There is one truth, but many truths: i.e., one unambiguous, non-relative truth-concept, but many and various propositions that are true. One truth-concept: to say that a proposition is true is to say (not that anyone, or everyone, believes it, but) that things are as it says; but many truths: particular empirical claims, scientific theories, historical propositions, mathematical theorems, logical principles, textual interpretations, statements about what a person wants or believes or intends, about grammatical and legal rules, etc., etc. But, as (...) Frank Ramsey once said, “There is no platitude so obvious that eminent philosophers have not denied it”; and as soon as you ask why anyone would deny that there is one truth-concept, or that there are many true propositions, it becomes apparent that my initial, simple formula disguises many complexities. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is (...) necessary to discover and defend a more humane social vision. Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of “mainstream” philosophy—as well as affect the lives of real people. (shrink)
This handbook is currently in development, with individual articles publishing online in advance of print publication. At this time, we cannot add information about unpublished articles in this handbook, however the table of contents will continue to grow as additional articles pass through the review process and are added to the site. Please note that the online publication date for this handbook is the date that the first article in the title was published online.
Archaeology in the Making is a collection of bold statements about archaeology, its history, how it works, and why it is more important than ever. This book comprises conversations about archaeology among some of its notable contemporary figures. They delve deeply into the questions that have come to fascinate archaeologists over the last forty years or so, those that concern major events in human history such as the origins of agriculture and the state, and questions about the way archaeologists go (...) about their work. Many of the conversations highlight quite intensely held personal insight into what motivates us to pursue archaeology; some may even be termed outrageous in the light they shed on the way archaeological institutions operate – excavation teams, professional associations, university departments. Archaeology in the Making is a unique document detailing the history of archaeology in second half of the 20th century to the present day through the words of some of its key proponents. It will be invaluable for anybody who wants to understand the theory and practice of this ever developing discipline. (shrink)
Usually viewed as the premier apologist for laissez-faire capitalism, Smith is seen in this new interpretation within the context of an earlier tradition that condemned the British aristocracy for relinquishing its moral obligation to promote the public good in favor of an unceasing pursuit of private gain. Through separate chapters on Mandeville, Bolingbroke, and Hume, Gallagher shows that Smith echoed civic humanist sermons against the avaricious inclinations of the nobles who profited most from commercial expansion. Unlike earlier critics, however, Smith (...) concluded that the most prudent response to aristocratic corruption was not to hold ministers, kings, and social notables to higher standards but to limit their access to political power. _The Rule of the Rich?_ accordingly shows that the case for limited government made in _The Wealth of Nations_ was not a defense of individual liberty so much as a concession to the apparent incompetence of the British upper class. (shrink)
Susan Babbitt dissects a common moral perspective for judging importance which she calls 'moral imagination.' In order to explain ourselves, and to recognize in others, what we often already perceive intuitively to be right or good, we instinctively create a story as a framework. She argues that we intentionally create stories which appear artless or chaotic, something capable of imperfection. This allows the story-maker to eventually deviate if he or she chooses, without a loss of hope, even if that (...) direction and goal may not yet be able to be fully articulated or defended. (shrink)
METCO, America’s longest-running voluntary school desegregation program, has for 34 years bused black children from Boston’s city neighborhoods to predominantly white suburban schools. In contrast to the infamous violence and rage of forced school busing within the city in the 1970s, METCO has quietly and calmly promoted school integration. How has this program affected the lives of its graduates? Would they choose to participate if they had it to do over again? Would they place their own children on the bus (...) to suburbia? Sixty-five METCO graduates vividly recall their own stories in this revealing book. Susan E. Eaton interviewed program participants who are now adults, asking them to assess the benefits and hardships of crossing racial and class lines on their way to school. Their answers poignantly show that this type of racial integration is not easy—they struggled to negotiate both black and white worlds, often feeling fully accepted in neither. Even so, nearly all the participants believe the long-term gains outweighed the costs and would choose a similar program for their own children—though not without conditions and apprehensions. Even as courts and policymakers today are forcing the abandonment of desegregation, educators warn that students are better prepared in schools that reflect our national diversity. This book offers an accessible and moving account of a rare program that, despite serious challenges, provides a practical remedy for the persistent inequalities in American education. (shrink)
Re-consent in research, the asking for a new consent if there is a change in protocol or to confirm the expectations of participants in case of change, is an under-explored issue. There is little clarity as to what changes should trigger re-consent and what impact a re-consent exercise has on participants and the research project. This article examines applicable policy statements and literature for the prevailing arguments for and against re-consent in relation to longitudinal cohort studies, tissue banks and biobanks. (...) Examples of re-consent exercises are presented, triggers and non-triggers for re-consent discussed and the conflicting attitudes of commentators, participants and researchers highlighted. We acknowledge current practice and argue for a greater emphasis on ‘responsive autonomy,’ that goes beyond a one-time consent and encourages greater communication between the parties involved. A balance is needed between respecting participants' wishes on how they want their data and samples used and enabling effective research to proceed. (shrink)
