I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The MRCT Center Post-trial Responsibilities: Continued Access to an Investigational Medicine Framework outlines a case-based, principled, stakeholder approach to evaluate and guide ethical responsibilities to provide continued access to an investigational medicine at the conclusion of a patient’s participation in a clinical trial. The Post-trial Responsibilities (PTR) Framework includes this Guidance Document as well as the accompanying Toolkit. A 41-member international multi-stakeholder Workgroup convened by the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University (...) (MRCT Center) developed this Guidance and Toolkit. Project Motivation A number of international organizations have discussed the responsibilities stakeholders have to provide continued access to investigational medicines. The World Medical Association, for example, addressed post-trial access to medicines in Paragraph 34 of the Declaration of Helsinki (WMA, 2013): “In advance of a clinical trial, sponsors, researchers and host country governments should make provisions for post-trial access for all participants who still need an intervention identified as beneficial in the trial. This information must also be disclosed to participants during the informed consent process.” This paragraph and other international guidance documents converge on several consensus points: • Post-trial access (hereafter referred to as “continued access” in this Framework [for terminology clarification – see definitions]) is the responsibility of sponsors, researchers, and host country governments; • The plan for continued access should be determined before the trial begins, and before any individual gives their informed consent; • The protocol should delineate continued access plans; and • The plan should be transparent to potential participants and explained during the informed consent process. -/- However, there is no guidance on how to fulfill these responsibilities (i.e., linking specific responsibilities with specific stakeholders, conditions, and duration). To fill this gap, the MRCT Center convened a working group in September of 2014 to develop a framework to guide stakeholders with identified responsibilities. This resultant Framework sets forth applicable principles, approaches, recommendations and ethical rationales for PTR regarding continued access to investigational medicines for research participants. (shrink)
Though John Stuart Mill's long employment by the East India Company did not limit him to drafting despatches on relations with the princely states, that activity must form the centrepiece of any satisfactory study of his Indian career. As yet the activity has scarcely been glimpsed. It produced, on average, about a draft a week, which he listed in his own hand. He subsequently struck out items that he sought to disown in consequence of substantial revisions made by the Company's (...) directors or the Board of Control. He also listed items that achieved publication as parliamentary papers and they amount to about ten per cent of his drafts. The two lists, published in the most recent volume of his Collected Works, reveal, at the least, the ‘political’ despatches from which he did not seek to dissociate himself. The despatches were not entirely his work and authorship in the conventional sense may not be assumed. They were the product of an elaborate process, in which many hands were engaged. At worst, they were his work in much the same way that an Act of Parliament is the work of the Crown Solicitor who drafts the bill. At best they were his as are the drafts of a civil servant who believes in policy statements that he prepares for his political masters. The greatest English philosopher and social scientist of the nineteenth century was, in his daily occupation, an employee. His Company was charged with initiating policies for the Indian states and they were subject to the control of a minister of the Crown. (shrink)
One way of understanding the reduplicative formula ‘Christ is, qua God, omniscient, but qua man, limited in knowledge’ is to take the occurrences of the ‘ qua ’ locution as picking out different parts of Christ: a divine part and a human part. But this view of Christ as a composite being runs into paradox when combined with the orthodox understanding of the Incarnation, according to which Christ is identical to the second person of the Trinity. In response, we have (...) to choose between modifying the orthodox understanding, adopting a philosophically and theologically contentious perdurantist account of persistence through time, or rejecting altogether the idea of the composite Christ. (shrink)
This book explores how people's subjective, felt experiences of their bodies in action provide part of the fundamental grounding for human cognition and language. Cognition is what occurs when the body engages the physical and cultural world and must be studied in terms of the dynamical interactions between people and the environment. Human language and thought emerge from recurring patterns of embodied activity that constrain ongoing intelligent behavior. We must not assume cognition to be purely internal, symbolic, computational, and disembodied, (...) but seek out the gross and detailed ways that language and thought are inextricably shaped by embodied action. Embodiment and Cognitive Science describes the abundance of empirical evidence from many disciplines, including work on perception, concepts, imagery and reasoning, language and communication, cognitive development, and emotions and consciousness, that support the idea that the mind is embodied. (shrink)
Alan Carter's recent review in Mind of my Ethics of the Global Environment combines praise of biocentric consequentialism with criticisms that it could advocate both minimal satisfaction of human needs and the extinction of ‘inessential species’ for the sake of generating extra people; Carter also maintains that as a monistic theory it is predictably inadequate to cover the full range of ethical issues, since only a pluralistic theory has this capacity. In this reply, I explain how the counter-intuitive implications of (...) biocentric consequentialism suggested by Carter are not implications, and argue that since pluralistic theories either generate contradictions or collapse into monistic theories, the superiority of pluralistic theories is far from predictable. Thus Carter's criticisms fail to undermine biocentric consequentialism as a normative theory applicable to the generality of ethical issues. (shrink)
We propose an "explanation scheme" for why the Gibbs phase average technique in classical equilibrium statistical mechanics works. Our account emphasizes the importance of the Khinchin-Lanford dispersion theorems. We suggest that ergodicity does play a role, but not the one usually assigned to it.
