Background Egg freezing has emerged as a technology of assisted reproductive medicine that allows women to plan for the anticipated loss of fertility and hence to preserve the option to conceive with their own eggs. The technology is surrounded by value-conflicts and is subject to ongoing discussions. This study aims at contributing to the empirical-ethical debate by exploring women’s viewpoints on egg freezing in Austria, where egg freezing for social reasons is currently not allowed. Methods Q-methodology was used to identify (...) prevailing viewpoints on egg freezing. 46 female participants ranked a set of 40 statements onto a 9-column forced choice ranking grid according to the level of agreement. Participants were asked to explain their ranking in a follow-up survey. By-person factor analysis was used to identify distinct viewpoints which were interpreted using both the quantitative and the qualitative data. Results Three distinct viewpoints were identified: “women should decide for themselves”, “we should accept nature but change policy”, and “we need an informed societal debate”. These viewpoints provide insights into how biomedical innovations such as egg freezing are perceived by women in Austria and illustrate the normative tensions regarding such innovations. Conclusions Acknowledging the different prioritizations of values regarding assisted reproductive technologies is important to better understand the underlying normative tensions in a country where egg freezing for social reasons is currently not allowed. The study adds new empirical insights to the ongoing debate by outlining and discussing viewpoints of those directly affected: women. Following up on the lay persons perspective is particularly important in the context of future biomedical innovations that may challenge established norms and create new tensions. It therefore also adds to the societal debate and supports evidence-informed policy making in that regard. (shrink)
The book then discusses another group of issues ("whether it is, what it is, how and why it is"), which determined the argumentation, the axiomatic ordering of the sciences, and concludes with a demonstration on the basis of concrete ...
Some scientists are happy to follow in the footsteps of others; some like to explore novel approaches. It is tempting to think that herein lies an epistemic division of labor conducive to overall scientific progress: the latter point the way to fruitful areas of research, and the former more fully explore those areas. Weisberg and Muldoon’s model, however, suggests that it would be best if all scientists explored novel approaches. I argue that this is due to implausible modeling choices, and (...) I present an alternative ‘epistemic landscape’ model that demonstrates the alleged benefits from division of labor, with one restriction. (shrink)
This article argues that Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory fails to offer a true alternative to expected utility theory. Under commonly held assumptions about dynamic choice and the framing of decision problems, rational agents are guided by their attitudes to temporally extended courses of action. If so, REU theory makes approximately the same recommendations as expected utility theory. Being more permissive about dynamic choice or framing, however, undermines the theory’s claim to capturing a steady choice disposition in the face (...) of risk. I argue that this poses a challenge to alternatives to expected utility theory more generally. (shrink)
Realists about science tend to hold that our scientific theories aim for the truth, that our successful theories are at least partly true, and that the entities referred to by the theoretical terms of these theories exist. Antirealists about science deny one or more of these claims. A sizable minority of philosophers of science prefers not to take sides: they believe the realism debate to be fundamentally mistaken and seek to abstain from it altogether. In analogy with other realism debates (...) I will call these philosophers quietists. In the philosophy of science quietism often takes a somewhat peculiar form, which I will call naturalistic quietism. In this paper I will characterize Maddy’s Second Philosophy as a form of naturalistic quietism, and show what the costs for making it feasible are. (shrink)
In this paper I aim to answer two questions: Can spin be treated as a determinable? Can a treatment of spin as a determinable be used to understand quantum indeterminacy? In response to the first question I show that the relations among spin number, spin components and spin values cannot be captured by a single determination relation; instead we need to look at spin number and spin value separately. In response to the second question I discuss three ways in which (...) the determinables model might be modified to account for indeterminacy, and argue that none of them is fully successful in helping us to understand quantum indeterminacy. (shrink)
Risk-weighted expected utility theory is motivated by small-world problems like the Allais paradox, but it is a grand-world theory by nature. And, at the grand-world level, its ability to handle the Allais paradox is dubious. The REU model described in Risk and Rationality turns out to be risk-seeking rather than risk-averse on one natural way of formulating the Allais gambles in the grand-world context. This result illustrates a general problem with the case for REU theory, we argue. There is a (...) tension between the small-world thinking marshaled against standard expected utility theory, and the grand-world thinking inherent to the risk-weighted alternative. (shrink)
Are laws of nature necessary, and if so, are all laws of nature necessary in the same way? This question has played an important role in recent discussion of laws of nature. I argue that not all laws of nature are necessary in the same way: conservation laws are perhaps to be regarded as metaphysically necessary. This sheds light on both the modal character of conservation laws and the relationship between different varieties of necessity.
