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  1. Costa, cancer and coronavirus: contractualism as a guide to the ethics of lockdown.Stephen David John & Emma J. Curran - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (9):643-650.
    Lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic involve placing huge burdens on some members of society for the sake of benefiting other members of society. How should we decide when these policies are permissible? Many writers propose we should address this question using cost-benefit analysis, a broadly consequentialist approach. We argue for an alternative non-consequentialist approach, grounded in contractualist moral theorising. The first section sets up key issues in the ethics of lockdown, and sketches the apparent appeal of addressing (...)
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  2. Epistemic trust and the ethics of science communication: against transparency, openness, sincerity and honesty.Stephen John - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (2):75-87.
  3. Inductive risk and the contexts of communication.Stephen John - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):79-96.
    In recent years, the argument from inductive risk against value free science has enjoyed a revival. This paper investigates and clarifies this argument through means of a case-study: neonicitinoid research. Sect. 1 argues that the argument from inductive risk is best conceptualised as a claim about scientists’ communicative obligations. Sect. 2 then shows why this argument is inapplicable to “public communication”. Sect. 3 outlines non-epistemic reasons why non-epistemic values should not play a role in public communicative contexts. Sect. 4 analyses (...)
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  4.  63
    Science, truth and dictatorship: Wishful thinking or wishful speaking?Stephen John - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78:64-72.
  5. Must We Vaccinate the Most Vulnerable? Efficiency, Priority, and Equality in the Distribution of Vaccines.Emma J. Curran & Stephen D. John - 2022 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 39 (4):682-697.
    In this article, we aim to map out the complexities which characterise debates about the ethics of vaccine distribution, particularly those surrounding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. In doing so, we distinguish three general principles which might be used to distribute goods and two ambiguities in how one might wish to spell them out. We then argue that we can understand actual debates around the COVID-19 vaccine – including those over prioritising vaccinating the most vulnerable – as reflecting disagreements (...)
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  6. The example of the IPCC does not vindicate the Value Free Ideal: a reply to Gregor Betz.Stephen John - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):1-13.
    In a recent paper, Gregor Betz has defended the value-free ideal: “the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic values”against the methodological critique, by reference to the work of the International Panel on Climate Change . This paper argues that Betz’s defence is unsuccessful. First, Betz’s argument is sketched, and it is shown that the IPCC does not avoid the need to “translate” claims. In Section 2, it is argued that Betz mischaracterises the force of the methodological (...)
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  7.  59
    Objectivity in Science.Stephen John - 2021 - Cambridge University Press.
    Objectivity is a key concept both in how we talk about science in everyday life and in the philosophy of science. This Element explores various ways in which recent philosophers of science have thought about the nature, value and achievability of objectivity. The first section explains the general trend in recent philosophy of science away from a notion of objectivity as a 'view from nowhere' to a focus on the relationship between objectivity and trust. Section 2 discusses the relationship between (...)
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  8. Expert testimony and epistemological free-riding: The mmr controversy.Stephen John - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):496-517.
    Using the controversy over the MMR vaccine, I consider the reasons why non-experts should defer to experts, and I sketch a model for understanding cases where they fail to defer. I first suggest that an intuitively plausible model of the expert/non-expert relationship is complicated by shifting epistemic standards. One possible moderate response to this challenge, based on a more complex notion of non-experts' relationship with experts, seems unappealing as an account of the MMR controversy. A more radical suggestion is that (...)
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  9.  25
    Science, politics and regulation: The trust-based approach to the demarcation problem.Stephen John - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90 (C):1-9.
  10. The Ethics of Lockdown: Communication, Consequences, and the Separateness of Persons.Stephen John - 2020 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 30 (3):265-289.
    In many countries and regions across the world, the initial response to the massive health risks posed by COVID-19 has been the institution of lockdown measures. Although they vary from place to place, these measures all involve trade-offs between ethical goods and imperatives, imposing significant restrictions on central human capabilities—including citizens’ ability to work, socialize, exercise democratic rights, and access education—in the name of protecting population health. As such, it seems imperative for philosophers to ask whether lockdown measures are ethical.This (...)
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  11.  45
    Risk, Contractualism, and Rose's.S. D. John - 2014 - Social Theory and Practice 40 (1):28-50.
    Geoffrey Rose’s prevention paradox points to a tension between two prima facie plausible moral principles: that we should save the greater number and that weshould save the most at risk. This paper argues that a novel moral theory, ex-ante contractualism, captures our intuitions in many prevention paradox cases, regardless of our interpretation of probability claims. However, it goes on to show that it might be impossible to square ex-ante contractualism with all of our moral intuitions. It concludes that even if (...)
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  12.  87
    Stoicism.Sellars John - 2017 - Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy.
