Lee and Schwarz interpret meta-analytic research and replication studies as providing evidence for the robustness of cleansing effects. We argue that the currently available evidence is unconvincing because publication bias and the opportunistic use of researcher degrees of freedom appear to have inflated meta-analytic effect size estimates, and preregistered replications failed to find any evidence of cleansing effects.
Background and aim With the increasing interest in lifestyle, health and consequences of unhealthy lifestyles for the healthcare system, a new kind of solidarity is gaining importance: lifestyle solidarity. While it might not seem fair to let other people pay for the costs arising from an unhealthy lifestyle, it does not seem fair either to punish people for their lifestyle. However, it is not clear how solidarity is assessed by people, when considering disease risks or lifestyle risks. The aim of (...) this study was to investigate the degree of solidarity with lifestyle as well as with other factors that are related to health outcomes—for example, old age—and the relation between this degree of solidarity and various characteristics. Methods This cross-sectional study is part of the Dutch longitudinal SMILE study. Data on the degree of solidarity with different lifestyles and old age, and the relation between the degree of solidarity and various demographic and other variables were obtained in a questionnaire survey. Results Solidarity with smokers and overweight people was moderate, as was solidarity with older people. Respondents were ambivalent about athletes. Respondents who were younger, male and highly educated, and those with a healthy lifestyle, a small social network, high quality of life and an internal locus of control, showed low solidarity. Conclusions Solidarity with an unhealthy lifestyle and old age is moderate and the degree of solidarity varies among the different subgroups. (shrink)
The “exemplification theory of history” is proposed to account for the relationship between the past and historical narratives. The theory states that what belongs to the past according to some narrative does so in order to exemplify the historical thesis of that narrative. As such the theory explains how the past receives its meaning. This implies that the past has no intrinsic historical meaning itself. Moreover, it follows that historical narratives possess an autonomy of their own with regard to the (...) past. It is argued that the exemplification theory of history goes to the heart of narrativist philosophy of history. This claim is supported by the key arguments of three narrativist philosophers: Arthur Danto, Louis Mink and Frank Ankersmit. The distinction between the history of social individuals and the identification of such individuals turns out to be fundamental in this respect. The article concludes by distinguishing between a Platonic and an Aristotelian view on narrative and by explaining why we ought to prefer the former to the latter. (shrink)
This essay takes Arthur Danto’s end-of-art thesis as a case in point of a substantive philosophy of history. Such philosophy explains the direction that art has taken and why that direction could not have been different. Danto never scrutinized the philosophy of history that his end-of-art thesis presumes. I aim to do that by drawing a distinction between what I refer to as the common view of history and the philosophical view of history, and by arguing that we need the (...) latter if we want to properly assess the plausibility of the end-of-art thesis. (shrink)
The problem how to ascertain the truth about the past is as old as history itself. But until the work of Louis Mink, no clear distinction was made between questions concerning the truth of statements on the past and questions concerning the truth of historical narratives as a whole. A narrative, Mink argues, is not simply a conjunction of statements on the past. Therefore its truth cannot be a function of the truth of its individual statements. The problem of narrative (...) truth is according to him thus: although each statement asserting a relation between events is subject to confirmation and disconfirmation, the combination of interrelations as established by the historical narrative is not, even though such combination of interrelations represents a real combination in past reality and is claimed to be true. As if to further complicate the problem, Mink maintains that history shares its form with fiction. Three and a half decades after Mink formulated the problem of narrative truth, it has not been dealt with in a satisfying manner. Mink does not solve nor dissolve the problem he posed. That task is taken up in this essay. It will move us away from the vocabulary of literary theory towards a pragmatist account of narrative truth. (shrink)
An important artistic topic of Italian Renaissance painting was the rendering of the human figure. As leading actors in a painted narrative, figures had to convince beholders of the reality of the matter depicted with appropriated attitudes and gestures. This article is about two ways of drawing or rather constructing the human figure artists developed to achieve this goal. The first was only an adaptation to an old method: because of the rather simple and coarse elements used, constructions often resulted (...) in faulty pictures and were for that matter often criticized. As this article will show, the second method involved a new and very successful drawing skill, which not just required a different kind of knowledge of visual forms but of procedures of moving the hand, too. (shrink)
