This paper offers an account of data manipulation in scientific experiments. It will be shown that in many cases raw, unprocessed data is not produced, but rather a form of processed data that will be referred to as a data model. The language of data models will be used to provide a framework within which to understand a recent debate about the status of data and data manipulation. It will be seen that a description in terms of data models allows (...) one to understand cases in which data acquisition and data manipulation cannot be separated into two independent activities. (shrink)
The principle that people's lives and fundamental interests are of equal value and that they must therefore be given equal weight has immense intellectual appeal and intuitive force. It is often enough to discredit a theory or proposal simply to show that it violates this principle. When measures are said to be discriminatory or unfair it is this principle which is in play. Recent philosophers of widely differing schools and outlooks give versions of this principle a central role in their (...) theories. (shrink)
In 1975 the Clarendon Press at Oxford published Peter Nidditch's edition of John Locke's An Essay concerning Human Understanding. In his Introduction Nidditch says that his edition “offers a text that is directly derived, without modernization, from the early published versions; it notes the provenance of all its adopted readings ; and it aims at recording all relevant differences between these versions”. As Nidditch goes on to acknowledge, the “relevant differences” were many, “requiring several thousand registrations both in the case (...) of material variants and in the case of formal variants ”. The textual history of Locke's Essay is extremely complicated. While there is no manuscript of the first edition of the book, there were four editions in Locke's lifetime, each new one containing extensive and significant revisions, as well as a posthumous edition published shortly after the author's death. There was a translation into French made with Locke's cooperation and published in 1700, and a Latin translation came out a year later. Nevertheless, Nidditch managed to record all the material variants in footnotes to the text, in a way that makes it fairly easy to track the changes that Locke made to successive editions of the book, and to locate points at which judgements had to be made as a critical text was established on the basis of the chosen copy text. Sometimes a critical edition succeeds in completely changing the way that a text is read. Peter Laslett's 1960 edition of Locke's Two Treatises of Government is a good example. Nidditch's edition of the Essay did not have that kind of very dramatic effect on Locke scholarship. Rather, it made it possible for those without direct access to all the early editions to engage in careful, historically sensitive studies of Locke's account of human understanding. The result was a slow revolution in Locke studies that continues to shed new light on even the most familiar aspects of the Lockean philosophy. (shrink)
In Enhancing Evolution, leading bioethicist John Harris dismantles objections to genetic engineering, stem-cell research, designer babies, and cloning and makes an ethical case for biotechnology that is both forthright and rigorous.
A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality (...) or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life. (shrink)
Cloning - few words have as much potential to grip our imagination or grab the headlines. No longer the stuff of science fiction or Star Wars - it is happening now. Yet human cloning is currently banned throughout the world, and therapeutic cloning banned in many countries. In this highly controversial book, John Harris does a lot more than ask why we are so afraid of cloning. He presents a deft and informed defence of human cloning, carefully exposing the (...) rhetorical and highly dubious arguments against it. He begins with an introduction to what a human clone is, before tackling some of the most common and frequently bizarre criticisms of cloning: Is it really wicked? Can we regulate it? What about the welfare of cloned children? Does it turn human beings into commodities? Dismissing one by one some of the myths about human cloning, in particular that it is degrading and unsafe, he astutely argues that some of our most cherished values, such as the freedom to start a family and the freedom from state control, actually support the case for human cloning. Offering a brave and lucid insight into this ethical minefield, John Harris at last shows that far from ending the diversity of human life or creating a race of super-clones, cloning has the power to improve and heal human life. (shrink)
