Despite the frequency of stillbirths, the subsequent implications are overlooked and underappreciated. We present findings from comprehensive, systematic literature reviews, and new analyses of published and unpublished data, to establish the effect of stillbirth on parents, families, health-care providers, and societies worldwide. Data for direct costs of this event are sparse but suggest that a stillbirth needs more resources than a livebirth, both in the perinatal period and in additional surveillance during subsequent pregnancies. Indirect and intangible costs of stillbirth are (...) extensive and are usually met by families alone. This issue is particularly onerous for those with few resources. Negative effects, particularly on parental mental health, might be moderated by empathic attitudes of care providers and tailored interventions. The value of the baby, as well as the associated costs for parents, families, care providers, communities, and society, should be considered to prevent stillbirths and reduce associated morbidity. (shrink)
J. L. Austin, in "Ifs and Cans," proclaimed the common hope that we soon "may see the birth, through the joint labors of philosophers, grammarians, and numerous other students of language, of a true and comprehensive science of language." The problem has always been with the "joint labors" part. Philosophers have always been willing to issue linguists dictums and linguists have been happy to teach philosophers "plain facts." Austin’s general view of language, and his particular notion of performative utterance, can (...) be found in the writing of J. R. Firth, the most commanding British linguist of Austin’s generation, but Austin never refers to Firth. In the present volume, however, we find clear and exciting evidence of genuinely joint labors on the part of philosophers and linguists. They stem from a summer conference in 1969 rounded out with contributions from notables. To two thick issues of Synthese the editors have added a dazzling piece by Saul Kripke, two substantial pieces by James McCawley and J. R. Ross, a short paper by Paul Ziff, and a reprint of P. F. Strawson’s "Grammar and Philosophy." This is an invaluable book and the best book among the many now available concerning the interaction of linguistics and philosophy: worth the cost, which the contributors attempted to reduce through foregoing royalties. The philosophers in this volume hold, or hold intriguing, the view that the semantics of a natural language can and must, in effect, be a theory of truth for a language in much the manner that Tarski suggested, and provided, for artificial language: the recursive specification of biconditionals in which the left hand gives the structural description of an object language sentence and the right hand, the truth conditions in the metalanguage. In "homophonic" translation this requirement can be trivially satisfied simply by mentioning the sentence on the left that one uses on the right: one makes the requirement non-trivial by forcing enough into the recursive specification so that one captures the native speaker’s implicit semantic competence. In this volume, the "orthodox" Davidsonian program, which takes the syntax of the metalanguage to be standard predicate logic, is ably argued by John Wallace ; Richard Montague, David Lewis, and Jaakko Hintikka would want an intensional logic covering modality and propositional attitudes. The linguists who find this philosophical climate most appealing are called "generative semanticists": McCawley, Ross, George Lakoff and others argue that any proposed semantic rule will eventually prove necessary to syntax too and that, hence, the deepest level of syntactical form will be equivalent to semantic form. Whatever the ultimate fate of this joint program, it leads here to much exciting interaction between linguists and philosophers: linguists who welcome the machinery and conceptual standards of modern logic, and philosophers who try to grasp the specifics of crucial issues in recent linguistic theory. Even if Quine’s doubts, here sketched, and Chomsky’s currently unpublished more technical objections should be well-founded, nonetheless the joint labor will have been very much worthwhile. Aside from this general debate about semantics, there are several papers covering more specific issues. The papers of J. A. Fodor, Terence Parsons, and Ross concern adverbs and the logical form of action sentences; several papers, particularly B. H. Partee’s, examine "Opacity, Coreference, and Pronouns." In all these papers one notes the fulfillment of Austin’s hope that philosophic and linguistic arguments should become intermixed, if not at times properly indistinguishable. Perhaps the most enjoyable and exciting paper stands aside from linguistics: Saul Kripke’s "Naming and Necessity." Kripke here argues quite informally for the separation of analytic, a priori, and necessary that is required for a Kripke style, S5, modal logic with de re modalities. "Gold is a yellow metal," for example, turns out to be contingent, while "Heat is the motion of particles" is necessary but a posteriori ; and that philosopher’s stone of stones, "The morning star is the evening star," is discovered to be necessary but a posteriori.—J. L. (shrink)
As one of the most influential commentators on the role of modern philosophy, Richard Rorty's work impacted all areas of philosophical inquiry, including business ethics. Rorty's post-foundational approach to "moral imagination" can inform how we teach business ethics in a diverse and philosophically eclectic manner. A summary of Rorty's critique of philosophy, ethics, and applied ethics will be followed by a discussion of the implications for a critical pedagogy and the pragmatic use of an expansive philosophical lexicon in a business (...) ethics course. (shrink)
