The role of mechanistic evidence tends to be under‐appreciated in current evidence‐based medicine, which focusses on clinical studies, tending to restrict attention to randomized controlled studies when they are available. The EBM+ programme seeks to redress this imbalance, by suggesting methods for evaluating mechanistic studies alongside clinical studies. Drug approval is a problematic case for the view that mechanistic evidence should be taken into account, because RCTs are almost always available. Nevertheless, we argue that mechanistic evidence is central to all (...) the key tasks in the drug approval process: in drug discovery and development; assessing pharmaceutical quality; devising dosage regimens; assessing efficacy, harms, external validity, and cost‐effectiveness; evaluating adherence; and extending product licences. We recommend that, when preparing for meetings in which any aspect of drug approval is to be discussed, mechanistic evidence should be systematically analysed and presented to the committee members alongside analyses of clinical studies. (shrink)
Recent years have seen an increasing interest in the study of continuous-time computational models. However, not so much has been done with respect to setting up a complexity theoretic framework for such models. The present paper intends to go a step into this direction. We consider problems over the real numbers which we try to relate to Lyapunov theory for dynamical systems: The global minimizers of particular energy functions are supposed to give solutions of the problem. The structure of such (...) energy functions leads to the introduction of problem classes U and NU; for the systems we are considering they parallel the classical complexity classes P and NP. We then introduce a notion of reducibility among problems and show existence of complete problems for NU and for PU, a polynomial hierarchy of continuous-time problems.For previous work on the computational capabilities of continuous-time systems see the surveys by Cris Moore  and by Pekka Orponen . Our paper presents a step into the direction of creating a general framework for a complexity theory of continuous-time systems as outlined in . It is closely related to work done by A. Ben-Hur, H. Siegelmann, and S. Fishman [12, 11]. (shrink)
Arap dili ve belâgati Kur’ân’ın doğru anlaşılması ve yorumlanmasında en önemli etkenlerdendir. Apaçık Arapça olarak inen Kur’ân bu dilin en beliğ ve fasih kullanımlarını içerisinde barındırmaktadır. Dili ve kullanımları bilinmeyen bir kitabın doğru anlaşılması mümkün değildir. Bu nedenle Kur’ân’ın doğru anlaşılıp yorumlanması adına birçok çalışma Arap Dili ve Belâgati konularına tahsis edilmiştir. Bu çalışma belâgat ilminin me‛ânî başlığı altında ele alınan fasıl ve vasıl konusunu Kur’ân yorumuna etkisi açısından inceleyecektir. Ardı sıra gelen cümlelerin birbirleriyle ilişkisini konu edinen fasıl ve vasıl, (...) bu cümlelerin hangi durumlarda birbirinden ayrılması, hangi durumlarda bitişik olarak getirilmesi gerektiğini ve bunların sebeplerini ortaya koyar. Bunların üzerine hangi anlamların ortaya çıktığını ifade etmesi yönüyle de Kur’ân yorumu açısından son derece önem arz eder. Özellikle de ayetlerin birbiriyle ilişkisine dair sonuçları olması bakımından ayetler arası münasebet konusunun da ilgi alanına girer. Çalışmada öncelikle fasıl ve vasıl kavramları tarif edilecek, sonrasında da örnek ayetler üzerinden bunların Kur’ân yorumuna etkisi ortaya konulacaktır. (shrink)
The phenomenon of religious belief has been much discussed in philosophy of religion. However, a priori argumentation alone cannot establish what religious belief is like as a psychological attitude. Recent advances in the cognitive science of religion have paved the way for a new, naturalized philosophy of religion. Taking into account the relevant results and hypotheses presented within these disciplines, it is possible to develop a more empirically informed philosophy of religious belief. Instead of asking whether believing is rational, it (...) is here asked how religious belief is cognitively possible. Combining Boyer's evolutionary account of religion with Sperber's and Cosmides and Tooby's theory of metarepresentation, we get the sort of conceptual toolkit needed to specify those cognitive mechanisms and operations that make religious belief possible. Religious belief is shown to require a unique combination of these mechanisms and operations. (shrink)
In addition to thin concepts like the good, the bad and the ugly, our evaluative thought and talk appeals to thick concepts like the lewd and the rude, the selfish and the cruel, the courageous and the kind -- concepts that somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. Thick concepts are almost universally assumed to be inherently evaluative in content, and many philosophers claimed them to have deep and distinctive significance in ethics and metaethics. In this first book-length treatment of thick (...) concepts, Pekka Väyrynen argues that all this is mistaken. Through detailed attention to the language of thick concepts, he defends a novel theory on which the relationship between thick words and evaluation is best explained by general conversational and pragmatic norms. Drawing on general principles in philosophy of language, he argues that many prominent features of thick words and concepts can be explained by general factors that have nothing in particular to do with being evaluative. If evaluation is not essential to the sort of thinking we do with thick concepts, claims for the deep and distinctive significance of the thick are undermined. The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty is a fresh and innovative treatment of an important topic in moral philosophy and sets a new agenda for future work. It will be essential reading to anyone interested in the analysis and the broader philosophical significance of evaluative and normative language. (shrink)
