The Argumentative Adversariality debate is over the question of whether argument must be adversarial. A particular locus of this debate is on skeptical challenges in critical dialogue. The Default Skeptical Stance in argument is a practical manifestation of argumentative adversariality. Views about the on-the-ground value of the DSS vary. On one hand, in “The Social & Political Limitations of Philosophy”, Phyllis Rooney argues that the DSS leads to epistemic injustice. On the other, Allan Hazlett in his recent piece “Critical Injustice” (...) argues for the virtues of the skeptical stance in terms of epistemic justice. Both Rooney and Hazlett are concerned with the role skeptical engagement plays in argument, but they assign opposite values to it. In this essay, I review Rooney and Hazlett’s examples and show that the epistemic dysfunction in the two scholar’s going cases is one and the same, and argue that the cause of both is a lack of proper skeptical engagement. Skeptical engagement is a requirement for epistemic justice. Together and constitute an initial defense of the Adversarialist position against objections regarding the social epistemic risk of the skeptical stance. (shrink)
Diogenes’s exchange with Cicermos the Olympic pankratist is unusual in that it is both a dialectical exchange and is successful in changing Cicermos’s mind. Most Cynic rhetoric is physical or gestural and more often alienates than convinces. The puzzling difference is explained by the rhetorical choices Diogenes makes with his uniquely receptive audience.
Lucy Allais presents an original interpretation of Kant's transcendental idealism. She argues that his distinction between things in themselves and things as they appear to us has both epistemological and metaphysical components. Kant is committed to a genuine idealism about things as they appear to us, but this is not a phenomenalist idealism. He is committed to the claim that there is an aspect of reality that grounds mind-dependent spatio-temporal objects, and which we cannot cognize, but he does not (...) assert the existence of distinct non-spatio-temporal objects. On Allais's account, we cannot understand Kant's idealism without a clear account of his notion of intuition and of the role of intuition in cognition: she understands Kantian intuitions as representations that give us acquaintance with the objects of thought. This enables us to make sense of Kant's central argument for his idealism in the Transcendental Aesthetic, and to see why he takes the complete idealist position to be established there. (shrink)
Despite its long history of investigating sociality, phenomenology has, to date, said little about online sociality. The phenomenological tradition typically claims that empathy is the fundamental way in which we experience others and their experiences. While empathy is discussed almost exclusively in the context of face-to-face interaction, I claim that we can empathetically perceive others and their experiences in certain online situations. Drawing upon the phenomenological distinction between the physical, objective body and the expressive, lived body, I: (i) highlight that (...) empathy involves perceiving the other’s expressive, lived body, (ii) show that the lived body is not tied to the physical body and that empathy can take place outside of face-to-face interactions, and (iii) argue that the lived body can enter online space and is empathetically available to others there. I explore two ways in which the other’s lived body enters online space and can be empathetically perceived: first, in cases where our face-to-face encounter is technologically-mediated over video link and, second, by showing how the other’s texts, as speech, can form part of the other’s lived body. Investigating empathy online not only furthers our understanding of online encounters but also leads to a refined conception of empathy more generally. (shrink)
A new therapeutic strategy could break the stalemate in the war on cancer by targeting not all cancerous cells but the small fraction that lie at the root of cancers. Lucie Laplane offers a comprehensive analysis of cancer stem cell theory, based on an original interdisciplinary approach that combines biology, biomedical history, and philosophy.