The Boltzmann and Gibbs approaches to statistical mechanics have very different definitions of equilibrium and entropy. The problems associated with this are discussed and it is suggested that they can be resolved, to produce a version of statistical mechanics incorporating both approaches, by redefining equilibrium not as a binary property but as a continuous property measured by the Boltzmann entropy and by introducing the idea of thermodynamic-like behaviour for the Boltzmann entropy. The Kac ring model is used as an (...) example to test the proposals. (shrink)
Let us take, as a starting assumption, the Benthamic understanding of the point of law: We should make laws that will increase the overall happiness of the people whose lives are affected by them. But how should we go about doing that? And more particularly, what role, if any, should our held desires play in the task of ascertaining the content of our happiness? And when, if ever, should we defer to the desires of the affected masses, and when should (...) we not, in determining what will or will not promote happiness? The classical, or “hedonic,” utilitarians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries suggested a number of answers to these related questions, of which I will mention two. (shrink)
Classical particles of the same kind are distinguishable: they can be labeled by their positions and follow different trajectories. This distinguishability affects the number of ways W a macrostate can be realized on the micro-level, and via S=k ln W this leads to a non-extensive expression for the entropy. This result is generally considered wrong because of its inconsistency with thermodynamics. It is sometimes concluded from this inconsistency, notoriously illustrated by the Gibbs paradox, that identical particles must be treated (...) as indistinguishable after all; and even that quantum mechanics is indispensable for making sense of this. In this article we argue, by contrast, that the classical statistics of distinguishable particles and the resulting non-extensive entropy function are perfectly all-right both from a theoretical and an experimental perspective. We remove the inconsistency with thermodynamics by pointing out that the entropy concept in statistical mechanics is not completely identical to the thermodynamical one. Finally, we observe that even identical quantum particles are in some cases distinguishable; and conclude that quantum mechanics is irrelevant to the Gibbs paradox. (shrink)
The Gibbs Paradox is essentially a set of open questions as to how sameness of gases or fluids are to be treated in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. They have a variety of answers, some restricted to quantum theory, some to classical theory. The solution offered here applies to both in equal measure, and is based on the concept of particle indistinguishability. Correctly understood, it is the elimination of sequence position as a labelling device, where sequences enter at the level (...) of the tensor product of one-particle state spaces. In both cases it amounts to passing to the quotient space under permutations. ‘Distinguishability’, in the sense in which it is usually used in classical statistical mechanics, is a mathematically convenient, but physically muddled, fiction. (shrink)
Photographs, paintings, rigid sculptures: all these provide examples of static images. It is true that they change—photographs fade, paintings darken and sculptures crumble—but what change they undergo is irrelevant to their representational content. A static image is one that represents by virtue of properties which remain largely unchanged throughout its existence. Because of this defining feature, according to a long tradition in aesthetics, a static image can only represent an instantaneous moment, or to be more exact the state of affairs (...) obtaining at that moment'. It cannot represent movement and the passage of time. This traditional view mirrors a much older one in metaphysics: that change is to be conceived of as a series of instantaneous states and hence that an interval of time is composed of extensionless moments. The metaphysical view has been involved in more controversy than its aesthetic counterpart. Aristotle identified it as one of the premises of Zeno's arrow paradox and Augustine employed it in his proof of the unreality of time. (shrink)
In this paper, I address two connected issues that arise when one considers a rational agent facing a decision problem. One is whether or not the agent may find that the dictates of rationality are such that they cannot all be followed. For example, one may ask whether or not the requirements on the agent's actions imposed by rationality can conflict in an irreconcilable way, making it impossible to satisfy all of them. Put differently, one may ask whether or not (...) any apparent conflict of this type must in fact be capable of rational resolution. I shall say that an agent who is in a position in which the requirements of rationality cannot all be satisfied faces a feasibility dilemma, and I shall characterize certain conceptions of rationality that differ according to whether or not they admit such a possibility. A second issue concerns the number of options that may be deemed rational in a decision problem. Is rationality sufficiently determinate that it always dictates precisely one choice, or may there be more than one rationally permissible option? Is there anything about rationality itself that guarantees that any of the possible options could rationally be chosen? I shall call this issue – whether the concept of rationality itself places any limits on the number of options that may be deemed rational in a given problem – the numbers problem. (shrink)
