Popper's logic of scientific discovery and Kuhn's paradigm switches in science have been considered competing schools of thought in the philosophy of science and the sociology of knowledge. In the present paper the author establishes a unified three-dimensional framework that synthesizes the quintessential ideas of these schools. Theories are tested for confirmation or falsification in the first dimension; their scope conditions are defined and redefined in the second dimension; and they replace their predecessors to become a dominant theory or possibly (...) even a new paradigm in the third dimension. The development of fertility theory is examined in the three-dimensional framework. This framework helps us understand important aspects of theory construction, and thereby shed light on how to build viable sociological theory. Also discussed are major problems in formulating sociological theory. The overcoming of these problems is a necessary condition for a theory to be examined in the three-dimensional framework, and thereby to become a candidate of a new theoretical paradigm. (shrink)
A national anthem is arguably one of the most powerful symbols for a nation-state, with impact beyond its ceremonial purposes. One source of its power lies in the lyrical content, bearing imprints of the past and texts for potentially guiding future behavior.In this paper we study the social foundations of national anthems with the Chinese national anthem as a case by analyzing its production through two changing texts—the lyrics of the anthem and key political documents from the period of 1949–2005. (...) The current national anthem, “March of the Volunteers,” adopted in 1949, was forbidden during the Cultural Revolution, and was restored in 1978, albeit with a new set of lyrics, and used until 1982 when the original lyrics were restored.Drawing upon the literature on collective focus and social relations, we build a theoretical model for understanding the changes in the Chinese national anthem. According to this model, the creation of collective memory in the form of a national anthem is conditioned by the cognitive and social context in terms of the type of collective focus and the kind of top-bottom social relation. The changing fate of the Chinese national anthem illustrates the efficacy of the theoretical model. (shrink)
In recent years, many non-consequentialists such as Frances Kamm and Thomas Scanlon have been puzzling over what has come to be known as the Number Problem, which is how to show that the greater number in a rescue situation should be saved without aggregating the claims of the many, a typical kind of consequentialist move that seems to violate the separateness of persons. In this article, I argue that these non-consequentialists may be making the task more difficult than necessary, because (...) allowing aggregation does not prevent one from being a non-consequentialist. I shall explain how a non-consequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation. (shrink)
Children sometimes lose themselves in make-believe games. Actors sometimes lose themselves in their roles. Readers sometimes lose themselves in their books. From people's introspective self-reports and phenomenological experiences, these immersive experiences appear to differ from ordinary experiences of simply playing a game, simply acting out a role, and simply reading a book. What explains the difference? My answer: attention. -/- [Unpublishable 2007-2017. This paper was referenced in Liao and Doggett (2014).].
Bioethics is the study of ethical issues arising out of advances in the life sciences and medicine. Historically, bioethics has been associated with issues in research ethics and clinical ethics as a result of research scandals such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and public debates about the definition of death, medical paternalism, health care rationing, and abortion. As biomedical technologies have advanced, challenging new questions have arisen for bioethics and new sub-disciplines such as neuroethics and public health ethics have entered (...) the scene. This volume features ten original essays on five cutting-edge controversies in bioethics written by leading philosophers. I. Research Ethics: How Should We Justify Ancillary Care Duties? II. Clinical Ethics: Are Psychopaths Morally Accountable? III. Reproductive Ethics: Is There A Solution to the Non-Identity Problem? IV. Neuroethics: What is Addiction and Does It Excuse? V. Public Health Ethics: Is Luck Egalitarianism Implausibly Harsh? S. Matthew Liao and Collin O’Neil’s concise introduction to the essays in the volume, the annotated bibliographies and study questions for each controversy, and the supplemental guide to additional current controversies in bioethics give the reader a broad grasp of the different kinds of challenges in bioethics. (shrink)
S. Matthew Liao argues here that children have a right to be loved. To do so he investigates questions such as whether children are rightholders; what grounds a child's right to beloved; whether love is an appropriate object of a right; and other philosophical and practical issues. His proposal is that all human beings have rights to the fundamental conditions for pursuing a good life; therefore, as human beings, children have human rights to the fundamental conditions for pursuing a (...) good life. Since being loved is one of those fundamental conditions, children thus have a right to be loved. Liao shows that this claim need not be merely empty rhetoric, and that the arguments for this right can hang together as a coherent whole. This is the first book to make a sustained philosophical case for the right of children to be loved. It makes a unique contribution to the fast-growing literature on family ethics, in particular, on children's rights and parental rights and responsibilities, and to the emerging field of the philosophy of human rights. (shrink)
