_ "LaBossiere brilliantly tackles many of the toughest ethical dilemmas of our times, from gender selection, cloning and sexual inequality to violence in the media and the conduct of warfare. In an age of snap judgments and stereotypes, he approaches his topics in a refreshingly open-minded fashion. His quick wit and firm knowledge of contemporary culture bring philosophy full-force into the 21st century." —Paul Halpern, Professor Of Physics, University Of The Sciences in Philadelphia and author of What's Science Ever (...) Done for Us? From the author's introduction: Philosophy, as I see it, is not about believing certain tenets or accepting certain dogmas. Philosophy is about asking questions, seeking answers and entertaining doubt. Critical to that endeavor is a willingness to be rationally provoked by different ideas and to see where they might lead—assuming they turn out to be worth following. If you find that you disagree with me, so much the better. The search for truth and wisdom benefits most from dissent. It is uncritical agreement that derails this search and leaves people stuck in the dark. Of course, if you do agree with me on some points, that is cool, too. _ I n this stimulating book, Michael C. LaBossiere takes a provocative look at issues in contemporary politics, culture and society through the lens of philosophy. Collected from LaBossiere's regular column in The Philosopher's Magazine, this fascinating set of philosophical provocations assumes no background in philosophy and focuses on matters that are of popular interest to the general public, yet are also philosophically significant. Topics range across a whole host of controversial issues that are of genuine interest to the reader, including same sex marriage, video games, gene therapy, true love, chance, torture, gender, god, the media, and freedom. >. (shrink)
Lockheed Martin Corp. has funded research to generate a framework and methodology for developing semantic reasoning applications to support the discipline oflntelligence Analysis. This chapter outlines that framework, discusses how it may be used to advance the information sharing and integrated analytic needs of the Intelligence Community, and suggests a system I software architecture for such applications.
Neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a technology for the treatment of respiratory failure in newborns, is used as a case study to examine statistical and ethical aspects of clinical trials and to illustrate a proposed 'ethics of evidence', an approach to medical uncertainty within the context of contemporary biomedical ethics. Discussion includes the twofold aim of the ethics of evidence: to clarify the role of uncertainty and scientific evidence in medical decision-making, and to call attention to the need to confront (...) the irreducible nature of uncertainty. (shrink)
Class action lawsuits and the justice that they are supposed to enforce have become of great concem to legislators in recent years. The traditional ruIes of tort liability cannot completely support the court decisions that have been reached. The rulings, however, are clearly in the interest of giving victims the justice that they are due. Legal scholars, such as Jules Coleman, claim that the conflicts between tort liability and class action justice cannot be reconciled in our legal system. I propose (...) an avenue of analysis whereby the principles of justice that support tort law are preserved as needed for modem issues, yet at the same time address the genuine public policy concems in these class actions. (shrink)
My thesis is the biconditional that it is morally wrong to pollute human bodies if and only if it is morally wrong to pollute the environment. The argument for each conditional is by analogy: pollution of one type is analogous to pollution of the other type in morally relevant respects. I argue that the truth of the biconditional makes it difficult to maintain that it is morally wrong to pollute human bodies without maintaining that it is morally wrong to pollute (...) the environment and conversely. (shrink)