Ideas of racial genetic determinism, though unsupported by scientific evidence and atavistic, are common and readily apparent in American medical education. These theories of biologic essentialism have documented negative effects in learners, including increased measures of racial prejudice.
Wynn's claims are, in principle, entirely reasonable; although, as always, the devil is in the details. With respect to Wynn's discussion of the cultural evolution of artifactual symmetry, we provide a few more arguments for the utility of mirror symmetry and extend the enquiry into the tacit and explicit processing of natural and artifactual symmetry.
Neuroimaging has provided insight into numerous neurological disorders in children, such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Many clinicians and investigators believe that neuroimaging holds great promise, especially in the areas of behavioral and cognitive disorders. However, concerns about the risks of various neuroimaging modalities and the potential for misinterpretation of imaging results are mounting. Imaging evaluations also raise questions about stigmatization, allocation of resources, and confidentiality. Children are particularly vulnerable in this milieu and require special attention with regards to safety (...) guidelines and modality adaptations. This article examines pediatric neuroimaging practice through an ethics lens. Most authors in the field of neuroethics focus on the future concerns of neuroimaging. In contrast, our paper examines ethical matters surrounding current clinical applications in the pediatric population. We first provide a brief overview of the neuroimaging technologies most commonly used in a pediatric clinical context and then discuss a variety of ethical issues arising from the use of these technologies. (shrink)
In order to illuminate the potential harms of MRI research, we present data obtained by examining MRI research proposal files that had been submitted for review to several Canadian Research Ethics Boards. The data reveal that REB review of the studies contained omissions, considerable variability, and sometimes confusion regarding MRI research risks and risk classification. If our findings reflect the general state of REB review of MRI research in Canada and elsewhere, there is a pressing need for REBs to be (...) educated about MRI risks in order to responsibly facilitate the disclosure of these research risks in consent forms and during the consent process. Developing a standard template consent form that discloses MRI research risks might be a way to ensure attention to and disclosure of risks. (shrink)
Many opinions and ideas about aging exist. Biological theories have taken hold of the popular and scientific imagination as potential answers to a “cure” for aging. However, it is not clear what exactly is being cured or whether aging could be classified as a disease. Some scientists are convinced that aging will be biologically alterable and that the human lifespan will be vastly extendable. Other investigators believe that aging is an elusive target that may only be “statistically” manipulatable through a (...) better understanding of the operational principles of systems situated within complex environments. Not only is there confusion over definitions but also as to the safety of any potential intervention. Curing cell death, for example, may lead to cell cancer. The search for a cure for aging is not a clearly beneficial endeavour. This paper will first, describe contemporary ideas about aging processes and second, describe several current life extension technologies. Third, it analyses these theories and technologies, focusing on two representative and differing scientific points of view. The paper also considers the public health dilemma that arises from life extension research and examines two issues, risk/benefit ratio and informed consent, that are key to developing ethical guidelines for life extension technologies. (shrink)
Community engagement has been recognised as an important aspect of the ethical conduct of biomedical research, especially when research is focused on ethnically or culturally distinct populations. While this is a generally accepted tenet of biomedical research, it is unclear what components are necessary for effective community engagement, particularly in the context of genomic research in Africa.
Current medical genetics research is dominated by a single theory that supports the Human Genome Project rationale. This thesis investigates this and several alternative hypotheses and the ethical context related to their development. Firstly, the hypotheses are discussed in detail followed by a subsection in which research evidence based on each hypothesis is cited. Secondly, these medical genetics hypotheses are situated within the contemporary medical paradigm. To conclude, the thesis examines in depth the ethical and practical implications of medical genetics (...) research. A framework of analysis of scientific responsibility is used to explore these implications. Scientific responsibility, as presented in this thesis, is a process consisting of three steps: scientific discourse; the development of the nature of scientific responsibility; and, effective criticism. Once scientific responsibility is defined, the term is applied specifically to the field of medical genetics research. (shrink)
We outline some ways in which motor neglect (the underutilization of a limb despite adequate strength) and hysterical paralysis (failure to move a limb despite no relevant structural damage or disease) may throw light on the pathophysiology of catatonia. We also comment on the manifold inadequacies of distinguishing too firmly between symptoms of “neurologic origin” and of “psychiatric origin.”.
