One important aspect of the nurse-patient relationship is nurses’ attitudes towards their patients. Nurses’ attitudes towards people with dementia have been studied from a wide range of approaches, but few authors have focused on the structure of these attitudes. This study aimed to identify a structure in licensed practical nurses’ attitudes towards people with dementia. Twenty-one group dwelling units for people with dementia at 11 nursing homes participated in the study. A total of 1 577 assessments of 178 patients were (...) sent out to 181 respondents and 1 237 answers were returned. The semantic differential technique was used. The scale had 57 bipolar pairs of adjectives that estimate an unknown number of dimensions of nurses’ attitudes towards an identified patient. The assessments were analysed using entropy-based measures of association combined with structural plots. The analysis revealed four dimensions, which related to licensed practical nurses’ opinions of the patients: an ethical and aesthetic dimension; an ability to understand; an ability to experience; and an ability for social interaction. The results of the study indicated that, on the positive to negative attitude continuum, the nurses’ attitudes fell at the positive to neutral end. This is an important finding owing to the personhood perspective, from which it is reasonable to assume that, with a more positive attitude to people with dementia, the prerequisites for person-centred care will improve. (shrink)
The aim of this study was to illuminate the meaning of receiving help from home nursing care for the chronically ill, elderly persons living in their homes. The study was carried out in Norway. Data were collected by narrative interviews and analysed by phenomenological hermeneutic interpretations. Receiving help from home nursing care sometimes meant ‘Being ill and dependent on help’. Other times it meant ‘Being at the mercy of help’. It could also mean ‘Feeling inferior as a human being’. Sometimes (...) help was given by nurses who were respectful and proficient at caring for an elderly person, while at other times nurses seemed to be incompetent and worked with a paternalistic attitude without respect for privacy. Receiving help also meant elderly persons wanted to be regarded and approached as equal human beings, supported in the courage to meet challenges in life. (shrink)
This comment on Sven Ove Hansson's article on the history of the journal Theoria elaborates and corrects Hansson's characterisation of the political standpoint of the Finnish philosopher Eino Kaila as "sympathetic towards the German regime". Although not an easy question, particularly considering Kaila's unfortunate publications during the Second World War, it is argued that the characterisation is plainly wrong if it refers to the mid-1930s.
This article investigates how the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård in My struggle uses his existential reading of 1914 and World War I to nuance our general understanding of the war. Knausgård wants to demonstrate that the collective enthusiasm, which took millions of men by storm, was existentially motivated. The war was able to give the soldiers a sense of meaning, a project and a community; feelings they needed in their civilian lives. Furthermore, Knausgård uses his reading of World War (...) I to make a connection between the soldier’s fight and his own struggle. On the basis of his existential reading of World War I, Knausgård is able to formulate a literary poetics and existential experience. Therefore, Knausgård is able to actualize World War I. (shrink)
The Ethics of Technology. Methods and Approaches avoids the overly simplistic and individualistic approach to the ethics of technology, which might otherwise mislead the reader into a superficial understanding of the discipline. Too often, the ethics of technology is reduced to an overt and over reliance on professional codes, ethical theories (spelled out in terms of the dichotomy between deontology and utilitarianism) and the application of a prescribed heuristic to what most often are black and white individualistic dilemmas described by (...) case studies. The collection of essays edited by Hansson is thus an important contribution to the growing body of literature on the ethics of technology, as it questions and brings to light the broader purpose of engineering and the conceptual tools required for the responsible practice of the profession if we are to enable engineers to address structural issues. (shrink)
We propose to model preference change as the change of an agent’s preference state in response to the agent accepting a preference affect. The preference state of an agent is ruled by various inferential commitments. Accepting a preference affect will likely bring the preference state into inconsistency. The model shows how the preference state needs to be adjusted to restore consistency. In particular, it shows which path restoration will take, conditional on the previous preference state and the available dynamic information, (...) and it determines how the ensuing preference state will look like. (shrink)
Formal representations of values and norms are employed in several academic disciplines and specialties, such as economics, jurisprudence, decision theory and social choice theory. Sven Ove Hansson closely examines such foundational issues as the values of wholes and the values of their parts, the connections between values and norms, how values can be decision-guiding and the structure of normative codes with formal precision. Models of change in both preferences and norms are offered, as well as a method to base the (...) logic of norms on that of preferences. Hansson has developed a unified formal representation of values and norms that reflects both their static and their dynamic properties. This formalized treatment, carried out in terms of both informal value theory and precise logical detail, will contribute to the clarification of certain issues in the basic philosophical theory of values and norms. (shrink)
Should Probabilistic Design Replace Safety Factors? Content Type Journal Article Pages 151-168 DOI 10.1007/s13347-010-0003-6 Authors Neelke Doorn, Department of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Sven Ove Hansson, Department of Philosophy and the History of Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 78 B, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 2.
