It is predicted that the rapid acquisition of new genetic knowledge and related applications during the next decade will have significant implications for virtually all members of society. Currently, most people get exposed to information about genes and genetics only through stories publicized in the media. We sought to understand how individuals in the general population used and understood the concepts of ???genetics??? and ???genes.??? During in-depth one-on-one telephone interviews with adults in the United States, we asked questions exploring their (...) basic understanding of these terms, as well as their belief as to the location of genes in the human body. A wide range of responses was received. Despite conversational familiarity with genetic terminology, many noted frustration or were hesitant when trying to answer these questions. In addition, some responses reflected a lack of understanding about basic genetic science that may have significant implications for broader public education measures in genetic literacy, genetic counseling, public health practices, and even routine health care. (shrink)
This is the editors' introduction to an edited volume devoted to the relation between phenomenology and naturalism across several philosophical domains, including: epistemology, metaphysics, history of philosophy, and philosophy of science and ethics.
Havi Carel uses phenomenology to explore how illness modifies the ill person's body, values, and world. Carel argues that illness has received little philosophical attention. Phenomenology of Illness develops a phenomenological framework for illness and a systematic understanding of illness as a philosophical tool.
This study examines whether corporate social responsibility performance is associated with corporate tax avoidance. Employing a matched sample of 434 firm-year observations from the Kinder, Lydenberg, and Domini database over the period 2003–2009, our logit regression results show that the higher the level of CSR performance of a firm, the lower the likelihood of tax avoidance. Our results indicate that more socially responsible firms are likely to display less tax avoidance. Finally, the results from our additional analysis show that the (...) CSR categories community relations and diversity represent particularly important elements of CSR performance that reduce tax avoidance. (shrink)
What is illness? Is it a physiological dysfunction, a social label, or a way of experiencing the world? How do the physical, social and emotional worlds of a person change when they become ill? And can there be well-being within illness? In this remarkable and thought-provoking book, Havi Carel explores these questions by weaving together the personal story of her own serious illness with insights and reflections drawn from her work as a philosopher. Carel's fresh approach to illness raises some (...) uncomfortable questions about how we all - whether healthcare professionals or not - view the ill and challenges us to become more thoughtful. 'Illness' unravels the tension between the universality of illness and its intensely private, often lonely, nature. It offers a new way of looking at a matter that affects every one of us. (shrink)
What is illness? Is it a physiological dysfunction, a social label, or a way of experiencing the world? How do the physical, social and emotional worlds of a person change when they become ill? And can there be well-being within illness? In this remarkable and thought-provoking book, Havi Carel explores these questions by weaving together the personal story of her own serious illness with insights and reflections drawn from her work as a philosopher. Carel shows how the concepts and language (...) used to describe illness today are inappropriate and misleading. Too often illness is viewed as a localised biological dysfunction while ignoring the actual experience of the ill person, their fears, their hopes, the way they interact with others and, ultimately, experience life. By focusing on the impact of illness on the ill person's life and reflecting on the experience of illness as lived from within, Carel shows how illness is a life-changing process rather than a limited physiological problem. Carel's fresh approach to illness raises some uncomfortable questions about how we all - whether healthcare professionals or not - view the ill and challenges us to become more thoughtful. "Illness" unravels the tension between the universality of illness and its intensely private, often lonely, nature. It offers a new way of looking at a matter that affects every one of us. For those who are ill, it offers insights on our ability to remain happy within the constraints of illness. (shrink)
Epistemic injustice is a harm done to a person in their capacity as an epistemic subject by undermining her capacity to engage in epistemic practices such as giving knowledge to others or making sense of one’s experiences. It has been argued that those who suffer from medical conditions are more vulnerable to epistemic injustice than the healthy. This paper claims that people with mental disorders are even more vulnerable to epistemic injustice than those with somatic illnesses. Two kinds of contributory (...) factors for epistemic injustice in psychiatric patients are outlined: global and specific. Some suggestions are made to counteract the effects of these contributory factors, for instance we suggest that physicians should participate in groups where the subjective experience of patients is explored, and learn to become more aware of their own unconscious prejudices towards psychiatric patients. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of board of director gender diversity on corporate tax aggressiveness. Based on a sample of 418 U.S. firms covering the 2006–2009 period, our ordinary least squares regression results show a negative and statistically significant association between female representation on the board and tax aggressiveness after controlling for endogeneity. Our results are consistent across several measures of tax aggressiveness and additional robustness checks.
