Working in a freely falling frame and starting from the de Broglie and Einstein relations, we calculate the relative phase of monoenergetic Schrödinger radiation in an interferometer at rest in a gravity field.
In Property Rights and Poverty, / argued that seventeenth? to mid?nineteenth?century liberal theories of the natural right to property included both the ability to exclude others from resources lawfully acquired and the ability to claim as property the resources necessary for life and livelihood. Virtually every defense of the right to exclude written during this period carried limits which allowed and even required the government to enforce the rights of those without resources to the property of others. But although Locke, (...) among others, was a theorist of welfare rights, it is a mistake to describe him as a radical, as Richard Ashcraft does, which identifies Locke's purposes too closely with the legitimately radical theorists of the early nineteenth century who were deeply influenced by his work. (shrink)
Over the last twenty years, Bas van Fraassen has developed a “new epistemology”: an attempt to sail between Bayesianism and traditional epistemology. He calls his own alternative “voluntarism”. A constant pillar of his thought is the thought that rationality involves permission rather than obligation. The present paper aims to offer an appraisal of van Fraassen’s conception of rationality. In section 2, I review the Bayesian structural conception of rationality and argue that it has been found wanting. In sections 3 and (...) 4, I analyse van Fraassen’s voluntarism. I raise some objections about van Fraassen’s reliance on prior opinion and argue that the content of a belief matters to its rationality. In section 5, I criticise van Fraassen’s view that inference to the best explanation is incoherent. Finally, in section 6, I take on van Fraassen’s conception of rationality and show that it is too thin to fully capture rational judgement. (shrink)
Considering Pragma-Dialectics honors the monumental contributions of one of the foremost international figures in current argumentation scholarship: Frans van Eemeren. The volume presents the research efforts of his colleagues and addresses how their work relates to the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation with which van Eemeren’s name is so intimately connected. This tribute serves to highlight the varied approaches to the study of argumentation and is destined to inspire researchers to advance scholarship in the field far into the future. Replete with (...) contributions from highly-esteemed academics in argumentation study, chapters in this volume address such topics as: *Pragma-dialectic versus epistemic theories of arguing and arguments; *Pragma-dialectics and self-advocacy in physician-patient interactions; *The pragma-dialectical analysis of the ad hominem family; *Rhetoric, dialectic, and the functions of argument; and *The semantics of reasonableness. As an exceptional volume and a fitting tribute, this work will be of interest to all argumentation scholars considering the astute insights and scholarly legacy of Frans van Eemeren. (shrink)
In his recent book on the problem of evil, Peter van Inwagen argues that both the global and local arguments from evil are failures. In this paper, we engagevan Inwagen’s book at two main points. First, we consider his understanding of what it takes for a philosophical argument to succeed. We argue that while his criterion for success is interesting and helpful, there is good reason to think it is too stringent. Second, we consider his responses to the global and (...) local arguments from evil. We argue that although van Inwagen may have adequately responded to each of these arguments, his discussion points us toa third argument from evil to which he has yet to provide a response. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Peter van Inwagen’s claim (in “Free Will Remains a Mystery”), that agent-causal views of free will could do nothing to solve the problem of free will (specifically, the problem of chanciness). After explaining van Inwagen’s argument, I argue that he does not consider all possible manifestations of the agent-causal position. More importantly, I claim that, in any case, van Inwagen appears to have mischaracterized the problem in some crucial ways. Once we are clear on (...) the true nature of the problem of chanciness, agent-causal views do much to eradicate it. (shrink)
(1975). The History of Salvation in Dr. A. A. van Ruler's Theology An Introduction to his Theology on the Occasion of the Publication of his “Theological Works”. Bijdragen: Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 391-419.
