Empirical research in bioethics has developed rapidly over the past decade, but has largely eschewed the use of technology-driven methodologies. We propose “design bioethics” as an area of conjoined theoretical and methodological innovation in the field, working across bioethics, health sciences and human-centred technological design. We demonstrate the potential of digital tools, particularly purpose-built digital games, to align with theoretical frameworks in bioethics for empirical research, integrating context, narrative and embodiment in moral decision-making. Purpose-built digital tools can engender situated engagement (...) with bioethical questions; can achieve such engagement at scale; and can access groups traditionally under-represented in bioethics research and theory. If developed and used with appropriate rigor, tools motivated by “design bioethics” could offer unique insights into new and familiar normative and empirical issues in the field. (shrink)
"Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" explores conceptual issues in psychiatry from the perspective of analytic philosophy of science. Through an examination of those features of psychiatry that distinguish it from other sciences - for example, its contested subject matter, its particular modes of explanation, its multiple different theoretical frameworks, and its research links with big business - Rachel Cooper explores some of the many conceptual, metaphysical and epistemological issues that arise in psychiatry. She shows how these pose interesting challenges for (...) the philosopher of science while also showing how ideas from the philosophy of science can help to solve conceptual problems within psychiatry. Cooper's discussion ranges over such topics as the nature of mental illnesses, the treatment decisions and diagnostic categories of psychiatry, the case-history as a form of explanation, how psychiatry might be value-laden, the claim that psychiatry is a multi-paradigm science, the distortion of psychiatric research by pharmaceutical industries, as well as engaging with the fundamental question whether the mind is reducible to something at the physical level. "Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" demonstrates that cross-disciplinary contact between philosophy of science and psychiatry can be immensely productive for both subjects and it will be required reading for mental health professionals and philosophers alike. (shrink)
In Free Will and Luck, Mele presents a case of an agent Ernie, whose zygote was intentionally designed so that Ernie A-s in 30 years, bringing about a certain event E. Mele uses this case of original design to outline the zygote argument against compatibilism. In this paper I criticize the zygote argument. Unlike other compatibilists who have responded to the zygote argument, I contend that it is open to the compatibilist to accept premise one, that Ernie does not act (...) freely and is not morally responsible for anything he does. I argue that compatibilists should deny premise two. Diana’s effective intention to create Ernie’s zygote such that Ernie A-s in 30 years and her intervention to bring about his A-ing mark a significant difference between Ernie and normal agents in a deterministic universe with regard to how their zygotes were created that affects whether those agents act freely and are morally responsible for so acting. (shrink)
A review of the literature indicates that linear models are frequently used in situations in which decisions are made on the basis of multiple codable inputs. These models are sometimes used normatively to aid the decision maker, as a contrast with the decision maker in the clinical vs statistical controversy, to represent the decision maker "paramorphically" and to "bootstrap" the decision maker by replacing him with his representation. Examination of the contexts in which linear models have been successfully employed indicates (...) that the contexts have the following structural characteristics in common: each input variable has a conditionally monotone relationship with the output; there is error of measurement; and deviations from optimal weighting do not make much practical difference. These characteristics ensure the success of linear models, which are so appropriate in such contexts that random linear models may perform quite well. 4 examples involving the prediction of such codable output variables as GPA and psychiatric diagnosis are analyzed in detail. In all 4 examples, random linear models yield predictions that are superior to those of human judges. (shrink)
Hegel's "highway of despair," introduced in his _Phenomenology of Spirit_, represents the tortured path traveled by "natural consciousness" on its way to freedom. Despair, the passionate residue of Hegelian critique, also indicates fugitive opportunities for freedom and preserves the principle of hope against all hope. Analyzing the works of an eclectic cast of thinkers, Robyn Marasco considers the dynamism of despair as a critical passion, reckoning with the forms of historical life forged along Hegel's highway. _The Highway of Despair_ (...) follows Theodor Adorno, Georges Bataille, and Frantz Fanon as they each read, resist, and reconfigure a strand of thought in Hegel's _Phenomenology of Spirit_. Confronting the twentieth-century collapse of a certain revolutionary dialectic, these thinkers struggle to revalue critical philosophy and recast Left Hegelianism within the contexts of genocidal racism, world war, and colonial domination. Each thinker also re-centers the role of passion in critique. Arguing against more recent trends in critical theory that promise an escape from despair, Marasco shows how passion frustrates the resolutions of reason and faith. Embracing the extremism of what Marx, in the spirit of Hegel, called the "ruthless critique of everything existing," she affirms the contemporary purchase of radical critical theory, resulting in a passionate approach to political thought. (shrink)
Proper linear models are those in which predictor variables are given weights such that the resulting linear composite optimally predicts some criterion of interest; examples of proper linear models are standard regression analysis, discriminant function analysis, and ridge regression analysis. Research summarized in P. Meehl's book on clinical vs statistical prediction and research stimulated in part by that book indicate that when a numerical criterion variable is to be predicted from numerical predictor variables, proper linear models outperform clinical intuition. Improper (...) linear models are those in which the weights of the predictor variables are obtained by some nonoptimal method. The present article presents evidence that even such improper linear models are superior to clinical intuition when predicting a numerical criterion from numerical predictors. In fact, unit weighting is quite robust for making such predictions. The application of unit weights to decide what bullet the Denver Police Department should use is described; some technical, psychological, and ethical resistances to using linear models in making social decisions are considered; and arguments that could weaken these resistances are presented. (shrink)
Anthropocentrism is "the belief that there is a clear and morally relevant dividing line between humankind and the rest of nature, that humankind is the only principal source of value or meaning in the world" p. 51.
