Contemporary theory is increasingly concerned with macro-micro integration. An attempt is made to integrate these levels of analysis in Durkheim's theory of egoistic suicide. Does Durkheim's theory, which is a social system analysis designed to explain differences in suicide rates between groups, have micro implications for specifying which particular individuals within the group will take their lives? In attempting to answer this question by exploring the causal linkages between integration and suicide, Durkheim's theory of egoistic suicide was revealed not to (...) be a singular theory but rather contained several different explanations. The numerous interpretations have resulted from his incompletely specified, inconsistent, unsystematized, and inadequately tested theory. These ambiguities also account for the historically inconsistent research findings that have limited sociologists' ability to advance beyond Durkheim's century-old formulations. Further areas for new research and illustrative hypothesis are suggested. (shrink)
Advance care planning allows patients to articulate preferences for their medical treatment, lifestyle, and surrogate decision-makers in order to anticipate and mitigate their potential loss of decision-making capacity. Written advance directives are often emphasized in this regard. While these directives contain important information, there are several barriers to consider: veracity and accuracy of surrogate decision-makers in making choices consistent with the substituted judgement standard, state-to-state variability in regulations, literacy issues, lack of access to legal resources, lack of understanding of medical (...) options, and cultural disparities. Given these issues, it is vital to increase the use of patient and healthcare provider conversations as an advance care planning tool and to increase integration of such discourse into advance care planning policy as adjuncts and complements to written advance directives. This paper reviews current legislation about written advance directives and dissects how documentation of spoken interactions might be integrated and considered. We discuss specific institutional policy changes required to facilitate implementation. Finally, we explore the ethical issues surrounding the increased usage and recognition of clinician–patient conversations in advance care planning. (shrink)
This essay attempts to give substance to the claim that the liar''sparadox shows the truth predicate to be context sensitive. The aim ismodest: to provide an account of the truth predicate''s contextsensitivity (1) that derives from a more general understanding ofcontext sensitivity, (2) that does not depend upon a hierarchy ofpredicates and (3) that is able to address the liar''s paradox. Theconsequences of achieving this goal are not modest, though. Perhapssurprisingly, for reasons that will be discussed in the last section (...) ofthis essay, a natural account of the truth predicate''s contextsensitivity appears to lead naturally to a version of the correspondencetheory of truth according to which the truth predicate can be understoodas a relation holding between a sentence and a salient set of contexts.The plan of this essay is as follows. Section 1 contains a generalaccount of context sensitivity. The purpose of this section is toisolate certain features of context sensitivity and formal methods oftreating them, which we will then apply to the truth predicate. Section 2then outlines two minimal conditions to be satisfied by a truthpredicate. In Section 3, I present a version of the liar paradoxthat results from these conditions and the assumption that the truthpredicate is not context sensitive in the sense described in sectionone. Finally, in section four, I provide what appear to be naturalconsequences of a truth predicate''s context sensitivity. Section 4 isadmittedly speculative and points in the direction for future research. (shrink)
In this paper, we empirically explore some manifestations of norms for the conduct of science. We focus on scientific research ethics and report survey results from 606 scientists who received funding in 1993 and 1994 from the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Biology Directorate of the National Science Foundation. We also report results for 91 administrators charged with overseeing research integrity at the scientists’ research institutions. Both groups of respondents were presented with a set of scenarios, designed (...) by fractional factorial methods, describing different kinds of scientific conduct that in the eyes of some would likely be unethical. Respondents then were asked to evaluate each of these scenarios for how unethical the behavior might be and what kinds of sanctions might be appropriate. We use the responses to consider the nature of consensus around norms related to the practice of science and in particular, similarities and differences between scientists and science administrators. Implications for policy are also discussed. (shrink)
This paper examines the ontological commitments of the second-order language of arithmetic and argues that they do not extend beyond the first-order language. Then, building on an argument by George Boolos, we develop a Tarski-style definition of a truth predicate for the second-order language of arithmetic that does not involve the assignment of sets to second-order variables but rather uses the same class of assignments standardly used in a definition for the first-order language.
This paper develops a classical model for our ordinary use of the truth predicate (1) that is able to address the liar's paradox and (2) that satisfies a very strong version of deflationism. Since the model is a classical in the sense that it has no truth value gaps, the model is able to address Tarski's indictment of our ordinary use of the predicate as inconsistent. Moreover, since it is able to address the liar's paradox, it responds to arguments against (...) deflationism based upon that paradox alone. The model is based upon a notion of the complexity of propositions that a fixed set of speakers might express. A context-sensitive definition of the truth predicate is then provided based upon a class of possible worlds defined in terms of these speakers. Reasonable constraints on the memories and lifetimes of ordinary speakers are used to limit the set of propositions that they might express so that deflationist requirements are satisfied. (shrink)