The Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) concept is a knowledge assembly and communication tool to facilitate the transparent translation of mechanistic information into outcomes meaningful to the regulatory assessment of chemicals. The AOP framework and associated knowledgebases (KBs) have received significant attention and use in the regulatory toxicology community. However, it is increasingly apparent that the potential stakeholder community for the AOP concept and AOP KBs is broader than scientists and regulators directly involved in chemical safety assessment. In this paper we (...) identify and describe those stakeholders who currently—or in the future—could benefit from the application of the AOP framework and knowledge to specific problems. We also summarize the challenges faced in implementing pathway-based approaches such as the AOP framework in biological sciences, and provide a series of recommendations to meet critical needs to ensure further progression of the framework as a useful, sustainable and dependable tool supporting assessments of both human health and the environment. Although the AOP concept has the potential to significantly impact the organization and interpretation of biological information in a variety of disciplines/applications, this promise can only be fully realized through the active engagement of, and input from multiple stakeholders, requiring multi-pronged substantive long-term planning and strategies. (shrink)
Guanxi is perceived as a major determinant for successful business in China. This research paper investigates the importance of Guanxi from the Hong Kong Businessmen's viewpoint. It confirms previous findings in this area and adds on new dimensions. Therefore, practitioners and academics may further refine their knowledge in this subject.
Drawing on the general ethics and social psychology literature, this study presents a model to delineate the major factors likely to affect consumers' intentions to bring their own shopping bags when visiting a supermarket . The model is empirically validated using a survey of 250 Chinese consumers. Overall, the findings support the hypothesized direct influence of teleological evaluation and habit on BYOB intention, as well as that of deontological evaluation and teleological evaluation on ethical judgment about the BYOB practice. Teleological (...) evaluation exerts a much stronger influence on ethical judgment than does deontological evaluation. In addition, the findings reveal that consumers who perceive the BYOB practice to be more important are more inclined to rely on their ethical judgment to derive their BYOB intention. Academically, these findings provide some encouraging evidence for the application of general ethics theories to explain green consumption-related practices. Practically, the findings also suggest that a utilitarian approach may represent an effective means for the Chinese government to promote BYOB practice among consumers. (shrink)
We consider a setting where a decision maker’s uncertainty is represented by a set of probability measures, rather than a single measure. Measure-by-measure updating of such a set of measures upon acquiring new information is well known to suffer from problems. To deal with these problems, we propose using weighted sets of probabilities: a representation where each measure is associated with a weight, which denotes its significance. We describe a natural approach to updating in such a situation and a natural (...) approach to determining the weights. We then show how this representation can be used in decision making, by modifying a standard approach to decision making—minimizing expected regret—to obtain minimax weighted expected regret. We provide an axiomatization that characterizes preferences induced by MWER both in the static and dynamic case. (shrink)
Much philosophical progress has been made in elucidating the idea of evolutionary contingency in a recent re-burgeoning of the debate. However, additional progress has been impaired on three fronts. The first relates to its characterisation: the under-specification of various contingency claims has made it difficult to conceptually pinpoint the scope to which ‘contingency’ allegedly extends, as well as which biological forms are in contention. That is—there appears to be no systematic means with which to fully specify contingency claims which has (...) led to a tendency for authors to talk past each other. Secondly, on the matter of evidence, recent research has focused on the evidential import of convergent evolution which is taken to disconfirm the evolutionary contingency thesis. However, there has been a neglect of convergent evolution’s converse: ‘evolutionary idiosyncrasies’ or the singular evolution of certain forms, which I argue is evidentially supportive of evolutionary contingency. Thirdly, evolutionary contingency has often been claimed to vary in degrees and that the debate, itself, is a matter of ‘relative significance’. However, there has been no formal method of evaluating the strength of contingency and its relative significance in a particular domain. In this paper, I address all three issues by proposing a systematic means of fully specifying contingency theses with the concept of the modal range. Secondly, I propose an account of evolutionary idiosyncrasies, investigate the explanations for their occurrences, and, subsequently, spell out their significance with respect to the evolutionary contingency thesis. Finally, having been equipped with the evidential counterpart to convergent evolution, I shall sketch a likelihood framework for evaluating, precisely on the basis of a sequence of opposing data, the strength and relative significance of evolutionary contingency in a particular domain. With this in hand, the relative observations of idiosyncrasies and convergences can be informative of the strength and relative significance of contingency in any particular domain. (shrink)
The perinatal necropsy is an important investigation following fetal or neonatal loss. Legal requirements on registration decree that consent is needed before necropsy can proceed in some of these babies. However, there are ill-defined grey areas which are open to legal and ethical difficulties. This paper discusses the problems that can arise with consent for a necropsy in the perinatal period. Some of these problems are clearly legal or ethical but all can cause distress to parents at a time of (...) grief and bereavement. The issues may not be readily resolved but public debate and ad hominem decisions on each perinatal loss may help to alleviate the problems. (shrink)
An interpretation is offered of thrasymachus' account of the nature of justice and just action in book I of the 'republic' which is internally consistent throughout on all important points. Just action is not defined in terms of its practical consequences, As many commentators assume, But rather in terms of its logical consequences 'vis-A-Vis' just agents. When one man acts justly towards another, The performance of the just act renders the just agent vulnerable to unfair or unjust exploitation by those (...) with whom he deals. The "strong man", In thrasymachus' sense, Would thus never be a just man. It is argued that socrates addresses himself to this position, But that, While the textual thrasymachus is silenced, Socrates' best arguments are, In fact, Inadequate to refute thrasymachus. (shrink)
The menu-dependent nature of regret-minimization creates subtleties when it is applied to dynamic decision problems. It is not clear whether forgone opportunities should be included in the menu. We explain commonly observed behavioral patterns as minimizing regret when forgone opportunities are present. If forgone opportunities are included, we can characterize when a form of dynamic consistency is guaranteed.