The internet provides us with a multitude of ways of interacting with one another. In discussions about how technological innovations impact and shape our interpersonal interactions, there is a tendency to assume that encountering people online is essentially different to encountering people offline. Yet, individuals report feeling a sense of togetherness with one another online that echoes offline descriptions. I consider how we can understand people’s experiences of being together with others online, at least in certain instances, as arising out (...) of their feeling together as a we. Using Walther’s phenomenological framework of communality, I explore whether the following might take place online: habitual communal experiences and actual we-experiences. While neither of these sketches amount to a full account of how we find ourselves with others online, I suggest that they reveal how insights from the phenomenology of sociality can be used to deepen our understanding of online communality. What is more, I suggest that the strength of this approach is that in some cases it allows us to circumvent tricky questions about embodiment online and, in others, prompts us to ask to what extent a fully-embodied interaction is really required for we-experiences. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a philosophical analysis of the act of ‘liking’ a post on social media. First, I consider what it means to ‘like’ something. I argue that ‘liking’ is best understood as a phatic gesture; it signals uptake and anoints the poster’s positive face. Next, I consider how best to theorise the power that comes with amassing many ‘likes’. I suggest that ‘like’ tallies alongside posts institute and record a form of digital social capital. Finally, I consider (...) whether ‘likes’ have ultimately improved online discourse. I argue that while the ‘liking’ function itself is relatively innocuous, public ‘like’ tallies introduce a corrosive motivation to online communication. By making the prospect of increased social capital perpetually salient to us, they encourage us to prioritise high levels of engagement over meaningful engagement. (shrink)
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, high hopes were placed on digital contact tracing. Digital contact tracing apps can now be downloaded in many countries, but as further waves of COVID-19 tear through much of the northern hemisphere, these apps are playing a less important role in interrupting chains of infection than anticipated. We argue that one of the reasons for this is that most countries have opted for decentralised apps, which cannot provide a means of rapidly informing users (...) of likely infections while avoiding too many false positive reports. Centralised apps, in contrast, have the potential to do this. But policy making was influenced by public debates about the right app configuration, which have tended to focus heavily on privacy, and are driven by the assumption that decentralised apps are “privacy preserving by design”. We show that both types of apps are in fact vulnerable to privacy breaches, and, drawing on principles from safety engineering and risk analysis, compare the risks of centralised and decentralised systems along two dimensions, namely the probability of possible breaches and their severity. We conclude that a centralised app may in fact minimise overall ethical risk, and contend that we must reassess our approach to digital contact tracing, and should, more generally, be cautious about a myopic focus on privacy when conducting ethical assessments of data technologies. (shrink)
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a complex disorder characterised by self-starvation, an act of self-destruction. It is often described as a disorder marked by paradoxes and, despite extensive research attention, is still not well understood. Much AN research focuses upon the distorted body image that individuals with AN supposedly experience. However, based upon reports from individuals describing their own experience of AN, I argue that their bodily experience is much more complex than this focus might lead us to believe. Such research (...) often presents an overly cognitive understanding of bodily experience in AN, underplaying the affective, felt experience of individuals with AN, as well as descriptions of empowerment, strength and control reported in the early stages of AN. This paper seeks to enrich our understanding of bodily experience in AN as it progresses throughout the various stages of the disorder. I show how the classical phenomenological distinction between the body-as-subject and the body-as-object, as well as Leder’s conception of the visceral body, can inform our understanding of bodily experience in AN. I suggest that the project of self-starvation is an attempt to overcome the noisy demands of the visceral body, which are experienced as threatening the body-as-subject, through a process of objectifying the body-as-object. By cashing out AN as a project of radical bodily control that, tragically, comes to control the individual, we can capture important aspects of the bodily experience of AN and the temporal progression of the disorder. -/- . (shrink)
:Space is not an empirical concept that has been drawn from outer experiences. For in order for certain sensations to be related to something outside me , thus in order for me to represent them as outside and next to one another, thus not merely different but as in different places, the representation of space must already be their ground. Thus the representation of space cannot be obtained from the relations of outer appearance through experience, but this outer experience is (...) itself first possible only through this representation. 1Abstract:Der Raum is kein empirischer Begriff, der von äußeren Erfahrungen abgezogen worden. Denn damit gewisse Empfindungen auf etwas außer mir bezogen werden, imgleichen damit ich sie als außer und neben einander, mithin nicht bloß verschieden, sondern als in verschiedenen Orten vorstellen können, dazu muß die Vorstellung des Raumes schon zum Grunde liegen. (shrink)