We want to know what gender is. But metaphysical approaches to this question solely have focused on the binary gender kinds men and women. By overlooking those who identify outside of the binary–the group I call ‘genderqueer’–we are left without tools for understanding these new and quickly growing gender identifications. This metaphysical gap in turn creates a conceptual lacuna that contributes to systematic misunderstanding of genderqueer persons. In this paper, I argue that to better understand genderqueer identities, we must recognize (...) a new type of gender kind: critical gender kinds, or kinds whose members collectively destabilize one or more pieces of dominant gender ideology. After developing a model of critical gender kinds, I suggest that genderqueer is best modeled as a critical gender kind that destabilizes the ‘binary axis’, or the piece of dominant gender ideology that says that the only possible genders are the binary, discrete, exclusive, and exhaustive kinds men and women. (shrink)
It is only when mixing two or more pure substances along a reversible path that the entropy of the mixing can be made physically manifest. It is not, in this case, a mere mathematical artifact. This mixing requires a process of successive stages. In any finite number of stages, the external manifestation of the entropy change, as a definite and measurable quantity of heat, isa fully continuous function of the relevant variables. It is only at an infinite and unattainable limit (...) thata non-uniform convergence occurs. And this occurs when considered in terms of the number of stages together with a distinguishability parameter appropriate to the particular device which is used to achieve reversibility. These considerations, which are of technological interest to chemical engineers, resolve a paradox derived in chemical theory called Gibbs'' Paradox. (shrink)
Mental causation has been a hotly disputed topic in recent years, with reductive and non-reductive physicalists vying with each other and with dualists over how to accommodate, or else to challenge, two widely accepted metaphysical principles—the principle of the causal closure of the physical domain and the principle of causal non-overdetermination—which together appear to support reductive physicalism, despite the latter’s lack of intuitive appeal. Current debate about these matters appears to have reached something of an impasse, prompting the question of (...) why this should be so. One possibility well worth exploring is that, while this debate makes extensive use of ontological vocabulary—by talking, for instance, of substances, events, states, properties, powers, and relations—relatively little attempt has been made within the debate itself to achieve either clarity or agreement about what, precisely, such terms should be taken to mean. Hence, the debate has become somewhat detached from broader developments in metaphysics and ontology, which have lately been proceeding apace, providing us with an increasingly rich and refined set of ontological categories upon which to draw, as well as a much deeper understanding of how they are related to one another. In preparing this volume, the editors invited leading metaphysicians and philosophers of mind to reflect afresh upon the problem of mental causation in the light of some of these recent developments, with a view to making new headway with one of the most challenging and seemingly intractable issues in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Cognitive theories of metaphor understanding are typically described in terms of the mappings between different kinds of abstract, schematic, disembodied knowledge. My claim in this paper is that part of our ability to make sense of metaphorical language, both individual utterances and extended narratives, resides in the automatic construction of a simulation whereby we imagine performing the bodily actions referred to in the language. Thus, understanding metaphorical expressions like ‘grasp a concept’ or ‘get over’ an emotion involve simulating what it (...) must be like to engage in these specific activities, even though these actions are, strictly speaking, impossible to physically perform. This process of building a simulation, one that is fundamentally embodied in being constrained by past and present bodily experiences, has specific consequences for how verbal metaphors are understood, and how cognitive scientists, more generally, characterize the nature of metaphorical language and thought. (shrink)
Gender classifications often are controversial. These controversies typically focus on whether gender classifications align with facts about gender kind membership: Could someone really be nonbinary? Is Chris Mosier really a man? I think this is a bad approach. Consider the possibility of ontological oppression, which arises when social kinds operating in a context unjustly constrain the behaviors, concepts, or affect of certain groups. Gender kinds operating in dominant contexts, I argue, oppress trans and nonbinary persons in this way: they marginalize (...) trans men and women, and exclude nonbinary persons. As a result, facts about membership in dominant gender kinds should not settle gender classification practices. (shrink)
