This study examined female sex workers’ evaluation of ethically relevant experiences of participating in an HPV4 vaccine clinical trial conducted in Lima, Peru. The Sunflower Study provided all participants with HPV testing, treatment for those testing positive, and access to the vaccine for all testing negative. Themes that emerged from content analysis of interviews with 16 former participants included the importance of respectful treatment and access to healthcare not otherwise available and concerns about privacy protections, the potential for HIV stigma, (...) and poststudy abandonment. (shrink)
Why We Believe.Thalos Mariam - 1999 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (2):317-339.details
The radical probabilist counsels the prudent never to put away uncertainty, and hence always to balance judgment with probabilities of various sizes. Against this counsel I shall advise in favor of the practice of full belief — at least for some occasions. This advice rests on the fact that it is sometimes in a person's interests to accept certain propositions as a means of bringing it about that others recognize oneself as having accepted those propositions. With the pragmatists, therefore, I (...) shall reject the view that belief formation must in every instance be a truth-directed affair. Unlike the pragmatists, however, I shall conclude that the enterprise of belief formation is not directed exclusively, or even primarily, at attaining knowledge. In other words, pursuit of that which it profits to believe, on the one hand, and pursuit of knowledge on the other, are distinct enterprises, which overlap (when they do) only accidentally. (shrink)
La tesis mariológica de la conceptio per aurem, según la cual la Virgen María habría concebido a Jesucristo por el oído en el momento de escuchar del ángel el mensaje celestial anunciándole que, sin perder su virginidad, sería madre del Hijo de Dios encarnado, ha merecido hasta ahora muy pocos estudios académicos rigurosamente fundados en fuentes primarias. De hecho, en la literatura especializada son muy escasas las referencias a tal teoría y, cuando algún estudioso la evoca, casi siempre se contenta (...) con aludir a ella, sin aportar pruebas documentales. Sin embargo, tal como lo revelan las nueve pinturas italianas aquí analizadas, esa teoría fue ilustrada mediante sutiles metáforas visuales en muchas obras pictóricas medievales, las cuales se inspiraron en una sólida tradición literaria. Además una pléyade de Padres de la Iglesia y teólogos medievales testimonia, mediante afirmaciones explícitas, que semejante teoría gozó de notable aceptación entre los maestros del pensamiento cristiano. Basándose en numerosos textos patrísticos y teológicos, este artículo intenta dos objetivos esenciales: exponer, ante todo, las distintas formulaciones teóricas propuestas por esos pensadores; y además, tratar de poner en luz los significados dogmáticos que subyacen bajo esa sorprendente tesis. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young fue una de las pensadoras feministas más importantes del último cuarto del siglo pasado. Su obra es reconocida internacionalmente como una de las aportaciones más creativas e influyentes de nuestra época. Con el objeto de celebrar su aporte único y su novedad y de mantener vivo su pensamiento, Máriam Martínez-Bascuñán desarrolla un riguroso análisis crítico de su obra desde las cuestiones de justicia social, democracia deliberativa y su relación con la teoría de la opresión, hasta el enfoque (...) metodológico con el que Young aproxima su estudio sobre la experiencia corporal femenina llevando a diálogo las ideas de Simone de Beauvoir y Merleau-Ponty. Se examinan sus herramientas conceptuales articuladas desde la teoría crítica (Habermas y Marcuse), junto con el postestructuralismo psicoanalítico (Kristeva e Irigaray). Asimismo, el libro trata de plasmar las fructíferas controversias teóricas que Iris Young llevó a cabo con autores y autoras de relevancia internacional como lo son Nancy Fraser, Seyla Benhabib, John Rawls o el propio Jürgen Habermas. (shrink)
In “Philosophy in the age of science,” a review of J. Beale’s and I. J. Kidd’s edited volume, _Wittgenstein and scientism_, by Mariam Thalos, Chon Tejedor was mistakenly referred to as he, rather than she.