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder characterised by self-starvation. Accounts of AN typically frame the disorder in individualistic terms: e.g., genetic predisposition, perceptual disturbances of body size and shape, experiential bodily disturbances. Without disputing the role these factors may play in developing AN, we instead draw attention to the way disordered eating practices in AN are actively supported by others. Specifically, we consider how Pro-Anorexia (ProAna) websites — which provide support and solidarity, tips, motivational content, a sense of community, (...) and understanding to individuals with AN — help drive and maintain AN practices. We use C. Thi Nguyen’s work on epistemic “echo chambers”, along with Maria Lugones’ work on “worlds” and “ease”, to explore the dynamics of these processes. Adopting this broader temporal and intersubjective perspective, we argue, not only helps to further illuminate the experiential character of AN but also has important clinical and therapeutic significance. (shrink)
Callender claims that `time is the great informer', meaning that the direction in which our `best' physical theories inform are temporal. This is intended to be a metaphysical claim, and as such expresses a relationship between the physical world and information-gathering systems such as ourselves. This paper gives two counterexamples to this claim, illustrating the fact that time and informative strength doubly dissociate, so the claim cannot be about physical theories in general. The first is a case where physical theories (...) inform in directions that we have no reason to regard as temporal. The second is a case where our best physical theories fail to inform in directions that we have independent reasons to regard as temporal. Taking these two cases into account suggests that the connection Callender makes between time and informativeness is perspectival. The second case demonstrates that, although scientists often seek information in temporal directions, the behaviour of the physical world can present serious difficulties for finding it. In response, this paper proposes a perspectival reading of Callender's claim, according to which the connection between time and informative strength has more to do with the aims and objectives of science than the workings of the physical world. (shrink)
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, high hopes were put on digital contact tracing, using mobile phone apps to record and immediately notify contacts when a user reports as infected. Such apps can now be downloaded in many countries, but as second waves of COVID-19 are raging, these apps are playing a less important role than anticipated. We argue that this is because most countries have opted for app configurations that cannot provide a means of rapidly informing users of (...) likely infections while avoiding too many false positive reports. Mathematical modelling suggests that differently configured apps have the potential to do this. These require, however, that some pseudonymised data be stored on a central server, which privacy advocates have cautioned against. We contend that their influential arguments are subject to two fallacies. First, they have tended to one-sidedly focus on the risks that centralised data storage entails for privacy, while paying insufficient attention to the fact that inefficient contact tracing involves ethical risks too. Second, while the envisioned system does entail risks of breaches, such risks are also present in decentralised systems, which have been falsely presented as ‘privacy preserving by design’. When these points are understood, it becomes clear that we must rethink our approach to digital contact tracing in our fight against COVID-19. There are no data in this work. (shrink)
At this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, two policy aims are imperative: avoiding the need for a general lockdown of the population, with all its economic, social and health costs, and preventing the healthcare system from being overwhelmed by the unchecked spread of infection. Achieving these two aims requires the consideration of unpalatable measures. Julian Savulescu and James Cameron argue that mandatory isolation of the elderly is justified under these circumstances, as they are at increased risk of becoming severely ill (...) from COVID-19, and are thus likely to put disproportionate strain on limited healthcare resources. However, their arguments for this strategy are contingent on the lack of viable alternatives. We suggest that there is a possible alternative: a mandatory, centralised contact-tracing app. We argue that this strategy is ethically preferable to the selective isolation of the elderly, because it does not target members of a certain group, relying instead on the movements of each individual, and because it avoids the extended isolation of certain members of the society. Although this type of contact-tracing app has its drawbacks, we contend that this measure warrants serious consideration. (shrink)
In a recent article, Ethan Bradley and Mark Navin (2021) argue that vaccine refusal is not akin to free riding. Here, I defend one connection between vaccine refusal and free riding and suggest that, when viewed in conjunction with their other arguments, this might constitute a reason to mandate Covid-19 vaccination.
Uptake is typically understood as the hearer’s recognition of the speaker’s communicative intention. According to one theory of uptake, the hearer’s role is merely as a ratifier. The speaker, by expressing a particular communicative intention, predetermines what kind of illocutionary act she might perform. Her hearer can then render this act a success or a failure. Thus the hearer has no power over which act could be performed, but she does have some power over whether it is performed. Call this (...) the ratification theory of uptake. Several philosophers have recently endorsed an alternative theory of uptake, according to which the hearer can determine the nature of the act the speaker performs. According to this theory, if the hearer regards an utterance as illocutionary act y, then it is act y, even if the speaker intended to perform act x. Call this the constitution theory of uptake. The purported advantage of this theory is that it identifies a common but underanalysed way in which speakers can be silenced. I argue that despite its initial intuitive pull, the constitution theory of uptake should be rejected. It is incompatible with ordinary intuitions about speech, it entails a conceptual impossibility, and it has unsavoury political implications, entailing that marginalised speakers barely qualify as agents. (shrink)
Lucy O'Brien argues that a satisfactory account of first-person reference and self-knowledge needs to concentrate on our nature as agents. Clearly written, with rigorous discussion of rival views, this book will be of interest to anyone working in the philosophy of mind and action.
