Jonathan Dancy works within almost all fields of philosophy but is best known as the leading proponent of moral particularism. Particularism challenges “traditional” moral theories, such as Contractualism, Kantianism and Utilitarianism, in that it denies that moral thought and judgement relies upon, or is made possible by, a set of more or less well-defined, hierarchical principles. During the summer of 2006, the Philosophy Departments of Lund University (Sweden) and the University of Reading (England) began a series of exchanges to take (...) place every other year, alternating between the departments. Andreas Lind and Johan Brännmark arranged to meet Dancy during the first meeting in Lund to talk about questions regarding particularism, moral theory and the shape of the analytical tradition. The major part of the conversation is printed below. (shrink)
The legacy of Nisbett and Wilson’s classic article, Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes , is mixed. It is perhaps the most cited article in the recent history of consciousness studies, yet no empirical research program currently exists that continues the work presented in the article. To remedy this, we have introduced an experimental paradigm we call choice blindness [Johansson, P., Hall, L., Sikström, S., & Olsson, A. . Failure to detect mismatches between intention and (...) outcome in a simple decision task. Science, 310, 116–119.]. In the choice blindness paradigm participants fail to notice mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome they are presented with, while nevertheless offering introspectively derived reasons for why they chose the way they did. In this article, we use word-frequency and latent semantic analysis to investigate a corpus of introspective reports collected within the choice blindness paradigm. We contrast the introspective reasons given in non-manipulated vs. manipulated trials, but find very few differences between these two groups of reports. (shrink)
Political candidates often believe they must focus their campaign efforts on a small number of swing voters open for ideological change. Based on the wisdom of opinion polls, this might seem like a good idea. But do most voters really hold their political attitudes so firmly that they are unreceptive to persuasion? We tested this premise during the most recent general election in Sweden, in which a left- and a right-wing coalition were locked in a close race. We asked our (...) participants to state their voter intention, and presented them with a political survey of wedge issues between the two coalitions. Using a sleight-of-hand we then altered their replies to place them in the opposite political camp, and invited them to reason about their attitudes on the manipulated issues. Finally, we summarized their survey score, and asked for their voter intention again. The results showed that no more than 22% of the manipulated replies were detected, and that a full 92% of the participants accepted and endorsed our altered political survey score. Furthermore, the final voter intention question indicated that as many as 48% (69.2%) were willing to consider a left-right coalition shift. This can be contrasted with the established polls tracking the Swedish election, which registered maximally 10% voters open for a swing. Our results indicate that political attitudes and partisan divisions can be far more flexible than what is assumed by the polls, and that people can reason about the factual issues of the campaign with considerable openness to change. (shrink)
The rule of rescue describes the powerful human proclivity to rescue identified endangered lives, regardless of cost or risk. Deciding whether or not to perform a decompressive craniectomy as a life-saving or ‘rescue’ procedure for a young person with a severe traumatic brain injury provides a good example of the ethical tensions that occur in these situations. Unfortunately, there comes a point when the primary brain injury is so severe that if the patient survives they are likely to remain severely (...) disabled and fully dependent. The health resource implications of this outcome are significant. By using a web-based outcome prediction model this study compares the long-term outcome and designation of two groups of patients. One group had a very severe injury as adjudged by the model and the other group a less severe injury. At 18 month follow-up there were significant differences in outcome and healthcare requirements. This raises important ethical issues when considering life-saving but non-restorative surgical intervention. The discussion about realistic outcome cannot be dichotomised into simply life or death so that the outcome for the patient must enter the equation. As in other ‘rescue situations’, the utility of the procedure cannot be rationalised on a mere cost–benefit analysis. A compromise has to be reached to determine at what point either the likely outcome would be unacceptable to the person on whom the procedure is being performed or the social utility gained from the rule of rescue intervention fails to justify the utilitarian value and justice of equitable resource allocation. (shrink)
In this article, we report findings from a qualitative study that explored how the relatives of intensive care unit patients experienced the nurses’ role and relationship with them in the end-of-life decision-making processes. In all, 27 relatives of 21 deceased patients were interviewed about their experiences in this challenging ethical issue. The findings reveal that despite bedside experiences of care, compassion and comfort, the nurses were perceived as vague and evasive in their communication, and the relatives missed a long-term perspective (...) in the dialogue. Few experienced that nurses participated in meetings with doctors and relatives. The ethical consequences imply increased loneliness and uncertainty, and the experience that the relatives themselves have the responsibility of obtaining information and understanding their role in the decision-making process. The relatives therefore felt that the nurses could have been more involved in the process. (shrink)
