Believing that p, assuming that p, and imagining that p involve regarding p as true—or, as we shall call it, accepting p. What distinguishes belief from the other modes of acceptance? We claim that conceiving of an attitude as a belief, rather than an assumption or an instance of imagining, entails conceiving of it as an acceptance that is regulated for truth, while also applying to it the standard of being correct if and only if it is true. We argue (...) that the second half of this claim, according to which the concept of belief includes a standard of correctness, is required to explain the fact that the deliberative question whether to believe that p is transparent to the question whether p. This argument raises various questions. Is there such a thing as deliberating whether to believe? Is the transparency of the deliberative question whether to believe that p the same as the transparency of the factual question whether I do believe that p? We will begin by answering these questions and then turn to a series of possible objections to our argument. (shrink)
Why, when asking oneself whether to believe that p, must one immediately recognize that this question is settled by, and only by, answering the question whether p is true? Truth is not an optional end for first-personal doxastic deliberation, providing an instrumental or extrinsic reason that an agent may take or leave at will. Otherwise there would be an inferential step between discovering the truth with respect to p and determining whether to believe that p, involving a bridge premise that (...) it is good (in whichever sense of good one likes, moral, prudential, aesthetic, allthings-considered, etc.) to believe the truth with respect to p. But there is no such gap between the two questions within the first-personal deliberative perspective; the question whether to believe that p seems to collapse into the question whether p is true. (shrink)
When we deliberate whether to believe some proposition, we feel immediately compelled to look for evidence of its truth. Philosophers have labelled this feature of doxastic deliberation 'transparency'. I argue that resolving the disagreement in the ethics of belief between evidentialists and pragmatists turns on the correct explanation of transparency. My hypothesis is that it reflects a conceptual truth about belief: a belief that p is correct if and only if p. This normative truth entails that only evidence can be (...) a reason for belief. Although evidentialism does not follow directly from the mere psychological truth that we cannot believe for non-evidential reasons, it does follow directly from the normative conceptual truth about belief which explains why we cannot do so. (shrink)
Why, when asking oneself whether to believe that p, must one immediately recognize that this question is settled by, and only by, answering the question whether p is true? Truth is not an optional end for first-personal doxastic deliberation, providing an instrumental or extrinsic reason that an agent may take or leave at will. Otherwise there would be an inferential step between discovering the truth with respect to p and determining whether to believe that p, involving a bridge premise that (...) it is good to believe the truth with respect to p. But there is no such gap between the two questions within the first-personal deliberative perspective; the question whether to believe that p seems to collapse into the question whether p is true. (shrink)
Why can't deliberation conclude in an intention except by considering whether to perform the intended action? I argue that the answer to this question entails that reasons for intention are determined by reasons for action. Understanding this feature of practical deliberation thus allows us to solve the toxin puzzle.
It is common for philosophers to claim that doxastic voluntarism, the view that an agent can form beliefs voluntarily, is false, and therefore that agents do not have the kind of control over their beliefs required for a straightforward application of deontological concepts such as obligation or duty in the domain of epistemology. The role that the denial of doxastic voluntarism plays in an argument to the effect that agents do not have obligations with respect to belief is simply this.
