This paper makes the case for conceptualizing news as a contested commodity. It offers an unprecedented application of commodification theory to the problem of the sustainability of a free press in a democracy. When the news media are expected to be purveyors of the public interest while pursuing profits for their corporate owners, the result often is a clash of capitalist and journalistic imperatives. The amoral values of the market system conflict with the moral agency of a free press, and (...) the two are inherently incompatible. This study presents a synthesis of otherwise divergent theoretical perspectives to examine the free press-free market paradox from a new vista. The author concludes regulatory reforms are needed to insulate the press from the predatory expansion of a free market system that permeates every aspect of social life, including the production of news. “American mainstream media have become the watchdog and guardian of the corporate bottom line instead of the vanguard of democracy and the public interest…. Driven by profit maximization … Instead of protecting against abuses of government power by keeping the public adequately informed, they have become complicit in destabilizing and undermining American democracy.” —Elliot D. Cohen (2005a, p. 17). (shrink)
Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and (...) the philosophy of color. In this way the book not only offers a methodological program for philosophy, but also casts new light on some much-debated problems and their interrelations. (shrink)
This slim volume is sure to provoke. The topics include physicalism, the theory of color, and metaethics, but the primary focus is metaphilosophical: Jackson aims to defend the use of conceptual analysis as a tool for doing “serious metaphysics.”.
This article is concerned with developing a philosophical approach to a number of significant changes to academic publishing, and specifically the global journal knowledge system wrought by a range of new digital technologies that herald the third age of the journal as an electronic, interactive and mixed-media form of scientific communication. The paper emerges from an Editors' Collective, a small New Zealand-based organisation comprised of editors and reviewers of academic journals mostly in the fields of education and philosophy. The paper (...) is the result of a collective writing process. (shrink)
Research Ethics Committees (RECs) are frequently a focus of complaints from researchers, but evidence about the operation and decisions of RECs tends to be anecdotal. We conducted a systematic study to identify and compare the ethical issues raised in 54 letters to researchers about the same 18 applications submitted to three RECs over one year. The most common type of ethical trouble identified in REC letters related to informed consent, followed by scientific design and conduct, care and protection of research (...) participants, confidentiality, recruitment and documentation. Community considerations were least frequently raised. There was evidence of variability in the ethical troubles identified and the remedies recommended. This analysis suggests that some principles may be more institutionalized than others, and offers some evidence of inconsistency between RECs. Inconsistency is often treated as evidence of incompetence and caprice, but a more sophisticated understanding of the role of RECs and their functioning is required. (shrink)
Girotto and Legrenzi's 1993 facilitation effect for their SARS version of Wason s THOG problem a disjunctive reasoning task was examined. The effect was not replicated when the standard THOG problem instructions were used in Experiments 1 and 2. However, in Experiment 3 when Girotto and Legrenzi's precise instructions were used, facilitation was observed. Experiment 4 further investigated the role of the type of instructions in the observed facilitation. The results suggest that such facilitation may result from attentional factors rather (...) than the use of a combinatorial analysis in the problem. (shrink)
Although there has been critical analysis of how the informed consent process functions in relation to participation in research and particular ethical 'dilemmas', there has been little examination of consenting to more routine medical procedures. We report a qualitative study of 25 women who consented to surgery. Of these, nine were ambivalent or opposed to having an operation. When faced with a consent form, women's accounts suggest that they rarely do anything other than obey professionals' requests for a signature. An (...) interactionist analysis suggests that women's capacity to act is reduced by the hospital structure of tacit, socially-imposed rules of conduct. Bourdieu's concepts of habitus, capital and symbolic power/violence show how the practical logic that women apply confers a 'sense of place' relative to professionals. Women experience deficits in capital that constrain their ability to exercise choice. This work demonstrates the weakness of the consent process as a safeguard of autonomy. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis powerful piece by Shain Jackson introduces us to the bringer of natural law and justice to the shishalh people, Ch’as-kin, the Golden Eagle. Sadly, Ch’as-kin does not remain forever to continue guiding the people to maintain the good ways set out for them. The story Shain tells goes on to paint a picture of the pain, loss, death and suffering that follows when we are left without a protective spirit guide. Like all great stories of courage, redemption and (...) reconciliation, it is up to the people to find their way back to the good life; to a place of justice, healing and a re-newed way of living. It is in this process of resurgence that all of us, not just the shishalh, will become healthy and whole again. (shrink)
Economists seldom make explicit use of functional explanation, although they sometimes use it implicitly. Functional theorizing has lost favour among social scientists in recent years, and few are now willing to adopt functional language. This paper argues that, despite some drawbacks, explicit functional methods have several attractive features, including a pluralistic attitude to causality, an awareness of stratification and emergence, and a compatibility with a realist perspective. Functional methods on their own cannot provide full causal explanations, but they can raise (...) important theoretical issues often neglected in mainstream economics. (shrink)
A sensible epistemologist may not see how she could know that she is not a brain in a vat ; but she doesn’t panic. She sticks with her empirical beliefs, and as that requires, believes that she is not a BIV. (She does not inferentially base her belief that she is not a BIV on her empirical knowledge—she rejects that ‘Moorean’ response to skepticism.) Drawing on the psychological literature on metacognition, I describe a mechanism that’s plausibly responsible for a sensible (...) epistemologist coming to believe she is not a BIV. I propose she thereby knows that she is not a BIV. The particular belief-forming mechanism employed explains why she overlooks this account of how she knows she is not a BIV, making it seem that there is no way for her to know it. I argue this proposal satisfactorily resolves the skeptical puzzle. (shrink)
According to Perceptual Fundamentalism we can have justified perceptual beliefs solely in virtue of having perceptual experiences with corresponding contents. Recently, it has been argued that Perceptual Fundamentalism entails that it is possible to gain an a priori justified belief that perception is reliable by engaging in a suppositional reasoning process of a priori bootstrapping. But I will show that Perceptual Fundamentalists are not committed to a priori bootstrapping being a rational reasoning process. On the most plausible versions of Perceptual (...) Fundamentalism, a priori bootstrapping cannot be used to rationally support anti-sceptical beliefs about the reliability of perception. Moreover, seeing why Perceptual Fundamentalists are not committed to a priori bootstrapping will help us to better understand the nature of the perceptual entitlements that Perceptual Fundamentalists posit, or at least should posit. (shrink)
Physicalists are committed to the determination without remainder of the psychological by the physical, but are they committed to this determination being a priori? This paper distinguishes this question understood de dicto from this question understood de re, argues that understood de re the answer is yes in a way that leaves open the answer to the question understood de dicto.