This special issue of Games and Culture focuses on the intersection between video games and ethics. This introduction briefly sets out the key research questions in the research field and identifies trends in the articles included in this special issue.
Comments on a prior discussion of animal rights by Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. Gallup asserted that there are no inherent rights; they are inventions of the human mind. Thus, animals only have rights to the extent that we say they do. In this comment, Andrew N. Rowan posits that there is more universal agreement as to why some beings have certain rights than Gallup credits. However, even though philosophers have attempted to develop consistent arguments to underpin a "rights" theory, (...) there are still many problems. Some of these problems are briefly touched upon here. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
We attempt to bring the concepts of pain, suffering, and anxiety into sufficient focus to make them serviceable for empirical investigation. The common-sense view that many animals experience these phenomena is supported by empirical and philosophical arguments. We conclude, first, that pain, suffering, and anxiety are different conceptually and as phenomena, and should not be conflated. Second, suffering can be the result — or perhaps take the form — of a variety of states including pain, anxiety, fear, and boredom. Third, (...) pain and nociception are not equivalent and should be carefully distinguished. Fourth, nociception can explain the behavior of insects and perhaps other invertebrates (except possibly the cephalopods). Fifth, a behavioral inhibition system associated with anxiety in humans seems to be present in mammals and most or all other vertebrates. Based on neurochemical and behavioral evidence, it seems parsimonious to claim that these animals are capable of experiencing anxious states. (shrink)
Stove attempts to undermine Hume's argument on induction by denying Hume the claim that induction presupposes the uniformity of nature. I argue that Stove's attack on Hume's argument fails. *A paper from which the present piece was derived was read at the Hume Symposium. Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia, in July 1990, where George Couvalis and David Gauthier made helpful criticisms of my argument.
Questioning economic growth remains a heresy, but the mathematics of compound growth show its indefinite continuation to be impossible. This frames a problem best resolved while we are still able to do so.
Because of the increasing number of “man-made” hazards in contemporary life, as well as the growing number of disastrous industrial accidents, interest in risk communication has burgeoned. Consequently, scholars and practitioners need to understand two of the more common responses to risk situations, the technical and democratic. This paper describes these two responses, identifies types of individuals likely to prefer each, and explains why, historically and sociologically, they are so intuitively compelling for many people. Arguing that both responses to risk (...) situations are ultimately unconducive to rational discourse, the paper identifies problematic assumptions about communication that underlie both. The paper then sketches an alternative model of risk communication that recognizes the distinct features of communication in risk-ridden situations, describes ways in which communicators can identify characteristic tensions and goals in these situations, and specifies how to use research-supported heuristics for diagnosing the principal obstacles to their communicative goals and selecting the best strategies to address these obstacles. (shrink)
The past one hundred fifty years of debate over the use of animals in research and testing has been characterized mainly byad hominem attacks and on uncritical rejection of the other sides’ arguments. In the classroom, it is important to avoid repeating exercises in public relations and to demand sound scholarship.
This paper is an analysis of the reasoning behind Megan’s Laws, which pertain to the notification of communities when convicted sex offenders move into the area, especially those offenders who have carried out crimes against children. Liberals tend to criticize these laws and often point to the value of privacy, which they claim would be unacceptably compromised by allowing them. Communitarians tend to endorse these laws and often point to the value of safety, which they claim would be unacceptably compromised (...) were it not for such laws. Both sides also rely on the notion of human dignity in support of their arguments. In this paper, I offer a common foundation for these values and suggest implications regarding the moral acceptability of Megan’s Laws. (shrink)