Eldon Soifer and Béla Szabados argue that hypocrisy poses a problem for consequentialism because the hypocrite, in pretending to live up to a norm he or she does not really accept, acts in ways that have good results. They argue, however, that consequentialists can meet this challenge and show the wrongness of hypocrisy by adopting a desirefulfilment version of their theory. This essay raises some doubts about Soifer and Szabados's proposal and argues that consequentialism has no difficulty coming to grips (...) with hypocrisy, whether or not one favours a desire-fulfilment account of the good. (shrink)
_Theurgy and the Soul_ is a study of Iamblichus of Syria, whose teachings set the final form of pagan spirituality prior to the Christianization of the Roman Empire. Gregory Shaw focuses on the theory and practice of theurgy, the most controversial and significant aspect of Iamblichus's Platonism. Theurgy literally means "divine action." Unlike previous Platonists who stressed the elevated status of the human soul, Iamblichus taught that the soul descended completely into the body and thereby required the performance of (...) theurgic rites—revealed by the gods—to unite the soul with the One. Iamblichus was once considered one of the great philosophers whose views on the soul and the importance of ritual profoundly influenced subsequent Platonists such as Proclus and Damascius. The Emperor Julian followed Iamblichus's teachings to guide the restoration of traditional pagan cults in his campaign against Christianity. Although Julian was unsuccessful, Iamblichus's ideas persisted well into the Middle Ages and beyond. His vision of a hierarchical cosmos united by divine ritual became the dominant world view for the entire medieval world and played an important role in the Renaissance Platonism of Marsilio Ficino. Even Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that he expected a reading of Iamblichus to cause a "revival in the churches." But modern scholars have dismissed him, seeing theurgy as ritual magic or "manipulation of the gods." Shaw, however, shows that theurgy was a subtle and intellectually sophisticated attempt to apply Platonic and Pythagorean teachings to the full expression of human existence in the material world. (shrink)
Often labelled as "indescribable," the sublime is a term that has been debated for centuries amongst writers, artists, philosophers and theorists. Usually related to ideas of the great, the awe-inspiring and the overpowering, the sublime has become a complex yet crucial concept in many disciplines. Offering historical overviews and explanations, Philip Shaw looks at: · The legacy of the earliest, classical theories of the sublime through the romantic to the post-modern and avant-garde sublimity · The major theorists of the (...) sublime such as Kant, Burke, Lyotard, Derrida, Lacan and Zizek, offering critical introductions to each · The significance of the concept through a range of literary readings including the Old and New testaments, Homer, Milton and writing from the romantic era · How the concept of the sublime has affected other art forms such as painting and film, from abstract expressionism to David Lynch's neo-noir This remarkably clear study of what is, in essence, a term which evades definition, is essential reading for students of literature, critical and cultural theory. (shrink)
Cryoethics is a new theme within bioethics (see bioethics) concerned with the ethics of cryonic storage. Cryonics, which is also erroneously referred to as “cryogenic” technology, offers people the option of having their bodies or brain-stems preserved at very low temperatures after death in order to be revived at some point in the future when technology is sufficiently advanced to enable reanimation, and possibly immortality. The main issues in cryoethics center around whether it is ethical to use this technology, and (...) whether it is prudent to do so. While there are several prudential and ethical arguments against cryonic storage, there is only one argument in favor, but it is quite powerful: the possibility of cheating death for a few years, or even forever if technology advances enough in the time before revival (Shaw 2009). (shrink)
`This book grew out of the conviction, not in itself strange or startling, that the ordinary person can and should think straight rather than crooked.' Patrick Shaw has written a commonsense introduction to the use of logic in everyday thought and argument. It explains some of the rules of good argument and some of the ways in which arguments can fail, drawing illustrations from a variety of contemporary and international sources, such as the press, radio, and television. Symbols and (...) technicalities are kept to a minimum in this thorough and provocative investigation of the rational approach to thought - and its limitations. Logic and Its Limits emphasizes the use of logic in helping to settle and clarify disputes. It will help the reader to avoid bad arguments, to detect them in others, and so to think and argue more effectively. A wide range of thought-provoking examples and exercises concerned with contemporary social and political issues make this a readable and stimulating guide for the student and general reader alike. (shrink)
Review of Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s11097-012-9255-1 Authors Dominic Shaw, Department of Philosophy, The University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD UK Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759.
