Although transhumanism offers hope for the transcendence of human biological limitations, it generates many intrinsic and consequential ethical concerns. The latter include issues such as the exacerbation of social inequalities and the exponentially increasing technological capacity to cause harm. To mitigate these risks, many thinkers have initiated investigations into the possibility of moral enhancement that could limit the power disparities facilitated by biotechnological enhancement. The arguments often focus on whether moral enhancement is morally permissible, or even obligatory, and remain largely (...) in the realm of the hypothetical. This paper proposes that psilocybin may represent a viable, practical option for moral enhancement and that its further research in the context of moral psychology could comprise the next step in the development of moral transhumanism. (shrink)
The failure of philosophy -- A new political philosophy -- Radical democracy -- Politics of freedom -- The future of democracy -- Decentralization of power -- A Humanist approach to elections -- A new approach to political and economic problems -- Human nature and humanist practice -- Humanist politics -- Integral humanism -- The way out -- New humanism -- The principles of radical democracy.
This book puts forward a much-needed reappraisal of Immanuel Kant's conception of and response to skepticism, as set forth principally in the Critique of Pure Reason. It is widely recognized that Kant's theoretical philosophy aims to answer skepticism and reform metaphysics--Michael Forster makes the controversial argument that those aims are closely linked. He distinguishes among three types of skepticism: "veil of perception" skepticism, which concerns the external world; Humean skepticism, which concerns the existence of a priori concepts and synthetic (...) a priori knowledge; and Pyrrhonian skepticism, which concerns the equal balance of opposing arguments. Forster overturns conventional views by showing how the first of these types was of little importance for Kant, but how the second and third held very special importance for him, namely because of their bearing on the fate of metaphysics. He argues that Kant undertook his reform of metaphysics primarily in order to render it defensible against these types of skepticism. Finally, in a critical appraisal of Kant's project, Forster argues that, despite its strengths, it ultimately fails, for reasons that carry interesting broader philosophical lessons. These reasons include inadequate self-reflection and an underestimation of the resources of Pyrrhonian skepticism. (shrink)
Impairment of the Self has been described in frontal–temporal dementia but little research has been carried out in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Objective. The aim of this study was to explore changes in the self in patients with AD. Method. Forty-seven patients with mild to moderate AD were examined using a semi-structured scale designed to assess the self-concept along three dimensions, namely, the Material Self, the Social Self and the Spiritual Self. Results. The majority of patients presented impairment of at (...) least one dimension of the Self. When only one dimension was affected, it was always the Social Self. The severity of impairment of the Self was correlated to the impairment of the semantic autobiographical memory and apathy. The Self is impaired in AD and the Social Self dimension appears to be more vulnerable in AD than other dimensions. (shrink)
As one of the most massive and successful business sectors, the pharmaceutical industry is a potent force for good in the community, yet its behaviour is frequently questioned: could it serve society at large better than it has done in the recent past? Its own internal ethics, both in business and science, may need a careful reappraisal, as may the extent to which the law - administrative, civil and criminal - succeeds in guiding (and where neccessary contraining) it. The rules (...) of behavior that may be considered to apply to today's pharmaceutical industry have emerged over a very long period and the process goes on. Even the immensely detailed standards for quality, safety and efficacy laid down in drug law and regulation during the second half of the twentieth century have their limitations as tools for ensuring that the public interest is well served. In particular, national and regional regulatory agencies are heavily dependent on industrial data for their decision-making, their standards and competence vary, and even the existing network of agencies does not cover the entire world. What is more there are many areas of law and regulation affecting the industry, concerning for example the pricing of medicines, the conduct of clinical studies, the health protection of workers and concern for the environment. In some fields it is indeed hardly possible to maintain standards through regulation. Professor N.M. Graham Dukes, a physician and lawyer with long term experience in industrial research management, academic study and international drug policy, provides here a powerfully documented analysis into the way this industry thinks, acts, and is viewed, and examines the current trends pointing to change. *Provides a balanced picture of the current role of the pharmaceutical industry in society *Includes indices of conventions, laws, and regulations; as well as judicial and disciplinary cases *This is the only book addressing the legal implications of big pharma activities and ethical standards. (shrink)
A  review, 'Relativity before Einstein' made no mention of the work of Joseph Larmor, whose early derivation of the Lorentz transformation seems to be less well known than those of Lorentz and Poincare. In 1897, Larmor, starting from a first-order transformation similar to Lorentz's first order version, presented the correct form of what is now known as the Lorentz transformation. In his presentation of the theory in 1900 Larmor saw the time dilation effect as a consequence of Maxwell's electromagnetic (...) theory. It was Lorentz who, in 1895, introduced the notion of the relativity of simultaneity (local time), without the time dilation effect. Poincare in 1900 discussed how Lorentz's local time would arise from the procedure of synchronizing moving clocks by exchanging light signals assumed to travel at the same speed in either direction. Lorentz presented the correct version of the transformation in 1899, and discussed the variation of mass with velocity arising from it. In 1902 Lorentz was aware of Larmor's 1897 work but apparently missed its significance. Nevertheless, the credit for the first presentation of the Lorentz transformation including the crucial time dilation belongs to Larmor. (shrink)
What is the nature of a conceptual scheme? Are there alternative conceptual schemes? If so, are some more justifiable or correct than others? The later Wittgenstein already addresses these fundamental philosophical questions under the general rubric of "grammar" and the question of its "arbitrariness"--and does so with great subtlety. This book explores Wittgenstein's views on these questions. Part I interprets his conception of grammar as a generalized version of Kant's transcendental idealist solution to a puzzle about necessity. It also seeks (...) to reconcile Wittgenstein's seemingly inconsistent answers to the question of whether or not grammar is arbitrary by showing that he believed grammar to be arbitrary in one sense and non-arbitrary in another. Part II focuses on an especially central and contested feature of Wittgenstein's account: a thesis of the diversity of grammars. The author discusses this thesis in connection with the nature of formal logic, the limits of language, and the conditions of semantic understanding or access. Strongly argued and cleary written, this book will appeal not only to philosophers but also to students of the human sciences, for whom Wittgenstein's work holds great relevance. (shrink)