While an accurate assessment of risk is always important, it is especially so in pediatric research. Recognizing the pivotal nature of the minimal-risk standard, we set out to determine under what circumstances pediatric magnetic resonance imaging research does or does not meet this standard. We found that while the physical and psychological risks that attend the MRI procedure do not exceed minimal risk, the sedation and contrast enhancement that are sometimes associated with MRI research do, as both exceed the level (...) of risk encountered by typical, healthy children in their everyday experiences. (shrink)
In this paper, we first briefly describe neuroimaging technology, our reasons for studying magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, and then provide a discussion of what we have identified as priority issues for paediatric MRI research. We examine the issues of respectful involvement of children in the consent process as well as privacy and confidentiality for this group of MRI research participants. In addition, we explore the implications of unexpected findings for paediatric MRI research participants. Finally, we explore the ethical issues (...) concerning advances in functional MRI. This paper aims to provide a clear description of priority paediatric MRI research ethics issues to make some preliminary recommendations regarding next steps. (shrink)
This volume examines some of the most contentious social justice issues present in the corpus of Augustine's writings. Whether one is concerned with human trafficking and the contemporary slave trade, the global economy, or endless wars, these essays further the conversation on social justice as informed by the writings of Augustine of Hippo.
This book was inspired originally by the debates at the turn of the century about placebo controlled trials of antiretrovirals in HIV positive pregnant women in developing countries. Moving forward from this one limited example, the book includes several additional controversial cases of clinical research conducted in developing countries, and asks probing philosophical questions about the ethics of such trials. All clinical research by its very nature uses people to acquire generalizable knowledge to help future people. But what sorts of (...) "use" are morally permissible? What is it to exploit people? Suppose that a trial conducted in a developing country would not be ethically permissible in the developed world. Can we automatically conclude from this that the trial is unethical, that some sort of morally problematic double standard is in operation? Or might the differences in the two settings justify differences in trial design? This collection of philosophical essays examines these important questions about what exploitation is and when clinical research counts as exploitative. -/- "This is an outstanding contribution to the growing literature on the ethics of research with human subjects and a fine example of what bioethics can offer at its best. Anyone with a serious interest in these issues will need to read this book from start to finish." -Daniel Wikler, Harvard School of Public Health "This book contributes significantly to the literature on exploitation in clinical research conducted in the developing world."--Patricia Marshall, Case Western Reserve University . (shrink)
In this brief piece, Jennifer McErlean comments on Kevin Elliott’s thesis that we should decrease or even cease philosophical efforts to build more inclusive biocentric ethical accounts and instead increase efforts to build indirect anthropocentric arguments. While McErlean agrees that it is sensible to marshal a multiplicity of standpoints to strengthen policies that protect the natural world, she disagrees that philosophers no longer need to consider whether nature has intrinsic value. Two specific criticisms are offered. One is that indirect (...) arguments are utilitarian and ethicists ought not to limit themselves a morality of consequences. The second is that underlying principles will make a difference, so that even if anthropocentric arguments currently converge with biocentric ones, we should not anticipate this will continue in future instances. (shrink)
Le Miroir , published in Paris in 1833 by Hamdan ben Othman Khodja , was the first Algerian contribution to French public deliberation about France's emerging empire in North Africa. A work of a self-consciously liberal cosmopolitan, and modernizing, perspective, the Miroir was almost alone in French debates in making a principled argument for a complete French withdrawal from Algeria—what Khodja called a “liberal emancipation” of the country. The Miroir argued for an independent Algeria that might take its place in (...) a nineteenth-century Europe of emerging nations, and that might engage with European states as a diplomatic equal. The work illustrates the constraints on those who sought to preserve some independence, discursive as well as political, in the face of European expansion, as well as the critical possibilities of liberal discourse at a moment when it was being marshaled in France and Britain in the service of empire. (shrink)
Metamorphoses of the Zoo marshals a unique compendium of critical interventions that envision novel modes of authentic encounter that cultivate humanity's biophilic tendencies without abusing or degrading other animals. These take the form of radical restructurings of what were formerly zoos or map out entirely new, post-zoo sites or experiences. The result is a volume that contributes to moral progress on the inter-species front and eco-psychological health for a humankind whose habitats are now mostly citified or urbanizing.
