Purpose The debate about the end-of-life care decision is becoming a serious ethical and legal concern in the Far-Eastern countries of Korea, China and Japan. However, the issues regarding end-of-life care will reflect the cultural background, current medical practices and socioeconomic conditions of the countries, which are different from Western countries and between each other. Understanding the genuine thoughts of patients who are critically ill is the first step in confronting the issues, and a comparative descriptive study of these perspectives (...) was conducted by collaboration between researchers in all three countries. Methods Surveys using self-reporting paper questionnaire forms were conducted from December 2008 to April 2009 in Korea (six hospitals in two regions), China (five hospitals in four regions) and Japan (nine hospitals in one region). The subjects were patients who were critically ill who had been diagnosed as having cancer. A total of 235 participants (Korea, 91; China, 62; Japan, 52) were eventually recruited and statistically analysed. Results Most respondents had sometimes or often thought of their own death, mostly fear of ‘separation from loved ones’. They wanted to hear the news regarding their own condition directly and frankly from the physician. A quarter of them preferred making end-of-life care decisions by themselves, while many respondents favoured a ‘joint decision’ with their family members. The most favoured proxy decision maker was the spouse, followed by the children. Most admitted the necessity of ‘advance directives’ and agreed with artificial ventilation withdrawal in irreversible conditions. The most common reason was ‘artificial prolongation of life is unnecessary’. Most respondents agreed with the concept of active euthanasia; however, significant differences were sometimes observed in the responses according to variables such as patient's country of origin, age, gender and education level. Conclusion Patients in Far-Eastern countries gave various responses regarding end-of-life care decisions. Although familial input is still influential, most patients think of themselves as the major decision maker and accept the necessity of advance directives with Westernization of the society. Artificial ventilation withdrawal and even active euthanasia may be acceptable to them. (shrink)
Résumé: Fruit du colloque "Spiritualité japonaise - Perceptions et représentations, entre tradition et occidentalisation" organisé par les Universités Libre de Bruxelles et Catholique de Louvain, cet ouvrage propose des recherches en philosophie de la religion sur le Japon comparativement à l’Occident.
The Vārṣṇeyādhyātma, which is comprised of chapters 203–210 of the 12th Book of the Mahābhārata, is an early exposition of the practice of Yoga centered on the manas and the bodily channel called manovahā. The importance of the Vārṣṇeyādhyātma’s doctrine for the history of Yoga has not been appropriately acknowledged in previous research and its systematic description of the practice of Yoga has never been studied in its entirety. A careful reading of the text suggests that the Vārṣṇeyādhyātma touches upon (...) the physiological as well as psychological aspects of a human being in the context of the practice of Yoga. This paper attempts to reconstruct the Vārṣṇeyādhyātma’s understanding of the manas and the manovahā channel on the basis of a critical reading of Mahābhārata 12.207.16–29. (shrink)
In this paper, we model a relational notion of subjectivity by means of two experiments in subjective computing. The goal is to determine to what extent a cognitive and social robot can be regarded to act subjectively. The system was implemented as a reinforcement learning agent with a coaching function. To analyze the robotic agent we used the method of levels of abstraction in order to analyze the agent at four levels of abstraction. At one level the agent is described (...) in mentalistic or subjective language respectively. By mapping this mentalistic to an algorithmic, functional, and relational level, we can show to what extent the agent behaves subjectively as we make use of a relational concept of subjectivity that draws upon the relations that hold between the agent and its environment. According to a relational notion of subjectivity, an agent is supposed to be subjective if it exhibits autonomous relations to itself and others, i.e. the agent is not fully determined by a given input but is able to operate on its input and decide what to do with it. This theoretical notion is confirmed by the technical implementation of self-referentiality and social interaction in that the agent shows improved behavior compared to agents without the ability of subjective computing. On the one hand, a relational concept of subjectivity is confirmed, whereas on the other hand, the technical framework of subjective computing is being theoretically founded. (shrink)
