Background In earlier work, we found important selection biases when we tried to obtain consent for participation in a national stroke registry. Recognizing that not all registries will be exempt from requiring consent for participation, we examine here in greater depth the reasons for the poor accrual of patients from a systems perspective with a view to obtaining as representative sample as possible. Methods We determined the percent of eligible patients who were approached to participate and, among those approached, the (...) percent who actually consented to participate. In addition we examined the reasons why people were not approached or did not consent and the variation across sites in the percent of patients approached and consented. We also considered site variation in restrictions on the accrual and data collection process imposed by either the local research ethics board or the hospital. Results Seventy percent of stroke patients were approached, with wide variations in approach rates across sites (from: 41% to 86%), and considerable inter-site variation in hospital policies governing patient accrual. Chief reasons for not approaching were discharge or death before being approached for consent. Seventeen percent of those approached refused to participate (range: 5% to 75%). Finally, 11% of those approached did not participate due to language or communication difficulties. Conclusion We found wide variation in approach and agree rates across sites that were accounted for, in part, by different approaches to accrual and idiosyncratic policies of the hospitals. This wide variation in approach and agree rates raises important challenges for research ethics boards and data protection authorities in determining when to waive consent requirements, when to press for increased quality control, when to permit local adaptation of the consent process, and when to permit alternatives to individual express consent. We offer several suggestions for those registries that require consent for participation. (shrink)
Moira Gatens investigates the ways in which differently sexed bodies can occupy the same social or political space. Representations of sexual difference have unacknowledged philosophical roots which cannot be dismissed as a superficial bias on the part of the philosopher, nor removed without destroying the coherence of the philosophical system concerned. The deep structural bias against women extends beyond metaphysics and its effects are felt in epistemology, moral, social and political theory. The idea of sexual difference is contextualised in (...) _Imaginary Bodies_ and traced through the history of philosophy. Using her work on Spinoza, Gatens develops alternative conceptions of power, new ways of conceiving women's embodiment and their legal, political and ethical status. (shrink)
Why would the work of the 17th century philosopher Benedict de Spinoza concern us today? How can Spinoza shed any light on contemporary thought? In this intriguing book, Moira Gatens and Genevieve Lloyd show us that in spite of or rather because of Spinoza's apparent strangeness, his philosophy can be a rich resource for cultural self-understanding in the present. _Collective Imaginings_ draws on recent re-assessments of the philosophy of Spinoza to develop new ways of conceptualising issues of freedom and (...) difference. This ground-breaking study will be invaluable reading to anyone wishing to gain a fresh perspective on Spinoza's thought. (shrink)
Spinoza took it to be an important psychological fact that belief cannot be compelled. At the same time, he was well aware of the compelling power that religious and political fictions can have on the formation of our beliefs. I argue that Spinoza allows that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fictions. His complex account of the imagination and fiction, and their disabling or enabling roles in gaining knowledge of Nature, is a site of disagreement among commentators. The novels of George (...) Eliot (who translated Spinoza's works) represent a significant development for those who aim to resolve such disagreement in favour of the epistemic value of the imagination and fiction. Although Eliot agreed with Spinoza that belief cannot be compelled, she nevertheless affirmed the potential of certain kinds of fiction to be not only compelling but also edifying. The parallel reading of Eliot and Spinoza offered here raises the question of whether his philosophy can accommodate a theory of art in which the artist is seen to be capable of attaining and imparting dependable knowledge. (shrink)
Like many people these days, I believe there is no general moral obligation to obey the law. I shall explain why there is no such moral obligation – and I shall clarify what I mean when I say there is no moral obligation to obey the law – as we proceed. But also like many people, I am unhappy with a position that would say there was no moral obligation to obey the law and then say no more about the (...) law's moral significance. In our thinking about law in a resonably just society, we have a strong inclination to invest law with a sort of moral halo. It does not feel right to suggest that law is a morally neutral social fact, nor to suggest that law is merely a useful social technique. In this essay, I shall try to account in part for law's moral halo. Because I share the widespread inclination to invest law with this halo, I shall not be interested in a merely historical account of how we come to see law with a halo – a pure “error theory” of law's halo, if you will. I want to justify the halo. On the other hand, the main way to justify the halo is to get clear just what law's moral significance is. It is unlikely that at the end of the process of clarification the halo will have exactly the shape or luminance that it had at the beginning. (shrink)
Some critics have claimed that Spinoza's philosophy has nothing to offer aesthetics. I argue that within his conception of an ars vivendi one can discern a nascent theory of art. I bring the figure of the prophet in relation to that of the artist and, alongside a consideration of Spinoza's views on goodness and beauty, show that the special talent of the artist should be understood in terms of the entirely natural expression of the conatus.