In this paper, we defend two main claims. The first is a moderate claim: we have a negative duty to not use binary gender-specific pronouns he or she to refer to genderqueer individuals. We defend this with an argument by analogy. It was gravely wrong for Mark Latham to refer to Catherine McGregor, a transgender woman, using the pronoun he; we argue that such cases of misgendering are morally analogous to referring to Angel Haze, who identifies as genderqueer, as he (...) or she. The second is a radical claim: we have a negative duty to not use any gender-specific pronouns to refer to anyone, regardless of their gender identity. We offer three arguments in favor of this claim (which appeal to concerns about inegalitarianism and risk, invasions of privacy, and reinforcing essentialist ideologies). We also show why the radical claim is compatible with the moderate claim. Before concluding, we examine common concerns about incorporating either they or a neologism such as ze as a third-person singular gender-neutral pronoun. These concerns, we argue, do not provide sufficient reason to reject either the moderate or radical claim. (shrink)
Alex Byrne’s article, “Are Women Adult Human Females?”, asks a question that Byrne treats as nearly rhetorical. Byrne’s answer is, ‘clearly, yes’. Moreover, Byrne claims, 'woman' is a biological category that does not admit of any interpretation as (also) a social category. It is important to respond to Byrne’s argument, but mostly because it is paradigmatic of a wider phenomenon. The slogan “women are adult human females” is a political slogan championed by anti-trans activists, appearing on billboards, pamphlets, and anti-trans (...) online forums. In this paper, I respond to Byrne’s argument, revealing significant problems with its background assumptions, content, and methodology. (shrink)
Characteristic of metaphysics are general questions of existence, such as ‘Are there numbers?’ This kind of question is the target of Carnap's argument for deflationism, to the effect that general existential questions, if taken at face value, are meaningless. This paper considers deflationism in a theological context, and argues that the question ‘Does God exist?’ can appropriately be grouped with the ‘metaphysical’ questions attacked by Carnap. Deflationism thus has the surprising consequence that the correct approach to theism is that of (...) radical theology. The paper attempts to show why Carnap's argument fails, and why, nevertheless, enough remains of it for us to conclude that God cannot be outside time and space. (shrink)
Postmodernism and Education responds to the interest in postmodernism as a way of understanding social, cultural and economic trends. Robin Usher and Richard Edwards explore the impact which postmodernism has had upon the theory and practice of education, using a broad analysis of postmodernism and an in-depth introduction to key writers in the field, including Lacan, Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard. In examining the impact which this thinking has had upon contemporary theory and practice of education, Usher and Edwards concentrate (...) particularly upon how postmodernist ideas challenge existing concepts, structures and hierarchies. (shrink)
Ordinary discourse is filled with discussions about ‘sexual orientation’. This discourse might suggest a common understanding of what sexual orientation is. But even a cursory search turns up vastly differing, conflicting, and sometimes ethically troubling characterizations of sexual orientation. The conceptual jumble surrounding sexual orientation suggests that the topic is overripe for philosophical exploration. This paper lays the groundwork for such an exploration. In it, I offer an account of sexual orientation – called ‘Bidimensional Dispositionalism’ – according to which sexual (...) orientation concerns what sex[es] and gender[s] of persons one is disposed to sexually engage, and makes no reference to one’s own sex and gender. (shrink)
The Idea of History is the best-known book of the great Oxford philosopher, historian, and archaeologist R.G. Collingwood. It was originally published posthumously in 1946, having been mainly reconstructed from Collingwood's manuscripts, many of which are now lost. For this revised edition, Collingwood's most important lectures on the philosophy of history are published here for the first time. These texts have been prepared by Jan van der Dussen from manuscripts that have only recently become available. The lectures contain Collingwood's first (...) comprehensive statement of his philosophy of history; they are therefore essential for a full understanding of his thought, and in particular for a correct interpretation of The Idea of History itself. Van der Dussen contributes a substantial introduction in which he explains the background to this new edition and surveys the scholarship of the last fifty years. (shrink)
Despite the fact that Davidson's theory of the causal relata is crucial to his response to the problem of mental causation - that of anomalous monism - it is commonly overlooked within discussions of his position. Anomalous monism is accused of entailing property epiphenomenalism, but given Davidson's understanding of the causal relata, such accusations are wholly misguided. There are, I suggest, two different forms of property epiphenomenalism. The first understands the term 'property' in an ontological sense, the second in a (...) linguistic sense. Anomalous monism cannot plausibly be accused of either. The first cannot legitimately be applied to anomalous monism as it is incompatible with Davidson's ontology. And accusations of predicate epiphenomenalism, although consistent with Davidson's ontology, are ungrounded regarding Davidson's anomalous monism. Philosophers of mind have mislocated the problem with Davidson's anomalous monism, which in fact lies with the implausible theory of the causal relata upon which it rests. (shrink)
