Heroin prescription involves the medical provision of heroin in the treatment of heroin addiction. Rudimentary clinical trials on that treatment modality have been carried out and others are currently underway or in development. However, it is questionable whether subjects considered for such trials are mentally competent to consent to them. The problem has not been sufficiently appreciated in ethical and clinical discussions of the topic. The challenges involved throw new light on the role of value and accountability in contemporary discussions (...) of mental competence. (shrink)
It has been argued recently that some basic emotions should be considered natural kinds. This is different from the question whether as a class emotions form a natural kind; that is, whether emotion is a natural kind. The consensus on that issue appears to be negative. I argue that this pessimism is unwarranted and that there are in fact good reasons for entertaining the hypothesis that emotion is a natural kind. I interpret this to mean that there exists a distinct (...) natural class of organisms whose behavior and development are governed by emotion. These are emoters. Two arguments for the natural kind status of emotion are considered. Both converge on the existence of emotion as a distinct natural domain governed by its own laws and regularities. There are then some reasons for being optimistic about the prospects for consilience in emotion theory. 1 The mantra 2 Griffiths on emotions as natural kinds 3 Panksepp on emotions as natural kinds 4 Emotion as a neurobiological kind 5 Emotion as a psychological kind 6 Response to the mantra 7 Unification or fragmentation? 8 Concluding remarks. (shrink)
The distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is entrenched in the literature on emotion and is openly used by individual emotion theorists when classifying their own theories and those of others. In this paper, I argue that the distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is more pernicious than it is helpful, while at the same time insisting that there are nonetheless important perceptual and cognitive factors in emotion that need to be distinguished. A general representational metatheoretical (...) framework for reconciling cognitive and perceptual theories is proposed. This is the Representational Theory of Emotion (RTE). A detailed case study of Antonio Damasio's important new contribution to emotion theory is presented in defense of the RTE. The paper is intended for readers interested in the foundations of emotion theory and cognitive science. (shrink)
In this paper I review some leading developments in the empirical theory of affect. I argue that (1) affect is a distinct perceptual representation governed system, and (2) that there are significant modular factors in affect. The paper concludes with the observation thatfeeler (affective perceptual system) may be a natural kind within cognitive science. The main purpose of the paper is to explore some hitherto unappreciated connections between the theory of affect and the computational theory of mind.
Philosophical discussions regarding the status of emotion as a scientific domain usually get framed in terms of the question whether emotion is a natural kind. That approach to the issues is wrongheaded for two reasons. First, it has led to an intractable philosophical impasse that ultimately misconstrues the character of the relevant debate in emotion science. Second, and most important, it entirely ignores valence, a central feature of emotion experience, and probably the most promising criterion for demarcating emotion from cognition (...) and other related domains. An alternate philosophical hypothesis for addressing the issues is pro- posed. It is that emotion is a naturally occurring valenced phenomenon that is.. (shrink)
The history and philosophy of affective terms and concepts contains important challenges for contemporary scientific accounts of emotion regulation. First, there is the problem of moral undertow. This arises because stipulating the ends of emotion regulation requires normative assumptions that ultimately derive from values and morals. Some historical precedents are considered to help explain and address this problem. Second, there is the problem of organization. This arises because multiple emotions are often organized and oriented in very particular ways over the (...) life of the individual in a manner that cannot be adequately explained using the concept of “emotion.” A modern variant of the traditional concept of passion is invoked to help address this problem. (shrink)
In many Western jurisdictions, the law presumes that adult persons, and sometimes children that meet certain criteria, are capable of making their own health care decisions; for example, consenting to a particular medical treatment, or consenting to participate in a research trial. But what exactly does it mean to say that a subject has or lacks the requisite capacity to decide? This last question has to do with what is commonly called “decisional capacity,” a central concept in health care law (...) and ethics, and increasingly an independent topic of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
Medicalization in contemporary psychopharmacology is increasingly dominated by commercial interests that threaten the scientific and ethical integrity of psychiatry. At the same time, the proliferation of new social media has altered the manner in which the social groups and institutions that have stakes in medicalization interact. Consumers are at once more powerful than ever before, but also more vulnerable. The upshot of all these developments is that medicalization is no longer simply the professed enemy of anti-psychiatry and its supporters. It (...) is now also an enemy of psychiatry. Once a welcome ally of psychiatry, medicalization appears to have turned into a fearsome enemy. (shrink)
The author comments on the article “The neurobiology of addiction: Implications for voluntary control of behavior,‘ by S. E. Hyman. Hyman suggests that addicted individuals have substantial impairments in cognitive control of behavior. The author states that brain and neurochemical systems are involved in addiction. He also suggests that neuroscience can link the diseased brain processes in addiction to the moral struggles of the addicts. Accession Number: 24077919; Authors: Charland, Louis C. 1; Email Address: email@example.com; Affiliations: 1: University of Western (...) Ontario, Talbot COllege, London, Ontario; Subject: EDITORIALS; Subject: ADDICTIONS; Subject: BEHAVIOR; Subject: HYMAN, S. E.; Subject: NEUROCHEMISTRY; Subject: NEUROSCIENCES; Number of Pages: 2p. (shrink)
