Background: Although genetic research into Alzheimer disease (AD) is increasing, the ethical aspects of this kind of research and the differences between ethical issues related to genetic and non-genetic research into AD have not yet received much attention. Objectives: (1) To identify and compare the five ethical issues considered most important by surveyed expert panellists in non-genetic and genetic AD research and (2) to compare our empirical findings with ethical issues in genetic research in general as described in the literature. (...) Method: A modified Delphi study in two rounds Results: Genetic and non-genetic research into AD generated an approximately equal number of topics with a considerable overlap. Different priorities in the ethics of both types of research were found. Genetic research raised new topics such as “confidentiality of genetic information” and “implications of research for relatives” which changes the impact and application of existing ethical topics such as “informed consent” and is judged to have more impact on both individuals and society. A difference with the results of more theoretical approaches on ethical aspects related to AD research was also found. Conclusions: Different priorities are given to ethical issues in genetic and non-genetic research. These arise partly because genetic research causes unique and new questions, mostly related to the position of family members and the status of and access to genetic information. Differences found between the results of our empirical study and the more theoretical literature, suggest an additional value for empirical research in medical ethics. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the causation of diseases, particularly on the idea of a “genetic cause” taking Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) as an example. We (1) provide some historical information and a synopsis of the current knowledge on the etiology and pathogenesis of AD, (2) analyse some conceptual problems related to the notion of “genetic disease” (3) elaborate on the alleged (genetic) cause of AD, and (4) place the discussion on the cause of AD in a broader philosophical context, paying attention (...) to a constructivist perspective, the notions of causal connection and causal selection, and to some practical and normative consequences of our analysis. We conclude (a) that AD is not a specific disease entity with one specific cause, (b) that the idea of a single (sufficient) cause can still function as a heuristic tool in AD research and practice, and (c) that a “belief” in causation can go together with the notions of multicausality and probability. (shrink)
In this paper we analyse some ethical and philosophical questions related to the development of memory enhancing drugs (MEDs) and anti-dementia drugs. The world of memory enhancement is coloured by utopian thinking and by the desire for quicker, sharper, and more reliable memories. Dementia is characterized by decline, fragility, vulnerability, a loss of the most important cognitive functions and even a loss of self. While MEDs are being developed for self-improvement, in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) the self is being lost. Despite (...) this it is precisely those patients with AD and other forms of dementia that provide the subjects for scientific research on memory improvement. Biomedical research in the field of MEDs and anti-dementia drugs appears to provide a strong impetus for rethinking what we mean by ‘memory’, ‘enhancement’, ‘therapy’, and ‘self’. We conclude (1) that the enhancement of memory is still in its infancy, (2) that current MEDs and anti-dementia drugs are at best partially and minimally effective under specific conditions, (3) that ‘memory᾿and ‘enhancement᾿are ambiguous terms, (4) that there is no clear-cut distinction between enhancement and therapy, and (5) that the research into MEDs and anti-dementia drugs encourages a reductionistic view of the human mind and of the self. (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)
A long-standing theme in discussion of perception and thought has been that our primary cognitive contact with individual objects and events in the world derives from our perceptual contact with them. When I look at a duck in front of me, I am not merely presented with the fact that there is at least one duck in the area, rather I seem to be presented with this thing in front of me, which looks to me to be a duck. Furthermore, (...) such a perception would seem to put me in a position not merely to make the existential judgment that there is some duck or other present, but rather to make a singular, demonstrative judgment, that that is a duck. My grounds for an existential judgment in this case derives from my apprehension of the demonstrative thought and not vice versa. (shrink)