In this article, we report the findings from a qualitative study that explored how relatives of terminally ill, alert and competent intensive care patients perceived their involvement in the end-of-life decision-making process. Eleven family members of six deceased patients were interviewed. Our findings reveal that relatives narrate about a strong intertwinement with the patient. They experienced the patients’ personal individuality as a fragile achievement. Therefore, they viewed their presence as crucial with their primary role to support and protect the patient, (...) thereby safeguarding his values and interests. However, their inclusion in decision making varied from active participation in the decision-making process to acceptance of the physicians’ decision or just receiving information. We conclude that models of informed shared decision making should be utilised and optimised in intensive care, where nurses and physicians work with both the patient and his or her family and regard the family as partners in the process. (shrink)
Telephone survey of 293 TV viewers in Minneapolis-St. Paul investigated how viewers evaluate ethical issues and problematic content in TV news and entertainment programs, and attitudes toward methods of controlling TV content. In rating eight hypothetical news and entertainment scenarios, viewers appeared more willing to accept ethical breaches in entertainment than in news programs. In evaluating the severity of general problems in TV programming, most viewers considered violence, adult themes, and a lack of family values to be big problems. Different (...) methods of controlling potentially problematic content were evaluated, with viewers overwhelmingly endorsing a system of ratings or warnings, as well as restricting content to certain times or channels. Governmental regulation as a form of controlling TV content was strongly rejected. This article demonstrates the usefulness and appropriateness of empirical research in involving the audience in an active role in the study of media ethics. (shrink)
In all fields of clinical medicine, there is an increasing awareness that outcome must be assessed in terms of quality of life and cost effectiveness, rather than merely length of survival. This is especially the case when considering decompressive craniectomy for severe traumatic brain injury. The procedure itself is technically straightforward and involves temporarily removing a large section of the skull vault in order to provide extra space into which the injured brain can expand. A number of studies have demonstrated (...) many patients going on to make a good long-term functional recovery, however, this is not always the case and a significant number survive but are left with severe neurocognitive impairment. Unfortunately, many of these patients are young adults who were previously fit and well and are, therefore, likely to spend many years in a condition that they may feel to be unacceptable, and this raises a number of ethical issues regarding consent and resource allocation. In an attempt to address these issues, we have used the analytical framework proposed by Jonsen, that requires systematic consideration of medical indications, patient preferences, quality of life and contextual features. (shrink)
Resurgent interest incommodities is linked to recent attempts toovercome the constraints posed by the binariesof economy/culture and production/consumption.Commodities and commodification represent acontentious convergence of economic, social,cultural, political, and moral concerns. Thisessay develops a conceptual framework forunderstanding this interconnectedness byexamining the relationship between commoditiesand our discourse, practices, and assumptionsabout food. We argue that the movement of afood artifact between local/global andglobal/local contexts is mediated by dynamicsof power and resistance that represent contestsof meaning regarding the criteria of that artifact's exchangeability. We apply (...) thisframework to the case of the tortilla, tracingits social life through an historical accountof its transformation from the staple food ofthe Mayan and Aztec people to its introductionas a fast food component of the diets of21st century Americans. This exampledemonstrates that food provides a powerful lensthrough which to trace and illustrate theinterconnectedness between material andsymbolic exchanges around the world that arecommonly associated with globalization. (shrink)
Ethical sensitivity is a precursor to mora1 judgment in that a person must recognize the existence of an ethical problem before such a problem can be resolved. It is an important concept, yet it has received little attention from ethics scholars. This preliminary and exploratory study indicates that ethical sensitivity can be identified in viewers' reactions to and evaluations of ethically controversial television news stories, that diferent levels of ethical sensitivity are evident in discussions of television news stories, and that (...) there are at least 3 dimensions by which ethnic sensitivity may be evaluated: time, breadth, and depth. (shrink)
Microphenomenology (the refelctive reconstruction of attentional processes operative in perception) explicates the distinction between aesthetic and nonaesthetic qualities in a way that avoids traditional objections. aesthetic qualities are identified as phenomenal manifestations of a specific sort of spontaneous attentional event. particular aesthetic qualities are show to fall within any of six different categories of features attributable to this event. some aesthetic predicates strictly imply such features while others only 'suggest' them.
