Recruiting adolescents into smoking cessation studies is challenging, particularly given institutional review board (IRB) requirements for research conducted with adolescents. This article provides a brief review of the federal regulations that apply to research conducted with adolescents, and describes researchers' experiences of seeking IRB approval for youth cessation research. Twenty-one researchers provided information. The most frequently reported difficulty involved obtaining parental consent. Solutions to commonly reported problems with obtaining IRB approval are also identified. Waivers of parental consent can facilitate recruitment (...) of youths into studies; however, researchers must ensure that their protocols comply with federal regulations when requesting a waiver. (shrink)
A content analysis of 48 children's realistic animal stories shows an emphasis on pets and petkeeping that can both challenge and support traditional human-animal boundaries. The genre's sympathetic portrayal of pet animals and the condemnation of theirmistreatment invite the reader to challenge such boundaries. Yet the genre's stereotypical portrayal of these animals also constrains our conceptualization of the human-animal bond. The author discusses these and other narrative elements which render this form of popular culture ambiguous terrain for negotiating an ethic (...) of respect for nonhuman others which goes beyond most contemporary arrangements. (shrink)
Almost a hundred years ago, John Dewey clarified the relationship between democracy and education. However, the enactment of a 'deeply democratic' educational practice has proven elusive throughout the ensuing century, overridden by managerial approaches to schooling young people and to the standardized, technical preparation and professional development of teachers and educational leaders. A powerful counter-narrative to this 'standardized management paradigm' exists in the field of curriculum studies, but is largely ignored by mainstream approaches to the professional development of educators. This (...) paper argues for a reconceptualized, differentiated, and 'disciplined' approach to the professional development of educators in democratic societies that builds capacity for curriculum leadership. In support of this proposal, we amplify the tenets of Dewey's pragmatic social and educational philosophy, which have long been at the heart of democratic educational thought, with Badiou's more contemporary thinking about the important relationships between truth as inspirational awakening, subjectification as existential commitment, and ethical fidelity as 'for all' action. (shrink)
For the most of us, work is an entirely non-discretionary activity, an inescapable and irreducible fact of existence. According to E. F. Schumacher one of the darkest aspects of contemporary work life is the existence of an appalling number of men and women condemned to work which has no connection with their inner lives, no meaning for them whatever. Work for too many people is perceived as down-time, something that has to be done, but seldom adding to who they are. (...) And yet recent surveys indicate that 74% of the work force would chose to work even if they were not financially required to do so. Why?This paper contends that people want to work because they are intuitively aware that work, be it bad or good, helps to shape them. It gives them a sense of direction and allows them the opportunity for personal creativity and fulfillment. Work is the axis of human self-making. Work molds the person and work is the mark of a person. Satisfaction with life seems to be related to satisfaction with our work and the quality of our lives seems dependent on the quality of work that we do. (shrink)
"How, if at all, is responsibility possible," and "What kind of beings must we be if we are ever to be responsible for the results of our wills?". This study is not intended to guarantee final answers to these questions. What Wolf's study attempts to offer is insight into and a new perspective on the problem of the relationship between responsibility and freedom; it accomplishes this. After introducing us to the dilemma of autonomy as an issue germane to the problem, (...) Wolf embarks upon an examination and criticism of two standard positions: The Real Self View and the Autonomy View. While both of these contain plausible arguments, Wolf's examination exposes their inadequacies. According to the Real Self View, the actions of an agent are free and responsible if those actions arise out of one's own valuation system and are governed by the desires of the real self. The major difficulty is that if the real self is "deeply responsible" so as to deserve praise or blame, it leaves unanswered an explanation of why the real self is "deeply responsible" at all. Hence, the Real Self View fails to provide a solution. The Autonomy View is more radical and less defensible than the Real Self View. An autonomous agent can make choices on no basis, and is no more bound by reason than desire. To want autonomy is not only to want the ability to make choices when no choices exist, but to desire to be able to make choices for no reason, even if a reason exists. Wolf targets the vulnerability of the position. Prescinding from a cognitive perspective of reason, Wolf describes reason as a "normative faculty," or "whatever faculties are thought to be most likely to lead to true beliefs and good values". Concrete examples provide Wolf with supportive evidence that no responsible agent would want the ability to act contrary to reason. Like the Real Self View, the Autonomy View is inadequate. Wolf procedes to formulate her own theory in which reason plays a pivotal role. Her view is marked by a refreshing simplicity that does not undermine its philosophical soundness or its persuasiveness. According to Wolf's view, or the Reason View, the condition for responsibility is the ability to act in accordance with right reasons, the true, and the good. Philosophically, the true and the good are concepts that