Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons. We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
There has been a flood of scholarship over the years on whether there is a “right to privacy” in the Constitution of the United States. Griswold v. Connecticut was, of course, the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to this river of commentary. A subject search for “privacy, right of” in the College of William and Mary's on-line library catalog located 360 book titles. A perusal of the leading law review bibliographic indices turned up still more. Whether the Constitution (...) contains some sort of “right to be let alone” is plainly one of the central questions of contemporary constitutional discourse. (shrink)
Article III of the U.S. Constitution establishes an independent federal judiciary: federal courts constitute a separate branch of the national government, federal judges enjoy tenure during good behavior, and their salaries cannot be diminished while they hold office. The framers who drafted Article III in 1787 were not working from whole cloth. Rather, they were familiar with the preceding colonial and state practices, including those from New York. This essay provides a case study of New York's judicial history: the Dutch (...) period, 1621-1664; the Ducal proprietary period, 1664-1685; the Royal period, 1685-1776; and the early state period. As will be seen, New York—among the most significant of the original thirteen states—was a state groping towards a new ideal of judicial independence: an ideal that became a reality a decade after its own constitution was enacted in 1777 and at a different level of government. Significantly, the uncertain status of New York's judiciary had profound consequences for the ultimate expression of judicial independence, judicial review. (shrink)
Most philosophy professors want to help their students improve their writing, but determining a good way to do so is not easy. Requiring students to write rough drafts is a good start, but the extra work these require can overload already busy professors. In this article I describe and defend the use of peer-review assignments as a way of improving undergraduate writing. The largest benefit of such assignments is that they allow the students to take a more objective view of (...) their own writing. I also provide sample questionsto use in such assignments. (shrink)
Traditional just war doctrine holds that political leaders are morally responsible for the decision to initiate war, while individual soldiers should be judged solely by their conduct in war. According to this view, soldiers fighting in an unjust war of aggression and soldiers on the opposing side seeking to defend their country are morally equal as long as each obeys the rules of combat. Revisionist scholars, however, maintain that soldiers who fight for an unjust cause bear at least some responsibility (...) for advancing an immoral end, even if they otherwise fight ethically. This article examines the attitudes of the American public regarding the moral equality of combatants. Utilizing an original survey experiment, we find that the public's moral reasoning is generally more consistent with that of the revisionists than with traditional just war theory. Americans in our study judged soldiers who participate in unjust wars as less ethical than soldiers in just wars, even when their battlefield conduct is identical, and a large proportion supported harsh punishments for soldiers simply for participating in unjust wars. We also find, however, that much of the American public is willing to extend the moral license of just cause significantly further than revisionist scholars advocate: half of the Americans in our survey were willing to allow an unambiguous war crime—a massacre of innocent women and children—to go unpunished when the act was committed by soldiers fighting for a just cause. Our findings suggest that incorporation of revisionist principles into the laws of war would reinforce dangerous moral intuitions encouraging the killing of civilians. (shrink)
Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, in Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, assert that rejecting the use nudges is ‘pointless’ because ‘[i]n many cases, some kind of nudge is inevitable’. Schlomo Cohen makes a similar claim. He asserts that in certain situations surgeons cannot avoid nudging patients either toward or away from consenting to surgical interventions. Cohen concludes that in these situations, nudging patients toward consenting to surgical interventions is uncriticizable or morally permissible. I call this argument: The (...) Unavoidability Argument. In this essay, I will respond to Cohen's use of the unavoidability argument in support of using nudges during the process of informed consent. Specifically, I argue that many so-called ‘unavoidable nudges’ are, in fact, avoidable. Although my argument is directed toward Cohen's use of the unavoidability argument, it is applicable to the unavoidability argument more generally. (shrink)
