This paper considers the use of outcome measures in the British National Health Service (NHS). Measuring outcomes is a major conceptual and practical problem. Many different measures are currently available yet no consensus has been reached on which should be preferred over others, or about which should take priority when they conflict. Some currently used measures are described, the relationship between these measures and the measured activities are discussed, and fundamental problems with both the measures and their use are revealed. (...) It is shown that however assiduous the search, the ‘perfect’ outcome measure will always remain elusive. (shrink)
Thanks in large, part to the record of schohrship fostered by Hypatia, feminist philosophers are now positioned not just as critics of the canon, but as innovators advancing uniquely feminist perspectives for theorizing about the world. As relatively junior feminist scholars, the five of us were called upon to provide some reflections on emerging trends in feminist philosophy and to comment on its future. Despite the fact that we come from diverse subfields and philosophical traditions, four common aims emerged in (...) our collaboration as central to the future of feminist philosophies. We seek to: 1) challenge universalist and essentialist frameworks without ceding to relativism; 2) center cofoniality and embodiment in our analyses of the intermeshed realities of race and gender by shifting from oppression in the abstract to concrete cosmologies and struggles, particuforly those of women of color and women of colonized communities across the globe; 3) elaborate the materialities of thought, being, and community that must succeed atomistic conceptions of persons as disembodied, individually constituted, and autonomous; 4) demonstrate what is distinctive and valuable about feminist philosophy, while fighting persistent marginalization within the discipline. In our joint musings here, we attempt to articulate how future feminist philosophies might advance these aims, as well as some of the challenges we face. (shrink)
While psychoanalysis credits the entrenchment of systems of subordination to the necessity of socialization and the transmission of dominant values from parent to child, by claiming social symbolics independent of the dominant hegemony, W.E.B. Du Bois calls for resistant forms of identification. Psychoanalyticaccounts of social power relations often assume that the dominant social group produces the only operative social symbolic and that this symbolic is also identical with the nation, but Du Bois’s attention to the slave song allows him to (...) trace the burial of a black American symbolic rather than a traumatic inculcation of the dominant white symbolic. (shrink)
For any system that uses previous experience to solve problems in new situations, it is necessary to identify the features in the situation that should match features in the previous cases through some process ofsituation analysis. In this paper, we examine this problem in the legal domain, where lawyers know it asissue spotting. In particular, we present an implementation of issue spotting in CHASER, a legal reasoning system that works in the domain of tort law.This approach is a compromise between (...) generality and efficiency, and is applicable to a range of problems and domains besides legal reasoning. In particular, it presents a principled way to use multiple cases for a single problem by exploiting the inherent structure present in many domains. (shrink)
Bayesian confirmation theory is rife with confirmation measures. Zalabardo focuses on the probability difference measure, the probability ratio measure, the likelihood difference measure, and the likelihood ratio measure. He argues that the likelihood ratio measure is adequate, but each of the other three measures is not. He argues for this by setting out three adequacy conditions on confirmation measures and arguing in effect that all of them are met by the likelihood ratio measure but not by any of the other (...) three measures. Glass and McCartney, hereafter “G&M,” accept the conclusion of Zalabardo’s argument along with each of the premises in it. They nonetheless try to improve on Zalabardo’s argument by replacing his third adequacy condition with a weaker condition. They do this because of a worry to the effect that Zalabardo’s third adequacy condition runs counter to the idea behind his first adequacy condition. G&M have in mind confirmation in the sense of increase in probability: the degree to which E confirms H is a matter of the degree to which E increases H’s probability. I call this sense of confirmation “IP.” I set out four ways of precisifying IP. I call them “IP1,” “IP2,” “IP3,” and “IP4.” Each of them is based on the assumption that the degree to which E increases H’s probability is a matter of the distance between p and a certain other probability involving H. I then evaluate G&M’s argument in light of them. (shrink)
I thank Sean Smith and Monima Chadha for their reviews of Attention, Not Self and for their commentary. It has been rewarding to think through the issues they have raised, and I am grateful to both.Let me begin with the methodological principle that Sean Smith endorses at the beginning of his review. Smith says this: "My main argument is that Ganeri attributes views to Buddhaghosa that the latter does not hold. Embedded in this complaint is the assumption that (...) we should try to get a thinker right and on their own terms as a precursor to seeing how their views interface with those of others. It is an assumption I will rely on throughout." Let me call this the Exegesis First assumption. The assumption takes the form... (shrink)
Physicist Sean Carroll has developed a new theory of the fundamental nature of reality, which he calls “Poetic Naturalism,” with the stated goal of developing a theory of what is real that is consistent with the findings of natural science. Carroll claims to prove that morality cannot be seen as objectively true. This essay argues that Carroll's conclusion is not convincing; there is no good reason to reject moral objectivity within a purely naturalistic worldview.
Narratives of the experience of pulmonary tuberculosis are relatively rare in the Irish context. A scourge of the early twentieth century, TB was as much a social as a physically debilitating disease that rendered sufferers silent about their experience. Thus, the personal diaries and letters of Irish poet, Seán Ó Ríordáin, are rare. This article presents translations of his personal papers in a historico-medical context to chronicle Ó Ríordáin’s experience of a life marred by respiratory disease. Familiar to generations of (...) schoolchildren are his imaginative poems, whose lively metre punctuated the Irish language curriculum from primary through to secondary schooling; for most they leave an indelible mark. Such buoyant poems however belie the reality of his existence, lived in the shadow of chronic illness, and punctuated with despair over his condition and anxiety about the periods of extended sick leave his illness necessitated. Although despair dominated his diaries and he routinely begged God, Mary, the Saints and the devil for death, they were also the locus where his creativity developed. In his diaries, caricatures of friends and sketches of everyday things nestle among the first lines of some of his most influential poems and quotes from distinguished philosophers and writers. Evocative and tragic, his diaries offer a unique prism to the experience of respiratory disease in Ireland. (shrink)
Sean B. Carroll’s new book, The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why it Matters, is a well-written mix of history of science and philosophy of biology. In his book, Carroll articulates a set of ecological generalisations, the Serengeti Rules, which are supposed to make salient the structures in ecosystems that ensure the persistence of those ecosystems. In this essay review, I evaluate Carroll’s use of the controversial concept of regulation and his thesis that ecosystems (...) have a natural balance comparable to that of human bodies. My conclusion is optimistic. Carroll’s generalisations provide a tool-kit for building relatively simple models that are accurate enough to be widely applied in experimental ecology and conservation science, guiding interventions upon unhealthy ecosystems. (shrink)
Sean Carroll argues that we should endorse atheism since there are no good reasons for affirming the more complex thesis of theism over the less complexthesis of materialism. However, this argument relies on an epistemological minimalism we should reject.
Environmental Ethics and Behavioral Change is a unique text that weaves together subject in ethics, moral psychology, and political philosophy to explore the ways in which people can be motivated to behave in more environmentally sustainable ways. In this review, I offer a short synopsis of the book and appraise its usefulness for teaching courses in environmental ethics and related areas.