Since the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1977, we have seen truly remarkable advances in biotechnology. We can now screen the fetus for Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and a wide range of genetic disorders. We can rearrange genes in DNA chains and redirect the evolution of species. We can record an individual's genetic fingerprint. And we can potentially insert genes into human DNA that will produce physical warning signs of cancer, allowing early detection. In fact, biotechnology (...) has progressed to such a point that virtually any kind of genetic manipulation, if not already possible, is just around the corner. But these breakthroughs also raise serious ethical and moral dilemmas that we are only now beginning to confront. In Wonderwoman and Superman, noted medical ethicist John Harris offers the first thorough analysis of the moral dilemmas created by the revolution in molecular biology. Covering a wide array of recent innovations, Harris discusses, for example, the moral decisions involved and the consequences of creating egg and embryo banks. Who should be allowed to use such resources? Should recipients be screened? Should such banks be open for public or private use? And does it cheapen life to make embryos available for sale? In another chapter, Harris examines the question of conceiving children chiefly for organ donation, focusing on the recent case of a woman who wanted to have a second child to provide a bone marrow donor for her first child sick with leukemia (she intended to abort the fetus if its bone marrow did not genetically match that of her living child). In this case, the medical staff had to decide whether they should perform in-vitro fertilization, knowing that the mother did not satisfy the clinic's criteria (there was no father), and also knowing the potential for abortion. Discussing the ethics of the mother's choice and the clinic's choice, Harris asks whether it is morally correct to create a child as an organ donor, whether the future child would suffer, whether it is worth any suffering to be born, and who has the right to weigh the various factors (both moral and physiological) involved in making these decisions. Delving into a multitude of issues such as when life begins, when suffering is needless, and whether we should play God, Wonderwoman and Superman provides not only a thought-provoking inquiry into the potential and actual ethical dilemmas created by the many advances in biotechnology, but challenges us to learn to choose responsibly and to face the moral implications of the choices that confront us. (shrink)
In this issue of CQ we introduce a new feature, in which noted bioethicists are invited to reflect on vital current issues. Our first invitee, John Harris, will subsequently assume editorship of this section.
In his ‘Moral Enhancement, Freedom, and What We Value in Moral Behaviour’,1 David DeGrazia sets out to defend moral bioenhancement from a number of critics, me prominently among them. Here he sets out his stall: "Many scholars doubt what I assert: that there is nothing inherently wrong with MB. Some doubt this on the basis of a conviction that there is something inherently wrong with biomedical enhancement technologies in general. Chief among their objections are the charges that biomedical enhancement is (...) unnatural, use of biomedical enhancements evinces an insufficient appreciation for human “giftedness”, and biomedical enhancements pose a threat to personal identity. Elsewhere I have attempted to neutralize these objections. Here I will address a set of concerns that are directed at MB in particular and appeal to the nature and value of human freedom."Let me make clear at once that I do not believe there is anything inherently wrong with MB. I have been an advocate for human enhancement for over 30 years writing four books defending such enhancements.2–⇓4 The most recent of these published in 2007 covers much the same ground as Allen Buchanan's 2011 book cited by DeGrazia,5 but, unlike Buchanan, I do not define enhancements in terms of the intention or the motivation of those who produce them but rather in terms of their effect. I must also make clear that, like DeGrazia, I have also, for a very long time, attempted to neutralise objections 1–3 listed in the above passage.2–⇓4DeGrazia introduces his critique of my approach like this: "I will construe Harris’ argument and similar arguments as directed entirely at motivation-based MB—though I will hereafter omit the qualifier, “motivation-based.” (Certainly, these arguments do not apply to embryo selection, which … ". (shrink)
John Harris has previously proposed that there is a moral duty to participate in scientific research. This concept has recently been challenged by Iain Brassington, who asserts that the principles cited by Harris in support of the duty to research fail to establish its existence. In this paper we address these criticisms and provide new arguments for the existence of a moral obligation to research participation. This obligation, we argue, arises from two separate but related principles. The principle (...) of fairness obliges us to support the social institutions which sustain us, of which research is one; while the principle of beneficence, or the duty of rescue, imposes upon us a duty to prevent harm to others, including by supporting potentially beneficial, even life-saving research. We argue that both these lines of argument support the duty to research, and explore further aspects of this duty, such as to whom it is owed and how it might be discharged. (shrink)
