Public surveys conducted in many countries report widespread willingness of individuals to donate a kidney while alive to a family member or close friend, yet thousands suffer and many die each year while waiting for a kidney transplant. Advocates of financial incentive programs or “regulated markets” in kidneys present the problem of the kidney shortage as one of insufficient public motivation to donate, arguing that incentives will increase the number of donors. Others believe the solutions lie—at least in part—in facilitating (...) so-called “altruistic donation;” harnessing the willingness of relatives and friends to donate by addressing the many barriers which serve as disincentives to living donation. Strategies designed to minimize financial barriers to donation and the use of paired kidney exchange programs are increasingly enabling donation, and now, an innovative program designed to address what has been termed “chronologically incompatible donation” is being piloted at the University of California, Los Angeles, and elsewhere in the United States. In this program, a person whose kidney is not currently required for transplantation in a specific recipient may instead donate to the paired exchange program; in return, a commitment is made to the specified recipient that priority access for a living-donor transplant in a paired exchange program will be offered when or if the need arises in the future. We address here potential ethical concerns related to this form of organ “banking” from living donors, and argue that it offers significant benefits without undermining the well-established ethical principles and values currently underpinning living donation programs. (shrink)
Synaesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces photisms, i.e. mental percepts of colours. R is a 20 year old colour blind subject who, in addition to the relatively common grapheme-colour synaesthesia, presents a rarely reported cross modal perception in which a variety of visual stimuli elicit aura-like percepts of colour. In R, photisms seem to be closely related to the affective valence of stimuli and (...) typically bring out a consistent pattern of emotional responses. The present case study suggests that colours might be an intrinsic category of the human brain. We developed an empirical methodology that allowed us to study the subject's otherwise inaccessible phenomenological experience. First, we found that R shows a Stroop effect elicited by photisms despite the fact that he does not show a regular Stroop with real colours. Secondly, by manipulating the colour context we confirmed that colours can alter R's emotional evaluation of the stimuli. Furthermore, we demonstrated that R's auras may actually lead to a partially inverted emotional spectrum where certain stimuli bring out emotional reactions opposite to the normal ones. These findings can only be accounted for by considering R's subjective colour experience or qualia. Therefore the present paper defends the view that qualia are a useful scientific concept that can be approached and studied by experimental methods. (shrink)
The study of anarchism as a philosophical, political, and social movement has burgeoned both in the academy and in the global activist community in recent years. Taking advantage of this boom in anarchist scholarship, Nathan J. Jun and Shane Wahl have compiled twenty-six cutting-edge essays on this timely topic in New Perspectives on Anarchism.
Synaesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces photisms, i.e. mental percepts of colours. R is a 20 year old colour blind subject who, in addition to the relatively common grapheme-colour synaesthesia, presents a rarely reported cross modal perception in which a variety of visual stimuli elicit aura-like percepts of colour. In R, photisms seem to be closely related to the affective valence of stimuli and (...) typically bring out a consistent pattern of emotional responses. The present case study suggests that colours might be an intrinsic category of the human brain. We developed an empirical methodology that allowed us to study the subject's otherwise inaccessible phenomenological experience. First, we found that R shows a Stroop effect (delayed response due to interference) elicited by photisms despite the fact that he does not show a regular Stroop with real colours. Secondly, by manipulating the colour context we confirmed that colours can alter R's emotional evaluation of the stimuli. Furthermore, we demonstrated that R's auras may actually lead to a partially inverted emotional spectrum where certain stimuli bring out emotional reactions opposite to the normal ones. These findings can only be accounted for by considering R's subjective colour experience or qualia. Therefore the present paper defends the view that qualia are a useful scientific concept that can be approached and studied by experimental methods. (shrink)
Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
Once Alexander of Aphrodisias revived the Peripatetic philosophy in the late secondcentury CE, Aristotle's surviving corpus became the guiding texts for a philosophicalschool, and, like any school, the Aristotelian one tried to systematize and dogmatizeits founder's teachings into a coherent and comprehensive approach to everything. Thisway of reading Aristotle was the dominant one through the Islamic and Christian Middle Ages, although occasionally a dissenter might express some doubt about how certain Aristotle was on various points, particularly in cosmology and natural (...) science. Nordid Aristotle's detractors in the modern period cease to regard his philosophy as totallydogmatic—though fundamentally mistaken, of course. It was not until German scholarship in the nineteenth century thought it could discern temporal development in Aristotle's approach to a wide variety of questions that the scholastic view ceased to be theestablished wisdom. But now this historical approach has been largely jettisoned, leaving us with an Aristotelian corpus in which we can recognize many doctrinal tensions and doubts that were very likely endemic to Aristotle's thought right to the end of his life. (shrink)
Do we directly perceive physical objects? What is the significance of the qualification ‘directly’ here? Austin famously denied that there was a unique interpretation by which we could make sense of the traditional debate in the philosophy of perception. I look here at Thompson Clarke’s discussion of G. E. Moore and surface perception to answer Austin’s scepticism.
