The purpose of the study was to assess medical journals’ conflicts of interest in the publication of book reviews. We examined book reviews published in 1999, 2000, and 2001 in five leading medical journals: Annals of Internal Medicine, British Medical Journal, Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine. The main outcome measure was journal publication of reviews of books that had been published by the journal’s own publisher, that had been edited or authored by (...) a lead editor of the journal, or that posed another conflict of interest. We also surveyed the editors-in-chief of the five journals about their policies on these conflicts of interests. During the study period, four of the five journals published 30 book reviews presenting a conflict of interest: nineteen by the BMJ, five by the Annals, four by JAMA, and two by the Lancet. These reviews represent 5.8%, 2.7%, 0.7%, and 0.7%, respectively, of all book reviews published by the journals. These four journals, respectively, published reviews of 11.9%, 25.0%, 0.9%, and 1.0% of all medical books published by the journals’ publishers. Only one of the 30 book reviews included a disclosure statement addressing the conflict of interest. None of the journals had a written policy pertaining to the conflicts of interest assessed in this study, although four reported having unwritten policies. We recommend that scientific journals and associations representing journal editors develop policies on conflicts of interest pertaining to book reviews. (shrink)
: What do appeals to case studies accomplish? Consider the dilemma: On the one hand, if the case is selected because it exemplifies the philosophical point, then it is not clear that the historical data hasn't been manipulated to fit the point. On the other hand, if one starts with a case study, it is not clear where to go from there—for it is unreasonable to generalize from one case or even two or three.
It is argued that the question “Can we trust technology?” is unanswerable because it is open-ended. Only questions about specific issues that can have specific answers should be entertained. It is further argued that the reason the question cannot be answered is that there is no such thing as Technology simpliciter. Fundamentally, the question comes down to trusting people and even then, the question has to be specific about trusting a person to do this or that.
In this article, the author lists three problems that make any serious discussion about the ethics of leadership a very difficult undertaking. He then proposes a new, postindustrial paradigm of leadership. Using that understanding of leadership, two different sets of ethical analyses of leadership are possible: (I) those concerned with the process of leadership and (2) those concerned with the content of leadership (the changes proposed by the leaders and collaborators). In the end, the author suggests that the industrial paradigm (...) of ethics (the 18th century liberal philosophy) is inadequate to deal with the ethical decision making that leaders and collaborators must do in the 21 st century. Thus, a postindustrial paradigm of ethics must be developed to enable leaders and collaborators to make the tough ethical choices that will be demanded in the new millennium. (shrink)
The question is how do Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) give us access to the nano world? The images these instruments produce, I argue, do not allow us to see atoms in the same way that we see trees. To the extent that SEMs and STMs allow us to see the occupants of the nano world it is by way of metaphorical extension of the concept of “seeing”. The more general claim is that changes in scientific instrumentation effect changes in the (...) concepts central to our understanding of scientific results. (shrink)
Summary A sufficient condition for a revolution in physics is a change in the concept of cause. To demonstrate this, we examine three developments in physical theory. After informally characterizing a theory in terms of an heuristic and a set of equations, we show how tensions between these two dimensions lead to the development of alternative theoretical accounts. In each case the crucial move results in a refinement of our account of cause. All these refinements taken together result in the (...) emergence of a new conceptual framework in which âcausationâ is evolving in a manner unrelated to the common sense understanding of the concept. (shrink)
It is argued that Galileo's theory of justification was a version of explanationism. Galileo's Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems is to be read as primarily a defense of his theory of the tides. He shows how, by assuming Copernican motions, he can explain the tides, thereby justifying the endorsement of Copernicus. The crux of the argument rests on Galileo's account of explanation, which is novel in its reliance on the use of geometry. Finally, the consequences of his use (...) of geometry, and his views on the limits of knowledge, force us to conclude that if Galileo was a realist, his realism was so highly constrained as to be irrelevant. (shrink)
I shall suggest in this paper that this "inverted world" is exactly that: an absurd position. This is not to say that it is to be ignored or condemned as "fantastic," but rather that its importance and intelligibility lay in its very absurdity, in its appearance as an unintelligible inversion of what previously was taken to constitute the intelligibility of the world of appearance. More precisely, I shall suggest that this inverted world is a misunderstanding and perversion of the conclusion (...) to which we should have been brought at this point in the Phenomenology. It is Hegel's intention, underscored by the conditional rather than indicative construction of this section, that we see this misunderstanding as a misunderstanding. When on the other hand the inversion is correctly understood, it brings to the phenomenological "we" undergoing the Bildungsprozess of the Phenomenology of Spirit the explicit realization that consciousness is not merely finite intentionality, but as such is infinite. Consciousness is self-consciousness, consciousness limited by nothing but itself. (shrink)
Wilfrid Sellars attempts to deflect traditional objections to the straight rule of inductive acceptance by embedding it in a complicated system of levels. This system rests on a theory of probability in which the meaning of "probable" is reconstructed in the context of Sellars' general theory of practical reason. To say a statement is probable means, according to Sellars, that there is good reason for accepting the statement as true. In this paper I examine Sellars' attempt to resuscitate the straight (...) rule and conclude that not only does he fail, but his account of "probable" is circular. (shrink)