Ghosn, Mariam Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited disorder. Sufferers usually develop symptoms in midlife between the ages of 30 and 50 years. HD causes neurodegeneration resulting in the progressive development of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. The impact on sufferers worsens over time with the final stage of the disease resulting in the need for professional assistance in a long-term care facility. More rarely HD develops in children and young adults, with less than 5% of HD sufferers being (...) affected by Juvenile HD. This article considers the ethical aspects of such testing. (shrink)
Ghosn, Mariam Predictive genetic testing Part 2 will examine the issues and ethical aspects that must be considered when adolescents below the age of majority make a request to undergo predictive genetic testing for Huntington's disease.
Ghosn, Mariam A seven-year $1 million dollar study conducted by Dr. M. Soffritti found that significant trend of increasing lymphoma and leukaemia incidence in female rats fed aspartame with a significant increase in the number of female rats affected at dosages of 20 mg/kg per day and upward, thus questioning aspartame's safety. However, the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA's) Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food (AFC) argued that there was not enough (...) evidence to conclude that aspartame causes an increased incidence of lymphomas and leukaemias, also arguing that the increase in the number of rats affected with lymphomas and leukaemias could be due to chronic respiratory infections of the rats used in the study. (shrink)
Ghosn, Mariam; Ford, Norman The adult stem cells are capable of self-renewal and are responsible for replenishing cells throughout an individual's lifetime, residing not only at embryonic stage but also in children and adults. The latest advancements and updates in adult stem cell technology demonstrate that it might be possible to generate stem cells for therapeutic uses without the creation or destruction of human embryos.
In _A Social Theory of Freedom_, Mariam Thalos argues that the theory of human freedom should be a broadly social and political theory, rather than a theory that places itself in opposition to the issue of determinism. Thalos rejects the premise that a theory of freedom is fundamentally a theory of the metaphysics of constraint and, instead, lays out a political conception of freedom that is closely aligned with questions of social identity, self-development in contexts of intimate relationships, and (...) social solidarity. Thalos argues that whether a person is free depends upon a certain relationship of _fit_ between that agent’s conception of themselves, on the one hand, and the facts of their circumstances, on the other. Since relationships of fit are broadly logical, freedom is a logic—it is the logic of fit between one’s aspirations and one’s circumstances, what Thalos calls the _logic of agency_. The logic of agency, once fleshed out, becomes a broadly social and political theory that encompasses one’s self-conceptions as well as how these self-conceptions are generated, together with how they fit with the circumstances of one’s life. The theory of freedom proposed in this volume is fundamentally a political one. (shrink)
This book demonstrates how and why vitalism—the idea that life cannot be explained by the principles of mechanism—matters now. Vitalism resists closure and reductionism in the life sciences while simultaneously addressing the object of life itself. The aim of this collection is to consider the questions that vitalism makes it possible to ask: questions about the role and status of life across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities and questions about contingency, indeterminacy, relationality and change. All have special importance now, (...) as the concepts of complexity, artificial life and artificial intelligence, information theory, and cybernetics become increasingly significant in more and more fields of activity. (shrink)
This article aims to show that fundamentality is construed differently in the two most prominent strategies of analysis we find in physical science and engineering today: (1) atomistic, reductive analysis and (2) Systems analysis. Correspondingly, atomism is the conception according to which the simplest (smallest) indivisible entity of a certain kind is most fundamental; while systemism , as will be articulated here, is the conception according to which the bonds that structure wholes are most fundamental, and scale and/or constituting entities (...) are of no significance whatsoever for fundamentality. Accordingly, atomists maintain that the basic entities —the atoms —are fundamental, and together with the "external" interactions among them, are sufficient for illuminating all the features and behaviors of the wholes they constitute; whereas systemists proclaim that it is instead structural qualities of systems, that flow from internal relations among their constituents and translate directly into behaviors, that are fundamental, and by themselves largely (if not entirely) sufficient for illuminating the features and behaviors of the wholes thereby structured. Systemism, as will be argued, is consistent with the nonexistence of a fundamental "level" of nondecomposable entities, just as it is consistent with the existence of such a level. Still, systemism is a conception of the fundamental in quite different, but still ontological terms. Systemism can serve the special sciences—the social sciences especially—better than the conception of fundamentality in terms of atoms. Systemism is, in fact, a conception of fundamentality that has rather different uses—and importantly, different resonances. This conception of fundamentality makes contact with questions pertaining to natural kinds and their situation in the metaphysics of the special sciences—their situation within an order of autonomous sciences. The controversy over fundamentality is evident in the social sciences too, albeit somewhat imperfectly, in the terms of debate between methodological individualists and functionalists/holists . This article will thus clarify the difference between systemism and holism. (shrink)
in Probability is the Very Guide of Life: The Philosophical Uses of Chance, eds. Henry Kyburg, Jr. and Mariam Thalos, Open Court. Abridged version in Proceedings of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis 2002.
