Since the inception of their discipline, anthropologists have studied virtually every conceivable aspect of other peoples' morality - religion, social control, sin, virtue, evil, duty, purity and pollution. But what of the examination of anthropology itself, and of its agendas, epistemes, theories and praxes? Conceived as a response to Patrick Tierney's hugely inflammatory book Darkness in El Dorado , whose allegations of immoral and negligent anthropological research in South America caused a storm of protest and debate, the book combines theoretical (...) papers and case studies from eminent scholars including Steven Nugent, Marilyn Silverman and Veronica Strang. Showing how the topic of ethics goes to the heart of anthropology, it raises the controversial question of why - and for whom - the anthropological discipline functions. (shrink)
A surprising conclusion of modern political economy is that democracies with highly ignorant voters can still deliver very good results as long as voters' errors balance each other out. This result is known as the Miracle of Aggregation. This paper begins by reviewing a large body of evidence against this Miracle. Empirically, voters' errors tend to be systematic; they compound rather than cancel. Furthermore, since most citizens vote for the policies they believe are best for society, systematic errors lead voters (...) to support socially suboptimal policies. The paper then considers the case for “paternalistically” vetoing popular but misguided democratic decisions, presenting several arguments that overruling democratic decisions is much less objectionable than overruling individual decisions. In fact, since democracies routinely adopt paternalistic policies, the opponent of paternalism for individual decisions should embrace paternalism for democratic decisions. The paper concludes by considering several different mechanisms for improving upon majority rule. (shrink)
The field of medical rehabilitation is relatively new.... Until recently, the ethical problems of this new field were neglected. There seemed to be more pressing concerns as rehabilitation medicine struggled to establish itself, sometimes in the face of considerable skepticism or hostility. There also seemed no pressing moral questions of the kind and intensity to be encountered, say, in high-technology acute care medicine or genetic engineering.... Those in biomedical ethics could and did easily overlook the quiet, less obtrusive issues of (...) rehabilitation.... The Hastings Center set out in 1985 to rectify that situation.... To explore the issues, the Center assembled a group of practitioners in the field, Hastings Center staff members, and individuals experienced in other areas of medical ethics.... The report that follows was written by Arthur Caplan and Daniel Callahan, assisted by Dr. Janet Haas of the Moss Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia... (shrink)
If musical works are abstract objects, which cannot enter into causal relations, then how can we refer to musical works or know anything about them? Worse, how can any of our musical experiences be experiences of musical works? It would be nice to be able to sidestep these questions altogether. One way to do that would be to take musical works to be concrete objects. In this paper, we defend a theory according to which musical works are concrete objects. In (...) particular, the theory that we defend takes musical works to be fusions of performances. We defend this view from a series of objections, the first two of which are raised by Julian Dodd in a recent paper and the last of which is suggested by some comments of his in an earlier paper. (shrink)
Can a musical work be created? Some say ‘no’. But, we argue, there is no handbook of universally accepted metaphysical truths that they can use to justify their answer. Others say ‘yes’. They have to find abstract objects that can plausibly be identified with musical works, show that abstract objects of this sort can be created, and show that such abstract objects can persist. But, we argue, none of the standard views about what a musical work is allows musical works (...) both to be created and to persist. (shrink)
In the nineteenth century, astronomers thought that a planet between Mercury and the Sun was causing perturbations in the orbit of Mercury, and they introduced ‘Vulcan’ as a name for such a planet. But they were wrong: there was, and is, no intra-Mercurial planet. Still, these astronomers went around saying things like (2) Vulcan is a planet between Mercury and the Sun. Some philosophers think that, when nineteenth-century astronomers were theorizing about an intra-Mercurial planet, they created a hypothetical planet.
In this paper, I argue against Millian Descriptivism: that is, the view that, although sentences that contain names express singular propositions, when they use those sentences speakers communicate descriptive propositions. More precisely, I argue that Millian Descriptivism fares no better (or worse) than Fregean Descriptivism: that is, the view that sentences express descriptive propositions. This is bad news for Millian Descriptivists who think that Fregean Descriptivism is dead.