There is a distinction between merely having the right belief, and further basing that belief on the right reasons. Any adequate epistemology needs to be able to accommodate the basing relation that marks this distinction. However, trouble arises for Bayesianism. I argue that when we combine Bayesianism with the standard approaches to the basing relation, we get the result that no agent forms their credences in the right way; indeed, no agent even gets close. This is a serious problem, for (...) it prevents us from making epistemic distinctions between agents that are doing a reasonably good job at forming their credences and those that are forming them in clearly bad ways. I argue that if this result holds, then we have a problem for Bayesianism. However, I show how the Bayesian can avoid this problem by rejecting the standard approaches to the basing relation. By drawing on recent work on the basing relation, we can develop an account of the relation that allows us to avoid the result that no agent comes close to forming their credences in the right way. The Bayesian can successfully accommodate the basing relation. (shrink)
Sally Haslanger has recently argued that philosophical focus on implicit bias is overly individualist, since social inequalities are best explained in terms of social structures rather than the actions and attitudes of individuals. I argue that questions of individual responsibility and implicit bias, properly understood, do constitute an important part of addressing structural injustice, and I propose an alternative conception of social structure according to which implicit biases are themselves best understood as a special type of structure.
The goal of this article is to show that mainstream liberal accounts of civil disobedience fail to fully capture the latter’s specific characteristics as a genuinely political and democratic practice of contestation that is not reducible to an ethical or legal understanding either in terms of individual conscience or of fidelity to the rule of law. In developing this account in more detail, I first define civil disobedience with an aim of spelling out why the standard liberal model, while providing (...) a useful starting point, ultimately leads to an overly constrained, domesticated and sanitized understanding of this complex political practice. Second, I place the political practice of civil disobedience between two opposing poles: symbolic politics and real confrontation. I argue that the irreducible tension between these poles precisely accounts for its politicizing and democratizing potential. Finally, I briefly examine the role of civil disobedience in representative democracies, addressing a series of recent challenges made in response to this radically democratic understanding of disobedience. (shrink)
What responsibility do individuals bear for structural injustice? Iris Marion Young has offered the most fully developed account to date, the Social Connections Model. She argues that we all bear responsibility because we each causally contribute to structural processes that produce injustice. My aim in this article is to motivate and defend an alternative account that improves on Young’s model by addressing five fundamental challenges faced by any such theory. The core idea of what I call the “Role-Ideal Model” is (...) that we are each responsible for structural injustice through and in virtue of our social roles, i.e. our roles as parents, colleagues, employers, citizens, etc., because roles are the site where structure meets agency. In short, the Role-Ideal Model explains how individual action contributes to structural change, justifies demands for action from each particular agent, specifies what kinds of acts should be undertaken, moderates between demanding too much and too little of individual agents, and provides an account of the critical responses appropriate for holding individuals accountable for structural injustice. (shrink)
Epistemic contextualists think that the truth-conditions of ‘knowledge’ ascriptions depend in part on the context in which they are uttered. But what features of context play a role in determining truth-conditions? The idea that the making salient of error possibilities is a central part of the story has often been attributed to contextualists, and a number of contextualists seem to endorse it (see Cohen (Philos Perspect, 13:57–89, 1999) and Hawthorne, (Knowledge and lotteries, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004)). In this paper (...) I argue that the focus on salience relations is a mistake. On the view I defend, the relevant features of context are facts about what error-possibilities and alternatives those in the context have a reason to consider, not facts about what error-possibilities and alternatives those in the context actually consider. As I will argue, this view has certain advantages over the standard view. (shrink)
This book provides an overview of recent debates about critical theory from Pierre Bourdieu via Luc Boltanski to the Frankfurt School. Robin Celikates investigates the relevance of the self-understanding of ordinary agents and of their practices of critique for the theoretical and emancipatory project of critical theory.
