Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of biomedical research, yet participants comprehension of presented information is often low. The most effective interventions to improve understanding rates have not been identified.
Sections R1 to R3 attempt to take the sting out of hostile commentaries. Sections R4 to R5 engage Berlin and Kay and the World Color Survey to correct the record. Section R6 begins the formulation of a new theory of colour as an engineering project with a technological developmental trajectory. It is recommended that the colour space be abandoned.
In this target article the following hypotheses are discussed: (1) Colour is autonomous: a perceptuolinguistic and behavioural universal. (2) It is completely described by three independent attributes: hue, brightness, and saturation: (3) Phenomenologically and psychophysically there are four unique hues: red, green, blue, and yellow; (4) The unique hues are underpinned by two opponent psychophysical and/or neuronal channels: red/green, blue/yellow. The relevant literature is reviewed. We conclude: (i) Psychophysics and neurophysiology fail to set nontrivial constraints on colour categorization. (ii) Linguistic (...) evidence provides no grounds for the universality of basic colour categories. (iii) Neither the opponent hues red/green, blue/yellow nor hue, brightness, and saturation are intrinsic to a universal concept of colour. (iv) Colour is not autonomous. (shrink)
One way of increasing the supply of organs available for transplant would be to switch to an opt-out system of donor registration. This is typically assumed to operate on the basis of presumed consent, but this faces the objection that not all of those who fail to opt out would actually consent to the use of their cadaveric organs. This paper defuses this objection, arguing that people's actual, explicit or implicit, consent to use their organs is not needed. It borrows (...) David Estlund's notion of ‘normative consent’ from the justification of political authority and applies it to the case of organ donation. According to this idea, when it is wrong to withhold consent to something, the moral force of that lack of consent may be null and void. If it is wrong of a person to refuse to donate their cadaveric organs to others, then it may be that their actual consent is not needed. This supports an opt-out system, which provides protection for those who have genuine reasons to refuse donation, and spares the worries as to what the deceased would actually have wanted. (shrink)
Recent scholarship (Goodwin & Darley, 2008) on the meta-ethical debate between objectivism and relativism has found people to be mixed: they are objectivists about some issues, but relativists about others. The studies discussed here sought to explore this further. Study 1 explored whether giving people the ability to identify moral issues for themselves would reveal them to be more globally objectivist. Study 2 explored people's meta-ethical commitments more deeply, asking them to provide verbal explanations for their judgments. This revealed that (...) while people think they are relativists, this may not always be the case. The explanations people gave were sometimes rated by outside (blind) coders as being objective, even when given a relativist response. Nonetheless, people remained meta-ethical pluralists. Why this might be is discussed. (shrink)
Recent discussion has focused on whether or not to teach moral theories, and, if yes, to what extent. In this piece the author argues that the criticisms of teaching moral theories raised by Rob Lawlor should lead us to reconsider not whether but how to teach moral theories. It seems that most of the problems Lawlor identifies derive from an uncritical, theory-led approach to teaching. It is suggested that we might instead start by discussing practical cases or the desiderata of (...) a successful moral theory, and then build up to comparing theories such as consequentialism, deontology, and so on. In this way, theories are taught but students do not take them to be the alpha and omega of moral thinking. (shrink)
Using NORC annual survey data, the authors selected 21 questions describing respondent attitudes toward job, life in general, and financial status. Respondents were catigorized as management, white collar, blue collar, and those not affiliated with business organizations. Attitudes were compared across the four occupational groups. Little dissatisfaction was found in any but the blue collar group. Management as a group, and men as well as women managers showed high levels of satisfaction, with few significant differences found in responses by men (...) and women. This study does not support the earlier finding of widespread alienation in business firms. (shrink)
Categorical perception (CP) refers to how similar things look different depending on whether they are classified as the same category. Many studies demonstrate that adult humans show CP for human emotional faces. It is widely debated whether the effect can be accounted for solely by perceptual differences (structural differences among emotional faces) or whether additional perceiver-based conceptual knowledge is required. In this review, I discuss the phenomenon of CP and key studies showing CP for emotional faces. I then discuss a (...) new model of emotion which highlights how perceptual and conceptual knowledge interact to explain how people see discrete emotions in others’ faces. In doing so, I discuss how language (emotion words included in the paradigm) contribute to CP. (shrink)
The relationship between corporate social responsiveness and profitability is investigated in a sample of corporate directors. The findings show there is no relationship between the level of director social responsiveness and corporate profitability. The implications of these results are discussed, especially as they relate to concerns about corporate governance.