There is a popular and widely accepted version of the precautionary principle which may be expressed thus: “If you are in a hole—stop digging!”. Tom Baldwin, as Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority , may be excused for rushing to the defence of the indefensible,1 the HFEA’s sex selection report,2 but not surely for recklessly abandoning so prudent a principle. Baldwin has many complaints about my misrepresenting the HFEA and about my supposed elitist contempt for public opinion; (...) readers of this exchange will decide for themselves.REDRAFTING THE REPORTBaldwin begins with a piece of wishful thinking:"Harris objects that in this recommendation “an absurdly high standard of caution is employed”, since a theoretical risk is associated with almost all medical procedures. This objection is misplaced: as paragraph 142 of the report indicates, the phrase “theoretical risk” is to be understood here in the light of the earlier discussion of the risks arising from the fact that flow cytometry exposes sperm to laser energy, a procedure which is known to be liable to damage DNA."Paragraph 142 does not make that clear. It does indeed refer back to a set of earlier paragraphs but these give, if anything, an upbeat assessment of the safety of flow cytometry. Paragraph 121 states: “However whilst potentially less intrusive, and with potentially lower risk to the health of patients, flow cytometry …” .2 But even if the overall burden of the report does indicate unresolved fears, the standard is still absurdly high. However, so far from endorsing the report’s judgement that flow cytometry has “potentially lower risk to the health of patients”, Baldwin now regards the risk of flow cytometry as “serious”1:"Since the application of flow cytometry to humans is a new procedure, the risk of … ". (shrink)
Universalism in philosophy, argue Penny Enslin and Mary Tjiattas, tends to be regarded as an affront to particular affiliations, an act of injustice by misrecognition. While agreeing with criticisms of some expressions of universalism, they take the view that anti-universalism has become an orthodoxy that deflects attention from pressing issues of global injustice in education. In different ways, recent reformulations of universalism accommodate particularity and claims for recognition. Defending a qualified universalism, they argue, through a discussion of the Education for (...) All campaign, that the present focus on recognition should be widened to address redistribution and representation as elements of global justice in education.In her response to Enslin and Tjiattas, Sharon Todd expresses sympathy for their aspiration towards a ‘qualified universalism’, but she seeks to go beyond the dichotomy of universalism versus anti-universalism by way of a discussion of aspects of the work of Judith Butler. Butler's emphasis on cultural translation offers a way, it is claimed, to think about the universal that transcends the oppositional relation between culture and commitment to universals. In the light of this she advocates an approach that involves neither universalism nor anti-universalism but ‘critique of universality’. Thus, the task of translation, on Butler's account, prevents universality from being a standard or home-base from which we can judge the world and turns it instead into an ongoing struggle for intelligibility.In their rejoinder, Enslin and Tjiattas reject any charge that their own account has fallen into a simple dichotomisation of universalism and anti-universalism, and reaffirm their commitment to a form of universalism in which partial or contextual considerations count in ethical deliberations, and values and principles are subject to reflexive renegotiation in democratic deliberations, which provides the means of their justification and the source of their legitimacy. This yields, they claim, a non-standard form of contractualism that is both culturally sensitive and open-ended. They suggest in conclusion that the debate between themselves and Todd raises questions about whether the analytical and continental traditions can concede one another's place in the philosophy of education. (shrink)
When philosophers put forward claims for or against 'property', it is often unclear whether they are talking about the same thing that lawyers mean by 'property'. Likewise, when lawyers appeal to 'justice' in interpreting or criticizing legal rules we do not know if they have in mind something that philosophers would recognize as 'justice'. J. W. Harris here examines the legal and philosophical underpinnings of the concept of property and offers a new analytical framework for understanding property and justice.
