This research aims to examine access to medical treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with disabilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the practical and ethical problems of allocating limited medical resources such as intensive care unit beds and ventilators became critical. Although different countries have proposed different guidelines to manage this emergency, these proposed criteria do not sufficiently consider people living with disabilities. People living with disabilities are therefore at a higher risk of exclusion from medical treatments as physicians (...) tend to assume they have poor quality of life, whereas access to medical treatment should be based on several parameters, including clinical data and prognosis. However, the COVID-19 pandemic shifts the medical paradigm from person-centred medicine to community-centred medicine, challenging the main ethical theories. We reviewed the main guidelines and recommendations for resources allocation and examined their position toward persons with disabilities. Based on our findings, we propose criteria for not discriminating against people with disabilities in allocating resources. The shift from person-centred to community-centred medicine offers opportunities but also risks sacrificing the most vulnerable people. The principle of reasonable accommodation must always be considered to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities. (shrink)
This paper is about a certain view of intentionality, a problem faced by the view, and two ways in which, it has been proposed, the problem might be solved. The view is that every intentional state has an intentional object. The problem is that the putative intentional objects of some intentional states do not, or even cannot, exist. The two strategies to solve the problem and secure the view are those implemented by Tim Crane in his article “Intentional Objects”. In (...) this paper I argue that both Crane’s implementations and the strategies in general are unsuccessful. By way of overview, I also discuss other ways in which the problem has been addressed. (shrink)
Despite being one of the most dependable methods used by applied mathematicians and engineers in handling complex systems, the finite element method commits variational crimes. This paper contextualizes the concept of variational crime within a broader account of mathematical practice by explaining the tradeoff between complexity and accuracy involved in the construction of numerical methods. We articulate two standards of accuracy used to determine whether inexact solutions are good enough and show that, despite violating the justificatory principles of one, the (...) finite element method nevertheless succeeds in obtaining its legitimacy from the other. (shrink)
Husserl’s official account of essence is modal. It is also, I submit, incompatible with the role that essence is supposed to play, especially relative to necessity, in his overall philosophy. In the Husserlian framework, essence should rather be treated as a non-modal notion. The point, while not generally acknowledged, has been made before ; yet the arguments given for it, though perhaps sound, are not Husserlian. In this paper I present a thoroughly Husserlian argument for that claim, as well as (...) a Husserlian essentialist account of necessity. I also discuss the role of grounding within the account. (shrink)
What makes humans moral beings? This question can be understood either as a proximate question or as an ultimate question. The question is about the mental and social mechanisms that produce moral judgments and interactions, and has been investigated by psychologists and social scientists. The question is about the fitness consequences that explain why humans have morality, and has been discussed by evolutionary biologists in the context of the evolution of cooperation. Our goal here is to contribute to a fruitful (...) articulation of such proximate and ultimate explanations of human morality. We develop an approach to morality as an adaptation to an environment in which individuals were in competition to be chosen and recruited in mutually advantageous cooperative interactions. In this environment, the best strategy is to treat others with impartiality and to share the costs and benefits of cooperation equally. Those who offer less than others will be left out of cooperation; conversely, those who offer more will be exploited by their partners. In line with this mutualistic approach, the study of a range of economic games involving property rights, collective actions, mutual help and punishment shows that participants' distributions aim at sharing the costs and benefits of interactions in an impartial way. In particular, the distribution of resources is influenced by effort and talent, and the perception of each participant's rights on the resources to be distributed. (shrink)