In virtually all the developed countries of the Western world, people are living longer and reproducing less. At the same time, costs for the care of the elderly and infirm continue to rise dramatically. Given these facts, it should come as no surprise that we are experi encing an ever-increasing concern with questions relating to the proper care and treatment of the aged. What responsibilities do soci eties have to their aging citizens? What duties, if any, do grown chil dren (...) owe their parents? What markers should we use to determine one's status as "elderly"? Does treatment of pain in aged patients present special medical and/or moral problems? How can the com peting claims of autonomy and optimal medical care be reconciled for elderly persons who require assisted living? When, if ever, should severely demented patients be included in nontherapeutic clinical tri als? These questions, and others of similar interest to those con cerned with the proper treatment of the aged, are discussed in depth in the articles included in this text. The essays in this volume of Biomedical Ethics Reviews fall loosely into two broad categories. The first four articles-those con tributed by Sheila M. Neysmith, Allyson Robichaud, Jennifer Jackson, and Susan McCarthy-raise general questions concerning the propri ety of Western society'S current mechanisms for dealing with and treat ing elderly citizens. The remaining four articles-those by Simon Woods and Max Elstein, Marshall B. (shrink)
The need for informed analyses of health policy is now greater than ever. The twelve essays in this volume show that public debates routinely bypass complex ethical, sociocultural, historical, and political questions about how we should address ideals of justice and equality in health care. Integrating perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, medicine, and public health, this volume illuminates the relationships between justice and health inequalities to enrich debates. Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice explores three questions: How do scholars approach (...) relations between health inequalities and ideals of justice? When do justice considerations inform solutions to health inequalities, and how do specific health inequalities affect perceptions of injustice? And how can diverse scholarly approaches contribute to better health policy? From addressing patient agency in an inequitable health care environment to examining how scholars of social justice and health care amass evidence, this volume promotes a richer understanding of health and justice and how to achieve both. -/- The contributors are Judith C. Barker, Paula Braveman, Paul Brodwin, Jami Suki Chang, Debra DeBruin, Leslie A. Dubbin, Sarah Horton, Carla C. Keirns, J. Paul Kelleher, Nicholas B. King, Eva Feder Kittay, Joan Liaschenko, Anne Drapkin Lyerly, Mary Faith Marshall, Carolyn Moxley Rouse, Jennifer Prah Ruger, and Janet K. Shim. (shrink)
This is a conversation held at the book launch for Christopher Insole’s Kant and the Divine: From Contemplation to the Moral Law, hosted jointly, in November 2020, by the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, and the Australian Catholic University. The conversation covers the claim made by Insole that Kant believes in God, but is not a Christian, the way in which reason itself is divine for Kant, and the suggestion that reading Kant can open up new possibilities for dialogue (...) between Christian thinkers and contemporary forms of secular religiosity. (shrink)
During this period, when disciples were growing in number, a grievance arose on the part of those who spoke Greek, against those who spoke the language of the Jews; they complained that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution. When Americans think of ethnic conflict, conflict between blacks and whites comes to mind most immediately. Yet ethnic conflict is pervasive around the world. Azerbijanis and Turks in the Soviet Union; Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland; Arabs and Jews (...) in the Middle East; Maoris and English settlers in New Zealand; Muslims and Hindus in India and Pakistan; French and English speakers in Quebec; Africans, Afrikaaners, and mixed-race people in South Africa, in addition to the tribal warfare among the Africans themselves: these are just a few of the more obvious conflicts currently in the news. We observe an even more dizzying array of ethnic conflicts if we look back just a few years. Japanese and Koreans; Mongols and Chinese; Serbs and Croats; Christians and Buddhists in Viet Nam: these ancient antagonisms are not immediately in the news, but they could erupt at any time. And the history of the early Christian Church recounted in the Acts of the Apostles reminds us that suspicion among ethnic groups is not a modern phenomenon; rather, it is ancient. The present paper seeks to address the problem of ethnic conflict in modern western democracies. How can our tools and traditions of participatory governments, relatively free markets, and the common law contribute to some resolution of the ancient problems that we find within our midst? In particular, I want to focus here on the question of ethnic integration. (shrink)
