The moral belief problem is that of reconciling expressivism in ethics with both minimalism in the philosophy of language and the syntactic discipline of moral sentences. It is argued that the problem can be solved by distinguishing minimal and robust senses of belief, where a minimal belief is any state of mind expressed by sincere assertoric use of a syntactically disciplined sentence and a robust belief is a minimal belief with some additional property R. Two attempts to specify R are (...) discussed, both based on the thought that beliefs are states that aim at truth. According to the first, robust beliefs are criticisable to the extent that their content fails to match the state of the world. This sense fails to distinguish robust beliefs from minimal beliefs. According to the second, robust beliefs function to have their content match the state of the world. This sense succeeds in distinguishing robust beliefs from minimal beliefs. The conclusion is that the debate concerning the cognitive status of moral convictions needs to address the issue of the function of moral convictions. Evolutionary theorising may be relevant, but will not be decisive, in answering this question. (shrink)
Background Offering financial incentives to achieve medication adherence in patients with severe mental illness is controversial. Aims To explore the views of different stakeholders on the ethical acceptability of the practice. Method Focus group study consisting of 25 groups with different stakeholders. Results Eleven themes dominated the discussions and fell into four categories: (1) ‘wider concerns’, including the value of medication, source of funding, how patients would use the money, and a presumed government agenda behind the idea; (2) ‘problems requiring (...) clear policies’, comprising of practicalities and assurance that incentives are only one part of a tool kit; (3) ‘challenges for research and experience’, including effectiveness, the possibility of perverse incentives, and impact on the therapeutic relationship; (4) ‘inherent dilemmas’ around fairness and potential coercion. Conclusions The use of financial incentives is likely to raise similar concerns in most stakeholders, only some of which can be addressed by empirical research and clear policies. (shrink)
It has been customary to believe that apart from selection and abridgement Diodorus Siculus made little contribution to his Scholars have admitted the contribution of Diodorus himself when he refers to his native town Agyrium with some pride and to Sicily in general and when he occasionally records details of his own life. Beyond statements of this character, however, the tendency has been to assume that the origin of any particular statement is to be sought in the single source which (...) Diodorus was currently using, or, as others would argue, in the major source supplemented by a subsidiary source, or, as Tarn would postulate for 17, the medley of sources used by the Sicilian historian. An examination of the attribution of one item in 17 may throw some light on Diodorus as an historian. (shrink)
Drawing on and extending the Foucaultian philosophical framework that Jeffrey Bishop develops in his masterful book, The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying, we undertake a sociological analysis of the neurological procedure—deep brain stimulation —which implants electrodes in the brain, powered by a pacemaker-like device, for the treatment of movement disorders. Following Bishop’s work, we carry out this analysis through a two-fold strategy. First, we examine how a multidisciplinary team evaluates candidates for this implant at a (...) major medical center. We present excerpts from an ethnographic study of the “case conference” where disease entities are presented, contested, ratified, and made objects for intervention with this technology. The case conference becomes the key site in the transition from “person-with-illness” to “person-with-brain-implant” as a team of health professionals determines a plan of action by interpreting both statistical and “quality of life” data regarding their patients. Second, this article explores these decision-making processes through Bishop’s conceptualization of evidence-based medicine, which relies on statistical approaches as the ultimate authority in knowledge production and medical decisions. We then reflect on Bishop’s critique of the social sciences and the methodological, analytical, and substantive ramifications that The Anticipatory Corpse can offer future sociological work. (shrink)
This is a defense of black reparations using the theory of reparations set out in John Locke''s The Second Treatise of Government. I develop two main arguments, what I call the ``inheritance argument'''' and the ``counterfactual argument,''''both of which have been thought to fail. In no case do I appeal to the false ideas that present day United States citizens are guilty of slavery or must pay reparation simply because the U.S. Government was once complicit in the crime.
Offering a critical examination of Lewis Gordon’s work by international scholars engaging in radical epistemological transformation for social change, this volume explores the importance of radical theory and thinkers to push for projects of change in the area of Black Existentialism.