David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self-locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. In this paper, I raise a problem for centered worlds and discuss the costs and benefits of different solutions. My investigation into the nature of centered worlds brings out potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...) them. In addition, my investigation shows that the conception of centered worlds widely attributed to David Lewis is not only problematic, but in fact not his. (shrink)
Radical experimentalists argue that we should give up using intuitions as evidence in philosophy. In this paper, I first argue that the studies presented by the radical experimentalists in fact suggest that some intuitions are reliable. I next consider and reject a different way of handling the radical experimentalists' challenge, what I call the Argument from Robust Intuitions. I then propose a way of understanding why some intuitions can be unreliable and how intuitions can conflict, and I argue that on (...) this understanding, both moderate experimentalism and the standard philosophical practice of using intuitions as evidence can help resolve these conflicts. (shrink)
When philosophers consider what moral status human beings have, they tend to find themselves either supporting the idea that not all human beings are rightholders or adopting what Peter Singer calls a 'speciesist' position, where speciesism is defined as morally favoring a particular species—in this case, human beings—over others without sufficient justification. In this paper, I develop what I call the 'genetic basis for moral agency' account of rightholding, and I propose that this account can allow all human beings to (...) be rightholders without being speciesist. While my aim is to set out this account clearly rather than to defend it, I explain how this account is different from a potentiality account and I argue that it is preferable to an actual moral agency account of human moral status. (shrink)
Issues of pretense and imagination are of central interest to philosophers, psychologists, and researchers in allied fields. In this entry, we provide a roadmap of some of the central themes around which discussion has been focused. We begin with an overview of pretense, imagination, and the relationship between them. We then shift our attention to the four specific topics where the disciplines' research programs have intersected or where additional interactions could prove mutually beneficial: the psychological underpinnings of performing pretense and (...) of recognizing pretense, the cognitive capacities involved in imaginative engagement with fictions, and the real-world impact of make-believe. In the final section, we discuss more briefly a number of other mental activities that arguably involve imagining, including counterfactual reasoning, delusions, and dreaming. (shrink)
A number of international organizations have claimed that children have a right to be loved, but there is a worry that this claim may just be an empty rhetoric. In this paper, I seek to show that there could be such a right by providing a justification for this right in terms of human rights, by demonstrating that love can be an appropriate object of a duty, and by proposing that biological parents should normally be made the primary bearers of (...) this duty, while all other able persons in appropriate circumstances have the associate duties to help biological parents discharge their duties. I also consider some policy implications of this right. (shrink)
Despite the therapeutic potential of human embryonic stem (HES) cells, many people believe that HES cell research should be banned. The reason is that the present method of extracting HES cells involves the destruction of the embryo, which for many is the beginning of a person. This paper examines a number of compromise solutions such as parthenogenesis, the use of defective embryos, genetically creating a "pseudo embryo" that can never form a placenta, and determining embryo death, and argues that none (...) of these proposals are likely to satisfy embryoists, that is, those who regard the embryo as a person. This paper then proposes a method of extracting HES cells, what might be called the Blastocyst Transfer Method, that meets the ethical requirements of embryoists, and it considers some possible concerns regarding this method. It concludes by encouraging future HES cell research to investigate this method. (shrink)
A number of prominent bioethicists such as Mike Parker, Anneke Lucassen, and Bartha Maria Knoppers have called for the adoption of a system in which by default, genetic information is shared among family members. In this paper, I suggest that a main reason given in support of this call to share genetic information among family members is the idea that genetic information is essentially familial in nature. Upon examining this ‘familial nature of genetics’ argument, I show that most genetic information (...) are only shared in a weaker way among family members and do not necessarily lead to the actual manifestation of particular diseases. The upshot is that the idea that genetic information is familial in nature does not provide a sufficient ground for why we should move towards a system in which by default, genetic information is shared among family members. (shrink)
