Although we think 1 of the basic purposes of journalism is to provide information vital to enhancing citizen autonomy, we also see this goal as being in direct tension with the power news media hold and wield, power that may serve to undercut, rather than enhance, citizen autonomy. We argue that the news media are ethically constrained by proceduralism, resulting in journalists asserting power inappropriately at the individual level, and unwittingly surrendering moral authority institutionally and globally. Anonymity, institutionalization, and routinization (...) cloak power relationships among citizens, journalists and the institutions of which they are a part, ultimately inculcating these distinctly Western values in the global community. (shrink)
This article extends Lemieux’s concern for the interdisciplinary tension between philosophy and sociology to the intradisciplinary tension within psychology between approaches to the study of children focusing on universal principles and approaches adopting a contextual lens. This tension arises both in how development is defined and in the methods chosen for its study. This tension is exemplified in terms of the recent American preoccupation with the Word Gap (WG), a supposed difference of 30 million words heard by socioeconomically diverse children (...) by the age of 4 that is blamed for educational disparities throughout the school years. The article discusses the political implications of WG discourse as it gives rise to the erasure of language practices of diverse Americans and obscures the role that the educational system plays in fostering a ‘one-size-fits-all’ instructional model. The article concludes with a discussion of attempts to combat the deficit model that the WG discourse reproduces. (shrink)
In a recent paper, John J. Park argues (1) that an abstract object can bring a universe into existence, and (2) that, according to the Big Bang Theory, the initial singularity is an abstract object that brought the universe into existence. According to Park, if (1) and (2) are true, then the kalam cosmological argument fails to show that the cause of the universe must be divine. I argue, however, that both (1) and (2) are false. In my argument I (...) analyse the abstract/concrete distinction and conclude that, by its nature, an abstract object is causally inefficacious in the sense that it cannot bring something into existence. (shrink)
Selection on grandparental investment is more complex than Coall & Hertwig (C&H) propose. Patterns of investment are subject to an intergenerational conflict over how resources should be distributed to maximize fitness. Grandparents may be selected to distribute resources unevenly, while their descendants will be selected to manipulate investment in their own favor. Here we outline the evolutionary basis of this conflict.
Four classes of naturally rare vascular plant species are described and classified, based on parameters of spatial distribution and longevity. Properties intrinsic to these time/space parameters are explored and an importance hierarchy of causes of rarity is proposed for each class. These hierarchies serve as the basis for a predictive classification. Human causes of rarity such as habitat destruction and taxonomic difficulties are not considered in detail here but are discussed as confounding factors in the elucidation of rarity in vascular (...) plants. Several examples are provided to illustrate this classification and provide testable hypotheses concerning the origins of natural rarity in plant species. (shrink)
_2020 Critics' Choice Book Award, American Educational Studies Association In _Race on Campus_, Julie J. Park argues that there are surprisingly pervasive and stubborn myths about diversity on college and university campuses, and that these myths obscure the notable significance and admirable effects that diversity has had on campus life. _ Based on her analysis of extensive research and data about contemporary students and campuses, Park counters these myths and explores their problematic origins. Among the major myths that she addresses (...) are charges of pervasive self-segregation, arguments that affirmative action in college admissions has run its course and become counterproductive, related arguments that Asian Americans are poorly served by affirmative action policies, and suggestions that programs and policies meant to promote diversity have failed to address class-based disadvantages. In the course of responding to these myths, Park presents a far more positive and nuanced portrait of diversity and its place on American college campuses. At a time when diversity has become a central theme and goal of colleges and universities throughout the United States, _Race on Campus _offers a contemporary, research-based exploration of racial dynamics on today’s college campuses. (shrink)
It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary folk understanding of morality involves a rejection of moral relativism and a belief in objective moral truths. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist intuitions when confronted with questions about individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions as they were confronted with questions about individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. In light of these data, the authors hypothesize (...) that people do not have a fixed commitment to moral objectivism but instead tend to adopt different views depending on the degree to which they consider radically different perspectives on moral questions. [NOTE: This is a reprint of Sarkissian et al 2011]. (shrink)
The exchange between Peter Park, Dan Flory and Leah Kalmanson on Park’s book Africa, Asia and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon took place during the APA’s 2016 Central Division meeting on a panel sponsored by the Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies. After having peer-reviewed the exchange, JWP invited Sonia Sikka and Mark Larrimore to engage with these papers. All the five papers are being published together in this issue.
In this lengthy and learned study the author shows that in the time of Aquinas there existed already a highly developed philosophy of language. In particular the theory of the modus significandi made a breakthrough in the last part of the thirteenth century.
