Ensuring that countries have adequate research capacities is essential for an effective and efficient response to infectious disease outbreaks. The need for ethical principles and values embodied in international research ethics guidelines to be upheld during public health emergencies is widely recognized. Public health officials, researchers and other concerned stakeholders also have to carefully balance time and resources allocated to immediate treatment and control activities, with an approach that integrates research as part of the outbreak response. Under such circumstances, research (...) “ethics preparedness” constitutes an important foundation for an effective response to infectious disease outbreaks and other health emergencies. A two-day workshop was convened in March 2018 by the World Health Organisation Global Health Ethics Team and the African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training, with representatives of National Ethics Committees, to identify practical processes and procedures related to ethics review preparedness. The workshop considered five areas where work might be undertaken to facilitate rapid and sound ethics review: preparing national ethics committees for outbreak response; pre-review of protocols; multi-country review; coordination between national ethics committees and other key stakeholders; data and benefit sharing; and export of samples to third countries. In this paper, we present the recommendations that resulted from the workshop. In particular, the participants recommended that Ethics Committees would develop a formal national standard operating procedure for emergency response ethical review; that there is a need to clarify the terminology and expectations of pre-review of generic protocols and agree upon specific terminology; that there is a need to explore mechanisms for multi-country emergency ethical consultation, and to establish procedures for communication between national ethics committees and other oversight bodies and public health authorities. In addition, it was suggested that ethics committees should request from researchers, at a minimum, a preliminary data sharing and sample sharing plan that outlines the benefit to the population from which data and samples are to be drawn. This should be followed in due time by a full plan. It is hoped that the national ethics committees, supported by the WHO, relevant collaborative research consortia and external funding agencies, will work towards bringing these recommendations into practice, for supporting the conduct of effective research during outbreaks. (shrink)
The current study compared thought suppression, focused attention and unfocused attention as strategies for managing spider fear. Spider fearful participants were exposed to a strategy induction before completing a Behavioural Approach Test . The BAT is a 10 step measurement of how close participants are willing to move towards a spider. Participants were instructed to use what they learned in the pre-BAT induction to help them advance through the steps of the BAT. The results of the study indicated that participants (...) given the thought suppression or the unfocused attention induction moved through significantly less steps of the BAT than did those given the focused attention induction. Additionally, the thought suppression group felt significantly more anxious than the focused and unfocused attention groups following completion of the BAT. These results are discussed in terms of the impact of thought suppression on avoidance behaviour in phobias. (shrink)
Deflationists about truth typically deny that truth is a causal-explanatory property. However, the now familiar 'success argument' attempts to show that truth plays an important causal-explanatory role in explanations of practical success. Deflationists have standardly responded that the truth predicate appears in such explanations merely as a logical device, and that therefore truth has not been shown to play a causal-explanatory role. I argue that if we accept Jackson and Pettit's account of causal explanations, the standard deflationist response is inconsistent, (...) for on this account even logical properties can be causally explanatory. Therefore the deflationist should remain neutral as to whether truth is a causal-explanatory property, and focus instead on the claim that truth, if it is a property, is a merely logical one. (shrink)
Revelation is the thesis that having an experience that instantiates some phenomenal property puts us in a position to know the nature or essence of that property. It is widely held that although Revelation is prima facie plausible, it is inconsistent with physicalism, and, in particular, with the claim that phenomenal properties are physical properties. I outline the standard argument for the incompatibility of Revelation and physicalism and compare it with the Knowledge Argument. By doing so, I hope to show (...) that on various plausible interpretations of Revelation it is in fact consistent with physicalism. Moreover, there is a robust reading of Revelation that a posteriori physicalists can, and should, accept. (shrink)
For many, the paradigm of a deflationary theory of truth is the redundancy theory, which is typically taken to consist of two claims: namely (i) that sentences containing the truth predicate are synonymous with sentences not containing the truth predicate (and so the truth predicate is redundant) and (ii) that there is no property of truth.1 The redundancy theory is not an attractive theory of truth since neither of its claims is particularly plausible on its own, and the combination of (...) the two claims is, if not actually inconsistent, at least uncomfortable.2 Very few deflationists nowadays endorse either part of the theory. (shrink)
In the last 30 years repeated attempts have been made to develop a proof-sketch Kripke gave for essentialism about material origins into a cogent argument. I argue that there are general reasons that all such attempts have failed, and so we should likewise expect future attempts to fail.
