The European Medical Information Framework project, funded through the IMI programme, has designed and implemented a federated platform to connect health data from a variety of sources across Europe, to facilitate large scale clinical and life sciences research. It enables approved users to analyse securely multiple, diverse, data via a single portal, thereby mediating research opportunities across a large quantity of research data. EMIF developed a code of practice to ensure the privacy protection of data subjects, protect the interests of (...) data sharing parties, comply with legislation and various organisational policies on data protection, uphold best practices in the protection of personal privacy and information governance, and eventually promote these best practices more widely. EMIF convened an Ethics Advisory Board, to provide feedback on its approach, platform, and the EcoP. The most important challenges the ECoP team faced were: how to define, control and monitor the purposes for which federated health data are used; the kinds of organisation that should be permitted to conduct permitted research; and how to monitor this. This manuscript explores those issues, offering the combined insights of the EAB and EMIF core ECoP team. For some issues, a consensus on how to approach them is proposed. For other issues, a singular approach may be premature but the challenges are summarised to help the community to debate the topic further. Arguably, the issues and their analyses have application beyond EMIF, to many research infrastructures connected to health data sources. (shrink)
Population-level biomedical research offers new opportunities to improve population health, but also raises new challenges to traditional systems of research governance and ethical oversight. Partly in response to these challenges, various models of public involvement in research are being introduced. Yet, the ways in which public involvement should meet governance challenges are not well understood. We conducted a qualitative study with 36 experts and stakeholders using the World Café method to identify key governance challenges and explore how public involvement can (...) meet these challenges. This brief report discusses four cross-cutting themes from the study: the need to move beyond individual consent; issues in benefit and data sharing; the challenge of delineating and understanding publics; and the goal of clarifying justifications for public involvement. The report aims to provide a starting point for making sense of the relationship between public involvement and the governance of population-level biomedical research, showing connections, potential solutions and issues arising at their intersection. We suggest that, in population-level biomedical research, there is a pressing need for a shift away from conventional governance frameworks focused on the individual and towards a focus on collectives, as well as to foreground ethical issues around social justice and develop ways to address cultural diversity, value pluralism and competing stakeholder interests. There are many unresolved questions around how this shift could be realised, but these unresolved questions should form the basis for developing justificatory accounts and frameworks for suitable collective models of public involvement in population-level biomedical research governance. (shrink)
The theory of personal identity should illuminate and be illuminated by the theory of personality, of which it is a part. I believe that Locke's theory succeeds in this more than that of any other great philosopher, and the modifications which it may need are not fundamental ones. The problems raised by Butler and Flew can be made to disappear.
A general account of modeling in physics is proposed. Modeling is shown to involve three components: denotation, demonstration, and interpretation. Elements of the physical world are denoted by elements of the model; the model possesses an internal dynamic that allows us to demonstrate theoretical conclusions; these in turn need to be interpreted if we are to make predictions. The DDI account can be readily extended in ways that correspond to different aspects of scientific practice.
In response to a commentary provided by Uttl and Morin regarding the recent study by Hughes and Nicholson, we evaluate their suggestion to modify our study’s design to reduce ceiling effects. Also, the commentators failed to take into account our data on reaction times, which help substantiate our conclusions regarding self-face and self-voice recognition. This rejoinder encourages readers to consider the relevance of the ecological validity of Hughes and Nicholson’s findings.
