Introduction With an ageing population, end-of-life care is increasing in importance. The present work investigated characteristics and time trends of older peoples' attitudes towards euthanasia and an end-of-life pill. Methods Three samples aged 64 years or older from the Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam (N=1284 (2001), N=1303 (2005) and N=1245 (2008)) were studied. Respondents were asked whether they could imagine requesting their physician to end their life (euthanasia), or imagine asking for a pill to end their life if they became tired (...) of living in the absence of a severe disease (end-of-life pill). Using logistic multivariable techniques, changes of attitudes over time and their association with demographic and health characteristics were assessed. Results The proportion of respondents with a positive attitude somewhat increased over time, but significantly only among the 64–74 age group. For euthanasia, these percentages were 58% (2001), 64% (2005) and 70% (2008) (OR of most recent versus earliest period (95% CI): 1.30 (1.17 to 1.44)). For an end-of-life pill, these percentages were 31% (2001), 33% (2005) and 45% (2008) (OR (95% CI): 1.37 (1.23 to 1.52)). For the end-of-life pill, interaction between the most recent time period and age group was significant. Conclusions An increasing proportion of older people reported that they could imagine desiring euthanasia or an end-of-life pill. This may imply an increased interest in deciding about your own life and stresses the importance to take older peoples' wishes seriously. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungDie rechtliche Regelung der Fortpflanzungsmedizin ist dringend reformbedürftig. Das Embryonenschutzgesetz von 1990 erfasst die neuesten technischen Entwicklungen nicht, ist in manchen Bereichen unstimmig und lückenhaft, setzt die betroffenen Frauen, Paare und Kinder unnötigen gesundheitlichen Risiken aus, erschwert paradoxerweise die Durchsetzung von Kinderrechten und erzeugt Gerechtigkeitsprobleme und Rechtsunsicherheit für die betroffenen Paare und die behandelnden Ärztinnen und Ärzte.Das Embryonenschutzgesetz enthält zudem nur strafrechtliche Verbote. Diese erlauben keine angemessene Reaktion auf die medizinische Entwicklung und den gesellschaftlichen Wandel und werden der Komplexität der (...) Materie nicht gerecht.Diese Probleme müssen gelöst werden. Der Bundesgesetzgeber verfügt seit mehr als 20 Jahren über die Kompetenz zur Regelung der Fortpflanzungsmedizin. Er sollte in der kommenden Legislaturperiode ein umfassendes Fortpflanzungsmedizingesetz schaffen. (shrink)
Examines ontological presuppositions that inform traditional and Bayesian positions on the uncertainties of belief in economic theory. D. Knight and J.M. Keynes’ views on the risks and uncertainties in economics; Reasons for the popularity of the Bayesian view in modern economic theory.
The development of modern programmable pacemaker-systems has led to a series of questions which until now have apparently not existed in the treatment of cardiac rhythm disturbances. These questions touch especially on the problem of whether the relation which usually exists between a diagnostic step and its therapeutic consequence, namely its therapeutic relevance, is abolished or at least changed.
Mercier and Sperber (M&S) argue that reasoning has evolved primarily as an adjunct to persuasive communication rather than as a basis for consequential choice. Recent research on decision-related regret suggests that regret aversion and concomitant needs for justification may underpin a complementary mechanism that can, if appropriately deployed, convert M&S's facile arguer into an effective decision maker, with obvious evolutionary advantages.
Acceptable programming systems have many nice properties like s-m-n-Theorem, Composition and Kleene Recursion Theorem. Those properties are sometimes called control structures, to emphasize that they yield tools to implement programs in programming systems. It has been studied, among others by Riccardi and Royer, how these control structures influence or even characterize the notion of acceptable programming system. The following is an investigation, how these control structures behave in the more general setting of complete numberings as defined by Mal'cev and Eršov.
Acceptable programming systems have many nice properties like s-m-n-Theorem, Composition and Kleene Recursion Theorem. Those properties are sometimes called control structures, to emphasize that they yield tools to implement programs in programming systems. It has been studied, among others by Riccardi and Royer, how these control structures influence or even characterize the notion of acceptable programming system. The following is an investigation, how these control structures behave in the more general setting of complete numberings as defined by Mal'cev and Ersov.