İslam’ın toplum hayatındaki tezahürlerinin mahiyet ve işlevi hakkındaki tartışmalar neredeyse Hz. Peygamber’in vefatından hemen sonraya kadar uzanır. Kelamın ehl-i hadisi eleştirisinde, Müslüman filozofların kelamcıları eleştirisinde, Gazzâlî’nin (ö. 1111) filozofları eleştirisinde daima İslam’ın “nasıl” anlaşılması gerektiği sorusunu görmek mümkündür. Gazzâlî ve İbn Rüşd (ö. 1198) gibi birbirine muhalif olan iki âlimin dahi kendi dönemlerindeki fukahayı eleştirmede müttefik olmasında yine İslam’ın “nasıl” anlaşılması gerektiği ve toplum hayatında “nasıl” uygulanacağı sorusu görülebilir. Son yüz yıllık dönemde ise bu tartışmalar ve uğraşların zirve yaptığını söyleyebiliriz. (...) Müslümanlar olarak küçük bir köye dönüşen dünyaya kayıtsız kalamayız, kendimizi merkeze aldığımız bir dünya tasavvur edemeyiz. Sosyolojimizin, psikolojimizin, siyaset, ekonomi, eğitim ve kültürümüzün diğer milletler ve din mensupları ile etkileşim halinde olduğu gerçeğini yok sayamayız. Durum böyle olunca maalesef Müslüman ülkelerin birçok alanda yaşamış olduğu sorunlar her geçen gün yüzümüze vurulmaktadır. Konuya vakıa tespiti yaparak başladığımız takdirde incelemesini yapacağımız İslam Işığında Müslümanlığımızla Yüzleşme eserinin önemi daha belirgin olacaktır. (shrink)
When Wittgenstein moved from Manchester to Cambridge he was following a path from the study of the natural sciences to the study of philosophy which was then not unusual, and has since become increasingly common. Russell had preceded him in that intellectual emigration and many more were to follow. Of the three philosophy departments I have been in, two were headed by natural scientists. Both my research supervisors in philosophy were natural scientists. Less surprising, but still significant, a considerable proportion (...) of Presidents of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science were originally trained as natural scientists. Yet it is a subject still unrecognized by the Royal Society. The editors of both the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and the journal Analysis were both originally natural scientists. Eminent scientists seem to feel impelled to discuss there own subjects in a wider context of philosophy. Bohr, Schrodinger, Kilmister, Hoyle, Hawking and Penrose, are but a few from a long list. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
Purpose. To examine the existential anthropology of G. Marcel and E. Minkowski, in order to demonstrate the necessity of distinguishing the universal-spiritual, as human in human being, apart from the individual-existential in him, and to reveal the hierarchical correlation of biosocial, existential and spiritual spheres in personality. Theoretical basis. Within existential philosophy the author differentiates two separate traditions and proceeds from the insufficiency of the distinction of existential sphere, proposed by phenomenological tradition, showing the necessity of its correlation with (...) the spiritual sphere as a sphere of humanity, proposed by non-phenomenological tradition of G. Marcel and E. Minkowski. Originality. The author presents the anthropological conception of G. Marcel and E. Minkowski, in which human personality is understood as unity of individual-existential and universal-spiritual, which requires a special trans-empirical field of culture, which contains senses, images and symbols of humanity. Also, the author presents the recent developments of existential thinkers in distinguishing existential and spiritual dimensions, both not reducible to the physical and social dimensions. Conclusions. In both existential traditions, the specifically human was founded as a trans-biological and trans-social phenomenon, which appears as indefinable and non-predetermined. But in first tradition, humanity is understood as an existence, as a unique individuality, "project", variant of humanity, equivalent to other variants, and universal is understood as a community of human condition in the world. While in the second tradition, the universal is understood as spiritual. Thus, horizontal level of our private existence, as the process of movement from birth to death, is supplemented by vertical of human, universal ideals and images. Humanity appears as a task, on the way to which human being transcends beyond the limits of his individual "self" to the "super-individual", through inclusion into spiritual community, into universal culture. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Method: Neglected Aspects By Gordon Baker. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 pp. 328. £40.00 HB.. Wittgenstein's Copernican Revolution: The Question of Linguistic Idealism By Ilham Dilman. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002. pp. 240. £52.50 HB. Wittgenstein: Connections and Controversies By P. M. S. Hacker. Oxford: Oxford University Press,. pp. 400. £45.00 HB; £19.99 PB. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: An Introduction By David G. Stern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. pp. 224. £40.00 HB; £10.99 PB.