Cognitive science has always included multiple methodologies and theoretical commitments. The philosophy of cognitive science should embrace, or at least acknowledge, this diversity. Bechtel’s (2009a) proposed philosophy of cognitive science, however, applies only to representationalist and mechanist cognitive science, ignoring the substantial minority of dynamically oriented cognitive scientists. As an example of nonrepresentational, dynamical cognitive science, we describe strong anticipation as a model for circadian systems (Stepp & Turvey, 2009). We then propose a philosophy of science appropriate to nonrepresentational, dynamical (...) cognitive science. (shrink)
Saul Kripke, in a series of classic writings of the 1960s and 1970s, changed the face of metaphysics and philosophy of language. Christopher Hughes offers a careful exposition and critical analysis of Kripke's central ideas about names, necessity, and identity. He clears up some common misunderstandings of Kripke's views on rigid designation, causality and reference, and the necessary a posteriori and contingent a priori. Through his engagement with Kripke's ideas Hughes makes a significant contribution to ongoing debates on, (...) inter alia, the semantics of natural kind terms, the nature of natural kinds, the essentiality of origin and constitution, the relative merits of 'identitarian' and counterpart-theoretic accounts of modality, and the identity or otherwise of mental types and tokens with physical types and tokens. No specialist knowledge in either the philosophy of language or metaphysics is presupposed; Hughes's book will be valuable for anyone working on the ideas which Kripke made famous in the philosophy world. (shrink)
During the past four decades, the Netherlands played a leading role in the debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide. Despite the claim that other countries would soon follow the Dutch legalization of euthanasia, only Belgium and the American state of Oregon did. In many countries, intense discussions took place. This article discusses some major contributions to the discussion about euthanasia and assisted suicide as written by Nigel Biggar, Arthur J. Dyck, Neil M. Gorsuch, and John Keown. They share a (...) concern that legalization will undermine a society's respect for the inviolability and sanctity of life. Moreover, the Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill is analyzed. All studies use ethical, theological, philosophical, and legal sources. All these documents include references to experiences from the Netherlands. In addition, two recent Dutch documents are analyzed which advocate further liberalization of the Dutch euthanasia practice, so as to include infants and elderly people "suffering from life". (shrink)
In the recent and not-too-distant past many of our parents, grandparents and forbears believed that a person’s skin colour and physiognomy, gender, or sexuality licensed them being regarded and treated in ways that are now widely recognised as blatantly unjust, disrespectful, cruel and brutal. But the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries have hosted a series of radical changes in attitudes, beliefs, behaviour and institutionalised practices with regard to the fundamental moral equality of what were once seen as different “kinds of (...) people.” This paper explores the social structure of such “moral revolutions,” via the Wittgensteinian- and Kuhnian- inspired concepts moral perception, moral certainty, normal morality, and moral paradigm. (shrink)
What can computers do in principle? What are their inherent theoretical limitations? These are questions to which computer scientists must address themselves. The theoretical framework which enables such questions to be answered has been developed over the last fifty years from the idea of a computable function: intuitively a function whose values can be calculated in an effective or automatic way. This book is an introduction to computability theory (or recursion theory as it is traditionally known to mathematicians). Dr Cutland (...) begins with a mathematical characterisation of computable functions using a simple idealised computer (a register machine); after some comparison with other characterisations, he develops the mathematical theory, including a full discussion of non-computability and undecidability, and the theory of recursive and recursively enumerable sets. The later chapters provide an introduction to more advanced topics such as Gildel's incompleteness theorem, degrees of unsolvability, the Recursion theorems and the theory of complexity of computation. Computability is thus a branch of mathematics which is of relevance also to computer scientists and philosophers. Mathematics students with no prior knowledge of the subject and computer science students who wish to supplement their practical expertise with some theoretical background will find this book of use and interest. (shrink)
Against the domination of moral deliberation by rights-talk In Defence of War asserts that belligerency can be morally justified, even while it is tragic and morally flawed. Recovering the early Christian tradition of just war thinking, Nigel Biggar argues in favour of aggressive war in punishment of grave injustice.