Objectives:Social isolation is increasing in aging societies and several studies have shown a relation with worse cognition in old age. However, less is known about the association in the oldest-old ; the group that is at highest risk for both social isolation and dementia. Methods:Analyses were based on follow-up 5 to 9 of the longitudinal German study on aging, cognition, and dementia in primary care patients and the study on needs, health service use, costs, and health-related quality of life in (...) a large sample of oldest-old primary care patients, a multi-center population-based prospective cohort study. Measurements included the Lubben Social Network Scale, with a score below 12 indicating social isolation, as well as the Mini-Mental Status Examination as an indicator of cognitive function. Results:Dementia-free study participants were M = 86.4 years old at observation onset, 68.2% were women. One third of them were socially isolated. Adjusted linear hybrid mixed effects models revealed significantly lower cognitive function in individuals with smaller social networks. Moreover, changes in an individual's social network size were significantly associated with cognitive changes over time, indicating worse cognitive function with shrinking social networks. Conclusion:Social isolation is highly prevalent among oldest-old individuals, being a risk factor for decreases in cognitive function. Consequently, it is important to maintain a socially active lifestyle into very old age. Likewise, this calls for effective ways to prevent social isolation. (shrink)
Interest in John Maynard Keynes has increased significantly over the past decade with the publication of his collected writings, increased access to his unpublished papers, and the resulting explosion of secondary literature. Responding to this renewed attention, this collection brings together economists and historians of economics with scholars from philosophy and other related fields to reconsider Keynes’s work and its legacy. Several of these essays look at Keynes not simply as an economist, but more broadly as a philosopher. Special attention (...) is directed to his views on aesthetics and moral philosophy, as well as his contributions as a probability theorist. The development of the Keynesian heritage is also considered: How did Keynesian ideas become assimilated and domesticated into the mainstream of economic thought—to the point of becoming dominant as the orthodoxy of the economics profession? What was the relationship between postwar British conservatives, Keynes’s work, and Britain’s relative economic decline? The archivist in charge of Keynes’s papers provides an additional vantage point on Keynes’s working methods and the broad range of scholars interested in his writings. Finally, all of the essays are followed by a responder’s comments, thus providing an exchange of viewpoints. _Contributors. _A. W. Coats, Allin F. Cottrell, Jacqueline Cox, William Darity, John Davis, Robert Dimand, Peter Groenewegen, Kevin Hoover, Henry E. Kyburg Jr., David Laidler, Michael S. Lawlor, Greg Lilly, D. E. Moggridge, R. M. O’Donnell, Kerry Pearce, Jochen Runde, Teddy Seidenfeld, J. D. Tomlinson. (shrink)
The chapter of Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason entitled “Table of the categories of liberty, in relation to the concepts of good and evil”, to which this year the Bonn conference “Kant und die ‘Kategorien der Freiheit’” was devoted, today still arouses many questions: is the table of the categories of liberty sufficient to cover the whole practical domain, including that of the empirically conditioned? And if this is the case, what is the meaning of the genitive “of liberty”, and (...) to which Kantian concept of liberty do the categories owe their name? Are they concepts of autonomous volition, referable exclusively to good and evil as Gut and Böse or also to Wohl and Weh? And since “practical concepts a priori … soon become knowledge” (KpV A 116), in what does practical knowledge consist, and what is its relationship with the practical conscience of the subject, with Gewissen? In the present panorama of German research on Kant, Heiner F. Klemme, Jochen Bojanowski, Dieter Sturma, José M. Torralba, Christian Krijnen, Stephen Zimmermann and Hans F. Fulda endeavour to give an answer to such issues and make an important contribution to present-day research on Kantian problems of practical judgment and the meanings of liberty and of the logical functions of the categories. (shrink)
In the present research, we examine the relation between leader mindfulness and employee performance through the lenses of organizational justice and leader-member relations. We hypothesize that employees of more mindful leaders view their relations as being of higher leader-member exchange quality. We further hypothesize two mediating mechanisms of this relation: increased interpersonal justice and reduced employee stress. In other words, we posit that employees of more mindful leaders feel treated with greater respect and experience less stress. Finally, we predict that (...) LMX quality serves as a mediator linking leader mindfulness to employee performance—defined in terms of both in-role and extra-role performance. Across two field studies of triadic leader-employee-peer data and dyadic leader–employee data, we find support for this sequential mediation model. We discuss implications for theorizing on leadership, organizational justice, business ethics, LMX, and mindfulness, as well as practical implications. (shrink)
