Pothos suggests dispensing with the distinction between rules and similarity, without defining what is meant by either term. We agree that there are problems with the distinction between rules and similarity, but believe these will be solved only by exploring the representations and processes underlying cases purported to involve rules and similarity.
Every year in this country, some 10,000 college and university courses are taught in applied ethics. And many professional organizations now have their own codes of ethics. Yet social science has had little impact upon applied ethics. This book promises to change that trend by illustrating how social science can make a contribution to applied ethics. The text reports psychological studies relevant to applied ethics for many professionals, including accountants, college students and teachers, counselors, dentists, doctors, journalists, nurses, school teachers, (...) athletes, and veterinarians. Each chapter begins with the research base of the cognitive-developmental approach--especially linked to Kohlberg and Rest's Defining Issues Test. Finally, the book summarizes recent research on the following issues: * moral judgment scores within and between professions, * pre- and post-test evaluations of ethics education programs, * moral judgment and moral behavior, * models of professional ethicseducation, and * models for developing new assessment tools. Researchers in different professional fields investigate different questions, develop different research strategies, and report different findings. Typically researchers of one professional field are not aware of research in other fields. An important aim of the present book is to bring this diverse research together so that cross-fertilization can occur and ideas from one field can transfer to another. (shrink)
Kohlberg's work in moral judgement has been criticised by many philosophers and psychologists. Building on Kohlberg's core assumptions, we propose a model of moral judgement (hereafter the neo-Kohlbergian approach) that addresses these concerns. Using 25 years of data gathered with the Defining Issues Test (DIT), we present an overview of Minnesota's neo-Kohlbergian approach, using Kohlberg's basic starting points, ideas from Cognitive Science (especially schema theory), and developments in moral philosophy.
The representational distortion (RD) approach to similarity (e.g., Hahn, Chater, & Richardson, 2003) proposes that similarity is computed using the transformation distance between two entities. We argue that researchers who adopt this approach need to be concerned with how representational transformations can be determined a priori. We discuss several roadblocks to using this approach. Specifically we demonstrate the difficulties inherent in determining what transformations are psychologically salient and the importance of considering the directionality of transformations.
In recent years, there has been a particular emphasis placed on conducting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compare the relative efficacy of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions. This article addresses relevant ethical considerations in the conduct of these treatment trials, with a focus on RCTs with children. Ethical concerns, including therapeutic misconception, treatment preference, therapeutic equipoise, structure of treatments, and balancing risks versus benefits, are introduced through a clinical scenario and discussed as they relate to psychotherapy versus medication RCTs. In each (...) case, suggestions are made for researchers seeking to minimize the impact of these ethical concerns on research participants. (shrink)
Alienation and Connection addresses social constructs that perpetuate alienation through suffering. The contributors discuss how alienation through suffering in a variety of contexts can be transformed into connection and reconnection: human relationship with the environment, economic and social systems that disconnect and reconnect, cultural constructs that divide or can heal, encountered difference that brings opportunity, and various manifestations of personal pain that can be survived and even overcome.