Home, digital technologies and data are intersecting in new ways as responses to the COVID-19 pandemic emerge. We consider the data practices associated with COVID-19 responses and their implications for housing and home through two overarching themes: the notion of home as a private space, and digital technology and surveillance in the home. We show that although home has never been private, the rapid adoption and acceptance of technologies in the home for quarantine, work and study, enabled by the pandemic, (...) is rescripting privacy. The acceleration of technology adoption and surveillance in the home has implications for privacy and potential discrimination, and should be approached with a critical lens. (shrink)
A report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, contrary to the Declaration of Helsinki, permits most important research initiatives in developing countries.The Ethics of Research Related to Health Care in Developing Countries by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics makes a number of innovative recommendations that depart from codes such as the Declaration of Helsinki. It recommends that standards of care might be relativised to the standard of that nation. It recommends that very good reasons need to be given for not (...) giving post-trial access to medications but recognises that there may be justifiable instances of this. It is the view of the authors that these and other recommendations of the report are sensible pieces of advice given the complexities of the developing world. (shrink)
"At once rigorous, insightful, and accessible.... the most thorough study yet available on the phenomenological treatment of God as gift in Marion and Derrida. Invaluable reading for those concerned with the theological promise of contemporary Continental philosophy."-Thomas A. Carlson, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Most people working on linguistic meaning or communication assume that semantics and pragmatics are distinct domains, yet there is still little consensus on how the distinction is to be drawn. The position defended in this paper is that the semantics/pragmatics distinction holds between encoded linguistic meaning and speaker meaning. Two other ‘minimalist’ positions on semantics are explored and found wanting: Kent Bach’s view that there is a narrow semantic notion of context which is responsible for providing semantic values for a (...) small number of indexicals, and Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore’s view that semantics includes the provision of values for all indexicals, even though these depend on the speaker’s communicative intentions. Finally, some implications are considered for the favoured semantics/pragmatics distinction of the fact that there are linguistic elements which do not contribute to truth-conditional content but rather provide guidance on pragmatic inference. (shrink)
I propose that an account of metaphor understanding which covers the full range of cases has to allow for two routes or modes of processing. One is a process of rapid, local, on-line concept construction that applies quite generally to the recovery of word meaning in utterance comprehension. The other requires a greater focus on the literal meaning of sentences or texts, which is metarepresented as a whole and subjected to more global, reflective pragmatic inference. The questions whether metaphors convey (...) a propositional content and what role imagistic representation plays receive somewhat different answers depending on the processing route. (shrink)
The idea is that, in a wide range of contexts, utterances of the sentences in (a) in each case will communicate the assumption in (b) in each case (or something closely akin to it, there being a certain amount of contextually governed variation in the speaker's propositional attitude and so the scope of the negation). These scalar inferences are taken to be one kind of (generalized) conversational implicature. As is the case with pragmatic inference quite generally, these inferences are defeasible (...) (cancellable), which distinguishes them from entailments, and they are nondetachable, which distinguishes them from conventional implicatures. The core idea is that the choice of a weaker element from a scale of elements ordered in terms of semantic strength (that is, numbers of entailments) tends to implicate that, as far as the speaker knows, none of the stronger elements in the scale holds in this instance. The pattern is quite clear in (1) and (2), where the weak/strong alternatives are some/all and five/six respectively. In the case of (3), the stronger expression must be intelligent and good-hearted which entails intelligent; what Y's utterance implicates is that Mary does not have the two properties: intelligence and good-heartedness, so that, given the proposition expressed (Mary is intelligent) it follows, deductively, that she is not good-hearted, in Y's opinion. The example in (4) involves a scale inversion due to the negation, so that the weak/strong alternatives are not necessarily/not possibly; the negation which the scalar inference generates creates a double negation, which is eliminated giving possibly. (shrink)