As part of the conference commemorating Theoria's 75th anniversary, a round table discussion on philosophy publishing was held in Bergendal, Sollentuna, Sweden, on 1 October 2010. Bengt Hansson was the chair, and the other participants were eight editors-in-chief of philosophy journals: Hans van Ditmarsch (Journal of Philosophical Logic), Pascal Engel (Dialectica), Sven Ove Hansson (Theoria), Vincent Hendricks (Synthese), Søren Holm (Journal of Medical Ethics), Pauline Jacobson (Linguistics and Philosophy), Anthonie Meijers (Philosophical Explorations), Henry S. Richardson (Ethics) and Hans Rott (Erkenntnis).
In an earlier paper by the author, Åqvist , I presented an approach to the logic of historical necessity, or inevitability, in the sense of a “two-dimensional” combination of tense and modal logic for worlds, or histories, with the same time order, known as T × W logic. Distinctive features of that approach were, apart from its two-dimensionality, its being based on discrete and finite time, and its use of so-called systematic frame constants in order to enable us to indicate (...) longitudes and latitudes of any points in the co-ordinate systems under consideration. This led us to study and axiomatize an infinite hierarchy HTWxy of two-dimensional modal tense logics with the characteristic operators for historical necessity and possibility added to the original basic vocabulary. The main purpose of the present paper is then twofold: to extend the logics HTWxy to the interesting branch of philosophical logic constituted by deontic logic as combined with tense logic; and to deal with a curious puzzle known as the so-called epistemic obligation paradox – a well known stumbling-block in this area of research in philosophical logic. We argue for a solution to both these problems, which appeals to a new infinite hierarchy DHTWxym of extensions of the HTWxy in the sense of logics combining dyadic deontic modalities with temporal ones such as those for historical necessity and other two-dimensional modalities. (shrink)
As things stand today, whether we like it or not, industry funding is on the upswing. The whole enterprise of medicine in booming, and it makes sense for industry to invest more and more of one's millions into it. The pharmaceutical industry has become the single largest direct funding agency of medical research in countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since the goals of industry and academia differ, it seems that conflicts of interest are inevitable at (...) times. The crucial decision is whether the public welfare agenda of academia, or the corporate research agenda of industry, should occupy center stage when they conflict. There is enough evidence to show that funding by industry is very systematic, and results that are supportive of the safety and efficacy of sponsor's products alone get the funds. It is no surprise, therefore, that one finds very few negative drug trials reports published, and whatever are, are likely to be by rival companies to serve their commercial interests. Renewed and continued funding by industry decides the future prospects of many academic researchers. At the same time there is now evidence that pharmaceutical companies attempt suppression of research findings, may be selective in publishing results, and may delay or stymie publication of unfavourable results. This is a major area of concern for all conscientious researchers and industry watchers. Industry commonly decides which clinical research/trial gets done, not academia, much though the latter may wish to believe otherwise. It finds willing researchers to carry this out. This can be one area of concern. Another area of pressing concern is when industry decides to both design and control publication of research. It makes sense for researchers to refuse to allow commercial interests to rule research reporting. Research having been reported, the commercial implications of such reporting is industry's concern. But, doctoring of findings to suit commerce is to be resisted at all costs. In this even pliant researchers need have no fear, for if they indeed publish what will work, the concerned sponsor will benefit in the long run. The only decision academia has to make is refuse to comply with predestined conclusions of sponsors for the 'thirty pieces of silver'. Instead do genuine research and make sixty for themselves. The useful rule of thumb is: Keep the critical antenna on, especially with regard to drug trials, and more especially their methodology, and study closely the conflict of interest disclosed, and if possible undisclosed, before you jump on the band wagon to herald the next great wonder drug. There are three important lessons to be learnt by academia in all academia-industry relationships: i) Lesson number one: incorporate the right