This study examines the impact of corporate tax avoidance on board of directors and chief executive officer reputation. Our regression results show that when firms engage in tax avoidance, both directors and CEOs, on average, are rewarded by improvements in their reputations as proxied by an increased number of outside board seats. In particular, both independent directors and non-CEO executive directors undergo positive changes in reputation. We also find that CEOs of tax-aggressive firms experience enhanced reputations by gaining extra board (...) seats. Our main regression results hold based on additional analyses. Overall, this study provides important empirical evidence confirming an association between tax avoidance and the individual reputations of directors and CEOs. (shrink)
The landscape of contemporary epistemology has significantly diversified in the past 30 years, shaped in large part by two complementary movements: virtue and social epistemology. This diversification provides an apt theoretical context for the epistemology of education. No longer concerned exclusively with the formal analysis of knowledge, epistemologists have turned their attention towards individuals as knowers, and the social contexts in which epistemic goods such as knowledge and understanding are acquired and exchanged. As such, the concerns of epistemology have once (...) again aligned with questions lying at the heart of the philosophy of education regarding the nature, aims and practice of education. Employing the conceptual tools and frameworks of the contemporary field, these questions are addressed by both epistemologists and education theorists in the emerging epistemology of education literature. (shrink)
Questioning is a familiar, everyday practice which we use, often unreflectively, in order to gather information, communicate with each other, and advance our inquiries. Yet, not all questions are equally effective and not all questioners are equally adept. Being a good questioner requires a degree of proficiency and judgment, both in determining what to ask and in deciding who, where, when, and how to ask. Good questioning is an intellectual skill. Given its ubiquity and significance, it is an intellectual skill (...) that, I believe, we should educate for. In this paper, I present a central line of argument in support of educating for good questioning, namely, that it plays an important role in the formation of an individual’s intellectual character and can thereby serve as a valuable pedagogical tool for intellectual character education. I argue that good questioning plays two important roles in the cultivation of intellectual character: good questioning stimulates intellectually virtuous inquiry and contributes to the development of several of the individual intellectual virtues. Insofar as the cultivation of intellectually virtuous character is a desirable educational objective, we should educate for good questioning. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that ill persons are particularly vulnerable to epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Fricker. Ill persons are vulnerable to testimonial injustice through the presumptive attribution of characteristics like cognitive unreliability and emotional instability that downgrade the credibility of their testimonies. Ill persons are also vulnerable to hermeneutical injustice because many aspects of the experience of illness are difficult to understand and communicate and this often owes to gaps in collective hermeneutical resources. We then argue (...) that epistemic injustice arises in part owing to the epistemic privilege enjoyed by the practitioners and institutions of contemporary healthcare services—the former owing to their training, expertise, and third-person psychology, and the latter owing to their implicit privileging of certain styles of articulating and evidencing testimonies in ways that marginalise ill persons. We suggest that a phenomenological toolkit may be part of an effort to ameliorate epistemic injustice. (shrink)
This article analyses the phenomenon of epistemic injustice within contemporary healthcare. We begin by detailing the persistent complaints patients make about their testimonial frustration and hermeneutical marginalization, and the negative impact this has on their care. We offer an epistemic analysis of this problem using Miranda Fricker's account of epistemic injustice. We detail two types of epistemic injustice, testimonial and hermeneutical, and identify the negative stereotypes and structural features of modern healthcare practices that generate them. We claim that these stereotypes (...) and structural features render ill persons especially vulnerable to these two types of epistemic injustice. We end by proposing five avenues for further work on epistemic injustice in healthcare. (shrink)
Chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis remains a controversial illness category. This paper surveys the state of knowledge and attitudes about this illness and proposes that epistemic concerns about the testimonial credibility of patients can be articulated using Miranda Fricker’s concept of epistemic injustice. While there is consensus within mainstream medical guidelines that there is no known cause of CFS/ME, there is continued debate about how best to conceive of CFS/ME, including disagreement about how to interpret clinical studies of treatments. (...) Against this background, robust qualitative and quantitative research from a range of countries has found that many doctors display uncertainty about whether CFS/ME is real, which may result in delays in diagnosis and treatment for patients. Strikingly, qualitative research evinces that patients with CFS/ME often experience suspicion by health professionals, and many patients vocally oppose the effectiveness, and the conceptualization, of their illness as psychologically treatable. We address the intersection of these issues and healthcare ethics, and claim that this state of affairs can be explained as a case of epistemic injustice. We find evidence that healthcare consultations are fora where patients with CFS/ME may be particularly vulnerable to epistemic injustice. We argue that the marginalization of many patients is a professional failure that may lead to further ethical and practical consequences both for progressive research into CFS/ME, and for ethical care and delivery of current treatments among individuals suffering from this debilitating illness. (shrink)
This review essay provides a critical discussion of Linda Zagzebski’s Exemplarist Moral Theory. We agree that emt is a book of impressive scope that will be of interest to ethical theorists, as well as epistemologists, philosophers of language, and philosophers of religion. Throughout the critical discussion we argue that exemplarism faces a number of important challenges, firstly, in dealing with the fallibility of admiration, which plays a central role in the theoretical framework, and secondly, in serving as a practical guide (...) for moral development. Despite this, we maintain that emt points the way for significant future theoretical and empirical research into some of the most well-established questions in ethical theory. (shrink)
This paper is a tentative attempt to set out some of the basic points for articulating an alternative philosophical praxis derived from some Black women's lives and experiences. It begins with an explanation of delegitimating processes and the importance of not dividing theory from practice. The essay offers six practices that outline the unique critical attitude that constitutes philosophical practices rooted in Black women's lived experience and asks “How we sound” when doing academic philosophy.