The notion of respect for autonomy dominates bioethical discussion, though what qualifies precisely as autonomous action is notoriously elusive. In recent decades, the notion of autonomy in medical contexts has often been defined in opposition to the notion of autonomy favoured by theoretical philosophers. Where many contemporary theoretical accounts of autonomy place emphasis on a condition of “authenticity”, the special relation a desire must have to the self, bioethicists often regard such a focus as irrelevant to the concerns of medical (...) ethics, and too stringent for use in practical contexts. I argue, however, that the very condition of authenticity that forms a focus in theoretical philosophy is also essential to autonomy and competence in medical ethics. After tracing the contours of contemporary authenticity-based theories of autonomy, I consider and respond to objections against the incorporation of a notion of authenticity into accounts of autonomy designed for use in medical contexts. By looking at the typical problems that arise when making judgments concerning autonomy or competence in a medical setting, I reveal the need for a condition of authenticity—as a means of protecting choices, particularly high-stakes choices, from being restricted or overridden on the basis of intersubjective disagreement. I then turn to the treatment of false and contestable beliefs, arguing that it is only through reference to authenticity that we can make important distinctions in this domain. Finally, I consider a potential problem with my proposed approach; its ability to deal with anorexic and depressive desires. (shrink)
Anscombe thought that practical knowledge – a person’s knowledge of what she is intentionally doing – displays formal differences to ordinary empirical, or ‘speculative’, knowledge. I suggest these differences rest on the fact that practical knowledge involves intention analogously to how speculative knowledge involves belief. But this claim conflicts with the standard conception of knowledge, according to which knowledge is an inherently belief-involving phenomenon. Building on John Hyman’s account of knowledge as the ability to use a fact as a reason, (...) I develop an alternative, two-tier, epistemology which allows that knowledge might really come in a belief-involving and an intention-involving form. (shrink)
In this paper, we introduce the Japanese philosopher Tetsurō Watsuji’s phenomenology of aidagara (“betweenness”) and use his analysis in the contemporary context of online space. We argue that Watsuji develops a prescient analysis anticipating modern technologically-mediated forms of expression and engagement. More precisely, we show that instead of adopting a traditional phenomenological focus on face-to-face interaction, Watsuji argues that communication technologies — which now include Internet-enabled technologies and spaces — are expressive vehicles enabling new forms of emotional expression, shared experiences, (...) and modes of betweenness that would be otherwise inaccessible. Using Watsuji’s phenomenological analysis, we argue that the Internet is not simply a sophisticated form of communication technology that expresses our subjective spatiality (although it is), but that it actually gives rise to new forms of subjective spatiality itself. We conclude with an exploration of how certain aspects of our online interconnections are hidden from lay users in ways that have significant political and ethical implications. (shrink)
This article is concerned with a discussion of the plausibility of the claim that GM technology has the potential to provide the hungry with sufficient food for subsistence. Following a brief outline of the potential applications of GM in this context, a history of the green revolution and its impact will be discussed in relation to the current developing world agriculture situation. Following a contemporary analysis of malnutrition, the claim that GM technology has the potential to provide the hungry with (...) sufficient nourishment will be discussed within the domain of moral philosophy to determine whether there exists a moral obligation to pursue this end if and only if the technology proves to be relatively safe and effective. By using Peter Singer’s duty of moral rescue, I argue that we have a moral duty to assist the third world through the distribution of such GM plants. I conclude the paper by demonstrating that my argument can be supported by applying a version of the Precautionary Principle on the grounds that doing nothing might be worse for the current situation. (shrink)
Our main objectives are to learn if pore-evolution models developed from marine mudrocks can be directly applied to lacustrine mudrocks, investigate what controls the different pore types and sizes of Chang 7 organic matter -rich argillaceous mudstones of the Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation, and describe the texture, fabric, mineralogy, and thermal maturity variation in the Chang 7 mudstones. Lacustrine mudstones from nine cored wells along a depositional dip in the southeastern Ordos Basin, China, were investigated. Helium porosimetry, nitrogen adsorption, and (...) field-emission scanning electron microscopy of Ar-ion milled samples were applied. Measured average total porosity of samples from a proximal to distal transect is higher than those from the two adjacent cored wells. This difference in porosity partly caused by differences in the clay mineral content implies that in the fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine depositional environment, reservoir quality can vary significantly in a short distance. Owing to the uneven distribution of the sample set from proximal to distal area, we mainly evaluate variations in the proximal setting. Results from nitrogen-gas adsorption experiments show that there are four distinct patterns of pore-size distribution within the Chang 7 member of the Yanchang Formation with no particular correlation with mineralogical composition and thermal maturity. The pore network within Chang 7 mudstones is dominated by OM-hosted pores, with a lesser abundance of interparticle and intraparticle pores. The size distribution of mineral-hosted pores within these mudstones is found to be closely related to the rock texture and fabric. Mudstones with well-sorted grains and a higher percentage of coarser grains have more abundant mineral pores. The sizes of OM-hosted pores in these compaction-dominated lacustrine mudstones were one to two orders of magnitude smaller than those in the marine mudstones that display abundant early cementation. (shrink)