In this essay I discuss a novel engineering ethics class that has the potential to significantly decrease the likelihood that students will inadvertently or unintentionally act unethically in the future. This class is different from standard engineering ethics classes in that it focuses on the issue of why people act unethically and how students can avoid a variety of hurdles to ethical behavior. I do not deny that it is important for students to develop cogent moral reasoning and ethical decision-making (...) as taught in traditional college-level ethics classes, but as an educator, I aim to help students apply moral reasoning in specific, real-life situations so they are able to make ethical decisions and act ethically in their academic careers and after they graduate. Research in moral psychology provides evidence that many seemingly irrelevant situational factors affect the moral judgment of most moral agents and frequently lead agents to unintentionally or inadvertently act wrongly. I argue that, in addition to teaching college students moral reasoning and ethical decision-making, it is important to: 1. Teach students about psychological and situational factors that affect people’s ethical judgments/behaviors in the sometimes stressful, emotion-laden environment of the workplace; 2. Guide students to engage in critical reflection about the sorts of situations they personally might find ethically challenging before they encounter those situations; and 3. Provide students with strategies to help them avoid future unethical behavior when they encounter these situations in school and in the workplace. (shrink)
The ultimate challenge for psychology as a human science inheres in accessing the experience of the other. In general, the field of psychology has perpetuated the epistemological dualism of distinguishing between the realm accessible by external perception and the realm accessible by inner perception, and hence between the subjective and the objective , regarding the "first person" perspective as a legitimate means of access only to one's own private experience, while insisting that all others' experience must be observed from a (...) neutral "third person" perspective. By reflecting on his participant-observational encounters with the animal other of the Bonobo, the author attempts to demonstrate in this paper the possibility of a third approach between the antinomy of methodological subjectivism and methodological objectivism as a way out of the dilemmas posed by epistemological dualism. The alternative proposed is the "second person" framework of observation, which, by invoking empathic seeing as its means of accessing the private space of the other and creating the space of the "in between", allows for intersubjective engagement in an experiential gestalt consisting of "myself and the other", and offers the possibility of testing one's ‘own' experience of an intersubjective moment in dialogue with the other. In so far as it infers the focusing of consciousness on embodied experience and expression, and the synthesis of receptive and proprioceptive consciousness in "experiaction" , the "second person" perspective restores inner reality to the realm of the observable, and thus reclaims observation as the method of psychology, and behaviour as its subject matter. The notion of empathy and intuition as a reliable and valid mode of access to the psychological life of others is substantiated theoretically with reference to inter alia Husserl's concepts of "coupling" and "co-constitution", Merleau-Ponty's notions of "inter-corporeality" or "carnal intersubjectivity" and of "the intertwining and the chiasm" of the "Ineinander" as constitutive of the "flesh of the world", Laing's postulation of the possibility of "interexperience", and the sense of union with the object of perception implied by Scheler's term "Einsfühlung" as the essence of intersubjective encounter. (shrink)
Salient stimuli presented at unattended locations are not always perceived, a phenomenon termed inattentional blindness. We hypothesized that inattentional blindness may be mediated by attentional inhibition. It has been shown that attentional inhibition effects are maximal near an attended location. If our hypothesis is correct, inattentional blindness effects should similarly be maximal near an attended location. During central fixation, participants viewed rapidly presented colored digits at a peripheral location. An unexpected black circle was concurrently presented. Participants were instructed to maintain (...) central fixation and name each color/digit, requiring focused attention to that location. For each participant, the critical stimulus was presented either near to or far from the attended location . In support of our hypothesis, inattentional blindness effects were maximal near the attended location, but only at intermediate task accuracy. (shrink)
We present a general cognitive architecture that tightly integrates symbolic, spatial, and visual representations. A key means to achieving this integration is allowing cognition to move freely between these modes, using mental imagery. The specific components and their integration are motivated by results from psychology, as well as the need for developing a functional and efficient implementation. We discuss functional benefits that result from the combination of multiple content-based representations and the specialized processing units associated with them. Instantiating this theory, (...) we then discuss the architectural components and processes, and illustrate the resulting functional advantages in two spatially and visually rich domains. The theory is then compared to other prominent approaches in the area. (shrink)