Phenomenology is a useful methodology for describing and ordering experience. As such, phenomenology can be specifically applied to the first person experience of illness in order to illuminate this experience and enable health care providers to enhance their understanding of it. However, this approach has been underutilized in the philosophy of medicine as well as in medical training and practice. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of phenomenology to clinical medicine. In order to describe the experience of illness, we need a (...) phenomenological approach that gives the body a central role and acknowledges the primacy of perception. I present such a phenomenological method and show how it could usefully illuminate the experience of illness through a set of concepts taken from Merleau-Ponty. His distinction between the biological body and the body as lived, analysis of the habitual body, and the notions of motor intentionality and intentional arc are used to capture the experience of illness. I then discuss the applications this approach could have in medicine. These include narrowing the gap between objective assessments of well-being in illness and subjective experiences which are varied and diverse; developing a more attuned dialogue between physicians and patients based on a thick understanding of illness; developing research methods that are informed by phenomenology and thus go beyond existing qualitative methods; and providing medical staff with a concrete understanding of the impact of illness on the life-world of patients. (shrink)
The experience of illness is a universal and substantial part of human existence. Like death, illness raises important philosophical issues. But unlike death, illness, and in particular the experience of being ill, has received little philosophical attention. In Phenomenology of Illness Havi Carel argues that the experience of illness has been wrongly neglected by philosophers and provides a distinctively philosophical account of illness. Using phenomenology, Carel explores how illness modifies the ill person's body, values, and world. The aim of Phenomenology (...) of Illness is twofold: to contribute to the understanding of illness through the use of philosophy and to demonstrate the importance of illness for philosophy. Phenomenology of Illness develops a phenomenological framework for illness and a systematic understanding of illness as a philosophical tool. (shrink)
Using as a springboard a three-way debate between theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright and myself, I address in layman’s terms the issues of why we need a unified theory of the fundamental interactions and why, in my opinion, string and M-theory currently offer the best hope. The focus will be on responding more generally to the various criticisms. I also describe the diverse application of string/M-theory techniques to other branches of physics and mathematics which render the (...) whole enterprise worthwhile whether or not “a theory of everything” is forthcoming. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the tacit underlying sense of bodily certainty that characterizes normal everyday embodied experience. I then propose illness as one instance in which this certainty breaks down and is replaced by bodily doubt. I characterize bodily doubt as radically modifying our experience in three ways: loss of continuity, loss of transparency, and loss of faith in one's body. I then discuss the philosophical insights that arise from the experience of bodily doubt. The paper uses a Humean (...) framework with regards to bodily certainty, treating it as a taken for granted tacit aspect of normal experience. I argue that although bodily certainty is not rationally justifiable, we are nonetheless unable to reject it. Bodily certainty is thus revealed to be part of our brute animal nature. I conclude by suggesting that the study of pathology is a philosophical method useful for illuminating tacit aspects of experience. (shrink)