In his historical novel from 1835, Prince Otto of Denmark and his Time, the poet Bernhard Severin Ingemann established the unknown, yet historical character, Prince Otto of Denmark as the hero of the novel. This choice has puzzled critics ever since, due to the fact that Prince Otto seems less a potential king than his brother Valdemar IV who actually became a king of Denmark. Georg Brandes claimed that Otto mirrored Ingemann’s persona as weak and feminine, a “monk” not suited (...) for kingship. In his ridicule of Prince Otto and Ingemann, Brandes reveals his ideas about gender, masculinity and femininity, but as this article seeks to show, such ideas are tied to time and place. Read from the distance of 2019, Ingemann’s feminine medieval hero might seem more modern and progressive than Brandes would have him. In this sense, the article is a piece of “queer medievalism”. (shrink)
Normative explanations of why things are wrong, good, or unfair are ubiquitous in ordinary practice and normative theory. This paper argues that normative explanation is subject to a justification condition: a correct complete explanation of why a normative fact holds must identify features that would go at least some way towards justifying certain actions or attitudes. I first explain and motivate the condition I propose. I then support it by arguing that it fits well with various theories of normative reasons, (...) makes good sense of certain legitimate moves in ordinary normative explanatory discourse, and helps to make sense of our judgments about explanatory priority in certain cases of normative explanation. This last argument also helps to highlight respects in which normative explanation won’t be worryingly discontinuous with explanations in other domains even though these other explanations aren’t subject to the justification condition. Thus the paper aims not only to do some constructive theorizing about the relatively neglected topic of normative explanation but also to cast light on the broader question of how normative explanation may be similar to and different from explanations in other domains. (shrink)
We study whether robots can satisfy the conditions of an agent fit to be held morally responsible, with a focus on autonomy and self-control. An analogy between robots and human groups enables us to modify arguments concerning collective responsibility for studying questions of robot responsibility. We employ Mele’s history-sensitive account of autonomy and responsibility to argue that even if robots were to have all the capacities required of moral agency, their history would deprive them from autonomy in a responsibility-undermining way. (...) We will also study whether humans and technological artifacts like robots can form hybrid collective agents that could be morally responsible for their actions and give an argument against such a possibility. (shrink)
This paper defends doubts about the existence of genuine moral perception, understood as the claim that at least some moral properties figure in the contents of perceptual experience. Standard examples of moral perception are better explained as transitions in thought whose degree of psychological immediacy varies with how readily non-moral perceptual inputs, jointly with the subject's background moral beliefs, training, and habituation, trigger the kinds of phenomenological responses that moral agents are normally disposed to have when they represent things as (...) being morally a certain way. (shrink)
This paper concerns non-causal normative explanations such as ‘This act is wrong because/in virtue of__’. The familiar intuition that normative facts aren't brute or ungrounded but anchored in non- normative facts seems to be in tension with the equally familiar idea that no normative fact can be fully explained in purely non- normative terms. I ask whether the tension could be resolved by treating the explanatory relation in normative explanations as the sort of ‘grounding’ relation that receives extensive discussion in (...) recent metaphysics. I argue that this would help only under controversial assumptions about the nature of normative facts, and perhaps not even then. I won't try to resolve the tension, but draw a distinction between two different sorts of normative explanations which helps to identify constraints on a resolution. One distinctive constraint on normative explanations in particular might be that they should be able to play a role in normative justification. (shrink)
This paper offers a general model of substantive moral principles as a kind of hedged moral principles that can (but don't have to) tolerate exceptions. I argue that the kind of principles I defend provide an account of what would make an exception to them permissible. I also argue that these principles are nonetheless robustly explanatory with respect to a variety of moral facts; that they make sense of error, uncertainty, and disagreement concerning moral principles and their implications; and that (...) one can grasp these principles without having to grasp any particular list of their permissibly exceptional instances. I conclude by pointing out various advantages that this model of principles has over several of its rivals. The bottom line is that we should find nothing peculiarly odd or problematic about the idea of exception-tolerating and yet robustly explanatory moral principles. (shrink)
[First published 09/2016; substantive revision 02/2021.] Evaluative terms and concepts are often divided into “thin” and “thick”. We don’t evaluate actions and persons merely as good or bad, or right or wrong, but also as kind, courageous, tactful, selfish, boorish, and cruel. The latter evaluative concepts are "descriptively thick": their application somehow involves both evaluation and a substantial amount of non-evaluative description. This article surveys various attempts to answer four fundamental questions about thick terms and concepts. (1) A “combination question”: (...) how exactly do thick terms and concepts relate evaluation and non-evaluative description? (2) A “location question”: is evaluation somehow inherent to thick terms and concepts, such as perhaps an aspect of their meaning, or merely a feature of their use? (3) A “delineation question”: how do thick terms differ from the thin and from other kinds of evaluative terms? (4) Given answers to these questions, what broader philosophical significance and applications might thick concepts have? (shrink)
This paper is a survey of the supervenience challenge to non-naturalist moral realism. I formulate a version of the challenge, consider the most promising non-naturalist replies to it, and suggest that no fully effective reply has yet been given.
