El presente artículo tiene como objetivo examinar algunas ideas contemporáneas sobre el método científico inscritas en la corriente de pensamiento denominada "Racionalismo Crítico". En este sentido, destacan los planteamientos propuestos por Karl Popper, máximo representante de esta tesis; así como ..
The ever increasing ability of medical technology to reshape the human body in fundamental ways—from organ and tissue transplants to reconstructive surgery and prosthetics—is something now largely taken for granted. But for a philosopher, such interventions raise fundamental and fascinating questions about our sense of individual identity and its relationship to the physical body. Drawing on and engaging with philosophers from across the centuries, Jenny Slatman here develops a novel argument: that our own body always entails a strange dimension, (...) a strangeness that enables us to incorporate radical physical changes. (shrink)
Does the real difference between non-consequentialist and consequentialist theories lie in their approach to value? Non-consequentialist theories are thought either to allow a different kind of value (namely, agent-relative value) or to advocate a different response to value ('honouring' rather than 'promoting'). One objection to this idea implies that all normative theories are describable as consequentialist. But then the distinction between honouring and promoting collapses into the distinction between relative and neutral value. A proper description of non-consequentialist theories can only (...) be achieved by including a distinction between temporal relativity and neutrality in addition to the distinction between agent-relativity and agent-neutrality. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the various meanings of embodiment from a patient’s perspective. Resorting to phenomenology of health and medicine, I take the idea of ‘lived experience’ as starting point. On the basis of an analysis of phenomenology’s call for bracketing the natural attitude and its reduction to the transcendental, I will explain, however, that in medical phenomenological literature ‘lived experience’ is commonly one-sidedly interpreted. In my paper, I clarify in what way the idea of ‘lived experience’ should be (...) revisited and, subsequently, what this reconsideration means for phenomenological research on embodiment in health and medicine. The insight that the body is a condition of possibility for world-disclosing yet, at the same time, itself conditioned by this world forces us to not only zoom in on the body’s subject-side, but also on its object-side. I argue that in order to render account for this double body ontology, phenomenology should include empirical sociological analyses as well. I thus argue in favor of the idea of a socio-phenomenology. Drawing on material from my own research project on embodied self-experiences after breast surgery, I show how this approach can be fruitful in interpreting the impact of disfigurements on a person’s embodied agency, or a person’s ‘I can’. (shrink)
I develop a theory of counterfactuals about relative computability, i.e. counterfactuals such as 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then the halting problem would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is true, and 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then arithmetical truth would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is false. These counterfactuals are counterpossibles, i.e. they have metaphysically impossible antecedents. They thus pose a challenge to the orthodoxy about counterfactuals, which would treat them as uniformly true. What’s more, I (...) argue that these counterpossibles don’t just appear in the periphery of relative computability theory but instead they play an ineliminable role in the development of the theory. Finally, I present and discuss a model theory for these counterfactuals that is a straightforward extension of the familiar comparative similarity models. (shrink)
Boorse’s biostatistical theory states that diseases should be defined in ways that reflect disturbances of biological function and that are objective and value free. We use three examples from contemporary medicine that demonstrate the complex issues that arise when defining the boundaries of disease: polycystic ovary syndrome, chronic kidney disease, and myocardial infarction. We argue that the biostatistical theory fails to provide sufficient guidance on where the boundaries of disease should be drawn, contains ambiguities relating to choice of reference class, (...) and is out of step with medical processes for identifying disease boundaries. Although proponents of the biostatistical theory might regard these practical issues as irrelevant to the aim of providing a theoretical account of disease, we take them to indicate the need for a theoretical account that is adequate for current needs—including limiting new forms of medicalization that are driven by the identification of disease based on dysfunction. Our processes for determining the boundaries for disease need to recognize that there is no value-free method for making these decisions. (shrink)
Recent years have seen dramatic changes in the attitudes and expectations brought to bear on companies. Over ten years of research at MORI has shown the increasing prominence of corporate responsibility for a wide range of stakeholders, from consumers and employees to legislators and investors.