to publish contrary findings in the research contract itself. Which means, it makes great sense for academia to concentrate on the language and contractual provisions of sponsored research, to read the fine print very closely, and protect their research interests in case of conflict. ii) Lesson number two: a number of lawsuits successfully brought up against industry recently reflect earnest attempts by patient welfare bodies and others to remedy the tilt. It will result in a newfound confidence in academia that augurs well for academia industry relationship in the long run. Hence the second lesson for academia: do not get browbeaten by threats of legal action iii) Lesson number three: Academia should keep itself involved right from inception of the clinical trial through to ultimate publication. And this must be an integral part of the written contract. The time to repeat cliches about the exciting future of the academia-industry connect is past. A concerted effort to lay a strong foundation of the relationship on practical ethical grounds has become mandatory. (shrink)
The purpose of this presentation is to introduce both the concept of risk and the precautionary principle, that is a major policy principle in present-day risk management. Since risk has been the subject of many misconceptions I will do this in large part by criticizing seven views on risk that I believe to have caused considerable confusion both among scientists and policy-makers. But before looking at the seven myths of risk, let us begin with the basic issue of defining “risk”. (...) The word “risk” often refers, rather vaguely, to situations in which it is possible but not certain that some undesirable event will occur. In addition, the word has several more specialized meanings. Let me illustrate this by making a few statements about the single most important preventable health hazard in non-starving countries. First: “Lung cancer is one of the major risks that affect smokers.” Here, we use “risk” in the following sense: (1) risk = an unwanted event which may or may not occur. 1 (15). (shrink)
The paper introduces ten open problems in belief revision theory, related to the representation of the belief state, to different notions of degrees of belief, and to the nature of change operations. It is argued that these problems are all issues in philosopical logic, in the strong sense of requiring inputs from both logic and philosophy for their solution.
Mainstream moral theories deal with situations in which the outcome of each possible action is well-determined and knowable. In order to make ethics relevant for problems of risk and uncertainty, moral theories have to be extended so that they cover actions whose outcomes are not determinable beforehand. One approach to this extension problem is to develop methods for appraising probabilistic combinations of outcomes. This approach is investigated and shown not to solve the problem. An alternative approach is then developed. Its (...) starting-point is that everyone has a prima facie moral right not to be exposed to risk. However, this right can be overridden if the risk-exposure is part of an equitable system for risk-taking that works to the advantage of the individual risk-exposed person. (shrink)
In non-technical contexts, the word “risk” refers, often rather vaguely, to situations in which it is possible but not certain that some undesirable event will occur. In technical contexts, the word has many uses and specialized meanings. The most common ones are the following.
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Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) is much more philosophically interesting than has in general been recognized. Since it is the only well-developed form of applied consequentialism, it is a testing-ground for consequentialism and for the counterfactual analysis that it requires. Ten classes of philosophical problems that affect the practical performance of cost–benefit analysis are investigated: topic selection, dependence on the decision perspective, dangers of super synopticism and undue centralization, prediction problems, the indeterminateness of our control over future decisions, the need to exclude (...) certain consequences for moral reasons, bias in the delimitation of consequences, incommensurability of consequences, difficulties in defending the essential requirement of transferability across contexts, and the normatively questionable but equally essential assumption of interpersonal compensability. (Published Online July 31 2007). (shrink)
This text is a non-technical overview of modern decision theory. It is intended for university students with no previous acquaintance with the subject, and was primarily written for the participants of a course on risk analysis at Uppsala University in 1994.