Most people believe that suffering is intrinsically bad. In conjunction with facts about our world and plausible moral principles, this yields a pro tanto obligation to reduce suffering. This is the intuitive starting point for the moral argument in favor of interventions to prevent wild animal suffering. If we accept the moral principle that we ought, pro tanto, to reduce the suffering of all sentient creatures, and we recognize the prevalence of suffering in the wild, then we seem committed to (...) the existence of such a pro tanto obligation. Of course, competing values such as the aesthetic, scientific or moral values of species, biodiversity, naturalness or wildness, might be relevant to the all-things-considered case for or against intervention. Still, many argue that, even if we were to give some weight to such values, no plausible theory could resist the conclusion that WAS is overridingly important. This article is concerned with large-scale interventions to prevent WAS and their tractability and the deep epistemic problem they raise. We concede that suffering gives us a reason to prevent it where it occurs, but we argue that the nature of ecosystems leaves us with no reason to predict that interventions would reduce, rather than exacerbate, suffering. We consider two interventions, based on gene editing technology, proposed as holding promise to prevent WAS; raise epistemic concerns about them; discuss their potential moral costs; and conclude by proposing a way forward: to justify interventions to prevent WAS, we need to develop models that predict the effects of interventions on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and animals’ well-being. (shrink)
Interest in the computational aspects of modeling has been steadily growing in philosophy of science. This paper aims to advance the discussion by articulating the way in which modeling and computational errors are related and by explaining the significance of error management strategies for the rational reconstruction of scientific practice. To this end, we first characterize the role and nature of modeling error in relation to a recipe for model construction known as Euler’s recipe. We then describe a general model (...) that allows us to assess the quality of numerical solutions in terms of measures of computational errors that are completely interpretable in terms of modeling error. Finally, we emphasize that this type of error analysis involves forms of perturbation analysis that go beyond the basic model-theoretical and statistical/probabilistic tools typically used to characterize the scientific method; this demands that we revise and complement our reconstructive toolbox in a way that can affect our normative image of science. (shrink)
This paper offers a framework for consciousness of internal reality. Recent PET experiments are reviewed, showing partial overlap of cortical activation during self-produced actions and actions observed from other people. This overlap suggests that representations for actions may be shared by several individuals, a situation which creates a potential problem for correctly attributing an action to its agent. The neural conditions for correct agency judgments are thus assigned a key role in self/other distinction and self-consciousness. A series of behavioral experiments (...) that demonstrate, in normal subjects, the poor monitoring of action-related signals and the difficulty in recognizing self-produced actions are described. In patients presenting delusions, this difficulty dramatically increases and actions become systematically misattributed. These results point to schizophrenia and related disorders as a paradigmatic alteration of a ''Who?'' system for self-consciousness. (shrink)
Nicolas Malebranche is now recognised as a major figure in the history of philosophy, occupying a crucial place in the Rationalist tradition of Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz. The Search after Truth is his first, longest and most important work; this volume also presents the Elucidations which accompanied its third edition, the result of comments that Malebranche solicited on the original work and an important repository of his theories of ideas and causation. Together, the two texts constitute the complete expression (...) of his mature thought, and are written in his subtle, argumentative and thoroughly readable style. They are presented in the distinguished translations by Thomas M. Lennon and Paul J. Olscamp, together with a historical introduction, a chronology of Malebranche's life, and useful notes on further reading. (shrink)
Do scientific theories limit human knowledge? In other words, are there physical variables hidden by essence forever? We argue for negative answers and illustrate our point on chaotic classical dynamical systems. We emphasize parallels with quantum theory and conclude that the common real numbers are, de facto, the hidden variables of classical physics. Consequently, real numbers should not be considered as ``physically real" and classical mechanics, like quantum physics, is indeterministic.