Despite having paved the way for face, womb and penis transplants, hand transplantation today remains a small hybrid of reconstructive microsurgery and transplant immunology. An exceptionally limited patient population internationally complicates medical researchers’ efforts to parse outcomes “objectively.” Presumed functional and psychosocial benefits of gaining a transplant hand must be weighed in both patient decisions and bioethical discussions against the difficulty of adhering to post-transplant medications, the physical demands of hand transplant recovery on the patient, and the serious long-term health (...) risks of immunosuppressant drugs. This paper relates five narratives of hand transplantation drawn from an oral history project to show how narrative methods can and should inform ethical evaluations and the clinical process of hand transplantation. The interviews with patients and their partners analyzed here lead us to suggest that qualitative accounts of patient experiences should be used to complement clinical case studies reported in medical journals and to help develop instruments to assess outcomes more systematically. (shrink)
Critical congenital heart disease screening is rapidly becoming the standard of care in the United States after being added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in 2011. Newborn screens typically do not require affirmative parental consent. In fact, most states allow parents to exempt their baby from receiving the required screen on the basis of religious or personally held beliefs. There are many ethical considerations implicated with allowing parents to exempt their child from newborn screening for CCHD. Considerations include the (...) treatment of religious exemptions in our current legal system, as well as medical and ethical principles in relation to the rights of infants. Although there are significant benefits to screening newborns for CCHD, when a parent refuses for religious or personal beliefs, in the case of CCHD screening, the parental decision should stand. (shrink)
Over the past decade, there has been an extensive debate about whether researchers have an obligation to disclose genetic research findings, including primary and secondary findings. There appears to be an emerging (but disputed) view that researchers have some obligation to disclose some genetic findings to some research participants. The contours of this obligation, however, remain unclear. -/- As this paper will explore, much of this confusion is definitional or conceptual in nature. The extent of a researcher’s obligation to return (...) secondary and other research findings is often limited by reference to terms and concepts like “incidental,” “analytic validity,” “clinical validity,” “clinical relevance,” “clinical utility,” “clinical significance,” “actionability,” and “desirability.” These terms are used in different ways by different writers to describe obligations in different sorts of cases. -/- Underneath this definitional confusion is a general notion, supported by much of the literature, that findings only need to be disclosed when they surpass certain presumably objective or measureable thresholds, such as medical importance or scientific reproducibility. The problem is that there is significant variability in the way that these terms and concepts are used in the literature and, as such, in defining the scope of an obligation to return findings that surpasses the relevant thresholds. -/- The goal of this paper is to analyze the definitional muddle underlying the debate about returning genetic research findings, with the hope of answering a few questions. First, what is the range of definitions being used in this debate? Based on an extensive literature review, Part 1 will lay out a range of articulated definitions for each relevant term, with the goal of categorizing them into a handful of distinct types. Part 2 explains the definitional redundancy and confusion in the current literature, and, drawing from the terminological patterns identified in Part 1, outlines more cohesive building blocks to inform the development of future disclosure frameworks.Our minimum goal in articulating these conceptual building blocks is to promote clearer articulations of, and distinctions between, future disclosure frameworks. More ambitiously, we suggest which definitions and conceptualizations we consider most appropriate to use in future disclosure frameworks. Here, we seek to balance benefits to participants through the disclosure of important information with the minimization of undue burdens on individual researchers and the research enterprise more generally. -/- Our analysis builds upon the central philosophical distinction between concepts and conceptions. The basic idea is that the “concept” of X refers to the general (and relatively uncontroversial) structure/shape of X, while various “conceptions” of X are more particular, filled out, and controversial elaborations of the concept. In other words, “concepts” of X will be formal representations of X, while “conceptions” of X will be substantive interpretations of the key elements and relationships operating within that formal framework. (Implicit in this distinction is an important point about the nature of disagreement – namely, that in order for two or more parties to “disagree” about X as opposed to simply talk past one another, there must be at least enough shared agreement about X to know that the parties are referring to the same thing. A concept of X provides this point of common agreement, while competing conceptions of X mark the areas where disagreement arises.) In this paper, we will employ this distinction in a fundamental way to clarify exactly where the primary disagreements arise in the debate over disclosing genetic research findings. -/- We propose that, underlying all the seeming confusion and disagreement, there are three central and widely agreed upon concepts at work in this debate—validity, value, and volition. The first two concepts concern the nature of the information itself. An obligation to disclose only exists when findings are valid and have value but there are competing conceptions of how to determine or define validity and valuableness. The third concept—volition—pertains not to the information but rather to the person to whom it will be disclosed. Does that person want or not want the information, and what is the best way of determining this? Here, too, competing conceptions arise. Our key point, though, is that almost all of the ethical disagreement arises because of competing conceptions of these three concepts. Understanding and appreciating this key point can help to refocus the substantive debate by providing some common ground to start from in determining how best to interpret these shared concepts. This refocusing can, ideally, produce more productive debate and facilitate some progress in resolving it. (shrink)