Dorothea Olkowski's exploration of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze clarifies the gifted French thinker's writings for specialists and nonspecialists alike. Deleuze, she says, accomplished the "ruin of representation," the complete overthrow of hierarchic, organic thought in philosophy, politics, aesthetics, and ethics, as well as in society at large. In Deleuze's philosophy of difference, she discovers the source of a new ontology of change, which in turn opens up the creation of new modes of life and thought, not only in philosophy (...) and feminism but wherever creation is at stake. The work of contemporary artist Mary Kelly has been central to Olkowski's thinking. In Kelly she finds an artist at work whose creative acts are in themselves the ruin of representation as a whole, and the text is illustrated with Kelly's art. This original and provocative account of Deleuze contributes significantly to a critical feminist politics and philosophy, as well as to an understanding of feminist art. (shrink)
While anger can derail argumentation, it can also help arguers and audiences to reason together in argumentation. Anger can provide information about premises, biases, goals, discussants, and depth of disagreement that people might otherwise fail to recognize or prematurely dismiss. Anger can also enhance the salience of certain premises and underscore the importance of related inferences. For these reasons, we claim that anger can serve as an epistemic resource in argumentation.
Benefit/cost analysis is a technique for evaluating programs, procedures, and actions; it is not a moral theory. There is significant controversy over the moral justification of benefit/cost analysis. When a procedure for evaluating social policy is challenged on moral grounds, defenders frequently seek a justification by construing the procedure as the practical embodiment of a correct moral theory. This has the apparent advantage of avoiding difficult empirical questions concerning such matters as the consequences of using the procedure. So, for example, (...) defenders of benefit/cost analysis are frequently tempted to argue that this procedure just is the calculation of moral Tightness – perhaps that what it means for an action to be morally right is just for it to have the best benefit-to-cost ratio given the accounts of “benefit” and “cost” that BCA employs. They suggest, in defense of BCA, that they have found the moral calculus – Bentham's “unabashed arithmetic of morals.” To defend BCA in this manner is to commit oneself to one member of a family of moral theories and, also, to the view that if a procedure is the direct implementation of a correct moral theory, then it is a justified procedure. Neither of these commitments is desirable, and so the temptation to justify BCA by direct appeal to a B/C moral theory should be resisted; it constitutes an unwarranted short cut to moral foundations – in this case, an unsound foundation. Critics of BCA are quick to point out the flaws of B/C moral theories, and to conclude that these undermine the justification of BCA. But the failure to justify BCA by a direct appeal to B/C moral theory does not show that the technique is unjustified. There is hope for BCA, even if it does not lie with B/C moral theory. (shrink)
Aristotle's Conception of Freedom MOIRA M. WALSH That human being is free, we say, who exists for his own sake and not for another's. ' 1. INTRODUCTION THERE IS NO PLACE in the Nicomachean Ethics, or the Politics, where Aristotle provides us with an explicit definition of freedom. Nevertheless, it is possible to glean Aristotle's notion of freedom from a series of passages in the Politics, in which Aristotle discusses such matters as the existence of the natural slave, and (...) the understanding of freedom underlying certain forms of democracy. This effort is useful insofar as it not only helps us to understand Aristotle, but also presents us with a conception of freedom interestingly different from many contemporary versions and perhaps worth our consideration. ~ The reader will notice that I deliberately retain, for the most part, the generic use of 'man' and of masculine pronouns in translating and commenting on Aristotle, a practice which cannot go without explanation in this day and age. Such terms in English convey just the same ambiguity as Aristode's Greek does when, for instance, he uses the masculine adjectives eleutheros or agathos as generic terms -- that is, they leave the reader uncertain as to whether women are considered capable of freedom or goodness in the same way that men are, with the suspicion that they are not. I do not share the opinion, apparently held by Aristotle, that members of my gender are.. (shrink)
This volume of specially-commissioned essays provides accessible introductions to all aspects of George Eliot's writing by some of the most distinguished new and established scholars and critics of Victorian literature. The essays are comprehensive, scholarly and lucidly written, and at the same time offer original insights into the work of one of the most important Victorian novelists, and into her complex and often scandalous career. Discussions of her life, the social, political, and intellectual grounding of her work, and her relation (...) to Victorian feminism provide valuable criticism of everything from her early journalism to her poetry. Each essay contributes to a new understanding of the great fiction, from Adam Bede and The mill on the floss to Daniel Deronda. With its supplementary material, including a chronology and a guide to further reading, this Companion is an invaluable tool for scholars and students alike. (shrink)