Freedom and the subject were guiding themes for Michel Foucault throughout his philosophical career. In this clear and comprehensive analysis of his thought, Johanna Oksala identifies the different interpretations of freedom in his philosophy and examines three major divisions of it: the archaeological, the genealogical, and the ethical. She shows convincingly that in order to appreciate Foucault's project fully we must understand his complex relationship to phenomenology, and she discusses Foucault's treatment of the body in relation to recent feminist (...) work on this topic. Her sophisticated but lucid book illuminates the possibilities that Foucault's philosophy opens up for us in thinking about freedom. (shrink)
This paper argues that instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory. The most compelling instrumentalist argument in favour of separability, its core requirement, is that agents with non-separable preferences end up badly off by their own lights in some dynamic choice problems. I argue that once we focus on the question of whether agents’ attitudes to uncertain prospects help define their ends in their own right, or instead only assign instrumental value in virtue of the outcomes they may (...) lead to, we see that the argument must fail. Either attitudes to prospects assign non-instrumental value in their own right, in which case we cannot establish the irrationality of the dynamic choice behaviour of agents with non-separable preferences. Or they don’t, in which case agents with non-separable preferences can avoid the problematic choice behaviour without adopting separable preferences. (shrink)
In Risk and Rationality, Lara Buchak advertised REU theory as able to recover the modal preferences in the Allais paradox. But we pointed out that REU theory only applies in the “grand world” setting, where it actually struggles with the modal Allais preferences. Buchak offers two replies. Here we enumerate technical and philosophical problems they face.
In her book, Oksala shows that the arguments for the ineliminability of violence from the political are often based on excessively broad, ontological conceptions of violence distinct from its concrete and physical meaning and, on the other hand, on a restrictively narrow and empirical understanding of politics as the realm of conventional political institutions.
Most papers in theoretical economics contain thought experiments. They take the form of more informal bits of reasoning that precede the presentation of the formal, mathematical models these papers are known for. These thought experiments differ from the formal models in various ways. In particular, they do not invoke the same idealized assumptions about the rationality, knowledge, and preferences of agents. The presence of thought experiments in papers that present formal models, and the fact that they differ from the formal (...) models in this way, is often ignored in debates on what, if anything, we can learn from formal models in theoretical economics. I show that paying due attention to thought experiments in theoretical economics has serious implications for this debate. Differences between thought experiments and formal models are especially problematic for Robert Sugden’s “credible worlds” account. (shrink)
General Process Theory (GPT) is a new (non-Whiteheadian) process ontology. According to GPT the domains of scientific inquiry and everyday practice consist of configurations of ‘goings-on’ or ‘dynamics’ that can be technically defined as concrete, dynamic, non-particular individuals called general processes. The paper offers a brief introduction to GPT in order to provide ontological foundations for research programs such as interactivism that centrally rely on the notions of ‘process,’ ‘interaction,’ and ‘emergence.’ I begin with an analysis of our common sense (...) concept of activities, which plays a crucial heuristic role in the development of the notion of a general process. General processes are not individuated in terms of their location but in terms of ‘what they do,’ i.e., in terms of their dynamic relationships in the basic sense of one process being part of another. The formal framework of GPT is thus an extensional mereology, albeit a non-classical theory with a non-transitive part-relation. After a brief sketch of basic notions and strategies of the GPT-framework I show how the latter may be applied to distinguish between causal, mechanistic, functional, self-maintaining, and recursively self-maintaining interactions, all of which involve ‘emergent phenomena’ in various senses of the term. (shrink)
