In late January of 1987, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, shot himself to death in front of a dozen reporters and camera crews during a news conference in his office. Much was subsequently made in the popular press, and within the profession, about the difficult ethical decision television journalists were faced with in determining how much of the very graphic suicide tape to air. A review of the literature in this area suggests, however, that journalists have established (...) a set of relatively detailed conventions for dealing with events involving graphic depictions of death. Analysis of the Dwyer tape and interviews conducted with Pennsylvania television news directors show that eighteen of the twenty stations in the state that carry news used basically the same type and amount of footage in their evening newscasts. One decided to use no tape. One showed the moment of death. When the story broke around noon, two additional stations showed the moment of suicide, but they revised their story for the evening program. In addition, the wide majority of news directors interviewed said they had little difficulty in deciding how to edit the tape. The processing of the Dwyer story suggests that any ethical dilemmas faced by journalists during decision making were put aside for later consideration. The material was edited quickly and according to similar patterns, or conventions, around the state. The study suggests greater attention be given to the definition and interaction of personal professional values, in the ethical sense, and norms of news processing, in the sociological sense. (shrink)
What determines whether an action is right or wrong? Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, among them the leading philosophers in the discipline, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in (...) moral philosophy with essential material and ask key questions on just what the criteria for an adequate moral theory might be. (shrink)
John E. Smith has contributed to contemporary philosophy in primarily four distinct capacities; first, as a philosopher of religion and God; second, as an indefatigable defender of philosophical reflection in its classical sense ( a sense inclusive of, but not limited to, metaphysics); third, as a participant in the reconstruction of experience and reason so boldly inaugurated by Hegel then redically transformed by the classical American pragmatists, and significantly augmented by such thinkers as Josiah Royce, william Earnest Hocking, (...) and Alfred North Whitehead; fourth, as an interpreter of philosophical texts and traditions (Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche no less than Charles Peirce, WIlliam James and John Dewey; German idealism as well as American; the Augustinian tradition no less than the pragmatic). Reason, Experience, and God provides an important and comprehensive look at the work of John E. Smith by collected essays which each address aspects of his life-long work. A response by John E. Smith himself draws a line of continuity between the pieces. (shrink)
Philosophical tradition sharply distinguishes the conditions under which belief and action are reasonable. This dissertation examines one attempt to sustain this division, namely, the Humean analysis of practical reasons. The Humean analysis divides practical reasons into end and means. The former concerns what one should pursue as goal. The latter, what one should do to realize one's ends. Humeans argue that end reasons are not subject to the conditions of reasonable belief. Since end reasons pick out what has value for (...) an agent, Humeans contend that what makes life meaningful lies largely outside epistemic criteria. I find that Humeans base this claim on two distinct arguments. Each assumes that end reasons are unfit for epistemic appraisal because they lack some feature owned by psychological states suited to epistemic appraisal. A psychological state is fit for epistemic assessment only if its attitude ascribes a truth value to its content and its content owns a truth value. I examine the first conjunct. Regarding , Humeans argue that all genuine end reasons move their agents and, thus, these reasons are wants or take wants as components, since desire is the only source of agent-motivation. But in desiring that p, one does not ascribe a truth-value to p. Thus, end reasons lie outside epistemic criteria, assuming that only those psychological states whose attitude ascribes a truth value to its content are fit for epistemic assessment. Among those who claim that end reasons are a type of conative psychological state in that all genuine end reasons must move their agents are: R. M. Hare, P. H. Nowell-Smith, Gilbert Harman, Donald Davidson, B. A. O. Williams, and Daniel Dennett. I argue that this appeal to motivation fails by examining when an actor is an agent, finding that these conditions do not require that all genuine end reasons motivate. I add that rational failings, such as weakness of will, strongly suggest that not all genuine end reasons motivate. I conclude that end reasons are best conceived as a type of belief and, thus, these reasons do not lie outside epistemic assessment due to their psychological attitude. (shrink)
Characterization of Precambrian basement tectonics using 3D reflection seismology is critical for fully constraining the geology of a carbon capture and storage site. Our study applied state-of-the-art visualization and attribute analysis to a 3D seismic volume of the basement complex that underlies the Illinois Basin-Decatur Project CCS site. The most successful interpretative techniques used include geobody analysis, [Formula: see text] -directed amplitude change, and corendering, integrated with gradient analysis. The 3D volume reveals a strong reflector deep within the basement complex (...) that is interpreted to be a mafic sill, disrupted by a coherent pattern of prominent structural discontinuities. The discontinuities, which have a mutually orthogonal northwest–northeast trend, could have formed as part of the intrusion process, as tectonic faults, or a combination of both processes. Our preferred interpretation is that discontinuities are small faults with varying senses of offset. The most prominent of these is a narrow, well-defined northwest-striking crest or flexure in the igneous sill reflector. Injection-induced microseismicity describes a conspicuous pattern of northeast-trending clusters of events, some of which nucleated in the uppermost part of the basement, directly over this crest. This distribution of seismic events is proposed to be controlled, in part, by fracture zones related to the crest and associated discontinuities in the mafic sill. These fractures would be oriented in directions to be critically stressed, resulting in aligned microseismicity following pore pressure increases. (shrink)