I examine the abstraction/representation theory of computation put forward by Horsman et al., connecting it to the broader notion of modeling, and in particular, model-based explanation, as considered by Rosen. I argue that the ‘representational entities’ it depends on cannot themselves be computational, and that, in particular, their representational capacities cannot be realized by computational means, and must remain explanatorily opaque to them. I then propose that representation might be realized by subjective experience, through being the bearer of the structure (...) of abstract objects that are represented. (shrink)
With this special issue, we would like to promote research on changes in the funding of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Since funding secures the livelihood of researchers and the means to do research, it is an indispensable condition for almost all research; as funding arrangements are undergoing dramatic changes, we think it timely to renew the science studies community’s efforts to understand the funding of research. Changes in the governance of science have garnered considerable attention from science studies (...) and higher education research; however, the impact of these changes on the conduct and content of research has not received sufficient attention, and theoretical insights into the connections between funding practices and research practices are few and far between. The aim of this special issue is to contribute to our theoretical understanding of the changing nature of research funding and its impact on the production of scientific knowledge. More specifically, we are interested in the interplay between funding and research practices: What is the impact of institutionalised funding arrangements on the production of scientific knowledge? (shrink)
Using as a springboard a three-way debate between theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright and myself, I address in layman’s terms the issues of why we need a unified theory of the fundamental interactions and why, in my opinion, string and M-theory currently offer the best hope. The focus will be on responding more generally to the various criticisms. I also describe the diverse application of string/M-theory techniques to other branches of physics and mathematics which render the (...) whole enterprise worthwhile whether or not “a theory of everything” is forthcoming. (shrink)
Statements such as “X is beautiful but I don’t like how it looks” or “I like how X looks but it is not beautiful” sound contradictory. How contradictory they sound might however depend on the object X and on the aesthetic adjective being used (“beautiful”, “elegant”, “dynamic”, etc.). In our study, the first sentence was estimated to be more contradictory than the latter: If we describe something as beautiful, we often intend to evaluate its appearance, whereas it is less counterintuitive (...) to appreciate an appearance without finding it beautiful. Furthermore, statements including “beautiful” appeared more contradictory than those including “elegant” and “dynamic”, pointing to its greater evaluative component. When related to artworks, sentences could appear less contradictory due to readers’ consideration of the divergence between conventional beauty and art-related sensory pleasures that can even include negative valence. Such ambivalence might be more frequent in art-objects than in other artefacts. Indeed, in our study, sentences referring to artworks were estimated to be less contradictory compared to sentences referring to other artefacts. Meanwhile, an additional small group of graphic design students showed a less clear difference between art-related and non-art-related sentences. We discuss the potential influence of art experience and interest as well as theoretical and methodological challenges like the conceptualization of beauty. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
Friendship, as a unique form of social relationship, establishes a particular union among individual human beings which allows them to overcome diverse boundaries between individual subjects. Age, gender or cultural differences do not necessarily constitute an obstacle for establishing friendship and as a social phenomenon, it might even include the potential to exist independently of space and time. This analysis in the interface of social science and phenomenology focuses on the principles of construction and constitution of this specific form of (...) human encounter. In a “parallel action,” the perspective of social science focuses on concrete socio-historical constructions of friendship in different time periods. These findings are confronted with the description of principles of the subjective constitution of the phenomenon of “friendship” from a phenomenological perspective. The point of reference for the study is the real type of the symbolically established and excessively idealized form of friendship intended for eternity which was especially popular in eighteenth century Germany. Analogous to the method of phenomenological reduction, three different levels of protosociological reduction are developed for the exploration of the unique social phenomenon of friendship. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
