What does American pragmatism contribute to contemporary debates about human-animal relationships? Does it acknowledge our connections to all living things? Does it bring us closer to an ethical treatment of all animals?
In the past thirty years environmental ethics has emerged as one of the most vibrant and exciting areas of applied philosophy. Several journals and hundreds of books testify to its growing importance inside and outside philosophical circles. But with all of this scholarly output, it is arguably the case that environmental ethics is not living up to its promise of providing a philosophical contribution to the resolution of environmental problems. This article surveys the current state of the field and offers (...) an alternative path for the future development of environmental ethics toward a more publicly engaged model of applied philosophy. (shrink)
Over the past 35 years, patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits. The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of medicine through its influence over what drugs are developed, how they are tested, and how medical knowledge is created. Since 1906, heavy commercial influence has compromised congressional legislation to protect the public from unsafe drugs. The authorization of user fees in 1992 has turned drug companies into the FDA's (...) prime clients, deepening the regulatory and cultural capture of the agency. Industry has demanded shorter average review times and, with less time to thoroughly review evidence, increased hospitalizations and deaths have resulted. Meeting the needs of the drug companies has taken priority over meeting the needs of patients. Unless this corruption of regulatory intent is reversed, the situation will continue to deteriorate. We offer practical suggestions including: separating the funding of clinical trials from their conduct, analysis, and publication; independent FDA leadership; full public funding for all FDA activities; measures to discourage R&D on drugs with few, if any, new clinical benefits; and the creation of a National Drug Safety Board. (shrink)
When constructing environmental policies in democratic regimes, there is a need for a theory that can be used not only by academics but also by politicians and activists. So why has the major part of environmental ethics failed to penetrate environmental policy and serve as its rationale? Obviously, there is a gap between the questions that environmental philosophers discuss and the issues that motivate environmental activists. Avner de‐Shalit attempts to bridge this gap by combining tools of political philosophy with questions (...) of environmental ethics and environmental politics. He defends a radical position in relation to both environmental protection and social policies, in order to put forward a political theory, which is not only philosophically sound, but also relevant to the practice of environmental activism. The author argues that several directions in environmental ethics can be at odds with the contemporary political debates surrounding environmental politics. He then goes on to examine the environmental scope of liberalism, communitarianism, participatory democracy, and socialism, and concludes that while elements of liberalism and communitarianism may support environmental protection, it is participatory democracy and a modified version of socialism that are crucial for protecting the environment. (shrink)
The author recounts his experience with an uDCD program that ran for three years at the Washington Hospital I Center in Washington, D.C. in the 1990s. Challenges, I benefits, and lessons learned are considered in depth. A I primary focus is the importance of community education, Organ Procurement Organization support, and the need for immediate in-situ preservation of organs.
Discussion of ecological restoration in environmental ethics has tended to center on issues about the nature and character of the values that may or may not be produced by restored landscapes. In this paper we shift the philosophical discussion to another set of issues: the social and political context in which restorations are performed. We offer first an evaluation of the political issues in the practice of restoration in general and second an assessment of the political context into which restoration (...) is moving. The former focuses on the inherent participatory capacity at the heart of restoration; the latter is concerned with the commodified (primarily in the United States) and nationalized (primarily in Canada) uses to which restoration is being put. By comparing these two areas of inquiry we provide a foundation for a critical assessment of the politics of restoration based on the politics in restoration. (shrink)
There are many ways to describe cities. As a physical environment, more so than many other environments, they are at least an extension of our present intentions. But cities are not conﬁned to the moment. Built spaces are also in conversation with the past and oriented toward the future as physical manifestations of our values and priorities. But even with all of the ways we have to describe cities we do not normally think of them as in any way akin (...) to the “natural” environment. City and country, nature and culture, are opposed. We move through cities differently, with a different set of values, whether articulated or not. Consider just one small example: Even the most jaded urban dweller may hesitate to sully the environment around him when he perceives it to be something other than a product of the human community. Though we have all seen trash in a national park, we suspect (or at least hope) that there is a kind of hesitancy that occurs with a person wondering what to do with her candy wrappers on a trail in Yosemite. On the other hand, a visitor to my home, Greenwich Village, will usually not think twice about tossing his cigarette butts on the ground as he walks toward his next destination. (shrink)
