Moral pluralism is the norm in contemporary society. Even the best philosophical arguments rarely persuade moral opponents who differ at a foundational level. This has been vividly illustrated in contemporary debates in bioethics surrounding contentious issues such as abortion and euthanasia. It is readily apparent that bioethics discourse lacks an empirical explanation for the broad differences about various topics in bioethics and health policy. In recent years, social and cognitive psychology has generated novel approaches for defining basic differences in moral (...) intuitions generally. We propose that if empirical research using social intuitionist theory explains why people disagree with one another over moral issues, then the results of such research might help people debate their moral differences in a more constructive and civil manner. We illustrate the utility of social intuitionism with data from a national physician survey. (shrink)
Many in academic bioethics worry that robust theological traditions, when articulated in the public square, damage the prospect of serious reflection about tough cases. Here we challenge that prevailing exclusion-by-default methodological impulse by correcting prevalent stereotypes about one particular Christian tradition that may offer relevant conceptual resources for bioethics. We briefly examine the man, John Calvin, and the Calvinist/Reformed Protestant tradition to show how it has been misconstrued in academic bioethics but can be reconstrued as a constructive, substantive theological starting (...) point for tough bioethical questions of our age. Core Calvinist doctrines about the nature of an all-sovereign God and human beings’ relation to that God, as well as related prominent themes from elements of the broader Reformed tradition, including the glory/sovereignty/majesty of God; the created goodness of the world; human beings as desiring/worshiping/image-bearing creatures; the pervasive influence of sin; the limitations of humanity for self-improvement; the completely gratuitous nature of redemption; the comprehensiveness of God’s redemptive purposes; and the pending final completion of his redemptive work could and should influence the tone and content of moral deliberation that can be a positive influence on twenty-first-century bioethics. (shrink)
Recent work has shown that preschool-aged children and adults understand freedom of choice regardless of culture, but that adults across cultures differ in perceiving social obligations as constraints on action. To investigate the development of these cultural differences and universalities, we interviewed school-aged children (4–11) in Nepal and the United States regarding beliefs about people's freedom of choice and constraint to follow preferences, perform impossible acts, and break social obligations. Children across cultures and ages universally endorsed the choice to follow (...) preferences but not to perform impossible acts. Age and culture effects also emerged: Young children in both cultures viewed social obligations as constraints on action, but American children did so less as they aged. These findings suggest that while basic notions of free choice are universal, recognitions of social obligations as constraints on action may be culturally learned. (shrink)
Over the last years of the seventeenth century, natural philosopher Richard Waller undertook a study of English herbs and grasses through the creation of pictures. Using a technique called limning, he created a series of images, such as this knapweed and cornflower, detailing the unique features of each plant as he observed it with his eyes and with Richard Waller, Knap-weed or Matfelon and Cornflower or Bluebottle, 1689–1713. Watercolor on paper. 380 × 240 mm. London, Royal Society Archives, MS/131/040.his microscope. (...) In this image, Waller elegantly depicts both the delicacy of the semi-translucent blue petals and the gnarled twists of the specimen’s roots. Between the plant stems, he adds additional... (shrink)
In the present paper, we will show that, in their complementary approaches to indirect communication, Erickson and Kierkegaard have something important to offer to one another's theories. While Kierkegaard developed a framework by which Erickson can be more profoundly understood, Erickson's accounts offer clinical cases which support what Kierkegaard described. This mutual trade of benefits not only broadens and deepens the notion of indirect communication, but also alerts us to the fact that it was recognized and developed in two relatively (...) independent disciplines, almost a hundred years apart! This parallel implies that indirect communication is, at the very least, a phenomenon worth investigating from both perspectives. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Over the last decade, our appreciation of the importance of the nucleolus for cellular function has progressed from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We no longer think of the nucleolus as simply the site of ribosome production, or a dynamic subnuclear body noted by pathologists for its changes in size and shape with malignancy. Instead, the nucleolus has emerged as a key controller of many cellular processes that are fundamental to normal cell homeostasis and the target for dysregulation in many (...) human diseases; in some cases, independent of its functions in ribosome biogenesis. These extra‐nucleolar or new functions, which we term “non‐canonical” to distinguish them from the more traditional role of the nucleolus in ribosome synthesis, are the focus of this review. In particular, we explore how these non‐canonical functions may provide novel insights into human disease and in some cases new targets for therapeutic development. (shrink)
Physicians vary in their moral judgments about health care costs. Social intuitionism posits that moral judgments arise from gut instincts, called “moral foundations.” The objective of this study was to determine if “harm” and “fairness” intuitions can explain physicians’ judgments about cost-containment in U.S. health care and using cost-effectiveness data in practice, as well as the relative importance of those intuitions compared to “purity”, “authority” and “ingroup” in cost-related judgments.