The AGM theory of belief contraction is extended tomultiple contraction, i.e. to contraction by a set of sentences rather than by a single sentence. There are two major variants: Inpackage contraction all the sentences must be removed from the belief set, whereas inchoice contraction it is sufficient that at least one of them is removed. Constructions of both types of multiple contraction are offered and axiomatically characterized. Neither package nor choice contraction can in general be reduced to contractions by single (...) sentences; in the finite case choice contraction allows for reduction. (shrink)
Specified meet contraction is the operation defined by the identity where ∼ is full meet contraction and f is a sentential selector, a function from sentences to sentences. With suitable conditions on the sentential selector, specified meet contraction coincides with the partial meet contractions that yield a finite-based contraction outcome if the original belief set is finite-based. In terms of cognitive realism, specified meet contraction has an advantage over partial meet contraction in that the selection mechanism operates on sentences rather (...) than on temporary infinite structures (remainders) that are cognitively inaccessible. Specified meet contraction provides a versatile framework in which other types of contraction, such as severe withdrawal and base-generated contraction, can be expressed with suitably chosen properties of the sentential selector. (shrink)
A descriptor is a set of sentences that are truth-functional combinations of expressions of the form \ , where \ is a metalinguistic belief predicate and p a sentence in the object language in which beliefs are expressed. Descriptor revision ) is an operation of belief change that takes us from a belief set K to a new belief set \ where \ is a descriptor representing the success condition. Previously studied operations of belief change are special cases of descriptor (...) revision, hence sentential revision can be represented as \ , contraction as \ , multiple contraction as \ , replacement as \ , etc. General models of descriptor revision are constructed and axiomatically characterized. The common selection mechanisms of AGM style belief change cannot be used, but they can be replaced by choice functions operating directly on the set of potential outcomes . The restrictions of this construction to sentential revision ) and sentential contraction give rise to operations with plausible properties that are also studied in some some detail. (shrink)
discussions of risk contain logical and argumentative fallacies that are specific to the subject-matter. Ten such fallacies are identified, that can commonly be found in public debates on risk. They are named as follows: the sheer size fallacy, the converse sheer size fallacy, the fallacy of naturalness, the ostrich's fallacy, the proof-seeking fallacy, the delay fallacy, the technocratic fallacy, the consensus fallacy, the fallacy of pricing, and the infallability fallacy.
The postulate of recovery is commonly regarded to be the intuitively least compelling of the six basic Gärdenfors postulates for belief contraction. We replace recovery by the seemingly much weaker postulate of core-retainment, which ensures that if x is excluded from K when p is contracted, then x plays some role for the fact that K implies p. Surprisingly enough, core-retainment together with four of the other Gärdenfors postulates implies recovery for logically closed belief sets. Reasonable contraction operators without recovery (...) do not seem to be possible for such sets. Instead, however, they can be obtained for non-closed belief bases. Some results on partial meet contractions on belief bases are given, including an axiomatic characterization and a non-vacuous extension of the AGM closure condition. (shrink)
Som de första vetenskapliga tidskrifterna brukar man räkna den franska Journal des Sça- vants och den engelska Philosophical Transactions, som båda började ges ut år 1665. Redan under dessa tidskrifters första årtionden skaffade sig redaktörerna vanan att ta hjälp av experter inom olika områden med att granska manuskript. Detta system har sedan dess kommit att utvecklas och systematiseras, och kallas med en svåröversättlig engelsk term ”peer review”. Termen anger att manuskripten granskas av experter inom sitt specialområde. Dessa experter, som kallas (...) ”referees” (referenter) är författarens kolleger inom respektive specialitet, men behöver inte alls vara mer kunniga eller erfarna än författaren själv. Systemet med referentgranskning har ofta kritiserats, men ingen har funnit något bättre sätt att kvalitetsgranska vetenskapliga arbeten än att lämna ut granskningen till experter inom respektive område. (shrink)