There is increasing global pressure to ensure that pregnant women are responsibly and safely included in clinical research in order to improve the evidence base that underpins healthcare delivery during pregnancy. One supposed barrier to inclusion is the assumption that pregnant women will be reluctant to participate in research. There is however very little empirical research investigating the views of pregnant women. Their perspective on the benefits, burdens and risks of research is a crucial component to ensuring effective recruitment. The (...) Research In Pregnancy Ethics study set out to ascertain the views of pregnant women about research participation using an inductive thematic analysis. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 women who had participated in a double-blind randomised placebo controlled trial in Wellington while pregnant. Our results show that at least some pregnant women recognise the value and importance of research during pregnancy. The women we interviewed were deeply invested in the research process and outcomes. Key motivations for participating were altruism, playing a valuable civic role and the importance of research. The main perceived burdens related to inconvenience and time commitment. For some women, possible randomization to the placebo arm was regarded as a burden or disadvantage. (shrink)
In this essay, I defend theology against a recent argument made by Peter Byrne. According to Byrne, any discipline of thought that can be interpreted realistically shows the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about the reality it investigates. I challenge this claim, first, by showing how theology, so construed as an exercise of ‘faith seeking understanding’, can and should be interpreted realistically, even if it does not show the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about divine reality. Second, I (...) give a plausible account of why theology is beset by internal disagreement and division, even if the goal of theological enquiry is to overcome such disagreement and division. (shrink)
We think that certain of our mental states represent the world around us, and represent it in determinate ways. My perception that there is salt in the pot before me, for example, represents my immediate environment as containing a certain object, a pot, with a certain kind of substance, salt, in it. My belief that salt dissolves in water represents something in the world around me, namely salt, as having a certain observational property, that of dissolving. But what exactly is (...) the relation between such states and the world beyond the surfaces of our skins? Specifically, what exactly is the relation between the contents of those states, and the world beyond our bodies? (shrink)
Self-knowledge is the focus of considerable attention from philosophers: Knowing Our Own Minds gives a much-needed overview of current work on the subject, bringing together new essays by leading figures. Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. The contributors examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist (...) theories of psychological content, and knowledge of language. Together these original, stimulating, and closely interlinked essays demonstrate the special relevance of self-knowledge to a broad range of issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. (shrink)
In this book Macdonald elaborates a democratic framework based on the new theoretical concepts of 'public power', 'stakeholder communities' and 'non-electoral representation', and illustrates the practical implications of these proposals for projects of global institutional reform.
In Recovering Hegel from the Critique of Leo Strauss, Sara MacDonald and Barry Craig provide a study unique in its focus on Leo Strauss’s reading of Hegel. While MacDonald and Craig find value in Strauss’s thought, they argue that his pessimism concerning modernity lies in a misunderstanding of both modernity’s greatest philosophical advocate, G.W.F. Hegel, and modernity’s virtues.
Though the relation of spirituality to self has long been recognized in established spiritual and religious systems, serious scientific interest in spirituality and its relation to identity has only started to grow in the past 20 years. This paper overviews the literature on spirituality and identity. Particular attention is given to describing and critiquing conventional and transpersonal perspectives with emphasis given to empirically testable theories. Using MacDonald’s five dimensional model of spirituality, a structural model of spirituality is proposed as (...) is a model of spiritual identity formation. (shrink)
The Existentialist Reader is a comprehensive anthology of classic philosophical writings from eight key existentialist thinkers: Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Jaspers, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, and Ortega y Gasset. These substantial and carefully selected readings consider the distinctive concerns of existentialism: absurdity, anxiety, alienation, death. A comprehensive introduction by Paul S. MacDonald illuminates the existentialist quest for individual freedom and authentic human experience with insight into the historical and intellectual background of these major figures. The Existentialist Reader is a valuable (...) guide to the provocative theories that shook the philosophical world in the 1930s and continue to profoundly shape the way we think about ourselves. (shrink)
A. J. Ayer was one of the foremost analytical philosophers of the twentieth century, and was known as a brilliant and engaging speaker. In essays based on his influential Dewey Lectures, Ayer addresses some of the most critical and controversial questions in epistemology and the philosophy of science, examining the nature of inductive reasoning and grappling with the issues that most concerned him as a philosopher. This edition contains revised and expanded versions of the lectures and two additional essays. Ayer (...) begins by considering Hume's formulation of the problem of induction and then explores the inferences on which we base our beliefs in factual matters. In other essays, he defines the three kinds of probability that inform inductive reasoning and examines the various criteria for verifiability and falsifiability. In his extensive introduction, Graham Macdonald discusses the arguments in _Probability and Evidence_, how they relate to Ayer's other works, and their influence in contemporary philosophy. He also provides a brief biographical sketch of Ayer, and includes a bibliography of works about and in response to _Probability and Evidence_. (shrink)
Originally published in 1945, this book presents the content of the Girton College Founders' Memorial Lecture for that year, which was delivered by A. D. Lindsay. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in philosophy and the relationship between intelligence and morality.