Feminist critiques of science show that systematic biases strongly influence what scientific communities find salient. Features of reality relevant to women, for instance, may be under-appreciated or disregarded because of bias. Many feminist analyses of values in science identify problems with salience and suggest better epistemologies. But overlooked in such analyses are important discussions about intellectual virtues and the role they play in determining salience. Intellectual virtues influence what we should find salient. They do this in part by managing the (...) emotions, which are cognitively involved in what we actually do find salient. One reason intellectual virtues do not factor more strongly in feminist epistemology is the mistaken assumption that they could not serve as explicit epistemic community standards for scientific inquiry. There are good reasons, however, to think in terms of community intellectual virtue and consequently, to advance explicit public standards of intellectual virtue for scientific research. To show how explicit public standards for intellectual virtue might improve reasoning in biased conditions, I analyze a striking oversight in several evolutionary immunological hypotheses concerning women's reproduction and sexuality. I conclude that feminist epistemology would benefit from greater consideration of intellectual virtues, particularly in connection with social epistemological insights. (shrink)
This paper treats a recalcitrant problem in Spinoza scholarship, namely, how to reconcile the conception of 'power' in his political writings with that found in his Ethics. Some have doubted the capacity of Spinoza's political philosophy to yield an adequate normative theory. If he is unable to provide a normative ground for political philosophy then perhaps this exposes a problem in Spinoza's philosophy taken as a whole. I argue that the considerable normative resources of his ethical and political philosophy, as (...) well their continuing relevance today, are best appreciated through attending to his notion of the exemplar. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the objectivity of persons is best understood in terms of intellectual virtue, the telos of which is an enduring commitment to salient and accurate information about reality. On this view, an objective reasoner is one we can trust to manage her perspectives, beliefs, emotions, biases, and responses to evidence in an intellectually virtuous manner. We can be confident that she will exercise intellectual carefulness, openmindedness, fairmindedness, curiosity, and other intellectual virtues in her reasoning. I (...) argue further that the cultivation and exercise of such virtues is a social phenomenon and thus challenge highly individualistic notions of intellectual character, epistemic autonomy, and personal objectivity. An advantage of this account of objectivity is that it better enables us to address bias in scientific research, science policy, and public debates about science. (shrink)
It has typically been assumed that affective and social components of disagreement, such as trust and fair treatment, can be handled separately from substantive components, such as beliefs and logical principles. This has freed us to count as “deep” disagreements only those which persist even between people who have no animosity towards each other, feel equal to one another, and are willing to argue indefinitely in search of truth. A reliance on such ideal participants diverts us from the question of (...) whether we have swept away the opportunity for some real arguers to have their voices heard, and for those voices to determine the real substance of the disagreement. If affective and social issues need to be assessed side by side with belief differences and reasoning paradigms, investigating trust may assist us to understand and make progress on the affective and social components that are involved in disagreement. (shrink)
Trait emotional intelligence concerns our perceptions of our emotional abilities, that is, how good we believe we are in terms of understanding, regulating, and expressing emotions in order to adapt to our environment and maintain well-being. In this article, we present succinct summaries of selected findings from research on the location of trait EI in personality factor space, the biological underpinnings of the construct, indicative applications in the areas of clinical, health, social, educational, organizational, and developmental psychology, and trait EI (...) training. Findings to date suggest that individual differences in trait EI are a consistent predictor of human behavior across the life span. (shrink)
Through a critical reading of Maxine Hong Kingston’s novel, Woman Warrior, this paper addresses Amy Allen’s criticism that Seyla Benhabib’s conception of narrative agency involves the idea of a gender-neutral core self. Allen’s criticism of Benhabib is found wanting and the notion of an ungendered self is judged incoherent. Rather, gender is one of a number of markers at work in the open-ended narrative construction of identity.