Advances in life-saving technologies in the past few decades have challenged our traditional understandings of death. Traditionally, death was understood to occur when a person stops breathing, their heart stops beating and they are cold to the touch. Today, physicians determine death by relying on a diagnosis of ‘total brain failure’ or by waiting a short while after circulation stops. Evidence has emerged, however, that the conceptual bases for these approaches to determining death are fundamentally flawed and depart substantially from (...) the established biological conception of death. We argue that the current approach to determining death consists of two different types of unacknowledged legal fictions. These legal fictions were developed for practices that are largely ethically legitimate but need to be reconciled with the law. The considerable debate over the determination of death in the medical and scientific literature has not informed the public that vital organs are being procured from still-living donors and it seems unlikely that this information can remain hidden for long. Given the instability of the status quo and the difficulty of making the substantial legal changes required by complete transparency, we argue for a second-best policy solution: acknowledging the legal fictions involved in determining death to move in the direction of greater transparency. This may someday result in more substantial legal change to directly confront the challenges raised by life-sustaining and life-preserving technologies without the need for fictions. (shrink)
Medical student and resident participation in global health experiences (GHEs) has significantly increased over the last decade. In response to growing student interest and the proven impact of such experiences on the education and career decisions of resident physicians, many medical schools have begun to establish programmes dedicated to global health education. For the innumerable benefits of GHEs, it is important to note that medical students have the potential to do more harm than good in these settings when they exceed (...) their actual capabilities as physicians-in-training. While medical training programmes are beginning to provide students with the knowledge to put their GHEs in context, they must remember that they also bear the responsibility of training their students in a framework to approach these experiences in a principled and professional way. It is necessary that these institutions provide adequate and formalised preparation for both clinical and ethical challenges of working in resource-poor settings. This paper outlines potential benefits and risks of GHEs and delineates recommendations to some of the current issues. (shrink)
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa began in the spring of 2014 and has since caused the deaths of over 6,000 people. Since there are no approved treatments or prevention modalities specifically targeted at Ebola Virus Disease , debate has focused on whether unproven interventions should be offered to Ebola patients outside of clinical trials. Those engaged in the debate have responded rapidly to a complex and evolving crisis, however, and this debate has not provided much opportunity for in-depth (...) analysis. Additionally, the existing literature on access to unproven therapies has focused on contexts like HIV/AIDS and oncology, which are very different than the Ebola epidemic. In this paper, we examine the ethical issues surrounding access to unproven therapies in the context of the recent Ebola outbreak to yield new insights about this controversial and unsettled issue. We argue first that, in this context, the interests of patients in obtaining access to unproven therapies are not fully aligned.. (shrink)
The majority of research on human rights focuses on the consequences of regime-type for human rights violations, and overwhelming evidence suggests that democracies are less likely to violate human rights of their citizens as compared to non-democracies. However, a regime-type perspective is unable to account for disparities in human rights violations within democratic and non-democratic regimes. This paper disaggregates regime-type and analyzes the relationship between citizens’ participation and human rights violations. I argue that a participative citizenry, as captured by high (...) voter turnout, is indicative of an active and vigilant populace who are more likely to hold governments accountable and ensure better human rights protections. The paper tests the relationship between human rights and voter turnout among 89 democratic countries from 1976 to 2008. The findings demonstrate that a participative citizenry enhances governmental respect for human rights. (shrink)
Research teams have made considerable progress in treating absolute uterine factor infertility through uterus transplantation, though studies have differed on the choice of either deceased or living donors. While researchers continue to analyze the medical feasibility of both approaches, little attention has been paid to the ethics of using deceased versus living donors as well as the protections that must be in place for each. Both types of uterus donation also pose unique regulatory challenges, including how to allocate donated organs; (...) whether the donor / donor's family has any rights to the uterus and resulting child; how to manage contact between the donor / donor's family, recipient, and resulting child; and how to track outcomes moving forward. (shrink)