Two of the most important contributions that Bimal Krishna Matilal made to comparative philosophy are his doctoral dissertation The Navya-Nyāya Doctrine of Negation: The Semantics and Ontology of Negative Statements in Navya-Nyāya Philosophy and his classic: Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowing. In this essay, we aim to carry forward the work of Bimal K. Matilal by showing how ideas in classical Indian philosophy concerning absence and perception are relevant to recent debates in Anglo-analytic philosophy. In particular, (...) we focus on the recent debate in the philosophy of perception centering on the perception of absence. In her Seeing Absence, Anya Farennikova argues for the thesis that we literally see absences. Her thesis is quite novel within the contexts of the traditions that she engages: analytical philosophy of perception, phenomenology, and cognitive neuroscience. In those traditions there is hardly any exploration of the epistemology of absence. By contrast, this is not the case in classical Indian philosophy where the debate over the ontological and epistemological status of absence is longstanding and quite engaging. In what follows, we engage Farennikova’s arguments, and those of John-Rémy Martin and Jérome Dokic in their response to her work. Using the work of Matilal, Bilimoria and Shaw we show that there are several engaging ideas that can be taken from Indian philosophy into the terrain explored by Farennikova, and Martin & Dokic. Our aim is to provide an updated comparative engagement on absence and its perception for the purposes of enhancing future discussions within global philosophy. However, we do not aim to do this merely by focusing on the history of primary texts or on twentieth century commentary on primary texts. Instead, we hope to show that the living tradition of Indian philosophy that Matilal embodied carries forward in his students and colleagues as they revive, revise, and extend Indian philosophy. (shrink)
In the 1980s and 1990s the discipline of philosophy of education had an impact on schooling and the public service in New Zealand because of the contracted work of James Marshall and Michael Peters. This personal reﬂection by Robert Shaw is a tribute to James Marshall and provides insight into the relationship between Ministry ofﬁcials, the community, and educational researchers.
In his article 'Women in Music' Gordon Graham argues that 'women do not make composers' and 'there is good reason to believe that the composition of music will continue to be an activity largely of men'. In reply Shaw argues there is a deep inconsistency in Graham's argument or a gap which, given Graham's views, he would be hard pressed to fill. Shaw also raises objections to Graham's claim that his view that women cannot compose significant music, if (...) it were true, ought not depress feminists and other defenders of the equal worth of women. (shrink)
Historically, the productive aspect of the aesthetic experience can be described as a process during which aesthetic practice freed itself step by step from restrictions imposed on productive activity in both the classical and the biblical tradition. If one understands this process as the realization of the idea of creative man, it is principally art which actualizes this idea.1 First, when the poietic capacity is still one and undivided, it asserts itself subliminally; later, in the competition between technical and artistic (...) creation, it explicitly claims to be a production of a special kind. It is in that history of the concepts labor and work that the restrictions become most palpable.2 In the Greek tradition, all producing remains subordinate to practical action . As the activity of slaves who are rigorously excluded from the exercise of the virtues, poiesis occupies the lowest rank in social life. In the Christian tradition, handiwork is cursed, which means that man is meant to maintain himself only by toiling against a resistant nature ; salvation can only be found beyond his activity in this world. But in both the classical and the Christian conceptual fields relating to labor, we already encounter ambivalent definitions which could introduce and justify an upward revaluation of man's labor.1. See Hans Blumenberg, "'Nachahmung der Natur': Zur Vorgeschichte des schöpferischen Menschen," Studium Generale 10 : 266-83, still unexcelled. I also base my discussion on Jürgen Mittelstrass, Neuzeit und Aufklärung; Studien zur Entstehung der neuzeitlichen Wissenchaft und Philosophie , and to the results of two seminars at Constance held jointly and to which I owe essential insights.2. See Werner Conze, "Arbeit," in Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historiches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland, ed. Conze, Otto Brunner, and Reinhart Koselleck, 4 vols. , 1:154-215, and Walther Bienert, Die Arbeit nach der Lehre der Bibel ; an abbreviated version appears in Bienert's "Arbeit," Die Religion in Gescheichte und Gegenwart .Hans Robert Jauss is professor of literary criticism and Romance philology at the University of Constance. He is the author of many books and articles, including two works forthcoming in English, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception and Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics, from which the present essay is taken. Michael Shaw has translated many works, among them Max Horkheimer's Dawn and Decline. (shrink)
The Monarchia, Dante's treatise on political theory, addresses the fundamental question of what form of political organisation best suits human nature; it embodies a political vision of startling originality and power, and illuminates the intellectual interests and achievements of one of the world's great poets. The whole text is here presented in a new translation, the first for forty years, based on a more up-to-date and scholarly version of the Latin original than has previously been available. The translation, together with (...) accompanying introduction and notes, has been prepared by Prue Shaw. In this new and accessible form, the Monarchia will interest not only Dante specialists, but also students of literary studies, political history and philosophy. (shrink)
