Ethicists, researchers and policy makers have paid increasing attention to the ethical conduct of research, especially research involving human beings. Research performed with and by undergraduates poses a specific set of ethical challenges. These challenges are often overlooked by the research community because it is assumed that undergraduate student researchers do not have a significant impact on the research community and that their projects are not host to research posing important ethical issues. This paper identifies several features characteristic of research (...) in undergraduate environments. The paper pays special attention to selective small liberal arts colleges, an important segment of higher education in the US, and advocates integrating instruction in research ethics wherever undergraduates are engaged in research. (shrink)
This paper examines the characteristics of infectious diseases that raise special medical and social ethical issues, and explores ways of integrating both current bioethical and classical public health ethics concerns. Many of the ethical issues raised by infectious diseases are related to these diseases' powerful ability to engender fear in individuals and panic in populations. We address the association of some infectious diseases with high morbidity and mortality rates, the sense that infectious diseases are caused by invasion or attack on (...) humans by foreign micro-organisms, the acute onset and rapid course of many infectious diseases, and, in particular, the communicability of infectious diseases. The individual fear and community panic associated with infectious diseases often leads to rapid, emotionally driven decision making about public health policies needed to protect the community that may be in conflict with current bioethical principles regarding the care of individual patients. The discussion includes recent examples where dialogue between public health practitioners and medical-ethicists has helped resolve ethical issues that require us to consider the infected patient as both a victim with individual needs and rights and as a potential vector of disease that is of concern to the community. (shrink)
Numerous grounds have been offered for the view that healthcare workers have a duty to treat, including expressed consent, implied consent, special training, reciprocity (also called the social contract view), and professional oaths and codes. Quite often, however, these grounds are simply asserted without being adequately defended or without the defenses being critically evaluated. This essay aims to help remedy that problem by providing a critical examination of the strengths and weaknesses of each of these five grounds for asserting that (...) healthcare workers have a duty to treat, especially as that duty would arise in the context of an infectious disease pandemic. Ultimately, it argues that none of the defenses is currently sufficient to ground the kind of duty that would be needed in a pandemic. It concludes by sketching some practical recommendations in that regard. (shrink)
The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component (...) can be taken off-line and used to perform some other function. On this view of off-line simulation, such accounts differ radically from traditional information-based accounts of cognitive capacities. And cognitive penetrability provides a wedge for empirically determining whether a capacity requires an information-based account or an off-line simulation account. Stich and Nichols (1992) argued that the simulation theory of behavior prediction was inadequate because behavior prediction seemed to be cognitively penetrable. We present empirical evidence that supports the claim that the behavior prediction is cognitively penetrable. As a result, the simulation account of behavior prediction still seems unpromising. However, off-line simulation might provide accounts of other cognitive capacities. Indeed, off- line simulation accounts have recently been offered for a strikingly diverse set of capacities including counterfactual reasoning, empathy and mental imagery. Goldman, for instance, maintains that counterfactual reasoning and empathy clearly demand off-line simulation accounts. We argue that there are alternative information-based explanations of these phenomena. Nonetheless, the off-line accounts of these phenomena are interesting and clearly worthy of further exploration. (shrink)
Over three previous editions, Ten Theories of Human Nature has been a remarkably popular introduction to some of the most influential developments in Western and Eastern thought. This thoroughly revised fourth edition features substantial new chapters on Aristotle and on evolutionary theories of human nature; the latter centers on Edward O. Wilson but also outlines the ideas of Emile Durkheim, B. F. Skinner, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, Noam Chomsky, and recent evolutionary psychology. This edition also includes a rewritten introduction that (...) invites readers (even if inclined toward fundamentalism, or to cultural relativism) to careful, critical thought about human nature; a useful new section that summarizes the history of ideas from the Stoics to the Enlightenment; and a new conclusion that suggests a way to synthesize the various theories. Lucid and accessible, Ten Theories of Human Nature, 4/e, compresses into a small space the essence of such ancient traditions as Confucianism, Hinduism, and the Old and New Testaments as well as the theories of Plato, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Jean-Paul Sartre. The authors juxtapose the ideas of these and other thinkers and traditions in a way that helps readers understand how humanity has struggled to comprehend its nature. To encourage readers to think critically for themselves and to underscore the similarities and differences between the many theories, the book examines each one on four points--the nature of the universe, the nature of humanity, the diagnosis of the ills of humanity, and the proposed cure for these problems. Ideal for introductory courses in human nature, philosophy, religious studies, and intellectual history, Ten Theories of Human Nature, 4/e, will engage and motivate students and other readers to consider how we can understand and improve both ourselves and human society. (shrink)
