life-sustaining therapy. Emerging technologies including computer-tracking assistance of retained partial motor function and brain-computer interfaces promise to improve the communication ability of LIS patients and, when better developed, will allow them to fully exercise their right to actively participate in consequential medical decisions about their own medical care. Although so-called “covert cognition” patients clinically diagnosed as vegetative state that are shown to be aware by functional neuroimaging maybe metaphorically considered locked-in, it is nosologically more coherent not to categorize them formally as LIS. (shrink)
The publicity surrounding the recent McMath and Muñoz cases has rekindled public interest in brain death: the familiar term for human death determination by showing the irreversible cessation of clinical brain functions. The concept of brain death was developed decades ago to permit withdrawal of therapy in hopeless cases and to permit organ donation. It has become widely established medical practice, and laws permit it in all U.S. jurisdictions. Brain death has a biophilosophical justification as a standard for determining human (...) death but remains poorly understood by the public and by health professionals. The current controversies over brain death are largely restricted to the academy, but some practitioners express ambivalence over whether brain death is equivalent to human death. Brain death remains an accepted and sound concept, but more work is necessary to establish its biophilosophical justification and to educate health professionals and the public. (shrink)
The definition of death is one of the oldest and most enduring problems in biophilosophy and bioethics. Serious controversies over formally defining death began with the invention of the positive-pressure mechanical ventilator in the 1950s. For the first time, physicians could maintain ventilation and, hence, circulation on patients who had sustained what had been previously lethal brain damage. Prior to the development of mechanical ventilators, brain injuries severe enough to induce apnea quickly progressed to cardiac arrest from hypoxemia. Before the (...) 1950s, the loss of spontaneous breathing and heartbeat were perfect predictors of death because the functioning of the brain and of all other organs ceased rapidly and nearly simultaneously thereafter, producing a unitary death phenomenon. In the pretechnological era, physicians and philosophers did not have to consider whether a human being who had lost certain “vital functions” but had retained others was alive, because such cases were technically impossible. (shrink)
This study examined the effect of various antecedent variables on marketers’ perceptions of the role of ethics and socialresponsibility in the overall success of the firm. Variables examined included Hofstede’s cultural dimensions , as well as corporate ethical values and enforcement ofan ethics code. Additionally, individual variables such as ethical idealism and relativism were included. Results indicated that most ofthese variables impacted marketers’ perceptions of the importance of ethics and social responsibility, although to varying degrees.
“Brain death,” the determination of human death by showing the irreversible loss of all clinical functions of the brain, has become a worldwide practice. A biophilosophical account of brain death requires four sequential tasks: agreeing on the paradigm of death, a set of preconditions that frame the discussion; determining the definition of death by making explicit the consensual concept of death; determining the criterion of death that proves the definition has been fulfilled by being both necessary and sufficient for death; (...) and determining the tests of death for physicians to employ at the patient's bedside to demonstrate that the criterion of death has been fulfilled. The best definition of death is “the cessation of functioning of the organism as a whole.” The whole-brain criterion is the only criterion that is both necessary and sufficient for death. Brain death tests are used only in the unusual case in which a patient's ventilation is being supported. Brain death critics have identified weaknesses in its formulation. But despite its shortcomings, the whole-brain death formulation comprises a concept and public policy that make intuitive and practical sense and that has been well accepted by many societies. (shrink)
In a seminal 1977 article, Rumelhart argued that perception required the simultaneous use of multiple sources of information, allowing perceivers to optimally interpret sensory information at many levels of representation in real time as information arrives. Building on Rumelhart's arguments, we present the Interactive Activation hypothesis—the idea that the mechanism used in perception and comprehension to achieve these feats exploits an interactive activation process implemented through the bidirectional propagation of activation among simple processing units. We then examine the interactive activation (...) model of letter and word perception and the TRACE model of speech perception, as early attempts to explore this hypothesis, and review the experimental evidence relevant to their assumptions and predictions. We consider how well these models address the computational challenge posed by the problem of perception, and we consider how consistent they are with evidence from behavioral experiments. We examine empirical and theoretical controversies surrounding the idea of interactive processing, including a controversy that swirls around the relationship between interactive computation and optimal Bayesian inference. Some of the implementation details of early versions of interactive activation models caused deviation from optimality and from aspects of human performance data. More recent versions of these models, however, overcome these deficiencies. Among these is a model called the multinomial interactive activation model, which explicitly links interactive activation and Bayesian computations. We also review evidence from neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies supporting the view that interactive processing is a characteristic of the perceptual processing machinery in the brain. In sum, we argue that a computational analysis, as well as behavioral and neuroscience evidence, all support the Interactive Activation hypothesis. The evidence suggests that contemporary versions of models based on the idea of interactive activation continue to provide a basis for efforts to achieve a fuller understanding of the process of perception. (shrink)
