The question—what is a political constitution?—might seem, at first blush, fairly innocuous. At one level, the idea of a political constitution seems fairly well settled, at least insofar as most political constitutionalists subscribe to a similar set of commitments, arguments and assumptions. At a second, more reflective level, however, there remains some doubt whether a political constitution purports to be a descriptive or normative account of a real world constitution, such as Britain’s. By exploring the idea of a political constitution (...) as differently articulated by J.A.G. Griffith, Adam Tomkins and Richard Bellamy, this essay explores why the normativity of a political constitution may be indistinct and ill-defined, and how compelling reasons for this indistinctness and ill-definition are to be found in the very idea of a political constitution itself. A political constitution is here conceived as a ‘model’ which supplies an explanatory framework within which to make sense of our constitutional self-understandings. The discipline of thinking in terms of a model opens up a critical space wherein there need not be some stark, all-encompassing choice between constitutional models, which, in turn, allows for more subtle understandings of Britain’s constitution as neither exclusively ‘political’ nor ‘legal’. (shrink)
Many adoptees face a number of challenges relating to separation from biological parents during the adoption process, including issues concerning identity, intimacy, attachment, and trust, as well as language and other cultural challenges. One common health challenge faced by adoptees involves lack of access to genetic-relative family health history. Lack of GRFHx represents a disadvantage due to a reduced capacity to identify diseases and recommend appropriate screening for conditions for which the adopted person may be at increased risk. In this (...) article, we draw out common features of traditionally understood “health disparities” in order to identify analogous features in the context of adoptees’ lack of GRFHx. (shrink)
We see nonviolent resistance all over today’s world, from Egypt’s Tahrir Square to New York Occupy. Although we think of the last century as one marked by wars and violent conflict, in fact it was just as much a century of nonviolence as the achievements of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and peaceful protests like the one that removed Ferdinand Marcos from the Philippines clearly demonstrate. But what is nonviolence? What makes a campaign a nonviolent one, and how (...) does it work? What values does it incorporate? In this unique study, Todd May, a philosopher who has himself participated in campaigns of nonviolent resistance, offers the first extended philosophical reflection on the particular and compelling political phenomenon of nonviolence. Drawing on both historical and contemporary examples, he examines the concept and objectives of nonviolence, and considers the different dynamics of nonviolence, from moral jiu-jitsu to nonviolent coercion. May goes on to explore the values that infuse nonviolent activity, especially the respect for dignity and the presupposition of equality, before taking a close-up look at the role of nonviolence in today’s world. Students of politics, peace studies, and philosophy, political activists, and those interested in the shape of current politics will find this book an invaluable source for understanding one of the most prevalent, but least reflected upon, political approaches of our world. (shrink)
Larry May examines the normative and conceptual problems concerning the crime of genocide. Genocide arises out of the worst of horrors. Legally, however, the unique character of genocide is reduced to a technical requirement, that the perpetrator's act manifest an intention to destroy a protected group. From this definition, many puzzles arise. How are groups to be identified and why are only four groups subject to genocide? What is the harm of destroying a group and why is this harm thought (...) to be independent of killing many people? How can a person in the dock, as an individual, be responsible for a collective crime like genocide? How should we understand the specific crimes associated with genocide, especially instigation, incitement, and complicity? Paying special attention to the recent case law concerning the Rwanda genocide, May offers the first philosophical exploration of the crime of genocide in international criminal law. (shrink)
Issues concerning patients' rights are at the center of bioethics, but the political basis for these rights has rarely been examined. In Bioethics in a Liberal Society: The Political Framework of Bioethics Decision Making , Thomas May offers a compelling analysis of how the political context of liberal constitutional democracy shapes the rights and obligations of both patients and health care professionals. May focuses on how a key feature of liberal society -- namely, an individual's right to make independent decisions (...) -- has an impact on the most important relational facets of health care, such as patients' autonomy and professionals' rights of conscience. Although a liberal political framework protects individual judgments, May asserts that this right is based on the assumption of an individual's competency to make sound decisions. May uses case studies to examine society's approach to medical decision making when, for reasons ranging from age to severe mental disorder, a person lacks sufficient competency to make independent and fully informed choices. To protect the autonomy of these vulnerable patients, May emphasizes the need for health care ethics committees and ethics consultants to help guide the decision-making process in clinical settings. Bioethics in a Liberal Society is essential reading for all those interested in understanding how bioethics is practiced within our society. (shrink)