In the dynamic choice literature, temptations are usually understood as temporary shifts in an agent’s preferences. What has been puzzling about these cases is that, on the one hand, an agent seems to do better by her own lights if she does not give into the temptation, and does so without engaging in costly commitment strategies. This seems to indicate that it is instrumentally irrational for her to give into temptation. On the other hand, resisting temptation also requires her to (...) act contrary to the preferences she has at the time of temptation. But that seems to be instrumentally irrational as well. I here consider the two most prominent types of argument why resisting temptation could nevertheless be instrumentally rational, namely two-tier and intra-personal cooperation arguments. I establish that the arguments either fail or are redundant. In particular, the arguments fail under the pervasive assumption in both decision theory and the wider literature on practical rationality that the agent’s preferences over the objects of choice are themselves the standard of instrumental rationality. And they either still fail or they become redundant when we give up that assumption. (shrink)
Judgementalism is an interpretation of normative decision theory according to which preferences are all-things-considered judgements of relative desirability, and the only attitudes that rationally constrain choice. The defence of judgementalism we find in Richard Bradley’s Decision Theory with a Human Face relies on a kind of internalism about the requirements of rationality, according to which they supervene on an agent’s mental states, and in particular those she can reason from. I argue that even if we grant such internalism, attitudes other (...) than preferences in the judgementalist sense rationally constrain choice. This ultimately supports a different interpretation of preference. (shrink)
The question of what a group of rational agents would agree on were they to deliberate on how to organise society is central to all hypothetical social contract theories. If morality is to be based on a social contract, we need to know the terms of this contract. One type of social contract theory, contractarianism, aims to derive morality from rationality alone. Contractarians need to show, amongst other things, that rational and self-interested individuals would agree on an impartial division of (...) a cooperative surplus. But it is often claimed that contractarians cannot show this without introducing moral assumptions. This paper argues that on the right understanding of the question contractarians are asking, these worries can be answered. Without relying on moral assumptions, the paper offers a novel derivation of symmetry, which is the axiom responsible for the impartiality of the most famous economic bargaining solutions appealed to by contractarians. (shrink)
Habermas’ account of the radically intersubjective constitution of subjectivity is of great use to feminist theorists, as is his defense of the rational character of normative claims. Feminists must however, reject his reductive identification of subjectivity with language and rationality. Some feminists’ concerns insist on continuing to distinguish morality from legality, something that Habermas, despite his own better intuitions and arguments, is sometimes disinclined to do.
Ariane Fischer, David Woodruff, and Johanna Bockman have translated Karl Polanyi’s “Sozialistische Rechnungslegung” [“Socialist Accounting”] from 1922. In this article, Polanyi laid out his model of a future socialism, a world in which the economy is subordinated to society. Polanyi described the nature of this society and a kind of socialism that he would remain committed to his entire life. Accompanying the translation is the preface titled “Socialism and the embedded economy.” In the preface, Bockman explains the historical context (...) of the article and its significance to the socialist calculation debate, the social sciences, and socialism more broadly. Based on her reading of the accounting and society that Polanyi offers here, Bockman argues that scholars have too narrowly used Polanyi’s work to support the Keynesian welfare state to the exclusion of other institutions, have too broadly used his work to study social institutions indiscriminately, and have not recognized that his work shares fundamental commonalities with and often unacknowledged distinctions from neoclassical economics. (shrink)
In this article, we use content and cluster analysis on a global sample of 200 social entrepreneurial organizations to develop a typology of social entrepreneuring models. This typology is based on four possible forms of capital that can be leveraged: social, economic, human, and political. Furthermore, our findings reveal that these four social entrepreneuring models are associated with distinct logics of justification that may explain different ways of organizing across organizations. This study contributes to understanding social entrepreneurship as a field (...) of practice and it describes avenues for theorizing about the different organizational approaches adopted by social entrepreneurs. (shrink)
In 'How Should We Aggregate Competing Claims', Alex Voorhoeve suggests accommodating intuitions about duties in rescue cases by combining aggregative and non-aggregative elements into one theory. In this paper, I discuss two problems Voorhoeve’s theory faces as a result of requiring a cyclic pattern of choice, and argue that his attempt to solve them does not succeed.