Many of us, even on our happiest days, struggle to quiet the constant buzz of anxiety in the background of our minds. All kinds of worries--worries about losing people and things, worries about how we seem to others--keep us from peace of mind. Distracted or misled by our preoccupations, misconceptions, and, most of all, our obsession with ourselves, we don't see the world clearly--we don't see the world as it really is. In our search for happiness and the good life, (...) this is the main problem. But luckily there is a solution, and on the path to understanding it, we can make use of the rich and varied teachings that have developed over centuries of Buddhist thought. With clarity and compassion, Nicolas Bommarito explores the central elements of centuries of Buddhist philosophy and practice, explaining how they can improve your life and teach you to live without fear. Mining important texts and lessons for practical guidance, he provides a friendly guide to the very practical goals that underpin Buddhist philosophy. After laying out the basic ideas, Bommarito walks readers through a wide range of techniques and practices we can adopt to mend ingrained habits. Rare for its exploration of both the philosophy that motivates Buddhism and its practical applications, this is a compassionate guide to leading a good life that anyone can follow. (shrink)
Malebranche's Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion is in many ways the best introduction to his thought, and provides the most systematic exposition of his philosophy as a whole. In it, he presents clear and comprehensive statements of his two best-known contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, namely, the doctrines of occasionalism and vision in God; he also states his views on such central issues as self-knowledge, the existence of the external world and the problem of theodicy. His skilful handling of (...) the dialogue form enables the reader to see how he responds to objections made to his earlier work The Search after Truth. This edition presents a translation of the text which is clear, readable and more accurate than any of its predecessors, together with an introduction that analyses Malebranche's central teachings and explains the importance of the Dialogues in the context of seventeenth-century philosophy. (shrink)
Has the time come to put to bed the concept of a harm threshold when discussing the ethics of reproductive decision making and the legal limits that should be placed upon it? In this commentary, we defend the claim that there exist good moral reasons, despite the conclusions of the non-identity problem, based on the interests of those we might create, to refrain from bringing to birth individuals whose lives are often described in the philosophical literature as ‘less than worth (...) living’. (shrink)
Nicola Lacey presents a new approach to the question of the moral justification of punishment by the State. She focuses on the theory of punishments in context of other political questions, such as the nature of political obligation and the function and scope of criminal law. Arguing that no convincing set of justifying reasons has so far been produced, she puts forward a theory of punishments which places the values of the community at its centre.
We present a new proof of soundness/completeness of tableaux with respect to dialogical games in Classical First-Order Logic. As far as we know it is the first thorough result for dialogical games where finiteness of plays is guaranteed by means of what we call repetition ranks.
We argue that two powerful error-theoretic concepts provide a general framework that satisfactorily accounts for key aspects of the explanation of physical patterns. This method gives an objective criterion to determine which mathematical models in a class of neighboring models are just as good as the exact one. The method also emphasizes that abstraction is essential for explanation and provides a precise conceptual framework that determines whether a given abstraction is explanatorily relevant and justified. Hence, it increases our epistemological understanding (...) of how one should go about reconstructing scientific practices by making clear that, at a fundamental level, a key aspect of mathematical modeling consists in exactly solving nearby problems. (shrink)
To generations of lawyers, H. L. A. Hart is known as the twentieth century's greatest legal philosopher. Whilst his scholarship revolutionized the study of law, as a social commentator he gave intellectual impetus to the liberalizing of society in the 1960s. But behind his public success, Hart struggled with demons. His Jewish background, ambivalent sexuality, and unconventional marriage all fuelled his psychological complexity; allegations of espionage, though immediately quashed, nearly destroyed him. Nicola Lacey s biography explores the forces that shaped (...) an extraordinary life. (shrink)
In recent years much research has been undertaken regarding the feasibility of the human uterine transplant as a treatment for absolute uterine factor infertility. Should it reach clinical application this procedure would allow such individuals what is often a much-desired opportunity to become not only social mothers, or genetic and social mothers but mothers in a social, genetic and gestational sense. Like many experimental transplantation procedures such as face, hand, corneal and larynx transplants, UTx as a therapeutic option falls firmly (...) into the camp of the quality of life transplant, undertaken with the aim, not to save a life, but to enrich one. However, unlike most of these novel procedures – where one would be unlikely to find a willing living donor or an ethics committee that would sanction such a donation – the organs to be transplanted in UTx are potentially available from both living and deceased donors. In this article, in the light of the recent nine-case research trial in Sweden which used uteri obtained from living donors, and the assertions on the part of a number of other research teams currently preparing trials that they will only be using deceased donors, I explore the question of whether, in the case of UTx, there exist compelling moral reasons to prefer the use of deceased donors despite the benefits that may be associated with the use of organs obtained from the living. (shrink)
—Commentary on Mikhalevich and Powell on invertebrate minds.— Whether or not arthropods are sentient, they can have moral standing. Appeals to sentience are not necessary and retard progress in human treatment of other species, including invertebrates. Other increasingly well-documented aspects of invertebrate minds are pertinent to their welfare. Even if arthropods are not sentient, they can be agents whose goals—and therefore interests—can be frustrated. This kind of agency is sufficient for moral status and requires that we consider their welfare.