The present article focuses on the issue of ignoring conversational partners in favor of one’s phone, or what has also become known as phubbing. Prior research has shown that this behavior is associated with a host of negative interpersonal consequences. Since phubbing by definition entails adverse effects, however, it is interesting to explore why people continue to engage in this hurtful behavior: Are they unaware that phubbing is hurtful to others? Or do they simply not care? Building on interviews with (...) students in a Danish business college, the article reveals a pronounced discrepancy in young people’s relationship to phubbing: While they emphatically denounce phubbing as both annoying and disrespectful, they readily admit to phubbing others. In other words, they often act against their own moral convictions. Importantly, participants describe this discrepancy as a result of an unintentional inclination to divert attentional engagement. On the basis of these results, the article develops the notion of digital akrasia, which can be defined as a tendency to become swept up by ones digital devices in spite of better intentions. It is proposed that this phenomenon may be the result of bad technohabits. Further implications are discussed. (shrink)
In recent years, we have witnessed the rise of a contemporary approach to cognitive psychology known as 4E cognition. According to this ‘extracranial’ view of cognition, the mind is not ensconced in the head, but dynamically intertwined with a host of different entities, social as well as technological. The purpose of the present article is to raise a concern about 4E cognition. The concern is not about whether the mind is in fact extended, but about how this condition is currently (...) portrayed in the 4E literature. It is argued that 4E scholars tend to paint an overly idealized picture of human–technology relations in which all entities are presumed to cooperate and collaborate. The article first describes the basic tenets of extended cognition and distributed cognition, two of the most thingly approaches in this new wave of cognitive psychology. It then proceeds to discuss the twin notions of cognition and representation and argues that it may be time to leave these concepts behind. Finally, it sketches out the so-called ‘dogma of harmony’ in the 4E literature and argues for the importance of making analytical room for conflictual human–technology relations. Two examples of such conflictual relations are provided: bad habits and deskilling. (shrink)
In several publications Graeme Forbes has developed and defended one of the strongest arguments for essentialism about biological origins. I attempt to show that there are deep, as yet unrecognized, problems with this argument. The problems with Forbes’s argument suggest that a range of other arguments for various forms of origin essentialism are also likely to be flawed, and that we should abandon the seemingly plausible general metaphysical thesis that concrete entities that share all intrinsic properties are identical.
During the past decades, research collaboration between researchers from different disciplines has become more frequent. However, there is a need to look into the generic modalities and challenges. The article explores a series of potential obstructions to cross-disciplinary collaboration of methodological and epistemological nature. Furthermore, a number of contextual, inhibiting factors are outlined. As means of overcoming the obstacles, the importance of mutual knowledge, allocation of adequate time and conducive research management is emphasised. New teams may benefit from tutoring by (...) facilitators, who can help to make problem areas explicit and negotiate solutions. Owing to the training background of the author, most of the examples are drawn from the interface between biomedicine/natural science and applied medical anthropology. However, the issues raised basically apply to all sorts of cross-disciplinary research collaboration in various combinations. (shrink)
Students often multitask with technologies such as computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones during class. Unfortunately, numerous empirical studies firmly establish a significant drop in academic performance caused by this media multitasking. In this paper it is argued that cognitive studies may have clarified the negative consequences of this activity, yet they struggle to address the processes involved in it. A cognitive characterization of attention as a mental phenomenon neglects the interaction between bodies and technologies, and it is suggested that a (...) postphenomenological understanding is necessary to account for the materiality of practice. Notions of embodied habits and technical mediation are introduced, and an example of a postphenomenological account of media multitasking is introduced. It is argued that this approach enables researchers to investigate media multitasking as it occurs in everyday educational practice. (shrink)
In recent decades there has been increasing demand for and considerable efforts to conduct cross-disciplinary research. However, assessment of research quality in such endeavours still is often based on mono-disciplinary criteria and not seldom carried out by reviewers without strong cross-disciplinary experience. The authors suggest a two-pronged approach to cross-disciplinary research evaluation. One part should comprise an individual review of all the disciplines involved based on their mono-disciplinary sets of criteria. The other part should be a separate evaluation of the (...) cross-disciplinary aspects based on the review of “problem formulation”, “integration and scope of the disciplines”, “parts and the whole”, “practical managerial aspects” and “the applied aspects”. The pros and cons of implementing this approach in a stepwise manner or simultaneously is discussed. It is suggested that funding agencies develop more fair sets of review procedures for cross-disciplinary research and show willingness to allocate extra funds and time to such forms of research that sometimes are regarded as relatively more “risky” than conventional mono-disciplinary types. (shrink)