    An overview of Stoicism in the Renaissance, c. 1350 to c. 1650.
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  13.  71
    Risk, Contractualism, and Rose's "Prevention Paradox".S. D. John - 2014 - Social Theory and Practice 40 (1):28-50.
    Geoffrey Rose’s prevention paradox points to a tension between two prima facie plausible moral principles: that we should save the greater number and that weshould save the most at risk. This paper argues that a novel moral theory, ex-ante contractualism, captures our intuitions in many prevention paradox cases, regardless of our interpretation of probability claims. However, it goes on to show that it might be impossible to square ex-ante contractualism with all of our moral intuitions. It concludes that even if (...)
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  14.  28
    Patient Preference Predictors, Apt Categorization, and Respect for Autonomy.S. John - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (2):169-177.
    In this paper, I set out two ethical complications for Rid and Wendler’s proposal that a “Patient Preference Predictor” (PPP) should be used to aid decision making about incapacitated patients’ care. Both of these worries concern how a PPP might categorize patients. In the first section of the paper, I set out some general considerations about the “ethics of apt categorization” within stratified medicine and show how these challenge certain PPPs. In the second section, I argue for a more specific—but (...)
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  15.  20
    Messy autonomy: Commentary on Patient preference predictors and the problem of naked statistical evidence.Stephen David John - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (12):864-864.
    Like many, I find the idea of relying on patient preference predictors in life-or-death cases ethically troubling. As part of his stimulating discussion, Sharadin1 diagnoses such unease as a worry that using PPPs disrespects patients’ autonomy, by treating their most intimate and significant desires as if they were caused by their demographic traits. I agree entirely with Sharadin’s ‘debunking’ response to this concern: we can use statistical correlations to predict others’ preferences without thereby assuming any causal claim. However, I suspect (...)
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  16. From Social Values to P-Values: The Social Epistemology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Stephen John - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2):157-171.
    In this article I ask two questions prompted by the phenomenon of ‘politically patterned’ climate change denial. First, can an individual's political commitments provide her with good reasons not to defer to cognitive experts’ testimony? Building on work in philosophy of science on inductive risk, I argue they can. Second, can an individual's political commitments provide her with good reasons not to defer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's testimony? I argue that they cannot, because of the high epistemic (...)
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  17. In Defence of Bad Science and Irrational Policies: an Alternative Account of the Precautionary Principle.Stephen John - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):3-18.
    In the first part of the paper, three objections to the precautionary principle are outlined: the principle requires some account of how to balance risks of significant harms; the principle focuses on action and ignores the costs of inaction; and the principle threatens epistemic anarchy. I argue that these objections may overlook two distinctive features of precautionary thought: a suspicion of the value of “full scientific certainty”; and a desire to distinguish environmental doings from allowings. In Section 2, I argue (...)
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  18.  17
    Scientific deceit.Stephen John - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):373-394.
    This paper argues for a novel account of deceitful scientific communication, as “wishful speaking”. This concept is of relevance both to philosophy of science and to discussions of the ethics of lying and misleading. Section 1 outlines a case-study of “ghost-managed” research. Section 2 introduces the concept of “wishful speaking” and shows how it relates to other forms of misleading communication. Sections 3–5 consider some complications raised by the example of pharmaceutical research; concerning the ethics of silence; how research strategies—as (...)
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  19.  65
    The Politics of Certainty: The Precautionary Principle, Inductive Risk and Procedural Fairness.Stephen John - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):21-33.
    This paper re-interprets the precautionary principle as a ‘social epistemic rule’. First, it argues that sometimes policy-makers should act on claims which have not been scientifically established....
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  20.  28
    Death Sentences.Stephen John - 2022 - Philosophy of Medicine 3 (1).
    There are many analogies between medical and judicial practice. This article explores one such analogy, between “medicalization” and “criminalization.” Specifically, drawing on an analogy between a judge’s speech act of delivering a verdict and a physician’s speech act of giving a diagnosis, it suggests a novel account of the phenomenon of “overdiagnosis.” Using this approach, we can make some headway in understanding debates over the early detection of cancer. The final section outlines the relationship between this approach and familiar debates (...)
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  21.  7
    Book Forum.Stephen John - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 96 (C):186-187.
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  22.  14
    How low can you go? Justified hesitancy and the ethics of childhood vaccination against COVID-19.Stephen David John - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (12):1006-1009.
    This paper explores some of the ethical issues around offering COVID-19 vaccines to children. My main conclusion is rather paradoxical: the younger we go, the stronger the grounds for justified parental hesitancy and, as such, the stronger the arguments for enforcing vaccination. I suggest that this is not thereductio ad absurdumit appears, but does point to difficult questions about the nature of parental authority in vaccination cases. The first section sketches the disagreement over vaccinating teenagers, arguing that the UK policy (...)