Recent scientific findings about human decision making would seem to threaten the traditional concept of the individual conscious will. The will is threatened from "below" by the discovery that our apparently spontaneous actions are actually controlled and initiated from below the level of our conscious awareness, and from "above" by the recognition that we adapt our actions according to social dynamics of which we are seldom aware. In Distributed Cognition and the Will, leading philosophers and behavioral scientists consider how much, (...) if anything, of the traditional concept of the individual conscious will survives these discoveries, and they assess the implications for our sense of freedom and responsibility. The contributors all take science seriously, and they are inspired by the idea that apparent threats to the cogency of the idea of will might instead become the basis of its reemergence as a scientific subject. They consider macro-scale issues of society and culture, the micro-scale dynamics of the mind/brain, and connections between macro-scale and micro-scale phenomena in the self-guidance and self-regulation of personal behavior. Contributors: George Ainslie, Wayne Christensen, Andy Clark, Paul Sheldon Davies, Daniel C. Dennett, Lawrence A. Lengbeyer, Dan Lloyd, Philip Pettit, Don Ross, Tamler Sommers, Betsy Sparrow, Mariam Thalos, Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Daniel M. Wegner, Tadeusz W. ZawidzkiDon Ross is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Finance, Economics, and Quantitative Methods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Harold Kincaid is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. G. Lynn Stephens is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (shrink)
I shall endeavor to show that every physical theory since Newton explainswithout drawing attention to causes–that, in other words, physical theories as physical theories aspire to explain under an ideal quite distinctfrom that of causal explanation. If I am right, then even if sometimes theexplanations achieved by a physical theory are not in violation ofthe standard of causal explanation, this is purely an accident. For physicaltheories, as I will show, do not, as such, aim at accommodating the goals oraspirations of (...) causal explanation. This will serve as the founding insightfor a new theory of explanation, which will itself serve as the cornerstoneof a new theory of scientific method. (shrink)
This essay explores the process and issues related to community collaborative research that involves Native Americans generally, and specifically examines the Navajo Nation’s efforts to regulate research within its jurisdiction. Researchers need to account for both the experience of Native Americans and their own preconceptions about Native Americans when conducting research about Native Americans. The Navajo Nation institutionalized an approach to protecting members of the nation when it took over Institutional Review Board (IRB) responsibilities from the US Indian Health Service (...) (IHS) in 1996. While written regulations for the Navajo Nation IRB are not dissimilar, and in some ways are less detailed than those of the IHS IRB, in practice the Navajo Nation allows less flexibility. Primary examples of this include not allowing expedited review and requiring prepublication review of all manuscripts. Because of its broad mandate, the Navajo Nation IRB may also require review of some projects that would not normally be subject to IRB approval, including investigative journalism and secondary research about Navajo People that does not involve direct data collection from human subjects. (shrink)
In spite of its infinite expectation value, the St. Petersburg game is not only a gamble without supply in the real world, but also one without demand at apparently very reasonable asking prices. We offer a rationalizing explanation of why the St. Petersburg bargain is unattractive on both sides (to both house and player) in the mid-range of prices (finite but upwards of about $4). Our analysis – featuring (1) the already-established fact that the average of finite ensembles of the (...) St. Petersburg game grows with ensemble size but is unbounded, and (2) our own simulation data showing that the debt-to-entry fee ratio rises exponentially – explains why both house and player are quite rational in abstaining from the St. Petersburg game. The house will be unavoidably (and intentionally) exposed to very large ensembles (with very high averages, and so very costly to them), while contrariwise even the well-heeled player is not sufficiently capitalized (as our simulation data reveals) to be able to capture the potential gains from large-ensemble play. (Smaller ensembles, meanwhile, enjoy low means, as others have shown, and so are not worth paying more than $4 to play, even if a merchant were to offer them at such low prices per trial.) Both sides are consequently rational in abstaining from entry into the St. Petersburg market in the mid-range of asking prices. We utilize the concept of capitalization vis-à-vis a gamble to make this case. Classical analyses of this question have paid insufficient attention to the question of the propriety of using expected values to assess the St. Petersburg gamble. And extant analyses have not noted the average-maximum-debt-before-breaking-even figures, and so are incomplete. (shrink)