_Indigeneity and Political Theory_ engages some of the profound challenges to traditions of modern political theory that have been posed over the past two decades. Karena Shaw is especially concerned with practices of sovereignty as they are embedded in and shape Indigenous politics, and responses to Indigenous politics. Drawing on theories of post-coloniality, feminism, globalization, and international politics, and using examples of contemporary political practice including court cases and specific controversies, Shaw seeks to illustrate and argue for a (...) way of doing political theory that is more responsive to the challenges posed by a range of contemporary issues. An engaging and highly original analysis of Indigenenity and sovereignty, this book enables the reader to develop a more robust consideration of relationships between theory and practice, and thus the politics of theorizing. (shrink)
Political theorists have long been frustrated by Nietzsche's work. Although he develops profound critiques of morality, culture, and religion, it is very difficult to spell out the precise political implications of his insights. He himself never did so in any systematic way. In this book, Tamsin Shaw claims that there is a reason for this: Nietzsche's insights entail a distinctive form of political skepticism. Shaw argues that the modern political predicament, for Nietzsche, is shaped by two important historical (...) phenomena. The first is secularization, or the erosion of religious belief, and the fragmentation of moral life that it entails. The second is the unparalleled ideological power of the modern state. The promotion of Nietzsche's own values, Shaw insists, requires resistance to state ideology. But Nietzsche cannot envisage how these values might themselves provide a stable basis for political authority; this is because secular societies, lacking recognized normative expertise, also lack a reliable mechanism for making moral insight politically effective. In grappling with this predicament, Shaw claims, Nietzsche raises profound questions about political legitimacy and political authority in the modern world. (shrink)
Plato often rejects hedonism, but in the Protagoras, Plato's Socrates seems to endorse hedonism. In this book, J. Clerk Shaw removes this apparent tension by arguing that the Protagoras as a whole actually reflects Plato's anti-hedonism. He shows that Plato places hedonism at the core of a complex of popular mistakes about value and especially about virtue: that injustice can be prudent, that wisdom is weak, that courage is the capacity to persevere through fear, and that virtue cannot be (...) taught. The masses reproduce this system of values through shame and fear of punishment. The Protagoras and other dialogues depict sophists and orators who have internalized popular morality through shame, but who are also ashamed to state their views openly. Shaw's reading not only reconciles the Protagoras with Plato's other dialogues, but harmonizes it with them and even illuminates Plato's wider anti-hedonism. (shrink)
Advances in neuroscience might make it possible to develop techniques for directly altering offenders’ brains, in order to make offenders more responsible and law-abiding. The idea of using such techniques within the criminal justice system can seem intuitively troubling, even if they were more effective in preventing crime than traditional methods of rehabilitation. One standard argument against this use of brain interventions is that it would undermine the individual’s free will. This paper maintains that ‘free will’ (at least, as that (...) notion is understood by those who adopt the influential compatibilist approach) is an inadequate basis for explaining what is problematic about some direct brain interventions. This paper then defends an alternative way of objecting to certain kinds of direct brain interventions, focusing on the relationship between the offender and the state rather than the notion of free will. It opposes the use of interventions which aim to enhance ‘virtue responsibility’ (by instilling particular values about what is right and wrong), arguing that this would objectify offenders. In contrast, it argues that it may be acceptable to use direct brain interventions to enhance ‘capacity responsibility’ (i.e. to strengthen the abilities necessary for the exercise of responsible agency, such as self-control). Finally it considers how to distinguish these different kinds of responsibility enhancement. (shrink)
Adults apply ownership not only to objects but also to ideas. But do people come to apply principles of ownership to ideas because of being taught about intellectual property and copyrights? Here, we investigate whether children apply rules from physical property ownership to ideas. Studies 1a and 1b show that children (6–8 years old) determine ownership of both objects and ideas based on who first establishes possession of the object or idea. Study 2 shows that children use another principle of (...) object ownership, control of permission—an ability to restrict others’ access to the entity in question—to determine idea ownership. In Study 3, we replicate these findings with different idea types. In Study 4, we determine that children will not apply ownership to every entity, demonstrating that they do not apply ownership to a common word. Taken together, these results suggest that, like adults, children as young as 6 years old apply rules from ownership not only to objects but to ideas as well. (shrink)
Webmasters are a key moral agent in the issue of privacy. This study attempts to understand the factors underlying their attitudes about privacy based on the theory of moral intensity. Webmasters of high-traffic sites were invited via email to participate in a web-based survey. The results support the application of moral intensity to the domain of privacy and the population of webmasters - both outcomes and social norms have statistically significant main effects on attitudes. The results also suggest a reconfiguration (...) of the dimensions of moral intensity. This is based on the observation that proximity to the organization has a negative main effect on attitudes, and it moderates the relationship between social norms and attitudes. The original theory of moral intensity did not acknowledge the possibility of this moderating role for proximity. These observations have important implications for future research and practice in the areas of privacy, moral intensity, and ethical decision making. (shrink)
The authors argue that corporate philanthropy is far too important as a social instrument for good to depend on ethical egoism for its support. They claim that rule utilitarianism provides a more compelling, though not exclusive, moral foundation. The authors cite empirical and legal evidence as additional support for their claim.