In regards to the problem of evil, van Inwagen thinks there are two arguments from evil which require different defenses. These are the global argument from evil—that there exists evil in general, and the local argument from evil—that there exists some particular atrocious evil X. However, van Inwagen fails to consider whether the problem of God’s hiddenness also has a “local” version: whether there is in fact a “local” argument from God’s hiddenness which would be undefeated by his general defense (...) of God’s hiddenness. This paper will argue that van Inwagen’s present account contains no implicit response to the “local” argument from God’s hiddenness, and, worse, the “local” argument brings to the fore crucial inconsistencies in van Inwagen’s account. These inconsistencies concern van Inwagen’s criterion for philosophical success—his methodological use of an “ideal audience” in an ideal debate—and a crucial premise in his argument: namely, that people who do not believe in God are culpably deceiving themselves regarding the manifest presence of God. These considerations will be a platform for my arguing that the failures of van Inwagen’s account amount to his ignoring the extra-rational, concrete aspect of grasping “spiritual propositions”—propositions which, in order to be affirmed, require the full self-understanding which precipitates out of the mind, body, and will of a particular existing individual. (shrink)
http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2008v12n1p49 The aim of this article is to offer a rejoinder to an argument against scientific realism put forward by van Fraassen, based on theoretical considerations regarding microphysics. At a certain stage of his general attack to scientific realism, van Fraassen argues, in contrast to what realists typically hold, that empirical regularities should sometimes be regarded as “brute facts”, which do not ask for explanation in terms of deeper, unobservable mechanisms. The argument from microphysics formulated by van Fraassen is based (...) on the claim that in microphysics the demand for explanation leads to a demand for the so-called hidden-variable theories, which “runs contrary to at least one major school of thought in twentieth-century physics”. It is shown here that this argument does not represent an insurmountable obstacle to scientific realism, not even when a series of important theoretical and experimental results against hidden-variable theories — and not merely a conflict with a certain school of thought—is taken into account. (shrink)
A careful analysis of Salmon’s Theoretical Realism and van Fraassen’s Constructive Empiricism shows that both share a common origin: the requirement of literal construal of theories inherited by the Standard View. However, despite this common starting point, Salmon and van Fraassen strongly disagree on the existence of unobservable entities. I argue that their different ontological commitment towards the existence of unobservables traces back to their different views on the interpretation of probability via different conceptions of induction. In fact, inferences to (...) statements claiming the existence of unobservable entities are inferences to probabilistic statements, whence the crucial importance of the interpretation of probability. (shrink)
In a recent article, van Fraassen has taken issue with the use to which Perrin’s experiments on Brownian motion have been put by philosophers, especially those defending scientific realism. He defends an alternative position by analysing the details of Perrin’s case in its historical context. In this reply, I argue that van Fraassen has not done the job well enough and I extend and in some respects attempt to correct his claims by close attention to the historical details.
Psillos has recently argued that van Fraassen’s arguments against abduction fail. Moreover, he claimed that, if successful, these arguments would equally undermine van Fraassen’s own constructive empiricism, for, Psillos thinks, it is only by appeal to abduction that constructive empiricism can be saved from issuing in a bald scepticism. We show that Psillos’ criticisms are misguided, and that they are mostly based on misinterpretations of van Fraassen’s arguments. Furthermore, we argue that Psillos’ arguments for his claim that constructive empiricism itself (...) needs abduction point up to his failure to recognize the importance of van Fraassen’s broader epistemology for constructive empiricism. Towards the end of our paper we discuss the suspected relationship between constructive empiricism and scepticism in the light of this broader epistemology, and from a somewhat more general perspective. (shrink)
Verhack's book De mens en zijn onrust. Over het raadsel van de beweging seeks to develop a metaphysics after the 'end of metaphysics'. Such a metaphysics not only has to take into account Nietzsche's and Heidegger's radical critiques of metaphysics. It also has to avoid the soteriological strategies of traditional metaphysics by searching for a transcendent meaning, to which our finite and resdess human existence is pointing from the inside. Yet in which direction does our human existence transcend itself? By (...) comparing Verhack's answer to this question with Thomas Aquinas' discussion of the desiderium naturale Dei, it is argued that Verhack's post-metaphysical metaphysics is based on a spiritualistic outlook on life. From this line of argument it is shown that this metaphysics threatens to perpetrate the verysame soteriological strategies it tried to avoid, and to pass over the meaning and bearing of 'the end of metaphysics'. (shrink)
Summary In 1874, the Dutch chemist and Nobel prizewinner Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff (1852?1911) laid the foundations for stereochemistry with a publication in which he openly suggested that molecules were real physical entities with a three-dimensional structure. He visualized this new spatial concept with illustrations, but also with the help of small cardboard molecular models, which he made himself. Some of these models have survived the ravages of time and are among the oldest molecular models in the world still (...) in existence. What is more, they are the first material models of a three-dimensional molecular structure ever made. This article describes the surviving Van 't Hoff models, kept in Museum Boerhaave in Leiden and in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Special attention is paid to the use of these models and the specific purposes they served. A closer examination of the models and their context reveals that they had an essential part to play in the early development and spread of Van 't Hoff's stereochemistry theory: he put his molecular models not only to versatile use as didactic tools, scientific instruments, and precursors to experimental proof, but also as devices to persuade other scientists of the usefulness of his theory. (shrink)
In his recent book on the problem of evil, Peter van Inwagen argues that both the global and local arguments from evil are failures. In this paper, we engagevan Inwagen’s book at two main points. First, we consider his understanding of what it takes for a philosophical argument to succeed. We argue that whilehis criterion for success is interesting and helpful, there is good reason to think it is too stringent. Second, we consider his responses to the global andlocal arguments (...) from evil. We argue that although van Inwagen may have adequately responded to each of these arguments, his discussion points us toa third argument from evil to which he has yet to provide a response. (shrink)
A Greenberger, Horne and Zeilinger - type construction is realized in the position properties of three particles whose wave functions are distributed over three two - chambered boxes. The same system is modeled more realistically using three spatially separated, singly ionized hydrogen molecules.