Ted Shotter's founding of the London Medical Group 50 years ago in 1963 had several far reaching implications for medical ethics, as other papers in this issue indicate. Most significant for the joint authors of this short paper was his founding of the quarterly Journal of Medical Ethics in 1975, with Alastair Campbell as its first editor-in-chief. In 1980 Raanan Gillon began his 20-year editorship . Gillon was succeeded in 2001 by Julian Savulescu, followed by John Harris and Soren (...) Holm in 2004, with Julian Savulescu starting his second and current term in 2011. In 2000 an additional special edition of the JME, Medical Humanities , was published, under the founding joint editorship of Martyn Evans and David Greaves. In 2003 Jane Macnaughton succeeded David Greaves as joint editor. Deborah Kirklin, under whose auspices MH became an independent journal, took over in 2008, and she was succeeded in 2013 by Sue Eckstein. This short paper offers reminiscences and reflections from the two journals’ various editors.From the start the JME was committed to clearly expressed reasoned discussion of ethical issues arising from or related to medical practice and research. In particular, both Edward Shotter and Alastair Campbell, each a cleric , were at pains to make clear that the JME was not a religious journal and that it had no sort of partisan axe to grind.Campbell's appointment as founding editor was something of a surprise, as the original intention had been to appoint a medical doctor, who could be expected to know medical practice from the inside. However, in 1972 Campbell, a Joint Secretary of the Edinburgh Medical Group, had published Moral dilemmas in medicine. …. (shrink)
Opponents of destructive embryo research, such as embryo rightists, as well as proponents accept that natural reproduction is permissible. There is an alternative to natural reproduction—to remain childless. John Harris began this series of articles by asking, what does a commitment to the permissibility of natural reproduction entail? Harris has argued that a commitment to the permissibility of natural reproduction entails a commitment to the permissibility of destructive embryo research. Julian Savulescu has denied this. However, there are significant (...) areas in which our views have converged. (shrink)
This collection of essays by American philosopher Alain Locke makes readily available for the first time his important writings on cultural pluralism, value relativism, and critical relativism. As a black philosopher early in this century, Locke was a pioneer: having earned both undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Harvard, he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, studied at the University of Berlin, and chaired the Philosophy Department at Howard University for almost four decades. He was perhaps best known as a leading (...) figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Locke’s works in philosophy—many previously unpublished—conceptually frame the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro movement and provide an Afro-American critique of pragmatism and value absolutism, and also offer a view of identity, communicative competency, and contextualism. In addition, his major works on the nature of race, race relations, and the role of race-conscious literature are presented to demonstrate the application of his philosophy. Locke’s commentaries on the major philosophers of his day, including James, Royce, Santayana, Perry, and Ehrenfels help tell the story of his relationship to his former teachers and his theoretical affinities. In his substantial Introduction and interpretive concluding chapter, Leonard Harris describes Locke’s life, evaluates his role as an American philosopher and theoretician of the Harlem Renaissance, situates him in the pragmatist tradition, and outlines his affinities with modern deconstructionist ideas. A chronology of the philosopher’s life and bibliography of his works are also provided. Although much has been written about Alain Locke, this is the first book to focus on his philosophical contributions. (shrink)
Michael Rawlins and Andrew Dillon start their defence of Nice in fine polemical style, unfortunately polemics is all they have to offer. They totally fail to justify the Nice proposals on dementia treatments nor do they make any more plausible than formerly their use of the notorious QALY. They say:"Harris’s recent editorial, It’s not NICE to discriminate, is long on both polemic and invective – but short on scholarship. He offers nothing to illuminate the debate about allocating healthcare in (...) circumstances of finite resources; he has no understanding of the quality adjusted life year and its use in health economic evaluation; and he makes ill-researched, unsubstantiated and offensive charges against the Institute and its advisory bodies."Accusations are easy to make, difficult to substantiate. There are a number of claims here, only one of which is true. It is true that my editorial was robust, polemical if you like, but editorials are not the same as research papers and these are important issues which deeply affect real lives. Although Rawlins and Dillon affect to take the high ground their own article contains even more vigorous and much more personal invective than my editorial, I make no complaints. But as to the rest of what they say, well, let’s just see!They claim I offer nothing to illuminate resource allocation and that I have no understanding of the QALY. Both of these claims may well be true, but nothing they say goes any way to support these claims or even towards making them plausible. I have studied and written about the QALY for almost 20 years1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 and Rawlins and Dillon show no evidence of any awareness or indeed any understanding of the issues, whether …. (shrink)