It is widely accepted in clinical ethics that removing a patient from a ventilator at the patient’s request is ethically permissible. This constitutes voluntary passive euthanasia. However, voluntary active euthanasia, such as giving a patient a lethal overdose with the intention of ending that patient’s life, is ethically proscribed, as is assisted suicide, such as providing a patient with lethal pills or a lethal infusion. Proponents of voluntary active euthanasia and assisted suicide have argued that the distinction between killing and (...) letting die is flawed and that there is no real difference between actively ending someone’s life and "merely" allowing them to die. This paper shows that, although this view is correct, there is even less of a distinction than is commonly acknowledged in the literature. It does so by suggesting a new perspective that more accurately reflects the moral features of end-of-life situations: if a patient is mentally competent and wants to die, his body itself constitutes unwarranted life support unfairly prolonging his or her mental life. (shrink)
The Sleeping Beauty puzzle has dramatized the divisive question of how de se beliefs should be integrated into formal theories of rational belief change. In this paper, I look ahead to a related question: how should de se beliefs be integrated into formal theories of rational choice? I argue that standard decision theoretic frameworks fail in special cases of de se uncertainty, like Sleeping Beauty. The nature of the failure reveals that sometimes rational choices are determined independently of one’s credences (...) in the kinds of ‘narrow’ de se propositions that Sleepy Beauty has set in relief. Consequently, in addition to pinpointing a failure of standard decision theoretic frameworks, this result casts doubt on a large class of strategies for determining principles for the rationally updating de se beliefs in cases like Sleeping Beauty, and also calls into question the importance of making such a determination at all. (shrink)
There is a palpable need for a new theory that embraces organisations and management – the hegemony of scientific theories is at an end. This paper argues that the phenomenological method which Husserl inaugurates has the potential to provide new insights. Those who adopt a phenomenological attitude to their situation within a business can explore unusual, and as yet unseen, depths within phenomena. The paper introduces Husserl’s method which requires the development of skills and a thoroughgoing rejection of scientific methods (...) of enquiry. However, this method is unlikely assist practitioners to achieve already determined business goals. (shrink)
Virtues are habits of character that advance excellence in all of ones endeavors. In the Aristotelian formulation, training in the virtuesis driven by a sense of the “good,” that is, by a widely shared agreement on the components of a good society and on the roles (and appropriate virtues or excellencies) of the “social animals” that energize that society. In the modern era, however, a strong sense of community has been much diminished. Freedom from the restraints of the Church and (...) other social institutions and an emphasis on individual autonomy has fostered a different ethical perspective, a perspective in which the market enters importantly into one’s conception of the good. Does the market generate virtues which in turn sustain it? What guides the development of virtue in market economies that are entering the “information superhighway,” and a new millennium as well? (shrink)
Humor is a surprisingly understudied topic in philosophy. However, there has been a flurry of interest in the subject over the past few decades. This article outlines the major theories of humor. It argues for the need for more publications on humor by philosophers. More specifically, it suggests that humor may not be a well-understood phenomenon by questioning a widespread consensus in recent publications – namely, that humor can be detached from laughter. It is argued that this consensus relies on (...) a cognitivist account of emotion, one that is open to debate, and that it becomes unclear what sorts of phenomena a theory of humor is supposed to explain when one questions this assumption. (shrink)
In two recent papers, Hugh McLachlan, Jacob Busch and Raffaele Rodogno have criticised my new perspective on euthanasia. Each paper analyses my argument and suggests two flaws. McLachlan identifies what he sees as important points regarding the justification of legal distinctions in the absence of corresponding moral differences and the professional role of the doctor. Busch and Rodogno target my criterion of brain life, arguing that it is a necessary but not sufficient condition and that it is not generalisable. In (...) this paper I indicate flaws in all of these criticisms, and again suggest that my perspective does add something new to the debate. (shrink)
This article highlights the often overlooked fact that doctors who respect a bereaved family's veto of a deceased patient's organ donation are complicit in the deaths of those who would have benefited from the organs in question. Respecting the veto violates the dying wish of the patient, is against the spirit of the law and contributes to the deaths of other patients.