The main focus of this essay is to closely engage with the role of scientist-subjectivity in the making of objectivity in Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison’s book Objectivity, and Daston’s later and earlier works On Scientific Observation and The Moral Economy of Science. I have posited four challenges to the neo-Kantian and Foucauldian constructions of the co-implication of psychology and epistemology presented in these texts. Firstly, following Jacques Lacan’s work, I have argued that the subject of science constituted by the (...) mode of modern science suffers from paranoia. It is not the fear of subjectivity interfering with objectivity but the impossibility of knowing the truth of the real that causes paranoia. Here, I have argued that it is not the ethos of objectivity that drives epistemology as Daston and Galison suggest, but the pathos of paranoia. The second challenge builds upon Kant’s own denial that the perfect correspondence between the human will and the moral law is possible. Kant himself thought that an ethical human act is impossible without the component of “pathology.” This questions Daston and Galison’s argument that there is always ethical imperative at the core of epistemic virtue. The third challenge contests the way Daston and Galison take appearance for being in their application of the Foucauldian concept of technologies of the self in modeling the master scientist-self. The fourth challenge questions the notion of the psychological and unconscious in the making of epistemology in Daston’s later and earlier work. Against this background, I aim to make a claim that understanding and disclosing “entities” in the scientific domain presupposes an understanding of “being” in general. My goal is to open up the discussion for an alternative conception of the scientist-subject and thereby an affective and existential formulation of science. (shrink)
This experiment investigated the effect of format (line vs. bar), viewers’ familiarity with variables, and viewers’ graphicacy (graphical literacy) skills on the comprehension of multivariate (three variable) data presented in graphs. Fifty-five undergraduates provided written descriptions of data for a set of 14 line or bar graphs, half of which depicted variables familiar to the population and half of which depicted variables unfamiliar to the population. Participants then took a test of graphicacy skills. As predicted, the format influenced viewers’ interpretations (...) of data. Specifically, viewers were more likely to describe x–y interactions when viewing line graphs than when viewing bar graphs, and they were more likely to describe main effects and “z–y” (the variable in the legend) interactions when viewing bar graphs than when viewing line graphs. Familiarity of data presented and individuals’ graphicacy skills interacted with the influence of graph format. Specifically, viewers were most likely to generate inferences only when they had high graphicacy skills, the data were familiar and thus the information inferred was expected, and the format supported those inferences. Implications for multivariate data display are discussed. (shrink)
Many guidelines for international research require that studies be responsive to host community health needs or health priorities. Although responsiveness possesses great intuitive and rhetorical appeal, existing conceptions are confusing and difficult to apply. Not only are there few examples of what research the responsiveness requirement permits and what it rejects, but its application can lead to contradictory results. Because of the practical difficulties in applying responsiveness and the danger that misapplying responsiveness could harm the interests of developing countries, we (...) argue that responsiveness should be refocused in three ways: in terms of (1) who enforces it, (2) under what standard, and (3) in what cases. We conclude that responsiveness should be applied by host country officials at the policy level with the exercise of judgment when externally funded research threatens to displace scarce local resources. (shrink)
Response to Floridi et al, 2008/2009. Based on insufficient evidence, and inadequate research, Floridi and his students report inaccuracies and draw false conclusions in their Minds and Machines evaluation, which this paper aims to clarify. Acting as invited judges, Floridi et al. participated in nine, of the ninety-six, Turing tests staged in the finals of the 18th Loebner Prize for Artificial Intelligence in October 2008. From the transcripts it appears that they used power over solidarity as an interrogation technique. As (...) a result, they were fooled on several occasions into believing that a machine was a human and that a human was a machine. Worse still, they did not realise their mistake. This resulted in a combined correct identification rate of less than 56%. In their paper they assumed that they had made correct identifications when they in fact had been incorrect. (shrink)
Mark Schroeder has recently presented apparent counterexamples to the standard account of the distinction between the right and the wrong kinds of reasons. We argue that these examples appear to refute the standard account only because they blur the distinction between two kinds of reasoning: reasoning about whether to intend or believe that p and reasoning about whether to take up the question of whether to intend or believe that p.
George, feeling stressed and anxious about the criminal investigation into his firm’s accounting practices, decides that it would do him good to get away and take a long, relaxing vacation in Bermuda. According to popular informed-desire accounts of a person’s good, if George would desire to take a vacation to Bermuda upon being made fully aware of what his experience of the vacation would be like and of all the consequences therein, then this course of action would benefit him. This (...) does not mean that George must actually be privy to whether his fully informed self would desire to travel to Bermuda, but whether he would, according to such an account, determines whether going to Bermuda would benefit George, whether he or anyone else is capable of knowing it. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to consider Turing's two tests for machine intelligence: the parallel-paired, three-participants game presented in his 1950 paper, and the “jury-service” one-to-one measure described two years later in a radio broadcast. Both versions were instantiated in practical Turing tests during the 18th Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence hosted at the University of Reading, UK, in October 2008. This involved jury-service tests in the preliminary phase and parallel-paired in the final phase.