Native food production in the Eastern Woodlands of North America before, and at the time of, European contact has been described by several writers as “slash-and-burn agriculture,” “shifting cultivation,” and even “swidden.” Select quotes from various early explorers, such as John Smith of Pocahontas fame, have been used out of context to support this position. Solid archaeological evidence of such practices is next to non-existent, as are ethnographic parallels from the region. In reality, the best data are documentary. Unlike (...) previous assessments, this paper evaluates sixteenth and seventeenth century ethnohistorical references to anything that can be even remotely construed as supportive of previous claims. Analyzed as a group these sources reveal something completely different from what common knowledge would have us believe. References to the slashing, the burning, and the shifting of fields are reasonably abundant. Rarely, however, are all three activities mentioned in a single passage, or by one chronicler. Furthermore, subtleties often overlooked in these quotes reveal great insight into native practices. This paper assesses explorers' and early settlers' descriptions in the context of the larger body of literature dealing with the ecology of swidden agriculture today. Indigenous fields in the Eastern Woodlands tended to be large, numerous, contiguous, and cleared of roots and stumps. Fields previously cleared of trees were covered with grass prior to preparation for planting. They were permanently cultivated. This condition stands in marked contrast to present-day swidden fields in other parts of the world that tend to be small, few, scattered, partially cleared of trees, and cultivated for only a year or two before being abandoned. Slash-and-burn shifting cultivation became common only after European settlers introduced steel axes. It was then practiced on uplands, not the formerly cultivated floodplains that were usurped by interlopers. (shrink)
While there has been significant discussion in the health sciences and ethics literatures about problems associated with publication practices (e.g., ghost- and gift-authorship, conflicts of interest), there has been relatively little practical guidance developed to help researchers determine how they should fairly allocate credit for multi-authored publications. Fair allocation of credit requires that participating authors be acknowledged for their contribution and responsibilities, but it is not obvious what contributions should warrant authorship, nor who should be responsible for the quality and (...) content of the scientific research findings presented in a publication. In this paper, we review arguments presented in the ethics and health science literatures, and the policies or guidelines proposed by learned societies and journals, in order to explore the link between author contribution and responsibility in multi-author multidisciplinary health science publications. We then critically examine the various procedures used in the field to help researchers fairly allocate authorship. (shrink)
This project investigates critical issues and events related to Trek Therapeutics experience as a public benefit corporation. We will present and discuss how Trek differentiates itself in an industry where the attention is on high prices supporting high investor returns. Trek’s benefit corporation status helped it garner favorable attention in some respects, but has also presented challenges, particularly when it comes to attracting new capital.
Psychological contracts represent perceived reciprocal obligations between an employer and an employee. Most research has focused on employee or employer rights (the entitlement side of the obligation equation). We examine the responsibilities inherent in psychological contracts. After reviewing the moral aspect of psychological contracts, we use the issue of tenure as a discussion point for this topic.
The study of anarchism as a philosophical, political, and social movement has burgeoned both in the academy and in the global activist community in recent years. Taking advantage of this boom in anarchist scholarship, Nathan J. Jun and Shane Wahl have compiled twenty-six cutting-edge essays on this timely topic in New Perspectives on Anarchism.
The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal in the United States, but that statement does not hold true for words. Some words carry more weight than others--they seem to work harder, get more done, and demand more respect. Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us looks at eight dominant words that are crucial to American political discourse, and how they have been employed during the last fifty years. Based on an analysis of eleven separate studies of (...) political language, Political Keywords helps readers to understand what these terms mean and how they are used. For example, the book tracks what politics now means to modern commentators, how schoolteacher impress certain values upon the nation's children by invoking the office of the president, and why an innocent word like government sometimes makes people so upset. It details how the people are referenced in political talk and how the media portray themselves. The book also considers the work done by political parties, political promises, and political consultants because, together, they shed special light on modern elections. Combining social science with subtle forms of cultural interpretation, Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us provides a fresh look at both American politics and American language. It is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in political communication, political language, political campaigns, media and politics, political psychology, public opinion, rhetorical criticism, contemporary public address, and presidential rhetoric. (shrink)
What makes a leader ethical? This paper critically examines the answer given by developmental theory, which argues that individuals can develop through cumulative stages of ethical orientation and behavior (e.g. Hobbesian, Kantian, Rawlsian), such that leaders at later developmental stages (of whom there are empirically very few today) are more ethical. By contrast to a simple progressive model of ethical development, this paper shows that each developmental stage has both positive (light) and negative (shadow) aspects, which affect the ethical behaviors (...) of leaders at that stage. It also explores an unexpected result: later stage leaders can have more significantly negative effects than earlier stage leadership. (shrink)