Chateauneuf and Faro axiomatize a weighted version of maxmin expected utility over acts with nonnegative utilities, where weights are represented by a confidence function. We argue that their representation is only one of many possible, and we axiomatize a more natural form of maxmin weighted expected utility. We also provide stronger uniqueness results.
Objectives—To investigate the incidence and solution of ethical dilemmas in a palliative care unit.Design—Health care workers recorded daily all dilemmas in caring for each patient.Setting—Palliative care unit of National Taiwan University Hospital in Taiwan.Patients—Two hundred and forty-six consecutive patients with terminal cancer during 1997-8.Main measurement—Ethical dilemmas in the questionnaire were categorised as follows: telling the truth; place of care; therapeutic strategy; hydration and nutrition; blood transfusion; alternative treatment; terminal sedation; use of medication, and others.Results—The type and frequency of ethical dilemmas (...) encountered were: place of care ; truth-telling ; hydration and nutrition ; therapeutic strategy , and use of medication . Ethical problems relating to the place of care and to therapeutic strategy were unlikely to be solved with increased hospital stay and some ethical dilemmas remained unsolved even in the final week in hospital, including place of care , truth-telling and therapeutic strategy . Problems of truth-telling occurred in nearly half of patients over sixty-five-years-old. Conflicts about blood transfusion were experienced in all patients below 18-years-old, and the dilemmas concerning the place of care occurred most frequently with head and neck cancer patients .Conclusions—The solution of ethical dilemmas required refocusing by medical professionals on the importance of continuing communication. Improved ethical training for professionals would contribute to solving the moral dilemmas of palliative care. (shrink)
Managers with different cultural backgrounds and under different circumstances have different views on what is acceptable ethical behaviour. This study attempts to determine whether major companies in Hong Kong share the same views as North American academics on what management ethical standards ought to be, and if so, whether any control mechanisms have been established to instill ethical behaviour within their organizations. Notable differences between the practice in these companies and those from a similar survey conducted in North America are (...) identified and explained. The management accountant''s role in the development and implementation of such mechanisms is investigated. (shrink)
Elliott Sober can be understood as advancing two distinct arguments that similarly conclude that evolutionary theory does not say that Scriven’s infamous twins have the same fitness, despite the twins’ identical genotypes and phenotypes. The first argument relies on denying that evolutionary theory can say that the twins are in the same environment, and the second relies on asserting an epistemic access asymmetry between token fitness and trait fitness. Motivated by good reasons, I respond to both of these arguments by (...) showing that the theory of evolution by natural selection has adequate means for determining whether the twins are in the same environment via causal-probabilistic decomposition, and that equivalence in fitness can be asserted even from a partial theory of fitness, regardless of epistemology. Finally, I point out an absurd result regarding genetic drift as indiscriminate sampling that follows if Sober’s conclusion is true. (shrink)
Within the philosophy of biology, Michael Scriven’s twins has become a well-known thought experiment, due to its being the impetus for various lines of discussion concerning the contentious definition of evolutionary fitness, the distinction between natural selection and genetic drift, and evolutionary environments. As one version of the story goes: two twins who, ex hypothesi, are genotypically and phenotypically the same are located side by side on a mountain. An unfortunate event ensues whereby a lightning strike kills one of the (...) twins, whilst the other twin survives. For added disparity, the surviving twin goes on to proliferate extensively by bearing a large number of offspring. Importantly, it is usually inferred, from the stipulations of the thought experiment, that the twins also have the same evolutionary fitness. The inference is important because the premise that the twins have the same fitness paves way for a number of influential views; most notably, it has led to the propensity interpretation of evolutionary fitness. (shrink)