Professor Thomas Mulligan undertakes to discredit Milton Friedman's thesis that The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits. He attempts to do this by moving from Friedman's paradigm characterizing a socially responsible executive as willful and disloyal to a different paradigm, i.e., one emphasizing the consultative and consensus-building role of a socially responsible executive. Mulligan's critique misses the point, first, because even consensus-building executives act contrary to the will of minority shareholders, but even more importantly, because he assumes (...) that the mandate of a shareholder majority brings legitimacy to efforts of corporate managers to utilize corporate wealth in solving social problems. It is the role of our democratic institutions to deal with national agenda issues such as inflation, unemployment, and pollution, not that of the private sector. Corporations and private individuals do have a role to play in enhancing the quality of the human environment, however, and the author suggests a coherent means of developing that role in an effort rescue corporate social responsibility from Mulligan no less than from Friedman. (shrink)
This paper introduces the concept of collective intentionality and shows its relevance when we seek to understand public management. Social ontology – particularly its leading concept, collective intentionality – provides critical insights into public organisations. The paper sets out the some of the epistemological limitations of cultural theories and takes as its example of these the group-grid theory of Douglas and Hood. It then draws upon Brentano, Husserl and Searle to show the ontological character of public management. Modern public institutions (...) – such as advisory organisations and service delivery agencies, including schools and universities – are expressions of human collective intentionality. The central concept within these institutions, as a phenomenology reveals, is cooperation. Public institutions are natural structures that emerge from our evolutionary ancestry as cooperative animals and enduringly display all the features of that ancestry. (shrink)
This essay surveys the state of business ethics in North America. It describes the distinctive features of business ethics as an academic sub-discipline and as a pedagogical topic, and compares and contrasts three rival models of business ethics current among philosophers.
In their recent paper in this journal, Heinz and colleagues accuse proponents of cognitive enhancement of making two unjustified assumptions. The first of these is the assumption that neuroenhancing drugs will be safe; the second is that research into cognitive enhancement does not pose particular ethical problems. Heinz and colleagues argue that both these assumptions are false. Here, I argue that these assumptions are in fact correct, and that Heinz and colleagues themselves make several assumptions that undermine their argument. Neuroenhancement (...) does raise several ethical concerns, but safety and research in this area pose no unique difficulties. (shrink)
I argue that on very weak assumptions about truth (in particular, that there are coherent norms governing the use of "true"), there is a proposition absolutely inexpressible with conventional language, or something very close. I argue for this claim "constructively": I use a variant of the Berry Paradox to reveal a particular thought for my readership to entertain that very strongly resists conventional expression. I gauge the severity of this expressive limitation within a taxonomy of expressive failures, and argue that (...) despite its strength there is nothing incoherent about admitting its existence. The argument forms part of a project of clarifying precisely what trade-offs are required to secure the kinds of expressive power truth theorists typically want, in the process showing that the admission of very strong expressive limitations may ultimately prove to be the lesser of two evils. (shrink)
Hollywood has yet to produce a BusinessEthics epic. Between the special effects andcartoon characters, however, ethical issues dosurface, and, on occasion, Hollywood featuresintriguing and complex characters and plotsladen with moral freight. Some of these can beturned to student advantage, and this articlewill explore films that may become excellentteaching tools.
The new western way of war from Vietnam in Iraq -- Theories of the new western way of war -- The global surveillance mode of warfare -- Rules of risk-transfer war -- Iraq: risk economy of a war -- A way of war in crisis.
