Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, his main work of theoretical philosophy, frequently uses metaphors from law. In this first book-length study in English of Kant's legal metaphors and their role in the first Critique, Sofie Møller shows that they are central to Kant's account of reason. Through an analysis of the legal metaphors in their entirety, she demonstrates that Kant conceives of reason as having a structure mirroring that of a legal system in a natural right framework. Her study shows (...) that Kant's aim is to make cognisers become similar to authorized judges within such a system, by proving the legitimacy of the laws and the conditions under which valid judgments can be pronounced. These elements consolidate her conclusion that reason's systematicity is legal systematicity. (shrink)
In this article I assess the Invariance Principle, which states that only quantities that are invariant under the symmetries of our theories are physically real. I argue, contrary to current orthodoxy, that the variance of a quantity under a theory’s symmetries is not a sufficient basis for interpreting that theory as being uncommitted to the reality of that quantity. Rather, I argue, the variance of a quantity under symmetries only ever serves as a motivation to refrain from any commitment to (...) the quantity in question. (shrink)
The concept ‘hereditary breast cancer’ is commonly used to delineate a group of people genetically at risk for breast cancer—all of whom also having risk for other cancers. People carrying pathogenic variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often referred to as those having predisposition for ‘hereditary breast cancer’. The two genes, however, are when altered, associated with different risks for and dying from breast cancer. The main risk for dying for carriers of both genes is from ovarian cancer. (...) These biological facts are of philosophical interest, because they are the facts underlying the public debate on BRCA1/2 genetic testing as a model for the discussion of how to implement genetic knowledge and technologies in personalized medicine. A contribution to this public debate describing inherited breast cancer as ‘biological citizenship’ recently printed in Med Health Care and Philos illustrated how fragmented and detached from the biological and socio-political facts this debate sometimes is. We here briefly summarize some of the biological facts and how they are implemented in today’s healthcare based on agreed philosophical, ethical and moral principles. The suggestion of a ‘biological citizenship’ defined by hereditary breast cancer is incorrect and ill-advised. ‘Identity politics’ focusing hereditary breast cancer patients as a group based on a bundle of ill-defined negative arguments is well known, but is supported neither by scientific nor philosophical arguments. To those born with the genetic variants described, the philosophical rule of not doing harm is violated by unbalanced negative arguments. (shrink)
The Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies has been and continues to be enormously influential in the physiology, psychology, and philosophy of perception. In simple terms, the Doctrine states that we directly perceive in the first instance the activity of our nerves, rather than properties in the external world. The canonical early statement of the Doctrine by the physiologist Johannes Peter Müller had profound influence on both the phi- losophy and psychology of the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially as (...) reformulated and transmitted by Müller’s student Helmholtz. A common assumption of historical and ongoing debate about the Doctrine has been its supposedly idealist or skeptical implications. What is not commonly recognized is that Müller himself ad- vanced a realist interpretation along lines that would be recognized today as a form of epistemic structural realism. This paper analyzes Müller’s structuralist epistemology in detail and reconstructs his articulation and defense of the Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies in its canonical form. Part II argues for the continued im- portance of the Doctrine and its structuralist interpretation for contemporary psychology, philosophy of per- ception, and history of philosophy of science. (shrink)
There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
Data-intensive science comes with increased risks concerning quality and reliability of data, and while trust in science has traditionally been framed as a matter of scientists being expected to adhere to certain technical and moral norms for behaviour, emerging discourses of open science present openness and transparency as substitutes for established trust mechanisms. By ensuring access to all available information, quality becomes a matter of informed judgement by the users, and trust no longer seems necessary. This strategy does not, however, (...) take into consideration the networks of professionals already enabling data-intensive science by providing high-quality data. In the life sciences, biological data- and knowledge bases managed by expert biocurators have become crucial for data-intensive research. In this paper, I will use the case of biocurators to argue that openness and transparency will not diminish the need for trust in data-intensive science. On the contrary, data-intensive science requires a reconfiguration of existing trust mechanisms in order to include those who take care of and manage scientific data after its production. (shrink)
: The aim of the present paper is to discuss how the legal metaphors in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason can help us understand the work’s transcendental argumentation. I discuss Dieter Henrich’s claim that legal deductions form a methodological paradigm for all three Critiques that exempts the deductions from following a stringent logical structure. I also consider Rüdiger Bubner’s proposal that the legal metaphors show that the transcendental deduction is a rhetorical argument. On the basis of my own reading of (...) the many different uses of legal analogies in the first Critique, I argue that they cannot form a consistent methodological paradigm as Henrich and Bubner claim. (shrink)
Humans have always played a crucial role in the evolutionary dynamics of agricultural biodiversity and thus there is a strong relationship between these resources and human cultures. These agricultural resources have long been treated as a global public good, and constitute the livelihoods of millions of predominantly poor people. At the same time, agricultural biodiversity is under serious threat in many parts of the world despite extensive conservation efforts. Ethical considerations regarding the collecting, research, and use of agricultural biodiversity are (...) currently topics of great concern. For example, easy access to genetic resources for breeding purposes is important, but international agreements and legal frameworks are necessary to ensure adequate recognition of the contributions of local communities and traditional farmers in creating and nurturing these resources. Here, we assess ethical principles in the context of existing codes of conduct that are relevant for agro-biodiversity researchers. We aim to create awareness among scientists and policy makers who are concerned with agro-biodiversity research and its potential impact on local communities. We encourage a serious assessment of the ethical principles presented here and hope to facilitate an integration of these principles into the reader’s personal ethical framework. Key ethical principles considered here include the importance of obtaining prior informed consent, equity, and the inalienability of rights of local communities and farmers. (shrink)