Participants in some clinical trials are at risk of being harmed and sometimes are seriously harmed as a result of not being provided with available, relevant risk information. We argue that this situation is unacceptable and that there is a moral duty to disclose all adverse clinical trial results to participants in clinical trials. This duty is grounded in the human right not to be placed at risk of harm without informed consent. We consider objections to disclosure grounded in considerations (...) of commercial interest, and we argue that these concerns are insufficient to override the moral duty to disclose adverse clinical trial results. However, we also develop a proposal that enables commercial interests to be protected, while promoting the duty to disclose adverse clinical trial results. (shrink)
The story of Ashley, a nine-year-old from Seattle, has caused a good deal of controversy since it appeared in the Los Angeles Times on January 3, 2007.1 Ashley was born with a condition called static encephalopathy, a severe brain impairment that leaves her unable to walk, talk, eat, sit up, or roll over. According to her doctors, Ashley has reached, and will remain at, the developmental level of a three-month-old.
What are you and I essentially? When do you and I come into and go out of existence? A common response is that we are essentially organisms, that is, we come into existence as organisms and go out of existence when we cease to be organisms. Jeff McMahan has put forward two arguments against the Organism View: the case of dicephalus and a special case of hemispheric commissurotomy. In this paper, I defend the Organism View against these two cases. Because (...) it is possible to devise more McMahanian-type cases, I also provide a more general solution to these kinds of cases. (shrink)
Can there be a duty to love someone? The kind of love we will consider is the kind of highly intense interaction that two human beings seek that involves not only strongly valuing another person for the person’s sake and wanting to promote the person’s well-being for the person’s sake, but also desiring to be physically and psychologically close to each other and desiring that the other person reciprocates our love. This kind of interaction features in romantic love, parental love, (...) love between friends, and the love of children for their parents. (shrink)
It may soon be possible to develop pills that allow parents to induce in themselves more loving behaviour, attitudes and emotions towards their children. In this paper, I consider whether pharmacologically induced parental love can satisfy reasonable conditions of authenticity; why anyone would be interested in taking such parental love pills at all, and whether inducing parental love pharmacologically promotes narcissism or results in self-instrumentalization. I also examine how the availability of such pills may affect the duty to love a (...) child. (shrink)
Advances in reproductive genetic engineering have the potential to transform human lives. Not only do they promise to allow us to select children free of diseases, they can also enable us to select children with desirable traits. In this paper, I consider two clusters of arguments for the moral permissibility of reproductive genetic engineering, what I call the Perfectionist View and the Libertarian View; and two clusters of arguments against reproductive genetic engineering, what I call the Human Nature View and (...) the Motivation View. I argue that an adequate theory of the ethics of reproductive genetic engineering should take into account insights gained from these views. (shrink)
In explicating his version of the Organism View, Eric Olson argues that you begin to exist only after twinning is no longer possible and that you cannot survive a process of inorganic replacement. Assuming the correctness of the Organism View, but pace Olson, I argue in this paper that the Organism View does not require that you believe either proposition. The claim I shall make about twinning helps to advance a debate that currently divides defenders of the Organism View, while (...) the claim I shall make about inorganic replacement will help to put the Organism View on a par with its rival views by allowing it to accommodate a plausible intuition that its rivals can accommodate, namely, the intuition that you can survive a process of inorganic replacement. Both claims, I shall also argue, are important for those who are interested in the identity condition of a human organism, even if they do not hold the view that you are essentially an organism. (shrink)
Frances Kamm distinguishes between changes or enhancements that are made before a child exists (ex ante changes) and those that are made once a child exists (ex post changes), and she argues that ex ante changes do not show disrespect or, as Michael Sandel would put it, lack of love, for a person, since the person does not yet exist. In this paper, I argue that it is important to distinguish between ex ante enhancements that are morally neutral and those (...) that are morally dubious, and that the latter ones are morally objectionable even if the persons do not yet exist. (shrink)
T. M. Scanlon's buck-passing account of value (BPA) has been subjected to a barrage of criticisms. Recently, to be helpful to BPA, Roger Crisp has suggested that a number of these criticisms can be met if one makes some revisions to BPA. In this paper, I argue that if advocates of the buck-passing account accepted these revisions, they would effectively be giving up the buck-passing account as it is typically understood, that is, as an account concerned with the conceptual priority (...) of reasons or the right vis-à-vis value or the good. I conclude by addressing some of the broader implications of my arguments for the current debate about the buckpassing account of value. (shrink)
The concept of a time-relative interest is introduced by Jeff McMahan to solve certain puzzles about the badness of death. Some people (e.g. McMahan and David DeGrazia) believe that this concept can also be used to show that abortion is permissible. In this paper, I first argue that if the Time-Relative Interest Account permits abortion, then it would also permit infanticide.
