Oxford Scholarly Classics is a new series that makes available again great academic works from the archives of Oxford University Press. Reissued in uniform series design, the reissues will enable libraries, scholars, and students to gain fresh access to some of the finest scholarship of the last century.
The paper is concerned with explaining some of the principal theoretical developments in elementary particle physics and discussing the associated methodological problems both in respect of heuristics and appraisal. Particular reference is made to relativistic quantum field theory, renormalization, Feynman diagram techniques, the analytic S-matrix and the Chew — Frautschi bootstrap.
A Papyrus commentary on Alcman published in 19571 brings us news of a poem in which Alcman “physiologized”. The lemmata and commentary together witness to a semi-philosophical cosmogony unlike any other hitherto known from Greece. The evidence is meagre, but it seems worth while to see what can be made of it; for it is perhaps possible to go a little farther than has so far been done.
Theories of intergenerational obligations usually take the shape of theories of distributive (social) justice. The complexities involved in intergenerational obligations force theorists to simplify. In this article I unpack two popular simplifications: the inevitability of future generations, and the Hardinesque assumption that future individuals are a burden on society but a benefit to parents. The first assumption obscures the fact that future generations consist of individuals whose existence can be a matter of voluntary choice, implying that there are individuals who (...) are responsible and accountable for that choice and for its consequences. The second assumption ignores the fact that the benefits and burdens of future individuals are complex, and different for different “beneficiaries” or “victims.” Introducing individual responsibility for procreation as a (crucially) relevant variable, and allowing a more sophisticated understanding of the impact of new individuals, generates grounds to prioritize the individual’s interest in responsibility for (creating and equipping) future individuals over any collective intergenerational obligation. I illustrate this by introducing a series of moral duties that take precedence over, and perhaps even void, possible collective redistributive duties. (shrink)
This work provides a reflective assessment of recent developments, social relevance and future of environmental political theory, concluding that although the alleged pacification of environmentalism is more than skin deep, it is not yet quite deep enough. This book will appeal to students and researchers of social science and philosophers with an interest in environmental issues.
We introduce a simple model for so-called spin-echo experiments. We show that the model is a mincing system. On the basis of this model we study fine-grained entropy and coarse-grained entropy descriptions of these experiments. The coarse-grained description is shown to be unable to provide an explanation of the echo signals, as a result of the way in which it ignores dynamically generated correlations. This conclusion is extended to the general debate on the foundations of statistical mechanics. We emphasize the (...) need for an appropriate mechanism to explain the gradual suppression over time of the correlations in a thermodynamic system. We argue that such a mechanism can only be provided by the interventionist approach, in which the interaction of the system with its environment is taken into account. Irreversible behavior is then seen to arise not as a result of limited measurement accuracy , but as a result of the fact that thermodynamic systems are limited systems which interact with their environment. A detailed discussion is given of recent objections to the interventionist approach in the literature. (shrink)
Research from behavioural sciences shows that people reach decisions in a much less rational and well-considered way than was often assumed. The doctrine of informed consent, which is an important ethical principle and legal requirement in medical practice, is being challenged by these insights into decision-making and real-world choice behaviour. This article discusses the implications of recent insights of research on decision-making behaviour for the informed consent doctrine. It concludes that there is a significant tension between the often non-rational choice (...) behaviour and the traditional theory of informed consent. Responsible ways of dealing with or solving these problems are considered. To this end, patient decisions aids are discussed as suitable interventions to support autonomous decision-making. However, current PDAs demand certain improvements in order to protect and promote autonomous decision-making. Based on a conception of autonomy, we will argue which type of improvements are needed. (shrink)
In recent times, daily, ordinary medical practices have incontrovertibly been developing under the condition of complexity. Complexity jeopardizes the moral core of practicing medicine: helping people, with their illnesses and suffering, in a medically competent way. Practical wisdom has been proposed as part of the solution to navigate complexity, aiming at the provision of morally good care. Practical wisdom should help practitioners to maneuver in complexity, where the presupposed linear ways of operating prove to be insufficient. However, this solution is (...) unsatisfactory, because the proposed versions of practical wisdom are too individualistic of nature, while physicians are continuously operating in varying teams, and dealing with complicated technologies and pressing structures. A second point of critique is, that these versions are theory based, and thus insufficiently attuned to the actual context of everyday medical practices. Now, our proposal is to use an approach of practical wisdom that enables medical practices to counter the complexity issue and to re-invent the moral core of medical practicing as well. This implies a practice oriented approach, as thematized by practice theory, qualitative empirical research from the inside, and abduction from actual performed practical wisdom towards an apt understanding of phronèsis. (shrink)
In recent years, educational institutions have started using the tools of commercial data analytics in higher education. By gathering information about students as they navigate campus information systems, learning analytics “uses analytic techniques to help target instructional, curricular, and support resources” to examine student learning behaviors and change students’ learning environments. As a result, the information educators and educational institutions have at their disposal is no longer demarcated by course content and assessments, and old boundaries between information used for assessment (...) and information about how students live and work are blurring. Our goal in this paper is to provide a systematic discussion of the ways in which privacy and learning analytics conflict and to provide a framework for understanding those conflicts. -/- We argue that there are five crucial issues about student privacy that we must address in order to ensure that whatever the laudable goals and gains of learning analytics, they are commensurate with respecting students’ privacy and associated rights, including (but not limited to) autonomy interests. First, we argue that we must distinguish among different entities with respect to whom students have, or lack, privacy. Second, we argue that we need clear criteria for what information may justifiably be collected in the name of learning analytics. Third, we need to address whether purported consequences of learning analytics (e.g., better learning outcomes) are justified and what the distributions of those consequences are. Fourth, we argue that regardless of how robust the benefits of learning analytics turn out to be, students have important autonomy interests in how information about them is collected. Finally, we argue that it is an open question whether the goods that justify higher education are advanced by learning analytics, or whether collection of information actually runs counter to those goods. (shrink)
Recent discussions of experimental tests of the Sum Rule have been carried out in the context of the special circumstances attending the Cross-Ramsey experiment. A more general analysis of possible tests is presented. A technical mistake of Fine and Glymour concerned with a misunderstanding of the physics of the Cross-Ramsey experiment is explained and a detailed analysis of a thought experiment based on the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen wave function is given. It is concluded, in agreement with Fine, that scattering experiments do not (...) test the Sum Rule as a principle which supplements standard quantum mechanics. (shrink)
By the colours and decoration of a vase fragment one determines the period and style to which the original belonged; while its physical contours show from what part of the original it comes. The material may be insufficient for a reconstruction of the whole design. But it is often legitimate to go beyond what is actually contained in the preserved pieces.
You have a body, but you are a soul or self. Without your body, you could still exist. Your body could be and perhaps is outlasted by the immaterial substance which is your soul or self. Thus the substance dualist. Most substance dualists are Cartesians. The self, they suppose, is essentially conscious: it cannot exist unless it thinks or wills or has experiences. In this paper I sketch out a different form of substance dualism. I suggest that it is not (...) consciousness but another immaterial feature which is essential to the self, a feature in one way analogous to a non-dispositional taste. Each self has moreover a different feature of this general kind. If this is right then simple and straightforward answers are available to some questions which prove troublesome to the Cartesian, consciousness-requiring type of substance dualist. I mean the questions, How can the self exist in dreamless sleep?, What distinguishes two simultaneously existing selves, and What makes a self the same self as a self which exists at some other time? (shrink)