Like any discipline, bioethics is a developing field of academic inquiry; and recent trends in scholarship have been towards more engagement with empirical research. This ‘empirical turn’ has provoked extensive debate over how such ‘descriptive’ research carried out in the social sciences contributes to the distinctively normative aspect of bioethics. This paper will address this issue by developing a practical research methodology for the inclusion of data from social science studies into ethical deliberation. This methodology will be based on a (...) naturalistic conception of ethical theory that sees practice as informing theory just as theory informs practice – the two are symbiotically related. From this engagement with practice, the ways that such theories need to be extended and developed can be determined. This is a practical methodology for integrating theory and practice that can be used in empirical studies, one that uses ethical theory both to explore the data and to draw normative conclusions. (shrink)
Actor network theory and supply chainmanagement theory provide suggestive researchdirections for understanding regional agri-foodnetworks. These theories claim that relationshipsbased upon trust and cooperation are critical to thestrength and vitality of the network. This means thatexploring and detailing these relationships among thesuppliers, producers, workers, processors, brokers,wholesalers, and retailers within specific regionalgeographies of these networks are critical forfurthering cooperation and trust. Key areas ofcooperation include resource sharing andapprenticeship programs. Employing food networks as akey unit of contextual analysis will deepen ourunderstanding of how (...) to enhance their resiliency andvibrancy. Important questions can be raised about thedifference gender makes for farmers, brokers,entrepreneurs, and workers in local food networks. (shrink)
The New Rhetoric is founded on the idea that since “argumentation aims at securing the adherence of those to whom it is addressed, it is, in its entirety, relative to the audience to be influenced,” says Chaïm Perelman and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca, and they rely, in particular, for their theory of argumentation on the twin concepts of universal and particular audiences: while every argument is directed to a specific individual or group, the orator decides what information and what approaches will achieve (...) the greatest adherence according to an ideal audience. This ideal, Perelman explains, can be embodied, for example, "in God, in all reasonable and competent men, in the man deliberating or in an elite.” Like particular audiences, then, the universal audience is never fixed or absolute but depends on the orator, the content and goals of the argument, and the particular audience to whom the argument is addressed. These considerations determine what information constitutes "facts" and "reasonableness" and thus help to determine the universal audience that, in turn, shapes the orator's approach. /// The adherence of an audience is also determined by the orator's use of values, a further key concept of the New Rhetoric. Perelman's treatment of value and his view of epideictic rhetoric sets his approach apart from that of the ancients and of Aristotle in particular. Aristotle's division of rhetoric into three genres–forensic, deliberative, and epideictic–is largely motivated by the judgments required for each: forensic or legal arguments require verdicts on past action, deliberative or political rhetoric seeks judgment on future action, and epideictic or ceremonial rhetoric concerns values associated with praise or blame and seeks no specific decisions. For Aristotle, the epideictic genre was of limited importance in the civic realm since it did not concern facts or policies. Perelman, in contrast, believes not only that epideictic rhetoric warrants more attention, but that the values normally limited to that genre are in fact central to all argumentation. "Epideictic oratory," Perelman argues, "has significant and important argumentation for strengthening the disposition toward action by increasing adherence to the values it lauds.” These values are central to the persuasiveness of arguments in all rhetorical genres since the orator always attempts to "establish a sense of communion centered around particular values recognized by the audience.”. (shrink)
The question: are humans the only animals endowed with language? must be preceded by the question: what makes language a unique communication system? The American linguist Charles F. Hockett answers the second question by listing what he considers the criteria that differentiate language from other communication systems. His ‘design-feature’ approach, first presented in 1958, has become a popular tool by which the communication systems of non-human animals are guaranteed a priori exclusion from the notion of language. However, the results of (...) interspecific communication research and the discovery of language–like qualities in the natural communication systems of non-human animals demonstrate that language capabilities have evolved in parallel in many species. Thus Hockett’s approach is thoroughly undermined, and in need of revision. The more fundamental question that must be faced by the design-feature approach is: are its features essential for language as a distinct and vivid phenomenon, or merely applied to language as an object of linguistic investigation? This paper offers a detailed overview of Hockett’s design-features and emphasizes the problematic nature of certain characteristics. Following Slobodchikoff and Segerdahl et al., the paper shows that language cannot be defined as an exclusive quality of a single species. (shrink)