Correspondence to: John Harris The Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, Institute of Medicine Law and Bioethics, School of Law, University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 0JH, UK; firstname.lastname@example.orgClaxton and Culyer1 have written an interesting and considered response, as people intimately connected to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence , to the two editorials that I wrote on recent NICE decisions. Before commenting on their response, I would like to consider a point they (...) made, which echoes a point already made by Rawlins and Dillon,2 about the tone of my editorials. Claxton and Culyer accuse me of making “personally abusive charges”. In my original editorial, I criticised an institution, NICE, in robust terms, but in doing so I was continuing a long and respected tradition in English philosophy. Consider the following extract from Jeremy Bentham:" In English law, fiction is a syphilis, which runs in every vein, and carries into every part of the system the principle of rottenness...Fiction of use to justice? Exactly as swindling is to trade...It affords presumptive and conclusive evidence of moral turpitude in those by whom it was invented and first employed.3"My remarks were not an ad hominem criticism of anyone but directed at the published, but anonymous statements of an institution—a body corporate. In robustly criticising NICE, I no more attacked any individual associated with NICE than I attacked Tony Blair or the various ministers of state who are ultimately responsible for NICE. And, contra Claxton and Culyer’s claims, I have not denigrated the views of people who beg to differ from me.i If the apologists for NICE, whether they are Tony Culyer or Tony Blair, choose to identify themselves with criticism of NICE, that is entirely a matter for them. The only ad hominem remarks in this entire exchange have been made by Rawlins and Dillon, and Claxton and Culyer. The idea that criticism of the anonymously authored publications of …. (shrink)
Editor-in-Chief John Harris discusses the four events that remind us of the concerns about what happens before birth and after death.Four recent events have reminded us that many people are concerned about what happens before birth and after death, even if what happens before birth happens to those who will never be born and even if the near death happenings occur after death and to those who cannot care about them. The recent events involve a decision of the European (...) Court of Human Rights, a decision of the UK Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority , a proposal before the UK Parliament and a book by the most famous living German philosopher.On 8th July 2004 The European Court of Human Rights in Vo v France1 confirmed the view that the scope of legal principles protecting human individuals does not normally extend to the unborn and that in the words of the court “the unborn child is not regarded as a “person” …. (shrink)
James A. Harris - The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.3 479-480 Alexander Broadie, editor. The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp. xvi + 366. Cloth, $65.00. A Cambridge Companion can be expected to attempt to do two different things at the same time: to provide a clear and concise introduction to the existing scholarly literature on all (...) the principal topics discussed by the philosopher or school of philosophy to which the Companion is devoted; and to advance the discussion in ways that will be of interest to those already working in the field. Alexander Broadie's Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment succeeds admirably at both tasks. Excellent introductions are provided.. (shrink)
Harris, Michele Aboriginal advocate Olga Havnen, in her Lowitja O'Donoghue oration, has asked a critical question. She asks what has been the psychological impact of the Intervention on Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory . It is surprising that so little attention has been given to this critical, yet in some ways tenuous, link before now.
In this, his magnum opus, distinguished linguist Zellig Harris presents a formal theory of language structure, in which syntax is characterized as an orderly system of departures from random combinations of sounds, words, and indeed of all elements of language.