Alice Crary claims that “the standard view of the bearing of Wittgenstein's philosophy on ethics” is dominated by “inviolability interpretations”, which often underlie conservative readings of Wittgenstein. Crary says that such interpretations are “especially marked in connection with On Certainty”, where Wittgenstein is represented as holding that “our linguistic practices are immune to rational criticism, or inviolable”. Crary's own conception of the bearing of Wittgenstein's philosophy on ethics, which I call the “intrinsically-ethical reading”, derives from the influential New Wittgenstein school (...) of exegesis, and is also espoused by James Edwards, Cora Diamond, and Stephen Mulhall. To my eyes, intrinsically-ethical readings present a peculiar picture of ethics, which I endeavour to expose in Part I of the paper. In Part II I present a reading of On Certainty that Crary would call an “inviolability interpretation”, defend it against New Wittgensteinian critiques, and show that this kind of reading has nothing to do with ethical or political conservatism. I go on to show how Wittgenstein's observations on the manner in which we can neither question nor affirm certain states of affairs that are fundamental to our epistemic practices can be fruitfully extended to ethics. Doing so sheds light on the phenomenon that I call “basic moral certainty”, which constitutes the foundation of our ethical practices, and the scaffolding or framework of moral perception, inquiry, and judgement. The nature and significance of basic moral certainty will be illustrated through consideration of the strangeness of philosophers' attempts at explaining the wrongness of killing. (shrink)
In this paper, I shall be arguing for what I hope is a modern version of a very traditional view, which is that God can explain two very basic phenomena: the first is the existence of the universe as we know it: the second is the particular way in which the universe is organised. I shall also, though briefly, try to counter the view that the totally unwelcome features of our universe make it impossible to reconcile the universe as it (...) is with anything like traditional theistic belief. This project, however, is quite a daunting one. So I would wish to make it clear right at the start that, while I would claim that my views are reasonable, and indeed more reasonable than belief in the denial of these views would be, I still do not hold that it is unreasonable for someone to reject each of the conclusions for which I shall argue. For plainly anyone, whether myself or any opponent, can be both reasonable and mistaken. (shrink)
Theories of superior collicular and hippocampal function have remarkable similarities. Both structures have been repeatedly implicated in spatial and attentional behaviour and in inhibitory control of locomotion. Moreover, they share certain electrophysiological properties in their single unit responses and in the synchronous appearance and disappearance of slow wave activity. Both are phylogenetically old and the colliculus projects strongly to brainstem nuclei instrumental in the generation of theta rhythm in the hippocampal EECOn the other hand, close inspection of behavioural and electrophysiological (...) data reveals disparities. In particular, hippocampal processing mainly concerns stimulus ambiguity, contextual significance, and spatial relations or other subtle, higher order characteristics. This requires the use of largely preprocessed sensory information and mediation of poststimulus investigation. Although collicular activity must also be integrated with that of “higher” centres, its primary role in attention is more “peripheral” and specific in controlling orienting/localisation via eye and body movements toward egocentrically labelled spatial positions. In addition, the colliculus may exert a nonspecific influence in alerting higher centres to the imminence of information potentially worthy of focal attention. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that collicular and hippocampal lesions produce deficits on similar tasks, although the type of deficit is usually different in each case. Functional overlap between hippocampus and colliculus is virtually certain vis-à-vis stimulus sampling, for example in the acquisition of information via vibrissal movements and visual scanning. In addition, insofar as stimulus significance is a factor in collicular orienting mechanisms, the hippocampus — cingulate – cortex — colliculus pathway may play a significant role, modulating collicular responsiveness and thus ensuring an attentional strategy appropriate to current requirements. A tentative “reciprocal loop” model is proposed which bridges physiological and behavioural levels of analysis and which would account for the observed degree and nature of functional overlap between the superior colliculus and hippocampus. (shrink)
We report a Monte Carlo study examining the effects of two strategies for handling measurement non-invariance – modeling and ignoring non-invariant items – on structural regression coefficients between latent variables measured with item response theory models for categorical indicators. These strategies were examined across four levels and three types of non-invariance – non-invariant loadings, non-invariant thresholds, and combined non-invariance on loadings and thresholds – in simple, partial, mediated and moderated regression models where the non-invariant latent variable occupied predictor, mediator, and (...) criterion positions in the structural regression models. When non-invariance is ignored in the latent predictor, the focal group regression parameters are biased in the opposite direction to the difference in loadings and thresholds relative to the referent group (i.e., lower loadings and thresholds for the focal group lead to overestimated regression parameters). With criterion non-invariance, the focal group regression parameters are biased in the same direction as the difference in loadings and thresholds relative to the referent group. While unacceptable levels of parameter bias were confined to the focal group, bias occurred at considerably lower levels of ignored non-invariance than was previously recognized in referent and focal groups. (shrink)
Government’s use of imprisonment raises distinctive moral issues. Even if government has broad authority to make and to enforce law, government may not be entitled to use imprisonment as a punishment for all the criminal laws it is entitled to make. Indeed, there may be some serious crimes that it is wrong to punish with imprisonment, even if the conditions of imprisonment are humane and even if no adequate alternative punishments are available.