The use of evidence in medicine is something we should continuously seek to improve. This book seeks to develop our understanding of evidence of mechanism in evaluating evidence in medicine, public health, and social care; and also offers tools to help implement improved assessment of evidence of mechanism in practice. In this way, the book offers a bridge between more theoretical and conceptual insights and worries about evidence of mechanism and practical means to fit the results into evidence assessment procedures.
Francesco Guala has written an important book proposing a new account of social institutions and criticizing existing ones. We focus on Guala’s critique of collective acceptance theories of institutions, widely discussed in the literature of collective intentionality. Guala argues that at least some of the collective acceptance theories commit their proponents to antinaturalist methodology of social science. What is at stake here is what kind of philosophizing is relevant for the social sciences. We argue that a Searlean version of collective (...) acceptance theory can be defended against Guala’s critique and question the sufficiency of Guala’s account of the ontology of the social world. (shrink)
The aim of the present study was to explore the use and understanding of the concepts ‘placebo’ and ‘placebo effect’ in 12 empirical studies that have addressed the prescription of placebos by doctors in clinical practice. There were great differences in the general methodology and in the definitions (or lack of any definition) of the basic concepts in these 12 studies. Therefore, the results reflect different things. They tell us a little about the use of ‘pure placebos’, more about the (...) use of ‘impure placebos’, but most of all, they tell us about the conceptual confusion in this area. (shrink)
This paper defends what the philosopher Merleau Ponty coins ‘the imaginary texture of the real’. It is suggested that the imagination is at work in the everyday world which we perceive, the world as it is for us. In defending this view a concept of the imagination is invoked which has both similarities with and differences from, our everyday notion. The everyday notion contrasts the imaginary and the real. The imaginary is tied to the fictional or the illusory. Here it (...) will be suggested, following both Kant and Strawson, that there is a more fundamental working of the imagination, present in both perception and the constructions of fictions. What Kant and Strawson failed to make clear, however, was that the workings of the imagination within the perceived world, gives that world, an affective logic. The domain of affect is that of emotions, feelings and desire, and to claim such an affective logic in the world we experience, is to point out that it has salience and significance for us. Such salience suggests and demands the desiring and sometimes fearful responses we make to it; the shape of the perceived world echoed in the shapes our bodies take within it. (shrink)
I first distinguish between different forms of the buck-passing account of value and clarify my target in other respects on buck-passers' behalf. I then raise a number of problems for the different forms of the buck-passing view that I have distinguished.
This paper argues that the recent metaethical turn to reasons as the fundamental units of normativity offers no special advantage in explaining a variety of other normative and evaluative phenomena, unless perhaps a form of reductionism about reasons is adopted which is rejected by many of those who advocate turning to reasons.
I defend moral generalism against particularism. Particularism, as I understand it, is the negation of the generalist view that particular moral facts depend on the existence of a comprehensive set of true moral principles. Particularists typically present "the holism of reasons" as powerful support for their view. While many generalists accept that holism supports particularism but dispute holism, I argue that generalism accommodates holism. The centerpiece of my strategy is a novel model of moral principles as a kind of "hedged" (...) principles that incorporate an independently plausible "basis thesis" concerning the explanation of moral reasons. The model implies that moral reasons requires the existence of a comprehensive set of true hedged principles, and so it captures generalism. But the model also offers an alternative explanation of holism, and so it undercuts much of the motivation for particularism. I defend this moderate (because holism-tolerating) form of generalism against a number of objections, and show how it can be used to defeat three distinct arguments from holism to particularism. (shrink)
Normative naturalism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine: there are normative facts and properties, and these fall into the class of natural facts and properties. Many objections to naturalism rely on additional assumptions about language or thought, but often without adequate consideration of just how normative properties would have to figure in our thought and talk if naturalism were true. In the first part of the paper, I explain why naturalists needn’t think that normative properties can be represented or ascribed in (...) wholly non-normative terms. If so, certain prominent objections to normative naturalism fail. In the second part, I consider the objection that normative properties are “just too different” from (other) natural properties to themselves be natural properties. I argue that naturalists have no distinctive trouble making sense of thought and talk involving forms of “genuine” or “authoritative” normativity which can drive a non-question-begging form of the objection. (shrink)