The question 'Why should I obey the law?' introduces a contemporary puzzle that is as old as philosophy itself. The puzzle is especially troublesome if we think of cases in which breaking the law is not otherwise wrongful, and in which the chances of getting caught are negligible. Philosophers from Socrates to H.L.A. Hart have struggled to give reasoned support to the idea that we do have a general moral duty to obey the law but, more recently, the greater number (...) of learned voices has expressed doubt that there is any such duty, at least as traditionally conceived. (shrink)
Examination of recent debates about belief shows the need to distinguish: (a) non-linguistic informational states in animal perception; (b) the uncritical use of language, e.g. by children; (c) adult humans' reasoned judgments. If we also distinguish between mind-directed and object-directed mental states, we have: Perceptual 'beliefs' of animals and infants about their material environment. 'Beliefs' of animals and infants about the mental states of others. Linguistically-expressible beliefs about the world, resulting from e.g. the uncritical tendency to believe what we are (...) told. Uncritically-formed beliefs about the mental states. Beliefs about the material world arrived at by the weighing of evidence. Beliefs about mental states formed by critical assessment. (shrink)
During the Easter Season Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary invites participating churches to draw on early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles as the guiding reading for the principal Sunday service. This study employs the SIFT approach to biblical hermeneutics to engage a group of 24 Anglican clergy serving in Eastern Newfoundland to reflect on the Easter message within the mysterious case of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8: 26-40. By inviting these clergy to work in type-alike (...) groups this study draws attention to the distinctive voices of sensing types, intuitive types, feeling types, and thinking types, as defined by psychological type theory. Sensing types gave close attention to the details within the text. Intuitive types identified the big themes arising from the text. Feeling types focused on the characters, the relationships and the values within the narrative. Thinking types analysed the issues and problems arising from the narrative. These data supported the hermeneutical theory proposed by the SIFT approach to biblical hermeneutics and illustrated the value of drawing on all four psychological functions in order to enrich the process and content of liturgical preaching. (shrink)
Organ trafficking and trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ transplantation are recognized as significant international problems. Yet these forms of trafficking are largely left out of international criminal law regimes and to some extent of domestic criminal law regimes as well. Trafficking of organs or persons for their organs does not come within the jurisdiction of the ICC, except in very special cases such as when conducted in a manner that conforms to the definitions of genocide or crimes (...) against humanity. Although the United States Code characterizes trafficking as a transnational crime with national implications, (22 U.S.C. Â§ 7101(b)(24) (2010)), trafficking is rarely prosecuted in domestic courts. It has thus functioned in practice largely as what might be judged a stateless offense, out of the purview of both international and national courts. Yet these forms of organ trafficking remain widespreadâand devastating to those who are its victims. In this article, we begin by describing what is known about the extent of organ trafficking and trafficking in persons for the purpose of removal of organs. We then critically evaluate how and why such trafficking has remained largely unaddressed by both international and domestic criminal law regimes. This state of affairs, we argue, presents a missed chance for developing the legitimacy of international criminal law and an illustration of how far current international legal institutions remain from ideal justice. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Watershed planning has typically been approached as a technical problem in which water quality and quantity as influenced by the hydrology, topography, soil composition, and land use of a watershed are the significant variables. However, it is the human uses of land and water as resources that stimulate governments to seek planning. For the past decade or more, many efforts have been made to create democratic planning processes, which, it is hoped, will be viewed as legitimate by those the plans (...) regulate. This article uses a case study of the Cache River watershed in southernmost Illinois to analyze the complicated historical and political economic context of a specific watershed planning process that occurred from 1993 through 1995. This article assesses the claims made about the democratic, grass-roots, deliberative nature of the planning process and casts doubt on the legitimacy of its outcomes. It also proposes an alternative form of governance that would be both democratic and capable of generating outcomes viewed as legitimate by most affected parties. (shrink)
The case and commentaries below were developed as part of a project, Graduate Research Ethics Education, undertaken by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant No. SBR 9421897 and NSF Grant No. 9817880). The project aims at training graduate students in research ethics and building a community of scientists and engineers who are interested in and capable of teaching research ethics. As part of the project, each graduate student participant develops a (...) case for use in teaching and writes a commentary to go with the case, and then a staff member is asked to write additional commentary on the case. The case below was written in the second year of the project and was published in Research Ethics: Cases and Commentaries edited by B. Schrag, Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, Bloomington, Indiana, Vol. II (1998). Publication of these cases and commentaries will be a recurring feature of Science and Engineering Ethics. (shrink)
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick FerrZ. These essays, informed by the insights of FerrZ and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.