What makes someone responsible for a crime and therefore liable to punishment under the criminal law? Modern lawyers will quickly and easily point to the criminal law's requirement of concurrent actus reus and mens rea, doctrines of the criminal law which ensure that someone will only be found criminally responsible if they have committed criminal conduct while possessing capacities of understanding, awareness, and self-control at the time of offense. Any notion of criminal responsibility based on the character of the offender, (...) meaning an implication of criminality based on reputation or the assumed disposition of the person, would seem to today's criminal lawyer a relic of the 18th Century. In this volume, Nicola Lacey demonstrates that the practice of character-based patterns of attribution was not laid to rest in 18th Century criminal law, but is alive and well in contemporary English criminal responsibility-attribution. Building upon the analysis of criminal responsibility in her previous book, Women, Crime, and Character, Lacey investigates the changing nature of criminal responsibility in English law from the mid-18th Century to the early 21st Century. Through a combined philosophical, historical, and socio-legal approach, this volume evidences how the theory behind criminal responsibility has shifted over time. The character and outcome responsibility which dominated criminal law in the 18th Century diminished in ideological importance in the following two centuries, when the idea of responsibility as founded in capacity was gradually established as the core of criminal law. Lacey traces the historical trajectory of responsibility into the 21st Century, arguing that ideas of character responsibility and the discourse of responsibility as founded in risk are enjoying a renaissance in the modern criminal law. These ideas of criminal responsibility are explored through an examination of the institutions through which they are produced, interpreted and executed; the interests which have shaped both doctrines and institutions; and the substantive social functions which criminal law and punishment have been expected to perform at different points in history. (shrink)
How might a human communication system be bootstrapped in the absence of conventional language? We argue that motivated signs play an important role (i.e., signs that are linked to meaning by structural resemblance or by natural association). An experimental study is then reported in which participants try to communicate a range of pre-specified items to a partner using repeated non-linguistic vocalization, repeated gesture, or repeated non-linguistic vocalization plus gesture (but without using their existing language system). Gesture proved more effective (measured (...) by communication success) and more efficient (measured by the time taken to communicate) than non-linguistic vocalization across a range of item categories (emotion, object, and action). Combining gesture and vocalization did not improve performance beyond gesture alone. We experimentally demonstrate that gesture is a more effective means of bootstrapping a human communication system. We argue that gesture outperforms non-linguistic vocalization because it lends itself more naturally to the production of motivated signs. (shrink)
Editorial: Objects and Sound Perception Content Type Journal Article Pages 5-17 DOI 10.1007/s13164-009-0006-3 Authors Nicolas J. Bullot, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales Centre de Recherches sur les Arts et le Langage (CRAL/CNRS) 96 Bd Raspail 75006 Paris France Paul Égré, Institut Jean-Nicod (ENS/EHESS/CNRS) Département d’Etudes Cognitives de l’ENS 29 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris France Journal Review of Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 1.