In this article, the author lists three problems that make any serious discussion about the ethics of leadership a very difficult undertaking. He then proposes a new, postindustrial paradigm of leadership. Using that understanding of leadership, two different sets of ethical analyses of leadership are possible: those concerned with the process of leadership and those concerned with the content of leadership. In the end, the author suggests that the industrial paradigm of ethics is inadequate to deal with the ethical decision (...) making that leaders and collaborators must do in the 21 st century. Thus, a postindustrial paradigm of ethics must be developed to enable leaders and collaborators to make the tough ethical choices that will be demanded in the new millennium. (shrink)
Select groups and organizations embrace practices that perpetuate their inferiority. The result is the phenomenon we call “mediocrity.” This article examines the conditions under which mediocrity is selected and maintained by groups over time. Mediocrity is maintained by a key social process: the marginalization of the adept, which is a response to the group problem of what to do with the highly able. The problem arises when a majority of a group is comprised of average members who must decide what (...) to do with high performers in the group. To solve this problem, reward systems are subverted to benefit the less able and the adept are cast as deviant. Marginalization is a resolution of two tensions: marginalization of the adept for their behavior, and protection from the adept for the mediocre. The American research university is used as an example to describe the phenomenon and to formulate a theoretic argument. The forms and consequences of marginalization are discussed. Marginalizing the adept illustrates an anti-meritocratic behavioral pattern which serves to sustain social systems on which all people, however able, depend. (shrink)
The question of the nature of Hegel’s metaphysics is a continuing one. In the last few decades the idea that Hegel even has a metaphysics has been challenged. Recently Stephen Houlgate has responded to this latter idea and tried to show not only that Hegel has a metaphysics, but of what sort it is. In my view Houlgate is right about Hegel having a metaphysics and also right generally about what sort of metaphysics it is. However, it seems to me (...) that he has made too weak a case for the metaphysics in his presentation of what he takes to be Hegel’s arguments, and as a consequence cannot escape a charge that Hegel might still be either a Kantian or some sort of subjective idealist. What I mean by this is that, to the extent that we are simply limited in our metaphysics to what we can think being to be, there may still be an absolute other which we simply cannot know. Houlgate has made things very clear concerning the conclusion to which we should come about the nature of Hegel’s metaphysics, but has not, in my view, made his argument leading to his conclusions quite strong enough. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between philosophy (considered as an expression of fundamental values) and development, this here particularly understood in its economic sense. The author starts with an exploration of the meaning of development and then goes on to evaluate the views and perspectives that tend to argue against philosophy in its broadest sense (that is considered simply as a worldview or as a system of values) occupying a distinct and significant role in development. (...) In order to demonstrate this important point, the author explores what he considers to be the impact of the traditional African ethical outlook and values in relation to the economic activities and the process of development in contemporary Africa. O objectivo deste artigo é analisar a relação entre a filosofia (considerada como expressão de valores filosóficos fundamentais) e o desenvolvimento, sendo este especialmente entendido no sentido económico. O autor começa por explorar o significado de desenvolvimento e, em seguida, continua com a avaliação das visões e perspectivas que tendem a argumentar contra a filosofia no seu sentido mais alargado (isto é, a filosofia considerada simplesmente como visão do mundo ou como um sistema de valores) que ocupam um papel distinto e significativo no desenvolvimento, sendo esta exploração e avaliação efectuadas no sentido de argumentar que a filosofia tem, de facto, um papel muito distinto e significativo a desempenhar no processo de desenvolvimento, mesmo no sentido económico do termo. Para demonstrar este importante aspecto, o autor explora o que ele considera ser o impacto da perspectiva ética e dos valores tradicionais africanos em relação com as actividades económicas e o processo de desenvolvimento na África contemporânea. (shrink)
Transplantation continues to push the frontiers of medicine into domains that summon forth troublesome ethical questions. Looming on the frontier today is human facial transplantation. We develop criteria that, we maintain, must be satisfied in order to ethically undertake this as-yet-untried transplant procedure. We draw on the criteria advanced by Dr. Francis Moore in the late 1980s for introducing innovative procedures in transplant surgery. In addition to these we also insist that human face transplantation must meet all the ethical requirements (...) usually applied to health care research. We summarize the achievements of transplant surgery to date, focusing in particular on the safety and efficacy of immunosuppressive medications. We also emphasize the importance of risk/benefit assessments that take into account the physical, aesthetic, psychological, and social dimensions of facial disfiguration, reconstruction, and transplantation. Finally, we maintain that the time has come to move facial transplantation research into the clinical phase. (shrink)
Though we agree with their argument that language is shaped by domain-general learning processes, Christiansen & Chater (C&C) neglect to detail how the development of these processes shapes language change. We discuss a number of examples that show how developmental processes at multiple levels and timescales are critical to understanding the origin of domain-general mechanisms that shape language evolution.