This paper considers recent heated debates led by Jerry A. Coyne andMichael J. Wade on issues stemming from the 1929–1962 R.A. Fisher-Sewall Wrightcontroversy in population genetics. William B. Provine once remarked that theFisher-Wright controversy is central, fundamental, and very influential.Indeed,it is also persistent. The argumentative structure of therecent (1997–2000) debates is analyzed with the aim of eliminating a logicalconflict in them, viz., that the two sides in the debates havedifferent aims and that, as such, they are talking past each other. (...) Given aphilosophical analysis of the argumentative structure of the debates,suggestions supportive of Wade's work on the debate are made that areaimed, modestly, at putting the persistent Fisher-Wright controversy on thecourse to resolution. (shrink)
: Where there are cases of underdetermination in scientific controversies, such as the case of the molecular clock, scientists may direct the course and terms of dispute by playing off the multidimensional framework of theory evaluation. This is because assessment strategies themselves are underdetermined. Within the framework of assessment, there are a variety of trade-offs between different strategies as well as shifting emphases as specific strategies are given more or less weight in assessment situations. When a strategy is underdetermined, scientists (...) can change the dynamics of a controversy by making assessments using different combinations of evaluation strategies and/or weighting whatever strategies are in play in different ways. Following an underdetermination strategy does not end or resolve a scientific dispute. Consequently, manipulating underdetermination is a feature of controversy dynamics and not controversy closure. (shrink)
This article draws on scientific explanations of obesity to motivate the creation of a system of paternalistic public health interventions into the obesity epidemic. Libertarian paternalists argue that paternalism is warranted in light of the cognitive limits of human decision-making abilities. There are further, specific biological limits on our capacity to choose and maintain a healthy diet. These biological facts strengthen the general motivation for libertarian paternalism. As a consequence, the creation of a system of paternalistic public health interventions into (...) the obesity epidemic is warranted. (shrink)
We critique a series of recent papers in which Reidenbach and Robin developed a multidimensional ethics scale. Our critique raises four problems for the scale. First, it is not clear what the scale measures. Second, the semantic differential items used in the scale seem problematic. Third, the scale omits several important ethical rationales. Finally, no caveats accompany the scale to alert managers about its proper and improper use.
(2005). George R. Lucas, Jr. & W. Rick Rubel's (Eds) Ethics and the Military Profession: The Moral Foundations of Leadership and Case Studies in Military Ethics. Journal of Military Ethics: Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 214-219. doi: 10.1080/15027570500197453.