The aim of this thematic literature review is to explore nurses' perceptions of ethical issues in the care of older people. Electronic databases were searched from September 1997 to September 2007 using specific key words with tight inclusion criteria, which revealed 17 primary research reports. The data analysis involved repeated reading of the findings and sorting of those findings into four themes. These themes are: sources of ethical issues for nurses; differences in perceptions between nurses and patients/relatives; nurses' personal responses (...) to ethical issues; and the patient—nurse relationship. The findings reveal that ageism is one of the major sources of the ethical issues that arise for nurses caring for older people. Education and organizational change can combat ageist attitudes. Wider training is required in the care of older people, workplace skills, palliative care and pain management for older people. The demands of a changing global demography will necessitate further research in this field. (shrink)
The aim of this review is to assess the ethical implications of finfish aquaculture, regarding fish welfare and environmental aspects. The finfish aquaculture industry has grown substantially the last decades, both as a result of the over-fishing of wild fish populations, and because of the increasing consumer demand for fish meat. As the industry is growing, a significant amount of research on the subject is being conducted, monitoring the effects of aquaculture on the environment and on animal welfare. The areas (...) of concern when it comes to animal welfare have here been divided into four different stages: breeding period; growth period; capturing and handling; and slaughter. Besides these stages, this report includes a chapter on the current evidence of fish sentience, since this issue is still being debated among biologists. However, most biologists are at present acknowledging the probability of fish being sentient creatures. Current aquaculture practices are affecting fish welfare during all four of the cited stages, both on physical and mental levels, as well as on the ability of fish to carry out natural behaviors. The effect fish farming has on the environment is here separated into five different categories: the decline of wild fish populations; waste and chemical discharge; loss of habitat; spreading of diseases; and invasion of exotic organisms. There is evidence of severe negative effects on the environment when looking at these five categories, even when considering the difficulty of studying environmental effects, due to the closely interacting variables. The ethical arguments and scientific evidences here reviewed have not all come to the same conclusions. Nevertheless, the general agreement is that current aquaculture practices are neither meeting the needs of fish nor environment. Thus, the obvious environmental and animal welfare aspects of finfish aquaculture make it hard to ethically defend a fish diet. (shrink)
The last part of Wittgenstein's Blue Book consists of a discussion of Solipsism. In the course of that discussion there occur several remarks which are explicitly concerned with the concept of a person and with the criteria of personal identity. This section is replaced in the Philosophical Investigations by half a sentence which reads: ‘… there is a great variety of criteria for personal “ identity ”’. Wittgenstein has italicised the word ‘identity’, and has placed it in inverted commas: I (...) don't quite know why he does this, but it might be a hint to the effect that there is something slightly suspect about the notion of personal identity. (shrink)
Veterinary medicine has undergone dramatic, rapid feminization while in many ways remaining gendered masculine. With women constituting approximately half of its practitioners and nearly 80 percent of students, veterinary medicine is the most feminized of the comparable health professions. Nevertheless, the culture of veterinary medicine glorifies stereotypically masculine actions and attitudes. This article examines how women veterinarians understand the gender dynamics within the profession. Our analysis reveals that the discursive strategies available to women sustain and justify the status quo, and (...) thus preserve hegemonic masculinity. Women use strategies previously used toward female tokens in nontraditional jobs, such as role encapsulation, and strategies previously used by male tokens in traditionally female jobs, such as distancing from the feminine. Through this discursive “gender work,” women help to maintain the institutionalized inequality and the masculine ethic of the profession. Veterinary medicine illustrates the importance of considering organizational context in studies of feminization. (shrink)
The link between alcohol consumption and cancer is well established, but public awareness of the risk remains low. Mandated warning labels have been suggested as a way of ensuring “informed choice” about alcohol consumption. In this article we explore various ethical issues that may arise in connection with cancer warning labels on alcoholic beverages; in particular we highlight the potentially questionable autonomy of alcohol consumption decisions and consider the implications if the autonomy of drinking behavior is substantially compromised. Our discussion (...) demonstrates the need for the various ethical issues to be considered and addressed in any decision to mandate cancer warning labels. (shrink)
The social model of disability gives us the tools not only to challenge the discrimination and prejudice we face, but also to articulate the personal experience of impairment. Recognition of difference is therefore a key part of the assertion of our common humanity and of an ethics of care that promotes our human rights.