~Et h i c a l sensitivity is investigated in an illustrative analysis of two female television nezos viewers. Transcripts of structured, in-depth interviews were analyzed according to four critical content dimensions of ethical sensitivity reflecting interviewees' mentions of story characteristics, ethical issues, consequences, and stakeholders. Cognitive maps illustrate the reasoning processes ofthe two viewers, one with relatively high and the other with relatively low ethical sensitivity. This study provides a detailed description of a new application of a research procedure, (...) and gives detailed examples of how subdimensions of ethical sensitivity interact and relate to a person's reasoning processes. The study is a pilot demonstration of a promising methodology and a precursor to more investigations on more viewers, more types of content, and more media. (shrink)
IT is the major stumbling block to the claim that machines could one day possess true intelligence. The question is not whether machines would be able to produce outputs indistinguishable from those of a person, as proponents of “artificial intelligence” have traditionally maintained. Searle has shown, rather, that the real question is whether machines could ever be conscious of objects in the way we know ourselves to be. That would seem to make it, at least in part, a phenomenological problem. (...) By means of microphenomenology, then, I shall try to show that the basic structure of IT, as detected in reflection, can be analyzed in terms of an even more primitive factor, FA. Since attentional processes can be correlated with neurological selectivity, it will be argued that any machine constructed to perform such processes would be capable of IT. I shall, in short, attempt to support the possibility of creating automata capable of intentional activities by trying to describe how they occur in ourselves. (shrink)
There are good reasons to believe that "making a statement," in a broader sense than Danto's, is a "necessary" condition of art. But phenomenological analysis tends to show that an artwork must be "aesthetic" as well as meaningful. Otherwise, what the artist has to say could not be distinguished from many "non"artistic forms of communication. Moreover, its meaning must "subserve" the aesthetic function of the artwork, in a role best described as "significance"." "Art" must therefore be defined in terms of (...) "the creation of significant aesthetic objects". (shrink)
Modern economics, with its use of advanced mathematical methods, is often looked upon as the physics of the social sciences. It is here argued that deductive analyses are more important in economics than in physics, because the economists more seldom can confirm phenomenological laws directly. The economist has to use assumptions from fundamental theory when trying to bridge the gap between observations and phenomenological laws. Partly as a result of the difficulties of establishing phenomenological laws, analyses of idealized 'model-economies' play (...) a more important, but mainly heuristic role, in economics. (shrink)
The last two decades or so have borne witness to a modest revival of interest in the possibility that numerical relations are, at bottom, perceived properties or relations of some sort. In an earlier era writers as divergent as J. S. Mill and Edmund Husserl pursued just such a possibility, only to be swept out of the mathematical mainstream with a battery of broadsides from Gottlob Frege. Despite more recent arguments that numerical understanding is somehow derived from experience, however, no (...) analysis of quantitative perception yet offered seems able to account adequately for the perception of arithmetical equations as simple as 1 + 2 = 3. Without a satisfactory analysis of “equality”—clearly, the pivotal relation in arithmetic—we can expect the possible empirical foundations of mathematics to continue to be generally ignored. (shrink)
Interviews with 111 African-American and European-Americans investigated racial differences in viewer evaluations of ethically controversial TV news stories. The study focused on judgments of whether three news stories (Genniger Flowers's alleged affair with Bill Clinton, a hit-and-run accident, and racial discrimination by Realtors) should be aired, the criteria applied in reaching those judgements, and the indications of reasons to attend to or to reject each story. No simple relationship was found between race and judgments of whether the stories should be (...) aired, but when story relevance was considered, the relationship became clearer. There appears to be a complex relationship between the viewers' lived experience, story content, and story evaluation. (shrink)
Theoretical works in economics usually have a core consisting of proofs that a “model-economy” has certain properties. The economist constructs a model that can be looked on as a description of an economy, and then proves that certain relations hold in this economy and/or that certain relations in this economy depend on certain specific characteristics. The model-economy is usually described as simplified or idealized.
This commentary focuses on evidence from autism concerning the relation between metacognition and mindreading. We support Carruthers' rejection of models 1 (independent systems) and 3 (metacognition before mindreading), and provide evidence to strengthen his critique. However, we also present evidence from autism that we believe supports model 2 (one mechanism, two modes of access) over model 4 (mindreading is prior).