Testimony is an invaluable source of knowledge. We rely on the reports of those around us for everything from the ingredients in our food and medicine to the identity of our family members. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the epistemology of testimony. Despite the multitude of views offered, a single thesis is nearly universally accepted: testimonial knowledge is acquired through the process of transmission from speaker to hearer. In this book, Jennifer Lackey shows that this (...) thesis is false and, hence, that the literature on testimony has been shaped at its core by a view that is fundamentally misguided. She then defends a detailed alternative to this conception of testimony: whereas the views currently dominant focus on the epistemic status of what speakers believe, Lackey advances a theory that instead centers on what speakers say. The upshot is that, strictly speaking, we do not learn from one another's beliefs - we learn from one another's words. Once this shift in focus is in place, Lackey goes on to argue that, though positive reasons are necessary for testimonial knowledge, testimony itself is an irreducible epistemic source. This leads to the development of a theory that gives proper credence to testimony's epistemologically dual nature: both the speaker and the hearer must make a positive epistemic contribution to testimonial knowledge. The resulting view not only reveals that testimony has the capacity to generate knowledge, but it also gives appropriate weight to our nature as both socially indebted and individually rational creatures. The approach found in this book will, then, represent a radical departure from the views currently dominating the epistemology of testimony, and thus is intended to reshape our understanding of the deep and ubiquitous reliance we have on the testimony of those around us. (shrink)
Philosophers of language have long recognized that in opaque contexts, such as those involving propositional attitude reports, substitution of co-referring names may not preserve truth value. For example, the name ‘Clark Kent’ cannot be substituted for ‘Superman’ in a context like:1. Lois believes that Superman can flywithout a change in truth value. In an earlier paper , Jennifer Saul demonstrated that substitution failure could also occur in ‘simple sentences’ where none of the ordinary opacity-producing conditions existed, such as:2. Superman (...) leaps more tall buildings than Clark Kent does.Accounts focusing on opacity were unable to explain our ‘anti-substitution intuitions’ in such cases.In Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions, Saul extends her earlier work. She provides a comprehensive presentation and criticism of recent accounts of simple sentence substitution failure, and proposes a new approach drawing on psychological evidence about cognitive processing. Saul's purpose is not merely to solve the substitution puzzle cases, but to make …. (shrink)
Criticized as a nostalgic anachronism by those who oppose her version of political theory and lauded as symbol of direct democratic participation by those who favor it, the Athenian polis features prominently in Hannah Arendt's account of politics. This essay traces the origin and development of Arendt's conception of the polis as a space of appearance from the early 1950s onward. It makes particular use of the Denktagebuch, Arendt's intellectual diary, in order to shed new light on the historicity of (...) one of her central concepts. The article contends that both critics and partisans of Arendt's use of the polis have made the same mistake: they have presumed that the polis represents a space of face-to-face immediacy. In fact, Arendt compared the polis to a series of analogues, many of which are not centered on direct exchanges between political actors and spectators. As a result, Arendt's early work on the polis turns out to anticipate many of the concerns of her later work on judgment, and her theory of the polis becomes a theory of topics. (shrink)
Jennifer Lackey presents a ground-breaking exploration of the epistemology of groups, and its implications for group agency and responsibility. She argues that group belief and knowledge depend on what individual group members do or are capable of doing, while being subject to group-level normative requirements.
Testimony is a crucial source of knowledge: we are to a large extent reliant upon what others tell us. It has been the subject of much recent interest in epistemology, and this volume collects twelve original essays on the topic by some of the world's leading philosophers. It will be the starting point for future research in this fertile field. Contributors include Robert Audi, C. A. J. Coady, Elizabeth Fricker, Richard Fumerton, Sanford C. Goldberg, Peter Graham, Jennifer Lackey, Keith (...) Lehrer, Richard Moran, Frederick F. Schmitt, Ernest Sosa, and James Van Cleve. (shrink)
Moral abolitionists claim that morality ought to be abolished. According to one of their most prominent arguments, this is because making moral judgments renders people significantly less tolerant toward anyone who holds divergent views. In this paper we investigate the hypothesis that morality’s tolerance-decreasing effect only occurs if people are realists about moral issues, i.e., they interpret these issues as objectively grounded. We found support for this hypothesis (Studies 1 and 2). Yet, it also turned out that the intolerance associated (...) with realism is mediated by moral conviction and perceived consensus. People tend to feel more strongly about those moral issues they ground objectively and, in doing so, are more prone to display the vice of moral smugness toward those who disagree with them. The remedy for this that has been recommended is humility which we found (Study 3) is indeed related to reduced intolerance, in part by predicting a reduction in realism, but also in part through a direct connection to intolerance. These results put pressure on abolitionists’ “argument from intolerance.”. (shrink)
