We analyze the role of ethical values in the determination of the social cost of carbon, arguing that the familiar debate about discounting is too narrow. Other ethical issues are equally important to computing the social cost of carbon, and we highlight inequality, risk, and population ethics. Although the usual approach, in the economics of cost-benefit analysis for climate policy, is confined to a utilitarian axiology, the methodology of the social cost of carbon is rather flexible and can be expanded (...) to a broader set of social-welfare approaches. [Open access]. (shrink)
The COVID-19 crisis has forced a difficult trade-off between limiting the health impacts of the virus and maintaining economic activity. Welfare economics offers tools to conceptualize this trade-off so that policy-makers and the public can see clearly what is at stake. We review four such tools: the Value of Statistical Life (VSL); the Value of Statistical Life Years (VSLYs); Quality-Adjusted Life-Years (QALYs); and social welfare analysis, and argue that the latter are superior. We also discuss how to choose policies that (...) differentially affect people’s wellbeing. We argue in favor of evaluating policies using a Social Welfare Function (SWF), which evaluates the possible distributions of wellbeing across individuals that may result from a policy. Such a function, we argue, should regard increases in the wellbeing of the less well-off as especially valuable. We then use a model to illustrate how such a framework can help evaluate two broad policy types in response to the pandemic: eradication of the virus, and more lenient control of the spread. Our model reveals how such evaluations depend on many empirical facts but also on key value judgments about the relative importance of health and on the extent of special concern for the worse off. The purpose of this brief is not to make precise recommendations, as conditions vary widely across countries and over time, but to provide a methodology. (shrink)
Ce volume présente une nouvelle édition et la première traduction dans une langue moderne du Lexique platonicien de Timée le Sophiste. Il présente également une histoire, riche de nouveaux matériaux, de la lexicographie platonicienne ancienne. Le texte est préfacé d’une longue introduction de Jonathan Barnes. This book contains a new edition of the Greek text of the Lexicon to Plato by Timaeus the Sophist. There is a rich commentary, and a French translation―the first translation of the work into a modern (...) language. The text is prefaced by a long introduction, by Jonathan Barnes. (shrink)
In everyday reasoning - just as in science and art - knowledge is acquired more by "doing" than with long analyses. What do we "do" when we discover something new? How can we define and explore the pattern of this reasoning, traditionally called "synthetic"? Following in the steps of classic pragmatists, especially C.S. Pierce, Giovanni Maddalena's Philosophy of Gesture revolutionizes the pattern of synthesis through the ideas of change and continuity and proposes "gesture" as a new tool for synthesis. (...) Defining gesture as an action with a beginning and an end that carries on a meaning, Maddalena explains that it is a dense blending of all kinds of phenomena - feelings and vague ideas, actual actions, habits of actions - and of signs - icons, indexes, and symbols. When the blending of phenomena and signs is densest, the gesture is "complete," and its power of introducing something new in knowledge is at its highest level. Examples of complete gestures are religious liturgies, public and private rites, public and private actions that establish an identity, artistic performances, and hypothesizing experiments. A departure from a traditional Kantian framework for understanding the nature and function of reason, The Philosophy of Gesture proposes an approach that is more attuned with our ordinary way of reasoning and of apprehending new knowledge. (shrink)
Medical imaging is predominantly a visual field. In this context, prenatal ultrasound images assume intense social, ethical, and psychological significance by virtue of the subject they represent: the fetus. This feature, along with the sophistication introduced by three-dimensional ultrasound imaging that allows improved visualization of the fetus, has contributed to the common impression that prenatal ultrasound scans are like photographs of the fetus. In this article we discuss the consistency of such a comparison. First, we investigate the epistemic role of (...) both analogic and digital photographic images as visual information-providing representations holding a high degree of objectivity. Second, we examine the structure and process of production of ultrasound scans and argue that a comparison between two-dimensional ultrasound and photography is justified. This is in contrast to 3D ultrasound images that, due to the intensive mathematical processing involved in their production, present some structural issues that obfuscate their ontological and epistemic status. (shrink)
Western Philosophy’s modern period has been very much shaped by a representationalism according to which “concepts” (earlier: “ideas”) assembled into “propositions” constitute the fundamental unit of meaning, thought, belief— and even, in the hands of 20th century philosophers such as G.E.M. Anscombe and Jaegwon Kim— action, conceived as performed under a description. What exactly a proposition consists in ontologically is not easy to explain in a manner consonant with prevailing scientific naturalism. But it is clearly a disembodied entity, some kind (...) of abstract object. But in human behaviour, much depends on not just what is done but how it is done (and this ‘how’ will possess a beginning, middle, and end denied to abstract objects). The ‘how’ may be understood as gesture, and Maddalena’s book takes a first pass across how a philosophy that takes this, rather than disembodied meanings, as its foundation might organise itself. The result is a fascinating wealth of germinal ideas, not all of which I have space to discuss here. (shrink)
This paper wishes to clarify the definitions of the central terms relating to assessment. It argues that all assessment begins with summative assessment (which is a judgement) and that formative assessment is in fact summative assessment plus feedback which is used by the learner.
This paper wishes to clarify the definitions of the central terms relating to assessment. It argues that all assessment begins with summative assessment and that formative assessment is in fact summative assessment plus feedback which is used by the learner.
This article describes a qualitative study of models of ethics consultation used by ethics consultants in Canada. We found four different models used by Canadian ethics consultants whom we interviewed, and one sub-variant. We describe the lone ethics consultant model, the hub-and-spokes sub-variant of this model; the ethics committee model; the capacity-building model; and the facilitated model. Previous empirical studies of ethics consultation describe only two or three of these models.
