The rapid advances and scope of the Human Genome Project bring into sharp focus the relevance of genetics and ethics for nursing and midwifery practice in the new millennium. This article offers a UK perspective on how education plays a crucial part in preparing practitioners to integrate clinical advances effectively and ethically, yet may be failing in this role. Provision for teaching genetics in the UK has been found to be largely inadequate and the ethical implications of this are reviewed. (...) The context of genetics teaching is a further issue. Genetics is classified in the bioscience component of training courses in nearly 70% of UK nursing colleges; this may be of significance in its perceived relevance to practice. Finally, the ethical issues around the teaching of genetics will be discussed. Educators who are involved in delivering the genetics component of the curriculum are under an obligation to consider how learning is best achieved and how the delivery itself should be ‘ethical’. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to bring recent work on metaphysical grounding to bear on the phenomenon of social construction. It is argued that grounding can be used to analyze social construction and that the grounding framework is helpful for articulating various claims and commitments of social constructionists, especially about social identities, e.g., gender and race. The paper also responds to a number of objections that have been leveled against the application of grounding to social construction from Elizabeth Barnes, (...) Mari Mikkola, and Jessica Wilson. (shrink)
Abstract: Philosophers interested in Kant's relevance to contemporary debates over the nature of mental content—notably Robert Hanna and Lucy Allais—have argued that Kant ought to be credited with being the original proponent of the existence of ‘nonconceptual content’. However, I think the ‘nonconceptualist’ interpretations that Hanna and Allais give do not show that Kant allowed for nonconceptual content as they construe it. I argue, on the basis of an analysis of certain sections of the A and B editions of the (...) Transcendental Deduction, for a ‘conceptualist’ reading of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. My contention is that since Kant's notion of empirical intuition makes essential reference to the categories, it must be true for him that no empirical intuition can be given in sensibility independently of the understanding and its categories. (shrink)
This paper introduces a new approach to the theory of truthmaking. According to this approach, there are multiple forms of truthmaking. Here, I characterize and motivate a specific version of this approach, which I call a ‘Pluralist Theory of Truthmaking.’ It is suggested that truthmaking is a plural, variegated phenomenon wherein different kinds of truths, e.g., positive truths, negative truths, counterfactual truths, etc., are made true in different ways. While the paper only aims to lay the groundwork for a Pluralist (...) Theory of Truthmaking, I show how the theory can be applied to positive and negative truths. The upshot of this application is that truthmaking pluralism allows us to provide negative truths with ‘non-suspicious’ truthmakers. Finally, it is argued that Truthmaker Maximalists would do well to endorse truthmaking pluralism, as it offers a new strategy for upholding Maximalism while diminishing controversial ontological commitments. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the relation between two important metaphysical notions, ‘truthmaking’ and ‘grounding’. I begin by considering various ways in which truthmaking could be explicated in terms of grounding, noting both strengths and weaknesses of these analyses. I go on to articulate a problem for any attempt to analyze truthmaking in terms of a generic and primitive notion of grounding based on differences we find among examples of grounding. Finally, I outline a more complex view of how truthmaking (...) and grounding could relate. On the view explored, truthmaking is a species of grounding differentiated from other species of grounding by the unique form of dependence it involves. (shrink)
Many are committed to the idea that the present generation has obligations to future generations, for example, obligations to preserve the environment and certain natural resources for those generations. However, some philosophers want to explain why we have these obligations in terms of correlative rights that future persons have against persons in the present. Attributing such rights to future persons is controversial, for there seem to be compelling arguments against the position. According to the “nonexistence” argument, future persons cannot have (...) rights (and so should not be attributed rights) because they do not exist. According to the “no-satisfaction” argument, future persons cannot have a right to resources that do not exist at the time of their existence because such a right could not, in principle, be satisfied. In this paper, I will argue that an eternalist ontology of time provides the resources for satisfactorily responding to both the nonexistence and the no-satisfaction arguments. (shrink)
Identifying plausible truthmakers for negative truths has been a serious and perennial problem for truthmaker theory. I argue here that negative truths are indeed made true but not in the way that positive truths are. I rely on a distinction between “existence-independence” and “variation-independence” drawn by Hoffman and Horvath to characterize the unique form of dependence negative truths exhibit on reality. The notion of variation-independence is then used to motivate a principle of truthmaking for contingent negative truths.
This article considers three recent attempts by David Armstrong, Ross Cameron, and Jonathan Schaffer to provide truthmakers for negative existential truths. It is argued that none of the proposed truthmakers are up to the task of making any negative existential truth true and, it will turn out, for the same reason.
The goal of this paper is to make headway on a metaphysics of social construction. In recent work, I’ve argued that social construction should be understood in terms of metaphysical grounding. However, I agree with grounding skeptics like Wilson that bare claims about what grounds what are insufficient for capturing, with fine enough grain, metaphysical dependence structures. To that end, I develop a view on which the social construction of human social kinds is a kind of realization relation. Social kinds, (...) I argue, are multiply realizable kinds. I depart from the Wilson by further arguing that an appeal to grounding is not otiose when it comes to social construction. Social construction, I claim, belongs to the “big-G” Grounding genus, but it is the specific “small-g” relation of realization at work in cases of human kind social construction. (shrink)
This paper concerns the ontological status of ontological categories (e.g., universal, particular, substance, property, relation, kind, object, etc.). I consider E.J. Lowe’s argument for the view that ontological categories do not exist and point out that it has some undesirable consequences for his realist ontology. I go on to argue that the main premise in Lowe’s argument—that ontological categories cannot be categorized—is false and then develop a conception of ontological categories as formal ontological kinds.
This paper considers the prospects for a theory of intergenerational rights in light of certain ontologies of time. It is argued that the attempt to attribute rights to future persons or obligations to present persons towards future persons, faces serious difficulties if the existence of the future is denied. The difficulty of attributing rights to non-existent future persons is diagnosed as a particularly intractable version of the ‘problem of cross-temporal relations’ that plagues No-Futurist views like presentism. I develop a version (...) of the problem of cross-temporal relations regarding cross-temporal normative relations. I then consider and reject various solutions to the problem available to No-Futurists. The upshot of the discussion is that which ontology of time we choose sets constraints on the kinds of explanations we may offer for our future-directed obligations. (shrink)
Language anomalies and left-hemisphere dysfunction are commonly reported in schizophrenia. Additional evidence also suggests differences in the integration of information between the hemispheres. Bilateral gain is the increase in accuracy and decrease in latency that occurs when identical information is presented simultaneously to both hemispheres. This study measured bilateral gain in controls and individuals with schizophrenia using a lexical-decision task where word or non-word judgements were made to letter strings presented in the left visual field , right visual field or (...) bilaterally . Language was not abnormally lateralized in the schizophrenia group. Controls exhibited the expected decrease in latency when words were presented bilaterally. This effect was not observed in the schizophrenia group who were actually disadvantaged in this condition. The lack of bilateral gain in schizophrenia is discussed as arising from differences in the connections between areas in each hemisphere that mediate language. (shrink)