If stem cell-based therapies are developed, we will likely confront a difficult problem of justice: for biological reasons alone, the new therapies might benefit only a limited range of patients. In fact, they might benefit primarily white Americans, thereby exacerbating long-standing differences in health and health care.
: In 1998, researchers discovered that embryonic stem cells could be derived from early human embryos. This discovery has raised a series of ethical and public-policy questions that are now being confronted by multiple international organizations, nations, cultures, and religious traditions. This essay surveys policies for human embryonic stem cell research in four regions of the world, reports on the recent debate at the United Nations about one type of such research, and reviews the positions that various religious traditions have (...) adopted regarding this novel type of research. In several instances the religious traditions seem to have influenced the public-policy debates. (shrink)
The expansion of ethics review, beyond its origins in medical research, is the subject of growing critical analysis internationally, especially from social science researchers. Our study builds on this analysis by considering ethics review specifically within tertiary-based educational research. As a foundation for a larger study, we explore the reporting of ethics review within articles from a snapshot of education journals. A cross-sectional review considered 125 articles from 24 journals spanning medical and nurse education, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, (...) and educational technology. Among similar types of research our findings highlight variation in institutional ethical review processes and outcomes. Despite most journals providing guidelines for reporting ethics review, adherence to these guidelines by authors or editors was not always evident, but more likely in health-related education journals. We argue that identified areas of variation may reflect the differing influence and proximity of biomedical values. This influence has been under examined in tertiary-based educational research but may contribute to inequitable learning, researching and publishing experiences, potentially adding to negative sentiment about ethics review. (shrink)
In 1969, the field of human genetics was in its infancy. Amniocentesis was a new technique for prenatal diagnosis, and a newborn genetic screening program had been established in one state. There were also concerns about the potential hazards of genetic engineering. A research group at the Hastings Center and Paul Ramsey pioneered in the discussion of genetics and bioethics. Two principal techniques have emerged as being of enduring importance: human gene transfer research and genetic testing and screening. This essay (...) tracks the development and use of these techniques and considers the ethical issues that they raise. (shrink)
LeRoyWalters was a central figure in debates about federal policy regarding genetics and biotechnology—a neutral, publicly engaged philosopher and religious studies academic who put his skills to work in national service. His career spanned the emergence of biotechnology as a field in the 1970s until his retirement. His interests reached from moral philosophical theory to Holocaust studies to practical concerns about public policy in genetics. We focus here on the role of bioethics in policy related to the (...) advent of human gene transfer, the Human Genome Project, and the emergence of biotechnology as a commercial enterprise. We focus on his role as an academic influencing the government strand of the “triple helix”... (shrink)
Assertion plays a crucial dual role in Frege's conception of logic, a formal and a transcendental one. A recurrent complaint is that Frege's inclusion of the judgement-stroke in the Begriffsschrift is either in tension with his anti-psychologism or wholly superfluous. Assertion, the objection goes, is at best of merely psychological significance. In this paper, I defend Frege against the objection by giving reasons for recognising the central logical significance of assertion in both its formal and its transcendental role.
The last quarter of the twentieth century has given rise to reproductive technologies and arrangements that in the earlier part of the century could only be dreamed of by the authors of science fiction. We stand in the middle of this reproductive revolution, trying to cope with the developments that have already occurred but with an uneasy sense that the future may be even more complicated ethically than the past and the present. In this brief essay, I will survey recent (...) ethical and public-policy discussions of two reproductive techniques (assisted insemination and in vitro fertilization) and one reproductive arrangement (surrogate motherhood). After distinguishing three phases in the normative debate, I will briefly comment on some of the characteristics of, and continuing ambiguities in, the ethical debate of the past 25 years. At the conclusion of the essay, I will attempt to anticipate three future issues in ethics and reproduction. (shrink)
Unlike its predecessors, this systematic survey of the law of Athens is based on explicit discussion of how the subject might be studies, incorporating topics such as the democratic political system and social structure. Technical and legal terms are explained in a comprehensive glossary.
Frege seems committed to the thesis that the senses of the fundamental notions of arithmetic remain stable and are stably grasped by thinkers throughout history. Fully competent practitioners grasp those senses clearly and distinctly, while uncertain practitioners see them, the very same senses, “as if through a mist”. There is thus a common object of the understanding apprehended to a greater or lesser degree by thinkers of diverging conceptual competence. Frege takes the thesis to be a condition for the possibility (...) of the rational intelligibility of mathematical practice. I argue however that the idea that senses could be grasped as a matter of degree is in tension with the constitutive theses that Frege held with regard to sense. Given those theses, there can in fact be no such thing as misty grasp of sense, since any uncertainty as to the logical features of a given sense will entail that one is getting hold of a different sense or of no sense at all. I consider various ways of resolving the tension and conclude that Frege’s thesis cannot be defended if we take it to be a thesis about our competence with concepts. This leaves unresolved what I call the problem of normative guidance, that is, the problem of explaining how the fundamental notions of logic and arithmetic can provide inferential guidance to thinkers. (shrink)
The Hutchins Commission's notion of media responsibility is being re-invigorated by the Corporate Social Responsibility/sustainability movement among U.S. and European corporations, though media companies tend to lag behind in adopting these programs. One exception is Britain's Guardian News that is, that the concept is too vague and poorly elaborated.
This essay explores some moral problems raised by experimentation involving the human fetus. In the first part of the essay three examples of fetal experimentation from the medical literature are described in some detail. Next, the ethical and legal arguments employed in the two major existing public policy-documents on fetal experimentation are analyzed. Finally, the author seeks to identify four fundamental presuppositions which underlie divergent normative positions on the problem of fetal experimentation.