The purpose of this paper is to explore the work of John Macmurray as a philosophical resource for Christianswhose theological framework presumes an epistemological shift, toward a new starting point in the way we understand our knowledge of God. After a brief introduction to both contextual theology and John Macmurray, the paper will concern itself with an exploration of Macmurray’s critique of idealist epistemology and the relationship this critique has to the assumptions of contextual theology. Next we will consider the (...) implications of this shift for both philosophy and theology. Thirdly, we will offer support for the claim that Macmurray’s work represents a positive future resource for those who are struggling to make sense of the practical demands of a living faith. In closing, some criticisms of Macmurray from the perspective of contextual theology will be anticipated. (shrink)
Kant maintains that retribution is the only morally sound justification for criminal punishment. He claims that all just criminal punishment must conform to the “principle of equality,” an inflexible juridical rule which takes the form of a categorical imperative. Focusing on his further claim that the principle of equality establishes that capital punishment is the only suitable punishment for murder, I question Kant’s contention that the principle of equality is a categorical imperative. Following two lines of inquiry drawing upon the (...) nature of a categorical imperative, I suggest that the principle of equality is a principle conditioned by experience, a hypothetical imperative which Kant only shows to be consistent with, not necessarily mandated by, the idea of a just civil state. (shrink)
According to Paul Ricoeur, the Freudian unconscious invalidates the ability of Husserlian phenomenology to explicate human psychology. The stumbling block is said to be the mechanism of repression, which can not only obviate conscious access to certain ideas and motives but also distort consciousness itself. The whole enterprise of phenomenology would seem to be at stake. But we must carefully distinguish being a conscious object from being a conscious process. By means of ?micro?phenomenology?, the reflective analysis of focal dynamics, I (...) shall try to reconstruct the so?called unconscious as certain conscious processes we are unable to reflect on as conscious objects. This reconstruction utilizes two motivational principles of attention, motive attraction and motive repulsion, which affect the manner in which attention addresses its object. The principles explain how reflective consciousness can be so repelled by certain directly conscious events that it withdraws with subliminal rapidity, leaving those events reflectively unconscious. Various sorts of evidence, including experimental results in subliminal psychology, can be used to support this phenomenological hypothesis. Though hypothetical, the theory at least demonstrates that the existence of unconscious processes is not an a priori basis for dismissing phenomenological methodology. (shrink)
This chapter brings together social evolutionary theory and the rational choice approach to develop a theory of the organization of coercion in history. Recent works considering parallels and distinctions between biological and sociocultural evolution are reviewed here, along with those that produced the concept of bounded rationality. While modeling begins by generalization from historical materials, it is not the purpose of this chapter to produce a historical explanation of a chain of real events. Nor is it an essay in metatheory. (...) The goal is to contribute to an abstract theory of societal change in the same sense that biological evolutionary theory accounts for change in species. The unit taken to be evolving is called the tribute system. (shrink)
This study presents and develops test methods for assessing sensitivity to conflict of interest (COIsen). We are aware of no study assessing COIsen, but note that some popular methods for assessing ethical sensitivity and related constructs (which include COIsen) are flawed in that their presentation of stimulus material to subjects actually guides subjects to attend to ethical (or related) issues. The method tested here was designed to avoid this flaw. Using adaptations of two existing cases, a quota sample of 12 (...) students was interviewed. Our method used funnel-sequenced, open-ended interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed, then subjected to a form of cognitive mapping. These maps revealed the presence of “indicators” of COIsen. We found that COIsen can be measured and that the global COIsen score generated by our method is able to reveal much variation across subjects, making it a worthwhile candidate for further consideration. (shrink)
It is argued that a radical relocation of subjectivity began several thousand years ago. A subjectivity experienced in the centric region of the heart, and in the body as a whole, began to be avoided in favor of the eccentric head as a new location of subjectivity. In ancient literature, for example in Homer's epics, the heart and various other bodily organs were described as centers of subjectivity and organs of perception for spiritual experience and communion with others and the (...) world. Mind and body were integrated. Bur also in the early historical record, as in the Old Testament, the heart and body were increasingly described as rebellious and rejected as impure. Head and heart, mind and body, became estranged. The body was judged an unsuitable, impure vessel for spiritual experience. This change in the location of subjectivity presaged the later development of Platonic, Gnostic, Christian, and Cartesian distinctions favoring mind over and against the body. It may also have contributed to some of the characteristic psychological and pathological processes (e.g., psychosomatic illnesses, repression, narcissism) currently attributed to the psychology of the modern Western, and specifically, North American self. (shrink)