abstract In this paper, we examine issues raised by the possibility of regulating emotions through pharmacological means. We argue that emotions induced through these means can be authentic phenomenologically, and that the manner of inducing them need not make them any less our own than emotions arising 'naturally'. We recognize that in taking drugs to induce emotions, one may lose opportunities for self-knowledge; act narcissistically; or treat oneself as a mere means. But we propose that there are circumstances in which (...) none of these concerns arise. Finally, we consider how the possibility of drug-regulation might affect duties to feel emotions. (shrink)
In the debate regarding the moral status of human embryos, the Embryo Rescue Case has been used to suggest that embryos are not rightholders. This case is premised on the idea that in a situation where one has a choice between saving some number of embryos or a child, it seems wrong to save the embryos and not the child. If so, it seems that embryos cannot be rightholders. In this paper, I argue that the Embryo Rescue Case does not (...) independently show that embryos are not rightholders. (shrink)
What grounds human rights? How do we determine that something is a human right? James Griffin has persuasively argued that the notion of agency should determine the content of human rights. However, Griffin's agency account faces the question of why agency should be the sole ground for human rights. For example, can Griffin's notion of agency by itself adequately explain such human rights as that against torture? Or, has Griffin offered a plausible explanation as to why one should not broaden (...) the ground for human rights to include other elements of a good life such as freedom from great pain, understanding, deep personal relations, and so on? These concerns have been raised regarding Griffin's agency account, but in his new book, On Human Rights , Griffin has offered new arguments in support of his view that agency is the sole ground for human rights. In this paper, I examine these new arguments, and I argue that Griffin's arguments are ultimately unsuccessful. (shrink)
Experiments have suggested that umbilical cord blood stem cells can be used to prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis. This paper discusses ethical issues surrounding such usage such as the uncertainty that individuals at risk of a disease will actually get the disease; issues related to research with children; safety issues; from where these stem cells would be obtained; and whether these usages should be considered as therapies or as physical enhancements.