Introduction No consent for health and medical research is appropriate when the criteria for a waiver of consent are met, yet some ethics committees and data custodians still require informed consent. Methods A single-blind parallel-group randomised controlled trial: 1129 families of children born at a South Australian hospital were sent information explaining data linkage of childhood immunisation and hospital records for vaccine safety surveillance with 4 weeks to opt in or opt out by reply form, telephone or email. A subsequent (...) telephone interview gauged the intent of 1026 parents (91%) in relation to their actions and the sociodemographic differences between participants and non-participants in each arm. Results The participation rate was 21% (n=120/564) in the opt-in arm and 96% (n=540/565) in the opt-out arm (χ2 (1 df) = 567.7, p<0.001). Participants in the opt-in arm were more likely than non-participants to be older, married/de facto, university educated and of higher socioeconomic status. Participants in the opt-out arm were similar to non-participants, except men were more likely to opt out. Substantial proportions did not receive, understand or properly consider study invitations, and opting in or opting out behaviour was often at odds with parents' stated underlying intentions. Conclusions The opt-in approach resulted in low participation and a biased sample that would render any subsequent data linkage unfeasible, while the opt-out approach achieved high participation and a representative sample. The waiver of consent afforded under current privacy regulations for data linkage studies meeting all appropriate criteria should be granted by ethics committees, and supported by data custodians. Trial registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000332022. (shrink)
We consider a situation in which individuals search for accurate decisions without direct feedback on their accuracy, but with information about the decisions made by peers in their group. The “wisdom of crowds” hypothesis states that the average judgment of many individuals can give a good estimate of, for example, the outcomes of sporting events and the answers to trivia questions. Two conditions for the application of wisdom of crowds are that estimates should be independent and unbiased. Here, we study (...) how individuals integrate social information when answering trivia questions with answers that range between 0% and 100%. We find that, consistent with the wisdom of crowds hypothesis, average performance improves with group size. However, individuals show a consistent bias to produce estimates that are insufficiently extreme. We find that social information provides significant, albeit small, improvement to group performance. Outliers with answers far from the correct answer move toward the position of the group mean. Given that these outliers also tend to be nearer to 50% than do the answers of other group members, this move creates group polarization away from 50%. By looking at individual performance over different questions we find that some people are more likely to be affected by social influence than others. There is also evidence that people differ in their competence in answering questions, but lack of competence is not significantly correlated with willingness to change guesses. We develop a mathematical model based on these results that postulates a cognitive process in which people first decide whether to take into account peer guesses, and if so, to move in the direction of these guesses. The size of the move is proportional to the distance between their own guess and the average guess of the group. This model closely approximates the distribution of guess movements and shows how outlying incorrect opinions can be systematically removed from a group resulting, in some situations, in improved group performance. However, improvement is only predicted for cases in which the initial guesses of individuals in the group are biased. (shrink)
It is proposed in this paper that enzymes, by virtue of a number of correctly positioned sites of interaction with substrates, can force the compression of hydrogen bonds, increasing the probability of proton transfer by quantum mechanical tunneling. By such a catalytic mechanism a rate enhancement of many orders of magnitude may be obtained with a very low energy input requirement. The mechanism would, however, require a highly structured catalyst.Pertinent aspects of hydrogen bond theory and of tunneling theory are briefly (...) reviewed. (shrink)
Facing a near-death experience naturally pushes people to re-examine their basic moral values. During the recent global economic melt-down, calls to solve the concomitant ‘moral’ crisis come in from all fronts. The presumption is that we need business ethics courses to teach our business students to learn to take the moral high-road; we need ethics pledges and codes of ethics to teach business students to do the right thing. But in reality, what impact can a business ethics class have on (...) business people in the real world of tough choices and intense competition? It is my contention that if we look at the teaching of business ethics from the traditional Foundational Platonic perspective, we over-promise and under-deliver. By contrast, a Post-Foundational perspective gives us a pragmatic and viable picture of business ethics pedagogy that can make a real difference. (shrink)
Victorian bodies in heat Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9489-x Authors Bruce Clarke, Department of English, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-3091, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.