This article responds to Marzia Milazzo's article ‘On white ignorance, white shame, and other pitfalls in critical philosophy of race’, in which Milazzo argues that the concepts white shame, white guilt, white privilege, white habits, white invisibility and white ignorance are pitfalls in the process of decolonisation. Milazzo contends that the way these concepts are theorised in much critical philosophy of race minimises white people's active interest in reproducing the racial status quo. While I agree with Milazzo's critique of white (...) shame and white guilt, I argue that these affective responses are fundamentally different to the remaining concepts. Drawing on critical whiteness studies and agnotology, I argue that white privilege, white invisibility and white ignorance are valuable conceptual tools for revealing white people's active investment in maintaining racial inequality. Whereas Milazzo sees a contradiction between white people's active interest in maintaining racial inequality and concepts like white invisibility and white ignorance, I argue that, correctly theorised, these concepts resolve this apparent contradiction. I contest Milazzo's call to reject white privilege, white invisibility and white ignorance, arguing that these concepts are useful tools in the project of decolonisation. (shrink)
Gilbert et al. argue that discussions of self-related changes in patients undergoing DBS are overblown. They show that there is little evidence that these changes occur frequently and make recommendations for further research. We point out that their framing of the issue, their methodology, and their recommendations do not attend to other important questions about these changes.
This paper examines the responsibilities of states to assist and to receive stateless people who are forced to leave their state territory due to rising seas and other unavoidable climate change impacts and the rights of ‘climate refugees’ to choose their host state. The paper employs a praxeological method of non-ideal theorising, which entails identifying and negotiating the unavoidable tensions and trade-offs associated with different framings of state responsibility in order to find a path forward that maximises the protection of (...) climate refugees within the constraints imposed by political feasibility. It argues that the responsibility of states to support climate refugees through financial and technical assistance should be treated separately from their responsibility to receive them. The former is a differentiated responsibility grounded in the ability to pay principle, or relative capability, while the latter is a common responsibility grounded in the fact that all states have causally contributed to their plight, albeit in varying degrees which cannot be, and need not be, precisely determined. A common state ‘responsibility to receive’ is linked with a right on the part of climate refugees to choose their host to suit their circumstances, which would provide a form of partial compensation for the injustice and trauma of their loss and damage. This right is expected to become more viable, and the political willingness of states to receive them more likely, the more that climate refugees are assured of adequate support for resettlement according to states’ differentiated responsibilities to assist. (shrink)
A standard view of the semantics of natural language sentences or utterances is that a sentence has a particular logical structure and is assigned truth-conditional content on the basis of that structure. Such a semantics is assumed to be able to capture the logical properties of sentences, including necessary truth, contradiction and valid inference; our knowledge of these properties is taken to be part of our semantic competence as native speakers of the language. The following examples pose a problem for (...) this view of semantics. (shrink)
What I hope to achieve in this paper is some rather deeper understanding of the semantic and pragmatic properties of utterances which are said to involve the phenomenon of metalinguistic negation[FN1]. According to Laurence Horn, who has been primarily responsible for drawing our attention to it, this is a special non-truthfunctional use of the negation operator, which can be glossed as 'I object to U' where U is a linguistic utterance. This is to be distinguished from descriptive truthfunctional negation which (...) operates over a proposition. (shrink)
Within relevance theory the two local pragmatic processes of enrichment and loosening of linguistically encoded conceptual material have been given quite distinct treatments. Enrichments of various sorts, including those which involve a logical strengthening of a lexical concept, contribute to the proposition expressed by the utterance, hence to its truth-conditions. Loosenings, including metaphorical uses, do not enter into the proposition expressed by the utterance or affect its truth-conditions; they stand in a relation of 'interpretive resemblance' with the linguistically encoded concept (...) used to represent them. This asymmetric treatment is questioned here, arguments are given for an account which reflects the complementarity of these processes and several alternative symmetrical treatments are explored. (shrink)
