We develop an extension of the familiar linear mixed logit model to allow for the direct estimation of parametric non-linear functions defined over structural parameters. Classic applications include the estimation of coefficients of utility functions to characterize risk attitudes and discounting functions to characterize impatience. There are several unexpected benefits of this extension, apart from the ability to directly estimate structural parameters of theoretical interest.
The field of nanoscience and nanotechnology is expanding rapidly, promising great benefits for society in the form of better medicine, more efficient energy production, new types of materials, etc. Naturally, in order for the science and technology to live up to these promises, it is important to continue scientific research and development, but equally important is the ethical dimension. Giving attention to the social, ethical and legal aspects of the field, among others, will help in developing a fully responsible—and thereby (...) capable—science and technology. Nanoethics has emerged as a field concerned with such ethical issues related to nanoscience and nanotechnology. Even though this field is relatively new, a significant amount of literature has already been published. This paper focuses on three of the major issues which are discussed in the literature of nanoethics, and also points to a certain bias in this literature. Each quite different in nature, these issues are: (1) The naming and (2) the timing of and approach to the field, as well as (3) the issue of safety. As will be seen, these issues are almost exclusively discussed by ethicists, (throughout the article, the term’ethicist’ is used in a broad definition covering philosophers, social and political scientists as well as philosophers of science) thus having no direct influence on the work being carried out by scientists. One can argue, therefore, that this bias creates a distortion of the ethical debate, making it insufficient and misleading. Ultimately, this bias is caused by the lack of communication and collaboration between ethicists on the one hand, and nanoscientists on the other. Thus, an argument is made for the different disciplines to begin collaborating, so as to more effectively and responsibly develop the field of nanoscience. (shrink)
We propose a method for estimating subjective beliefs, viewed as a subjective probability distribution. The key insight is to characterize beliefs as a parameter to be estimated from observed choices in a well-defined experimental task and to estimate that parameter as a random coefficient. The experimental task consists of a series of standard lottery choices in which the subject is assumed to use conventional risk attitudes to select one lottery or the other and then a series of betting choices in (...) which the subject is presented with a range of bookies offering odds on the outcome of some event that the subject has a belief over. Knowledge of the risk attitudes of subjects conditions the inferences about subjective beliefs. Maximum simulated likelihood methods are used to estimate a structural model in which subjects employ subjective beliefs to make bets. We present evidence that some subjective probabilities are indeed best characterized as probability distributions with non-zero variance. (shrink)
The article deals with the relationship between theological ethics and moral philosophy. The former is seen as a theoretical reflection on Christian ethics, the latter as one on secular ethics. The main questions asked are: Is there one and only one pre-theoretical knowledge about acting rightly? Does philosophy provide us with the theoretical framework for understanding both Christian and secular ethics? Both questions are answered in the negative. In the course of argument, four positions are presented: theological unificationism, philosophical unificationism, (...) theological separationism and Lutheran dualism. It is argued that the latter position is most convincing. It is dual in the sense of being both a theory of Christian ethics and of including a recognition of natural law. Hence, it unites a particularistic and a universalistic point of view. In the last section a reformulation of the Lutheran position is attempted in making use of the ethical theory of Knud E. Løgstrup''s The Ethical Demand. (shrink)
Many people alive today grew up during the so-called Cold War and even more experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Cold War can be taken as the name of the order of international relations during four decades of the twentieth century. In the following, I want first to comment on the concept of world order and the related one of institution (law). Then I shall deal with the relation between these concepts and various schools in international politics. Next, (...) I will pay attention to the ethical dimensions of those schools. And finally, I want to reflect on the place of theology in the ethics of international relations. My thesis is (1) that theological ethics has an important role to play in understanding contemporary international politics (IP); (2) that if theological ethics takes a Lutheran starting point, it will endorse elements both in the liberal and the realist tradition of international relations theory. As I regard Kant and Kissinger as representatives of the two schools, I hope that explains my somewhat provocative title. (shrink)
This article presents an overview ofregulations, guidelines and societal debates ineight member states of the EC about a)embryonic and fetal tissue transplantation(EFTT), and b) the use of human embryonic stemcells (hES cells) for research into celltherapy, including `therapeutic' cloning. Thereappears to be a broad acceptance of EFTT inthese countries. In most countries guidance hasbeen developed. There is a `strong' consensusabout some of the central conditions for `goodclinical practice' regarding EFTT.International differences concern, amongstothers, some of the informed consent issuesinvolved, and the (...) questions whether anintermediary organisation is necessary, whetherthe methods of abortion may be influenced bythe possible use of EFT, and whether EFTTshould only be used for the experimentaltreatment of rare disorders. The potential useof hES cells for research into cell therapy hasgiven a new impetus to the debate about (human)embryo research. The therapeutic prospects withregard to the retrieval and research use of hEScells appear to function as a catalyst for theintroduction of less restrictive regulationsconcerning research with spare embryos, atleast in some European countries. It remains tobe seen whether the prospect of treatingpatients suffering from serious disorders withtransplants produced by therapeutic cloningwill decrease the societal and moral resistanceto allowing the generation of embryos for`instrumental' use. (shrink)
The Danish philosopher K. E. Løgstrup is best known in the Anglo-American world for his original work in ethics, primarily in _The Ethical Demand _. Løgstrup continued to write extensively on issues in ethics and phenomenology throughout his life, and extracts from some of his later writings are now also available in translation in _Beyond the Ethical Demand_. In _Concern for the Other: The Ethics of K. E. Løgstrup_, eleven scholars examine the structure, intention, and originality of Løgstrup's ethics as (...) a whole. This collection of essays is a companion to _Beyond the Ethical Demand_, as well as to _The Ethical Demand_. The essays examine Løgstrup’s crucial concept of the “sovereign expressions of life”; his view of moral principles as a substitute for, or inferior form of, ethics; his relationships to other philosophers, including the twentieth-century British moral philosophers; and the role of his Lutheran background in his ethics. Løgstrup also firmly advanced the controversial thesis, examined by several essays in this volume, that the demand for “other-concern” central to his ethics does not depend on religious faith. “The significance of Løgstrup’s work is well demonstrated by the substantive criticisms made of that work by the essays here collected. Hopefully this book will encourage others to engage this significant but unfortunately not well-known thinker.” —_Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School_ “Svend Andersen and Kees van Kooten Niekerk have done a great service for everyone with the publication of this stellar book on the thought of Knud E. Løgstrup, the most prominent Danish theologian-philosopher of the last century. CONCERN FOR THE OTHER includes essays by renowned thinkers who critically engage Løgstrup’s work with both insight and depth. The book thereby provides an engagement with this important thinker’s ideas about morality, trust, and responsibility and yet also presents features of the current state of the debate within ethics. I enthusiastically commend this book to anyone interested in contemporary ethics and moral theory as well as the relation between theology and philosophy.” —_William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics, The University of Chicago_. (shrink)