Webber, Ruth; Jones, Kate This paper is about how three Catholic agencies carved out and adapted over time a role for themselves in assisting in the recovery after the Victorian bushfires of 2009. It tracks the process from the time the Archbishop of Melbourne commissioned Catholic Social Services Victoria to survey the bushfire affected areas and work out where there were gaps in services that the Catholic agencies could fill. A significant amount of funding was allocated to the provision (...) of services by Catholic agencies for a period of up to three years in the bushfire affected regions. This was seen as a Catholic response to an extraordinary natural disaster. This was organisationally difficult because there are in excess of sixty Catholic welfare services in Victoria and it was necessary to determine who would be best able to meet the gaps and deliver appropriate services.1 It was clear that the aim was not to replicate or compete with existing services, it was to meet real needs and to do this in a cooperative and collegial way with existing players. (shrink)
We present an implementation of a discourse parsing system for alexicalized Tree-Adjoining Grammar for discourse, specifying the integrationof sentence and discourse level processing. Our system is based on theassumption that the compositional aspects of semantics at thediscourse level parallel those at the sentence level. This coupling isachieved by factoring away inferential semantics and anaphoric features ofdiscourse connectives. Computationally, this parallelism is achievedbecause both the sentence and discourse grammar are LTAG-based and the sameparser works at both levels. The approach to an (...) LTAG for discourse has beendeveloped by Webber and colleagues in some recent papers. Our system takes a discourseas input, parses the sentences individually, extracts the basic discourseconstituent units from the sentence derivations, and reparses the discoursewith reference to the discourse grammar while using the same parser usedat the sentence level. (shrink)
In this paper, the authors have detected a new effect in the area of geomagnetism, related to the behavior of a magnetic dipole freely floating on water surface. An experiment is described in the present paper in which a magnetic dipole fixed upon a float placed on non- magnetized water surface undergoes displacement along with reorientation caused by fine structure of the earth's magnetic field. This fact can probably be explained by secular decrease of the earth's major dipole moment. Further, (...) a detailed study of the phenomenon may create interesting premises for its practical use, particularly for the analysis of fine structure of geomagnetic field and its time-dependent anomalies. A strange behavior of some sea fish species prior to strong earthquakes may be explained if the fish are assumed as 'live magnetic dipoles'. (shrink)
Love—unconditional, selfless, unchanging, sincere, and totally accepting—is worshipped today as the West's only universal religion. To challenge it is one of our few remaining taboos. In this pathbreaking and superbly written book, philosopher Simon May does just that, dissecting our resilient ruling ideas of love and showing how they are the product of a long and powerful cultural heritage. Tracing over 2,500 years of human thought and history, May shows how our ideal of love developed from its Hebraic and Greek (...) origins alongside Christianity until, during the last two centuries, "God is love" became "love is God"—so hubristic, so escapist, so untruthful to the real nature of love, that it has booby-trapped relationships everywhere with deluded expectations. Brilliantly, May explores the very different philosophers and writers, both skeptics and believers, who dared to think differently: from Aristotle's perfect friendship and Ovid's celebration of sex and "the chase," to Rousseau's personal authenticity, Nietzsche's affirmation, Freud's concepts of loss and mourning, and boredom in Proust. Against our belief that love is an all-powerful solution to finding meaning, security, and happiness in life, May reveals with great clarity what love actually is: the intense desire for someone whom we believe can ground and affirm our very existence. The feeling that "makes the world go round" turns out to be a harbinger of home--and in that sense, of the sacred. (shrink)
According to Kant, it is impermissible to treat humanity as a mere means. If we accept Kant's equation of humanity with rational agency, and are literalists about ascriptions of agency to collectives it appears to follow that we may not treat collectives as mere means. On most standard accounts of what it is to treat something as a means this conclusion seems highly implausible. I conclude that we are faced with a range of options. One would be to rethink the (...) equation of humanity with rationality. Another would be to abandon the prohibition on treating as a means. The last would be to abandon literalist construals of attribution of agency to collectives. (shrink)
May's theorem famously shows that, in social decisions between two options, simple majority rule uniquely satisfies four appealing conditions. Although this result is often cited in support of majority rule, it has never been extended beyond decisions based on pairwise comparisons of options. We generalize May's theorem to many-option decisions where voters each cast one vote. Surprisingly, plurality rule uniquely satisfies May's conditions. This suggests a conditional defense of plurality rule: If a society's balloting procedure collects only a single vote (...) from each voter, then plurality rule is the uniquely compelling electoral procedure. To illustrate the conditional nature of this claim, we also identify a richer informational environment in which approval voting, not plurality rule, is supported by a May-style argument. (shrink)
In the A-not-B situation children reach toward location A when the object is at location B. Researchers interpret this as an error. I question this interpretation. Reaches are inaccurate only if the intention actually is to obtain the hidden object. If this is not the goal, then reaching for A may be accurate and there may be no error to be explained.