In Democracy and the Claims of Nature, the leading thinkers in the fields of environmental, political, and social theory come together to discuss the tensions and sympathies of democratic ideals and environmental values. The prominent contributors reflect upon where we stand in our understanding of the relationship between democracy and the claims of nature. Democracy and the Claims of Nature bridges the gap between the often competing ideals of the two fields, leading to a greater understanding of each for the (...) other. (shrink)
Can we use technology in the pursuit of a good life, or are we doomed to having our lives organized and our priorities set by the demands of machines and systems? How can philosophy help us to make technology a servant rather than a master? Technology and the Good Life? uses a careful collective analysis of Albert Borgmann's controversial and influential ideas as a jumping-off point from which to address questions such as these about the role and significance of technology (...) in our lives. Contributors both sympathetic and critical examine Borgmann's work, especially his "device paradigm" apply his theories to new areas such as film, agriculture, design, and ecological restoration and consider the place of his thought within philosophy and technology studies more generally. Because this collection carefully investigates the issues at the heart of how we can take charge of life with technology, it will be a landmark work not just for philosophers of technology but for students and scholars in the many disciplines concerned with science and technology studies. (shrink)
Empathy is the combined ability to interpret the emotional states of others and experience resultant, related emotions. The relation between prefrontal electroencephalographic asymmetry and emotion in children is well known. The association between positive emotion (assessed via parent report), empathy (measured via observation), and second-by-second brain electrical activity (recorded during a pleasurable task) was investigated using a sample of one hundred twenty-eight 6- to 10-year-old children. Contentment related to increasing left frontopolar activation (p < .05). Empathic concern and positive empathy (...) related to increasing right frontopolar activation (ps < .05). A second form of positive empathy related to increasing left dorsolateral activation (p < .05). This suggests that positive affect and (negative and positive) empathy both relate to changes in prefrontal activity during a pleasurable task. (shrink)
The aesthetics of everyday life, originally developed by Henri Lefebvre and other modernist theorists, is an extension of traditional aesthetics, usually confined to works of art. It is not limited to the study of humble objects but is rather concerned with all of the undeniably aesthetic experiences that arise when one contemplates objects or performs acts that are outside the traditional realm of aesthetics. It is concerned with the nature of the relationship between subject and object. One significant aspect of (...) everyday aesthetics is environmental aesthetics, whether constructed, as a building, or manipulated, as a landscape. Others, also discussed in the book, include sport, weather, smell and taste, and food. (shrink)
J. Baird Callicott has thrown down the gauntlet once again in the monism?pluralism debate in environmental ethics. In a recent article he argues that his ?communitarianism? (combined with a limited intertheoretic pluralism) is sufficient to get the advantages of pluralism advocated by his critics, while at the same time retaining the framework of moral monism. Callicott's attempt to set the record straight on the monism?pluralism debate has once again derailed us from answering the most important question in this discussion: how (...) do we achieve a compatibilism among ethical theories which will inform better environmental practices? But if Callicott got it wrong, then who is getting it right? Arne Naess, whose work has heretofore been excluded from the mainstream discussion of this issue, has all along understood the heart of the monism?pluralism question. This paper updates the current state of the monism?pluralism debate, provides an answer to Callicott's latest challenge, and advances the thesis that all involved in this argument would do well to take a look at what Naess has to say on this issue. (shrink)
The inaugural collection in an exciting new exchange between philosophers and geographers, this volume provides interdisciplinary approaches to the environment as space, place, and idea. Never before have philosophers and geographers approached each other's subjects in such a strong spirit of mutual understanding. The result is a concrete exploration of the human-nature relationship that embraces strong normative approaches to environmental problems.