The idea of ‘gesture’ is present in the philosophical world in various forms. All of them might find an important theoretical grounding in pragmatist philosophy, if we combine pragmatism with some French philosophies of mathematics and read it as a way out of the Kantian philosophy of representation. The paper uses the insights of Jean Cavaillès to set out the problem of the weakness of the epistemic Kantian defense of mathematical and logical thought. Cavaillès rejected the possible amendments to Kant’s (...) explanation provided by both Husserl and Bolzano and their heirs. He used the word ‘gesture’ in order to explain the activity of mathematicians who have to act synthetically, following rules, with some physical representation, and being aware of the possibility of failure. Cavaillès conceived the use of gesture as an alternative to the Heidegerian idea of event defended by Albert Lautman. The paper then follows the idea of gesture in the French philosophy of mathematics of Gilles Châtelet and Giuseppe Longo. Finally, the paper illustrates how Peirce’s study of Existential Graphs and the main insights of pragmatism complete Cavaillès’s idea by giving to gestures a phenomenological and semiotic structure. The pragmatist philosophy of gesture is thus a new way of overthrowing Kant’s philosophy of representation without surrendering to irrationalism. (shrink)
Chemical visualizations and models are special kinds of situated, inductive arguments. In this paper, I examine several historical case studies—an archive of images from museums, special collections, and popular magazines—as examples of emergent practices of physical modeling as theoretical play which became the basis for molecular biology and structural chemistry. Specifically, I trace a legacy of visualization tools that starts with Archibald Scott Cooper and Friedrich Kekulé in the late 1800s, crystallizes as material manipulatives in Kekulé’s student Jacobus Henricus Van’t (...) Hoff and his folded paper “toys,” is legitimized in the California lab of Linus Pauling, and is glorified in the popular imaginary with James Watson and Francis Crick’s model of DNA. My tracing then follows several threads into contemporary modeling practices. I ultimately argue that modeling play, originally outside of the boundary of deductive, positivist science, is now an accepted mode of inductive reasoning in these related chemical fields. (shrink)
In this study, Canadian healthcare ethics consultants describe their use of ethics decision-making frameworks. Our research finds that ethics consultants in Canada use multi-purpose ethics decision-making frameworks, as well as targeted frameworks that focus on reaching an ethical resolution to a particular healthcare issue, such as adverse event reporting, or difficult triage scenarios. Several interviewees mention the influence that the accreditation process in Canadian healthcare organizations has on the adoption and use of such frameworks. Some of the ethics consultants we (...) interviewed also report on their reluctance to use these tools. Limited empirical work has been done previously on the use of ethics decision-making frameworks. This study begins to fill this gap in our understanding of the work of healthcare ethics consultants. (shrink)
Nella tradizione agostiniana del XII secolo compaiono temi e linguaggi che suggeriscono la presenza, accanto al discorso teologico, di un discorso dell'uomo sull'uomo. Si analizza la figura di Maria Maddalena in alcuni autori del XII secolo e l'allegoria nuziale nei Sermones super Cantica di Bernardo di Clairvaux. La lettura viene condotta sulla base di categorie concettuali di carattere psicoanalitico, in quanto tali categorie trovano la propria origine, prima ancora che nel pensiero, nella più concreta e profonda esperienza umana. Ed (...) è proprio il collocarsi all'interno di questa viva esperienza umana che consente di cogliere in modo più diretto la dimensione antropologica che pare emergere dagli scrittori monastici di questo periodo. (shrink)
Porphyry’s Expositio per interrogationem et responsionem can help us to understand some obscure passages of chapter seven of Aristotle’s Categories, focused on the relative. The Porphyrian analysis of πρός τι presents indeed developments which are both useful for the understanding of the Aristotelian text and very innovative too. First, we can mention the general Porphyrian thesis according to which categories are predicates. This theory fits very well with πρός τι, which are predicates corresponding to properties that subjects only possess because (...) of an observed reciprocal relationship. This brings us to the second novelty of Porphyry’s analysis, really important for modern developments of the notion of relation, namely the difference between σχέσις and πρός τι, which depends on it. Finally, we will mention the important Porphyry’s contribution to the understanding of a particularly obscure issue concerning the relationship between the two definitions of πρός τι that Aristotle provides. Porphyry points out the Platonic origin of the first definition, without dismissing it though: instead, he will just consider it too vast and encompassing the true πρός τι, object of the second definition. (shrink)
Dans cet article j’analyse quelques extraits de la traduction latine du De anima d’Alexandre d’Aphrodise, faite par Girolamo Donato (1457-1511), noble vénitien, ambassadeur de la Serenissima auprès de plusieurs cours en Italie et en Europe, homme de lettres ami de Poliziano, Marsilio Ficino et Aldo Manuzio. En comparant les extraits avec l’original grec, le but est d’en vérifier la valeur : la fidélité du latin au grec, la compréhension générale du contenu et, en l’occurrence, la possibilité de rendre plus clairs (...) certains passages obscurs du texte d’Alexandre. (shrink)
From picture to photography and back. Tableau vivants, in their gestural synthetic dimension, represent for Diderot the apex of expression that the image can make explicit. Nothing closer to Wall’s poetics. His works show outstanding attention to detail: from scenic design to protagonists’ costumes, from light to actors’ action. And the result is exactly what Diderot saw in the eyes of people observing Chardin’s art: imagination at work.