The Clauser–Horne–Shimony–Holt (CHSH) inequality is a constraint that local hidden variable theories must obey. Quantum Mechanics predicts a violation of this inequality in certain experimental settings. Treatments of this subject frequently make simplifying assumptions about the probability spaces available to a local hidden variable theory, such as assuming the state of the system is a discrete or absolutely continuous random variable, or assuming that repeated experimental trials are independent and identically distributed. In this paper, we do two things: first, (...) show that the CHSH inequality holds even for completely general state variables in the measure-theoretic setting, and second, demonstrate how to drop the assumption of independence of subsequent trials while still being able to perform a hypothesis test that will distinguish Quantum Mechanics from local theories. The statistical strength of such a test is computed. (shrink)
For a biological anthropologist interested in the prehistory of religion, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen's book is welcome and resonant. Van Huyssteen's central thesis is that humans' capacity for spirituality emerges from a transformation of cognition and emotions that takes place in the symbolic realm, within Homo sapiens and apart from biology. To his thesis I bring to bear three areas of response: the abundant cognitive and emotional capacities of living apes and extinct hominids; the role of symbolic ritual in the (...) evolutionary history of Homo sapiens; and the closely intertwined nature of biology and culture in the workings of evolutionary change. (shrink)
First, I'd like to thank Professors Van Till, Pun, and McMullin for their careful and thoughtful replies. There is a deep level of agreement among all four of us; as is customary with replies and replies to replies, however, I shall concentrate on our areas of disagreement. In the cases of Van Till and McMullin, this may give an impression of deeper disagreement than actually exists. In the case of Pun it leaves me with little to say except Yea and (...) Amen; I find no serious disagreement between us. (shrink)
Van den Belt recently examined the notion that synthetic biology and the creation of ‘artificial’ organisms are examples of scientists ‘playing God’. Here I respond to some of the issues he raises, including some of his comments on my previous discussions of the value of the term ‘life’ as a scientific concept.
Jan Albert van Laar and Erik Krabbe’s paper “Splitting a difference of opinion” studies an important type of dialogue shift, namely that from a deliberation dialogue over action or policy options where critical and persuasive argumentation is exchanged about the rational acceptability of the policy options proposed by various parties, to a negotiation dialogue where agreement is reached by a series of compromises, or trade-offs, on the part of each side in the disagreement.
Each person is perceived by others and by herself as an individual in a very strong sense, namely as a unique individual. Moreover, this supposed uniqueness is commonly thought of as linked with another character that we tend to attribute to persons (as opposed to stones or chairs and even non-human animals): a kind of depth, hidden to sensory perception, yet in some measure accessible to other means of knowledge. I propose a theory of strong or essential individuality. This theory (...) is introduced by way of a critical discussion of Van Inwagen’s and Baker’s ontologies of persons. Composition Theory and Constitution Theory are shown to be complementary, in their opposite strong and weak points. I argue that both theories have unsatisfactory consequences concerning personal identity, a problem which the proposed theory seems to solve more faithfully both to folk intuitions and the phenomenology of personal life. (shrink)
Van Helmont's chemistry and medicine played a prominent part in the seventeenth-century opposition to Aristotelian natural philosophy and to Galenic medicine. Helmontian works, which rapidly achieved great notoriety all over Europe, gave rise to the most influential version of the chemical philosophy. Helmontian terms such as Archeus, Gas and Alkahest all became part of the accepted vocabulary of seventeenth-century science and medicine.