What factors should be taken into account when attributing criminal responsibility to perpetrators of severe crimes? We discuss the Breivik case, and the considerations which led to holding Breivik accountable for his criminal acts. We put some pressure on the view that experiencing certain psychiatric symptoms or receiving a certain psychiatric diagnosis is sufficient to establish criminal insanity. We also argue that the presence of delusional beliefs, often regarded as a key factor in determining responsibility, is neither necessary nor sufficient (...) for criminal insanity. (shrink)
Philosophers have been long interested in delusional beliefs and in whether, by reporting and endorsing such beliefs, deluded subjects violate norms of rationality (Campbell 1999; Davies & Coltheart 2002; Gerrans 2001; Stone & Young 1997; Broome 2004; Bortolotti 2005). So far they have focused on identifying the relation between intentionality and rationality in order to gain a better understanding of both ordinary and delusional beliefs. In this paper Matthew Broome and I aim at drawing attention to the extent to which (...) deluded subjects are committed to the content of their delusional beliefs, that is, to whether they can be regarded as authors of their beliefs (Moran 2001). We consider several levels of commitment one can have to a reported belief, delusional or otherwise, and we distinguish between _ownership_ and _authorship_ of beliefs (Gallagher 2000). After examining some examples of belief authoring (or lack thereof) in psychopathology, we argue that there is no straight-forward and unitary answer to the question whether deluded subjects author their beliefs. Nevertheless, introducing the notion of authorship in the debate can significantly contribute to the philosophical literature on the rationality of delusions and can also have important implications for diagnosis and therapy in psychiatry. (shrink)
Background. As the development and use of genetic tests have increased, so have concerns regarding the uses of genetic information. Genetic discrimination, the differential treatment of individuals based on real or perceived differences in their genomes, is a recently described form of discrimination. The range and significance of experiences associated with this form of discrimination are not yet well known and are investigated in this study. Methods. Individuals at-risk to develop a genetic condition and parents of children with specific genetic (...) conditions were surveyed by questionnaire for reports of genetic discrimination. A total of 27,790 questionnaires were sent out by mail. Of 917 responses received, 206 were followed up with telephone interviews. The responses were analyzed regarding circumstances of the alleged discrimination, the institutions involved, issues relating to the redress of grievances, and strategies to avoid discrimination. (shrink)
Abstract BACKGROUND: Anonymity remains the more common practice in gamete donations, but legislation prohibiting anonymity with a goal of protecting donor-conceived children's right to know their genetic origins is becoming more common. However, given the dearth of research investigating the function of anonymity for donors and recipients, it is unclear whether these policies will accomplish their goals. The aim of this study was to explore experiences with anonymity among oocyte donors and recipients who participated in an anonymous donor oocyte program (...) and to understand the ways in which anonymity functions for them. -/- METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 50 women: 28 oocyte donors and 22 recipients who were recruited from an academic center for reproductive medicine in the United States. -/- RESULTS: Donors and recipients view anonymity both as a mechanism to protect the interests of all parties (recipients, donors, and donor-conceived children) and as a point of conflict. Specifically, three key areas were identified where both donors and recipients saw anonymity as having an important role: relieving anxieties about family structures and obligations; protecting their interests and those of donor-conceived children (while acknowledging where interests conflict); and managing the future. -/- CONCLUSION: As gamete donation increasingly moves away from the practice of anonymity, examining why anonymity matters to stakeholders will be helpful in devising strategies to successfully implement identity-release options. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis research investigated whether precues engage proactive control to reduce emotional interference during speech production. A picture-word interference task required participants to name target pictures accompanied by taboo, negative, or neutral distractors. Proactive control was manipulated by presenting precues that signalled the type of distractor that would appear on the next trial. Experiment 1 included one block of trials with precues and one without, whereas Experiment 2 mixed precued and uncued trials. Consistent with previous research, picture naming was slowed in (...) both experiments when distractors were taboo or negative compared to neutral, with the greatest slowing effect when distractors were taboo. Evidence that precues engaged proactive control to reduce interference from taboo distractors was found in Experiment 1. In contrast, mixing precued trials in Experiment 2 resulted in no taboo cueing benefit. These results suggest that item-level proactive control can b... (shrink)
