I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
BackgroundStreet-connected children and youth in low- and middle-income countries have multiple vulnerabilities in relation to participation in research. These require additional considerations that are responsive to their needs and the social, cultural, and economic context, while upholding core ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. The objective of this paper is to describe processes and outcomes of adapting ethical guidelines for SCCY’s specific vulnerabilities in LMIC.MethodsAs part of three interrelated research projects in western Kenya, we created procedures to (...) address SCCY’s vulnerabilities related to research participation within the local context. These consisted of identifying ethical considerations and solutions in relation to community engagement, equitable recruitment, informed consent, vulnerability to coercion, and responsibility to report.ResultsSubstantial community engagement provided input on SCCY’s participation in research, recruitment, and consent processes. We designed an assent process to support SCCY to make an informed decision regarding their participation in the research that respected their autonomy and their right to dissent, while safeguarding them in situations where their capacity to make an informed decision was diminished. To address issues related to coercion and access to care, we worked to reduce the unequal power dynamic through street outreach, and provided access to care regardless of research participation.ConclusionsAlthough a vulnerable population, the specific vulnerabilities of SCCY can to some extent be managed using innovative procedures. Engaging SCCY in ethical research is a matter of justice and will assist in reducing inequities and advancing their health and human dignity. (shrink)
Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples (...) as landmarks. They clarify the central themes of the debate about causation, and cover questions about causation involving omissions or absences, preemption and other species of redundant causation, and the possibility that causation is not transitive. Along the way, Paul and Hall examine several contemporary proposals for analyzing the nature of causation and assess their merits and overall methodological cogency.The book is designed to be of value both to trained specialists and those coming to the problem of causation for the first time. It provides the reader with a broad and sophisticated view of the metaphysics of the causal relation. (shrink)
Background: Although attention to healthcare ethics in rural areas has increased, specific focus on rural palliative care is still largely under-studied and under-theorized. The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the values informing good palliative care from rural individuals' perspectives. Methods: We conducted a qualitative ethnographic study in four rural communities in Western Canada. Each community had a population of 10, 000 or less and was located at least a three hour travelling distance by car (...) from a specialist palliative care treatment centre. Data were collected over a 2-year period and included 95 interviews, 51 days of field work and 74 hours of direct participant observation where the researchers accompanied rural healthcare providers. Data were analyzed inductively to identify the most prevalent thematic values, and then coded using NVivo. Results: This study illuminated the core values of knowing and being known, being present and available, and community and mutuality that provide the foundation for ethically good rural palliative care. These values were congruent across the study communities and across the stakeholders involved in rural palliative care. Although these were highly prized values, each came with a corresponding ethical tension. Being known often resulted in a loss of privacy. Being available and present created a high degree of expectation and potential caregiver strain. The values of community and mutuality created entitlement issues, presenting daunting challenges for coordinated change. Conclusions: The values identified in this study offer the opportunity to better understand common ethical tensions that arise in rural healthcare and key differences between rural and urban palliative care. In particular, these values shed light on problematic health system and health policy changes. When initiatives violate deeply held values and hard won rural capacity to address the needs of their dying members is undermined, there are long lasting negative consequences. The social fabric of rural life is frayed. These findings offer one way to re-conceptualize healthcare decision making through consideration of critical values to support ethically good palliative care in rural settings. (shrink)
I defend a one category ontology: an ontology that denies that we need more than one fundamental category to support the ontological structure of the world. Categorical fundamentality is understood in terms of the metaphysically prior, as that in which everything else in the world consists. One category ontologies are deeply appealing, because their ontological simplicity gives them an unmatched elegance and spareness. I’m a fan of a one category ontology that collapses the distinction between particular and property, replacing it (...) with a single fundamental category of intrinsic characters or qualities. We may describe the qualities as qualitative charactersor as modes, perhaps on the model of Aristotelian qualitative (nonsubstantial) kinds, and I will use the term “properties” interchangeably with “qualities”. The qualities are repeatable and reasonably sparse, although, as I discuss in section 2.6, there are empirical reasons that may suggest, depending on one’s preferred fundamental physical theory, that they include irreducibly intensive qualities. There are no uninstantiated qualities. I also assume that the fundamental qualitative natures are intrinsic, although physics may ultimately suggest that some of them are extrinsic. On my view, matter, concrete objects, abstract objects, and perhaps even spacetime are constructed from mereological fusions of qualities, so the world is simply a vast mixture of qualities, including polyadic properties (i.e., relations). This means that everything there is, including concrete objects like persons or stars, is a quality, a qualitative fusion, or a portion of the extended qualitative fusion that is the worldwhole. I call my view mereological bundle theory. (shrink)
This is a collection of essays on themes of legal philosophy which have all been generated or affected by Hart's work. The topics covered include legal theory, responsibility, and enforcement of morals, with contributions from Ronald Dworkin, Rolf Sartorius, Neil MacCormach, David Lyons, Kent Greenawalt, Michael Moore, Joseph Raz, and C.L. Ten, among others.