The efforts of psychologists as well as laypersons to identify causes and motives of behavior is examined from an existential-phenomenological perspective. The claim made by modern psychology that its epistemological ground consists of an objectively given realm of “facts” is called into question. Psychological explanation is presented as a system of discourse that has its own psychological “motivation.” The traditional concepts of “conditions,” “causes,” and “motives” are critiqued and alternative notions such as “meaning” and “project” are drawn from the literature (...) of phenomenology as a basis for understanding rather than explaining human behavior. Verbal report data are used to illustrate and substantiate claims made about the illusive nature of explanation. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Phenomenology has remained a sheltering place for those who would seek to understand not only their own "first person" experiences but also the first person experiences of others. Recent publications by renowned scholars within the field have clarified and extended our possibilities of access to "first person" experience by means of perception and reflection . Teaching phenomenology remains a challenge, however, because one must find ways of communicating to the student how to embody it as a process rather than simply (...) to learn about it as a content area. Another challenge issues from the fact that most writings on applied phenomenology emphasize individual subjectivity as the central focus, while offering only indirect access to the subjectivity of others . While one finds in the literature of psychotherapy plentiful elucidations of the "we-experience" within which therapists form impressions of their clients' experience, there is still need for a more thoughtful clarification of our rather special personal modes of access to the experience of others in everyday life. This paper will present "second person perspectivity" as a mode of resonating with the expressions of others and will describe class activities that can bring students closer to a lived understanding of what it means to be doing phenomenology in the face of the other. (shrink)
1. Introduction. In recent years Brand Blanshard’s formulation of the coherence theory of truth, as he articulated it in The Nature of Thought, has come under formidable attack by Professor Nicholas Rescher of the University of Pittsburgh. In his otherwise excellent book, The Coherence Theory of Truth, later excerpted for P. A. Schilpp’s Library of Living Philosophers volume on Professor Blanshard, he criticizes Blanshard on two main counts.
Explores both the place and displacement of humanistic psychology within institutional contexts ranging from private liberal arts colleges to professional organizations like the American Psychological Association. First, from the perspective of social constructionism, we present the function and marginalization of humanistic psychologists within American academic psychology. Next we consider, from the perspective of A. Schutz's social phenomenology, humanistic psychology's place within academic psychology as "the stranger," both in terms of the fundamental incongruence of "traditional" versus "humanistic" psychological relevance systems and (...) the resulting breakdown of the "interchangeability of standpoints" that normally allows for contemporaries to communicate. The specific nature of these conflicts is then elaborated with reference to M. Heidegger's analysis of the concept of time. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
For decisions between many alternatives, the benchmark result is Hick's Law: that response time increases log-linearly with the number of choice alternatives. Even when Hick's Law is observed for response times, divergent results have been observed for error rates—sometimes error rates increase with the number of choice alternatives, and sometimes they are constant. We provide evidence from two experiments that error rates are mostly independent of the number of choice alternatives, unless context effects induce participants to trade speed for accuracy (...) across conditions. Error rate data have previously been used to discriminate between competing theoretical accounts of Hick's Law, and our results question the validity of those conclusions. We show that a previously dismissed optimal observer model might provide a parsimonious account of both response time and error rate data. The model suggests that people approximate Bayesian inference in multi-alternative choice, except for some perceptual limitations. (shrink)
This article documents and provides explanations for levels of and trends in earnings inequality, with a central focus on international differences in these outcomes. It concentrates on OECD countries, which are largely advanced industrialized nations, and typically have similar levels of labour productivity but often very different labour market institutions and changes in the supply of or demand for labour of various skill levels. As a result, one can use international differences to test hypotheses about the role of supply and (...) demand and institutions in influencing levels and trends in earnings inequality. The article first provides an analytical framework for understanding earnings inequality in which labour earnings are distinguished from wage rates. It then places inequality of wage rates in a supply and demand framework, augmented by consideration of labour market institutions. Next, after providing some data on the extent of earnings and wage inequality across countries and over time, it discusses evidence on the determinants of differences and changes in earnings inequality. (shrink)