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  23. Security, Knowledge and Well-being.Stephen John - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1):68-91.
    This paper investigates whether being “physically insecure” (being at risk of not continuing to meet one's physical needs in the future) should be thought of as a constituent of current wellbeing. In §1, it is argued that we cannot understand the value of security in terms of “freedom from fear”. In §2, it is argued that the reliablist approach to epistemology can help us to construct an account of why physical security is valuable, by relating security to the conditions of (...)
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  24.  30
    Supreme Emergencies, Epistemic Murkiness and Epistemic Transparency.Stephen David John - 2009 - Philosophy of Management 8 (2):3-12.
    Sometimes, states face emergencies: situations where many individuals face an imminent threat of serious harm. Some believe that in such cases certain sorts of actions which are normally morally prohibited might be permissible. In this paper, I discuss this view as it applies in both the contexts of war and of public health policy. I suggest that the deontologist can best understand emergencies by analogy with the distinction between act- and rule consequentialism. In real world cases, we must often make (...)
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  25. Risk and Precaution.Stephen John - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics: Key Concepts and Issues in Policy and Practice:67--84.
  26.  88
    Efficiency, responsibility and disability: Philosophical lessons from the savings argument for pre-natal diagnosis.Stephen John - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (1):1470594-13505412.
    Pre-natal-diagnosis technologies allow parents to discover whether their child is likely to suffer from serious disability. One argument for state funding of access to such technologies is that doing so would be “cost-effective”, in the sense that the expected financial costs of such a programme would be outweighed by expected “benefits”, stemming from the births of fewer children with serious disabilities. This argument is extremely controversial. This paper argues that the argument may not be as unacceptable as is often assumed. (...)
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  27.  18
    Efficiency, responsibility and disability: Philosophical lessons from the savings argument for pre-natal diagnosis.Stephen John - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (1):3-22.
    Pre-natal-diagnosis technologies allow parents to discover whether their child is likely to suffer from serious disability. One argument for state funding of access to such technologies is that doing so would be “cost-effective”, in the sense that the expected financial costs of such a programme would be outweighed by expected “benefits”, stemming from the births of fewer children with serious disabilities. This argument is extremely controversial. This paper argues that the argument may not be as unacceptable as is often assumed. (...)
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  28. What is a speech act?. M. Black, ed.Searle John - 1964 - In Max Black (ed.), Philosophy in America. Ithaca: Routledge. pp. 221--239.
     
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  29.  45
    How to take deontological concerns seriously in risk-cost-benefit analysis: a re-interpretation of the precautionary principle.S. D. John - 2007 - Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (4):221-224.
    In this paper the coherence of the precautionary principle as a guide to public health policy is considered. Two conditions that any account of the principle must meet are outlined, a condition of practicality and a condition of publicity. The principle is interpreted in terms of a tripartite division of the outcomes of action . Such a division of outcomes can be justified on either “consequentialist” or “deontological” grounds. In the second half of the paper, it is argued that the (...)
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  30.  36
    Should Science Lead?Stephen John - 2020 - The Philosophers' Magazine 90:58-63.
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  31.  21
    Erratum to: The example of the IPCC does not vindicate the Value Free Ideal: a reply to Gregor Betz.Stephen John - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (2):259-259.
  32.  44
    Three Worries About Three Arguments for Research Exceptionalism.Stephen John - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (8):67-69.
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  33. Puzzling Identities, by Vincent Descombes, translated by Stephen Adam Schwartz.Schwenkler John - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):967-974.
    © Mind Association 2017This rich and engaging book addresses a nest of questions that have been mostly neglected in recent Anglophone philosophy. These questions concern ordinary uses of the concept of identity in speaking for example of identity crises, of one’s identity as something that can be lost or maintained, of identification with certain groups, traits, values, or beliefs, and so on. That there are these uses, and that they are an important feature of contemporary culture, is beyond question: witness (...)
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  34.  8
    Why Read Mill Today?Skorupski John - 2006 - New York: Routledge.
    John Stuart Mill is one of the greatest thinkers of the nineteenth century. But does he have anything to teach us today? His deep concern for freedom of the individual is thought by some to be outdated and inadequate to the cultural and religious complexities of twenty first century life. In this succinct and shrewd book, John Skorupski argues that Mill is a profound and inspiring social and political thinker from whom we still have much to learn. He reflects on (...)
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  35.  73
    Mind the gap.Stephen John - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):218-220.
  36.  37
    Should We Punish Responsible Drinkers? Prevention, Paternalism and Categorization in Public Health.Stephen John - 2018 - Public Health Ethics 11 (1):35-44.