The concept of right or fit is an important element entailed, but not fully articulated, in the concept of action or practice in Aristotle’s theory of virtue; which, however, turns to be of the utmost importance in later Western ethics. Right is concerned with both feelings and actions, and is not the same for all individuals. It lies in between the two extremes of the spectrum of practical affairs, yet by no means equidistant from them. This account of the concept (...) of fitness or right is derived from the categories of quantity, relationship, and quality rather than from that of substance. Thus, it seems that virtue is relative to vice or error within a continuous existence. If, however, the right of passion and action is environmental and concrete, is it multiple and not singular? To this question, Aristotle gives his reply on two levels: On the level of concrete practitioners, what is right and fit to one man might not be so to another man, and hence the right of practice is not singular but multiple; whereas on the level concerned with the only right choice compared with the two extremes or errors, the right of practice will always be singular. (shrink)
Philosophers today are inclined to propose virtues are either something subjective or something universal. However, Confucius and Aristotle, who made the most profound investigations into virtues, did not develop such theses. The deep-seated reason lies in their belief that there is always a possibility for a human being to become a man of practice, which cancels the need of proposing subjectivity thesis. The reason for their not raising the universality thesis of virtues is that they do not think that virtues (...) are directly universal to all contemporarily existing minds. Rather, in their view, virtues involve a possible universality that may present in a virtuous mind. We can summarize Aristotle’s view into the concept of possible universality of virtue understood in terms of the perfect state of mind, since he explains the perfect state of mind in terms of perfect state of activity, and makes his investigations with an eye to the interactions between people with similar states of virtues. The view of Confucius can be summarized into the concept of possible universality of virtue understood in terms of the history of mind, since his investigations are made from the point of view of the states of mind reached through virtuous practices, i.e., a historical process of human life in which one’s pre-dispositions and feelings gradually reach some state of natural harmony and gains continual enrichment, and with an eye to the interactions between virtuous people and common people. From that similarly expressed view we can reasonably infer that virtues do possess the character called by today’s philosophers as universality, but it is a possible universality whose possibility is based on practice and on the development of virtuous minds. (shrink)
Aiming at the long repressed politico-semiotic dimension of Dream of the Red Chamber, this essay employs Lacanian theories of discourse and subjectivity inconjunction with the Chan Buddhist idea of enlightenment to analyze the coming into being of the what Zizek defines as a “modern subject” at the historical juncture of the Manchu conquest of China. Attempting to come to terms with the historical trauma caused by the Manchu conquest, the novel re-examines the fate of the emerging Chinese modernity founded in (...) the discourse of qing or “feeling” by re-visiting the last forty years or so of the Ming resistance against the invasion. The examination, however, reveals that the subject involved in this nationalist struggle unwittingly becomes a “modern subject” because of what Zizek describes as a “redoubled renunciation”: he who sacrifices his particular attachment for the purpose of bolstering the universal Cause ends up losing both. Also unprecedented in classical Chinese literature is that this “modern subject” eventually is able somehow doubly to “identify with the symptom/ sinthome” as his only consistency: “man” on the level of the “framed story” in the metafictional structure of the novel, and “contingency” on the level of the framing story. (shrink)
Objectives The objective of this research was to develop ethics accreditation standards for hospitals. Research design Our research methods included a literature review, an expert focus group, the Delphi technique and a hospital survey. The entire process was separated into two stages: (1) the development of a draft of hospital ethics accreditation standards; and (2) conducting a nationwide hospital survey of the proposed standards. Results This study produced a tentative draft of hospital ethics accreditation standards comprised of six chapters and (...) 62 standards based on the expert focus group and Delphi technique. The six chapters are: Medical ethics policies, regulations and leadership; The establishment and operation of a medical ethics committee; The establishment and operation of research-related ethics committees; Medical ethics education; Organisational ethical climate; and Respect for patients' rights and establishment of good hospital-patient relationships. The hospital survey indicated that the concept of an organisational ethical climate was new to most hospital managers, most hospitals disliked the idea of having a separate hospital ethics accreditation system, and small hospitals were concerned about their ability to comply with all of the standards. Conclusions Regardless of whether hospital ethics accreditation can be a stand-alone accreditation or just part of existing hospital accreditation programmes, we hope this draft can serve as a good reference for future endeavours by hospital accreditation authorities. (shrink)
This is a poem about my experience with one of my most meaningful patients, a woman with Takotsubo (translated from Japanese as "Octopus Trap") Cardiomyopathy. Also known as "broken heart syndrome," Takotsubo is a rare condition that results from periods of extreme physical and/or emotional stress. This is an account of my patient's story as "heard" through the EKG, and how despite arrival at the correct diagnosis through careful history taking and EKG findings, no measure of science or diagnosis could (...) offer the comfort we could provide by simply listening to her story and affirming her in her grief. (shrink)
Billions of people live in poverty, with no access to safe drinking water or solutions for other critical health and medical needs. Nanotechnology is poised to create workable solutions for large-scale public health needs in developing countries, including improving water quality and providing life-saving pharmaceuticals. There are two views on how emerging technologies such as nanotechnology can influence and affect developing countries. Instrumentalists believe that the international community can transfer nanotechnology from one context to another and use it to assist (...) the poor. Contextualists warn that nanotechnology can increase inequality in underdeveloped regions. Because of inadequacies in both positions, the international community must adopt a mixed strategy. This article argues that this mixed strategy should target the bottom of the pyramid, develop native capability, implement emergency protocols in projects, create accountability, and engage the public. Managed well, this strategy can propel developing countries toward sustainable development. (shrink)
What is chi? -- Why you can no longer feel your life energy -- Why is learning to rebuild your chi so important? -- How to feel your chi again -- Simple breathing exercises that build chi awareness -- How to keep your chi clean and pure -- How to make your chi stronger -- Flow your chi with t'ai chi meditative movements -- How to use chi to benefit yourself and others.