Hany metaethicists have all but abandoned the possibility that ordinary value language has any sort of universal logic. But careful phenomenological reflection indicates that we call something “good” only if we tacitly believe that it is disposed to be “pragmatically attractive” in some way. Conversely, “bad” things must be “pragmatically repellent”. Linguistic and phenomenological evidence supports these observations. Differences in the meanings of diverse value judgments seem to be due to variations in the practical context in which the attraction or (...) repulsion is judged. The fact that we can legitimately request clarification regarding each of five practical dimensions tends to indicate that a common structure underlies all senses in which something can be said “good” or “bad.”. (shrink)
“Consonance” and “dissonance” can be shown to denote a syndrome of relative characteristics falling within three distinct dimensions of experience: 1) tension-repose, 2) pleasure-displeasure, 3) coherence-incoherence. There is a demonstrable, complex relationship between the specific degree of each of those characteristics associated with a particular tonal interval and the degree of complication of the ratio of that interval. No extant theory is able to explain that correlation, including the currently popular theory of psychological expectation. Using micro-phenomenology, I hypothesize that a (...) consonant tonal interval is simply one that can be subliminally discriminated with relative ease and a dissonant interval is one that is relatively indiscriminable. Predictions implied by the hypothesis can be shown consistent with musical experience. If the theory is true, the affective character of harmonic progression is more the result of the need to discriminate tonal proportionality than the effect of expectation. (shrink)
Every year medical researchers make contact with a large number of cancer survivors with the aim of evaluating cancer treatment. For this reason we decided to investigate how Swedish cancer survivors perceived their participation in research studies focusing on the long-term consequences of being a survivor of gynaecological or urinary bladder cancer. Data were collected by means of two study-specific postal questionnaires, both consisting of questions covering physical symptoms, well-being and the experience of being a cancer survivor. Both questionnaires also (...) included questions evaluating the participants’ experience of being research subjects. The questionnaires were developed in close co-operation with cancer survivors. The study population consisted of 1068 cancer survivors. Of these, 95% (n=1003) reported that they thought the study was valuable and 54% (n=559) that they had been positively affected by participating. Four per cent (n=39) expressed that they had been negatively affected by their participation in the study. The vast majority of the cancer survivors thought that participating in their particular study was valuable. (shrink)
This volume puts leading pragmatists in the philosophy of language, including Robert Brandom, in contact with scholars concerned with what pragmatism has come to mean for the law. Each contribution uses the resources of pragmatism to tackle fundamental problems in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of law, and social and political philosophy. In many chapters, the version of pragmatism deployed proves a fruitful approach to its subject matter; in others, shortcomings of the specific brand of pragmatism are revealed. The (...) result is a clearer understanding of what pragmatism has meant and can mean across these tightly related philosophical areas. The book, then, is itself pragmatism in action: it seeks to clarify its unifying concept by examining the practices that centrally involve it. (shrink)
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others.We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and (...) a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R.The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM.Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
The Scottish physician James Lind is the most celebrated name in the history of research into the causes and cures of scurvy. This is due to the famous experiment he conducted in 1747 on H.M.S. Salisbury in order to compare the efficiency of six popular treatments for scurvy. This experiment is generally regarded as the first controlled trial in clinical science (see e.g. Carpenter 1986, p. 52).
Th. W. Adorno y los demás autores de la Teoría Crítica supieron captar procesos sociales incipientes que no han hecho sino desplegarse y confirmarse con el tiempo. Frente a quienes denuncian sus supuestas aporías y exagerado negativismo, se reivindica aquí la actualidad de una de sus tesis más conocidas y discutidas, la de la aniquilación del individuo. El paso del capitalismo liberal al monopolista sirve de horizonte para analizar las contradicciones del individuo burgués y su constitución social. En una segunda (...) parte se aborda la «debilidad del yo» como aquella configuración psíquica que se corresponde con la liquidación del individuo en la sociedad tardocapitalista. En el centenario del nacimiento de Th. W. Adorno valgan estas reflexiones de homenaje a un pensador y un pensamiento cada día más imprescindibles. (shrink)
Homeri Ilias. Scholarum in usum edidit Paulus Cauer. Pars I. Carm. I.—XII. Editio Maior. Vienna, Tempsky; Leipzig, Freytag. 3m. Ditto. Ditto. Editio Minor, 1m. 75. The First Three Books of Homer's Iliad, with Introduction, Commentary, and Vocabulary for the use of schools. By Thomas D. Seymour, Hillhouse Professor of Greek in Yale College. Boston, Ginn. Homer's Ilias in Verkürzter Ausgabe. Für den Schulgebrauch von A. Th. Christ. Mit 9 Abbildungen und 2 Karten. Vienna, Tempsky. 1 fl. 30kr.