A venerable tradition in the metaphysics of science commends ontological reduction: the practice of analysis of theoretical entities into further and further proper parts, with the understanding that the original entity is nothing but the sum of these. This tradition implicitly subscribes to the principle that all the real action of the universe (also referred to as its "causation") happens at the smallest scales-at the scale of microphysics. A vast majority of metaphysicians and philosophers of science, covering a wide swath (...) of the spectrum from reductionists to emergentists, defend this principle. It provides one pillar of the most prominent theory of science, to the effect that the sciences are organized in a hierarchy, according to the scales of measurement occupied by the phenomena they study. On this view, the fundamentality of a science is reckoned inversely to its position on that scale. This venerable tradition has been justly and vigorously countered-in physics, most notably: it is countered in quantum theory, in theories of radiation and superconduction, and most spectacularly in renormalization theories of the structure of matter. But these counters-and the profound revisions they prompt-lie just below the philosophical radar. This book illuminates these counters to the tradition principle, in order to assemble them in support of a vaster (and at its core Aristotelian) philosophical vision of sciences that are not organized within a hierarchy. In so doing, the book articulates the principle that the universe is active at absolutely all scales of measurement. This vision, as the book shows, is warranted by philosophical treatment of cardinal issues in the philosophy of science: fundamentality, causation, scientific innovation, dependence and independence, and the proprieties of explanation. (shrink)
Trade secret theft is a problem that almost all organizations face. The greatest threat is employee mobility and potential unethical post-employment behavior. This study investigates the role of individual personality traits in judgments about trade secret misappropriation. Our hypotheses were tested in three studies addressing three different situational contexts: current employees, employees about to be laid off, and students who had quit their job. Relationships were estimated with robust regression. The results show that some personality traits predict judgment about another (...) person's trade secret misappropriation, and that the situational context in which individuals formulate their ethical judgment moderates the impact of personality traits on ethical judgment. (shrink)
Social sciences face a well-known problem, which is an instance of a general problem faced as well by psychological and biological sciences: the problem of establishing their legitimate existence alongside physics. This, as will become clear, is a problem in metaphysics. I will show how a new account of structural explanations, put forward by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit, which is designed to solve this metaphysical problem with social sciences in mind, fails to treat the problem in any importantly new (...) way. Then I will propose a more modest approach, and show how it does not deserve the criticism directed at a prototype by Jackson and Pettit. (shrink)
Abstract This essay offers a motivational conception of solidarity that can be employed across the entire range of sciences and humanities, while also filling a gap in the motivational spectrum conceived by decision theorists and economists?and expanding the two-part division between altruistic and selfish motivations into a tripartite analysis that suggests a spectrum instead. According to the present proposal, solidarity is a condition of action-readiness on behalf of a group or its interests. The proposal will admit of measuring the extent (...) to which Prisoner's Dilemmas are overcome in real life via acts of solidarity. (shrink)