This target article discusses the verbal working memory system used in sentence comprehension. We review the concept of working memory as a short-duration system in which small amounts of information are simultaneously stored and manipulated in the service of accomplishing a task. We summarize the argument that syntactic processing in sentence comprehension requires such a storage and computational system. We then ask whether the working memory system used in syntactic processing is the same as that used in verbally mediated tasks (...) that involve conscious controlled processing. Evidence is brought to bear from various sources: the relationship between individual differences in working memory and individual differences in the efficiency of syntactic processing; the effect of concurrent verbal memory load on syntactic processing; and syntactic processing in patients with poor short-term memory, patients with poor working memory, and patients with aphasia. Experimental results from these normal subjects and patients with various brain lesions converge on the conclusion that there is a specialization in the verbal working memory system for assigning the syntactic structure of a sentence and using that structure in determining sentence meaning that is separate from the working memory system underlying the use of sentence meaning to accomplish other functions. We present a theory of the divisions of the verbal working memory system and suggestions regarding its neural basis. (shrink)
Thanks to David Kaplan (1989a, 1989b), we all know how to handle indexicals like ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t refer to an object simpliciter; rather, it refers to an object only relative to a context. In particular, relative to a context C, ‘I’ refers to the agent of C. Since different contexts can have different agents, ‘I’ can refer to different objects relative to different contexts. For example, relative to a context cwhose agent is Gottlob Frege, ‘I’ refers to Frege; relative to (...) a context 0* whose agent is Alexius.. (shrink)
Descriptivists say that every name is synonymous with some definite description, and Descriptivists who are Widescopers say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs such as “necessarily”. In this paper, I argue against Widescopism. Widescopers should be Super Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to complementizers such as “that”. Super Widescopers should be (...) Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to quotation marks. And Super Duper Widescopers should be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that, when the definite description that a name is synonymous with itself contains a name, the definite description that that name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs, complementizers, and quotation marks. But Descriptivists should not be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers. So Descriptivists should not be Widescopers either. (shrink)
In 1992, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) passed a mandate that all its approved hospitals put in place a means for addressing ethical concerns.Although the particular process the hospital uses to address such concernsmay vary, the hospital or healthcare ethics committee (HEC) is used most often. In a companion study to that reported here, we found that in 1998 over 90% of U.S. hospitals had ethics committees, compared to just 1% in 1983, and that many (...) have some and a few have sweeping clinical powers in hospitals. (shrink)
In "Demonstratives or Demonstrations", Marga Reimer argues that quotation marks are demonstrations and that expressions enclosed with them are demonstratives. In this paper, I argue against her view. There are two objections. The first objection is that Reimer''s view has unattractive consequences: there is more ambiguity, there are more demonstratives, and there are more English expressions than we thought. The second objection is that, unlike other ambiguous expressions, some expressions that are ambiguous on Reimer''s view can''t be disambiguated by using (...) subscripts. This suggests that, contrary to her view, those expressions aren't really ambiguous. (shrink)
Myriad Genetics holds a patent on testing for the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, and therefore has a forced monopoly on this critical genetic test. Myriad launched a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) marketing campaign in the Northeast United States in September 2007 and plans to expand that campaign to Florida and Texas in 2008. The ethics of Myriad's patent, forced monopoly and DTC campaign will be reviewed, as well as the impact of this situation on patient access and (...) care, physician liability, and the future of DTC campaigns for genetic testing. (shrink)
Jerrold Levinson argues that musical works are individuated by their context of origin. But one could just as well argue that musical works are individuated by their context of reception. Moderate contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated by context of origin but not by context of reception, thus appears to be an unstable position. And, although a more thoroughgoing contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated both by context of origin and by context of reception, faces a (...) number of problems, it is nonetheless supported (at least to some extent) by critical practice. (shrink)
In my dissertation (UCLA 2002), I argue that, by appropriating Fregean resources, Millians can solve the problems that empty names pose. As a result, the debate between Millians and Fregeans should be understood, not as a debate about whether there are senses, but rather as a debate about where there are senses.