Biological ontologies are used to organize, curate, and interpret the vast quantities of data arising from biological experiments. While this works well when using a single ontology, integrating multiple ontologies can be problematic, as they are developed independently, which can lead to incompatibilities. The Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies Foundry was created to address this by facilitating the development, harmonization, application, and sharing of ontologies, guided by a set of overarching principles. One challenge in reaching these goals was that the (...) OBO principles were not originally encoded in a precise fashion, and interpretation was subjective. Here we show how we have addressed this by formally encoding the OBO principles as operational rules and implementing a suite of automated validation checks and a dashboard for objectively evaluating each ontology’s compliance with each principle. This entailed a substantial effort to curate metadata across all ontologies and to coordinate with individual stakeholders. We have applied these checks across the full OBO suite of ontologies, revealing areas where individual ontologies require changes to conform to our principles. Our work demonstrates how a sizable federated community can be organized and evaluated on objective criteria that help improve overall quality and interoperability, which is vital for the sustenance of the OBO project and towards the overall goals of making data FAIR. Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest. (shrink)
Launched in 2007, the American Medical Students Association PharmFree Scorecard is an annual ranking of conflict of interest policies at American medical centres; it focuses on COIs that may occur when medical education seems likely to be influenced by university-industry relationships, especially those with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The PharmFree Scorecard has proven influential in stimulating changes in policy regarding the management of COI at American medical institutions, thus it provides a useful jumping off point for reflection on (...) how and why medical education institutions in other countries – and for our purposes, Canada – should pay more attention to the appropriate identification and management of COI. The PharmFree Scorecard methodology examines a diversity of factors and interests that could influence medical education; as such, it is an interesting approach to analysing the COI policies of medical schools. To test its utility or applicability outside the US, we decided to apply the PharmFree Scorecard to the COI policies of the 16 Canadian universities hosting medical schools. Overall, Canadian institutions rank very poorly, especially in ensuring that education and training tools are provided to staff, students and faculty members to enable the identification and management of COI. However, differences between the US and Canadian medical education contexts, e.g., with regards to the governance and funding of universities, limit to some extent the direct applicability of the AMSA ranking. Canadian medical schools – and their host universities – nonetheless have much to learn from insights provided by the AMSA PharmFree Scorecard ranking, although they can and should go further in developing their own COI policies and procedures. (shrink)
In his book "frege: philosophy of language", M a e dummett criticizes kripke's distinction between rigid and accidental designators. According to dummett, The argument for kripke's distinction relies on an examination of the behavior of names and descriptions in modal contexts. Dummett challenges kripke's thesis that descriptions in these contexts differ from names in creating formal ambiguities of scope, By arguing that names for which the reference has been fixed by means of a description exhibit this characteristic also. However I (...) argue that dummett's case fails, Because the ambiguity he isolates for this sort of name is demonstrably an epistemic one, Not a genuine ambiguity of modal placement. (shrink)
The goal of the Department of Defense Net-Centric Data Strategy is to improve data sharing throughout the DoD. Data sharing is a critical element of interoperability in the emerging system-of-systems. Achieving interoperability requires the elimination of two types of data heterogeneity: differences of syntax and differences of semantics. This paper builds a path toward semantic uniformity through application of a disciplined approach to ontology. An ontology is a consensus framework representing the types of entities within a given domain and the (...) relations between them. The construction of an ontology begins when a Community of Interest (COI) identifies its authoritative data sources (ADS), which are usually manifest in relevant doctrinal publications, glossaries, data dictionaries, and logical data models. The identified terms are then defined in relation to a common logical framework that has been designed to ensure interoperability with other ontologies created on the basis of the same strategy. As will be described, the Command and Control (C2) Ontology will include representations of a substantial number of entities within the Command and Control (C2) domain. If domain ontologies (e.g. Strike and Counterinsurgency) semantically align with the C2 Ontology, then a substantial barrier to systems interoperability is thereby crossed. (shrink)
In The City of God , XI, 10, St Augustine claims that the divine nature is simple because ‘it is what it has’ . We may take this as a slogan for the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity , a doctrine which finds its way into orthodox medieval Christian theological speculation. Like the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the DDS has seemed obvious and pious to many, and incoherent, misguided, and repugnant to others. Unlike the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the (...) DDS has received very little critical attention. The DDS did not originate with Augustine, but I am not primarily concerned with its pedigree. Nor am I concerned to ask how the doctrine interacts with trinitarian speculation. I will have my hands full as it is. In Section I of this paper I shall provide a rough characterization of the DDS, indicate its complexity, and focus on a particular aspect of the doctrine which will exercise us in the remainder of the paper, namely, the thesis that the divine attributes are all identical with each other and with God. In section n I shall discuss Alvin Plantinga's recent objections to Aquinas' version of the DDS. I shall then offer a more detailed presentation of what I take to be Aquinas' version , and recast it in terms of a theory of attributes which is significantly different from Plantinga's . Although the recasting of the doctrine will enable me to rebut Plantinga's objections , it by no means solves all the problems of the DDS. In section vi I shall discuss the chief lingering problem facing a defender of the DDS. (shrink)