Individuals often lie for psychological rewards (e.g., preserving self image and/or protecting others), absent economic rewards. We conducted a laboratory experiment, using a modified dictator game, to identify conditions that entice individuals to lie solely for psychological rewards. We argue that such lies can provide a ready means for individuals to manage others’ impression of them. We investigated the effect of social distance (the perceived familiarity, intimacy, or psychological proximity between two parties) and knowledge of circumstances (whether parties have common (...) or asymmetric information) on the frequency of lying. We found that lying occurs more frequently when social distance is near and that the effect is exacerbated when information is asymmetric. Our theoretical development suggests that, under these conditions, individuals’ need to manage others’ impression is magnified. We discuss the implications of our findings. (shrink)
In my article "Controlling the noise," I present a phenomenological investigation of bodily experience in anorexia nervosa. Turning to descriptions of those who have suffered from AN, which repeatedly detail the experience of finding their bodies threatening, out of control and noisy, I suggest that the phenomenological conceptions of body-as-object, body-as-subject and visceral body can help us unpack the complex bodily experience of AN throughout its various stages. My claim is that self-starvation is enacted by a bodily-subject who wishes to (...) quell or reassert authority over a visceral body whose demands and needs she finds threatening to her autonomy.The relationship between body-as-object and... (shrink)
This book considers the thought and personalities of two popular icons of twentieth century philosophical and psychological thought - Nietzsche and Jung - and reveals the extraordinary connections between them. Through a thorough examination of their work, Nietzsche and Jung succeeds in illuminating complex areas of Nietzsche's thought and resolving ambiguities in Jung's reception of these theories. This demonstration of how our understanding of analytical psychology can be enriched by investigating its philosophical roots will be of great interest to students (...) in psychology, philosophy and religion as well as practising Jungian analysts. (shrink)
After a long period of comparative neglect, in the last few decades growing numbers of philosophers have been paying attention to the startling contrast presented between Kant’s universal moral theory, with its inspiring enlightenment ideas of human autonomy, equality and dignity and Kant’s racism. Against Charles Mills, who argues that the way to make Kant consistent is by attributing to him a threshold notion of moral personhood, according to which some races do not qualify for consideration under the categorical imperative, (...) I argue that Kant cannot be made consistent on race, and that rather than trying to make him so, we should use the example of Kant’s racism to tell us something about the nature of racism. I argue that Kant’s own moral philosophy and moral psychology in fact give some materials for thinking about his racism, and about racism. (shrink)
Respect for autonomy and beneficence are frequently regarded as the two essential principles of medical ethics, and the potential for these two principles to come into conflict is often emphasised as a fundamental problem. On the one hand, we have the value of beneficence, the driving force of medicine, which demands that medical professionals act to protect or promote the wellbeing of patients or research subjects. On the other, we have a principle of respect for autonomy, which demands that we (...) respect the self-regarding decisions of individuals. As well as routinely coming into opposition with the demands of beneficence in medicine, the principle of respect for autonomy in medical ethics is often seen as providing protection against beneficial coercion (i.e. paternalism) in medicine. However, these two values are not as straightforwardly opposed as they may appear on the surface. In fact, the way that we understand autonomy can lead us to implicitly sanction a great deal of paternalistic action, or can smuggle in paternalistic elements under the guise of respect for autonomy. -/- This paper is dedicated to outlining three ways in which the principle of respect for autonomy, depending on how we understand the concept of autonomy, can sanction or smuggle in paternalistic elements. As the specific relationship between respect for autonomy and beneficence will depend on how we conceive of autonomy, I begin by outlining two dominant conceptions of autonomy, both of which have great influence in medical ethics. I then turn to the three ways in which how we understand or employ autonomy can increase or support paternalism: firstly, when we equate respect for autonomy with respect for persons; secondly, when our judgements about what qualifies as an autonomous action contain intersubjective elements; and thirdly, when we expect autonomy to play an instrumental role, that is, when we expect people, when they are acting autonomously, to act in a way that promotes or protects their own wellbeing. I then provide a proposal for how we might work to avoid this. I will suggest that it may be impossible to fully separate paternalistic elements out from judgements about autonomy. Instead, we are better off looking at why we are motivated to use judgements about autonomy as a means of restricting the actions of patients or research subjects. I will argue that this is a result of discomfort about speaking directly about our beneficent motivations in medical ethics. Perhaps we can reduce the incentive to smuggle in these beneficent motivations under the guise of autonomy by talking directly about beneficent motivations in medicine. This will also force us to recognise paternalistic motivations in medicine when they appear, and to justify paternalism where it occurs. (shrink)