In this book MacDonald guides his reader through Luke-Acts from beginning to end to identify and interpret the author’s imitations of classical Greek poetry, arguing that Luke’s two-volume work was a prose epic to provide his readers with a foundation myth for the new social reality that the Christian Church had become.
In this paper, we examine critically the notion of “Triple Bottom Line” accounting. We begin by asking just what it is that supporters of the Triple Bottom Line idea advocate, and attempt to distil specific, assessable claims from the vague, diverse, and sometimescontradictory uses of the Triple Bottom Line rhetoric. We then use these claims as a basis upon which to argue (a) that what issound about the idea of a Triple Bottom Line is not novel, and (b) that what (...) is novel about the idea is not sound. We argue on bothconceptual and practical grounds that the Triple Bottom Line is an unhelpful addition to current discussions of corporate social responsibility. Finally, we argue that the Triple Bottom Line paradigm cannot be rescued simply by attenuating its claims: the rhetoric isbadly misleading, and may in fact provide a smokescreen behind which firms can avoid truly effective social and environmental reporting and performance. (shrink)
An important function of the self is to identify external objects that are potentially personally relevant. We suggest that such objects may be identified through mere ownership. Extant research suggests that encoding information in a self-relevant context enhances memory , thus an experiment was designed to test the impact of ownership on memory performance. Participants either moved or observed the movement of picture cards into two baskets; one of which belonged to self and one which belonged to another participant. A (...) subsequent recognition test revealed that there was a significant memory advantage for objects that were owned by self. Acting on items had no impact on memory. Results are discussed with reference to the importance of self-object associations in cognition. (shrink)
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
An organization's management control system can play an important role in influencing ethical behavior among employees. In this paper a theoretical framework of control is developed by linking various ethics related control mechanisms reported in the literature to the primary components of a management control system. In addition, the findings of a survey of the Financial Post's Top 1 000 Canadian industrial and service companies are reported. The survey investigated organizations' use of ethical codes of conduct, whistleblowing systems, ethics committees, (...) judiciary boards, employee training in ethics, and ethics focused corporate governance and reward systems. The findings indicate that ethics related control mechanisms, particularly codes of conduct, are being used by a good number of organizations. However, closer analysis of the data suggests that many companies may only be paying lip service to the importance of promoting ethical behavior. (shrink)
As plagiarism is a notion specific to a particular culture and epoch, and is also understood in a variety of ways by individuals, particular attention must be paid to the putting of the phenomenological question, What is plagiarism in its appearing? Resolution of this issue leads us to locate students' perceptions and opinions within the lifeworld, and to seek an initially idiographic set of descriptions. Of twelve interview analyses, three are presented. A student who took an especially anxious line, his (...) morality having to do with the fear of being shamed were he to be accused of plagiarism in his work. A student who saw academic development as the movement from dependence on respected authors such that the novice's work is near plagiaristic, to autonomy and self-assured originality. A student whose degree involved painting and art history—disciplines with very distinct understandings of plagiarism. To combat plagiarism, then, one must not assume that students have a prior grasp of the unequivocal meaning of the notion, but must accept that a process of acculturation is required. (shrink)
Current discussions of business ethics usually only consider deontological and utilitarian approaches. What is missing is a discussion of traditional teleology, often referred to as virtue ethics. While deontology and teleology are useful, they both suffer insufficiencies. Traditional teleology, while deontological in many respects, does not object to utilitarian style calculations as long as they are contained within a moral framework that is not utilitarian in its origin. It contains the best of both approaches and can be used to focus (...) on the individual''s role within an organization. More work is needed in exposing students and faculty to traditional teleology and its place in business ethic''s discussions. (shrink)
This volume provides an introduction to and review of key contemporary debates concerning connectionism, and the nature of explanation and methodology in cognitive psychology. The first debate centers on the question of whether human cognition is best modeled by classical or by connectionist architectures. The second centres on the question of the compatibility between folk, or commonsense, psychological explanation and explanations based on connectionist models of cognition. Each of the two sections includes a classic reading along with important responses, and (...) concludes with a specially commissioned reply by the main contributor. The editorial introductions provide a comprehensive survey and map through the debates. (shrink)
In this paper I outline and defend an introspectionist account of authoritative self-knowledge for a certain class of cases, ones in which a subject is both thinking and thinking about a current, conscious thought. My account is distinctive in a number of ways, one of which is that it is compatible with the truth of externalism.