This paper explores the work of Nicolas Rashevsky, a Russian émigré theoretical physicist who developed a program in "mathematical biophysics" at the University of Chicago during the 1930s. Stressing the complexity of many biological phenomena, Rashevsky argued that the methods of theoretical physics -- namely mathematics -- were needed to "simplify" complex biological processes such as cell division and nerve conduction. A maverick of sorts, Rashevsky was a conspicuous figure in the biological community during the 1930s and early 1940s: (...) he participated in several Cold Spring Harbor symposia and received several years of funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. However, in contrast to many other physicists who moved into biology, Rashevsky's work was almost entirely theoretical, and he eventually faced resistance to his mathematical methods. Through an examination of the conceptual, institutional, and scientific context of Rashevsky's work, this paper seeks to understand some of the reasons behind this resistance. (shrink)
A new approach to sentencing Not Just Deserts inaugurates a radical shift in the research agenda of criminology. The authors attack currently fashionable retributivist theories of punishment, arguing that the criminal justice system is so integrated that sentencing policy has to be considered in the system-wide context. They offer a comprehensive theory of criminal justice which draws on a philosophical view of the good and the right, and which points the way to practical intervention in the real world of incremental (...) reform. They put the case for a criminal justice system which maximizes freedom in the old republican sense of the term, and which they call `dominion'. (shrink)
Is there such a sub-discipline as “sociology of valuation and evaluation”? Identifying the main focus, the topics, and the analytical designs, i.e., reflecting on a theoretical profile of such an investigation, is far from complete. The main question is indeed—where to start when addressing the sociology of valuation and evaluation? Is it a specific area of research, analysis, and inquiry, with specific objects? Should we confine it to the many important qualitative and quantitative studies dedicated to the measure of market (...) performance, the efficiency of public policy, profitability of private investment, or identification of best practices in various areas ? Beyond business and administration processes, a huge body of research in economic sociology has developed in recent years that has renewed the investigations on economic experience through a moral lens (Lamont 2000; Vatin 2008; Karpik 2010; Beckert and Aspe .. (shrink)
This symposium contributes to the broader discussion about humanism in management and organizational well-being. Dignity plays a crucial role as both a fundamental value and as an end state in the process of humanizing organizational cultures, workplaces and relationships. However, despite its significance, it has yet to be addressed properly in the growing discourse on humanistic capitalism and management, and indeed in business ethics as a whole. This symposium seeks to inform and inspire emerging research and approaches towards human dignity (...) through the lens of artistic expression and explores how arts may promote human dignity in organizational life. (shrink)
In the 20th century, the boundaries of psychosis emerged as an area in which psychiatric judgement faced numerous and profound uncertainties. Between obvious neuroses and personality and reactive disorders on the one hand, and unquestionable psychoses on the other, psychiatrists faced a world of suspected cases of schizophrenia, doubtful personality disorder diagnoses or probable cases of psychosis constituting a garden of equivocal clinical presentations in which both individual psychiatrists and the discipline as a whole were confronted with the limits of (...) their knowledge. This article examines how psychiatrists from two German university clinics managed the multiple uncertainties involved in diagnosing cases of early psychosis between 1950 and 1980. Based on the analysis of a sample of records, we propose a pragmatic interpretation of the ways in which these uncertainties were recorded by psychiatrists. How were uncertainties and doubts expressed in the records and managed by clinicians? What means were used to dispel doubt? What were the consequences for patients of these diagnostic uncertainties? The article defines an uncertainty diagnosis as a diagnosis expressed with reservations by its author and recorded as such in a medical file. Depending on the nature of the uncertainty, the types of evidence used by the professionals and how this evidence was dealt with, we have identified three types of uncertainty diagnoses: suspicion, plausibility and probability diagnoses. The article then reflects on the role of the patients themselves in shaping these uncertain situations. (shrink)