The interest in meaningful work has significantly increased over the last two decades. Much of the associated managerial research has focused on researching ways to 'provide and manage meaning' through leadership or organizational culture. This stands in sharp contrast with the literature of the humanities which suggests that meaningfulness does not need to be provided, as the distinct feature of a human being is that he or she has an intrinsic 'will to meaning'. The research that has been done based (...) on the humanistic paradigm has been quite fragmented. This article aims to address these gaps through an action research project that actively involved participants in the process of affirming and uncovering the meaningfulness of their work. Our findings contribute to current organizational scholarship and practice as they enable scholars to clearly distinguish 'meaningful work' from 'the management of meaning', bring together the various sources of meaningful work in one framework and show their relationship with each other, clearly show the importance of engaging with both the inspiration towards the ideal as well as the often less than perfect self and the organizational reality in which meaning gets expressed and contribute to our understanding of how to engage individuals in conversations about meaningful work that are not prescriptive or exclusive, but that also show where meanings are commonly held. (shrink)
Can one be ill and happy? I use a phenomenological approach to provide an answer to this question, using Merleau-Ponty’s distinction between the biological and the lived body. I begin by discussing the rift between the biological body and the ill person’s lived experience, which occurs in illness. The transparent and taken for granted biological body is problematised by illness, which exposes it as different from the lived experience of this body. I argue that because of this rift, the experience (...) of illness cannot be captured within a naturalistic view and propose to supplant this view with a phenomenological approach. The latter approach accounts for changes in the ill person’s relationship to her social and physical world. These changes, I argue, cannot be captured by a naturalistic perspective. I then propose the notion of health within illness as a useful concept for capturing the experience of well-being reported by some ill people. I present empirical evidence for this phenomenon and assess its philosophical significance. Finally, I suggest that adaptability and creativity are two common positive responses to illness, demonstrating that health within illness is possible. The three elements combined – the transformed body, health within illness and adaptability and creativity – serve as the basis for a positive answer to the question posed above. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
In this article, I propose that illness is philosophically revealing and can be used to explore human experience. I suggest that illness is a limit case of embodied experience. By pushing embodied experience to its limit, illness sheds light on normal experience, revealing its ordinary and thus overlooked structure. Illness produces a distancing effect, which allows us to observe normal human behavior and cognition via their pathological counterpart. I suggest that these characteristics warrant illness a philosophical role that has not (...) been articulated. Illness can be used as a philosophical tool for the study of normally tacit aspects of human existence. I argue that illness itself can be integral to philosophical method, insofar as it facilitates a distancing from everyday practices. This method relies on pathological or limit cases to illuminate normally overlooked aspects of human perception and action. I offer Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of the case of Schneider as an example of this method. (shrink)
The article posits that philosophy’s visual bias has limited exploration of the ways in which sound, and the awareness of sound, offers an alternative framework for social change. It moves from sight to sound and from visual witnessing to sound-based wit(h)ness to illustrate the implications of sound as a form of political resistance. Combining insights from the work of Michel Foucault and Emmanuel Levinas with elements of the Black Vernacular tradition, it articulates the ways in which the blues, jazz and (...) work songs evoke distinctive sound-based wit(h)ness to perform philosophical interventions by destabilizing the status quo, offering a nonphenotypical account of black solidarity, and transforming what counts as work. (shrink)
We develop a broader, more fine-grained taxonomy of forms of ‘transformative experience’ inspired by the work of L.A. Paul. Our vulnerability to such experiences arises, we argue, due to the vulnerability, dependence, and affliction intrinsic to the human condition. We use this trio to distinguish a variety of positively, negatively, and ambivalently valenced forms of epistemically and/or personally transformative experiences. Moreover, we argue that many transformative experiences can arise gradually and cumulatively, unfolding over the course of longer periods of time.