Scanlon’s book aims to offer us a moral theory of right and wrong and of our obligations to one another. The theory is called contractualism and its central claim is that an act is right or wrong if and only if it could or could not be justified to others on grounds that they could not reasonably reject (p. 4). Scanlon recognizes that so stated, his contractualism might seem empty in the sense that one might think that the aim of (...) offering grounds that others could not reasonably reject is an aim to which all plausible moral theories would aspire (p. 4). For example, as Scanlon himself acknowledges, utilitarians, who hold the view that an act is right only if it would produce the greatest happiness, presumably would believe that their view is one that no reasonable person could possibly reject (p. 189). However, Scanlon believes that his contractualism is in fact substantive. According to Scanlon, his contractualism holds the process of justifying to others to be ‘basic’ (p. 5). In other words, Scanlon believes that simply by thinking about what could be justified to others on grounds that they could not reasonably reject, we can ‘determine the shape of more specific moral notions such as murder or betrayal (p. 5).’ As Scanlon explains, even though utilitarians may also accept that an act is right if and only if it can be justified to others, what makes an action right for utilitarians is that the action has the best consequences; ‘justifiability is merely a consequence of this’ (p. 189); whereas for Scanlon’s contractualism, justifiability is what makes an action right or wrong. The aim of Scanlon’s book is to elaborate and explicate this account of contractualism. (shrink)
Tim Crane's The Objects of Thought is, I think, a much needed corrective to standard ways that analytic philosophers think about nonexistence. It starts from our common sense thought and talk, and tries to carve out a position that can defend this starting point in the face of criticism. It is well-written, a pleasure to read, and largely clear. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the problems of nonexistence. In §1 I sketch Crane's central ideas about the nonexistent, (...) before turning to themes that I would like to have heard more about. In §2, I distinguish two problems of nonexistence, showing that whilst Crane solves one, he does not address the other. Although Crane did not seek to address both problems, I think we should recognize that there is this residual problem of nonexistence remaining. Next (§3), I argue that whilst Crane is correct to think that a negative free logic has to be rejected if we construe it as making a claim about grammatical subject-predicate sentences, we might be able to salvage it if we recognise a class of logical predicates. But whether this is possible or not, depends on the solution to the unaddressed problem of nonexistence. In the final two sections I briefly raise a concern about Crane's view of quantification, before making a suggestion about his view might be employed in addressing Geach's problem of intentional identity. (shrink)
This paper offers several criticisms of the account of rightholding laid out in S. Matthew Liao’s recent paper “The Basis of Human Moral Status.” I argue that Liao’s account both does too much and too little: it grants rightholder status to those who may not deserve it, and it does not provide grounds for offering such status to those who arguably do deserve it. Given these troubling aspects of his approach, I encourage Liao to abandon his “physical (...) basis of moral agency” account of moral status and instead adopt a position closer to a traditional “speciesist” view. (shrink)
In his well-known time travel story, David Lewis claims that there is a sense in which Tim can go back in time and kill his Grandfather and a (more inclusive) sense in which he cannot. Lewis describes Tim’s predicament as semi-fatalist, but holds that this does not compromise Tim’s freedom or his ability to kill Grandfather. I argue that if semi-fatalism is true of Tim, it is true of everyone, and that this is a troubling conclusion.