Within contemporary penal philosophy, the view that punishment can only be justified if the offender is a moral agent who is responsible and hence blameworthy for their offence is one of the few areas on which a consensus prevails. In recent literature, this precept is associated with the retributive tradition, in the modern form of ‘just deserts’. Turning its back on the rehabilitative ideal, this tradition forges a strong association between the justification of punishment, the attribution of responsible agency in (...) relation to the offence, and the appropriateness of blame. By contrast, effective clinical treatment of disorders of agency employs a conceptual framework in which ideas of responsibility and blameworthiness are clearly separated from what we call ‘affective blame’: the range of hostile, negative attitudes and emotions that are typical human responses to criminal or immoral conduct. We argue that taking this clinical model of ‘responsibility without blame’ into the legal realm offers new possibilities. Theoretically, it allows for the reconciliation of the idea of ‘just deserts’ with a rehabilitative ideal in penal philosophy. Punishment can be reconceived as consequences—typically negative but occasionally not, so long as they are serious and appropriate to the crime and the context—imposed in response to, by reason of, and in proportion to responsibility and blameworthiness, but without the hard treatment and stigma typical of affective blame. Practically, it suggests how sentencing and punishment can better avoid affective blame and instead further rehabilitative and related ends, while yet serving the demands of justice. (shrink)
Model checking, a prominent formal method used to predict and explain the behaviour of software and hardware systems, is examined on the basis of reflective work in the philosophy of science concerning the ontology of scientific theories and model-based reasoning. The empirical theories of computational systems that model checking techniques enable one to build are identified, in the light of the semantic conception of scientific theories, with families of models that are interconnected by simulation relations. And the mappings between these (...) scientific theories and computational systems in their scope are analyzed in terms of suitable specializations of the notions of model of experiment and model of data. Furthermore, the extensively mechanized character of model-based reasoning in model checking is highlighted by a comparison with proof procedures adopted by other formal methods in computer science. Finally, potential epistemic benefits flowing from the application of model checking in other areas of scientific inquiry are emphasized in the context of computer simulation studies of biological information processing. (shrink)
What do you do when faced with wrongdoing—do you blame or do you forgive? Especially when confronted with offences that lie on the more severe end of the spectrum and cause terrible psychological or physical trauma or death, nothing can feel more natural than blame. Indeed, in the UK and the USA, increasingly vehement and righteous public expressions of blame and calls for vengeance have become commonplace; correspondingly, contemporary penal philosophy has witnessed a resurgence of the retributive tradition, in the (...) modern form usually known as the ‘justice’ model. On the other hand, people can and routinely do forgive others, even in cases of severe crime. Evolutionary psychologists argue that both vengeance and forgiveness are universal human adaptations that have evolved as alternative responses to exploitation, and, crucially, strategies for reducing risk of re-offending. We are naturally endowed with both capacities: to blame and retaliate, or to forgive and seek to repair relations. Which should we choose? Drawing on evolutionary psychology, we offer an account of forgiveness and argue that the choice to blame, and not to forgive, is inconsistent with the political values of a broadly liberal society and can be instrumentally counter-productive to reducing the risk of future re-offending. We then sketch the shape of penal philosophy and criminal justice policy and practice with forgiveness in place as a guiding ideal. (shrink)
When attempting to determine which of our acts affect future generations and which affect the identities of those who make up such generations, accounts of personal identity that privilege psychological features and person affecting accounts of morality, whilst highly useful when discussing the rights and wrongs of acts relating to extant persons, seem to come up short. On such approaches it is often held that the intuition that future persons can be harmed by decisions made prior to their existence is (...) mistaken as identity is a most fragile thing with even the smallest differences in the conditions under which we procreate affecting not the interests of distinct future persons, but the identities of those who will come to exist in the future. Within this paper I reject this view, holding that a subscription to these two accounts need not result in the conclusion that virtually all acts relating to possible persons are permitted. Further, I argue that such accounts may in fact allow a great deal more scope for the determination of prenatal harms than accounts of personal identity that privilege physical features. Finally, by interpreting claims regarding causal identity such as Parfit’s Time Dependence Claim in terms of Counterpart Theory I suggest that a solution to the non-identity problem can be found in the acceptance of, as relevant in prenatal cases, three kinds of objective similarity relations: Biological, Environmental and Decisional counterpart relations. (shrink)
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