Various authors have argued that progress in the neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric sciences might threaten the commonsense understanding of how the mind generates behavior, and, as a consequence, it might also threaten the commonsense ways of attributing moral responsibility, if not the very notion of moral responsibility. In the case of actions that result in undesirable outcomes, the commonsense conception—which is reflected in sophisticated ways in the legal conception—tells us that there are circumstances in which the agent is entirely and fully (...) responsible for the bad outcome and circumstances in which the agent is not at all responsible for the bad outcome. (shrink)
Scientific peer reviewers play an integral role in the grant selection process, yet very little has been reported on the levels of participation or the motivations of scientists to take part in peer review. The American Institute of Biological Sciences developed a comprehensive peer review survey that examined the motivations and levels of participation of grant reviewers. The survey was disseminated to 13,091 scientists in AIBS’s proprietary database. Of the 874 respondents, 76% indicated they had reviewed grant applications in the (...) last 3 years; however, the number of reviews was unevenly distributed across this sample. Higher review loads were associated with respondents who had submitted more grant proposals over this time period, some of whom were likely to be study section members for large funding agencies. The most prevalent reason to participate in a review was to give back to the scientific community and the most common reason to decline an invitation to review was lack of time. Interestingly, few suggested that expectation from the funding agency was a motivation to review. Most felt that review participation positively influenced their careers through improving grantsmanship and exposure to new scientific ideas. Of those who reviewed, respondents reported dedicating 2–5% of their total annual work time to grant review and, based on their self-reported maximum review loads, it is estimated they are participating at 56–87% of their capacity, which may have important implications regarding the sustainability of the system. Overall, it is clear that participation in peer review is uneven and in some cases near capacity, and more needs to be done to create new motivations and incentives to increase the future pool of reviewers. (shrink)
In this article, we propose the Fair Priority Model for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and emphasize three fundamental values we believe should be considered when distributing a COVID-19 vaccine among countries: Benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing the disadvantaged, and equal moral concern for all individuals. The Priority Model addresses these values by focusing on mitigating three types of harms caused by COVID-19: death and permanent organ damage, indirect health consequences, such as health care system strain and stress, as well as (...) economic destruction. It proposes proceeding in three phases: the first addresses premature death, the second long-term health issues and economic harms, and the third aims to contain viral transmission fully and restore pre-pandemic activity. -/- To those who may deem an ethical framework irrelevant because of the belief that many countries will pursue "vaccine nationalism," we argue such a framework still has broad relevance. Reasonable national partiality would permit countries to focus on vaccine distribution within their borders up until the rate of transmission is below 1, at which point there would not be sufficient vaccine-preventable harm to justify retaining a vaccine. When a government reaches the limit of national partiality, it should release vaccines for other countries. -/- We also argue against two other recent proposals. Distributing a vaccine proportional to a country's population mistakenly assumes that equality requires treating differently situated countries identically. Prioritizing countries according to the number of front-line health care workers, the proportion of the population over 65, and the number of people with comorbidities within each country may exacerbate disadvantage and end up giving the vaccine in large part to wealthy nations. (shrink)
It is estimated that over 800 million people are hungry each day and two billion are suffering from the consequences of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. While a paradigm shift towards a multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral approach to food and nutrition insecurity is emerging, technical approaches largely prevail to tackle the causes of hunger and malnutrition. Founded in original in-depth field research among smallholder farmers in southwest Kenya, we argue that incorporating cultural or social dimensions in this technical debate is imperative and (...) that by systematically overlooking these dimensions, food insecurity cannot be accurately captured nor properly addressed. Based on a sub-location in rural southwest Kenya where the food plate is rapidly narrowing towards a high-calorie low nutrient diet and where over 80 % of households experience food shortages at least once a year, conclusions suggest that preferences, the local function of food, and the practices that emerge therefrom can affect the regularity of meals and their composition. The findings allow us to complement emerging research and program development with a more comprehensive and locally adapted approach to tackle food and nutrition insecurity. (shrink)
Tests of economic theory often focus on choice outcomes and find significant individual differences in these outcomes. This variability may mask universal psychological processes that lead to different choices because of differences across cultures in the information people have available when making decisions. On this view, decision making research within and across cultures must focus on the processes underlying choice.
Different aspects of people's interactions with money are best conceptualized using the drug and tool theories. The key question is when these models of money are most likely to guide behavior. We suggest that the Drug Theory characterizes motivationally active uses of money and that the Tool Theory characterizes behavior in motivationally cool situations. (Published Online April 5 2006).