This article examines the philosophical role of illness. It briefly surveys the philosophical role accorded to illness in the history of philosophy and explains why illness merits such a role. It suggests that illness modifies, and thus sheds light on, normal experience, revealing its ordinary and therefore overlooked structure. Illness also provides an opportunity for reflection by performing a kind of suspension (epoché) of previously held beliefs, including tacit beliefs. The article argues that these characteristics warrant a philosophical role for (...) illness. While the performance of most philosophical procedures is volitional and theoretical, however, illness is uninvited and threatening, throwing the ill person into anxiety and uncertainty. As such it can be viewed as a radical philosophical motivation that can profoundly alter our outlook. The article suggests that illness can change the ways in which we philosophise: it may shape philosophical methods and concerns and change one's sense of salience and conception of philosophy. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
Life and Death in Freud and Heidegger argues that mortality is a fundamental structuring element in human life. The ordinary view of life and death regards them as dichotomous and separate. This book explains why this view is unsatisfactory and presents a new model of the relationship between life and death that sees them as interlinked. Using Heidegger’s concept of being towards death and Freud’s notion of the death drive, it demonstrates the extensive influence death has on everyday life and (...) gives an account of its structural and existential significance. By bringing the two perspectives together, this book presents a reading of death that establishes its significance for life, creates a meeting point for philosophical and psychoanalytical perspectives, and examines the problems and strengths of each. It then puts forth a unified view, based on the strengths of each position and overcoming the problems of each. Finally, it works out the ethical consequences of this view. This volume is of interest for philosophers, mental health practitioners and those working in the field of death studies. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to Edward Harcourt’s suggestion that human excellences are structured in a way that allows us to see the multiplicity of life forms that can be instantiated by different groups of excellences. I accept this layered model, but suggest that Harcourt’s proposal is not pluralistic enough, and offer three critical points. First, true pluralism would need to take a life-cycle view, thus taking into account plurality within, as well as between, lives. Second, Harcourt’s pluralism still posits (...) physical health as a requirement for excellence, whereas I claim that the challenges of illness give more, not less, opportunity for excellence. Third, I make a more general claim that in certain salient cases it is precisely the absence of excellence that can facilitate virtue. (shrink)
Ill persons suffer from a variety of epistemically-inflected harms and wrongs. Many of these are interpretable as specific forms of what we dub pathocentric epistemic injustices, these being ones that target and track ill persons. We sketch the general forms of pathocentric testimonial and hermeneutical injustice, each of which are pervasive within the experiences of ill persons during their encounters in healthcare contexts and the social world. What’s epistemically unjust might not be only agents, communities and institutions, but the theoretical (...) conceptions of health that structure our responses to illness. Thus, we suggest that although such pathocentric epistemic injustices have a variety of interpersonal and structural causes, they are also sustained by a deeper naturalistic conception of the nature of illness. (shrink)
What counts as health or ill health? How do we deal with the fallibility of our own bodies? Should illness and disease be considered simply in biological terms, or should considerations of its emotional impact dictate our treatment of it? Our understanding of health and illness had become increasingly more complex in the modern world, as we are able to use medicine not only to fight disease but to control other aspects of our bodies, whether mood, blood pressure, or cholesterol. (...) This collection of essays foregrounds the concepts of health and illness and patient experience within the philosophy of medicine, reflecting on the relationship between the ill person and society. Mental illness is considered alongside physical disease, and the important ramifications of society's differentiation between the two are brought to light. Health, Illness and Disease is a significant contribution to shaping the parameters of the evolving field of philosophy of medicine and will be of interest to medical practitioners and policy-makers as well as philosophers of science and ethicists. (shrink)
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
In this chapter we suggest that many experiences of suffering can be further illuminated as forms of transformative experience, using the term coined by L.A. Paul. Such suffering experiences arise from the vulnerability, dependence, and affliction intrinsic to the human condition. Such features can create a variety of positively, negatively, and ambivalently valanced forms of epistemically and personally transformative experiences, as we detail here. We argue that the productive element of suffering experiences can be articulated as transformative, although suffering experiences (...) are not the type mostly discussed in the transformative experience literature. We correct for this here by developing a taxonomy of negatively valenced transformative experiences. We suggest three features that make such experiences ones of suffering, following Michael Brady’s definition: intensity, novelty, and attentional focus. Finally, we suggest that one possible explanation for the edifying capacity of suffering comes from it requiring more transformation than positive experiences. (shrink)
Hume and Rousseau argue that “feeling with and/or for others” is natural and basic to us as human persons. but Royce claims that merely feeling the fleeting impulse of sympathy is not the moral insight itself. Compassion must be both felt and acted upon for it to play the role in morality ascribed by Hume and Rousseau. Why is it so often the case that we fail to feel compassion for others and, even when we do, why do we often (...) fail to act on this basis? There are multiple socially constructed barriers to feeling and acting on compassion, three of which are discussed: null curriculum. stereotyping and privileges. Finally, the Dalai Lama maintains that it is in every person’s own self-interest to develop compassion for others because it is the source of both inner and external peace. (shrink)
In his article ‘Saints and Heroes’, Urmson argues that traditional moral theories allow at most for a threefold classification of actions in terms of their worth, and that they are therefore unsatisfactory. Since the conclusion of his argument has led to the widespread use of the term ‘acts of supererogation’, and since I do not believe that such acts exist, I propose to argue that the actions with which he is concerned not only can, but should, be contained within the (...) traditional classification. (shrink)