Wiljan van den Akker is a university professor, a respected academic administrator, and a published poet and writer. From a base at the Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, his three-decade long career spans three continents and includes one-on-one associations with Berkeley, UCLA and Oxford. Currently, he is the Vice-Rector for Research at Utrecht but retains the title he was awarded in 2003, Distinguished Professor of Modern Poetry. In early June 2015, Peter Vale interviewed van den Akker in his (...) house in Jeruzalemstraat, Utrecht. This is an edited version of two conversations. (shrink)
A theory of the joint measurement of quantum mechanical observables is generalized in order to make it applicable to the measurement of the local observables of field theory. Subsequently, the property of local commutativity, which is usually introduced as a postulate, is derived by means of the theory of measurement from a requirement of mutual nondisturbance, which, for local observables performed at a spacelike distance from each other, is interpreted as a requirement of macrocausality. Alternative attempts at establishing a deductive (...) relationship between relativistic causality and local commutativity are reviewed, but found wanting, either because of the assumption of an unwarranted objectivity of the object system (algebraic approach) or because of the use of a projection postulate (operational approach). Finally, the quantum mechanical nonobjectivity is related to certain features of nonlocality which are present in the formalism of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Vaccination programmes against infectious diseases aim to protect individuals from serious illness but also offer collective protection once a sufficient number of people have been immunized. This so-called ‘herd immunity’ is important for individuals who, for health reasons, cannot be immunized or who respond less well to vaccines. For these individuals, it is pivotal that others establish group protection. However, herd immunity can be compromised when people deliberately decide not to be immunized and benefit from the herd’s protection. These agents (...) are often referred to as free riders: their omissions are deemed to be unfair to those who do contribute to the collective’s health. This article addresses the unfairness of such ‘free riding’. An argument by Garett Cullity is examined, which asserts that the unfairness of moral free riding lies neither in one’s intentions, nor in one’s reluctance to embrace a public good. This argument offers a strong basis for justifiably arguing that free riding is unfair. However, it is then argued that other considerations also need to be taken into account before simply holding free riding against non-compliers. (shrink)
Background: Women's health has received renewed attention in the last few years including health rehabilitation options for women affected by breast cancer. Dancing has often been regarded as one attractive option for supporting women's well-being and health, but research with women recovering from breast cancer is still in its infancy. Dancing with Health is multi-site pilot study that aimed to evaluate a dance programme for women in recovery from breast cancer across five European countries.Methods: A standardized 32 h dance protocol (...) introduced a range of Latin American dances presented within a sports and exercise framework with influences from dance movement therapy. Fifty-four women participated in the study who had a breast cancer diagnosis 6 weeks, no indication of metastasis, or scheduled surgery/chemotherapy/radiation treatment for the duration of the intervention. Primary outcome data was collected for anthropometric and fitness measures next to cancer-related quality of life. T-tests and Wilcoxon signed ranked tests were used to establish differences pre and post intervention. Cohen's d was also calculated to determine the effect size of the intervention.Results: Statistically significant changes were found for: weight, right and left forearm circumference and hip; 6 min walking, right and left handgrip, sit-to-stand and sit-and-reach; the EORTC-QLQ C30 summary score as well as the subscales of emotional and social functioning and symptoms. In all cases the direction of change was positive, while Cohen's d calculated showed that the effect of the intervention for these parameters ranged from intermediate to large.Conclusion: Changes on the above anthropometric, fitness and quality of life measures suggest that the intervention was of value to the participating women recovering from breast cancer. Results also advocate collaborative efforts across countries to further research. (shrink)
On a few occasions F.A. Hayek made reference to the famous Gödel theorems in mathematical logic in the context of expounding his cognitive and social theory. The exact meaning of the supposed relationship between Gödel's theorems and the essential proposition of Hayek's theory of mind remains subject to interpretation, however. The author of this article argues that the relationship between Hayek's thesis that the human brain can never fully explain itself and the essential insight provided by Gödel's theorems in mathematical (...) logic has the character of an analogy, or a metaphor. Furthermore the anti-mechanistic interpretation of Hayek's theory of mind is revealed as highly questionable. Implications for the Socialist Calculation Debate are highlighted. It is in particular concluded that Hayek's arguments for methodological dualism, when compared with those of Ludwig von Mises, actually amount to a strengthening of the case for methodological dualism. (shrink)
How can new drug lead suggestions beinferred from neurophysiological models? This paperaddresses this question based on a case study ofresearch into Parkinson''s disease at the GroningenUniversity Department of Pharmacy. It is argued thatneurophysiological box-and-arrow models can beunderstood as qualitative differential equationmodels. An inference task is defined to helpunderstand and possibly aid the discovery andexplanation of new drug lead suggestions.