Pickering & Garrod (P&G) suggest that communicators synchronize their processing at a number of linguistic levels. Whereas their explanation suggests that representations are being compared across individuals, there must be some representation of all conversation participants in each participant's head. At the level of the situation model, it is important to maintain separate representations for each participant. At other levels, it seems less crucial to have a separate representation for each participant. This analysis suggests that different mechanisms may synchronize representations (...) at different linguistic levels. (shrink)
Interventions to decrease acquisition and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases among African American women using text messages versus small-group delivery modalities pose distinct research risks and benefits. Determining the relative risk–benefit ratio of studies using these different modalities has relied on the expertise of investigators and their institutional review boards. In this study, African American women participated in focus groups and surveys to elicit and compare risks and benefits inherent in these two intervention delivery modalities, focusing on issues such as (...) convenience, privacy, and stigma of participation. Some risk/benefit variables were implicated in willingness to participate the two intervention modalities. (shrink)
Increasing evidence demonstrates that the Aboriginal population experience greater health disparities and receive a lower quality of health care services. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) code of ethics states that nurses are required to incorporate culture into all domains of their nursing practice and ethical care. The aim of this article is to examine the concepts of cultural competency and cultural safety by way of relational ethics. To address these disparities in health care, cultural competency training programs are being widely (...) advised. Recent research into cultural safety has not only recognized the importance of culture in nursing practice and organizational structures, but also extended the concepts to the culture of the client. In recognizing this diversity, nurses must pay close attention to their relationships with their clients. It is argued that the answers lie in relational ethics, which honors indigenous people’s connection to self, others, the environment, and the universe. (shrink)
Millions of people in various parts of the world and within each country are presently surviving in categories described as “mere”, “miserable”, “idealistic”, “irresponsible”, and “acceptable”. The term “acceptable survival” is proposed as a bioethical goal of global survival, looking beyond the 21st century to the year 3000 and beyond. The frequently used alternative term is “sustainable development”, but in most contexts this is an economic concept and does not imply any moral or ethical constraints, except where these are spelled (...) out. Acceptable survival, broadly defined, means acceptable to a universal sense of what is morally right and good and what will continue in the long term. The expanding dominant, but irresponsible, world culture is not an acceptable type of development because it cannot survive in the long term. [M&GS 1995:185–191]. (shrink)
In this article, we present an ethics framework for health practice in humanitarian and development work: the ethics of engaged presence. The ethics of engaged presence framework aims to articulate in a systematic fashion approaches and orientations that support the engagement of expatriate health care professionals in ways that align with diverse obligations and responsibilities, and promote respectful and effective action and relationships. Drawn from a range of sources, the framework provides a vocabulary and narrative structure for examining the moral (...) dimensions of providing development or humanitarian health assistance to individuals and communities, and working with and alongside local and international actors. The elements also help minimize or avoid certain miscalculations and harms. Emphasis is placed on the shared humanity of those who provide and those who receive assistance, acknowledgement of limits and risks related to the contributions of expatriate health care professionals, and the importance of providing skillful and relevant assistance. These elements articulate a moral posture for expatriate health care professionals that contributes to orienting the practice of clinicians in ways that reflect respect, humility, and solidarity. Health care professionals whose understanding and actions are consistent with the ethics of engaged presence will be oriented toward introspection and reflective practice and toward developing, sustaining and promoting collaborative partnerships. (shrink)
School-based character education programs provide an opportunity to increase the moral fortitude of adolescents. This study is a preliminary evaluation of Inspire Aspire, a CE program that was implemented with 13- to 14-year-olds in Scotland. A relational developmental systems meta-theoretical approach and person-centered analyses were employed to understand whether teacher implementation variability is associated with student outcomes. The study aimed to: assess variation in program implementation across teachers; assess student poster quality, which served as a youth outcome measure; and, assess (...) the relationship between variations in program implementation and poster quality. Teachers who fully integrated Inspire Aspire with the broader curriculum as well as teachers who made more modifications to Inspire Aspire tended to have students with higher quality posters. This finding stands in contrast to the common narrative regarding evidence-based programs that requires teachers to strictly adhere to program guidelines in order to maintain implementation fidelity. (shrink)
The eight pieces constituting this Meeting Report are summaries of presentations made during a panel session at the 2011 Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) annual meeting held between March 3rd and 6th in Cincinnati. Lisa Newton organized the session and served as chair. The panel of eight consisted both of pioneers in the field and more recent arrivals. It covered a range of topics from how the field has developed to where it should be going, from identification (...) of issues needing further study to problems of training the next generation of engineers and engineering-ethics scholars. (shrink)