To understand public discourse in the United States on genetic causation of behavioral disorders, we analyzed media representations of genetic research on addiction published between 1990 and 2010. We conclude first that the media simplistically represent biological bases of addiction and willpower as being mutually exclusive: behaviors are either genetically determined, or they are a choice. Second, most articles provide only cursory or no treatment of the environmental contribution. A media focus on genetics directs attention away from environmental factors. Rhetorically, (...) media neglect the complexity underlying the etiology the addiction and direct focus back toward individual causation and responsibility. (shrink)
We demonstrate that the quantum-mechanical description of composite physical systems of an arbitrary number of similar fermions in all their admissible states, mixed or pure, for all finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces, is not in conflict with Leibniz's Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII). We discern the fermions by means of physically meaningful, permutation-invariant categorical relations, i.e. relations independent of the quantum-mechanical probabilities. If, indeed, probabilistic relations are permitted as well, we argue that similar bosons can also be discerned in all (...) their admissible states; but their categorical discernibility turns out to be a state-dependent matter. In all demonstrated cases of discernibility, the fermions and the bosons are discerned (i) with only minimal assumptions on the interpretation of quantum mechanics; (ii) without appealing to metaphysical notions, such as Scotusian haecceitas, Lockean substrata, Postian transcendental individuality or Adamsian primitive thisness; and (iii) without revising the general framework of classical elementary predicate logic and standard set theory, thus without revising standard mathematics. This confutes: (a) the currently dominant view that, provided (i) and (ii), the quantum-mechanical description of such composite physical systems always conflicts with PII; and (b) that if PII can be saved at all, the only way to do it is by adopting one or other of the thick metaphysical notions mentioned above. Among the most general and influential arguments for the currently dominant view are those due to Schrodinger, Margenau, Cortes, Dalla Chiara, Di Francia, Redhead, French, Teller, Butterfield, Giuntini, Mittelstaedt, Castellani, Krause and Huggett. We review them succinctly and critically as well as related arguments by van Fraassen and Massimi. (shrink)
The concept of classical indistinguishability is analyzed and defended against a number of well-known criticisms, with particular attention to the Gibbs’paradox. Granted that it is as much at home in classical as in quantum statistical mechanics, the question arises as to why indistinguishability, in quantum mechanics but not in classical mechanics, forces a change in statistics. The answer, illustrated with simple examples, is that the equilibrium measure on classical phase space is continuous, whilst on Hilbert space it is discrete. The (...) relevance of names, or equivalently, properties stable in time that can be used as names, is also discussed. (shrink)
Greek and Roman Philosophy After Aristotle brings together over twenty-five of the most important works of Western philosophy written from 322 B.C.E. — the death of Aristotle — to the close of the third century C.E. Eminent philosopher Jason Saunder's choices for this concise volume emphasize the range and significance of the leading philosophers of the Hellenistic Age. Supplemented by Dr. Saunder's enlightening introduction, descriptive notes, and extensive bibliography, these readings provide an essential introduction for students and general readers alike (...) to the enormous influence of Greek philosophy on the formative years of Christianity as well as the early Christians' distrust of it. Published initially in 1966 as part of The Free Press paperback series Readings in the History of Philosophy, this affordable volume introduces Lucretius, Epicurus, Epictetus and Stoicism, Sextus Empiricus, Lucian, Philo of Alexanderia, and Plotinus, as well as seminal figures from early Christian thought, including St. Paul and Clement of Alexandria. JASON L. SAUNDERS held positions in philosophy at the University of California at San Diego, and at The City College of New York. Dr. Saunders was the author of The History and Philosophy of Ancient and Renaissance Stoicism, Greek and Latin Philosophy of Aristotle, Philosophy of Neo Stoicism, and Justus Lipsius: The Philosopher of Renaissance Stoicism. [Back cover text from 1994 reprint.]. (shrink)
In reply to Wierzbicka's advocacy of semantic primitives we argue that talk of the semantic primitives repeats the fallacies addressed in the target article at a higher level. In reply to Malcolm's plea for a Wittgensteinian grammar of colour words, we argue that he uses words like “we” and “us” too easily, falling into the trap of “silly relativism.” In reply to McManus's science of word counts, we reiterate the nineteenth-century criticism that this method is based on an illegitimate application (...) of seemingly rigorous statistical methods. (shrink)
Constitutions are products of an alien culture. Constitutions are also ‘instruments of government’ and must be relevant to serve the needs of modern society. How ought we to reconcile the competing pressures that arise from the nature of a document that is at one and the same time a historical artefact and an instrument of contemporary government? We propose an answer modelled on the ‘Cambridge method’ of textual interpretation, whereby a constitution must first be considered as a historical text, on (...) its own terms, without regard to today’s controversies. We argue that the best way of understanding a constitution is to take account of its historical context, and that meaning derived in this way ought to be the starting point when considering the provisions of the constitution. However, we consider that the historical context need not be determinative of the contemporary meaning of the constitution, and so departures from that meaning may be appropriate in some situations. (shrink)