invite endless inquiry and debate. Wolf wisely avoids the pitfalls of many inquisitors and assumes a common sense, matter of fact approach to what constitutes the true and the good. There is objectivity in the world sufficient to yield empirical beliefs. Responsible agents are able to discern the true from the false and form value judgments that serve as a basis for action. Absolute metaphysical independence is not integral to responsible action, since there is always the presence of physical and psychological factors. But these factors are not so great as to deter or hinder responsible action. Whether or not an agent ultimately chooses to do that which is objectively better than something else does not alter the fact that one has the ability to act responsibly. Using the fundamental rational powers of perception, imagination, reflection, training, and logical thinking, the agent can recognize and appreciate the true and the good and act in accordance with them. The Reason View presumes that those whose intellectual and emotional capabilities fall within the range of normality are able to perceive what is objectively valid and morally good. Responsible action extends beyond the bounds of the moral sphere. Included under the category of responsible action are aesthetic, as well as personal, goals, and whatever else may be seen as good for the agent. What reason values as good has objective validity, albeit not absolute validity. What is good for the agent can never be judged apart from a given, determinate environment or from the psychological disposition of the agent that has its own normative competence. In its judgments, reason accommodates itself to both factors, and the responsible agent comes to see and appreciate the True and the Good. Wolf does not absolutize her theory; she offers it as working moral certitude for responsible agents. Her claim is that if the Reason View is correct, "It is important to cultivate and promote an open and active mind and an attitude of alertness and sensitivity to the world," so that one can come to "appreciate the True and Good" and "direct one's actions, in light of them". One can find little to discredit in Wolf's arguments, and her approach to the problem of the relationship between responsibility and freedom provides a relief from the tedious and convoluted debates that often take place when this issue is the topic.--Kathleen R. Madden, Chicago, Ill. (shrink)
Sorabji has written a comprehensive and scholarly volume on the concepts of Time, Creation, and the Continuum and their development from antiquity up until the early middle ages. The major portion of the book, however, focuses on the ancient period from the pre-Socratics through the Neoplatonic period. Sorabji does, however, trace the influence of Hellenistic thought on early medieval theory especially that of the Islamic tradition. Before going into some of the specific areas that are covered it is worth noting (...) that this work is a contribution not only to philosophy but to mathematics, physics, and other disciplines interested in the topic of time. A word of caution. This is a formidable book to digest, not because of any deficiency on the part of the author but because of the subject matter which demands at least an elementary grasp of physics. For those who are willing to apply themselves diligently to the task of accompanying Sorabji in his scrupulous analysis of the texts and trenchant criticism the venture will be rewarded. The scope of Sorabji's project is so extensive that one would anticipate that the material might be treated superficially. This is not the case. He is so conscientious in mining the original texts as well as secondary sources that we cannot but be impressed by his commitment to scholarship and thoroughness. An example of the author's credentials as a scholar is the fact that he includes in the book no less than 476 bibliographical entries categorized under very specific headings. An instance of this is that under the general rubric of Time there are listings under the categories of Time and determinism, Is time real?, Time, change and flow, and Timelessness and changelessness. The chapters are replete with footnotes and cross referencing. To further facilitate the reader there is an extensive index that exhausts every conceivable person and subject discussed in the corpus. This is a decided advantage since the book is of such quality that it deserves to serve as a permanent source book especially for those interested in the concept of time as it develops in the ancient period. What does Sorabji offer in the way of content? In Part I on "The Reality of Time" the question is raised, "Is Time Real?" Subsequently, Chapter 2 offers the solutions from Diodorus to August. Chapter 3 is titled "Iamblichus' Solution: Static and Flowing Time," Chapter 4, "Aristotle on Static and Flowing Time," and Chapter 5, "Solutions by the Last Athenian Neoplatonists." Part II is concerned with "Eternity," Part III, "Time and Creation," Part IV, "Creation and Cause," Part V, "Atoms, Time-Atoms and the Continuum," a total of 26 chapters. While the main intent of Sorabji is to critically examine the texts and give his own exegesis supported by other commentators of note he is not remiss in giving recognition to those of opposing views, such as Norman Kretzmann, A. C. Lloyd, and Myles Burnyeat. If one could trigger in on one or more positive contributions of the book it is the consideration rendered to some less well known or at least less treated philosophers of the ancient period such as Diodorus Cronus, Iamblichus and Damascius, to cite only a few. One of the most stimulating chapters is the one on eternity in which Sorabji raises the question, "Is eternity timeless?" The answer would seem to have recourse to analytic analysis of the concept of eternity that implies opposition to time. But the fact is there are a plethora of interpretations of the concept that do not espouse the timelessness of eternity and Sorabji investigates them all with a commitment to give air to both negative and positive responses to the question although he asserts at the beginning what his own response is. Whatever effort is spent in mining the contents of this book will be remunerated by an in-depth, scholarly, and provocative analysis of some of the theories of time that have come down to us from the Hellenistic period and have since been revived and subjected to scrutiny even in the last decade with the emergence of the quantum theory that proposes an atomic structure of the universe.--Kathleen R. Madden, De Paul University, Chicago. (shrink)