This paper presents ethical dilemmas concerning the termination of pregnancy, the management of childbirth, and the withdrawal of life-support from infants in special care, for a small sample of British Pakistani Muslim parents of babies diagnosed with fatal abnormalities. Case studies illustrating these dilemmas are taken from a qualitative study of 66 families of Pakistani origin referred to a genetics clinic in Southern England. The paper shows how parents negotiated between the authoritative knowledge of their doctors, religious experts, and senior (...) family members in response to the ethical dilemmas they faced. There was little knowledge or open discussion of the view that Islam permits the termination of pregnancy for serious or fatal abnormality within 120 days and there was considerable disquiet over the idea of ending a pregnancy. For some parents, whether their newborn baby would draw breath was a main worry, with implications for the baby's Muslim identity and for the recognition of loss the parents would receive from family and community. This concern sometimes conflicted with doctors' concerns to minimize risk to future pregnancies by not performing a Caesarean delivery if a baby is sure to die. The paper also identifies parents' concerns and feelings of wrong-doing regarding the withdrawal of artificial life-support from infants with multiple abnormalities. The conclusion considers some of the implications of these observations for the counselling and support of Muslim parents following the pre- or neo-natal diagnosis of fatal abnormalities in their children. (shrink)
Almost all academics sigh at any mention of the REF. Preparing submissions for the Research Excellence Framework takes up a lot of effort, but is important because the REF determines a department's funding allocation from a finite pot of cash. As such, it is seen as a necessary evil by most staff. However, the REF poses ethical problems in addition to the stress it causes. As it stands, the REF is exacerbating a schism between research and teaching staff, encouraging deceptive (...) attribution of authorship, and failing to give due credit (and cash) to deserving research. As such, the REF needs some serious refereeing. (shrink)
Homeopathic medicine is based on the two principles that “like cures like” and that the potency of substances increases in proportion to their dilution. In November 2009 the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee heard evidence on homeopathy, with several witnesses arguing that homeopathic practice is “unethical, unreliable, and pointless”. Although this increasing scepticism about the merits of homeopathy is to be welcomed, the unethical effects of funding homeopathy on the NHS are even further-reaching than has been acknowledged.
This paper re-evaluates euthanasia and assisted suicide from the perspective of eudaimonia, the ancient Greek conception of happiness across one’s whole life. It is argued that one cannot be said to have fully flourished or had a truly happy life if one’s death is preceded by a period of unbearable pain or suffering that one cannot avoid without assistance in ending one’s life. While death is to be accepted as part of life, it should not be left to nature to (...) dictate the way we die, and it is fundamentally unjust to grant people liberal latitude in how they live their lives while granting them little control over the conclusion of their life narratives. Three objections to this position are considered and rejected; the paper also offers an explanation of why we think killing can be a benefit. Ultimately, euthanasia may be necessary in some cases in order to achieve eudaimonia. (shrink)
This paper examines four major arguments advanced by opponents of race and gender conscious affirmative action and rebuts them on the basis of moral considerations. It is clear that the problem of past racial/gender discrimination has not disappeared; its effects linger, resulting in a wide disparity in opportunities and attainments between minorities/women and whites/males. Affirmative action, although not the perfect solution, is by far the most viable method of redressing the effects of past discrimination. Thus it cannot be dismissed lightly (...) by way of arguing for mere colorblindness. (shrink)
Body integrity identity disorder is a very rare condition in which people experience long-standing anguish because there is a mismatch between their bodies and their internal image of how their bodies should be. Most typically, these people are deeply distressed by the presence of what they openly acknowledge as a perfectly normal leg. Some with the condition request that their limb be amputated. 1 We and others have argued that such requests should be acceded to in carefully selected patients.1–4 Consistent (...) with this view, a group at the University of Sydney is developing a programme to better understand and treat BIID and to offer amputation if appropriate. In a recent paper, Patrone argues that such amputations should be prohibited.5 He suggests that authors supporting amputation in BIID depend on analogies with more familiar conditions and then claim that the ‘the desires, choices and requests of BIID patients should be held to exactly the same standards and treated with exactly the same respect as the desires, choices and requests of any more conventional patient’.5 He believes that these analogies are invalid and that therefore the arguments for amputation are invalid.Patrone concentrates a great deal upon whether a decision to have a particular medical intervention is to be regarded as ‘rational’. Unfortunately, he makes no attempt to define what he …. (shrink)