Van Fraassen's epistemology is forged from two commitments, one to a type of Bayesianism and the other to what he terms voluntarism. Van Fraassen holds that if one is going to follow a rule in belief-revision, it must be a Bayesian rule, but that one does not need to follow a rule in order to be rational. It is argued that van Fraassen's arguments for rejecting non-Bayesian rules is unsound, and that his voluntarism is subject to a fatal dilemma arising (...) from the non-monotonic character of reasoning. (shrink)
In this journal, Peter Lipton and I discussed Musgrave's objection that the constructive empiricist cannot consistently maintain his own distinction between the observable and the unobservable, and van Fraassen's initial reply. We considered several possible interpretations of van Fraassen, and expressed misgivings about each. Muller and van Fraassen have consequently clarified the official constructive empiricist response to Musgrave, although some issues still remain.According to Muller and van Fraassen, Musgrave's objection assumes that constructive empiricism is to be understood in line with (...) a syntactic account of our scientific theories – whereby a theory consists of a set of sentences formulated in some suitable language – whereas constructive empiricism has always been wedded to an explicitly semantic account of our scientific theories, which understands a scientific theory in terms of a class of models. Once this oversight is amended, the objection is seen to be toothless. As Muller and van Fraassen write: " Indeed, the only proper response, and the one that turns the table on Musgrave and his followers, is to argue that his incoherence argument does not work in the context of the semantic view as here elaborated, while the bad consequence he draws is an inevitable corollary to the older view within which he presents it. "The force of Musgrave's objection therefore turns on nothing more than implicitly saddling the constructive empiricist with an independently problematic account of what a scientific theory is.This move should cause some surprise however, for Musgrave's objection – albeit usually presented in conjunction with an explicitly syntactic construal of our scientific theories – is in fact quite neutral between these competing accounts. As Musgrave originally put it, in order for the constructive empiricist to draw his distinction between observable and unobservable …. (shrink)
Review of: Frans H. van Eemeren, Peter Houtlosser, A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans: Argumentative Indicators in Discourse. A Pragma-Dialectical Study Content Type Journal Article Pages 519-524 DOI 10.1007/s10503-010-9182-7 Authors Manfred Kienpointner, Institut für Sprachen und Literaturen, Universität Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 4.
van Fraassen's constructivist empiricist account of theories makes an epistemic distinction between entities that can and cannot be observed with the naked eye. A belief about the correctness of a theoretical description of an entity that is observable with the naked eye can be warranted by a theory. In contrast, no theory can warrant a belief about the correctness of a description of an unobservable entity. I argue that we ought to instead adopt a view that takes account of the (...) fact that some entities that cannot be observed with the naked eye can nevertheless be observed on the basis of the same physical principle as those entities that can be. This suggests that there is a distinction different from van Fraassen's that might do the work van Fraassen intends his to do, but a distinction that is principled. Understanding why this is so suggests that his distinction is grounded merely in human chauvinism. (shrink)
The paper takes up the objections raised in van der Auwera (1993) against the joint analysis of the German particles schon, noch and erst published in Löbner (1989). Central to my analysis is the claim that the particles are organized in duality groups of four to which essentially the same type of analysis applies. Van der Auwera (1993) claims that already/schon, in its basic use, is different from the other three particles in having a more complex meaning which results in (...) an opposition of the particle to finally/endlich. As to the narrow-focus temporal uses he argues that the duality approach is inadequate in including improper members on the one hand, and excluding relevant particles on the other.The criticism will be refuted. After a recollection of the duality analysis in Section 2, van der Auwera's arguments against the general design of my analysis are dealt with in Section 3. It will be argued that his own analysis of already/schon and its group, as far as it is supported by the data, does not really differ from my approach. In Section 4, I will deal with the claim that finally/endlich contradicts already/schon, which if correct would provide an indirect argument against the duality analysis of schon and noch. I will argue that endlich is set apart from the particles of the schon group by the presence of a non-descriptive, expressive, meaning component. For its descriptive meaning, endlich logically entails schon and belongs to a parallel duality group of its own together with noch immer. The apparent incompatibility of finally/endlich and already/schon can be explained as a conflict between what is foregrounded by each particle, respectively. In Section 5, I will argue that, contrary to van der Auwera's claims, the narrow focus uses of schon and its kin do form proper duality groups. The existence of such uses of noch, not treated in Löbner (1989), does not invalidate the duality analysis of schon and erst. Rather, noch in its relevant narrow-focus use belongs to yet another duality group together with its dual nur noch. (shrink)
The argument given by Peter van Inwagen for the second premise on his "First Formal Argument" in An Essay on Free Will is invalid. The second premise hinges on the principle that since a proposition p , some statement about the present, is actually true, ~p can't be true. ~p must be false. What is the reason? The principle is that ~p cannot be true at the same time as p . I argue that, among other things, in its attachment (...) to this sort of principle, van Inwagen's argument commits the most familiar of all the modal scope fallacies. (shrink)
We use a new construction of an o-minimal structure, due to Lipshitz and Robinson, to answer a question of van den Dries regarding the relationship between arbitrary o-minimal expansions of real closed fields and structures over the real numbers. We write a first order sentence which is true in the Lipshitz-Robinson structure but fails in any possible interpretation over the field of real numbers.