This paper considers the question of whether predictions of wrongdoing are relevant to our moral obligations. After giving an analysis of ‘won’t’ claims (i.e., claims that an agent won’t Φ), the question is separated into two different issues: firstly, whether predictions of wrongdoing affect our objective moral obligations, and secondly, whether self-prediction of wrongdoing can be legitimately used in moral deliberation. I argue for an affirmative answer to both questions, although there are conditions that must be met for self-prediction to (...) be appropriate in deliberation. The discussion illuminates an interesting and significant tension between agency and prediction. (shrink)
Academic interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be traced back to the 1930s. Since then an impressive body of empirical data and theory-building has been amassed, mainly located in the fields of management studies and business ethics. One of the most noteworthy recent conceptual contributions to the scholarship is Midttun’s (Corporate Governance 5(3):159–174, 2005 ) CSR-oriented embedded relational model of societal governance. It re-conceptualises the relationships between the state, business, and civil society. Other scholars (In Albareda et al. Corporate (...) Governance 6(4):386–400, 2006 ; Business Ethics: A European Review 17(4):347–363, 2008 ; Lozano et al., Governments and Corporate Social Responsibility, 2008 ) have recently successfully used the model as the basis for their analytical framework for researching CSR activities in a large number of western European countries. While this research offers valuable insights into how CSR is operationalised, it also suffers from a number of significant limitations. To develop a stronger analytical framework with which to explore CSR, this article draws more deeply on political science literature concerned with governance and public policy analysis. This represents the main purpose of this article. In addition, this article also addresses a second and more modest aim: to reflect on the ways in which relational governance-inspired frameworks could be adapted and applied to politico-economic systems where state-industry-third sector relations differ from those found in North America and Western Europe. Both lines of argument are illustrated using vignettes from a case study of the Evenkia Hydro-Electric Station building project in the Russian Federation. (shrink)
In the last few years, justice has emerged as a matter of concern for the contemporary constitution of technoscience. Increasingly, both practicing scientists and engineers and scholars of science and technology cite justice as an organizing theme of their work. In this essay, I consider why “science and justice” might be arising now. I then ask after the opportunities, but also the dangers, of this formation. By way of example, I explore the openings and exclusions created by the recent conjugation (...) of science and justice in the field of personal genomics. Finally, I conclude with reflections on what other forms “science and justice” might take, and what might be gained or lost in fostering them. (shrink)
This Handbook presents key ideas of philosophers and social theorists whose ideas inform process approaches to organization studies. Each chapter addresses the background and context of this thinker, their work (with a focus on the processual elements), and the potential contribution to organization and management research.
Jenny Saville is a leading contemporary painter of female nudes. This paper explores her work in light of theories of gender and embodied agency. Recent work on the phenomenology of embodiment draws a distinction between the body image and the body schema. The body image is your representation of your own body, including your visual image of it and your emotional attitudes towards it. The body schema is comprised of your proprioceptive knowledge, your corporeally encoded memories, and your corporeal (...) proficiency with respect to various environments and activities. Saville is concerned with body image issues, and I discuss how she reconfigures representational practices with respect to feminine body images. However, the most exciting potential for feminist analysis of the state of the female nude derives from the concept of the body schema, for this concept endows the human body with subjectivity and agency. My key question, then, is by what pictorial means and to what extent Saville succeeds in representing agentic womanhood. I argue that interpreting Saville’s paintings from the standpoint of the body schema demonstrates the radicality of her remaking of the female nude and the rapport between her imagery and feminist values. (shrink)
The pharmaceutical sector, an industry already facing stiff challenges in the form of intensified competition and strategic consolidation, has increasingly become subject to a range of pressures. Crucially, in common with other large-scale businesses, pharmaceutical firms find themselves 'invited' to respond positively to the corporate 'social' responsibility expectations of their stakeholders. Consequently, individual managers will almost certainly be obliged to engage in some form of stakeholder dialogue and this, in turn, means that they will have to make difficult choices about (...) which practices to adopt. This real-world management predicament runs parallel to an academic interest in CSR stakeholder dialogue theory and models. Accordingly, the approach of this paper is to focus primarily on the academic debate surrounding stakeholder dialogue, by reviewing past attempts to research and theorise the subject, by identifying gaps and weaknesses in the literature, and by proposing a new analytical model. The central aim of the proposed new model is to offer a unified, structured, systematic, and comprehensive approach to CSR decision making whilst simultaneously providing a practical framework for CSR executives who face the challenge of responding in an effective manner to stakeholders. The model outlined here is currently being employed to conduct international comparative empirical research into stakeholder dialogue practices amongst UK and German pharmaceutical firms. In the longer term the intention is to use the model to undertake international comparative research encompassing a broader range of countries and industries. (shrink)
This study compares the attitudes to ethical dilemmas of first year business students in Malaysia and New Zealand by using a series of scenarios or vignettes. Between subject manipulations were made to the scenarios given, based on expected cultural differences suggested in the literature. In particular, Hofstede's (1980, 1983 and 1991) work was used as a framework to identify dimensions based on differences in national culture. The results indicated some differences in responses based on both nationality and ethnic origin. Differences (...) were also found as a result of the manipulations within the scenarios. However, a lack of any interaction effects between the manipulations and both nationality and ethnic origin indicated that cultural differences did not lead to different responses to the manipulations. (shrink)