Variation in practice of medicine is one of the major health policy issues of today. Ultimately, it is related to physicians' decision making. Similar patients with similar likelihood of having disease are often managed by different doctors differently: some doctors may elect to observe the patient, others decide to act based on diagnostic testing and yet others may elect to treat without testing. We explain these differences in practice by differences in disease probability thresholds at which physicians decide to act: (...) contextual social and clinical factors and emotions such as regret affect the threshold by influencing the way doctors integrate objective data related to treatment and testing. However, depending on a theoretical construct each of the physician's behaviour can be considered rational. In fact, we showed that the current regulatory policies lead to predictably low thresholds for most decisions in contemporary practice. As a result, we may expect continuing motivation for overuse of treatment and diagnostic tests. We argue that rationality should take into account both formal principles of rationality and human intuitions about good decisions along the lines of Rawls' ‘reflective equilibrium/considered judgment’. In turn, this can help define a threshold model that is empirically testable. (shrink)
OBJECTIVES: Cognitive and sensory difficulties frequently jeopardize informed consent of frail elderly patients This study is the first to test whether preliminary research experience could enhance geriatric patients' capacity to consent. DESIGN/SETTING: A step-wise consent procedure was introduced in a study on fluid balance in geriatric patients. Eligible patients providing verbal consent participated in a try-out of a week, during which bioelectrical impedance and weight measurements were performed daily. Afterwards, written informed consent was requested. Comprehension, risk and inconvenience scores (ranges: (...) 0-10) were obtained before and after the try-out by asking ten questions about the study's essentials and by asking for a risk and inconvenience assessment on a ten-points rating scale. SUBJECTS AND RESULTS: Seventy of the 78 eligible subjects started the try-out and 53 (68%) provided written consent. The comprehension score increased from 5.0 (+/- 2.3) to 7.0 (+/- 1.9) following the try-out (P < 0.001). The number of subjects capable of weighing risks and inconveniences increased from 32 to 48 (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Research experience improved the capacity to consent, still enabling an acceptable participation rate. Therefore, experienced consent seems a promising tool to optimize informed consent in frail elderly subjects. (shrink)
In this paper we present an executable approach to model interactions between agents that involve sensitive, privacy-related information. The approach is formal and based on deontic, epistemic and action logic. It is conceptually related to the Belief-Desire-Intention model of Bratman. Our approach uses the concept of sphere as developed by Waltzer to capture the notion that information is provided mostly with restrictions regarding its application. We use software agent technology to create an executable approach. Our agents hold beliefs about the (...) world, have goals and commitment to the goals. They have the capacity to reason about different courses of action, and communicate with one another. The main new ingredient of our approach is the idea to model information itself as an intentional agent whose main goal it is to preserve the integrity of the information and regulate its dissemination. We demonstrate our approach by applying it to an important process in the insurance industry: applying for a life insurance. In this paper we will: (1) describe the challenge organizational complexity poses in moral reasoning about informational relationships; (2) propose an executable approach, using software agents with reasoning capacities grounded in modal logic, in which moral constraints on informational relatio nships can be modeled and investigated; (3) describe the details of our approach, in which information itself is modeled as an intentional agent in its own right; (4) test and validate it by applying it to a concrete ‘hard case’ from the insurance industry; and (5) conclude that our approach upholds and offers potential for both research and practical application. (shrink)