van Benthem  introduces a variant of Lambek Syntactic Calculus , proposed by Lambek , we call the variant Lambek-van Benthem Calculus . As proved by van Benthem, LBC is complete with respect to a semantics of λ-terms. In this note we indicate other relevant properties of LBC , just supporting some expectations of van Benthem. Given a countable set P r, of primitive types, the set T p, of types, is the smallest one such that: T p contains P (...) r, if x, y are in T p then is in T p. The variables x, y, z will range over types. Expressions X → x are to be called reduction formulas. (shrink)
In the fusillade he lets fly against Foss (1984), Bourgeois (1987) sometimes hits a live target. I admit that I went beyond the letter of van Fraassen's The Scientific Image (1980), making inferences and drawing conclusions which are often absurd. I maintain, however, that the absurdities must be charged to van Fraassen's account. While I cannot redress every errant shot of Bourgeois, his essay reveals the need for further discussion of the concepts of the phenomena and the observables as used (...) by van Fraassen. (shrink)
Aristotelis Πολιτία 'Αθνναίων Ediderunt G. Kaibel et U. De Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. Berolini apud Weidmannos. Mk. 1.80.De Republica Atheniensium. Aristotelis qui fertur liber 'Αθνναίων Πολιτία. Post Kenyonem ediderunt H. Van Heeweeden et J. Van Leeuwen J. F. Lugduni Batavorum apud A. W. Sythoff. 6 Mk.Aristote, la République Athénienne, traduite en Français pour la première fois par Théodore Reinach. Fr. 1.50.
I first met Van Potter nearly 40 years ago when I was 17 and entering the University of Wisconsin as a new freshman. During the summer of 1963, Van was a participant in a series of evening seminars designed to familiarize premed students to the community at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. I was immediately struck by Van's unique ability to cut straight to the core of virtually any issue having to do with biomedicine. As with many of his (...) students, I quickly found myself in a father-son relationship of both our making. Van has been a source of inspiration and guidance to me ever since. (shrink)
In his recent review essay, Stan van Hooft raises some interesting potential challenges for cosmopolitan global justice projects, of which my version is one example.1 I am grateful to van Hooft for doing so. I hope by responding to these challenges here, others concerned with developing frameworks for analyzing issues of global justice will also learn something of value. I start by giving a very brief synopsis of key themes of my book, Global Justice,2 so I can address van Hooft’s (...) concerns about the structure of the book. I then outline the normative thought experiment that yields the global justice framework I endorse, in order to address five main concerns van Hooft has with it. These center around problems he foresees about what it would be reasonable to agree to in the face of quite different worldviews. There are five specific concerns he identifies related to reasonableness and I address these in the third and fourth sections of this paper. (Published: 26 May 2010) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2010, pp. 155-170. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v3i2.5175. (shrink)
It is the aim of work in theoretical cognitive science to produce good theories of what exactly cognition amounts to, preferably theories which not only provide a framework for fruitful empirical investigation, but which also shed light on cognitive activity itself, which help us to understand our place, as cognitive agents, in a complex causally determined physical universe. The most recent such framework to gain significant fame is the so-called dynamical approach to cognition. Explaining and exploring DST is the purpose (...) of the collection Mind as Motion: Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition, edited by Robert Port and Timothy van Gelder. (shrink)
In his recent book, The Empirical Stance (2002), Bas van Fraassen elaborates on earlier suggestions of a religious view that has striking parallels withhis constructive empiricism. A particularly salient feature consists in the way in which he keeps a critical distance from theoretical formulations both in scienceand religion, thus preferring a mystical approach to religious experience. As an alternative, I suggest a view based on mediation by the word, both in the structureof reality and the encounter between persons. Without falling (...) prey to rationalist illusions, such an approach allows for true human knowledge as embedded intranscendent Wisdom. It implies a more radical break with the Enlightenment ideal of neutral and universal knowledge than van Fraassen’s program, as he stillmaintains a kind of immanent grounding of knowledge in the form of direct, unmediated experience, in spite of his rejection of classical foundationalism. Wecan thus overcome the antithetical ring that characterizes his notion of rationality understood as bridled irrationality and escape relativism without forgetting thelessons that we have learned from the collapse of positivism—lessons to which van Fraassen rightly draws our attention. (shrink)
