This textbook examines how far economic integration in Europe has come. Is it still more useful to view the European Union countries as a set of individual economies, or does it now make more sense to look at them as forming one larger economy? The book attempts to answer this question in a range of expert contributions dealing with all the major aspects of European economic integration, including trade, economic growth, demographics, labour markets, industrial structures, foreign direct investment, monetary integration (...) and eastern enlargement. (shrink)
Global climate change is likely to become a major cause of future migration. Small Island States are particularly vulnerable since territorial destruction caused by sea level rise poses a threat to their entire existence. This raises important issues concerning state sovereignty and self-determination. Is it possible for a state to remain self-determining even if it lacks a stable population residing on a specific territory? It has been suggested that migrants from disappearing Small Island States could continue to exercise sovereign control (...) over their abandoned territory. Such an arrangement would allow them to retain a measure of self-determination. The question posed in this paper is whether this ?deterritorialized state proposal? is conceptually plausible and normatively acceptable. It is argued that the proposal is conceptually plausible if we adopt a gradual understanding of ?self-determination?, but that its normative acceptability is weak even if it is supplemented with compensatory measures. (shrink)
It is not unusual in real-life that one has to choose among finitely many alternatives when the merit of each alternative is not perfectly known. Instead of observing the actual utilities of the alternatives at hand, one typically observes more or less precise signals that are positively correlated with these utilities. In addition, the decision-maker may, at some cost or disutility of effort, choose to increase the precision of these signals, for example by way of a careful study or the (...) hiring of expertise. We here develop a model of such decision problems. We begin by showing that a version of the monotone likelihood-ratio property is sufficient, and also essentially necessary, for the optimality of the heuristic decision rule to always choose the alternative with the highest signal. Second, we show that it is not always advantageous to face alternatives with higher utilities, a non-monotonicity result that holds even if the decision-maker optimally chooses the signal precision. We finally establish an operational first-order condition for the optimal precision level in a canonical class of decision-problems, and we show that the optimal precision level may be discontinuous in the precision cost. (shrink)
On the basis of a chronological approach of the decision-making process with regard to the recognition of the PRC we concluded in an analytical part that the decision-making process was merely of the "hypo-institutional" type. Afterwards, we examined the effectivity of the Belgian policy in comparison with the international scientific literature on recognition and with the practice of other small European states. We concluded the non-recognition policy had been ineffective. The relation between "hypo-institutional" decision-making on the one hand and ineffective (...) public policy on the other hand is just one element within a broader research-project : "The effectivity of public policy according to type of decisionmaking". (shrink)
Using Carnap’s concept explication, we propose a theory of concept formation in mathematics. This theory is then applied to the problem of how to understand the relation between the concepts formal proof and informal, mathematical proof.
During the past decades, research collaboration between researchers from different disciplines has become more frequent. However, there is a need to look into the generic modalities and challenges. The article explores a series of potential obstructions to cross-disciplinary collaboration of methodological and epistemological nature. Furthermore, a number of contextual, inhibiting factors are outlined. As means of overcoming the obstacles, the importance of mutual knowledge, allocation of adequate time and conducive research management is emphasised. New teams may benefit from tutoring by (...) facilitators, who can help to make problem areas explicit and negotiate solutions. Owing to the training background of the author, most of the examples are drawn from the interface between biomedicine/natural science and applied medical anthropology. However, the issues raised basically apply to all sorts of cross-disciplinary research collaboration in various combinations. (shrink)
Existing research on the formation of employee ethical climate perceptions focuses mainly on organization characteristics as antecedents, and although other constructs have been considered, these constructs have typically been studied in isolation. Thus, our understanding of the context in which ethical climate perceptions develop is incomplete. To address this limitation, we build upon the work of Rupp to develop and test a multi-experience model of ethical climate which links aspects of the corporate social responsibility, ethics, justice, and trust literatures and (...) helps to explain how employees’ ethical climate perceptions form. We argue that in forming ethical climate perceptions, employees consider the actions or characteristics of a complex web of actors. Specifically, we propose that employees look outward at how communities are impacted by their organization’s actions, upward to make inferences about the ethicality of leaders in their organizations, and inward at their own propensity to trust others as they form their perceptions. Using a multiple-wave field study conducted at a privately held US corporation, we find substantial evidence in support of our model. (shrink)
St. Thomas’s commentary on the Book of Psalms, known as the Postilla super Psalmos, gives us a privileged insight into the mind and heart of a Dominican friar and theologian at work and at prayer. In this contribution I will elucidate these claims on the basis of elements found in his commentary and in particular in the areas of prayer and the liturgy, Christ, Mary and the Church, Sin and Mercy and Contemplation and Preaching.
Neurobiologically inspired theories of speech perception such as that proposed by Sussman et al. are useful to the extent that they are able to constrain such theories. If they are simply intended as suggestive analogies, their usefulness is questionable. In such cases it is better to stick with the Gibsonian approach of attempting to isolate invariants in speech and to demonstrate their role for the perceiver in perceptual experiments.