In this paper I link two hitherto disconnected sets of results in the philosophy of emotions and explore their implications for the computational theory of mind. The argument of the paper is that, for just the same reasons that some computationalists have thought that cognition may be a natural kind, so the same can plausibly be argued of emotion. The core of the argument is that emotions are a representation-governed phenomenon and that the explanation of how they figure in behaviour (...) must as such be undertaken in those terms. I conclude with some interdisciplinary reflections in defence of the hypothesis that emotions might be more fundamental in the organization of behaviour than cognition; that, in effect, we may be emoters before we are cognizers . The aim of the paper is: (1) to introduce a number of promising results in philosophical and empirical emotion theory to a wider audience; and (2) to begin the task of organizing those results into a computational theoretical framework. (shrink)
I am delighted that Zachar and Potter have chosen to refer to my work on the DSM-IV cluster B personality disorders in their very interesting and ambitious target article. Their suggestion that we turn to virtue ethics rather than traditional moral theory to understand the relation between moral and nonmoral factors in personality disorders is certainly original and worth pursuing. Yet, in the final instance, I am not entirely sure about the exact scope of their proposed analysis. I also worry (...) whether they may have inadvertently presented a slightly inaccurate account of my views on the cluster B personality disorders, as they seek to formulate and defend their own views, which seem to be far wider in scope. I .. (shrink)
La thérapie rationnelle des émotions est basée sur l’hypothèse qu’un trouble de la pensée conduit à des troubles du sentiment qui eux-mêmes conduisent à des troubles de comportement. Du point de vue thérapeutique, la stratégie consiste à corriger les sentiments et le comportement en modifiant le trouble de raisonnement. Cette forme très en vogue de psychothérapie des troubles émotionnels fournit une illustration intéressante des relations nomologiques intriquées qui peuvent exister entre les patrons relativement fixes d’états émotionnels, d’états comportementaux et d’états (...) sensoriels physiologiques. En tant que telle, elle fournit une source d’évidences plausible en faveur de l’hypothèse que les émotions sont une forme spécialisée de système nomologique ou une « espèce ». Le succès de la théorie rationnelle des émotions jette le doute sur le mantra philosophique actuel qui refuse aux émotions le statut d’espèce naturelle, car elle suggère précisément l’inverse, c’est-à-dire que les émotions sont bel et bien une forme d’« espèce naturelle ». Cet appui n’a pas été pris en considération dans le débat en cours au sujet du statut d’espèce naturelle de l’émotion. Il est particulièrement intéressant de noter la façon dont il nous force à repenser la notion d’espèce naturelle telle qu’elle est employée dans les débats philosophiques sur la question. D’autres formulations qui correspondent mieux aux pratiques des sciences concernées pourraient être nécessaires.Rational Emotive Therapy is based on the hypothesis that disordered thinking leads to disordered feeling, which then leads to disordered behavior. Therapeutically, the strategy it is to correct disordered feeling and behavior by changing the disordered thinking. This immensely popular form of psychotherapy for emotional disorders provides an interesting illustration of the intricate law-like relationships that can exist between relatively fixed patterns of emotional, behavioral, and physiological sensory states. As such, it provides a plausible source of evidence for the hypothesis that emotions form a specialized law-like system or ‘kind’. Evidence of the success of Rational Emotive Therapy casts doubt on the contemporary philosophical mantra that emotions do not form a natural kind. It suggests precisely the opposite, namely, that emotions do form a ‘natural kind’ of some sort. This evidence has not been considered in the ongoing debate over the natural kind status of emotion. Especially interesting is how it forces us to rethink the way in which the notion of a natural kind is usually deployed in philosophical debates in this area. Alternative formulations more in line with the practices of the relevant sciences may be needed. (shrink)
Moral considerations do not appear to play a large role in discussions of the DSM-IV personality disorders and debates about their empirical validity. Yet philosophical analysis reveals that the Cluster B personality disorders, in particular, may in fact be moral rather than clinical conditions. This finding has serious consequences for how they should be treated and by whom.
How does one scientifically verify a psychometric instrument designed to assess the mental competence of medical patients who are asked to consent to medical treatment? Aside from satisfying technical requirements like statistical reliability, results yielded by such a test must conform to at least some accepted pretheoretical desiderata; for example, determinations of competence, as measured by the test, must capture a minimal core of accepted basic intuitions about what competence means and what a theory of competence is supposed to do. (...) The concepts of “face validity” and “content validity” are both important here. Face validity “indicates that an instrument appears to test what it is supposed to and that it is a plausible method for doing so” (Portney and Watkins 2000, 82). Content validity “means that the test contains all the elements that reflect the variable being studied” (Portney and.. (shrink)
In his target article, Barsalou cites current work on emotion theory but does not explore its relevance for this project. The connection is worth pursuing, since there is a plausible case to be made that emotions form a distinct symbolic information processing system of their own. On some views, that system is argued to be perceptual: a direct connection with Barsalou's perceptual symbol systems theory. Also relevant is the hypothesis that there may be different modular subsystems within emotion and the (...) perennial tension between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion. (shrink)
Over the past several decades, geneticists have succeeded in identifying the genetic mutations associated with disease. New strategies for treatment, including gene transfer and gene therapy, are under development. Although genetic science has been welcomed for its potential to predict and treat disease, interventions may become ethically objectionable if they threaten to alter characteristics that are distinctively human. Before we can determine whether or not a genetic technique carries this risk, we must clarify what it means to be “human”. This (...) paper inquires how “humanness” has been defined within various academic fields. The views of several legal theoreists, scientists, bioethicists, psychologists, philosophers and anthropologists whose works seem to best reflect how “humanness” is understood in their respective fields of study are considered. Our survey attempts to chart a path for a more detailed study on the meaning of “humanness” in the future. (shrink)
To cite this Article: , 'Affective Neuroscience and Addiction', The American Journal of Bioethics, 7:1, 20 - 21 To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/15265160601064066 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15265160601064066..