Intrusive agricultural experimentspublished in New Zealand in the last five yearsare reviewed in terms of the degree of animalsuffering involved, and the necessity for thissuffering in relation to research findings.When measured against animal welfare criteriaof the Ministry of Agriculture, thirty-sixstudies inflicted ``severe'' or ``very severe''suffering. Many of these experiments hadquestionable short-term applications, had anapplication restricted to agriculturalproduction or economic growth, or could havebeen modified to prevent or reduce suffering.
I argue that there are no mental representations, in the sense of “representation” used in standard computational theories of the mind. I take Cummins' Meaning and Mental Representation as my stalking-horse, and argue that his view, once properly developed, is self-defeating. The argument implicitly undermines Fodor's view of the mind; I draw that conclusion out explicitly. The idea of mental representations can then only be saved by appeal to a Dennett-like instrumentalism; so I argue against that too. Finally, I argue (...) that there is no good metaphysical reason in favour of believing in mental representations and that cognitive science can manage perfectly well without them. (shrink)
Pest control operations andexperimentation on sentient animals such as thebrushtail possum can cause unnecessary andavoidable suffering in the animal subjects.Minimizing animal suffering is an animalwelfare goal and can be used as a guide in thedesign and execution of animal experimentationand pest control operations.The public has little sympathy for the possum,which can cause widespread environmentaldamage, but does believe that control should beas painless as possible. Trapping and poisoningprovide only short-term solutions to the possumproblem and often involve methods that causesuffering. Intrusive experiments (...) connected withthese methods of control and published in thelast 6 years are reviewed. Many of theexperiments do not attain the welfare standardsrequired by members of the public.Possums also act as vectors for bovinetuberculosis. While this is not as important inthe minds of the public as environmentaldegradation, as long as people wish to continueraising cattle, this disease needs to becontrolled.Immunocontraception is a humane means ofcontrolling possums with wide publicacceptance. The use of vaccines for cows and/orpossums would also cause far less sufferingthan present eradication operations. Researchinto these methods does require some intrusiveexperimentation. This can be reduced if liveanimals are not used for secondary antibodyharvesting, if adequate analgesia is provided,and if potential vaccines or contraceptives aretested under conditions that would beexperienced in the field. (shrink)
Sows housed in stalls are kept insuch extreme confinement that they are unableto turn around. In some sectors of the porkindustry, sows are subjected to this degree ofconfinement for almost their entire lives(apart from the brief periods associated withmating). While individual confinement isrecognized by farmers and animal welfarecommunity organizations alike, as a valuabletool in sow husbandry (to mitigate againstaggression), what remains questionable from ananimal welfare point of view is the necessityto confine sows in such small spaces.In 2001, the Australian Journal (...) ofAgricultural Research published a reviewarticle on the science associated with the useof the sow stall, and claimed that ``noscientific evidence to support therecommendation in the Code of Practice advisingagainst housing of sows in stalls followed byhousing in crates'''' (Barnett et al., 2001, p. 21).If all the available scientific publications onthe animal welfare implications of sow stallsare consulted (many of which did not feature inthe above review), then one will indeed findscientific evidence to support recommendationsagainst the housing of sows in stalls. Becausethere is science on both sides of this policydivide, the argument to defend the use of sowstalls, therefore, is not one of science vspublic opinion, but one of ethics. (shrink)
Three situations are described where a junior doctor is required by his consultant to do something that he thinks is not in the patient's best interests. The dilemma is explored from the perspective of patients' interests being the doctor's first concern; of the importance of respect for medical teachers, and of the implications of an apprenticeship model of postgraduate medical training.
Presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease has given rise to several ethical problems relating to such issues as confidentiality, the privacy of the individual, the testing of minors and informed consent in connection with blood sample donation. A multidisciplinary conference of staff from genetic centres involved with presymptomatic testing was organised in Cardiff to discuss these and other problems. Recommendations on good practice are described under four headings: pre- and post-test counselling; confidentiality in relation to test results; collection and storage of (...) DNA, and criteria for testing. (shrink)
Subjective feelings of familiarity associated with a stimulus tend to be strongest when specific information about the previous encounter with the stimulus is difficult to retrieve . Recognizing: The judgment of previous occurrence. Psychological Review, 87, 252–271.]). When a stimulus has been encountered previously and the circumstances of the encounter cannot be recollected, additional cognitive resources may be directed toward recollection processes; this resource allocation is accompanied by autonomic arousal [Dawson, M. E., Filion, D. L., & Schell, A. M. . (...) Is elicitation of the autonomic orienting response associated with allocation of processing resources?. Psychophysiology, 26, 560–572]. One easily measurable index of autonomic arousal is the skin conductance response . In the present study, participants studied lists of words and then gave recognition ratings to briefly displayed and masked studied and nonstudied test words while their SCRs were monitored. Results revealed a relationship between recognition ratings and the temporal characteristics of the SCR, supporting the idea that feelings of familiarity are indeed “feelings” in that they stem from autonomic arousal associated with cognitive resource allocation. (shrink)
Comparing datasets, that is, sets of numbers in context, is a critical skill in higher order cognition. Although much is known about how people compare single numbers, little is known about how number sets are represented and compared. We investigated how subjects compared datasets that varied in their statistical properties, including ratio of means, coefficient of variation, and number of observations, by measuring eye fixations, accuracy, and confidence when assessing differences between number sets. Results indicated that participants implicitly create and (...) compare approximate summary values that include information about mean and variance, with no evidence of explicit calculation. Accuracy and confidence increased, while the number of fixations decreased as sets became more distinct , demonstrating that the statistical properties of datasets were highly related to comparisons. The discussion includes a model proposing how reasoners summarize and compare datasets within the architecture for approximate number representation. (shrink)
This Dictionary provides a wide range of coverage on a topic that has played a significant role in human society, from the early theoreticians and thinkers who proposed republican, democratic, and authoritarian innovations; to those who sought equality of classes, races, and genders; to those who insisted on hierarchy under a supreme leader, or god; and to those who had more practical economic, social, and ethical plans. This historical dictionary covers the most vital information on the persons, plans, and attempts (...) associated with utopianism that have been seen since ancient times. An introductory essay, chronology, 600 dictionary entries, an extensive bibliography, and an appendix listing the names and locations of utopian communities worldwide enable the reader to explore the Western mind's desire to improve the world and the lives of the people within it as utopianism has persisted over the centuries. (shrink)
Andocidis Orationes edidit Iustus Hermann Lipsius; pp. xxxii, 67. B. Tauchnitz, Leipzig, 1888. M. 1. 20. Andocidis de Mysteriis et de Reditu; edited by E. C. Marchant, B.A., late scholar of Peter house, Cambridge; Assistant Master at St. Paul's School. Rivingtons, London, 1889. 5s.
Objective The UK Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme commenced in the autumn of 2008 for year 8 (age 12–13 years) schoolgirls. We examine whether the vaccine should be given when there is a difference of opinion between daughters and parents or guardians. Design Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Participants A sample of 25 stakeholders: 14 professionals involved in the development of the HPV vaccination programme and 11 professionals involved in its implementation. Results Overriding the parents' wishes was perceived as problematic (...) and could damage the relationship between school and parents. A number of practical problems were raised in relation to establishing whether parents were genuinely against their daughter receiving the vaccine. Although many respondents recognised that the Gillick guidelines were relevant in establishing whether a girl could provide consent herself, they still felt that there were significant problems in establishing whether girls could be assessed as Gillick competent. In some areas school nurses had been advised not to give the vaccine in the absence of parental consent. None of the respondents suggested that a girl should be vaccinated against her consent even if her parents wanted her to have the vaccine. Conclusions While the Gillick guidelines provide a legal framework to help professionals make judgements about adolescents consenting to medical treatment, in practice there appears to be variable and confused interpretation of this guidance. Improved legal structures, management procedures and professional advice are needed to support those who are assessing competence and establishing consent to vaccinate adolescents in a school setting. (shrink)