The article asks how phenomenology, understood as a philosophical method of investigation, can account for gender. Despite the fact that it has provided useful tools for feminist inquiry, the question remains how gender can be studied within the paradigm of a philosophy of a subject. The article explicates four different understandings of phenomenology and assesses their respective potential in terms of theorizing gender: a classical reading, a corporeal reading, an intersubjective reading and a post-phenomenological reading. It concludes by arguing that (...) phenomenology can extend its analysis to the question of gender only if its method is radically revised. (shrink)
Taking multidimensional ethics scale approach, this article describes an empirical survey of top managers' moral decision-making patterns and their change from 1994 to 2004 during morally problematic situations in the Finnish context. The survey questionnaire consisted of four moral dilemmas and a multidimensional scale with six ethical dimensions: justice, deontology, relativism, utilitarianism, egoism and female ethics. The managers evaluated their decision-making in the problems using the multidimensional ethics scale. Altogether 880 questionnaires were analysed statistically. It is concluded that relying on (...) the utilitarian principles is a core ethical evaluation criterion amongst top business managers in Finland. This study proves that managers' moral decision-making patterns change over time. According to the results of this research, managers' moral decision-making became more multidimensional during the study period. The change is explained by (1) the inclusion of female ethics items in the scale which allows managers to show more diversity in their decisionmaking, (2) the change in the Finnish economic context from depression to economic prosperity and growth during the study period, which is conducive to the spread of post materialist values, such as the importance of social relations and (3) the increasing public discussion of the importance ethical issues in business. (shrink)
Discourse ethics represents an exciting new development in neo-Kantian moral theory. William Rehg offers an insightful introduction to its complex theorization by its major proponent, Jürgen Habermas, and demonstrates how discourse ethics allows one to overcome the principal criticisms that have been leveled against neo-Kantianism. Addressing both "commun-itarian" critics who argue that universalist conceptions of justice sever moral deliberation from community traditions, and feminist advocates of the "ethics of care" who stress the moral significance of caring for other individuals, Rehg (...) shows that discourse ethics combines impartiality with solidarity. He provides the first systematic reconstruction of Habermas's theory and explores its relationship to the work of such contemporary philosophers as Charles Taylor. His book articulates a bold alternative to the split between the "right" and the "good" in moral theory and will greatly interest philosophers, social and legal scholars, and political theorists. (shrink)
This paper analyses managers'' moral decision-making, and studies the role of ethical theories in it by following the research tradition using the multidimensional ethics scale. The research question is: what kinds of ethical dimensions do Finnish business managers reveal when they are making moral decisions, and how have these dimensions changed in the 1990s? This question is answered by examining what kinds of factors emerge when the multidimensional ethics scale is used to analyse Finnish managers'' attitudes toward moral dilemmas. The (...) results show that Finnish managers'' decision-making reflects a variety of ethical theories. Teleological thinking is strongly emphasised by Finnish managers, and relativist thinking is used as well, but often combined with either deontology or justice thinking. In addition, a strong moralistic dimension emerged in Finnish managers'' decision-making. The analysis was carried out in two different surveys in years 1994 and 1999, and the results show that the ways of decision-making were more complex at the end of the 1990s than almost six years earlier. (shrink)
Taking multidimensional ethics scale approach, this article describes an empirical survey of top managers’ moral decision-making patterns and their change from 1994 to 2004 during morally problematic situations in the Finnish context. The survey questionnaire consisted of four moral dilemmas and a multidimensional scale with six ethical dimensions: justice, deontology, relativism, utilitarianism, egoism and female ethics. The managers evaluated their decision-making in the problems using the multidimensional ethics scale. Altogether 880 questionnaires were analysed statistically. It is concluded that relying on (...) the utilitarian principles is a core ethical evaluation criterion amongst top business managers in Finland. This study proves that managers’ moral decision-making patterns change over time. According to the results of this research, managers’ moral decision-making became more multidimensional during the study period. The change is explained by the inclusion of female ethics items in the scale which allows managers to show more diversity in their decision- making, the change in the Finnish economic context from depression to economic prosperity and growth during the study period, which is conducive to the spread of post materialist values, such as the importance of social relations and the increasing public discussion of the importance ethical issues in business. (shrink)
