Randomization is the “gold standard” design for clinical research trials and is accepted as the best way to reduce bias. Although some controversy remains over this matter, we believe equipoise is the fundamental ethical requirement for conducting a randomized clinical trial. Despite much attention to the ethics of randomization, the moral psychology of this study design has not been explored. This article analyzes the ethical tensions that arise from conducting these studies and examines the moral psychology of this design from (...) the perspectives of physician-investigators and patient-subjects. We conclude with a discussion of the practical implications of this analysis. (shrink)
Understanding cultural evolution is one of the most challenging and indispensable scientific tasks for the survival of humankind on our planet. This task demands, besides an adoption of theories and models from biological evolution, theories for culture-specific processes as well. Language evolution and language acquisition offer interesting objects of study in this respect. (Published Online November 9 2006).
The aim of this study was to uncover and critically examine hidden assumptions that underpin the findings of nurses’ unethical conduct arising from inquiries conducted by the Nurses Tribunal in New South Wales. This was a qualitative study located within a post-structural theoretical framework. Transcripts of five inquiries conducted between 1998 and 2003 were analysed using critical discourse analysis. The findings revealed two dominant discourses that were drawn upon in the inquiries to construct nurses’ conduct as unethical. These were discourses (...) of trust and accountability. The way the nurses were spoken about during the inquiries was shaped by normalising judgements that were used to discursively position the nurse through narrative. (shrink)
Official Catholic opposition to contraception has long been portrayed as a stand that is based in antiquated doctrine and out of touch with society and its problems. In fact, Catholic arguments often have been less devoted to doctrine and more reflective of concerns for social justice and human rights. This was certainly the case in Latin America, as international birth control programs evolved in the mid to late 20th century. Programs were targeted at developing nations like those in Latin America (...) which were experiencing what was termed a population explosion. This article describes how, in this primarily Catholic region, Catholic authorities responded to popula- tion policy, arguing that overpopulation should not be considered the primary cause of economic strife, nor should birth control be promoted as the solution. (shrink)
The vast changes in family life-the rise of single, same-sex, and two-paycheck parents-have often been blamed for declining morality and unhappy children. Drawing upon pioneering research with the children of the gender revolution, Kathleen Gerson reveals that it is not a lack of family values, but rigid social and economic forces that make it difficult to live out those values. The Unfinished Revolution makes clear recommendations for a new flexibility at work and at home that benefits families, encourages a (...) thriving economy, and helps women and men integrate love and work. (shrink)
McCarthy, Kathleen Dad, you were a devoted, but always critical, member of the Catholic Church and taught us that, each of us, in our way, must always challenge institutions to live up to their ideals. May your beloved Church have the courage to confront its past injustices and may we be brave enough to keep on calling on it to do so.
In this essay, Kathleen Knight Abowitz makes the case that charter schooling can enable multiple publics to develop and create educational visions. Charter schooling policies can enable these publics to pursue these visions and agendas on behalf of both public and common educational goals as well as goals associated with particular identities and interests. This vision of a plural public sphere, with its movement away from purely state‐run traditional public schools, challenges the common school ideal that has been part (...) of the Western nation‐state narrative for several centuries. Yet the common school ideal need not focus on one particular kind of school structure; rather, the ideal represents a moral claim: that schools receiving public funds should provide participatory parity to all students, achieved through educational structures and curriculum shaped by principles of democratic justice. Participatory parity and its guiding normative principles, Knight Abowitz concludes, help to qualify and clarify our faith in the common school ideal shaped for a new era. (shrink)
Readers eager to acquire a basic familiarity with the history of philosophy but intimidated by the task will find in A Passion for Wisdom a lively, accessible, and highly enjoyable tour of the world's great ideas. Here, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins tell the story of philosophy's development with great clarity and refreshing wit. The authors begin with the most ancient religious beliefs of the east and west and bring us right up to the feminist and multicultural philosophies of (...) the present. Along the way, they highlight major philosophers, from Plato and the Buddha to William James and Simone de Beauvoir, and explore major categories, from metaphysics and ethics to politics and logic. The book is enlivened as well by telling anecdotes and sparkling quotations. Among many memorable observations, we're treated to Thomas Hobbes' assessment that life is "nasty, brutish, and short" and Hegel's description of Napoleon as "world history on horseback." Engaging, comprehensive, and delightfully written, A Passion for Wisdom is a splendid introduction to an intellectual tradition that reaches back over three thousand years. (shrink)
