The concept of health has always been a debatable aspect when WHO defines it as ‘not merely an absence of disease but a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing’. The ambiguity implicit in the second part of the concept is still debatable. Health also described through capability approach situating within the context of Justice as well as productivity-based approach that uses DALY as a way to understand health, highlights the importance attached to the concept. In philosophy of medicine, the (...) debate has been slightly different as to whether the concept of health is value free and objective as claimed by naturalists or as that embedded in the context that has a greater bearing of what one qualifies as healthy as argued by normativists. Though this debate appears to be more of clinical significance, as an offshoot from the field of philosophy of medicine its insinuation has lot to offer in the current studies in the field of sociology of health and illness that examines the social p. (shrink)
At first blush, the town square in Fairfield, Iowa, seems no different from hundreds like it that grace small communities from New England to California. It has a pretty gazebo where bands play, a stretch of grass ideal for sunbathing, and a monument to historic local events, and all of it is surrounded by businesses that offer clothes, medicine, food, and, perhaps, a drink or two. Such town centers are so classically American that Disney and Hollywood have turned them into (...) clichés, timeworn settings for amusement parks, Fourth of July celebrations, political speeches, and romance.1But a closer look at the heart of Fairfield shows how far this place is from ordinary. Hard by a couple of real estate sales offices .. (shrink)
Jonathan Lear argues that the established purgation, purification, and cognitive stimulation interpretations of Aristotle’s concepts of catharsis and tragic pleasure are off the mark. In response, Lear defends an anti-cognitivist account, arguing that it is the pleasure associated with imaginatively “living life to the full” and yet hazarding nothing of importance that captures Aristotle’s understanding of catharsis and tragic pleasure. This analysis reveals that Aristotle’s account of imagination in conjunction with his understanding of both specific intellectual virtues and rational emotions (...) of an educated citizen not only tells against Lear’s anti-cognitivist construal, but also divulges an alternative cognitive stimulation reading. (shrink)
This paper defends the position that the supposed gap between biological altruism and psychological altruism is not nearly as wide as some scholars (e.g., Elliott Sober) insist. Crucial to this defense is the use of James Mark Baldwin's concepts of “organic selection”and “social heredity” to assist in revealing that the gap between biological and psychological altruism is more of a small lacuna. Specifically, this paper argues that ontogenetic behavioral adjustments, which are crucial to individual survival and reproduction, are also crucial (...) to species survival. In particular, it is argued that human psychological altruism is produced and maintained by various sorts of mimicry and self-reflection in the aid of both individual and species survival. The upshot of this analysis is that it is possible to offer an account of psychological altruism that is closelytethered to biological altruism without reducing entirely the former to thelatter. (shrink)
John Searle offers what he thinks to be a reasonable scientific approach to the understanding of consciousness. I argue that Searle is demanding nothing less than a Kuhnian-type revolution with respect to how scientists should study consciousness given his rejection of the subject-object distinction and affirmation of mental causation. As part of my analysis, I reveal that Searle embraces a version of emergentism that is in tension, not only with his own account, but also with some of the theoretical tenets (...) of science. I conclude that Searle has offered little to motivate scientists to adopt his proposal. (shrink)
Defenders of evolutionary medicine claim that medical professionals and public health officials would do well to consider the role of evolutionary biology with respect to the teaching, research, and judgments pertaining to medical theory and practice. An integral part of their argument is that the human body should be understood as a bundle of evolutionary compromises. Such an appreciation, which includes a proper understanding of biological function and physiological homeostasis, would provide a crucial perspective regarding the understanding and securing of (...) human health needs currently lacking in the medical arena. (shrink)
Albert Jonsen and Stephen Toulmin have argued that the best way to resolve complex “moral” issues in clinical settings is to focus on the details of specific cases. This approach to medical decision-making, labeled ‘casuistry’, has met with much criticism in recent years. In response to this criticism, Carson Strong has attempted to salvage much of Jonsen’s and Toulmin’s version of casuistry. He concludes that much of their analysis, including Jonsen’s further elaboration about the casuistic methodology, is on the mark. (...) In this essay, the details of Jonsen’s and Toulmin’s version of casuistry and the major criticisms against their approach to clinical decision-making are explicated. Furthermore, it is argued that Strong’s salvage efforts fail to deflect these criticisms. The upshot of this analysis, which includes a few additional criticisms, is that Jonsen’s and Toulmin’s version of casuistry is not an appropriate framework from which to resolve complex “moral” issues in clinical settings. (shrink)
_Bringing Biology to Life _is a guided tour of the philosophy of biology, canvassing three broad areas: the early history of biology, from Aristotle to Darwin; traditional debates regarding species, function, and units of selection; and recent efforts to better understand the human condition in light of evolutionary biology. Topics are addressed using no more technical jargon than necessary, and without presupposing any advanced knowledge of biology or the philosophy of science on the part of the reader. Discussion questions are (...) also provided to encourage reader reflection. (shrink)
In a recent commentary, Kim and colleagues argued that minimal-risk research should be deregulated so that such studies do not require review by an institutional review board. They claim that regulation of minimal-risk studies provides no adequate counterbalancing good and instead leads to a costly human subjects oversight system. We argue that the counterbalancing good of regulating minimal-risk studies is that oversight exists to ensure that respect for persons and justice requirements are satisfied when they otherwise might not be.