There is no conservative thought in America, only “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas,” wrote Lionel Trilling in 1950, thus providing a generation of historians with a convenient set piece to demonstrate the inadequacies of mid-century liberalism and its blindness to the nascent conservative intellectual movement gathering strength and purpose just as Trilling wrote. Two excellent new books about American intellectual history cast this quote in yet another light. Patrick Allitt's The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History (...) carefully documents a centuries-long tradition of conservative thought in America, from the founding era through the end of the twentieth century. In The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Communism, Michael Kimmage asserts that Trilling himself be considered a source of conservative ideas in postwar America. Taken together, the books by Allitt and Kimmage indicate that a new cycle of writing about conservative thought has reached full flower. For far too long, the field of conservative intellectual history has been dominated by the figure of George Nash, author of the classic 1976 The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945. These books provide an updated and more critically sophisticated way to examine the terrain Nash strode alone for so long. More significantly, they indicate that intellectual historians are ready to consider conservatism in dialogue with liberalism, bringing new balance to the study of American ideas. Furthermore, both books, Kimmage's in particular, suggest that some of what we are calling conservative and liberal might be flying under the wrong flag. The key to sorting out the confusion will be drawing a more careful distinction between conservatism as a “movement” and as a body of ideas, and looking at both conservatisms as part of a typically American response to historical change, rather than as an exotic and abberant specimen. (shrink)
Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry has recently been bolstered by empirical research suggesting that people’s concrete-case intuitions are vulnerable to irrational biases (e.g., the order effect). What is more, skeptics argue that we have no way to ‘‘calibrate” our intuitions against these biases and no way of anticipating intuitional instability. This paper challenges the skeptical position, introducing data from two studies that suggest not only that people’s concrete-case intuitions are often stable, but also (...) that people have introspective awareness of this stability, providing a promising means by which to assess the epistemic value of our intuitions. (shrink)
This book employs contemporary philosophy, scientific research, and clinical reports to argue that pain, though real, is not an appropriate object of scientific generalisations or an appropriate target for medical intervention. Each pain experience is instead complex and idiosyncratic in a way which undermines scientific utility. In addition to contributing novel arguments and developing a novel position on the nature of pain, the book provides an interdisciplinary overview of dominant models of pain. The author lays the needed groundwork for improved (...) models and targeted treatments at a time when pain science, pain medicine, and philosophy are explicitly searching for both and failing to find them. The Complex Reality of Pain will be of interest to a broad range of researchers and students, including those working in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, cognitive science, neuroscience, medicine, health, cognitive and behavioural psychology, and pain science. (shrink)
Recent scholarship (Goodwin & Darley, 2008) on the meta-ethical debate between objectivism and relativism has found people to be mixed: they are objectivists about some issues, but relativists about others. The studies discussed here sought to explore this further. Study 1 explored whether giving people the ability to identify moral issues for themselves would reveal them to be more globally objectivist. Study 2 explored people's meta-ethical commitments more deeply, asking them to provide verbal explanations for their judgments. This revealed that (...) while people think they are relativists, this may not always be the case. The explanations people gave were sometimes rated by outside (blind) coders as being objective, even when given a relativist response. Nonetheless, people remained meta-ethical pluralists. Why this might be is discussed. (shrink)
Hurley’s is a difficult book to work through—partly because of its length and the complexity of its arguments, but also because each of the ten essays of which it is composed has a rather different starting point and focus, and because few of her arguments achieve real closure. Essay 2 discusses competing interpretations of Kant, essay 4 articulates nonconceptual forms of self-consciousness, essay 5 offers fresh interpretations of commissurotomy patients’ behavior, essay 6 develops an objection to Wittgenstein on rule following, (...) essay 8 attacks an alleged assumption of externalism, and chapter 10 explores the possibility of combining a “motor theory” and a “control theory” of perception. This is a very rich brew, and at least half the challenge this book presents consists in discerning its central argument and conclusion with enough precision to bring criticism to bear. (shrink)
Dan Marshall and Josh Parsons note, correctly, that the property of being either a cube or accompanied by a cube is incorrectly classified as intrinsic under the definition we have given unless it turns out to be disjunctive. Whether it is disjunctive, under the definition we gave, turns on certain judgements of the relative naturalness of properties. They doubt the judgements of relative naturalness that would classify their property as disjunctive. We disagree. They also suggest that the whole idea (...) of judging relative naturalness is a dubious business. We reply that, like them or not, such judgements cannot easily be avoided. (shrink)