The term fuzzy logic is used in this paper to describe an imprecise logical system, FL, in which the truth-values are fuzzy subsets of the unit interval with linguistic labels such as true, false, not true, very true, quite true, not very true and not very false, etc. The truth-value set, , of FL is assumed to be generated by a context-free grammar, with a semantic rule providing a means of computing the meaning of each linguistic truth-value in as a (...) fuzzy subset of [0, 1].Since is not closed under the operations of negation, conjunction, disjunction and implication, the result of an operation on truth-values in requires, in general, a linguistic approximation by a truth-value in . As a consequence, the truth tables and the rules of inference in fuzzy logic are (i) inexact and (ii) dependent on the meaning associated with the primary truth-value true as well as the modifiers very, quite, more or less, etc. (shrink)
I claim that Mill has a theory of poetry which he uses to reconcile nineteenth century associationist psychology, the tendency of the intellect to dissolve associations, and the need for educated members of society to desire utilitarian ends. The heart of the argument is that Mill thinks reading poetry encourages us to feel the feelings of others, and thus to develop pleasurable associations with the pleasurable feelings of others and painful associations with the painful feelings of others. Once the associations (...) are developed, they are supported and maintained by our natural capacity for sympathy and by external elements in society, and provide motivation for the pursuit of utilitarian ends. Further, the additional support causes the associations to be strengthened to the extent that they come to be seen as ‘natural and necessary’, and as such are immune from the dissolving force of the intellect. (shrink)
Researchers are required to seek consent from Indigenous communities prior to conducting research but there is inadequate information about how Indigenous people understand and become fully engaged with this consent process. Few studies evaluate the preference or understanding of the consent process for research with Indigenous populations. Lack of informed consent can impact on research findings. The Picture Talk Project was initiated with senior Aboriginal leaders of the Fitzroy Valley community situated in the far north of Western Australia. Aboriginal people (...) were interviewed about their understanding and experiences of research and consent processes. Transcripts were analysed using NVivo10 software with an integrated method of inductive and deductive coding and based in grounded theory. Local Aboriginal interpreters validated coding. Major themes were defined and supporting quotes sourced. Interviews with Aboriginal leaders were facilitated by a local Aboriginal Community Navigator who could interpret if necessary and provide cultural guidance. Participants were from all four major local language groups of the Fitzroy Valley; aged 31 years and above; and half were male. Themes emerging from these discussions included Research—finding knowledge; Being respectful of Aboriginal people, Working on country, and Being flexible with time; Working together with good communication; Reciprocity—two-way learning; and Reaching consent. The project revealed how much more there is to be learned about how research with remote Aboriginal communities should be conducted such that it is both culturally respectful and, importantly, meaningful for participants. We identify important elements in community consultation about research and seeking consent. (shrink)
L’Union européenne nous invite à repenser les conditions et les attributs de la souveraineté traditionnellement rattachée aux États-nations. Dans cet article, est proposée une tentative de re-conceptualisation à partir des différentes définitions de la souveraineté, et de l’analyse d’un exemple : celui de la politique étrangère et de l’exercice diplomatique de l’Union européenne. En effet, la souveraineté possède toujours deux faces : une face interne qui se charge de définir la loi, le droit, et de les faire appliquer sur un (...) territoire délimité ; une face externe qui exporte et affirme les intérêts, les valeurs et les principes qui prévalent en interne. La politique étrangère et son outil principal qu’est l’action diplomatique, consistent dans l’expression vers l’extérieur de la souveraineté d’un corps politique. Nous nous interrogerons ainsi sur la nature de la souveraineté incarnée par l’Union européenne. (shrink)
In an adaptive clinical trial , key trial characteristics may be altered during the course of the trial according to predefined rules in response to information that accumulates within the trial itself. In addition to having distinguishing scientific features, adaptive trials also may involve ethical considerations that differ from more traditional randomized trials. Better understanding of clinical trial experts’ views about the ethical aspects of adaptive designs could assist those planning ACTs. Our aim was to elucidate the opinions of clinical (...) trial experts regarding their beliefs about ethical aspects of ACTs. (shrink)
The text on this website is copyright in the same way as any other publication. It is of course legitimate to make small quotations from it. A link to this site should then be put in to acknowledge the origin of quoted text. For any more substantial use of the material on this site you should ask permission from me. You should also ask my permission to use any of the graphic icons or the images which are marked as being (...) my photographs. (shrink)