In this accessible and comprehensive work, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins cover the entire history of philosophy--ancient, medieval, and modern, from cultures both East and West--in its broader historical and cultural contexts. Major philosophers and movements are discussed along with less well-known but interesting figures. The authors examine the early Greek, Indic, and Chinese philosophers and the mythological traditions that preceded them, as well as the great religious philosophies, including Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Taoism. Easily understandable to students without (...) specialized knowledge of philosophy, A Short History of Philosophy demonstrates the relevance of philosophy to our times, illuminating the impact of the revolutions wrought by science, industry, colonialism, and sectarian warfare; the two world wars and the Holocaust; and the responses of philosophy in the schools of existentialism, postmodernism, feminism, and multiculturalism. In addition, the authors provide their own twists and interpretations of events, resulting in a broad view of the nature of philosophy as an intellectual discipline and its sometimes odd and dramatic consequences. (shrink)
When the ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, was asked if he was a wise man, he humbly replied "No, I am only a lover of wisdom." This love of wisdom has been central to the philosophical enterprise for thousands of years, inspiring some of the most dazzling and daring achievements of the human intellect and providing the very basis for how we understand the world. Now, readers eager to acquire a basic familiarity with the history of philosophy but intimidated by the (...) task will find in A Passion for Wisdom: Philosophy Through the Ages, a lively, accessible, and highly enjoyable tour of the world's great ideas. Without simplifying their subject, editors Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins tell the story of philosophy's development with great clarity and refreshing wit. The brevity of their study, in fact, allows readers to see more clearly the connections and divergences between philosophers, as well as the way ideas change, reappear, and evolve over time. The authors begin with the most ancient religious beliefs and bring us right up to the feminist and multicultural philosophies of the present. Along the way, major philosophers are highlighted, from Plato and Aquinas to William James and Simone deBeauvoir, and major categories explored, from metaphysics and ethics to politics and logic. We also see the evolution of enduring ideas--how, for example, the value of subjective experience is treated in Augustine, Luther, Descartes, and Kirkegaard, how the idea of dynamic change appears in the work of Heraclitus, Darwin, Hegel, and Nietzsche, and how the recurring dichotomies between faith and reason, belief and skepticism, mysticism and empiricism occupy philosophers from one generation to the next. The authors make clear the many ways philosophers have argued with, borrowed from, and built on each other's ideas throughout the ages. We see Francis Bacon rejecting Aristotelian dogma, the impact of Buddhism on Schopenhauer, and the influence of Hume and Rousseau on the monumental philosophy of Imanuel Kant. The book is enlivened as well by telling anecdotes and sparkling quotations. We're treated to Thomas Hobbes' assessment--"Life is nasty, brutish, and short," Hegel's description of Napoleon as "world history on horseback," Schopenhauer's assertion that Art allows us a "Sabbath from the penal servitude of willing," and many other memorable and provocative observations. Accessible, comprehensive, and delightfully written, A Passion for Wisdom is a splendid introduction to an intellectual tradition that reaches back over three thousand years. More than that, it is a much-needed reminder for the present of the power inherent in humanity's wonder before the world. (shrink)
The vast changes in family life have often been blamed for declining morality and unhappy children. Drawing upon pioneering research with the children of the gender revolution, Kathleen Gerson reveals that it is not a lack of family values, but rigid social and economic forces that make it difficult to live out those values. The Unfinished Revolution makes clear recommendations for a new flexibility at work and at home that benefits families, encourages a thriving economy, and helps women and (...) men integrate love and work. (shrink)
From our first social bonding as infants to the funeral rites that mark our passing, music plays an important role in our lives, bringing us closer to one another. In _The Music between Us_, philosopher Kathleen Marie Higgins investigates this role, examining the features of human perception that enable music’s uncanny ability to provoke, despite its myriad forms across continents and throughout centuries, the sense of a shared human experience. Drawing on disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, musicology, linguistics, and (...) anthropology, Higgins’s richly researched study showcases the ways music is used in rituals, education, work, healing, and as a source of security and—perhaps most importantly—joy. By participating so integrally in such meaningful facets of society, Higgins argues, music situates itself as one of the most fundamental bridges between people, a truly cross-cultural form of communication that can create solidarity across political divides. Moving beyond the well-worn takes on music’s universality, _The Music between Us_ provides a new understanding of what it means to be musical and, in turn, human. (shrink)
If we are to understand Marx's thought, argues French philosopher Michel Henry, we must cast aside Marxism. In his original and richly detailed study of Marx's philosophy, Henry emphasizes the importance of approaching Marx's writings directly, rather than through the intermediary of subsequent interpretations, which often have been politically motivated. In contrast to the usual depiction of Marxian thought as an economically oriented analysis of social reality, Henry contends that in Marx's theory philosophy is primary. Therefore, Marx's writings must properly (...) be viewed--and judged--within the context of the modern philosophical tradition. Marx's basic concern, Henry demonstrates, is with the nature of the human being, the real conditions of human individuality. Central to Henry's reading of Marx, and elaborated here with unprecedented thoroughness, is the theory of praxis, a conception of the individual not as a thinking being, in the Cartesian tradition, but as a laboring being, a producer and consumer situated in a concrete social world. This novel and provocative contribution to the current debate about the nature and meaning of Marx's thought is essential for students of philosophy, Marxism, and political theory. Kathleen McLaughlin's excellent translation of Henry's abridgement of his two-volume work preserves the power and freshness of the French original. (shrink)