This commentary contends that Larry May’s Hobbesian argument for limitations on sovereignty and lawmaking in Limiting Leviathan does not succeed. First, I show that Hobbes begins with a plausible instrumental theory of normativity. Second, I show that Hobbes then attempts, unsuccessfully—by his own lights—to defend a kind of non-instrumental, moral normativity. Thus, I contend, in order to successfully “limit the Leviathan” of the state, the Hobbesian must provide a sound instrumental argument in favor of the sovereign limiting their actions and (...) lawmaking. But, I argue, neither Hobbes nor May provides such an argument. (shrink)
Philosophers of time say that if presentism is true (i.e. if reality is comprised solely of presently existing things), then a complete description of reality must contain tensed terms, such as ‘was’, ‘presently is’ and ‘will be’. I counter this viewpoint by explaining how the presentist may de-tense our talk about times. I argue, furthermore, that, since the A-theory of time denies the success of any such de-tensing strategy, presentism is not a version of the A-theory – contrary to the (...) popular opinion. (shrink)
Based on his theory of animalrights, Regan concludes that humans are morallyobligated to consume a vegetarian or vegandiet. When it was pointed out to him that evena vegan diet results in the loss of manyanimals of the field, he said that while thatmay be true, we are still obligated to consumea vegetarian/vegan diet because in total itwould cause the least harm to animals (LeastHarm Principle, or LHP) as compared to currentagriculture. But is that conclusion valid? Isit possible that some other (...) agriculturalproduction alternatives may result in leastharm to animals? An examination of thisquestion shows that the LHP may actually bebetter served using food production systemsthat include both plant-based agriculture and aforage-ruminant-based agriculture as comparedto a strict plant-based (vegan) system. Perhapswe are morally obligated to consume a dietcontaining both plants and ruminant(particularly cattle) animal products. (shrink)
I critically examine a common liberal egalitarian view about the justification for, and proper content of, mandatory health insurance. This view holds that a mandate is justified because it is the best way to ensure that those in poor health gain health insurance on equitable terms. It also holds that a government should mandate what a representative prudent individual would purchase for themselves if they were placed in fair conditions of choice. I argue that this common justification for a mandate (...) is incomplete. A further reason for mandated insurance is that it helps secure social egalitarian public goods that would be underprovided if insurance were optional. I also argue that rather than mandating what a representative individual would choose for themselves, we should design the mandatory package by appealing to a pluralistic egalitarian view, which cares about improving people’s well-being, reducing unfair inequality, and maintaining egalitarian social relations. (shrink)
Some of Kepler's works seem very different in character. His youthful Mysterium cosmographicum (1596) argues for heliocentrism on the basis of metaphysical, astronomical, astrological, numerological and architectonic principles. By contrast, Astronomia nova (1609) is far more tightly argued on the basis of only a few dynamical principles. In the eyes of many, such a contrast embodies a transition from Renaissance to early modern science. I suggest that Karl Popper's fallibilist and piecemeal approach, and especially his theory of errors, might prove (...) extremely helpful in resolving such alleged tension. By abandoning the perspective of the inductivist philosophy of science, which is forced by its own standards to portray Kepler as a "sleepwalker", I focus on the method he followed: he never hesitated to discuss his own intellectual journey, offering a rational reconstruction of the series of false starts, blind alleys and failures he encountered. The critical dialogue he managed to establish in private correspondence with fellow astronomers he later transplanted into his printed works, whose structure closely resembles that of a dialogue, however implicit. (shrink)