The word 'athletics' is derived from the Greek verb 'to struggle for a prize'. After reading this book, no one will see the Olympics as a graceful display of Greek beauty again, but as war by other means. Nigel Spivey paints a portrait of the Greek Olympics as they really were - fierce contests between bitter rivals, in which victors won kudos and rewards, and losers faced scorn and even assault. Victory was almost worth dying for, and a number (...) of athletes did just that. Many more resorted to cheating and bribery. Contested always bitterly and often bloodily, the ancient Olympics were not an idealistic celebration of unity, but a clash of military powers in an arena not far removed from the battlefield. (shrink)
In recent years there has been growing attention paid to a kind of human action or activity which does not issue from a process of reflection and deliberation and which is described as, e.g., ‘engaged coping’, ‘unreflective action’, and ‘flow’. Hubert Dreyfus, one of its key proponents, has developed a phenomenology of expertise which he has applied to ethics in order to account for ‘everyday ongoing ethical coping’ or ‘ethical expertise’. This article addresses the shortcomings of this approach by examining (...) the pre-reflective ethical know-how individuals first develop and on which all later forms of ethical expertise are dependent. In the first section an account is given of the ‘ethical second nature’ which every individual develops from childhood onwards and which forms the basis of pre-reflective ethical know-how. The acquisition of an ethical second nature early on opens up the very domain of ‘the ethical’ for us in the first place and is constitutive of our sensitivity to it. The second section turns to pre-reflective ethical know-how and whether it is conceptual in nature. Just as sensorimotor understanding forms the basis of our reflective perceptual concepts, pre-reflective ethical know-how is similarly proto-conceptual and is the source of our reflective ethical and moral concepts. Finally, the third section examines the process whereby ethical second nature and pre-reflective ethical know-how are actually acquired, namely, through immersion in an ‘ethical world’. This world consists of both the web of ethical meanings and significances which has evolved in a particular society or community as well as its members whose actions and interactions continually reproduce that web. (shrink)
This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral ideal of freedom or independence from the power of others. The moral value and justificatory force of law are not contingent upon circumstance, but intrinsic to its character. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realization of the idea of law. In making these claims, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary (...) legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tradition of philosophical reflection upon law, exemplified by Hobbes and Kant. Modern analytical jurisprudence has tended to view these older philosophies as confused precisely in so far as they equate an understanding of law's nature with a revelation of its moral basis. According to most contemporary legal theorists, the understanding and analysis of existing institutions is quite distinct from any enterprise of moral reflection, but the relationship between ideals and practices is much more intimate than this approach would suggest. Some institutions can be properly understood only when they are viewed as imperfect attempts to realize moral or political ideals; and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions. (shrink)
Mental imagery (varieties of which are sometimes colloquially refered to as “visualizing,” “seeing in the mind's eye,” “hearing in the head,” “imagining the feel of,” etc.) is quasi-perceptual experience; it resembles perceptual experience, but occurs in the absence of the appropriate external stimuli. It is also generally understood to bear intentionality (i.e., mental images are always images of something or other), and thereby to function as a form of mental representation. Traditionally, visual mental imagery, the most discussed variety, was thought (...) to be caused by the presence of picturelike representations (mental images) in the mind, soul, or brain, but this is no longer universally accepted. (shrink)