Seen as contributing to human enhancement, implanted technologies have recently been receiving a lot of attention. However, reflections on these technologies have taken the shape of rather speculative ethical judgments on “hyped” technological devices. On the other hand, while science and technology studies and philosophy of technology have a long tradition of analyzing how technological artifacts and tools transform and configure our lives, they tend to focus on use configurations rather than the intimate relations brought about by implanted technologies. Even (...) the cyborg has lost some of its hermeneutic power as it has been detached from its material grounds, becoming a discursive entity. In this article, I reclaim the importance of materiality and explore how people live with spinal cord stimulation, which is a type of neuromodulation technology. Implanted in bodies and seemingly out of sight, this technology does not cease to matter. Embodiment and incorporation are crucial for people to live well with SCS. Embodying the neuromodulation technology entails groping processes in which gestures are central and an increased intimacy with one’s bodily materiality. Incorporating it is highly relational and entangled with the bodies of loved and distant ones, humans and nonhumans. (shrink)
The tacit standard view that development ends once reproductive capacity is acquired (reproductive boundary, or ‘‘RB,’’ thesis) has recently been challenged by biologists and philosophers of biology arguing that development continues until death (death boundary, or ‘‘DB,’’ thesis). The relevance of these two theses is difficult to assess because the fact that there is no precise definition of development makes the determination of its temporal boundaries problematic. Taking into account this difficulty, this article tries to develop a new species-dependent perspective (...) on temporal boundaries of development. This species-dependent account stands against both RB and DB theses since neither of them reflects the differences between species in the temporality of their development. In this perspective, I propose to use stem cells as a tool to analyze (1) the different developmental capacities of an organism during its life; and (2) the different developmental temporal capacities between species. In particular, I will show that stem cells enable four distinct temporal developmental patterns to be distinguished, i.e., four distinct temporal boundaries of development in the living. I show how these four patterns can be interpreted differently depending on the perspective one has on the definition of development. (shrink)
BackgroundThe Health Research Council of New Zealand is the first major government funding agency to use a lottery to allocate research funding for their Explorer Grant scheme. This is a somewhat controversial approach because, despite the documented problems of peer review, many researchers believe that funding should be allocated solely using peer review, and peer review is used almost ubiquitously by funding agencies around the world. Given the rarity of alternative funding schemes, there is interest in hearing from the first (...) cohort of researchers to ever experience a lottery. Additionally, the Health Research Council of New Zealand wanted to hear from applicants about the acceptability of the randomisation process and anonymity of applicants.MethodsThis paper presents the results of a survey of Health Research Council applicants from 2013 to 2019. The survey asked about the acceptability of using a lottery and if the lottery meant researchers took a different approach to their application.ResultsThe overall response rate was 39%, with 30% from applicants in the years 2013 to 2018, and 68% for those in the year 2019 who were not aware of the funding result. There was agreement that randomisation is an acceptable method for allocating Explorer Grant funds with 63% in favour and 25% against. There was less support for allocating funds randomly for other grant types with only 40% in favour and 37% against. Support for a lottery was higher amongst those that had won funding. Multiple respondents stated that they supported a lottery when ineligible applications had been excluded and outstanding applications funded, so that the remaining applications were truly equal. Most applicants reported that the lottery did not change the time they spent preparing their application.ConclusionsThe Health Research Council’s experience through the Explorer Grant scheme supports further uptake of a modified lottery. (shrink)
This paper examines the idea that forgiveness requires, either for its existence or for its justification, the meeting of moral and epistemic conditions which show that resentment is no longer warranted. I argue that this idea results in over-intellectualizing and over-moralizing forgiveness, and in failing to accommodate its elective nature. I sketch an alternative account, which appeals to the differences between emotions and beliefs, and the idea that we have more rational optionality with respect to emotions.