The purpose of the study is to empirically examine moral ideology, ethical beliefs, and moral intensity in the context of Pakistan. Jones, 366–395, 1991) model and Muncy and Vitell have extensively been investigated and validated in west for examining ethical decision-making process. This study examines and validates these models in a collectivist cultural settings, i.e., Pakistan. A self-administered online survey technique using convenience sampling technique was used to gather data from a sample of 1000 consumers in Pakistan. Final analysis was (...) carried out on 338 valid responses. Data was analyzed using from descriptive analysis, correlation analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and model estimation carried out AMOS. Cronbach’s α was used to test the reliability of the instrument. A majority of the consumers were high on idealism and low on relativism. Consumers dejected questionable activities that have harmful outcomes more than ones that have harmless outcomes. Both idealism and relativism are found to significant predict moral intensity. However, no relationship has been found between moral ideology and ethical beliefs. Consumer’s ethical beliefs are found to significantly affect moral intensity and behavioral intention. Social moral intensity is found to mediate the relationship of relativism and harmful ethical beliefs. The study is among the pioneer studies in Pakistan that examines the link of moral ideology, moral intensity, and ethical beliefs. The study provides an Urdu version of scales that can be utilized for further exploration and validation. (shrink)
In his influential paper, 'Why Was the Logic of Discovery Abandoned?', Laudan contends that there has been no philosophical rationale for a logic of discovery since the emergence of consequentialism in the 19th century. It is the purpose of this paper to show that consequentialism does not involve the rejection of all types of logic of discovery. Laudan goes too far in his interpretation of the historical shift from generativism to consequentialism, and his claim that the context of pursuit belongs (...) to neither discovery nor justification is based on narrow interpretations of the contexts of discovery and justification. As a result, Laudan draws unwarranted conclusions concerning both the early and contemporary defenders of a logic of discovery. A methodological logic of discovery - which involves self-corrective methods of hypothesis generation that promote the long-term goals of science and which require consequential support for justification - is a type of logic of discovery that survives the shift to consequentialism. (shrink)
The subject matter of this paper is the view that it is correct, in an absolute sense, to believe a proposition just in case the proposition is true. I take issue with arguments in support of this view put forward by Nishi Shah and David Velleman.
Contemporary Kantianism is often regarded as both a position within normative ethics and as an alternative to metaethical moral realism. We argue that it is not clear how contemporary Kantianism can distinguish itself from moral realism. There are many Kantian positions. For reasons of space we focus on the position of one of the most prominent, contemporary Kantians, Christine Korsgaard. Our claim is that she fails to show either that Kantianism is different or that it is better than realism. Our (...) strategy is to argue that what are supposed to be claims that conflict with realism in fact do not. (shrink)
Since the 1980s, developed countries, led by the United States and the countries of the European Union, have sought to incorporate intellectual property rights provisions into global trade agreements. These countries successfully negotiated the World Trade Organization's 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which required developing countries to adopt intellectual property provisions comparable to developed countries. In this manuscript, we review the policy controversy surrounding TRIPS and examine the two main ethical arguments articulated in its support (...) — a theory of natural rights and a utilitarian argument. We contend that these theories provide insufficient bases for an intellectual property rights regime that compromises access to essential medicines in the developing world. While the policy community has engaged in active debate around the policy effects of TRIPS, scholars have not thoroughly considered the full ethical underpinnings of those policy arguments. We believe that a more robust understanding of the ethical implications of the agreement should inform policy discussions in the future. (shrink)
In recent decades, advances in information technology have given rise to a post-industrial society in which emphasis on the manufacture of material goods has been supplanted by the creation of intellectual property. Indeed, this new “knowledge economy” can be tracked by the exponential growth in patented products across a range of sectors since the 1980s. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the number of annual patent applications submitted grew from 112,379 to 520,277 over the past three decades, (...) a 464% increase.The transformation in the industrial markets has been accompanied by the rise of a new, global institution for coordinating intellectual property rights : the World Trade Organization. (shrink)
Over the last 140 years, the Tata Group has been a pioneer not only in corporate India, but has been a leader of sorts in the social sphere also. It has contributed substantially to nation building. Among other initiatives for social development and welfare, it has established eminent institutions, such as, the Indian Institute of Science, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. This article studies the structure of the Tata Group and its main (...) Trusts which facilitate the unique philosophy of the Group that integrates social responsibility and corporate functioning. Over two-thirds of the Tata companies are held by the Trusts, and these Trusts are focussed on social welfare initiatives. This is a unique example in the corporate world deserving a detailed study. This article details some innovative initiatives undertaken by the Tata companies in their respective industries for the society and local community. The study is based on triangulation of data and follows the descriptive research design and the anecdotal style of narration. The data collection has been done by the author through personal interviews with top executives of the Group companies, responses to an Executive Perception Survey on the society and local community, and secondary data gathered through the information available in the public domain. (shrink)