This article addresses the relations between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ (and those characteristics associated with ‘the natural’ and ‘the cultural’) in the context of the debates about Prozac. Following Marilyn Strathern, I focus specifically on the contested issue of enablement - that is, on what Prozac does or does not enable, and on the relation between enablement and enhancement, normality and pathology. I argue that the implications of the model of the brain that accompanies explanations of Prozac are such that commentators (...) are obliged to address not only the nature of normality but also the nature of nature itself. Through a close analysis of these debates, I suggest that critiques of Prozac should be understood not as objections to reductionism - to a biology that closes things down - but rather to one that opens things up: that opens up the relations between nature, culture, biology and the individual, relations that are now cross-cut and thrown about by artificiality. Objections to Prozac, then, might be characterized as an attempt to put these concepts back into their ‘proper’ positions, to re-establish the relationality between them. In conclusion, I argue that the biology put forward by proponents of psychopharmacology, regardless of the desirability of the latter, challenges not only the frequent assumptions that are made about the claims of materialist science, but also some of the terms and concepts that are commonly deployed in the social sciences. (shrink)
This article critiques some Islamic approaches to food ethics and the debate over genetically modified food. Food ethics is a branch of bioethics, and is an emerging field in Islamic bioethics. The article critically analyzes the arguments of the authors who wrote in favor of genetically modified organisms from an Islamic perspective, and those who wrote against GMOs, also from an Islamic perspective. It reveals the theological and the epistemological foundations of the two main approaches. Moreover, it provides an attempt (...) to critique what is perceived as an exclusivist and legalistic trend adopted by some authors. It argues that an alternative approach that acknowledges the priority of reason in ethics and is at the same time rooted in Islamic tradition would be more inclusive and constructive. (shrink)
This paper argues that the doctrines of determinism and supervenience, while logically independent, are importantly linked in physical mechanics-and quite interestingly so. For it is possible to formulate classical mechanics in such a way as to take advantage of the existence of mathematical devices that represent the advance of time-and which are such as to inspire confidence in the truth of determinism-in order to prevent violation of supervenience. It is also possible to formulate classical mechanics-and to do so in an (...) observationally equivalent, and thus equally empirically respectable, way-such that violations of supervenience are routine, and necessary for achieving complete descriptions of the motions of mechanical systems-necessary, therefore, for achieving a deterministic mechanical theory. Two such formulations-only one of which preserves supervenience universally-will conceive of mechanical law in quite different ways. What's more, they will not admit of being extended to treat thermodynamical questions in the same way. Thus we will find that supervenience is a contingent matter, in the following rather surprising and philosophically interesting way: we cannot in mechanics separate our decisions to conceive of physical law in certain ways from our decisions to treat macroscopic quantities in certain ways. (shrink)
This paper documents a wide range of nonreductive scientific treatments of phenomena in the domain of physics. These treatments strongly resist characterization as explanations of macrobehavior exclusively in terms of behavior of microconstituents. For they are treatments in which macroquantities are cast in the role of genuine and irreducible degrees of freedom. One is driven into reductionism when one is not cultivated to possess an array of distinctions rich enough to let things be what they are. In contrast, making the (...) decisive distinction has an illuminating and liberating effect because it lets the concrete occurrence stand forth for what it is. We understand it not in terms of a decipherment, but on its own terms. –Robert Sokolowski (“Making Distinctions”, 1992). (shrink)
Dynamical-systems analysis is nowadays ubiquitous. From engineering (its point of origin and natural home) to physiology, and from psychology to ecology, it enjoys surprisingly wide application. Sometimes the analysis rings decisively false—as, for example, when adopted in certain treatments of historical narrative;1 other times it is provocativeandcontroversial,aswhenappliedtothephenomenaofmind and cognition.2 Dynamical systems analysis (or “Systems” with a capital “S,” as I shall sometimes refer to it) is simply a tool of analysis. It mobilizes the language and mathematical technology of differential equations,andbringsintoplaythedistinctiveconceptsofequilibriumand (...) attractor, as well as gain, coupling and neighborhood, that are not obviously proprietary property of any particular domain