Frank Palmer, Richard Eldridge, and Martha Nussbaum explore the contributions that imaginative literature can make to ethics. From three different moral philosophical perspectives, they argue that reading literature can help persons to achieve greater moral understanding. This essay examines how each author conceives of moral understanding, particularly in its emotional dimension, and how each thinks that reading literature can promote moral understanding. The essay also considers some implications of this work for religious ethics.
Statisticians in medicine can disagree on appropriate methodology applicable to the design and analysis of clinical trials. So called Bayesians and frequentists both claim ethical superiority. This paper, by defining and then linking together various dichotomies, argues there is a place for both statistical camps. The choice between them depends on the phase of clinical trial, disease prevalence and severity, but supremely on the ethics underlying the particular trial. There is always a tension present between physicians primarily obligated to their (...) own patients (the weight of 'individual ethics') and ethical committees responsible for the scientific merit of the trial and its long-term implications ('collective ethics'). Individual ethics, it is proposed, favour the Bayesian approach; collective ethics, the frequentist. Though in some situations the choice appears clear-cut, there remain other where both methodologies can be appropriate. (shrink)
As the expansion of the Internet and the digital formatting of all kinds of creative works move us further into the information age, intellectual property issues have become paramount. Computer programs costing thousands of research dollars are now copied in an instant. People who would recoil at the thought of stealing cars, computers, or VCRs regularly steal software or copy their favorite music from a friend's CD. Since the Web has no national boundaries, these issues are international concerns. The contributors-philosophers, (...) legal theorists, and business scholars, among others-address questions such as: Can abstract ideas be owned? How does the violation of intellectual property rights compare to the violation of physical property rights? Can computer software and other digital information be protected? And how should legal systems accommodate the ownership of intellectual property in an information age? Intellectual Property is a lively examination of these and other issues, and an invaluable resource for librarians, lawyers, businesspeople, and scholars. (shrink)
In Sein und Zeit, Heidegger claims that (1) das Man is an 'existential' i.e. a necessary feature of Dasein's Being; and (2) Dasein need not always exist in the mode of the Man-self, but can also be eigentlich, which I translate as 'self-owningly'. These apparently contradictory statements have prompted a debate between Hubert Dreyfus, who recommends abandoning (2), and Frederick Olafson, who favors jettisoning (1). I offer an interpretation of the structure of Dasein's Being compatible with both (1) and (2), (...) thus resolving the Dreyfus-Olafson debate. Central to this resolution is the distinction between das Man and the Man-self. Das Man is one of three existential 'horizons', or fields of possibilities; the other two horizons are the world and death. At any time, Dasein encounters entities in one of two basic modes: either by 'expressly seizing' possibilities of the horizon, or by occluding these possibilities. These modes are 'existentiell', i.e. features of Dasein's Being that are possible, but not essential. Self-ownership and the Man-self are the two basic existentiell modes of being oneself, i.e. projecting everyday possibilities of oneself appropriated from the horizon of das Man. What differentiates these two modes is the stance one takes to the possibility of death, the existential horizon of being oneself. (shrink)
Previous research suggests that implicit sequence learning is superior for believers in the paranormal and individuals with increased cerebral dopamine. Thirty-five healthy participants performed feedback-guided anticipations of four arrow directions. A 100-trial random sequence preceded two 100-trial biased sequences in which visual targets on trial t tended to be displaced 90° clockwise or counter-clockwise from those on t − 1. ISL was defined as a positive change during the course of the biased run in the difference between pro-bias and counter-bias (...) responses. It was hypothesized that this difference would be greater for believers in the paranormal than for skeptics, for those who received dopamine than for those who received placebo, and for believers who received dopamine than for the other groups. None of the hypotheses were supported by the data. It is suggested that a simple binary guessing task with a focus on prediction accuracy during early trials should be considered for future explorations. (shrink)
Field and Hineline have shown how pervasive and insidious is the tendency to make dispositional attributions, even among those who criticize the practice, and they identify a bias for models of contiguous causation as one reason for this tendency. They argue that order can be found at multiple scales of analysis and that in some cases a translation to a model of contiguous causation is impossible. I suggest that pragmatic considerations are sufficient to justify a particular scale of analysis and (...) observe that behavioral principles are fundamentally extended in time. However, I argue that accounting for variance is the goal of science; when events at one level are indeed mediated by those at another, more of the variance can be accounted for by considering both, and there is no principled reason for considering only one. (shrink)
Like most other sciences, behavior analysis adopts an assumption of uniformity, namely that principles discovered under controlled conditions apply outside the laboratory as well. Since the boundary between public and private depends on the vantage point of the observer, observability is not an inherent property of behavior. From this perspective, private events are assumed to enter into the same orderly relations as public behavior, and the distinction between public and private events is merely a practical one. Private events play no (...) role in the experimental analysis of behavior, but they permit us to make sense of many commonplace phenomena where controlled observation is impossible but unsystematic data are available. Such interpretive exercises serve both to guide research and to displace occult explanations. (shrink)
Community-based healthcare organisations manage competing, and often conflicting, priorities. These conflicts can arise from the multiple roles these organisations take up, and from the diverse range of stakeholders to whom they must be responsive. Often such conflicts may be titled conflicts of interest; however, what precisely constitutes such conflicts and what should be done about them is not always clear. Clarity about the duties owed by organisations and the roles they assume can help identify and manage some of these conflicts. (...) Taking divisions of general practice in Australia as an example, this paper sets out to distinguish two main types of conflicts of interest, so that they may be more clearly identified and more effectively managed. (shrink)
Compiled by an archaeologist and philosopher of science, Science at the Frontiers: Perspectives on the History and Philosophy of Science supplements current literature in the history and philosophy of science with essays approaching the traditional problems of the field from new perspectives and highlighting disciplines usually overlooked by the canon. William H. Krieger brings together scientists from a number of disciplines to answer these questions and more in a volume appropriate for both students and academics in the field.