Background: Sharing of tissue samples for research and disease surveillance purposes has become increasingly important. While it is clear that this is an area of intense, international controversy, there is an absence of data about what researchers themselves and those involved in the transfer of samples think about these issues, particularly in developing countries. Methods: A survey was carried out in a number of Asian countries and in Egypt to explore what researchers and others involved in research, storage and transfer (...) of human tissue samples thought about some of the issues related to sharing of such samples. Results: The results demonstrated broad agreement with the positions taken by developing countries in the current debate, favoring quite severe restrictions on the use of samples by developed countries. Conclusions: It is recommended that an international agreement is developed on what conditions should be attached to any sharing of human tissue samples across borders. (shrink)
Philosophy has repeatedly denied cinema in order to grant it artistic status. Adorno, for example, defined an ‘uncinematic’ element in the negation of movement in modern cinema, ‘which constitutes its artistic character’. Similarly, Lyotard defended an ‘acinema’, which rather than selecting and excluding movements through editing, accepts what is ‘fortuitous, dirty, confused, unclear, poorly framed, overexposed’. In his Handbook of Inaesthetics, Badiou embraces a similar idea, by describing cinema as an ‘impure circulation’ that incorporates the other arts. Resonating with Bazin (...) and his defence of ‘impure cinema’, that is, of cinema's interbreeding with other arts, Badiou seems to agree with him also in identifying the uncinematic as the location of the Real. This article will investigate the particular impurities of cinema that drive it beyond the specificities of the medium and into the realm of the other arts and the reality of life itself. Privileged examples will be drawn from various moments in film history and geography, starting with the analysis of two films by Jafar Panahi: This Is Not a Film, whose anti-cinema stance in announced in its own title; and The Mirror, another relentless exercise in self-negation. It goes on to examine Kenji Mizoguchi's deconstruction of cinematic acting in his exploration of the geidomono genre in The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, and culminates in the conjuring of the physical experience of death through the systematic demolition of film genres in The Act of Killing. (shrink)
The cyborg inscribes itself nearly everywhere, forcing us to re-examine discourses of humanity, modernity, Japan, and technology. I will trace the early history of the cyborg, from its hidden roots and precursors in fin de siècle Gothic fiction to its fully formed conception in 1990s science fiction and Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto. I will then move beyond the well-known cyborg genealogy to delve into contemporary portrayals that radically expand the cyborg’s political potential, and posthuman role, through an analysis of (...) class='Hi'>Kenji Kamiyama’s Kōkaku Kidōtai Sutando Arōn Konpurekkusu (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), the 2002-2003 TV series based on Shirō Masamune’s 1989-91 manga Kōkaku Kidōtai (Ghost in the Shell). (shrink)
Amid continuing social unrest from the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011, the Japanese government announced plans for a major biobanking project in the disaster-stricken areas, to be administered by the ‘Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization’ (ToMMo). This project differs from previous biobanking projects in that it 1) was initiated mainly to boost post-disaster recovery and reconstruction; and 2) targets the area’s survivors as its primary subjects. Here, we review the ethics of the ToMMo biobanking project (...) within the wider context of disaster remediation. (shrink)
It can be intuitively understood that sets and their elements in mathematics reflect the atomistic way of thinking in physics: Sets correspond to physical properties, and their elements correspond to particles that have these properties. At the same time, quantum statistics and quantum field theory strongly support the view that quantum particles are not individuals. Some of the problems faced in modern physics may be caused by such discrepancy between set theory and physical theory. The question then arises: Is it (...) possible to reconstruct the concept of set as a collection of objects that model quantum particles rather than as a mere collection of individuals? David Deutsch has argued that identical entities can be diverse in their attributes, and that this nature, what he calls fungibility, must lie at the heart of quantum physics. In line with this idea, a set theory with fungible elements is established, and the collection of such sets is shown to be endowed with an ortholattice structure, which is better known as quantum logic. (shrink)
The concept of quantum logic is extended so that it covers a more general set of propositions that involve non-trivial probabilities. This structure is shown to be embedded into a multi-modal framework, which has desirable logical properties such as an axiomatization, the finite model property and decidability.
Quantum logic is only applicable to microscopic phenomena while classical logic is exclusively used for everyday reasoning, including mathematics. It is shown that both logics are unified in the framework of modal interpretation. This proposed method deals with classical propositions as latently modalized propositions in the sense that they exhibit manifest modalities to form quantum logic only when interacting with other classical subsystems.