The study of human intelligence was once dominated by symbolic approaches, but over the last 30 years an alternative approach has arisen. Symbols and processes that operate on them are often seen today as approximate characterizations of the emergent consequences of sub- or nonsymbolic processes, and a wide range of constructs in cognitive science can be understood as emergents. These include representational constructs (units, structures, rules), architectural constructs (central executive, declarative memory), and developmental processes and outcomes (stages, sensitive periods, neurocognitive (...) modules, developmental disorders). The greatest achievements of human cognition may be largely emergent phenomena. It remains a challenge for the future to learn more about how these greatest achievements arise and to emulate them in artificial systems. (shrink)
:Disturbing cases continue to be published of patients declared brain dead who later were found to have a few intact brain functions. We address the reasons for the mismatch between the whole-brain criterion and brain death tests, and suggest solutions. Many of the cases result from diagnostic errors in brain death determination. Others probably result from a tiny amount of residual blood flow to the brain despite intracranial circulatory arrest. Strategies to lessen the mismatch include improving brain death determination training (...) for physicians, mandating a test showing complete intracranial circulatory arrest, or revising the whole-brain criterion. (shrink)
Notwithstanding these wise pronouncements, my project here is to characterize the biological phenomenon of death of the higher animal species, such as vertebrates. My claim is that the formulation of “whole- brain death ” provides the most congruent map for our correct understanding of the concept of death. This essay builds upon the foundation my colleagues and I have laid since 1981 to characterize the concept of death and refine when this event occurs. Although our society's well-accepted program of multiple (...) organ procurement for transplantation requires the organ donor first to be dead, the concept of brain death is not merely a social contrivance to permit us to obtain the benefits of organ procurement. Rather, the concept of whole- brain death stands independently as the most accurate biological representation of the demise of the human organism. (shrink)
This book is an interpretation and critique of Habermas's philosophy as contained in his book, Between Facts and Norms. The main argument is that while Habermas does succeed in laying out foundations, conceptual and methodological, for the philosophy of law, the book is flawed by a fundamental contradiction between a democracy ruled by law and capitalism.
The overall purpose of this paper is to clarify the physical meaning and epistemological status of the term 'measurement' as used in quantum theory. After a review of the essential logical structure of quantum physics, Part I presents interpretive discussions contrasting the quantal concepts observable and ensemble with their classical ancestors along the lines of Margenau's latency theory. Against this background various popular ideas concerning the nature of quantum measurement are critically surveyed. The analysis reveals that, in addition to internal (...) mathematical difficulties, all the so-called quantum theories of measurement are grounded in unjustifiable, classical presuppositions. (shrink)
The question whether epistemological concepts are closed under deduction is an important one since many skeptical arguments depend on closure. Such skepticism can be avoided if closure is not true of knowledge (or justification). This response to skepticism is rejected by Peter Klein and others. Klein argues that closure is true, and that far from providing the skeptic with a powerful weapon for undermining our knowledge, it provides a tool for attacking the skeptic directly. This paper examines various arguments in (...) favor of closure and Klein's attempted use of closure to refute skepticism. Such a refutation of skepticism is mistaken. But the closure principle is in any case false, so the skepticism that depends on it is undermined. The appeal of the closure principle derives from a failure to recognize an important feature of our epistemological concepts, namely, their context relativity. (shrink)
Mental health professionals rightfully experience significant anxiety regarding their duty to protect when working with potentially dangerous individuals. This work dispels myths and provides readers with a resource addressing the situations where a duty to protect may apply.
Expressivists about normative thought and discourse traditionally deny that there are nondeflationary normative propositions. However, it has recently been suggested that expressivists might avoid a number of problems by providing a theory of normative propositions compatible with expressivism. This paper explores the prospects for developing an expressivist theory of propositions within the framework of cognitive act theories of propositions. First, I argue that the only extant expressivist theory of cognitive propositions—Michael Ridge's ‘ecumenical expressivist’ theory—fails to explain identity conditions for normative (...) propositions. Second, I argue that this failure motivates a general constraint—the ‘unity requirement’—that any expressivist theory of propositions must provide a unified nonrepresentational explanation of that in virtue of which propositional attitudes have the content that they have. Third, I argue that conceptual role accounts of content provide a promising framework in which to develop an expressivist theory of cognitive propositions. (shrink)
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