In his pioneering work of moral phenomenology, K. E. Løgstrup offered a phenomenological articulation of a central moment of ethical life: the experience in which “one finds oneself with the life of another more-or-less in one’s hands”. In such circumstances we encounter what Løgstrup calls simply the ethical demand. Løgstrup’s preferred formulation of the content of that demand is taken from the Bible: Love thy neighbor. This neighborly love is expressed in the form of spontaneous, selfless care for the other. (...) We shall have occasion in what follows to return to the content that Løgstrup associates with the ethical demand, but my primary focus here is not its content but its distinctive modality. Løgstrup specifies that modality in a fourfold analysis: the ethical demand is radical, silent, one-sided, and unfulfillable. My concern in what follows will be with the fourth element in this analysis – or what I shall refer to simply as Løgstrup’s unfulfillability thesis. My discussion addresses three specific questions: Is it coherent to suppose that the ethical demand is unfulfillable? Why does Løgstrup hold that the ethical demand is unfulfillable? What kind of response is appropriate in the face of an unfulfillable ethical demand? (shrink)
Interpretation of the classics in political theory seems to go in waves. For a while we had John Locke, the bourgeois thinker. Now we seem to be in a Locke-as-radical-democrat phase. Locke-the-bourgeois had problems of its own, but a radically democratic Locke -- not just the old Locke as liberal democrat but Locke as quasi-Leveller -- strains the interpretative imagination more than most; yet in recent years, several different kinds of argument have been advanced in support of it, both textual (...) and contextual. The most effective argument has proceeded by situating Locke in the context of radical Whig politics in the 1670s and '80s, the struggles over religious toleration and the royal succession, in particular the �Exclusion Crisis� of 1679-81. This contextual argument has been accompanied by various textual interpretations having to do with Locke's conceptions of property, consent, representation, the right of revolution and natural law. Among other things, these are supposed to show that while Locke had nothing explicit to say about the extent of the franchise, the weight of evidence suggests that he would have supported a fairly wide franchise, perhaps even something like the (almost) manhood suffrage advocated by the Levellers (at least according to some, and probably the most convincing, interpretations of their ideas). Most recently, in these pages, Martin Hughes, building on the work of James Tully and Richard Ashcraft in particular, has pushed the argument as far as it can probably go. His argument on taxation and suffrage has provided a motivation here for a wider exploration of Locke's views on representation, consent and the franchise. (shrink)
Current UK legislation is impacting upon the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of medical record-based research aimed at benefiting the NHS and the public heath. Whereas previous commentators have focused on the Data Protection Act 1998, the Health and Social Care Act 2001 is the key legislation for public health researchers wishing to access medical records without written consent. The Act requires researchers to apply to the Patient Information Advisory Group for permission to access medical records without written permission. We present a (...) case study of the work required to obtain the necessary permissions from PIAG in order to conduct a large scale public health research project. In our experience it took eight months to receive permission to access basic identifying information on individuals registered at general practices, and a decision on whether we could access clinical information in medical records without consent took 18 months. Such delays pose near insurmountable difficulties to grant funded research, and in our case £560 000 of public and charitable money was spent on research staff while a large part of their work was prohibited until the third year of a three year grant. We conclude by arguing that many of the current problems could be avoided by returning PIAG’s responsibilities to research ethics committees, and by allowing “opt-out” consent for many public health research projects. (shrink)
This study is intended as a part of a larger work containing two more monographs, one on interpersonal relations and transcendence in Romano Guardini, the other on Rudolf Bultmann and his critique of metaphysical transcendence. The thought of Buber is traced here to its historical sources in the Jewish tradition but also in Jacobi and Kierkegaard. These two authors are in fact the only ones who attempt to preserve the finitude of the human subject vis-à-vis transcendence at the very beginning (...) and at the end of subjective idealism. Husserl's establishment of a dialectic between ownness and otherness at the heart of the universal flux of consciousness is the next step in Buber's demarcation of his own ontological posture. In Husserl, the encounter with the other within the sphere of otherness is perhaps contingent, i.e., tied to the mysterious passage from the formal dispositions of transcendental consciousness to the material regions and objects that concretely actualize those formal dispositions. In Buber, as in Landgrege's [[sic]] Phänomenologie und Metaphysik, an "intersubjective reduction" must precede the reflective separation of the spheres of ownness and otherness. Indeed without judgment, there is no full reflection in Husserl, but judgment must be understood as dialogical expression before it can be seen as meaningful world orientation. Buber understood well that the source of dialogical expression is silence, yet instead of using silence as the ground of the existential communication that elucidates the boundary situations of man, he gave a beckoning interpretation of silence that must be seen as a precedent of the openness of the horizon of consciousness in Heidegger's Gelassenheit. Though Babolin does not give any indication here of the direction of the forthcoming monographs, the fact that they are about Guardini and Bultmann may indicate that he is moving away from mysticism in the remainder of this work.--A. M. (shrink)