On the assumption that theistic religious commitment takes place in the face of evidential ambiguity, the question arises under what conditions it is permissible to make a doxastic venture beyond oneâs evidence in favour of a religious proposition. In this paper I explore the implications for orthodox theistic commitment of adopting, in answer to that question, a modest, moral coherentist, fideism. This extended Jamesian fideism crucially requires positive ethical evaluation of both the motivation and content of religious doxastic ventures. I (...) suggest that, even though the existence of horrendous evil does not resolve evidential ambiguity in favour of atheism, there are reasonable value commitments that would preclude those who hold them from satisfying extended Jamesian fideist conditions for committing themselves to classical theism. I then begin a discussion of a possible revisionary theistic alternative (in the Christian tradition) which â one might hope â may meet those conditions. An earlier, shorter, version of this paper was delivered as a keynote address at the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God. (shrink)
For many commentators in bioethics and the law, safety is the fulcrum for evaluating the ethics of human reproductive cloning. Carson Strong has argued that if cloning were effective and safe it should be available to married couples who have tried to have children through various assisted reproductive technologies but been unable to do so. On his view, cloning should be available only as reproductive last resort. I challenged that limited use by trying to show that the arguments Strong adduces (...) in favor of reproductive somatic nuclear transfer for married couples extend to same-sex couples as well, who face a different kind of infertility. I also went on to argue that his justifications would in fact extend the legitimate use of SNT to any couples regardless of whether they had fertility difficulties or not. (shrink)
Carson Strong argues, in that if cloning of humans by somatic cell nuclear transfer were to become a safe procedure, then infertile couples should have access to it as a last resort. He lists six reasons such couples might desire genetically related children. Of these, two are relevant to justifying their access to cloning—namely, that they want to jointly participate in the creation of a person, and that having a genetically related child would constitute an affirmation of their mutual love. (...) According to Strong, these reasons justify at least some infertile couples' freedom to clone themselves. He wants to prevent the widespread use of cloning technology by making it available to only infertile couples and only as a last resort. One way to enforce this restriction, he suggests, is to penalize physicians who carry out disallowed clonings. After all, fertile couples and many infertile couples can satisfy their need to have genetically related children in other ways. (shrink)
The present study was motivated by the hypothesis that inputs from internal states in obsessive–compulsive individuals are attenuated, which could be one source of the pervasive doubting and checking in OCD. Participants who were high or low in OC tendencies were asked to produce specific levels of muscle tension with and without biofeedback, and their accuracy in producing the required muscle tension levels was assessed. As predicted, high OC participants performed more poorly than low OC participants on this task when (...) biofeedback was not available. When biofeedback was provided, the difference between the groups was eliminated, and withdrawing the monitor again reversed this effect. Finally, when given the opportunity, high OC participants were more likely than low OC participants to request biofeedback. These results suggest that doubt in OCD may be grounded in a real and general deficiency in accessing internal states. (shrink)
This article discusses the nature of interprofessional ethics and some of the ethical issues and challenges that arise when practitioners from different professions work closely together in the fields of health and social care. The article draws on materials from a conference on this theme, covering issues of confidentiality and information sharing in practice and research with vulnerable people; challenges for teaching and learning about ethics in interprofessional settings; the potential of virtue ethics and an ethic of care for understanding (...) and handling ethical issues in interprofessional practice; and the extent to which interprofessional working may be about surveillance and control. It concludes that the need to understand and handle ethical issues in interprofessional working is contributing to the revitalisation of professional ethics as a dynamic field of study. (shrink)