The societal and ethical impacts of emerging technological and business systems cannot entirely be foreseen; therefore, management of these innovations will require at least some ethicists to work closely with researchers. This is particularly critical in the development of new systems because the maximum degrees of freedom for changing technological direction occurs at or just after the point of breakthrough; that is also the point where the long-term implications are hardest to visualize. Recent work on shared expertise in Science & (...) Technology Studies (STS) can help create productive collaborations among scientists, engineers, ethicists and other stakeholders as these new systems are designed and implemented. But collaboration across these disciplines will be successful only if scientists, engineers, and ethicists can communicate meaningfully with each other. The establishment of a trading zone coupled with moral imagination present one method for such collaborative communication. (shrink)
In 1988, Michael Nyman composed the score for Peter Greenaway’s film Drowning by Numbers (or did something that we would ordinarily think of as composing that score). We can think of Nyman’s compositional activity as a “generative performance” and of the sound structure that Nyman indicated (or of some other abstract object that is appropriately related to that sound structure) as the product generated by that performance (ix).1 According to one view, Nyman’s score for Drowning by the Numbers—the musical work—is (...) the product generated by Nyman’s compositional activity (namely, an abstract object) and, more generally, artworks are identified with the products generated by compositional or other creative activities. Let’s call this view The Product Theory. By contrast, according to another view, Nyman’s score for Drowning by Numbers is the generative performance itself (namely, Nyman’s compositional activity) and, more generally, artworks are identified with generative performances themselves. Following David Davies in Art as Performance, let’s call this view The Performance Theory (80). In that book, Davies argues for The Performance Theory and against The Product Theory. (shrink)
There has been a great deal of discussion, in this journal and others, about obstacles hindering the evolution of the philosophy of medicine. Such discussions presuppose that there is widespread agreement about what it is that constitutes the philosophy of medicine.Despite the fact that there is, and has been for decades, a great deal of literature, teaching and professional activity carried out explicitly in the name of the philosophy of medicine, this is not enough to establish that consensus exists as (...) to the definition of the field. And even if consensus can be obtained as to what constitutes the philosophy of medicine, this does not mean that it exists as a field. (shrink)
: Pluripotent human stem cell research may offer new treatments for hundreds of diseases, but opponents of this research argue that such therapy comes attached to a Faustian bargain: cures at the cost of the destruction of many frozen embryos. The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), government officials, and many scholars of bioethics, including, in these pages, John Robertson, have not offered an adequate response to ethical objections to stem cell research. Instead of examining the ethical issues involved in sacrificing (...) human embryos for the goal of curing fatal and disabling diseases, they seek to either dismiss the moral concerns of those with objections or to find an "accommodation" with those opposed to stem cell research. An ethical argument can be made that it is justifiable to modify or destroy certain human embryos in the pursuit of cures for dread and lethal diseases. Until this argument is made, the case for stem cell research will rest on political foundations rather than on the ethical foundations that the funding of stem cell research requires. (shrink)
The contributions that the philosophy of medicine can make to both the philosophy of science and the practice of science have been obscured in recent years by an overemphasis on personalities rather than critical themes. Two themes have dominated general discussion within contemporary philosophy of science: methodological essentialism and dynamic gradualism. These themes are defined and considered in light of Kenneth Schaffner's argument that theories in biomedicine have a structure and logic unlike that found in theories of the natural sciences. (...) Schaffner's arguments are suggestive but not definitive as a refutation of methodological essentialism. I argue that a primary reason for differences in the logic and structure of theories in biomedicine is not, as some philosophers have suggested, a product of ontological differences, but rather a product of the practical and pragmatic concerns of scientific theorizing in many areas of science, such as medicine. Keywords: philosophy of medicine, philosophy of science, logic of medicine, medical theory, methodological essentialism, dynamic gradualism CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Traditionally, species have been treated as classes or kinds in philosophical discussions of systematics and evolutionary biology. Recently a number of biologists and philosophers have proposed a drastic revision of this traditional ontological categorization. They have argued that species ought be viewed as individuals rather than as classes or natural kinds. In this paper an attempt is made to show that (a) the reasons advanced in support of this new view of species are not persuasive, (b) a reasonable explication can (...) be given of the treatment of species as classes that is consistent with current theory and practice in evolutionary biology and systematics, and (c) that once certain confusions concerning the species concept have been clarified, there are good theoretical grounds for maintaining that species are best viewed as classes or kinds. (shrink)
Data from published case and group studies bear on the trace deletion hypothesis. The deficit-lesion correlational literature does not support Grodzinsky's claim that lesions in and around Broca's area inevitably lead to comprehension deficits specifically related to coindexation of traces or his claim that other lesions spare this function.
Commentaries on our target article raise further questions about the validity of an undifferentiated central executive that supplies resources to all verbal tasks. Working memory tasks are more likely to measure divided attention capacities and the efficiency of performing tasks within specific domains than a shared resource pool. In our response to the commentaries, we review and further expand upon empirical findings that relate performance on working memory tasks to sentence processing, concluding that our view that the two are not (...) strongly related remains viable in light of the material presented in the commentaries. We suggest that a productive research enterprise would be to develop the concept of working memory as a pool of resources in relation to specific tasks. (shrink)
NATO's member states put aside their concerns for national sovereignty in favor of humanitarian considerations, acting without UN authorization. European states are rethinking historic prohibitions against humanitarian intervention after Kosovo.
Alan Berger’s Terms and Truth covers various expressionsparticularly names and anaphoric pronouns, but also demonstratives and general termsas they occur in various linguistic contexts, including identity sentences, belief ascriptions, and negative existentials. A central thesis of Berger’s book is that all of these expressions are rigid designators. (So I assume that Berger would say, contrary to what the subtitle might suggest, that anaphoric reference is direct reference.).