One of the ways of dividing all philosophers into two kinds is by saying of each whether he is an ordinary man's philosopher or a philosophers' philosopher. Thus Plato is a philosophers' philosopher and Aristotle an ordinary man's philosopher. This does not depend on being easy to understand: a lot of Aristotle's Metaphysics is immensely difficult. Nor does being a philosophers' philosopher imply that an ordinary man cannot enjoy the writings, or many of them. Plato invented and exhausted a form: (...) no one else has written such dialogues. So someone with no philosophical bent, or who has left his philosophical curiosity far behind may still enjoy reading some of them. (shrink)
The usual way for new cells to come into being is by division of old cells. So the zygote, which is a—new—single cell formed from two, the sperm and ovum, is an exception. Textbooks of human genetics usually say that this new cell is beginning of a new human individual. What this indicates is that they suddenly forget about identical twins.
This paper reads The Monk by M. G. Lewis in the context of the literary and visual responses to the French Revolution, suggesting that its digestion of the horrors across the Channel is exhibited especially in its depictions of women. Lewis plays with public and domestic representations of femininity, steeped in social expectation and a rich cultural and religious imaginary. The novel’s ambivalence in the representation of femininity draws on the one hand on Catholic symbolism, especially its depictions of the (...) Madonna and the virgin saints, and on the other, on the way the revolutionaries used the body of the queen, Marie Antoinette, to portray the corruption of the royal family. The Monk fictionalizes the ways in which the female body was exposed, both by the Church and by the Revolution, and appropriated to become a highly politicized entity, a tool in ideological argumentation. (shrink)
Purely by questioning Socrates has elicited from an uninstructed slave the conclusion that the square on the diagonal of a square is twice the original square in area. Then comes a part of the dialogue which I translate: Socrates . This knowledge, then, that he has now, he either got some time, or always had? Meno . Yes.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in 1889, son of parents of Jewish extraction but not Jewish religion. Asked how his family came by the name ‘Wittgenstein’ Ludwig said they had been court Jews to the princely family and so had taken the name when Jews were required by law to have European-style names. The father, Karl, was a Protestant, the mother a Catholic. The Jewish blood was sufficient to bring the family later on into danger under Hitler's Nuremberg Laws. They did (...) not think of themselves as Jews or belong to the Jewish community in Vienna. The children were brought up sort-of Catholic though so far as I know only the eldest, Hermine, towards the end of her life, took this seriously and made a profession of faith before friends and household. At 9 years of age Ludwig and Paul, a year or two older than Ludwig, talked together and decided that their religion was all nonsense. Paul became a pianist of some fame, but soon after his debut in Vienna he became a wounded prisoner on the Russian front and his arm was lopped off by a surgeon who did not know he was a pianist. (shrink)
Dans l’imaginaire philosophique de J.-M.G. Le Clézio et de Göran Tunström, le rapport centralité / marginalisation occupe une place extrêmement importante. Les personnages de ces deux écrivains sont souvent intégrés dans des sociétés plus ou moins ouvertes, où l’isolement représente l’élément central. Ayant une certe philosophie implicite, mais loin de proposer l’image d’une société parfaite, les romans de J.-M.G. Le Clézio et de Göran Tunström, décrivent, tout aucontraire, la vie des enfants dans une collectivité qui ne les aime pas, où (...) règnent la pauvreté, ainsi que la haine. S’assumer le statut de marginalisé dans un monde aliéné nous démontre à quel point ce thème reste significatif pour la compréhension des personnages. (shrink)
Die Sculpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, im Auftrage und unter Mitwirkung des kaiserlick deutschen archaeologischen Instituts beschrieben von Walter Amerlung. Berlin: In Kommission bei Georg Reimer. Vol. I., 1903; Vol. II., 1908. Text, 8vo, pp. x + 935, 768. Plates, 4to, 121 + 83. M. 50 per vol.Guida illustrata del Museo Nazionale di Napoli; approvata dal Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione. Compilata da D. Bassi, E. Gábrici, L. Mariani, O. Maruchhi, G. Patroni, G. de Petra, A. Sogliano; per cura di A. Ruesch. (...) Naples: Richter & Co.; Munich: Buchholz, 1908. 8vo. Pp. 500. 129 illustrations in the text. Lire 25. (shrink)