In the second chapter of Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill writes: It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognise the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone.
It is commonly observed that we live in an increasingly polarised world. Strikingly, we are polarised not only about political issues, but also about scientific issues that have political implications, such as climate change. This raises two questions. First, why are we so polarised over these issues? Second, does this mean our views about these issues are all equally ir/rational? In this chapter I explore both questions. Specifically, I draw on the literature on ideologically motivated reasoning to develop an answer (...) to the first question. Put briefly, we exhibit “directional biases” in our information processing: we try to assimilate new information into our existing webs of beliefs. This means that those who are predisposed to accept the case for climate change end up accepting it, whereas those who are predisposed to reject it end up rejecting it. Based on this answer, I then address the second question. I look at some reasons for thinking that, because we all exhibit such biases in our thinking, we are all equally rational (or, as the case may be, irrational). I also suggest some ways you might try reject these reasons. (shrink)
Authorising euthanasia and assisted suicide with advance euthanasia directives is permitted, yet debated, in the Netherlands. We focus on a recent controversial case in which a Dutch woman with Alzheimer’s disease was euthanised based on her AED. A Dutch euthanasia review committee found that the physician performing the euthanasia failed to follow due care requirements for euthanasia and assisted suicide. This case is notable because it is the first case to trigger a criminal investigation since the 2002 Dutch euthanasia law (...) was enacted. Thus far, only brief descriptions of the case have been reported in English language journals and media. We provide a detailed description of the case, review the main challenges of preparing and applying AEDs for persons with dementia and briefly assess the adequacy of the current oversight system governing AEDs. (shrink)
In this book, first published in 1991, the author Dr Robin Barrow adopts the view that utilitarianism is the most coherent and persuasive ethical theory we have and argues in favour of a specific form of rule-utilitarianism. This book will be of interest to students of philosophy.
In her provocative discussion of the challenge posed to the traditional impartialist, justice-focused conception of morality by the new-wave care perspective in ethics, Annette Baier calls for ‘a “marriage” of the old male and newly articulated female... moral wisdom,’ to produce a new ‘cooperative’ moral theory that ‘harmonize[s] justice and care.’ I want in this paper to play matchmaker, proposing one possible conjugal bonding: a union of two apparently dissimilar modes of what Nel Noddings calls ‘meeting the other morally,’ a (...) wedding of respect and care. (shrink)
Le Poidevin has recently presented an argument that gives rise to a serious problem for relationist theories of space. It appeals to the simple geometrical fact that if A, B and C are three points lying in a straight line, then AB and BC together entail AC. He suggests that an ontological relationship of supervenience must be appealed to to explain this entailment. Given this thesis of supervenience, relationism is implausible. I argue that the problem that Le Poidevin raises for (...) relationism should be rejected, because the thesis of supervenience is false. The latter rests upon what Le Poidevin refers to as ‘The explanatory principle', a principle which he claims to be a natural extension of the truthmaker principle. Contrary to this, I argue that given any plausible theory of truthmaking, the explanatory principle is false. With the rejection of this principle, Le Poidevin's argument against relationism collapses. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young’s influential Social Connections Model of responsibility offers a compelling approach to theorizing structural injustice. However, the precise nature of the kind of responsibility modelled by the SCM, along with its relationship to the liability model, has remained unclear. I offer a reading of Young that takes the difference between the liability model and the SCM to be an instance of a more longstanding distinction in the literature on moral responsibility: attributability vs. accountability. I show that interpreting the (...) SCM as a conception of accountability resolves a number of objections, while also highlighting the SCM’s distinctive stance on the relationship between ethics and politics. (shrink)
Recent work in psychology on ‘cultural cognition’ suggests that our cultural background drives our attitudes towards a range of politically contentious issues in science such as global warming. This work is part of a more general attempt to investigate the ways in which our wants, wishes and desires impact on our assessments of information, events and theories. Put crudely, the idea is that we conform our assessments of the evidence for and against scientific theories with clear political relevance to our (...) pre-existing political beliefs and convictions. In this paper I explore the epistemological consequences of cultural cognition. What does it mean for the rationality of our beliefs about issues such as global warming? I argue for an unsettling conclusion. Not only are those on the ‘political right’ who reject the scientific consensus on issues like global warming unjustified in doing so, some of those on the ‘political left’ who accept the consensus are also unjustified in doing so. I finish by addressing the practical implications of my conclusions. (shrink)