Were governments justified in imposing lockdowns to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? We argue that a convincing answer to this question is to date wanting, by critically analyzing the factual basis of a recent paper, “How Government Leaders Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis” (Winsberg et al. 2020). In their paper, Winsberg et al. argue that government leaders did not, at the beginning of the pandemic, meet the epistemic requirements necessitated to impose lockdowns. We focus on (...) Winsberg et al.’s contentions that knowledge about COVID-19 resultant projections were inadequate; that epidemiologists were biased in their estimates of relevant figures; that there was insufficient evidence supporting the efficacy of lockdowns; and that lockdowns cause more harm than good. We argue that none of these claims are sufficiently supported by evidence, thus impairing their case against lockdowns, and leaving open the question of whether lockdowns were justified. (shrink)
This paper aims to contribute to the development of tools to support an analysis of Big Data as manifestations of social processes and human behaviour. Such a task demands both an understanding of the epistemological challenge posed by the Big Data phenomenon and a critical assessment of the offers and promises coming from the area of Big Data analytics. This paper draws upon the critical social and data scientists’ view on Big Data as an epistemological challenge that stems not only (...) from the sheer volume of digital data but, predominantly, from the proliferation of the narrow-technological and the positivist views on data. Adoption of the social-scientific epistemological stance presupposes that digital data was conceptualised as manifestations of the social. In order to answer the epistemological challenge, social scientists need to extend the repertoire of social scientific theories and conceptual frameworks that may inform the analysis of the social in the age of Big Data. However, an ‘epistemological revolution’ discourse on Big Data may hinder the integration of the social scientific knowledge into the Big Data analytics. (shrink)
: Interpretations of Kant's transcendental idealism have been dominated by two extreme views: phenomenalist and merely epistemic readings. There are serious objections to both of these extremes, and the aim of this paper is to develop a middle ground between the two. In the Prolegomena, Kant suggests that his idealism about appearances can be understood in terms of an analogy with secondary qualities like color. Commentators have rejected this option because they have assumed that the analogy should be read in (...) terms of either a Lockean or a Berkelean account of qualities such as color, and have argued, rightly, that neither can provide the basis for a coherent interpretation of Kant's position. I argue that the account of color that the analogy requires is one within the context of a direct theory of perception, as opposed to Locke's representative account. Using this account of color, the secondary quality analogy enables us to explain how appearances can be mind-dependent without existing in the mind. (shrink)
ABSTRACTA widespread view in the philosophy of mind and action holds that intentions are propositional attitudes. Call this view ‘Propositionalism about Intention’. The key alternative holds that intentions have acts, or do-ables, as their contents. Propositionalism is typically accepted by default, rather than argued for in any detail. By appealing to a key metaphysical constraint on any account of intention, I argue that on the contrary, it is the Do-ables View which deserves the status of the default position, and Propositionalism (...) which bears the burden of proof. I go on to show that this burden has not been met in the literature. (shrink)
This essay discusses the use of analogies drawn from the Holocaust in cultural representations and critical scholarship on dementia. The paper starts with a discussion of references to the death camp in cultural narratives about dementia, specifically Annie Ernaux’s account of her mother’s dementia in I Remain in Darkness. It goes on to develop a critique of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s work on biopolitics and “bare life,” focusing specifically on the linguistic foundations of his thinking. This underpins a consideration of (...) the limitations of his philosophy and ontologically derived notions of weakness and passivity in imagining life with dementia as a potential site of agency or as the locus for transformative ideas about care, community, and non-instrumentalist conceptions of human value. (shrink)
This paper describes a community event organized in response to the appropriation and overreliance on the psychiatric patient “personal story” within mental health organizations. The sharing of experiences through stories by individuals who self-identify as having “lived experience” has been central to the history of organizing for change in and outside of the psychiatric system. However, in the last decade, personal stories have increasingly been used by the psychiatric system to bolster research, education, and fundraising interests. We explore how personal (...) stories from consumer/survivors have been harnessed by mental health organizations to further their interests and in so doing have shifted these narrations from “agents of change” towards one of “disability tourism” or “patient porn.” We mark the ethical dilemmas of narrative cooptation and consumption, and query how stories of resistance can be reclaimed not as personal recovery narratives but rather as a tool for socio-political change. (shrink)