The paper is in four parts. The first part offers a brief reminder of the historical context for human rights as women's rights. The second part notes the relative lack of attention in human rights theory to the roles of social meaning and what has been called the ‘social imaginary’. The third part suggests that the social imaginary — understood in terms of the always present backdrop to meaningful social action — may be seen as a fruitful ‘middle ground’ upon (...) which negotiations may take place between human rights and cultural norms. The fourth part examines a case where women's entitlements to basic human rights are compromised by men's claims to cultural or group rights. I conclude by arguing that if human rights are to accommodate women's rights then women must be recognized as legitimate stakeholders in, and valuable contributors to, the necessarily ongoing re-invention and recreation of social meaning and cultural identity. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that adventurous approaches to physical activity can contribute more to well-being than approaches that have been shaped by fitness ideology. To defend this claim, I draw on work in philosophy and psychology concerning internal goods and intrinsic motivation, respectively. This work shows that motivating ourselves intrinsically and cultivating the internal goods of physical activity can contribute significantly to well-being. Unfortunately, the discourse and images associated with fitness culture tend to undermine intrinsic motivation and the cultivation (...) of internal goods. Consequently, approaches to physical activity shaped by fitness ideology often fail to support well-being. In contrast, I argue that an adventurous approach to physical activity better fosters intrinsic motivation and the pursuit of internal goods. To show this, I consider three examples of internal goods strongly associated with adventure – character development, enlivening kinesthetic and psychological e... (shrink)
John Maynard Keynes, in a biographical essay that is as remarkable for the insight it provides into his own thinking as for what it says about its subject, described the trajectory of Malthus's intellectual career as follows: ‘from being a caterpillar of a moral scientist and chrysalis of an historian, he could at last spread the wings of his thought and survey the world as an economist’. Malthus himself had resisted this conclusion in the introduction to his Principles of Political (...) Economy — meant as a riposte to David Ricardo's way of proceeding — when he stated that ‘the science of political economy bears a nearer resemblance to the science of morals and politics than to that of mathematics’. For understandable reasons, however, some modern economists find Keynes's characterization more attractive, particularly when it also allows them to regret the fact that the free flight of the positive economist in Malthus was often impeded by historical and moral residues left over from earlier existences. By adopting this position they are able to discount awkward problems relating to the historical origins and professional identity of their discipline — those problems connected with Malthus's religious beliefs and theological standpoint that have to be confronted when his explicit claims as a Christian moral scientist are taken seriously. Lack of sympathy on the part of economists when faced with the moral and theological dimensions of Malthus's writings has a long history that goes back to Ricardo, who criticized his friend's confusion, as he saw it, of moral and economic considerations. James Mill, as always, was more outspoken in regretting the intellectual fetters that inevitably went with Malthus's clerical status. Some economic demographers, in modern times, have also criticized Malthus for intermingling ‘moralistic and scientific aims almost inextricably’, thereby imparting what they regard as an untestable or tautological air to his exposition of the population principle. (shrink)
: This paper reads Deleuze through a Spinozist lens to conceive of the human being as a dynamic and complex whole in constant interchange with its environment. The author thus moves beyond philosophical dualisms, and challenges the assumption that a hierarchical normative organization is the only possible world. Using the example of rape, she argues that micropolitical strategies might disrupt and "pass" the juridical order and open up alternative, more equitable, forms of sociability.
As a constructive alternative to the exclusionary binaries of Cartesian philosophy, Genevieve Lloyd and Moira Gatens turn to Spinoza. Spinoza's understanding of the body as "in relation" takes the focus of philosophical thought from the homogeneous subject to the heterogeneity of the social, and the focus of politics from individual rights to collective responsibility. The implications for feminism are radical; Spinoza enables a reconceptualization of the imaginary and the possibility of a sociability of inclusion.
This book may be taken as a plea for a return to a teleological moral philosophy. Mrs Roberts examines responsibility and freedom in terms of human interests and purposes and seeks to establish the autonomy of the personal decision. F. H. Bradley's criteria for moral responsibility serves as a starting point, but Mrs Roberts finds these theoretical and remote. She builds up an account of the social context in which we learn to use words like 'responsibility', 'freedom' and 'action'. Ambiguities (...) in the use of 'action' and 'perception' are dealt with at length. (shrink)
Institutional Review Boards are confronted with new challenges in the face of expanding technologies while fulfll-ing their existing regulatory mandate to ensure that plans are in place to protect subjects and to inform them of risks and benefts of research participation. Existing regulations and guidance do not address the issue of incidental fndings , thus leaving awareness of the issue and the application of ethical principles to IRB judgment alone. In order to assure that researchers are aware of the potential (...) for IFs, IRBs must identify which studies are likely to identify IFs and establish what plans should be put into place prior to study initiation to assure the subjects are appropriately informed of the likelihood of IFs, how IFs will be communicated to subjects, and whether the burden of follow-up falls on the researchers or is the subject's responsibility. (shrink)
This paper reads Deleuze through a Spinozist lens to conceive of the human being as a dynamic and complex whole in constant interchange with its environment. The author thus moves beyond philosophical dualisms, and challenges the assumption that a hierarchical normative organization is the only possible world. Using the example of rape, she argues that micropolitical strategies might disrupt and “pass” the juridical order and open up alternative, more equitable, forms of sociability.