This article argues in support of the proposition that “A Personality Disorder May Nullify Responsibility for a Criminal Act.” Building upon research in categorical and dimensional controversies in diagnosis, neurocognitive science and the behavioral genetics of mental disorders, and difficulties in differential diagnosis and co-morbidity with personality disorders, this article holds that a per se rule barring personality diagnosis as a basis for a defense of legal insanity is scientifically and conceptually indefensible. Rather, focus should be upon the severity and (...) impact in specific cases of any legally relevant functional deficits arising from a mental disorder (including personality disorders). Failure to do so risks potentially misleading “battles of the experts” about a defendant's diagnosis in criminal responsibility defenses and improper usurpation of the role of the legal finder of fact as mental health expert witnesses are inserted as gatekeepers indefensibly based upon diagnosis. Implications for practice and public policy are considered, including a “modest proposal” for post-trial management of defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity on the basis of functional deficits arising from personality disorder. (shrink)
Scenarios are flexible means to integrate disparate ideas, thoughts and feelings into holistic images, providing the context and meaning of possible futures. The application of narrative scenarios in engineering, development of socio-technical systems or communities provides an important link between general ideas and specification of technical system requirements. They focus on how people use systems through context-related storytelling rather than abstract descriptions of requirements. The quality of scenarios depends on relevant assumptions and authentic scenario stories. In this article, we will (...) explore how the narrative approach may enrich the scenario âskeletonâ with âflesh and bloodâ, that is, living, detailed and consistent storytelling. In addition, criteria are suggested for evaluation of the quality of scenario storytelling. (shrink)
Through a comparative analysis of the stories of Abraham and Guo, this article tries to argue that some particularistic claims of Christianity and Confucianism, which regard faith in God or filial piety to parents respectively as the sole ultimate principle of human life, may constitute the spiritual mainstay of such serious evils as murdering the innocent in certain in-depth paradoxes. Only by assigning a supreme position to their universal ideas of loving all humans through their self-transformations could the two ethico-religious (...) traditions prevent those morally unacceptable evils motivated by their particularistic claims and overcome their in-depth paradoxes. (shrink)
Many debates about consciousness appear to be endless, in part because of conceptual confusions preventing clarity as to what the issues are and what does or does not count as evidence. This makes it hard to decide what should go into a machine if it is to be described as 'conscious'. Thus, triumphant demonstrations by some AI developers may be regarded by others as proving nothing of interest because the system does not satisfy *their* definitions or requirements specifications.
Preston & de Waal are understandably cautious in applying their model to autism. They emphasise multiple cognitive impairments in autism, including prefrontal-executive, cerebellar-attention, and amygdala-emotion recognition deficits. Further empirical examination of imitation ability in autism may reveal deficits in the neural and cognitive basis of perception-action mapping that have a specific relation to the empathic deficit.
The concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are defined in 2 ? 2 ordinal games, and implications for the optimal play of these games, when one player is omniscient or omnipotent and the other player is aware of his omniscience or omnipotence, are derived. Intuitively, omniscience allows a player to predict the strategy choice of an opponent in advance of play, and omnipotence allows a player, after initial strategy choices are made, to continue to move after the other player is forced (...) to stop. Omniscience and its awareness by an opponent may hurt both players, but this problem can always be rectified if the other player is omniscient. This pathology can also be rectified if at least one of the two players is omnipotent, which can override the effects of omniscience. In some games, one player's omnipotence ? versus the other's ? helps him, whereas in other games the outcome induced does not depend on which player is omnipotent. Deducing whether a player is superior (omniscient or omnipotent) from the nature of his game playing alone raises several problems, however, suggesting the difficulty of devising tests for detecting superior ability in games. (shrink)
Identifying objects as members of ontological domains activates category-specific processes. There is evidence that these processes include particular ways of “tracking” substances and could do all the “tracking” necessary for concept acquisition. There may be no functional need or evolutionary scenario for a general tracking capacity of the kind described by Millikan.
