Researchers typically attempt to fulfill disclosure and informed consent requirements by having participants read and sign consent forms. The present study evaluated the reading levels of informed consent forms used in psychology research and other fields (medical research; social science and education research; and health, physical education, and recreation research). Two standardized measures of readability were employed to analyze a randomly selected sample (N = 108) of informed consent forms used in Institutional Review Board-approved research projects at a midwestern university (...) during the 1987-1988 academic year. Results indicate that informed consent forms are typically written at a higher reading level than is appropriate for the intended population and that there are no consistently significant differences in readability among areas of research or between college student and noncollege student participants. Due to the unacceptably high reading level of the consent forms, one must question whether participants can comprehend the information contained in the consent forms. (shrink)
Given that university faculty members and supervisors practicing in the community have been involved in at least one research supervisor-graduate student relationship, it is surprising that so little attention has been paid to the ethical issues involved in such relationships. Indeed, as a student and her or his graduate research supervisor may be involved in a close working relationship for many years, it is understandable that several opportunities can arise that could be considered dual or multiple relationships. Examples of such (...) relationship issues discussed in this article include authorship matters, favoritism or inequitable treatment of students, and sexual relationships. Depending on the nature of the relationship, the impact on students can be quite severe; although, the effects on students have not been adequately studied. Existing ethical guidelines do not provide enough guidance in this area where students are in a position of diminished power with respect to the supervisor. Following the discussion of relationship issues, we suggest extensions of current guidelines to deal with these issues. (shrink)
It is clear that natural entities can be preserved – they can be preserved because they can be harmed or destroyed, or in various other ways adversely affected. I argue that in light of the rise of scientism and other forms of philistinism, the political, religious, mythic, personal and historical meanings that people find in those entities can also be preserved. Against those who impugn disciplines such as fine arts, philosophy and sociology, I contend that this sort of preservation requires (...) the efforts of those whose work exemplifies the core values of the arts, the humanities and the qualitative social sciences. (shrink)
James Otteson’s Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life is the latest instalment in a wave of new scholarship signalling a renewed interest in Adam Smith. These works share several characteristics. First, they present Smith as a philosopher and not an economist. Second, they take seriously The Theory of Moral Senti- ments (TMS), Smith’s first book, by suggesting that his moral theory holds..
Legal translation has become a principal means to unfold Chinese laws to the world in the global era and the study of it has proved to be of practical significance. Since the proper theory guidance is the key to the quality of LT translation, this paper focuses on the Skopos theory and the strategies applied in the practice of LT. A case study of LT examples from the Criminal Law of the P.R.C. has been made while briefly reviewing the Skopos (...) theory and its principles. Started with short discussion of LT, this paper probes into the applicability of the three principles of Skopos theory, including the Skopos rule, the coherence rule and the fidelity rule, into the legal texts, especially into the translation of the Criminal Law of the P.R.C. and based on the study, the strategies for LT are proposed, with the hope that it can be useful for reference in other legal texts. (shrink)
Originally published in 1991, The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences, is the first monograph to identify and address some of the many interesting questions that pertain to thought experiments. While the putative aim of the book is to explore the nature of thought experimental evidence, it has another important purpose which concerns the crucial role thought experiments play in Brown’s Platonic master argument.In that argument, Brown argues against naturalism and empiricism (Brown 2012), for mathematical Platonism (...) (Brown 2008), and from the Platonist-friendly, abstract universals posited by the Dretske-Tooley-Armstrong (DTA) account of the laws of nature to a more general, physical Platonism. The Laboratory of the Mind is where he takes this final step. (shrink)
Since the late nineteenth century, studies of mysticism have presented us with two contrasting conclusions. The first is that mystics all over the world report basically the same experience, and the second is that there are great differences among the reports, and possibly among the experiences. On the positive side there are such works as Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy , with its claim that all mystics say that all beings are manifestations of a Divine Ground, that men learn of this (...) by direct intuition, that men have two natures, one phenomenal and one eternal, and that identification with his eternal nature is the purpose of man. Walter Stace supports this view, in a modified way, with his observation that, while each mystic seems to advance a peculiar explanation of his experience, their statements collectively exhibit strong similarities. Mystics commonly report a consciousness of unity, carrying with it feelings of objectivity, blessedness, and holiness. They describe their experience in paradoxical language, and say that ultimately it is ineffable. These twentieth-century observations are repetitions of those of William James, so that this basic point has become a cliché, and, as R. C. Zaehner says, ‘We have been told ad nauseum that mysticism is the highest expression of religion and that it appears in all ages and in all places in a more or less identical form, often in a religious milieu that would seem to be the reverse of propitious.’. (shrink)
Wilfred Sellars's deeply original and systematic thought continues to inspire into the twenty-first century. Part of the explanation must be that Sellars's struggle to integrate a Kantian-Wittgensteinian normative view of meaning and intentionality with a naturalistic outlook remains at the forefront of philosophical inquiry. To acknowledge the deep impact that Sellars has had on their work, a list of prominent, contemporary philosophers honor Sellars's legacy in a volume craftily edited by James R. O'Shea with a superb introduction. Like Sellars's (...) own work, the contributions are distributed across a wide range of topics from, roughly, philosophy of perception, philosophy of... (shrink)
In the course of supporting his larger thesis about mysticism, Steven Katz argues that, ‘Every religious community and every mystical movement within each community has a “model” or “models” of the ideal practitioner of the religious life.' Among thirteen functions of such models he mentions three that partially overlap. He says that these model lives set standards of perfection to measure believers' actions, they are perfect examples of what it is to be a human being, and they are moral paradigms. (...) Katz mentions various saints, sages, and other exemplary figures, and sums up with the claim that in the Christian tradition the function of ‘ models’ is expressed in Thomas à Kempis' The Imitation of Christ . Taking all of this together, one could conclude that he intends to say that every religious tradition contains accounts of morally perfect persons who are examples to be imitated. (shrink)
Mystics have always claimed that a very significant kind of self-perception is possible, at the end of certain spiritual disciplines. The self that is then supposed to be known is a unity, identical from one experience to the next, and not to be identified with any particular experiences, such as impressions or ideas, which the self has. In short, mystical testimony supports something like a theory of the essential self as simple and unchanging.
Adam Smith raised a series of obstacles to effective large-scale social planning. In this paper, I draw these Smithian obstacles together to construct what I call the “Great Mind Fallacy,” or the belief that there exists some person or persons who can overcome the obstacles Smith raises. The putative scope of the Great Mind Fallacy is larger than one might initially suppose, which I demonstrate by reviewing several contemporary thinkers who would seem to commit it. I then address two ways (...) the fallacy might be overcome, finding both wanting. I close the paper by suggesting that Smith's Great Mind Fallacy sheds interesting light on his “impartial spectator” standard of morality, including with respect to the specific issues of property and ownership. (shrink)
Social conditions of race and class continue to combine in ways that raise systemic questions about the adequacy and legitimacy of liberal, capitalist democracy in America. More radical alternatives, however, are still generally held to be irrelevant in the American context. The following is an effort to correct this widespread misrepresentation of socialism’s relevance to America generally, and to matters of race in particular. I consider the work of C.L.R. James who, fifty years ago, developed a class-oriented, explicitly Marxist (...) theory in which the aspirations and struggles of African-Americans were given a central place, both analytically and politically. (shrink)