Par de botas se titula la obra del pintor holandés Vincent Van Gogh. Es a partir del análisis de esta pintura que realiza el filósofo alemán Martin Heidegger en su obra El origen de la obra de arte, desde el cual se creará un rico debate, referido sobre todo a la procedencia y significado último de esta obra de Van Gogh. El presente ensayo procura aunar fenomenológicamente, al alero del pensamiento de Martin Heidegger, el conjunto de cuadros que pintó el (...) pintor holandés sobre el “modelo zapato”, bajo el “tema del andar”, entendido como una “errancia”, que en Van Gogh se torna en dramática búsqueda de pertenencia, pero sobre todo de condiciones para la subsistencia, tanto física como espiritual. Por lo tanto el zapato deviene en emblema, el vehículo con el cual desplazarse en las agrestes geografías de su vagabundear. Pair of Boots is the work titled by the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. It is based on the analysis of this painting that the German philosopher Martin Heidegger makes in his book The Origin of the Work of Art, from which we create a rich debate, primarily concerned with the origin and ultimate meaning of Van Gogh´s work. This paper seeks to combine phenomenologically, the wing of thought of Martin Heidegger, the set of pictures he painted on the Dutch painter “shoe model” under the “theme of walking”, understood as a “wandering” in Van Gogh dramatic turns in search of belonging, but especially for subsistence conditions, both physical and spiritual. So the shoe becomes an emblem, the vehicle with which to travel in the rugged geography of his wandering. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate unification as a virtue of explanation. I the first part of the paper I give a brief exposition of the unification account of Schurz and Lambert and Schurz. I illustrate the advantages of this account in comparison to the older unification accounts of Friedman and Kitcher. In the second part I discuss several comments and objections to the Schurz-Lambert account that were raised by Weber and van Dyck, Gijsberg and de Regt. In the third and (...) final part, I argue that explanation should be understood as a prototype concept which contains nomic expectability, causality and unification as prototypical virtues of explanations, although none of these virtues provides a sufficient and necessary "defining condition" of explanation. (shrink)
Each person is perceived by others and by herself as an individual in a very strong sense, namely as a unique individual. Moreover, this supposed uniqueness is commonly thought of as linked with another character that we tend to attribute\nto persons (as opposed to stones or chairs and even non-human animals): a kind of depth, hidden to sensory perception, yet in some measure accessible to other means of knowledge. I propose a theory of strong or essential individuality. This theory is (...) introduced by way of a critical discussion of Van Inwagen’s and Baker’s ontologies of persons. Composition\nTheory and Constitution Theory are shown to be complementary, in their opposite strong and weak points. I argue that both\ntheories have unsatisfactory consequences concerning personal identity, a problem which the proposed theory seems to solve\nmore faithfully both to folk intuitions and the phenomenology of personal life. (shrink)
In a recent issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, Svoboda and Van Howe commented on the 2012 change in the American Academy of Pediatrics policy on newborn male circumcision, in which the AAP stated that benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. Svoboda and Van Howe disagree with the AAP conclusions. We show here that their arguments against male circumcision are based on a poor understanding of epidemiology, erroneous interpretation of the evidence, selective citation of the literature, statistical manipulation (...) of data, and circular reasoning. In reality, the scientific evidence indicates that male circumcision, especially when performed in the newborn period, is an ethically and medically sound low-risk preventive health procedure conferring a lifetime of benefits to health and well-being. Policies in support of parent-approved elective newborn circumcision should be embraced by the medical, scientific and wider communities. (shrink)