A number of reports have suggested that patients who undergo deep brain stimulation may experience changes to their personality or sense of self. These reports have attracted great philosophical interest. This paper surveys the philosophical literature on personal identity and DBS and draws on an emerging empirical literature on the experiences of patients who have undergone this therapy to argue that the existing philosophical discussion of DBS and personal identity frames the problem too narrowly. Much of the discussion by neuroethicists (...) centers on the nature of the threat posed by DBS, asking whether it is best understood as a threat to personal identity, autonomy, agency, or authenticity, or as putting patients at risk of self-estrangement. Our aim in this paper is to use the empirical literature on patients’ experiences post-DBS to open up a broader range of questions - both philosophical and practical, and to suggest that attention to these questions will help to provide better support to patients, both before and after treatment. (shrink)
Although researchers in psychiatry have been trying for decades to elucidate the pathophysiology underlying mental disorders, relatively little progress has been made. One explanation for this failure is that diagnostic categories in psychiatry are unlikely to track underlying neurological mechanisms. Because of this, the US National Institutes of Mental Health has recently developed a novel ontology to guide research in biological psychiatry: the Research Domain Criteria. In this paper, I argue that while RDoC may lead to better neuroscientific explanations for (...) mental disorders, it is unlikely that this new knowledge will then lead to an improved diagnostic system. I therefore suggest that researchers in psychiatry should work toward the development of two new ontologies: one for research and one for clinical practice. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) ranks different medical research methods on a hierarchy, at the top of which are randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews or meta-analyses of RCTs. Any study that does not randomly assign patients to a treatment or a control group is automatically placed at a lower level on the hierarchy. This article argues that what matters is whether the treatment and control groups are similar with respect to potential confounding factors, not whether they got that way through (...) randomization. Moreover, nonrandomized studies tend to have other characteristics that make them useful sources of evidence, in that they tend to last longer and to enroll more patients than do randomized trials. Replacing the sharp dichotomy between randomized and nonrandomized studies with a continuum from "clean" studies (which have high internal validity but whose results do not readily generalize to clinical practice) to pragmatic studies (which are designed to more closely reflect clinical practice) would also make a place for outcomes research and research using clinical databases, which are not included in the current hierarchy of evidence but which can provide important information about the safety and efficacy of treatments. (shrink)
We focus on the task of finding a 3D conductivity structure for the DO-18 and DO-27 kimberlites, historically known as the Tli Kwi Cho kimberlite complex in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Two airborne electromagnetic surveys are analyzed: a frequency-domain DIGHEM and a time-domain VTEM survey. Airborne time-domain data at TKC are particularly challenging because of the negative values that exist even at the earliest time channels. Heretofore, such data have not been inverted in three dimensions. In our analysis, we start (...) by inverting frequency-domain data and positive VTEM data with a laterally constrained 1D inversion. This is important for assessing the noise levels associated with the data and for estimating the general conductivity structure. The analysis is then extended to a 3D inversion with our most recent optimized and parallelized inversion codes. We first address the issue about whether the conductivity anomaly is due to a shallow flat-lying conductor or a vertical conductive pipe; we conclude that it is the latter. Both data sets are then cooperatively inverted to obtain a consistent 3D conductivity model for TKC that can be used for geologic interpretation. The conductivity model is then jointly interpreted with the density and magnetic susceptibility models from a previous paper. The addition of conductivity enriches the interpretation made with the potential fields in characterizing several distinct petrophysical kimberlite units. The final conductivity model also helps better define the lateral extent and upper boundary of the kimberlite pipes. This conductivity model is a crucial component of the follow-up paper in which our colleagues invert the airborne EM data to recover the time-dependent chargeability that further advances our geologic interpretation. (shrink)
Going beyond the hype of recent fMRI "findings," this interdisciplinary collection examines such questions as: Do women and men have significantly different brains? Do women empathize, while men systematize? Is there a "feminine" ethics? What does brain research on intersex conditions tell us about sex and gender?