Background Dynamic consent has been proposed as a process through which participants and patients can gain more control over how their data and samples, donated for biomedical research, are used, resulting in greater trust in researchers. It is also a way to respond to evolving data protection frameworks and new legislation. Others argue that the broad consent currently used in biobank research is ethically robust. Little empirical research with cohort study participants has been published. This research investigated the participants’ opinions (...) of adding a dynamic consent interface to their existing study. Methods Adult participants in the Extended Cohort for E-health, Environment and DNA longitudinal cohort study who are members of the EXCEED Public and Participant Engagement Group were recruited. Four focus groups were conducted and analysed for thematic content. Discussion topics were derived from a review of the current literature on dynamic consent. Results Participants were in favour of many aspects of a dynamic consent interface, such as being able to update their information, add additional data to their records and choose withdrawal options. They were supportive provided it was simple to use and not intrusive. Participants expressed a markedly high level of trust in the study and its investigators and were unanimously happy with their current participation. No strong support was found for adding a dynamic consent interface to EXCEED. Conclusions Trust in the study researchers was the strongest theme found. Openness and good data security were needed to retain their trust. While happy to discuss dynamic consent, participants were satisfied with the current study arrangements. There were indications that changing the study might unnecessarily disturb their trust. This raised the question of whether there are contexts where dynamic consent is more appropriate than others. This study was limited by the small number of participants who were committed to the study and biased towards it. More research is needed to fully understand the potential impact of adding a dynamic consent interface to an existing cohort study. (shrink)
Public bioethics bodies are used internationally as institutions with the declared aims of facilitating societal debate and providing policy advice in certain areas of scientific inquiry raising questions of values and legitimate science. In the United States, bioethical experts in these institutions use the language of consensus building to justify and define the outcome of the enterprise. However, the implications of public bioethics at science-policy boundaries are underexamined. Political interest in such bodies continues while their influence on societal consensus, public (...) debate, and science policy remains ambiguous. This article presents a theoretical discussion of public bioethics bodies as boundary organizations and examines them in terms of relationship to the moral and cognitive authority of science and other forms of expertise, mechanisms for public participation in controversial science policy, and the deployment of consensus models. The theoretical discussion is examined in the case of the U.S. Human Embryo Research Panel. (shrink)
Where research was once strictly confined to one laboratory or office, investigators now widely share and compare their plans, analyses, and results. With the advent of genomic knowledge, researchers are seeking to understand the genetics and genomics of complex human disease. They are combining their efforts into international consortia in order to take on problems that face individuals around the world, such as cancer and malaria — problems that are too large to solve by one country alone. These consortia bring (...) together diverse research groups from different parts of the world to focus on a common goal. Their projects may all focus on one disease or condition, but examine it from different perspectives and share the newly gained information with each other and the wider scientific community. (shrink)
This volume offers an in-depth examination of a diverse range of faith-based programs implemented in three different geographical locales: family support in rural Mississippi, transitional housing in Michigan, and addiction recovery in the Pacific Northwest. Various types of religious service providers—faith-intensive and faith-related—are carefully examined, and secular organizations also serve as an illuminating point of comparison. Among other insights, this book reveals how the “three C’s” of social service provision—programmatic content, organizational culture, and ecological context—all combine to shape the delivery (...) of welfare services in the nonprofit world. This book warns against simplistic generalizations about faith-based organizations. Faith-based providers exhibit considerable diversity and, quite often, remarkable resilience in the face of challenging social circumstances. An appreciation of these nuances is critical as policies concerning faith-based organizations continue to evolve. (shrink)
I offer a novel interdisciplinary approach to understanding the communicative task of listening, which is under-theorised compared to its more conspicuous counterpart, speech. By correlating a Rylean view of mental actions with a virtue ethical framework, I show listeners’ internal activity as a morally relevant feature of how they treat people. The listener employs a policy of responsiveness in managing the extent to which they allow a speaker's voice to be centred within their more effortful, engaged attention. A just listener's (...) policy of responsiveness avoids unwarrantedly dismissing speakers’ messages on the basis of peripheral attention alone. (shrink)
: In this paper, I argue that stories about difference do not promote critical self and social understanding; rather, on the contrary, it is the way we understand ourselves that makes some stories relevantly different. I discuss the uncritical reception of a story about homosexuality in Cuba, urging attention to generalizations explaining judgments of importance. I suggest that some stories from the South will never be relevant to discussions about human flourishing until we critically examine ideas about freedom and democracy, (...) and their role in national identity, explaining the significance we give, or not, to such stories. (shrink)