In a climate of increasing interest and activity within the field of business ethics, as yet there exists no coherent conceptual framework for organizational theory and research. From a review of current thinking and previous writings a framework of concepts is suggested to help set an agenda for empirical research. The elements of this are, first, a taxonomy of ethical domains: the foci of organizations'' and their agents'' ethical concerns and conduct. Second, it is considered how ethical functioning might be (...) analysed in terms of causal relationships between expressive forms, voluntary action and instituted forms. Third is discussed ethical process, the means by which ethical awareness is aroused. Fourth and last, the paper examines how normative evaluations might apply to the ethical condition of organizations and their agents, meaning change or stability in reputation and integrity. At each stage of the argument possible objectives for research are developed. (shrink)
Global ethics is an emerging discipline which has not yet reached maturity. The main tasks before it to gain maturity are: first, to achieve a greater integration of various domains of enquiry all of which are concerned with global normative issues. At a general level this includes integrating global ethics with cosmopolitanism, global justice and human right discourse. At the level of areas of concern, there needs to be greater integration of various areas such as development, trade, environment and climate (...) change. And it must grapple with the question of diversity within universality: how far can diversity of practices be accommodated within a culturally sensitive universal framework? Second, there is the question of finding a shared normative framework with respect to the diverse worldviews that may lie behind this: what degree and kind of convergence/consensus are worth working for? Third, there is the task of creating the conditions for its own wider acceptance, which should include taking the idea of global citizenship seriously. (shrink)
R.I.G. Hughes presents a series of eight philosophical essays on the theoretical practices of physics. The first two essays examine these practices as they appear in physicists' treatises (e.g. Newton's Principia and Opticks ) and journal articles (by Einstein, Bohm and Pines, Aharonov and Bohm). By treating these publications as texts, Hughes casts the philosopher of science in the role of critic. This premise guides the following 6 essays which deal with various concerns of philosophy of physics such (...) as laws, disunities, models and representation, computer simulation, explanation, and the discourse of physics. (shrink)
This article surveys the recently established field of enquiry called 'development ethics' - that is, ethical enquiry into the normative basis of socio-economic development. This covers two levels of enquiry. First, it involves enquiry into the nature of human well-being and the social norms within which the conditions of well-being should be promoted, and includes consideration of both the means and the ends of development. Second, it involves the ethical basis of the wider global framework within which the development of (...) countries takes place. This covers both the normative basis of international relations and the global relations between individuals in different parts of the world as expressed in the idea of global responsibility. (shrink)
Introduction -- Self and other : life and death -- Education in Hegel in the history of philosophy -- Fossil fuel culture -- Education in Hegel in Derrida -- Education in Hegel in Levinas -- I philosophy.
1. The traditional position and the pressures for change. The Western legal tradition -- The Christian ethical hinterland -- The exceptional value of human life -- The justification of taking human life -- Suicide -- Christian ethics, assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia -- The cultural pressures for change -- 2. The value of human life -- 3. The morality of acts of killing -- 4. Slippery slopes.
The concept of “tacit knowledge” as the means by which individuals interpret the “rules” of social interaction occupies a central role in all the major contemporary theories of action and social structure. The major reference point for social theorists is Wittgenstein's celebrated discussion of rule-following in the Philosophical Investigations. Focusing on Giddens' incorporation of tacit knowledge and rules into his “theory of structuration”, I argue that Wittgenstein's later work is steadfastly set against the “latent cognitivism” inherent in the idea of (...) tacit knowledge and tacit rules. I also argue that the idea of tacit knowledge and tacit rules is either incoherent or explanatorily vacuous. (shrink)