Contingency-theorists have gestured to a series of phenomena such as random mutations or rare Armageddon-like events as that which accounts for evolutionary contingency. These phenomena constitute a class, which may be aptly called the ‘sources of contingency’. In this paper, I offer a probabilistic conception of what it is to be a source of contingency and then examine two major candidates: chance variation and genetic drift, both of which have historically been taken to be ‘chancy’ in a number of different (...) senses. However, contra the gesturing of contingency-theorists, chance variation and genetic drift are not always strong sources of contingency, as they can be non-chancy in at least one sense that opposes evolutionary contingency. The probabilistic conception offered herein allows for sources of contingency to appropriately vary in strength. To this end, I import Shannon’s information entropy as a statistical measure for systematically assessing the strength of a source of contingency, which is part and parcel of identifying sources of contingency. In brief, the higher the entropy, the greater the strength. This is also empirically significant because molecular, mutational, and replicative studies often contain sufficient frequency or probability data to allow for entropies to be calculated. In this way, contingency-theorists can evaluate the strength of a source of contingency in real-world cases. Moreover, the probabilistic conception also makes conceptual room for the converse of sources of contingency: ‘sources of directionality’, which ought to be recognised, as they can interact with genuine sources of contingency in undermining evolutionary contingency. (shrink)
Knowledge-Based Systems (KBS) are developed to contain substantial elements of human knowledge and expertise in a well-defined domain, and use these to support user or expert tasks. Issues related to the social and organisational contexts of these systems are widely acknowledged to be particularly critical to their success. However, methodology proposals usually stop short of adequately handling soft and unstructured data that frame the contexts of use. The handling of qualitative data needs to be done in a way that directly (...) impinges on the wider Knowledge-Based System engineering processes and decisions. In this paper, we discuss the nature of context-sensitive issues, and describe a methodological approach for resolving them through the rigorous analysis of qualitative data, using a methodology which is based upon the Grounded Theory method from the social sciences. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to ethical theory, and is intended for people who have had no previous exposure to philosophy. It might be used with profit as a text in a high school philosophy course. In his efforts to be clear to the uninitiated reader, Bond ends each chapter with a summary in point form and some “Questions for Thought.” In some early chapters, he even includes charts and graphs summarizing and collating points in the text. At the end (...) of each part, there are suggestions for further reading, and there is a useful glossary at the end of the book. (shrink)
Poco más de dos décadas después de la publicación de Political Liberalism del filósofo estadounidense John Rawls, Thom Brooks y Martha Nussbaum se dieron la tarea de editar una compilación de seis ensayos que muestran la actualidad de este libro. Los escritos que participan en esta recopilación se aproximan al texto rawlsiano de manera variopinta, tanto a nivel disciplinar como en lo referido a la finalidad con la cual lo abordan. A grandes rasgos, estos se dividen en tres grupos: el (...) primer grupo, cuya pretensión es realizar una revisión crítica de la obra o de conceptos medulares de esta ; el segundo conjunto, donde se realiza una labor exegética capaz de responder a múltiples críticas que ha enfrentado el texto desde su publicación y, finalmente, un artículo ―el tercer grupo― que muestra la consistencia práctica en el modo en que Rawls concibió el derecho constitucional estadounidense. (shrink)
An ontological approach to the analysis of conceptual frameworks of physical theories is introduced and then applied to the case of quantum gravity. The tension between the theoretical constraints posed, respectively, by general relativity and quantum field theory, is analysed. A possible solution to the difficulties created by the tension, based on the notion of ontological synthesis, is suggested.
Objectives: To investigate the current situation of completing the informed consent for do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders among the competent patients with terminal illness and the ethical dilemmas related to it. Participants: This study enrolled 152 competent patients with terminal cancer, who were involved in the initial consultations for hospice care. Analysis: Comparisons of means, analyses of variance, Student’s t test, χ2 test and multiple logistic regression models. Results: After the consultations, 117 (77.0%) of the 152 patients provided informed consent for hospice (...) care and DNR orders. These included 21 patients (17.9%) who signed the consent by themselves, and 96 (82.1%) whose consent sheet was signed only by family members. The reasons why patients were not involved in the discussions toward the consent (n = 82) included poor physical or psychological condition (44.9%), concerns of the consultant hospice team (37.2%), and the family’s refusal (28.2%). On a multivariate analysis, patients’ awareness of their poor prognosis (odds ratio = 4.07, 95% confidence interval = 2.05 to 8.07) and their understanding of hospice care (2.27, 1.33 to 3.89) were two independent factors (p<0.01) that influenced their participation in the discussions or their personal signature in the informed consent. Conclusion: The family-oriented culture in Asian countries may violate the principles of the Patient Self-Determination Act and the requirements of the Hospice Care Law in Taiwan, which inevitably poses an ethical dilemma. Earlier truth-telling and continuing education of the public by hospice care workers will be helpful in solving such ethical dilemmas. (shrink)