The increasing number and influence of women in society brings up several issues related to values and ethics. Looking at business ethics from the gender perspective made us ponder if it would be fruitful to analyse the feminine and masculine dimensions of decision-making style. The article follows the research tradition using the multidimensional ethics scale, and it aims at developing the scale to better include female decision-making. We came to the conclusion that, as the multidimensional ethics scale used in measuring (...) managers' moral decision-making is derived from modern ethical theories focusing on indications of masculinities more than femininities, the scale leaves feminine decision-making dimensions invisible. Our argument is that in seeking a deeper understanding of (female) managers' moral decision-making, we must find a broader basis for the analysis and develop the scale further so that it allows different voices to be heard and different dimensions to be seen. (shrink)
The paper presents some essential heuristic and constructional elements of Free Process Theory (FPT), a non-Whiteheadian, monocategoreal framework. I begin with an analysis of our common sense concept of activities, which plays a crucial heuristic role in the development of the notion of a free process. I argue that an activity is not a type but a mode of occurrence, defined in terms of a network of inferences. The inferential space characterizing our concept of an activity entails that anything which (...) is conceived of as occurring in the activity mode is a concrete,dynamic, non-particular individual. Such individuals, which I call free processes, may be used for the interpretation of much more than just common sense activities. I introduce the formal theory FPT, a mereology with anon-transitive part-relation, which contains a typology of processes based on the following five parameters relating to: (a) patterns of possible spatial and temporal recurrence (automerity); (b) kinds of components (participant structure); (c) kinds of dynamic composition; (d) kinds of dynamic flow (dynamic shape); and (e) dynamic context. I show how these five evaluative dimensions for free processes can be used to define ontological correlates for various common sense categories,and to draw distinctions between various forms of agency(distributed, collective, reciprocal, entangled) and emergence (weak, strong,as autonomous system (Bickhard/Christensen)). (shrink)
Personal, creative writing as a process for reflection on patient care and socialization into medicine (“reflective writing”) has important potential uses in educating medical students and residents. Based on the authors’ experiences with a range of writing activities in academic medical settings, this article sets forth a conceptual model for considering the processes and effects of such writing. The first phase (writing) is individual and solitary, consisting of personal reflection and creation. Here, introspection and imagination guide learners from loss of (...) certainty to reclaiming a personal voice; identifying the patient’s voice; acknowledging simultaneously valid yet often conflicting perspectives; and recognizing and responding to the range of emotions triggered in patient care. The next phase (small-group reading and discussion) is public and communal, where sharing one’s writing results in acknowledging vulnerability, risk-taking, and self-disclosure. Listening to others’ writing becomes an exercise in mindfulness and presence, including witnessing suffering and confusion experienced by others. Specific pedagogical goals in three arenas-professional development, patient care and practitioner well-being – are linked to the writing/reading/listening process. The intent of presenting this model is to help frame future intellectual inquiry and investigation into this innovative pedagogical modality. (shrink)
Medical school curricula, although traditionally and historically dominated by science, have generally accepted, appreciated, and welcomed the inclusion of literature over the past several decades. Recent concerns about medical professional formation have led to discussions about the specific role and contribution of literature and stories. In this article, we demonstrate how professionalism and the study of literature can be brought into relationship through critical and interrogative interactions based in the literary skill of close reading. Literature in medicine can question the (...) meaning of “professionalism” itself, thereby resisting standardization in favor of diversity method and of outcome. Literature can also actively engage learners with questions about the human condition, providing a larger context within which to consider professional identity formation. Our fundamental contention is that, within a medical education framework, literature is highly suited to assist learners in questioning conventional thinking and assumptions about various dimensions of professionalism. (shrink)