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a case (...) study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
: Care work straddles the divide between activities performed out of love and those performed for pay. The tensions created for workers by this divide raise questions concerning connections between recognition and redistribution. Through an analysis of mobilization among childcare workers, we argue that care workers can address redistribution and recognition simultaneously through vocabularies of both skill and virtue. We conclude with a discussion of strategies to overcome the false dichotomy between recognition and redistribution.
This paper argues that the non-reductive monist need not be concerned about the ‘problem’ of mental causation; one can accept both the irreducibility of mental properties to physical properties and the causal closure of the physical. More precisely, it is argued that instances of mental properties can be causally efficacious, and that there is no special barrier to seeing mental properties whose instances are causally efficacious as being causally relevant to the effects they help to bring about. It is then (...) shown that the causal relevance of mental properties is consistent with there being no downward causation, so the dilemma of ‘epiphenomenalism or reduction’ can be avoided. Non-reductive monism lives on as a viable position in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore briefly the "secular priesthood" metaphor often applied to bioethicists. I next ask: if, despite our discomfort with the metaphor, we were to embrace the best aspects of the priesthood(s) ? which I identify as the missionaries' willingness to work among sinners and lepers, at their own peril ? would we be able to live up to that standard of bravery? I then draw a parallel with the fears of contagion currently be voiced (by Carl Elliott (...) and others), with regard to bioethicists working in or near corporate settings. I argue that such fears may themselves have a number of deleterious effects, and I suggest several possible positive steps in response to that fear. (shrink)
: There is a concern that genetic engineering will exacerbate existing social divisions and inequalities, especially if only the wealthy can afford genetic enhancements. Accordingly, many argue that justice requires the imposition of constraints on genetic engineering. However, it would be unwise to decide at this time what limits should be imposed in the future. Decision makers currently lack both the theoretical tools and the factual foundation for making sound judgments about the requirements of justice in a genetically transformed society. (...) Moreover, focusing on the uncertain inequities of the future may result in failure to give priority to more pressing inequities of the present. Especially in a country that recently has enacted tax legislation that will widen existing wealth disparities, concern about the distant threat of a genetic aristocracy appears misplaced. (shrink)
This paper elaborates the concept of global public power as the subject of principles of political legitimacy in global politics, and defends it through a critical comparison with other concepts widely employed to depict this regulative subject: states, global basic structure, and global governance. The goal underlying this argument is to bring some greater unity and integration to conceptual understandings of the subject of principles of political legitimacy within analyses of global politics, and in doing so to frame a broader (...) research agenda for locating in practice the concrete political agencies and institutions that are appropriate targets for demands of political legitimation under the prevailing empirical conditions of global pluralism. (shrink)
This paper examines a concrete political controversy in order to shed light on a broad philosophical issue. The controversy is with regard to who owns cultural antiquities ? the nations (often in the developing world) on whose soil they originated, or the museums of developed nations that have, through a variety of means, come into possession of them. Despite their opposing views, both sides accept the claim that ownership can be derived from prior facts about cultural identity. Moreover, when their (...) claims are articulated, each side?s arguments shed contrasting light on a broader question of property: are some things intrinsically common; that is, do some things have properties that undermine claims of private ownership? Following the logic inherent in arguments made on both sides, this paper defends an affirmative answer to these questions, and, in so doing, suggests that we need to broaden our perspective on publics goods generally. (shrink)
Prior to passage of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, opponents of assistance in dying argued that legalization would have serious harmful consequences. Specifically, they argued that the quality and availability of palliative care would decline, that the harms of legalization would affect certain vulnerable groups disproportionately, that legal assisted dying could not be confined to the competent terminally ill who voluntarily request assistance, and that the practice would result in frequent abuses. Data from Oregon's decade-long experience decisively refute the (...) first three predictions. As to abuses, the record is not quite as clear, but if an appropriate framework for analysis is utilized, the most reasonable conclusion is that the risks of abuse do not outweigh the benefits of legalization. To the extent projected harmful consequences are relevant to the debate over legalization, Oregon's experience argues in favor of legalization of assistance in dying. (shrink)