When William May first wrote Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life, his position was that to perform a craniotomy on a child to save the mother’s life constitutes a direct abortion and is not justifiable. In later editions, May rejected his earlier position in favor of one he originally argued against, most notably by Germain Grisez. The author maintains that the arguments surrounding craniotomies on the unborn are still of major relevance today, because they relate directly to certain (...) controversial techniques used to manage ectopic pregnancies. He also argues that May’s original conclusion ought to be upheld, and that May’s later conclusion places too much weight on the interior intention of the actor and not enough on the act itself. (shrink)
Dispassionate cruelty and the euphoria of hunting or battle should be distinguished from the emotional savoring of victims' suffering. Such savoring, best called negative empathy, is what puzzles motivational theory. Hyperbolic discounting theory suggests that sympathy with people who have unwanted but seductive traits creates a threat to self-control. Cruelty to those people may often be the least effortful way of countering this threat.
This present article takes an interest in the fairly new phenomena of social and emotional training programs in youth education. Prior research has shown that values and norms produced in these types of programs are supporting ethical systems that teachers may not always be aware of. This motivates the development of methods for analyzing these activities from an ethical point of view. An analysis model has been developed and piloted in the analyses of two different classroom activities. The model is (...) based on theories of communicative ethics and an ethics of dialogicity, drawing upon the work of Jürgen Habermas, Iris Marion Young, and Emmanuel Levinas. The analyses show that norms concerning whose perspective is prioritized and what ethical values are constituted in the classroom vary depending on how the program is organized and how the teacher chooses to use the program. The article also argues that the analytical model suggested might serve as a contribution to both teachers’ own professional,... (shrink)
Doping scandals can reveal unresolved tensions between the meritocratic values of equal opportunity + reward for effort and the “talentocratic” love of hereditary privilege. Whence this special reverence for talent? We analyze the following arguments: (1) talent is a unique indicator of greater potential, whereas doping enables only temporary boosts (the fluke critique); (2) developing a talent is an authentic endeavor of “becoming who you are,” whereas reforming the fundamentals of your birth suit via artifice is an act of alienation (...) (the phony critique); (3) your (lack of) talent informs you of your proper place and purpose in life, whereas doping frustrates such an amor fati self-understanding (the fateless critique). We conclude that these arguments fail to justify a categorical preference for natural talent over integrated artifice. Instead, they illustrate the extent to which unsavory beliefs about “nature’s aristocracy” may still be at play in the moral theatre of sports. (shrink)
News media as both a site and a process of social interaction and ideological construction (van Dijk 1993) play a unique role and carry a signifying power in structuring social thinking and disseminating social knowledge on issues related to national or international agendas, and in representing events in particular ways (Fairclough 1995). Through a comparative analysis of 30 articles from four newspapers on the events of May 31, 2010 Gaza-bound aid flotilla raid and their aftermath, the present study examined the (...) discursive properties of the articles in the process of construction of the events and representation of their participants through in and out-group identity. Using van Dijk’s (1991) approach to news analysis and drawing on the analytical framework of transitivity and lexical cohesion proposed in Halliday (1994), the study investigated the representation of the events and social actors. The results revealed the links between choices of certain discourse strategies realized in certain linguistic forms and the role of ideologies and power relations underlying such forms and strategies. (shrink)
Although gestures have surface similarities with language, there are significant organisational and neurolinguistic differences that argue against the evolutionary connection proposed by Corballis. Dominance for language and handedness may be related to a basic specialisation of the left cerebral hemisphere for target-directed behaviour and sequential processing, with the right side specialised for holistic-environmental monitoring and spatial processing.
“Finding out” about the visual world as approached from the organismic level may well include the “filling-in” type of perceptual completion if considered in terms of underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. But “filling in” can be interpreted not only as a result of within-level propagating of neural activity, but as a byproduct of the process that is necessary for modulating preconscious information about physically present objects or events so as to generate conscious quality in attending to them.
This essay argues that the events of May ’68 were not without substantial political content. Drawing on the May Events Archives at SFU, the author argues that the protests were not a vastly overblown student plank, but represented an important attempt to establish a politics of civilizational identity and to answer the questions: what kind of people are we, and what can we expect as a basic minimum level of justice and equality in our affairs?