Why Don't You Just Talk to Him? looks at the broad political contexts in which violence, specifically domestic violence, occurs. Kathleen Arnold argues that liberal and Enlightenment notions of the social contract, rationality and egalitarianism -- the ideas that constitute norms of good citizenship -- have an inextricable relationship to violence. According to this dynamic, targets of abuse are not rational, make bad choices, are unable to negotiate with their abusers, or otherwise violate norms of the social contract; they (...) are, thus, second-class citizens. In fact, as Arnold shows, drawing from Nietzsche and Foucault's theories of power and arguing against much of the standard policy literature on domestic violence, the very mechanisms that purportedly help targets of domestic abuse actually work to compound the problem by exacerbating the power differences between the abuser and the abused. The book argues that a key to understanding how to prevent domestic violence is seeing it as a political rather than a personal issue, with political consequences. It seeks to challenge Enlightenment ideas about intimacy that conceive of personal relationships as mutual, equal and contractual. Put another way, it challenges policy ideas that suggest that targets of abuse can simply choose to leave abusive relationships without other personal or economic consequences, or that there is a clear and consistent level of help once they make the choice to leave. Asking "Why Don't You Just Talk to Him?" is in reality a suggestion riven with contradictions and false choices. Arnold further explores these issues by looking at two key asylum cases that highlight contradictions within the government's treatment of foreigners and that of long-term residents. These cases expose problematic assumptions in the approach to domestic violence more generally. Exposing major injustices from the point of view of domestic violence targets, this book promises to generate further debate, if not consensus. (shrink)
Chimpanzee/human technological differences are vast, reflect multiple interacting behavioral processes, and may result from the increased information-processing and hierarchical mental constructional capacities of the human brain. Therefore, advanced social, technical, and communicative capacities probably evolved together in concert with increasing brain size. Interpretations of these evolutionary and species differences as continuities or discontinuities reflect differing scientific perspectives.
Wilkins & Wakefield fall short of solving the language origin puzzle because they underestimate the cognitive and linguistic capacities of great apes. A focus on ape capacities leads to the recognition of varied levels of cognition and language and to a gradualistic model of language emergence in which early hominid language skills exceed those of the apes but fall far short of those of modern humans or later fossil hominid groups.
Natural selection favors not only more adaptive structural features but also more effective behavioral programs. Crucial for the prospering and very survival of an extremely sophisticated social species like homo sapiens is the biological/psychological program that might be conveniently labeled the human sense of fairness: a feeling often referred to in societies featuring supernaturalized explanations as one's "God given conscience." The sense of fairness and related programs derive a measure of their effectiveness from the fact that, in addition to the (...) pleasure/pain mechanisms reinforcing their implementation, we are programmed to want to want the goals they introduce and to experience repugnance in the face of goals that strongly conflict. (shrink)
The results of recent community epidemiological research are reviewed, documenting that major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent, persistent, and often seriously impairing disorder, and that bipolar disorder (BPD) is less prevalent but more persistent and more impairing than MDD. The higher persistence and severity of BPD results in a substantial proportion of all seriously impairing depressive episodes being due to threshold or subthreshold BPD rather than to MDD. Although the percentage of people with mood disorders in treatment has (...) increased substantially since the early 1990s, a majority of cases remain either untreated or undertreated. An especially serious concern is the misdiagnosis of depressive episodes due to BPD as due to MDD because the majority of depression treatment involves medication provided by primary care doctors in the absence of psychotherapy. The article closes with a discussion of future directions for research. (shrink)