The desire to self-improve is probably as old as humanity: most of us want to be smarter, more athletic, more beautiful, or more talented. However, in the light of an ever increasing array of possibilities to enhance our capacities, clarity about the purpose and goal of such efforts becomes crucial. This is especially true when decisions are made for children, who are exposed to their parents’ plans and desires for them under a notion of increasing wellbeing. In recent years, cognitive (...) enhancement has become a popular candidate for the promotion of wellbeing; welfarists even impose a moral duty on parents to cognitively enhance their children for the sake of their wellbeing. In this article, I aim to show that welfarists are mistaken in inferring such a moral obligation from the potential benefit of cognitive enhancement. In support of this, I offer three arguments: the vagueness of wellbeing as a theoretical concept means it becomes impossible to apply in practice; the link between cognition and wellbeing is far from unequivocal; and quantification issues with regard to cognition make a duty impossible to discharge. In conclusion, I reject the welfarist approach as a justification for a parental moral obligation to cognitively enhance children. (shrink)
This article argues that personal medical data should be made available for scientific research, by enabling and encouraging individuals to donate their medical records once deceased, similar to the way in which they can already donate organs or bodies. This research is part of a project on posthumous medical data donation developed by the Digital Ethics Lab at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. Ten arguments are provided to support the need to foster posthumous medical data donation. (...) Two major risks are also identified—harm to others, and lack of control over the use of data—which could follow from unregulated donation of medical data. The argument that record-based medical research should proceed without the need to secure informed consent is rejected, and instead a voluntary and participatory approach to using personal medical data should be followed. The analysis concludes by stressing the need to develop an ethical code for data donation to minimise the risks, and offers five foundational principles for ethical medical data donation suggested as a draft code. (shrink)
The Greek word eoikos can be translated in various ways. It can be used to describe similarity, plausibility or even suitability. This book explores the philosophical exploitation of its multiple meanings by three philosophers, Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato. It offers new interpretations of the way that each employs the term to describe the status of their philosophy, tracing the development of this philosophical use of eoikos from the fallibilism of Xenophanes through the deceptive cosmology of Parmenides to Plato's Timaeus. The (...) central premise of the book is that, in reflecting on the eoikos status of their accounts, Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato are manipulating the contexts and connotations of the term as it has been used by their predecessors. By focusing on this continuity in the development of the philosophical use of eoikos, the book serves to enhance our understanding of the epistemology and methodology of Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato's Timaeus. (shrink)
This paper considers the question of whether predictions of wrongdoing are relevant to our moral obligations. After giving an analysis of 'won't' claims, the question is separated into two different issues: firstly, whether predictions of wrongdoing affect our objective moral obligations, and secondly, whether self-prediction of wrongdoing can be legitimately used in moral deliberation. I argue for an affirmative answer to both questions, although there are conditions that must be met for self-prediction to be appropriate in deliberation. The discussion illuminates (...) an interesting and significant tension between agency and prediction. (shrink)
Infants have been described as 'statistical learners' capable of extracting structure (such as words) from patterned input (such as language). Here, we investigated whether prior knowledge influences how infants track transitional probabilities in word segmentation tasks. Are infants biased by prior experience when engaging in sequential statistical learning? In a laboratory simulation of learning across time, we exposed 9- and 10-month-old infants to a list of either disyllabic or trisyllabic nonsense words, followed by a pause-free speech stream composed of a (...) different set of disyllabic or trisyllabic nonsense words. Listening times revealed successful segmentation of words from fluent speech only when words were uniformly disyllabic or trisyllabic throughout both phases of the experiment. Hearing trisyllabic words during the pre-exposure phase derailed infants' abilities to segment speech into disyllabic words, and vice versa. We conclude that prior knowledge about word length equips infants with perceptual expectations that facilitate efficient processing of subsequent language input. (shrink)
The ‘Wrong Kind of Reason’ problem for buck-passing theories (theories which hold that the normative is explanatorily or conceptually prior to the evaluative) is to explain why the existence of pragmatic or strategic reasons for some response to an object does not suffice to ground evaluative claims about that object. The only workable reply seems to be to deny that there are reasons of the ‘wrong kind’ for responses, and to argue that these are really reasons for wanting, trying, or (...) intending to have that response. In support of this, it is pointed out that awareness of pragmatic or strategic considerations, unlike awareness of reasons of the ‘right kind’, are never sufficient by themselves to produce the responses for which they are reasons. I argue that this phenomenon cannot be used as a criterion for distinguishing reasons-for-a-response from reasons-for-wanting-to-have-a-response. I subsequently investigate the possibility of basing this distinction on a claim that the responses in question (e.g. admiration or desire) are themselves inherently normative; I conclude that this approach is also unsuccessful. Hence, the ‘direct response’ phenomenon cannot be used to rule out the possibility of pragmatic or strategic reasons for responses; and the rejection of such reasons therefore cannot be used to circumvent the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem. (shrink)
This essay investigates the Zhuangzian theory of the self, which has long been the subject of a heated and controversial debate in Chinese intellectual history. According to an interpretation that has been quite prominent since the 1990s, the self in the Zhuangzi is a substantial, persisting self; it is a simple, basic object that is distinct from its properties. A substance, generally speaking, is an object or entity that has properties. Substance metaphysicians claim that substances, as primary units of reality, (...) are unchanging entities in themselves that bear changing properties over time.Some scholars, such as Kuang-ming Wu, Yi Wu, and Leo K. C. Cheung, believe that the self in... (shrink)