While parents have traditionally provided proxy consent for minors to participate in research, this has proven inadequate for adolescents who are mentally and emotionally capable of making their own decisions. Research has proven that even young children, and certainly most adolescents, are developmentally prepared to make such decisions for themselves. The author challenges the assumption that both consent and assent are static concepts, and proposes that a sliding scale of competence be created to ascertain the adolescent's comprehension of the proposed (...) research by shifting the burden of proof to those who believe a particular adolescent is unable to provide informed consent. (shrink)
: In this essay, I suggest that significant insights of recent feminist philosophy lead, among other things, to the thought that it is not always better to choose than to be compelled to do what one might have done otherwise. However, few feminists, if any, would defend such a suggestion. I ask why it is difficult to consider certain ideas that, while challenging in theory, are, nonetheless, rather unproblematic in practice. I suggest that some questions are not pursued seriously enough (...) by philosophers, because certain popular liberal conceptions of individuality and freedom are taken too much for granted. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that stories about difference do not promote critical self and social understanding; rather, on the contrary, it is the way we understand ourselves that makes some stories relevantly different. I discuss the uncritical reception of a story about homosexuality in Cuba, urging attention to generalizations explaining judgments of importance. I suggest that some stories from the South will never be relevant to discussions about human flourishing until we critically examine ideas about freedom and democracy, and (...) their role in national identity, explaining the significance we give, or not, to such stories. (shrink)
I understand humanism to be the meta-ethical view that there exist discoverable (nonmoral) truths about the human condition, that is, about what it means to be human. We might think that as long as I believe I am realizing my unique human potential, I cannot be reasonably contradicted. Yet when we consider systemic oppression, this is unlikely. Systemic oppression makes dehumanizing conditions and treatment seem reasonable. In this paper, I consider the nature of understanding—drawing in particular upon recent defenses of (...) realism in the philosophy of science—and argue that humanism makes sense if we recognize more thoroughly the role of cause and effect in practical deliberation. By this I mean the cause-and-effect relation between mind and body and between minds, bodies, and the world. Three philosophical sources—Marxism, Buddhism and Christianity—show what this might mean, as I indicate in the second half of the paper. (shrink)
Systemic discrimination produces individuals with a degraded self-concept who therefore may not care about autonomy or set ends compatible with human flourishing. Under systemic discrimination, the dominant conceptual and evaluative framework does not enable the oppressed to articulate their humanity or the rationality of aspiring to full human flourishing. And the injustice of that system may be fully visible only from a perspective outside of that system.
The current paper provides readers some clarifications on the nature and goals of mass media campaigns designed to promote organ donation. These clarifications were necessitated by an earlier essay by Rady et al. (Med Health Care Philos 15:229–241, 2012) who present erroneous claims that media promotion campaigns in this health context represent propaganda that seek to misrepresent the transplantation process. Information is also provided on the nature and relative power of media campaigns in organ donation promotion.
The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Paradigm is designed to improve end-of-life care by converting patients' treatment preferences into medical orders that are transferable throughout the health care system. It was initially developed in Oregon, but is now implemented in multiple states with many others considering its use. An observational study was conducted in order to identify potential legal barriers to the implementation of a POLST Paradigm. Information was obtained from experts at state emergency medical services and long-term care organizations/agencies (...) in combination with a review of relevant state law. (shrink)
In this essay, I suggest that significant insights of recent feminist philosophy lead, among other things, to the thought that it is not always better to choose than to be compelled to do what one might have done otherwise. However, few feminists, if any, would defend such a suggestion. I ask why it is difficult to consider certain ideas that, while challenging in theory, are, nonetheless, rather unproblematic in practice. I suggest that some questions are not pursued seriously enough by (...) philosophers, because certain popular liberal conceptions of individuality and freedom are taken too much for granted. (shrink)
The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Paradigm is designed to improve end-of-life care by converting patients’ treatment preferences into medical orders that are transferable throughout the health care system. It was initially developed in Oregon, but is now implemented in multiple states with many others considering its use. Accordingly, an observational study was conducted in order to identify potential legal barriers to the implementation of a POLST Paradigm. Information was obtained from experts at state emergency medical services and long-term care (...) organizations/agencies in combination with a review of relevant state law. Legal analysis of survey responses and existing laws identified several potential state legal barriers to a POLST Paradigm implementation. The most potentially problematic barriers are detailed statutory specifications for out-of-hospital DNR protocols. Other potential barriers include limitations on the authority to consent to forgo life-sustaining treatments, medical preconditions, and witnessing requirements for out-of-hospital DNR protocols. (shrink)