David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a harm, and that – for all of us unfortunate enough to have come into existence – it would be better had we never come to be. We contend that if one accepts Benatar’s arguments for the asymmetry between the presence and absence of pleasure and pain, and the poor quality of life, one must also accept that suicide is preferable to continued existence, and that his view therefore implies both anti-natalism (...) and pro-mortalism. This conclusion has been argued for before by Elizabeth Harman – she takes it that because Benatar claims that our lives are ‘awful’, it follows that ‘we would be better off to kill ourselves’. Though we agree with Harman’s conclusion, we think that her argument is too quick, and that Benatar’s arguments for non-pro-mortalism deserve more serious consideration than she gives them. We make our case using a tripartite structure. We start by examining the prima facie case for the claim that pro-mortalism follows from Benatar’s position, presenting his response to the contrary, and furthering the dialectic by showing that Benatar’s position is not just that coming into existence is a harm, but that existence itself is a harm. We then look to Benatar’s treatment of the Epicurean line, which is important for him as it undermines his anti-death argument for non-pro-mortalism. We demonstrate that he fails to address the concern that the Epicurean line raises, and that he cannot therefore use the harm of death as an argument for non-pro-mortalism. Finally, we turn to Benatar’s ro-life argument for non-pro-mortalism, built upon his notion of interests, and argue that while the interest in continued existence may indeed have moral relevance, it is almost always irrational. Given that neither Benatar’s anti-death nor pro-life arguments for non-pro-mortalism work, we conclude that pro-mortalism follows from his anti-natalism, As such, if it is better never to have been, then it is better no longer to be. (shrink)
Functionalist theories of mind sometimes have viewed consciousness as emerging simply from the computational activity of extremely complex information-processing systems. Empirical evidence suggests strongly, however, that experiences without content ("pure consciousness" events, or "core mystical experience") and devoid of subjectivity (no sense of agency or ownership) do happen. The occurrence of such consciousness, lacking all informational content, counts against any theory that equates consciousness with the mere "flow of information," no matter how intricate.
Many believe that the ethical problems of donation after cardiocirculatory death (DCD) have been "worked out" and that it is unclear why DCD should be resisted. In this paper we will argue that DCD donors may not yet be dead, and therefore that organ donation during DCD may violate the dead donor rule. We first present a description of the process of DCD and the standard ethical rationale for the practice. We then present our concerns with DCD, including the following: (...) irreversibility of absent circulation has not occurred and the many attempts to claim it has have all failed; conflicts of interest at all steps in the DCD process, including the decision to withdraw life support before DCD, are simply unavoidable; potentially harmful premortem interventions to preserve organ utility are not justifiable, even with the help of the principle of double effect; claims that DCD conforms with the intent of the law and current accepted medical standards are misleading and inaccurate; and consensus statements by respected medical groups do not change these arguments due to their low quality including being plagued by conflict of interest. Moreover, some arguments in favor of DCD, while likely true, are "straw-man arguments," such as the great benefit of organ donation. The truth is that honesty and trustworthiness require that we face these problems instead of avoiding them. We believe that DCD is not ethically allowable because it abandons the dead donor rule, has unavoidable conflicts of interests, and implements premortem interventions which can hasten death. These important points have not been, but need to be fully disclosed to the public and incorporated into fully informed consent. These are tall orders, and require open public debate. Until this debate occurs, we call for a moratorium on the practice of DCD. (shrink)
How do physicians handle informing patients of their diagnoses and how much information do patients really want? How do registered nurses view both sides of this question? Three questionnaires were constructed and administered in a mid-size hospital in New York state. Physicians and nurses underestimate the number of patients who want detailed information. Patients who earn more than average, have a college education, and who are under age 60 are more likely to want information, and state that their physician should (...) give it to them. Only 42% of physicians state that patients want a detailed description of their diagnosis and treatment options. Physicians educated outside the USA appeared to be more likely to change their criteria for informing patients and, along with American-educated nurses, were more willing to participate in formal discussions of the issue. Physicians should comply with the wishes of patients for information and include them in the team deciding on diagnosis and treatment. (shrink)
Given that university faculty members and supervisors practicing in the community have been involved in at least one research supervisor-graduate student relationship, it is surprising that so little attention has been paid to the ethical issues involved in such relationships. Indeed, as a student and her or his graduate research supervisor may be involved in a close working relationship for many years, it is understandable that several opportunities can arise that could be considered dual or multiple relationships. Examples of such (...) relationship issues discussed in this article include authorship matters, favoritism or inequitable treatment of students, and sexual relationships. Depending on the nature of the relationship, the impact on students can be quite severe; although, the effects on students have not been adequately studied. Existing ethical guidelines do not provide enough guidance in this area where students are in a position of diminished power with respect to the supervisor. Following the discussion of relationship issues, we suggest extensions of current guidelines to deal with these issues. (shrink)
In this second set of essays, Dai Qing aims her literary gun at several targets—both to the political left and right. At the same time, she reveals a certain tough-mindedness on policy issues in China and a strong sense of nationalism, views that are not generally associated with intellectuals of her political and cultural stripe.