Carl Schmitt's notion of nomos is commonly regarded as the international equivalent to the national sovereign's decision on the exception. But can concrete spatial order alone turn a constellation of forces into an international order? This article looks at Schmitt's work The Nomos of the Earth and proposes that it is the process of bracketing war called Hegung which takes the place of the sovereign in the international order Schmitt describes. Beginning from an analysis of nomos, the ordering function of (...) the presocratic concept moira is explored. It is argued that the process of Hegung, like moira, does not just achieve the containment of war, but constitutes the condition of possibility for plural order. (shrink)
This thesis promotes a therapeutic revision of fundamental assumptions in contemporary ontological thought. I show that none of the extant standard theories of objects provides a viable account of the numerical, qualitative, and trans-temporal identity of objects, and that this is due to certain substance-ontological premises. I argue that in order to state the identity conditions of objects we must abandon these premises, together with the idea that objects enjoy ontological primacy. ;I follow a methodological program of formally criticizing an (...) ontological framework by demonstrating that each of the theories developed within this framework is incoherent, i.e., either inconsistent or subject to vicious regress. I proceed in three steps. First, I show that the substance-ontological paradigm cannot be characterized in terms of its basic entities, since there is no extensional, intensional, or functional definition of the notion of substance common to all extant substance ontologies; consequently, I propose to describe the substance-ontological paradigm in terms of its basic assumptions. ;Second, I analyze the contemporary discussion of the problem of individuality, the problem of universals, and the problem of persistence, and uncover 22 characteristic implicit assumptions of substance ontology. I show on the basis of representative examples that, due to their commitment to substance-ontological presuppositions, all extant types of solutions to the three mentioned problems are incoherent. In particular, I take issue with the bare particular view, the qualified particular view, and the bundle view of individuality; different varieties of platonist and nominalist theories of universals and of relational and functional theories of predication; and the endurance and perdurance approaches to persistence. ;Third, while historical process-ontological schemes have dropped some of the revealed substance-ontological presuppositions, I finally explore the result of rejecting all of them and sketch a scheme based on dynamic masses which promises to yield coherent explanations of the ontological features of those complex processes which we commonly consider to be objects. (shrink)
Werner Heisenberg's 1925 paper ‘Quantum-theoretical re-interpretation of kinematic and mechanical relations’ marks the beginning of quantum mechanics. Heisenberg famously claims that the paper is based on the idea that the new quantum mechanics should be ‘founded exclusively upon relationships between quantities which in principle are observable’. My paper is an attempt to understand this observability principle, and to see whether its employment is philosophically defensible. Against interpretations of ‘observability’ along empiricist or positivist lines I argue that such readings are philosophically (...) unsatisfying. Moreover, a careful comparison of Heisenberg's reinterpretation of classical kinematics with Einstein's argument against absolute simultaneity reveals that the positivist reading does not fit with Heisenberg's strategy in the paper. Instead the appeal to observability should be understood as a specific criticism of the causal inefficacy of orbital electron motion in Bohr's atomic model. I conclude that the tacit philosophical principle behind Heisenberg's argument is not a positivistic connection between observability and meaning, but the idea that a theory should not contain causally idle wheels. (shrink)
A neuropsychological perspective on auditory verbal hallucinations links key phenomenological features of the experience, such as voice location and identity, to functionally separable pathways in normal human audition. Although this auditory processing stream framework has proven valuable for integrating research on phenomenology with cognitive and neural accounts of hallucinatory experiences, it has not yet been applied to other symptoms presumed to be closely related to AVH – such as thought insertion. In this paper, I propose that an APS framework offers (...) a useful way of thinking about the experience of TI as well as AVH, providing a common conceptual framework for both. I argue that previous self-monitoring theories struggle to account for both the differences and similarities in the characteristic features of AVH and TI, which can be readily accommodated within an APS framework. Furthermore, the APS framework can be integrated with predictive processing accounts of psychotic symptoms; makes predictions about potential sites of prediction error signals; and may offer a template for understanding a range of other symptoms beyond AVH and TI. (shrink)
We give several characterizations of Schnorr trivial sets, including a new lowness notion for Schnorr triviality based on truth-table reducibility. These characterizations allow us to see not only that some natural classes of sets, including maximal sets, are composed entirely of Schnorr trivials, but also that the Schnorr trivial sets form an ideal in the truth-table degrees but not the weak truth-table degrees. This answers a question of Downey, Griffiths and LaForte.