In this article I will claim that from a Thomist perspective the question “Soul or Brain: What makes us human?” presents us with a false dilemma and hence must as such remain an unanswerable question. In order to corroborate this claim I will do two things. First, I present the framework of a Thomistic anthropology in so far as it relates to the unity of soul and body in the human person. Next, I deal with the question that immediately results (...) from this unity, i.e. the subsistence of the soul. From a Thomist perspective this question can be answered apart from any findings from neuroscience. (shrink)
Restrictions on research on therapeutic cloning are questionable as they inhibit the development of a technique which holds promise for succesful application of pluripotent stem cells in clinical treatment of severe diseases. It is argued in this article that the ethical concerns are less problematic using therapeutic cloning compared with using fertilised eggs as the source for stem cells. The moral status of an enucleated egg cell transplanted with a somatic cell nucleus is found to be more clearly not equivalent (...) to that of a human being. Based on ethical considerations alone, research into therapeutic cloning should be encouraged in order to develop therapeutic applications of stem cells. (shrink)
Recently Carrie S. Jenkins formulated an epistemology of mathematics, or rather arithmetic, respecting apriorism, empiricism, and realism. Central is an idea of concept grounding. The adequacy of this idea has been questioned e.g. concerning the grounding of the mathematically central concept of set (or class), and of composite concepts. In this paper we present a view of concept formation in mathematics, based on ideas from Carnap, leading to modifications of Jenkins’s epistemology that may solve some problematic issues with her ideas. (...) But we also present some further problems with her view, concerning the role of proof for mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood neuropsychiatric disorder characterised by the presence of motor and vocal tics. Patients with malignant TS experience severe disease sequelae; risking morbidity and mortality due to tics, self-harm, psychiatric comorbidities and suicide. By definition, those cases termed ‘malignant’ are refractory to all conventional psychiatric and pharmacological regimens. In these instances, deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be efficacious. Current 2015 guidelines recommend a 6-month period absent of suicidal ideation before DBS is offered to (...) patients with TS. We therefore wondered whether it may be ethically justifiable to offer DBS to a minor with malignant TS. We begin with a discussion of non-maleficence and beneficence. New evidence suggests that suicide risk in young patients with TS has been underestimated. In turn, DBS may represent an invaluable opportunity for children with malignant TS to secure future safety, independence and fulfilment. Postponing treatment is associated with additional risks. Ultimately, we assert this unique risk-benefit calculus justifies offering DBS to paediatric patients with malignant TS. A multidisciplinary team of clinicians must determine whether DBS is in the best interest of their individual patients. We conclude with a suggestion for future TS-DBS guidelines regarding suicidal ideation. The importance of informed consent and assent is underscored. (shrink)
Attempts have been made to analyse features in mathematics within a social constructivist context. In this paper we critically examine some of those attempts recently made with focus on problems of the objectivity, ontology, necessity, and atemporality of mathematics. Our conclusion is that these attempts fare no better than traditional alternatives, and that they, furthermore, create new problems of their own.
David Hansen and The Call to Teach takes stock of the far-reaching impact of Hansen's teaching and scholarship. The essays in this volume explore the influence Hansen's work has had on our understanding of a whole host of important themes, including the moral dimensions of teaching, educational research, teacher education, and the philosophy of education.
In recent decades there has been increasing demand for and considerable efforts to conduct cross-disciplinary research. However, assessment of research quality in such endeavours still is often based on mono-disciplinary criteria and not seldom carried out by reviewers without strong cross-disciplinary experience. The authors suggest a two-pronged approach to cross-disciplinary research evaluation. One part should comprise an individual review of all the disciplines involved based on their mono-disciplinary sets of criteria. The other part should be a separate evaluation of the (...) cross-disciplinary aspects based on the review of “problem formulation”, “integration and scope of the disciplines”, “parts and the whole”, “practical managerial aspects” and “the applied aspects”. The pros and cons of implementing this approach in a stepwise manner or simultaneously is discussed. It is suggested that funding agencies develop more fair sets of review procedures for cross-disciplinary research and show willingness to allocate extra funds and time to such forms of research that sometimes are regarded as relatively more “risky” than conventional mono-disciplinary types. (shrink)
Mathematical concepts are explications, in Carnap's sense, of vague or otherwise non-clear concepts; mathematical theories have an empirical and a deductive component. From this perspective, I argue that the empirical component of a mathematical theory may be tested together with the fruitfulness of its explications. Using these ideas, I furthermore give an argument for mathematical realism, based on the indispensability argument combined with a weakened version of confirmational holism.
Since USA constitutional precedent established in 1976, adolescents have increasingly been afforded the right to access contraception without first obtaining parental consent or authorisation. There is general agreement this ethically permissible. However, long-acting reversible contraception methods have only recently been prescribed to the adolescent population. They are currently the most effective forms of contraception available and have high compliance and satisfaction rates. Yet unlike other contraceptives, LARCs are associated with special procedural risks because they must be inserted and removed by (...) trained healthcare providers. It is unclear whether the unique invasive nature of LARC changes the traditional ethical calculus of permitting adolescent decision-making in the realm of contraception. To answer this question, we review the risk–benefit profile of adolescent LARC use. Traditional justifications for permitting adolescent contraception decision-making authority are then considered in the context of LARCs. Finally, analogous reasoning is used to evaluate potential differences between permitting adolescents to consent for LARC procedures versus for emergency and pregnancy termination procedures. Ultimately, we argue that the invasive nature of LARCs does not override adolescents’ unique and compelling need for safe and effective forms of contraception. In fact, LARCs may oftentimes be in the best interest of adolescent patients who wish to prevent unintended pregnancy. We advocate for the specific enumeration of adolescents’ ability to consent to both LARC insertion and removal procedures within state policies. Given the provider-dependent nature of LARCs and the stigma regarding adolescent sexuality, special political and procedural safeguards to protect adolescent autonomy are warranted. (shrink)