In this significant new addition to moral theory, George Harris challenges a view of the dignity and worth of persons that goes back through Kant and Christianity to the Stoics. He argues that we do not, in fact, believe this view, which traces any breakdowns of character to failures of strength. When it comes to what we actually value in ourselves and others, he says, we are far more Greek than Christian. At the most profound level, we value ourselves (...) as natural organisms, as animals, rather than as godlike beings who transcend nature. The Kantian-Christian-Stoic tradition holds that if we were fully able to realize our dignity as Kantians, Christians, or Stoics, we would be better, stronger people, and therefore less vulnerable to character breakdown. _Dignity and Vulnerability_ offers an opposing view, that sometimes character breaks down not because of some shortcoming in it but because of what is good about it, because of the very virtues and features of character that give us our dignity. If dignity can make us fragile and vulnerable to breakdown, then breakdown can be benign as well as harmful, and thus the conceptions of human dignity embedded in the tradition leading up to Kant are deeply mistaken. Harris proposes a foundation for our belief in human dignity in what we can actually know about ourselves, rather than in metaphysical or theological fantasy. Having gained this knowledge, we can understand the source of real strength. (shrink)
The legitimacy of embryo research, use, and destruction is among the most important issues facing contemporary bioethics. In the preceding paper, Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu took up an argument of John Harris and tried to find some new ways of avoiding its dramatic consequences. They noted that: “John Harris has argued that if … it is morally permissible to engage in reproduction … despite knowledge that a large number of embryos will fail to implant and quickly die, (...) then … it is morally permissible to produce embryos for other purposes that involve killing them, for instance, to harvest stem cells” and suggest that this argument fails. (shrink)
In this paper H. S. Harris argues that it is misguided to suggest that Hegelrsquo;s philosophical project was a dialectical illusion generated by his historical situation and that he would never have believed that his vision was achievable if he had been faced with the world that we face today. Not only does Harris proclaim himself to be a Hegelian, he claims that Hegel would today also remain a Hegelian. He goes on to argue that despite the fragmentation (...) of the twentieth century and the apparent collapse of the vision articulated in the French Revolution, Hegelrsquo;s thinking continues to be relevant because although his philosophy is the lsquo;comprehension of onersquo;s timersquo;, Hegel also produces a philosophy that is out of time and somehow final.br /. (shrink)
Phylloxera, ‘big science’ and the nature of scientific debate Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9668-z Authors Cain Todd, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, County South, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YL UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Building on the success and importance of three previous volumes, _Relational Psychoanalysis_ continues to expand and develop the relational turn. Under the keen editorship of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris, and comprised of the contributions of many of the leading voices in the relational world, _Volume 4_ carries on the legacy of this rich and diversified psychoanalytic approach by taking a fresh look at recent developments in relational theory. Included here are chapters on sexuality and gender, race and class, (...) identity and self, thirdness, the transitional subject, the body, and more. Thoughtful, capacious, and integrative, this new volume places the leading edge of relational thought close at hand, and pushes the boundaries of the relational turn that much closer to the horizon. Contributors: Neil Altman, Jessica Benjamin, Emanuel Berman, Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Susan Coates, Ken Corbett, Muriel Dimen, Martin Stephen Frommer, Jill Gentile, Samuel Gerson, Virginia Goldner, Sue Grand, Hazel Ipp, Kimberlyn Leary, Jonathan Slavin, Malcolm Owen Slavin, Charles Spezzano, Ruth Stein, Melanie Suchet. (shrink)
Building on the success and importance of three previous volumes, _Relational Psychoanalysis_ continues to expand and develop the relational turn. Under the keen editorship of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris, and comprised of the contributions of many of the leading voices in the relational world, _Volume 5_ carries on the legacy of this rich and diversified psychoanalytic approach by taking a fresh look at the progress in therapeutic process. Included here are chapters on transference and countertransference, engagement, dissociation and (...) self-states, analytic impasses, privacy and disclosure, enactments, improvisation, development, and more. Thoughtful, capacious, and integrative, this new volume places the leading edge of relational thought close at hand, and pushes the boundaries of the relational turn that much closer to the horizon. Contributors: Lewis Aron, Anthony Bass, Beatrice Beebe, Philip Bromberg, Steven Cooper, Jody Messler Davies, Darlene Ehrenberg, Dianne Elise, Glen Gabbard, Adrienne Harris, Irwin Hoffman, Steven Knoblauch, Thomas Ogden, Spyros Orfanos, Stuart Pizer, Philip Ringstrom, Jill Salberg, Stephen Seligman, Joyce Slochower, Donnel Stern, Paul Wachtel. (shrink)
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