This essay presents a phenomenological analysis of the functioning of symbols as elements of the life-world with the purpose of demonstrating the interrelationship of individual and society. On the basis of Alfred Schutz''s theory of the life-world, signs and symbols are viewed as mechanisms by means of which the individual can overcome the transcendences posed by time, space, the world of the Other, and multiple realities which confront him or her. Accordingly, the individual''s life-world divides itself into the dimensions of (...) time, space, the social world and various reality spheres which form the boundaries or transcendences that the I has to understand and integrate. Signs and symbols are described as appresentational modes which stand for experiences originating in the different spheres of the life-world within the world of everyday life, within which they can be communicated, thereby establishing intersubjectivity. Schutz''s theory of the symbol explains how social entities – such as nations, states or religious groups – are symbolically integrated to become components of the individual''s life-world. The following paper reconstructs Schutz''s concept of the symbol as a crucial component of his theory of the life-world, which is seen as an outstanding phenomenological contribution to the theory of the sign and the symbol in general. (shrink)
Forschungs- und Therapieansätze einer „personalisierten Medizin“ erhalten gegenwärtig große Aufmerksamkeit und Förderung in Forschung, Wirtschaft und Politik und erwecken große Hoffnungen. Auf der Grundlage molekulargenetischer Biomarker soll ein zielgerichtetes, stratifiziertes Vorgehen im Bereich der Prävention, Diagnostik und Therapie erreicht werden. Häufig wird der Begriff „personalisierte Medizin“ als Synonym für medizinischen Fortschritt überhaupt benutzt und eine persönlichere, bessere und kostengünstigere Medizin versprochen. 1) Fortschritte in der genetischen Forschung können nicht mit besseren medizinischen Behandlungsmöglichkeiten für eine Vielzahl von Patienten gleichgesetzt werden. In (...) Wirklichkeit beschränken sich die aktuellen Fortschritte einer an genetischen Biomarkern ausgerichteten Diagnostik und Therapie auf Untergruppen von Patienten. Die Mehrheit der Kranken hat bisher keinen Vorteil. 2) Der Begriff „personalisierte Medizin“ ist unangemessen und irreführend. Vielmehr handelt es sich um eine auf genetischen Biomarkern basierte stratifizierende Medizin und nicht um eine patienten- oder personenzentrierte Medizin. 3) Die sog. „personalisierte Medizin“ ist ein stark forschungs- und industriegetriebener Bereich der Medizin. Globale Stakeholder bestimmen die Entwicklung, unabhängig finanzierte Forschung gibt es kaum. Daher besteht die Gefahr, dass wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisgewinn durch wirtschaftliche Einzelinteressen behindert wird. Empirische Erfahrungen, z. B. der Preisentwicklung neuer Krebsmedikamente, zeigen, dass das Versprechen der Kostenersparnis jeder Evidenz entbehrt. 4) Die hohen Investitionen in die „personalisierte Medizin“ werfen wichtige ethische Fragen nach Opportunitätskosten und Prioritätensetzungen im öffentlichen Gesundheitswesen auf. Derzeit profitieren wenige Patientengruppen von den hohen Forschungs- und Behandlungskosten der „personalisierten Medizin.“ Gleichzeitig bleiben Forschung und Versorgung in anderen wichtigen medizinischen Bereichen unterfinanziert. Eine öffentliche Debatte über die Prioritäten in medizinischer Forschung und Versorgung sowie darüber, wie diese in demokratischen Gesellschaften und in öffentlichen Gesundheitssystemen umgesetzt werden können, ist erforderlich. Eine an genetischen Biomarkern ausgerichtete sog. „personalisierte Medizin“ führt nicht zu einer persönlicheren Behandlung des einzelnen Patienten und ist von einer personen- oder patientenzentrierten Medizin zu unterscheiden. Von den bisherigen Therapiefortschritten profitieren Untergruppen von Patienten, z. B. in der Onkologie. Für die Mehrheit der Patienten konnten keine Verbesserungen erzielt werden. Für eine Kostenersparnis im Gesundheitswesen fehlt jegliche empirische Evidenz, vielmehr muss nach bisherigen Erfahrungen mit Kostensteigerungen gerechnet werden. (shrink)
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an appraisal of James Bogen and James Woodward’s distinction between data and phenomena which pursues two objectives. First, I aim to clarify the notion of a scientific phenomenon. Such a clarification is required because despite its intuitive plausibility it is not exactly clear how Bogen and Woodward’s distinction has to be understood. I reject one common interpretation of the distinction, endorsed for example by James McAllister and Bruce Glymour, which identifies phenomena with patterns in data (...) sets. Furthermore, I point out that other interpretations of Bogen and Woodward’s distinction do not specify the relationship between phenomena and theories in a satisfying manner. In order to avoid this problem I propose a contextual understanding of scientific phenomena according to which phenomena are states of affairs which play specific roles in scientific practice and to which we adopt a special epistemic attitude. Second, I evaluate the epistemological significance of Bogen and Woodward’s distinction with respect to the debate between scientific realists and constructive empiricists. Contrary to what Bogen and Woodward claim, I argue that the distinction does not provide a convincing argument against constructive empiricism. (shrink)
In-principle restrictions on the amount of information that can be gathered about a system have been proposed as a foundational principle in several recent reconstructions of the formalism of quantum mechanics. However, it seems unclear precisely why one should be thus restricted. We investigate the notion of paradoxical self-reference as a possible origin of such epistemic horizons by means of a fixed-point theorem in Cartesian closed categories due to Lawvere that illuminates and unifies the different perspectives on self-reference.
