Heated debates over healthcare policy in the United States point to the need for a legal framework that can sustain both moral diversity and peaceful cooperation. It is argued that the classical liberal Rule of Law, with its foundation in the ethical principle of permission, is such a framework. The paper shows to what extent the current healthcare policy landscape in the United States diverges from the rule of law and suggests how the current framework could be modified in order (...) to better approximate that ideal. Two objections are then answered. The first is that the rule of law cannot be realized due to the structure of legislatures. The second objection is that government should guarantee both liberty and all of the necessary conditions of autonomy. (shrink)
The claim that individuals legitimately differ with respect to their values seems to be uncontroversial among bioethicists, yet many bioethicists nevertheless oppose right-to-try laws. This seems to be due in part to a failure to recognize that such laws are intended primarily to be political, not legal, instruments. The right-to-try movement seeks to build political support for increasing access to newly developed drugs outside of clinical trials. Opponents of right-to-try laws claim that increasing access outside of clinical trials would undermine (...) evidence-based medicine. They seek to maximize overall gains to patients by protecting them from adverse drug reactions and ensuring that drugs are more effective on average. In contrast, right-to-try activists have a point that regulatory judgments of drug safety and effectiveness impose one set of trade-offs on all individuals, regardless of their different values. That might be acceptable if determinations of safety and effectiveness were black and white, but that does not seem to be the case. This article argues that judgments of safety and effectiveness are in an important respect normative and reflect the perceived value of those ends relative to others. Such judgments, when universally imposed, harm patients who would readily make do with less knowledge of drug safety and effectiveness in exchange for more time and self-determination. The relevant moral principle is that of respect for individual autonomy. Just as that principle should lead one to substitute collective decisions for individual ones to regulate a natural monopoly, the same principle should lead one to substitute individual decisions for collective ones to avoid a government monopoly on access to newly developed drugs. It is argued that reforms should increase the number of treatment options available to patients outside of clinical trials. The final section of the article discusses ways in which current regulations might be reformed so as to provide more treatment options outside of clinical trials, without undermining evidence-based medicine. (shrink)
Knowing that we are finite, how can we live to the fullest? Spanish/American philosopher George Santayana described a special kind of transcendence or "spirituality" that enables us to fully enjoy the present moment, regardless of our limited existence. This book clarifies and extends Santayana's account of spirituality, while suggesting how the detachment of spirituality can relieve human suffering, enrich our lives, and make us better human beings.
Most of Santayana’s critics view him as an epiphenomenalist. Angus Kerr-Lawson has written several articles that characterize Santayana’s account of consciousness as epiphenomenalist.1 In “Santayana’s Philosophy of Mind”, John Lachs considers the strengths and weaknesses of Santayana’s epiphenomenalism.2 These views are based on solid evidence. Although he seldom uses the word “epiphenomenalism”, Santayana’s most prominent account of mind-body relations has all the features of that theory. In “Apologia Pro Mente Sua”, Santayana praises an article by Eliseo Vivas that presents him (...) as an epiphenomenalist. He goes on to imply that he has never contradicted his “doctrine of the material inefficacy of .. (shrink)
American transcendentalism is essentially a kind of practice by which the world of facts and the categories of common sense are temporarily exchanged for the world of ideas and the categories of imagination. The point of this exchange is to make life better by lifting us above the conflicts and struggles that weigh on our souls. As these chains fall away, our souls rise to heightened experiences of freedom and union with the good. Emerson and Thoreau are the two most (...) significant nineteenth century proponents of American transcendentalism. (shrink)
Frank Mathias Oppenheim was born in Coldwater, Ohio, on May 18, 1925, and studied at Xavier, Loyola, and Saint Louis Universities. He joined the Chicago Province of the Jesuit Order in 1942 and was ordained on June 15, 1955. He is the author of four books on Josiah Royce’s philosophy: Royce’s Journey Down Under, Royce’s Mature Philosophy of Religion, Royce’s Mature Ethics, and Reverence for the Relations of Life: Re-Imagining Pragmatism via Josiah Royce’s Interactions with Peirce, James, and Dewey, in (...) addition to scores of journal articles devoted to Royce. Oppenheim is also the editor of Josiah Royce’s Late Writings: A Collection of Unpublished and Scattered Works, and was... (shrink)
One of the merits of Royce’s writings is that Royce has set his sights high. The expanded edition of Race Questions, Provincialism, and Other American Problems, edited by Scott L. Pratt and Shannon Sullivan, is no exception to this rule. In pointing the way to “social salvation,” the shorter “Provincialism”—one of the essays added to the originals to form the expanded edition—captures the overarching purpose of the book and of much of Royce’s philosophy. The essays address different moral problems, but (...) they share the common goal of promoting what is arguably the highest ideal of civilized human life. Yet the republication of a philosophy book after an extended period of neglect raises the concern that .. (shrink)