    Many public debates over policies aimed at curbing alcohol consumption start from an assumption that policies should not affect ‘responsible’ drinkers. In this article, I examine this normative claim, which I call prudentialism. In the first part of the article, I argue that prudentialism is both a demanding and distinctive doctrine, which philosophers should consider seriously. In the middle sections, I examine the relationship between prudentialism and two familiar topics in public health ethics: the prevention paradox and the relationship between (...)
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  37. Why 'health' is not a central category for public health policy.Stephen John - 2009 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):129-143.
    We normally think that public health policy is an important political activity. In turn, we normally understand the value of public health policy in terms of the promotion of health or some health-related good (such as opportunity for health), on the basis of the assumption that health is an important constituent or determinant of wellbeing. In this paper, I argue that the assumption that the value of public health policy should be understood in terms of health leads us to overlook (...)
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  38.  71
    “First, Do No Harm”?Stephen John & Joseph Wu - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (3):525-551.
    Screening for asymptomatic disease is a routine aspect of contemporary public health practice. However, it is also controversial, because it leads to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, with many arguing that programmes are “ineffective,” i.e., the “costs” outweigh the “benefits.” This paper explores a more fundamental objection to screening programmes: that, even if they are effective, they are ethically impermissible because they breach the principle of non-maleficence. In so doing, it suggests a new approach to the ethics of risk, justifying a concern (...)
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  39.  52
    Hildegard of Bingen: A New Twelfth‐century Woman Philosopher?Helen J. John, S. N. D. - 1992 - Hypatia 7 (1):115-123.
  40.  31
    The limits of moral imagination.Stephen John - 2022 - Metascience 31 (3):369-372.
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  41.  36
    The Two Virtues of Science.Stephen John - 2022 - Spontaneous Generations 10 (1):47-53.
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was disagreement over whether the science supported facemask mandates. This paper interrogates debates over this question, paying particular attention to an ambiguity between two scientific virtues: epistemic caution and epistemic responsiveness. I suggest that there is an argument from each virtue to reasons to trust scientists’ claims in policy debate. However, as the case of facemask debates illustrates, it is not clear that scientists can possess both virtues simultaneously: the two virtues are in tension. After (...)
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  42. Explanation, Representation and the Dynamical Hypothesis.Symons John - 2001 - Minds and Machines 11 (4):521-541.
    This paper challenges arguments that systematic patterns of intelligent behavior license the claim that representations must play a role in the cognitive system analogous to that played by syntactical structures in a computer program. In place of traditional computational models, I argue that research inspired by Dynamical Systems theory can support an alternative view of representations. My suggestion is that we treat linguistic and representational structures as providing complex multi-dimensional targets for the development of individual brains. This approach acknowledges the (...)
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  43. Wilkins. 2005–. Replication.David L. Hull & S. John - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  44.  42
    Alex Broadbent philosophy of epidemiology.Stephen John - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):707-711.
  45.  15
    A Critical Look at Stigma Across Genres and Audiences.Sue Lockett John - 2012 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 27 (3):212-213.
    Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Volume 27, Issue 3, Page 212-213, July-September.
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  46.  35
    Anti-anti-vaxx: the fairness-based obligation to defer to the expert consensus.Stephen John - unknown
    This paper uses the case-study of controversy over the MMT vaccine to suggest that non-expert audiences might have a fairness-based "political" obligation to defer to expert scientific consensus. The first part of the paper notes various reasons why it is implausible to argue that non-experts are epistemically obliged to defer to the consensus. The second draws on the literature on vaccination ethics more generally to argue for the alternative political obligation to defer. The third section considers some objections, and the (...)
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  47.  37
    Behavioural ecology as a basic science for evolutionary psychiatry.S. Price John - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):421.
    To the evolutionarily oriented clinical psychiatrist, the discipline of behavioural ecology is a fertile basic science. Human psychology discusses variation in terms of means, standard deviations, heritabilities, and so on, but behavioural ecology deals with mutually incompatible alternative behavioural strategies, the heritable variation being maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. I suggest that behavioural ecology should be included in the interdisciplinary dialogue recommended by Keller & Miller (K&M). (Published Online November 9 2006).
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  48.  19
    Bookmarking genes for activation in condensed mitotic chromosomes.Sam John & Jerry L. Workman - 1998 - Bioessays 20 (4):275-279.
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  49.  27
    College organization and professional development: integrating moral reasoning and reflective practice.St John & P. Edward - 2009 - New York: Routledge.
    Professional responsibility -- Social justice -- Professional development -- Actionable knowledge -- Expert knowledge and skills -- Strategy and artistry -- Professional effectiveness -- Critical social challenges -- Transformational practice -- Conclusions.
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  50. Is there an obligation to participate in medical research?Stephen John - 2009 - In Oonagh Corrigan (ed.), The limits of consent: a socio-ethical approach to human subject research in medicine. New York: Oxford University Press.
     
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