In Chapter 12 of the General Theory, on “The State of Long-Term Expectation,” Keynes writes: “It would be foolish, in forming our expectations, to attach great weight to matters which are very uncertain”. In a footnote to this sentence, Keynes points out that by “very uncertain” he does not mean the same as “very improbable” and refers to the chapter on “The Weight of Arguments” in his earlier Treatise on Probability. The purpose of this article, in the first place, is (...) to provide an account of, and to sort out the relations between, Keynes's views on probability, uncertainty, and the weight of arguments. (shrink)
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
The present study examined what participants perceive of their hand movements when using a tool. In the experiments different gains for either the x-axis or the y-axis perturbed the relation between hand movements on a digitizer tablet and cursor movements on a display. As a consequence of the perturbation participants drew circles on the display while their covered hand movements followed either vertical or horizontal ellipses on the digitizer tablet. When asked to evaluate their hand movements, participants were extremely uncertain (...) about their trajectories. By varying the amount of visual feedback, findings indicated that the low awareness of one’s own movements originated mainly from an insufficient quality of the humans’ tactile and proprioceptive system or from an insufficient spatial reconstruction of this information in memory. (shrink)
Consequentialist positions in philosophy spell out normative notions by recourse to final aims. Hedonistic versions of ETHICAL consequentialism spell out what is MORALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing pleasure and decreasing pain. Veritistic versions of EPISTEMIC consequentialism spell out what is EPISTEMICALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing the number of true beliefs and decreasing the number of false ones. Even though these theories are in many respects structurally analogous, there are also interesting disanalogies. For (...) example, popular versions of epistemic consequentialism implicitly endorse the truth-indication principle (which claims that a belief is epistemically justified only if there are factors indicating that the belief itself is true), whereas popular versions of ethical consequentialism do not subscribe to an analogous pleasure-indicating principle (which claims that an act is morally justified only if there are factors indicating that performing the act itself is pleasurable). In a first step I will argue that this difference rests on the fact that plausible versions of epistemic consequentialism have to meet certain constraints, which versions of ethical consequentialism do not have to satisfy. As these constraints can be easily met by incorporating the truth-indication principle, epistemic consequentialists tend to subscribe to it. In a second step I will investigate whether the identified constraints can also be met independent from the truth-indication principle. Are there plausible versions of veritistic epistemic consequentialism that reject the principle, thereby allowing that some beliefs can be epistemically justified even though no factors speak in favor of their truth? Building on ideas put forward by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Crispin Wright, and others, I will answer this question affirmatively. (shrink)
Parafoveal preview benefit is an implicit measure of lexical activation in reading. PB has been demonstrated for orthographic and phonological but not for semantically related information in English. In contrast, semantic PB is obtained in German and Chinese. We propose that these language differences reveal differential resource demands and timing of phonological and semantic decoding in different orthographic systems.
Although the computational properties of the Region Connection Calculus RCC-8 are well studied, reasoning with RCC-8 entails several representational problems. This includes the problem of representing arbitrary spatial regions in a computational framework, leading to the problem of generating a realization of a consistent set of RCC-8 constraints. A further problem is that RCC-8 performs reasoning about topological space, which does not have a particular dimension. Most applications of spatial reasoning, however, deal with two- or three-dimensional space. Therefore, a consistent (...) set of RCC-8 constraints might not be realizable within the desired dimension. In this paper we address these problems and develop a canonical model of RCC-8 which allows a simple representation of regions with respect to a set of RCC-8 constraints, and, further, enables us to generate realizations in any dimension d = 1. For three-and higher-dimensional space this can also be done for internally connected regions. (shrink)