Pre-commitment directives or Ulysses contracts are often defended as instruments that may strengthen the autonomous self-control of episodically disordered psychiatric patients. Autonomy is understood in this context in terms of sovereignty ("governing" or "managing" oneself). After critically analyzing this idea of autonomy in the context of various forms of self-commitment and pre-commitment, we argue that what is at stake in using Ulysses contracts in psychiatry is not autonomy as sovereignty, but autonomy as authenticity. Pre-commitment directives do not function to protect (...) autonomous self-control. They serve in upholding the guidance that is provided by one's deepest identity conferring concerns. We elucidate this concept of autonomy as authenticity, by showing how Ulysses contracts protect the possibility of being "a self.". (shrink)
Prior research has demonstrated that antisocial behavior, substance-use disorders, and personality dimensions of aggression and impulsivity are indicators of a highly heritable underlying dimension of risk, labeled externalizing. Other work has shown that individual trait constructs within this psychopathology spectrum are associated with reduced self-monitoring, as reflected by amplitude of the error-related negativity (ERN) brain response. In this study of undergraduate subjects, reduced ERN amplitude was associated with higher scores on a self-report measure of the broad externalizing construct that links (...) these various indicators. In addition, the ERN was associated with a response-locked increase in anterior theta (4–7 Hz) oscillation; like the ERN, this theta response to errors was reduced among high-externalizing individuals. These findings suggest that neurobiologically based deficits in endogenous action monitoring may underlie generalized risk for an array of impulse-control problems. (shrink)
It's surprising that contemporary moral philosophers have not thought more about food. The rapidly expanding industrialized landscape of modern western agribusiness raises moral concerns about large-scale livestock production, the increased usage of genetically modified crops, and the effects these now common practices may have on long-term environmental and human health. Here Pence argues that biotechnology is more helpful than harmful, on the ground that it will abate world hunger. Positioning himself as an "impartialbioethicist" he sets about the task of sorting (...) through the extremism he thinks drives all environ- mental movements' opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops. His argu- ment is simple: the claim that GM foods are unsafe is the product of alarmism, not sound reason. Discarding what environmentalists have called the Precau- tionary Principle, he argues that GM foods are safe because they have not been proven unsafe. And GM foods have been tested more than many food products now on the market. (shrink)
Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kafalas, Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9266-2 Authors Doug Seale, 21 Turner Ridge Road Marlborough MA 01752 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.