‘The Unity of the Proposition’ is a label for a problem which has intermittently intrigued philosophers but which for much of the last century lay neglected in the sad, lightless room under the stairs of philosophical progress, along with other casualties and bugaboos of early analytic philosophy such as the doctrine of internal relations, the identity theory of truth, and Harold Joachim. Yet it was while struggling with this problem (among others), that Bertrand Russell built one of the first steps (...) on the staircase by creating what came later to be called the theory of descriptions.1 According to that theory, statements containing definite descriptions are true only if there exists a unique thing satisfying the description. So nothing one says about ‘The Problem of the Unity of the Proposition’, for example, can be true unless there is one and only one such problem. Yet, as we shall explain below (§1), on the one hand it is unclear that there is any such problem at all, while, on the other, if there is a problem, there seem to be several. One might conclude, then, that everything we say in this paper is likely to be false. But perhaps the paper could be, in the context, appropriately treated as a ladder, to be kicked away after climbing. For Wittgenstein, too, was concerned with the problem: ‘At the centre of Wittgenstein’s project was the task of explaining the unity of the proposition’, says Michael Potter, for example.2 Wittgenstein had inherited the task from two of his philosophical mentors, Russell and Frege. Yet while Russell’s series of failed accounts of propositions, and then judgments, each of which was meant to resolve the problem, seemed ultimately to serve only as a sort of negative inspiration for him,3 Frege’s response to the problem proved a deep influence. We will outline Frege’s position as a backdrop to Wittgenstein’s below (§§2 and 3). As we will argue, one of the most important ways in which Wittgenstein’s position resembles Frege’s is precisely that his (Wittgenstein’s) solution to the problem of unity required treating his own book as an attempt to say the unsayable.. (shrink)
In a famous footnote in Naming and Necessity, Kripke offered “something like a proof” of the thesis that material things have their material origins essentially (EMO). Although the sketch of a proof Kripke gave was incomplete in important respects, many philosophers have since endeavoured to develop Kripke’s style of argument so that it reaches its intended conclusion.1 In particular, a number of philosophers have attempted to complete Kripke’s argument sketch by appealing to some sort of “sufficiency principle” – a principle (...) that gives sufficient conditions for the identity of objects across possible worlds. These developments of Kripke’s argument face a number of problems, as pointed out by Mackie (1987, 2002), Robertson (1998, 2000) and others.2 Recently, however, Rohrbaugh and deRosset (2004, 2006) have offered a new route to origin essentialism that develops a Kripke-style argument without appeal to a sufficiency principle. While this argument has also not escaped criticism3, the argument suffers from a crucial flaw which has not been noticed. More interesting, though, is that the problem the argument faces is the same problem facing the arguments that appeal to sufficiency principles, and indeed Kripke’s original “proof” – all these arguments over-generalize. This strongly suggests that there is no Kripkestyle route to origin essentialism. (shrink)
Various kinds of user and patient involvement are spreading in healthcare in most Western countries. The purpose of this study is to critically assess the actual conditions for patients’ involvement in healthcare practice in Greenland and to point to possibilities for development. Patients’ perspectives on their own conduct of everyday life with illness and their possibilities for participation when hospitalized are examined in relation to the conditions in a hospital setting dominated by biomedical practice. On a theoretical level, it is (...) argued that the concept of ‘participation’ is preferable to the concept ‘involvement’ in healthcare. The study shows that there are several interconnected areas for development: the structural frames of hospital practice, including professionals’ possibilities for handling patient participation, and the agency of the patients conducting their everyday lives when hospitalized. Consequences of the biomedical hegemony are discussed in relation to WHO ́s broader approach to disease, illness and health and the still existing postcolonial traces of power and hierarchy. Finally it is argued that patient participation during hospitalization will promote the patients ́ conduct of everyday life, the cultural knowledge of the professionals, and the democratization of the healthcare sector. Such changes might be connected to a more encompassing democratic societal development – in Greenland as well as globally. (shrink)
When Donald Davidson published his influential article ‘Actions, Reasons and Causes’ , many of his contemporaries were convinced that reasons for action could not be causes of anything, so that even an explanation such as ‘Gilbert knelt because he had decided to propose to Gertrude’ did not work by citing Gilbert’s decision as a cause of his kneeling. Davidson was mainly responsible for demolishing that consensus and reinstating causalism—the thesis that psychological or rationalizing explanations of human behaviour are a species (...) of event-causal explanation—as the dominant view in the philosophy of action, so that it is now often regarded as an obvious truth. (shrink)
Nic R. Jones ABSTRACT: The The lack of diversity in academic philosophy has been well documented. This paper examines the reasons for this issue, identifying two intertwining norms within philosophy which contribute to it: the assertion that the Adversary Method is the primary mode of argumentation and the excessive boundary policing surrounding what constitutes “real” ….
Individuals who experience stereotype threat – the pressure resulting from social comparisons that are perceived as unfavourable – show performance decrements across a wide range of tasks. One account of this effect is that the cognitive pressure triggered by such threat drains the same cognitive resources that are implicated in the respective task. The present study investigates whether mindfulness can be used to moderate stereotype threat, as mindfulness has previously been shown to alleviate working-memory load. Our results show that performance (...) decrements that typically occur under stereotype threat can indeed be reversed when the individual engages in a brief mindfulness task. The theoretical implications of our findings are discussed. (shrink)
The Local Computation Framework has been used to improve the efficiency of computation in various uncertainty formalisms. This paper shows how the framework can be used for the computation of logical deduction in two different ways; the first way involves embedding model structures in the framework; the second, and more direct, way involves embedding sets of formulae. This work can be applied to many of the logics developed for different kinds of reasoning, including predicate calculus, modal logics, possibilistic logics, probabilistic (...) logics and non-monotonic logics. (shrink)