This article offers reinterpretation of the current economic and political crisis through the lens of Gramsci’s concept of “interregnum,” departing from the model of “punctured equilibrium” to analyze the specific political dynamics of nonhegemonic periods between the breakdown of one ideological order and the emergence of a new one. Although political science has a range theories about periods of hegemony and paradigmatic stability, the periods between stable hegemonies remain distinctly undertheorized. A theoretical concept describing periods of interregnum is offered and (...) applied to the changes in economic ideology and political alignments that followed the breakdown of the liberal order in the interwar period and the postwar Keynesian consensus of the 1970s. The concept is then applied to the current juncture, in which the hegemony of neoliberalism has been shaken by the 2008 financial crisis but no clear successor has emerged. (shrink)
Philosophical arguments often assume that the folk tends towards moral objectivism. Although recent psychological studies have indicated that lay persons’ attitudes to morality are best characterized in terms of non-objectivism-leaning pluralism, it has been maintained that the folk may be committed to moral objectivism implicitly. Since the studies conducted so far almost exclusively assessed subjects’ metaethical attitudes via explicit cognitions, the strength of this rebuttal remains unclear. The current study attempts to test the folk’s implicit metaethical commitments. We present results (...) of a newly developed Implicit Association Test for metaethical attitudes which indicate that the folk generally tend towards moral non-objectivism on the implicit level as well. We discuss implications of this finding for the philosophical debate. (shrink)
The formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency in 1999 was spurred by the 1998 revelation of widespread use in professional cycling of erythropoietin. The drug was supposedly a real danger. The long-term consequences were unknown, but rumor said it made athletes’ blood thick as jam with clots and other circulatory fatalities likely consequences. Today the fear of EPO has dampened. However, new scientific avenues such as ‘neuro-doping’ have replaced EPO as emergent and imagined threats to athletes and to the integrity (...) of sport. In this paper, we analyze the alleged threat from ‘neuro-doping’ in the following steps: First, we outline an understanding of ‘neuro-doping’ in a narrow sense, which we then put into context by looking at the phenomenon in a broader sense. Second, we highlight examples of societal perceptions of sport and science in order to shed light on where the concern for ‘neuro-doping’ comes from. Third, we address the more general fear of technology as a root for this concern. Fourth, we examine the evidence for the performance enhancing capacities of ‘neuro-doping’, where after we look at the obstacles for a ban on this technology. We conclude the analysis by stating that at present ‘neuro-doping’ cannot be considered a threat to the integrity of sport. Finally, however, we put this conclusion into perspective by examining what the most reasonable response would be if in the future neuro-stimulation techniques becomes an effective performance-enhancing mean in sport. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that there are differences in physicians’ and caregivers’ ethical attitudes towards clinical situations. The assumption is that the difference is driven by different values, views and judgements in specific situations. At Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark, we aimed to investigate these assumptions by conducting a large quantitative study. The study design, based on the Factorial Survey Method, was a carefully constructed survey with 50 questions designed to test which factors influenced the respondents’ ethical reasoning. The factors were (...) clustered into three categories of ethical reasoning and values. The categories were formulated in terms of easily recognizable ethical positions: consequential ethics, deontological ethics and relational ethics. Based on 2129 respondents, we found significant support for the assumption of differences between physicians and caregivers. The group of caregivers favoured the relational ethics view in clinical ethical situations, and the group of ph... (shrink)
This collection of essays provides a reassessment of the question of sexual difference, taking into account important shifts in feminist thought, post-humanist theories, and queer studies. The contributors offer new and refreshing insights into the complex question of sexual difference from a post-feminist perspective, and how it is reformulated in various related areas of study, such as ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, biology, technology, and mass-media.
In this article I will attempt to show examples of the cultural manifestations of the identity crisis that is currently sweeping over Scandinavia. What is particular about this crisis is that it seems to have struck on most sides of society, while the?Scandinavian model? of the welfare state is slowly crumbling in the wake of the global financial problems. At the center of both this struggle and crisis is the notion of the Homo Scandinavicus; this seems at the same time (...) a threat to existence and contested in its very content. In all Scandinavian countries a so-called?cultural battle? has been articulated and used as heavy artillery when articulating characteristics of either side. It is this battle I will highlight and demonstrate through examples how the?general public? has been taken hostage on this identity battle field. Furthermore, I will give examples of alternative strategies, and why these have also failed to provide actual functioning alternatives to the leading, rivaling, identity strategies. The nature of this crisis and the ways it manifests itself, are by no means strictly restricted to Scandinavia. Therefore, considerations about manifestations and consequences presents some highly relevant and much more general insights. U ovom tekstu pokusavam da pokazem primere ispoljavanja krize identiteta u kulturi, koja se upravo odvija u Skandinaviji. Posebnost ove krize je u tome sto je ona pogodila vecinu drustva u vreme kada se?skandinavski model? drzave blagostanja polako rusi sa nastankom globalnih finansijskih problema. U centru ove krize je ideja Homo Scandinavicusa cije je postojanje istovremeno ugrozeno i ciji je sadrzaj doveden u pitanje. U svim skandinavskim zemljama takozvane?kulturne bitke? bile su koriscene kao?teska artiljerija? pri artikulisanju stavova obe sukobljene strane. Na primerima pokazujem kako je?javnost? postala talac poprista sukoba identiteta. Takodje cu na primerima alternativnih strategija pokazati zasto one nisu uspele da pruze funkcionalne alternative vodecim rivalskim strategijama identiteta. Priroda ove krize i nacini njenog ispoljavanja nisu ograniceni na Skandinaviju i zato su razmatranja njenih posledica relevantna i za siri uvid. (shrink)