of objects or regimeintheworld.3 Itistheecumenicallanguageofengineers,universal in scope. Still, Systems, as a mode of analysis, itself stands in need of clarification. Once that clarity has been attained, one can then ask: are there limitations or bounds on proper application of Systems analysis, that are themselves premised upon considerations internal to the analysis itself? This is one of several questions to which the present essay is devoted. Before it can be attempted, however, we shall require some groundwork thatclarifiesthemodeofanalysisthatisSystems—thefamilyofanalyses to which it belongs.This will begin to bring out (among other things) the precisedifferenceofsubjectmatterbetweenbiologyandphysics.Andthe ecumenicality of Systems analysis is bound to have its own distinctive commitments, as we shall see. Practitioners attuned to the signal characteristics of Systems analysis—characteristics that set it apart—proclaim its many advantages.. (shrink)
The principle that causes always render their effects more likely is fundamental to the enterprise of reducing facts of causation to facts about (objective) chances. This reductionist enterprise faces famous difficulties in accommodating common-sense intuitions about causal processes, if it insists on cashing out causal processes in terms of streams of events in which every event that belongs to the stream is a cause of the adjoining event downstream of it. I shall propose modifications to this way of cashing out (...) causal processes, still well within the reductionist faith. These modifications will allow the reductionist to handle processes successfully, on the assumption that the reductionist proposal is itself otherwise satisfactory. I shall then argue that the reductionist enterprise lies squarely behind the Theory of Relativity, and so has all the confirmatory weight of Relativity behind it. However this is not all good news for reductionists. For throughout I shall simply assume that the reductionist proposal, to the effect that causes are just chance-raisers, is correct. AndI shall sidestep problems with that proposal as such. And so I shall show that, if in the end we find the reductionist proposal unsatisfactory, it cannot be on grounds of its treatment of causal processes as such. Thus, while I shall argue that causal processes pose no extra trouble for redutionists, I shall be making a case that all the action between reductionists and their opponents should be focused upon the proposal to reduce the two-term causal relation itself to relations amongst probabilities. (shrink)
The twin conceptions of (1) natural law as causal structure and (2) explanation as passage from phenomenon to cause, are two sides of a certain philosophical coin, to which I shall offer an alternative – Humean – currency. The Humean alternative yokes together a version of the regularity conception of law and a conception of explanation as passage from one regularity, to another which has it as an instance but of which it is not itself an instance. I will show (...) that the regularity conception of law is the basis of a distinguished branch of physical mechanics; thus the Humean conception of law, like its better-loved rival, enjoys the support of a venerated tradition in mechanical theory – in fact, that strand which culminates in quantum theory. I shall also offer an account of explanatory asymmetry, a natural companion to the Humean conception of explanation as passage from one regularity to another of greater scope, as an alternative to van Fraassen's unsatisfactory account. My account of asymmetry is just as free of reliance on context as it is free of reliance on cause. I shall thus proclaim that explanatory asymmetry is at once a reality deserving of philosophical treatment – one not to be given over to the care of psychology or linguistics – and at the same time susceptible of an account worthy of Hume. (shrink)
The goal of the essay is to articulate some beginnings for an empirical approach to the study of agency, in the firm conviction that agency is subject to scientific scrutiny, and is not to be abandoned to high-brow aprioristic philosophy. Drawing on insights from decision analysis, game theory, general dynamics, physics and engineering, this essay will examine the diversity of planning phenomena, and in that way take some steps towards assembling rudiments for the budding science, in the process innovating (parts (...) of) a technical vocabulary. The key is focus upon the organization of effort in time. This paper categorizes forms of organization of effort in time, and yields an analysis of both individual agency and coalitions of agents as forms of effort organized in time. Finally, it articulates precise questions pertaining to the natural (evolutionary) history of forms of agency (once upon a time referred to as 'Will') that we now find on the ground. (shrink)