For children, the collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic response has been considerable. In this paper, we use the framework of evidence-based medicine to argue that child abuse is another negative side effect of COVID-19 lockdowns. While it was certain that school closures would have profound social and economic costs, it remains uncertain whether they have any effect on COVID-19 transmission. There is emerging evidence that lockdowns significantly worsened child abuse on a global scale. Low-income and middle-income countries are particularly (...) vulnerable to increases in child abuse. The best available external evidence from systematic research during the pandemic demonstrates an increase in the risk of child maltreatment, an increase in child maltreatment hospitalisations and a concerning decrease in official child maltreatment referrals. The paradoxical phenomenon of increased hospitalisations and decreased reports is unlikely to be explained by a genuine decrease in child abuse. We conclude that lockdowns have an unacceptably high risk of negative side effects for children, as evidenced by child abuse, the true extent of which appears to be masked by lockdown-related disruptions to schools and other surveillance systems. The desire for a sense of security may be a tempting bias towards emphasising the resilience of children, but it is ethically problematic to push children towards abuse in the name of public health. It is our view that the collateral damage of prolonged school closures for society’s most vulnerable members is a powerful ethical consideration against any pandemic response which involves their use. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine is a clinical decision-making framework which makes claims about what physicians ought to do. Though heralded as the cutting edge of medical science, evidence-based medicine is a value-laden normative theory which implicitly depends on substantive views regarding what is morally good or right. In this paper, I provide an ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine. I consider its normative underpinnings in three ethical theories: utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics. In the face of uncertainty, evidence-based medicine endorses expected utility (...) theory using the best available evidence in order to avoid doing more harm than good. In accordance with the Kantian respect for individuals as ends in themselves, evidence-based medicine calls for integrating the values and preferences of the patient. De-emphasizing intuition, clinical expertise, and pathophysiologic rationale emphasizes the need for the intellectual virtues of curiosity, critical thinking, and courage. Evidence-based medicine is a successful clinical practice that can be morally justified by all three major ethical theories. Although its focus on maximizing good health outcomes and integrating respect for individual patients has been emphasized, the role of the intellectual virtues in evidence-based medicine remains highly under-explored. (shrink)
Lockdowns, or modern quarantines, involve the use of novel restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to suppress the transmission of COVID-19. In this paper, I aim to critically analyze the emerging history and philosophy of lockdowns, with an emphasis on the communication of health evidence and risk for informing policy decisions. I draw a distinction between evidence-based and modeling-based decision-making. I argue that using the normative framework of evidence-based medicine would have recommended against the use of lockdowns. I first review the World (...) Health Organization’s evidence-based pandemic preparedness plans for respiratory viruses. I then provide a very brief history of COVID-19 modeling, which was cited as justification for the use of lockdowns in the U.K., the U.S., and much of the world. I focus on the so-called Imperial College model designed by Neil Ferguson et al. as well as the so-called Oxford model designed by José Lourenço et al. I analyze the evidence-based pandemic response known as ‘mitigation’, and I compare it with Ferguson et al.’s experimental strategy known as ‘suppression’. I summarize the strengths and weaknesses of these strategies based on their diametric aims and each model’s parametric assumptions. Based on my critical analysis of the suppression strategy, I attempt to expose what has been called the ‘logic of lockdowns’, which Sunetra Gupta of the Oxford model group has suggested is flawed. Finally, I consider Trisha Greenhalgh’s objection to evidence-based policy based on the precautionary principle, and I attempt to offer a response. I conclude with a brief narrative review of the emerging randomized evidence on restrictive NPIs, which seems to support my claim that mitigation was the strategy that would have been recommended by evidence-based medicine. If this is true, then COVID-19 modeling may serve as an important reminder of the enduring lesson of evidence-based medicine: that one should always ‘Trust the Evidence!’ for better health policy. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine is a clinical decision making framework which makes claims about what physicians ought to do. Though heralded as the cutting edge of medical science evidence-based medicine is a value laden normative theory which implicitly depends on substantive views regarding what is morally good or right. In this paper, I provide an ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine. I consider its normative underpinnings in three ethical theories: utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics. In the face of uncertainty, evidence-based medicine endorses (...) expected utility theory using the best available evidence in order to avoid doing more harm than good. In accordance with the Kantian respect for individuals as ends in themselves, evidence-based medicine calls for integrating the values and preferences of the patient. De-emphasizing intuition, clinical expertise, and pathophysiologic rationale emphasizes the need for the intellectual virtues of curiosity, critical thinking, and courage. Evidence-based medicine is a successful clinical practice that can be morally justified by all three major ethical theories. Although its focus on maximizing good health outcomes and integrating respect for individual patients has been emphasized, the role of the intellectual virtues in evidence- based medicine remains highly under-explored. (shrink)
Jack Reynolds has written Merleau-Ponty and Derrida, coedited Understanding Derrida, taught at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, and shaken hands with HHDL. He remains in the realm of samsara.