This article explores how far animals are or are not endowed with a sense of history. The century-long history of lion–human interaction in the lions' last habitat in Asia—in India's Gir Forest, Gujarat State—is the focal point of analysis. In turn, there have been longer-term shifts since ancient and medieval times. Aside from two specific phases of breakdown, Gir's lions rarely attack people. To comprehend why this is so, both the lions and humans need to be seen as products of (...) history. Although it is going too far to endow the lions with historical consciousness, Gir's lions clearly do have memory of memories. Over a half-century since hunting ceased, living on a mix of domestic livestock and wild prey, they now co-inhabit not only the forest but a much larger territory in close proximity to resident people. Their case calls for rethinking both animal and human histories to allow for associate species that adapt to human presence, and are capable of memory. (shrink)
This paper explores the level of corporate social responsibility contributions disclosed by central public sector enterprises in India. This paper analyses the nature and quality of CSR disclosures made by CPSEs listed in India following the issue of CSR guidelines by the Department of Public Enterprises for CPSEs in March 2010. The purpose of the study is to investigate the impact of CSR guidelines on the reporting practices of the CPSEs. A content analysis of annual reports across seven themes shows (...) that Human Resources and Community Development are the prime focus areas of CSR disclosures, whereas Carbon and Greenhouse Gas emissions are the least reported activity. The disclosures across all CSR themes are primarily narrative rather than quantitative or in monetary terms. The findings of the study may help policy makers in India to assess practices and devise detailed and specific CSRD requirements, rather than the current general mandatory requirements, to enhance the performance and quality of CSRDs by the CPSEs. (shrink)
The contemporary debate on the concept of health is a tug-of-war between naturalists and normativists. Although health can be valued or disvalued, naturalists argue that the concept of health is value-free. In contrast, normativists argue that the concept of health is value-laden. This dissertation examines this controversy focusing on the naturalistic concept of health defended by Christopher Boorse. Boorse claims that health and disease are value-free concepts in the sense that diseased and healthy states can be gleaned from the facts (...) of nature without an appeal to value judgments. ;The dissertation first examines Boorse's critical assessment of both the naturalist and normativist concepts of health that he rejects. Then there is a critical examination of the concept of function, which is crucial to his concept of health. Subsequently, an exegesis of Boorse's concept of health is provided. This is followed by an evaluation of the many replies by his critics and Boorse's rejoinder to them. Finally, a modified version of Boorse's concept of health is proposed taking into account some of the intractable difficulties with his theory. ;There are six main findings regarding Boorse's theory: First, Boorse successfully rejects the main normative concepts of health. Second, he is partially successful against specific naturalistic concepts of health. Third, Boorse's contextualist concept of function is not entirely persuasive. Fourth, Boorse's concept of health is persuasive because he qualifies it to accommodate differences in age, gender, and species type. Fifth, with respect to his critics, Boorse is inconsistent in his reliance on evolution and does not give a proper place to the environment in his account. Sixth, a modified version of Boorse's concept of health, which includes an evolutionary sense of function, homeostasis, and acknowledges environmental factors , is a more appropriate way to understand health. ;This dissertation arrives at three major conclusions: First, Boorse's concept of health is mainly successful in response to the normativists, but he should concede that epistemic norms are part of his concept of health. Second, an evolutionary concept of function is superior to Boorse's part-functionalist account. Third, a prominent place should be given to both homeostasis and environmental factors, along with the factors of age, sex, and species mentioned by Boorse. A modification of Boorse's account reflecting these conclusions will be a more defensible naturalistic concept of health. (shrink)
Fifty-five documents in a western-Himalayan language dealing with land, pilgrimage, legality and temple-economy are presented. They explicate how ‘lesser states’ patronized numerous shrines and the role of Nath-Siddha-ascetics in creating consent-to-rule, and constructing hybridity between the Hindu and Tibetan-Buddhist traditions.