Objectives: Young people who are concerned that consultations may not remain confidential are reluctant to consult their doctors, especially about sensitive issues. This study sought to identify issues and concerns of adolescents, and their parents, in relation to confidentiality and teenagers’ personal health information.Setting: Recruitment was conducted in paediatric dermatology and general surgery outpatient clinics, and on general surgery paediatric wards. Interviews were conducted in subjects’ own homes.Methods: Semistructured interviews were used for this exploratory qualitative study. Interviews were carried out (...) with 11 young women and nine young men aged 14–17. Parents of 18 of the young people were interviewed separately. Transcripts of tape recorded interviews provided the basis for a framework analysis.Results: Young women were more concerned than young men, and older teenagers more concerned than younger teenagers, about people other than their general practitioner having access to their health information. Young people with little experience of the healthcare system were less happy than those with greater knowledge of the National Health Service for non-medical staff to access their health information. As they grow older, adolescents become increasingly concerned that their health information should remain confidential.Conclusion: Young people’s willingness to be open in consultations could be enhanced by doctors taking time to explain to them that their discussion is completely confidential. Alternatively, if for any reason confidentiality cannot be assured, doctors should explain why. (shrink)
May Amusement Serve as a Social Courage Engine? According to Fredrickson's "Broaden-and-Built Theory of Positive Emotions" positive emotions have different effects in social life and are based on different mechanisms than negative emotions do. Moreover positive emotions vary among themselves - there are quality differences between them and they shall not be treated only as a single positive mood. Three simple studies presented here and inspired by the Fredrickson's theory demonstrate that amusement, in comparison to neutral condition as well as (...) to another positive emotion, may serve as a social courage engine. Amused participants were more courageous in the radio as well as in the TV interview and declared more courage in case of meeting new hypothetical person. (shrink)
Whereas ‘strategic’ Corporate Social Responsibility scholars have studied CSR as a competitiveness and/or differentiation tool -this is, a competitive strategy’s outcome-, CSR has remained ‘out of the loop’ of the broader corporate strategy choice discussion and, in specific, unexplored as an antecedent of firm’s scope. Granted that firms formulate different governance strategies to effectively implement corporate objectives, my ongoing investigation focuses on how CSR may come to play into decisions pertaining to vertical scope, that is, how firms organize internal or (...) external supplier-buyer relationships along their value chains. The need for this research stems from the fact that in a context of global dispersion of production, normative pressure concerning the need for environmental protection and growing demands to redress social concerns compel firms to reconsider their vertical relationships. (shrink)
Having children is probably as old as the first successful organism. It is often done thoughtlessly. This book is an argument for giving procreating some serious thought, and a theory of how, when, and why procreation may be permissible.Rivka Weinberg begins with an analysis of the kind of act procreativity is and why we might be justifiably motivated to engage in it. She then proceeds to argue that, by virtue of our ownership and control of the hazardous material that is (...) our gametes, we are parentally responsible for the risks we take with our gametes and for the persons that develop when we engage in activity that allows our gametes to unite with others and develop into persons. Further argument establishes that when done respectfully, and in cases where the child's chances of leading a life of human flourishing are high, procreation may be permissible. Along the way, Weinberg argues that the non-identity problem is a curiously common mistake. Arguments intending to show that procreation is impermissible because life is bad for people and imposed on them without their consent are shown to have serious flaws. Yet because they leave us with lingering concerns, Weinberg argues that although procreation is permissible under certain conditions, it is not only a welfare risk but also a moral risk. Still, it is a risk that is often permissible for us to take and impose, given our high level of legitimate interest in procreativity. In order to ascertain when the procreative risk is permissible to impose, contractualist principles are proposed to fairly attend to the interests prospective parents have in procreating and the interests future people have in a life of human flourishing. The principles are assessed on their own merits and in comparison with rival principles. They are then applied to a wide variety of procreative cases. (shrink)
Jean E. Chambers and Timothy F. Murphy responded to my article “Cloning and Infertility” and extended the debate over human cloning in interesting ways. I had argued that none of the objections to cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer are successful in the context of infertile couples who use cloning to have genetically related children, assuming the issue of safety is overcome by scientific advances.