Within the philosophy of language, pragmatics has tended to be seen as an adjunct to, and a means of solving problems in, semantics. A cognitive-scientific conception of pragmatics as a mental processing system responsible for interpreting ostensive communicative stimuli (specifically, verbal utterances) has effected a transformation in the pragmatic issues pursued and the kinds of explanation offered. Taking this latter perspective, I compare two distinct proposals on the kinds of processes, and the architecture of the system(s), responsible for the recovery (...) of speaker meaning (both explicitly and implicitly communicated meaning). (shrink)
Feminist scholars have shown that research on sex/gender differences in the brain is often used to support gender stereotypes. Scientists use a variety of methodological and interpretive strategies to make their results consistent with these stereotypes. In this paper, I analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research that examines differences between women and men in brain activity associated with emotion and show that these researchers go to great lengths to make their results consistent with the view that women are more (...) emotional than men. (shrink)
Cognitive neuropsychology is that branch of cognitive psychology that investi- gates people with acquired or developmental disorders of cognition. The aim is to learn more about how cognitive systems normally operate or about how they are normally acquired by studying selective patterns of cognitive break- down after brain damage or selective dif?culties in acquiring particular cogni- tive abilities. In the early days of modern cognitive neuropsychology, research focused on rather basic cognitive abilities such as speech comprehension or production at the (...) single-word level, reading and spelling, object and face recognition, and short-term memory. More recently the cognitive-neuro- psychological approach has been applied to the study of rather more complex domains of cognition such as belief ?xation (e.g. Coltheart and Davies, 2000; Langdon and Coltheart, 2000) and pragmatic aspects of communication (e.g. McDonald and Van Sommers, 1993). Our paper concerns the investigation of pragmatic disorders in one clinical group in which such disorders are common, patients with schizophrenia, and what the study of such people can tell us about the normal processes of communication. (shrink)
In folie à deux, a ‘primary’ patient transmits a delusional belief to one or more ‘secondary’ patients who then adopt and share the belief. This paper applies the two‐factor theory of delusion to retrospectively analyse published cases of folie à deux. Lessons from this retrospective analysis include, firstly, that two‐factor theorists need to shift their focus from endogenous processes to consider the exogenous source of delusional content in most secondaries. Secondly, secondaries who come to share the belief via normal processes (...) of social contagion only qualify as delusional by virtue of the abnormal persistence of their belief, albeit a temporary persistence in those secondaries who abandon their belief soon after separation from the primary. Underpinning this abnormal persistence may be a form of inhibitory failure—a difficulty with inhibiting a belief to allow reasoning for and against it being true. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that only women, and in particular women who have recently given birth, are able to breastfeed. However, through induced lactation, adoptive mothers, fathers and trans people have begun breastfeeding with greater frequency. Although breastfeeding is often regarded as a paradigmatic example of sexual difference, it actually exposes the instability of binary categories of sex. Luce Irigaray insists that sexual difference demands a new poetics, a language that is dynamic and fluid, capable of expressing difference while always (...) keeping open the possibility of transformation and change. This article extends Irigaray’s work in order to theorise breastfeeding from a perspective that is both feminist and queer. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that there is a distinction to be made between the explicit content and the implicit import of an utterance. There is much less agreement about the precise nature of this distinction, how it is to be drawn, and whether any such two-way distinction can do justice to the levels and kinds of meaning involved in utterance interpretation. Grice’s distinction between what is said by an utterance and what is implicated is probably the best known instantiation of (...) the explicit/implicit distinction. His distinction, along with many of its post-Gricean heirs, is closely entwined with another distinction: that between semantics and pragmatics. Indeed, on some construals they are seen as essentially one and the same; “what is said” is equated with the truthconditional content of the utterance which in turn is equated with (context-relative) sentence meaning, leaving implicatures (conventional and conversational) as the sole domain of pragmatics. (shrink)
Neuroscience research examining sex/gender differences aims to explain behavioral differences between men and women in terms of differences in their brains. Historically, this research has used ad hoc methods and has been conducted explicitly in order to show that prevailing gender roles were dictated by biology. I examine contemporary fMRI research on sex/gender differences in emotion processing and argue that it, too, both uses problematic methods and, in doing so, reinforces gender stereotypes.
This article examines the reparative turn in current queer feminist scholarship by tracking its twin interest in the study of affect and time. By foregrounding Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s influential critique of what she called paranoid reading, I am interested in the ways that various critics – Ann Cvetkovich, Heather Love, and Elizabeth Freeman in particular – take up the call for reparative reading by using the temporal frameworks of the everyday, backward feeling, and queer time to reparative ends. In the (...) process, I consider the reparative work being done to reclaim Sedgwick as a major thinker for queer feminist concerns, and speculate on the attraction, in a time of declining economic and cultural support for the interpretative humanities, of a critical practice that seeks to love and nurture its objects of study. (shrink)