I am grateful for Mr Bagger's thoughtful remarks, as well as those of Professors Cousins, Smith, Katz, and Gimello at a recent American Academy of Religion panel devoted to The Problem of Pure Consciousness . But I cannot help but be struck by the tone of Mr Bagger's notice. As one colleague communicated to me after reading the piece, this is one of the most gratuitously rude pieces he had ever seen! If our book is really as bad as all (...) this, it makes one wonder why Religious Studies , or Mr Bagger, would bother to give it such attention, and whether it indicates how deeply we have touched a nerve in the contemporary debate. (shrink)
All volumes of Professor Guthrie's great history of Greek philosophy have won their due acclaim. The most striking merits of Guthrie's work are his mastery of a tremendous range of ancient literature and modern scholarship, his fairness and balance of judgement and the lucidity and precision of his English prose. He has achieved clarity and comprehensiveness.
Welcome to the world of cutting-edge math, physics, and neuroscience, where the search for the ultimate vacuum, the point of nothingness, ground zero of theory, has rendered the universe deep, rich, and juicy. "Modern physics has animated the void," says K. C. Cole in her entrancing journey into the heart of Nothing. Every time scientists and mathematicians think they have reached the ultimate void, new stuff appears: a black hole, an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time, repulsive (...) anti-gravity, universes that breed like bunnies. Cole's exploration at the edge of everything is as animated and exciting as the void itself. Take Cole's hand on this adventure into the unknown, and you'll come back informed, amused, and excited. (shrink)
Aesthetic hedonists agree that an aesthetic value is a property of an item that stands in some constitutive relation to pleasure. Surprisingly, however, aesthetic hedonists need not reduce aesthetic normativity to hedonic normativity. They might demarcate aesthetic value as a species of hedonic value, but deny that the reason we have to appreciate an item is simply that it pleases. Such is the approach taken by an important strand of South Asian rasa theory that is represented with great clarity and (...) ingenuity in the work of K. C. Bhattacharyya. Bhattacharyya is an aesthetic hedonist who grounds aesthetic normativity in freedom. (shrink)
I Propose to re-explore here some aspects of a very shop-worn question: ‘Was Hobbes in any sense an atheist?’ Three centuries ago, Hobbes's personal security in part depended on the way his contemporaries answered this question; today, the validity of several current accounts of his philosophy are similarly bound up with it. These accounts vary extraordinarily, all the way from Polin's confident assertion that ‘ pour qui sait lire entre les lignes, … c'est ľatheísme qui triomphe implicitement ’, to Taylor's (...) equally firm belief that ‘a certain kind of theism is necessary to make [Hobbes's] theory work.’ 1 And now the latest of the Taylorians, Prof. Howard Warrender, has published his book The Political Philosophy of Hobbes , in which Hobbes's statements regarding the place of God are again treated as an essential part of his theory; and the charge explicitly made, that there are no sound grounds for regarding them as ‘the product of confusion or pretence on Hobbes's part’. (shrink)
The third volume of Professor Guthrie's great history of Greek thought, entitled The Fifth-Century Enlightenment, deals in two parts with the Sophists and Socrates, the key figures in the dramatic and fundamental shift of philosophical interest from the physical universe to man. Each of these parts is now available as a paperback with the text, bibliography and indexes amended where necessary so that each part is self-contained. The Sophists assesses the contribution of individuals like Protagoras, Gorgias and Hippias to the (...) extraordinary intellectual and moral fermant in fifth-century Athens. They questioned the bases of morality, religion and organized society itself and the nature of knowledge and language; they initiated a whole series of important and continuing debates, and they provoked Socrates and Plato to a major restatement and defence of traditional values. (shrink)
Quality of life is a difficult concept to define and to measure. An hypothesis is proposed which suggests that the quality of life measures the difference, or the gap, at a particular period of time between the hopes and expectations of the individual and that individual's present experiences. Quality of life can only be described by the individual, and must take into account many aspects of life. The approach is goal-orientated, and one of task analysis. The hypothesis is developed in (...) a diagramatic way, and several methods of testing the hypothesis suggested. (shrink)
Some practical problems in the teaching of ethics to medical students are described. The definition of the objectives of the course remains the central aspect, and is more important than the specific content. The use of student projects, buzz groups, case histories and discussion points is described. There is a need for student assessment or examination at the end of the course. The teachers require a broad background in philosophy, clinical medicine and teaching skills. The learning of the teachers may (...) be as important as that of the students. (shrink)
Resource allocation is a central part of the decision-making process in any health care system. Resources have always been finite, thus the ethical issues raised are not new. The debate is now more open, and there is greater public awareness of the issues. It is increasingly recognised that it is the technology which determines resources. The ethical issues involved are often conflicting and relate to issues of individual rights and community benefits. One central feature of resource allocation is the basing (...) of decisions on the outcomes of health care and on their subsequent economic evaluation. The knowledge base is therefore of great importance as is the audit of results of clinical treatment. Public involvement is seen as an integral part of this process. For all parts of the process, better methodologies are required. (shrink)
Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs has been a heavily contested issue over the past decade, touching on several issues of responsibility facing the pharmaceutical industry. Much research has been conducted on DTCA, but hardly any studies have discussed this topic from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) perspective. In this article, we use several elements of CSR, emphasising consumer autonomy and safety, to analyse differences in DTCA practices within two different policy contexts, the United States of America and the European (...) Union (EU). Doing so results in an alternative analysis of the struggle between proponents and opponents of DTCA from a CSR perspective, adding an alternative view on this debate. (shrink)
The hypothesis that values change and evolve is examined by this paper. The discussion is based on a series of examples where, over a period of a few decades, new ethical issues have arisen and values have changed. From this analysis it is suggested that there are a series of core values around which most people would agree. These are unlikely to change over long time periods. There are then a series of secondary or derived values around which there is (...) much more controversy and within which differences of view occur. Such changes need to be documented if we are to understand the process involved in the evolution of differences in ethical views. (shrink)
The third volume of Professor Guthrie's great history of Greek thought, entitled The Fifth-Century Enlightenment, deals in two parts with the Sophists and Socrates, the key figures in the dramatic and fundamental shift of philosophical interest from the physical universe to man. Each of the two parts is available as a paperback with the text, bibliography and indexes amended where necessary so that each part is self-contained. Socrates dominated the controversies of this period, as he has dominated the subsequent history (...) of western philosophy. He was the first to identify and grapple with some of the most intractable and persistent logical and philosophical problems; but he was also and has remained a highly controversial figure because of his extraordinary personal qualities and his remarkable career. Professor Guthrie offers a balanced and comprehensive picture of the man, his life, and his thought. (shrink)
The anthology Dharma: The Categorial ImperativeThe choice of using ‘the categorial imperative’ over the standard ‘the categorical imperative’ has not been supported with reason in the anthology, notwithstanding its mentioning of Kant. consists of a brief introduction and 18 essays which were presented in an international conference of the same title in 1997, with the purpose to provide an alternative interpretation of the concept ‘dharma’ while taking into view the influence of Western notion of religion and treating it as an (...) epistemological , and not as a moral, concept. Here, dharma has been understood as a category, as an intellectual exercise, for ‘viewing’ Indian reality.The fundamental question is this: what constitutes the concept of dharma in the context of our changing forms of life? I.e., What aspects of dharma upon which Western influence are to be noted? Some aspects of the constitutive elements of dharma, as identified by the contributors of .. (shrink)
Greek ways of thinking -- Matter and form: (ionians and pythagoreans) -- The problem of motion: (Heraclitus, Parmenides and the pluralists) -- The reaction towards humanism: (the Sophists and Socrates) -- Plato (I): the doctrine of ideas -- Plato (II): ethical and theological answers to the sophists -- Aristotle (I): the aristotelian universe -- Aristotle (II): human beings.
Public participation is increasingly an aspect of policy development in many areas, and the governance of biomedical research is no exception. There are good reasons for this: biomedical research relies on public funding; it relies on biological samples and information from large numbers of patients and healthy individuals; and the outcomes of biomedical research are dramatically and irrevocably changing our society. There is thus arguably a democratic imperative for including public values in strategic decisions about the governance of biomedical research. (...) However, it is not immediately clear how this might best be achieved. While different approaches have been proposed and trialled, we focus here on the use of public deliberation as a mechanism to develop input for policy on biomedical research. We begin by explaining the rationale for conducting public deliberation in biomedical research. We focus, in particular, on the ELS (ethical, legal, social) aspects of human tissue biobanking. The last few years have seen the development of methods for conducting public deliberation on these issues in several jurisdictions, for the purpose of incorporating lay public voices in biobanking policy. We explain the theoretical foundation underlying the notion of deliberation, and outline the main lessons and capacities that have been developed in the area of conducting public deliberation on biobanks. We next provide an analysis of the theoretical and practical challenges that we feel still need to be addressed for the use of public deliberation to guide ethical norms and governance of biomedical research. We examine the issues of: (i) linking the outcomes of deliberation to tangible action; (ii) the mandate under which a deliberation is conducted; (iii) the relative weight that should be accorded to a public deliberative forum vs other relevant voices; (iv) evaluating the quality of deliberation; and (5) the problem of scalability of minipublics. (shrink)