The book includes all 15 long forgotten articles on bioethics and ethics written by Jahr from 1927 to 1947 in English translation. (Series: Practical Ethics / Ethik in der Praxis - Studies / Studien - Vol. 37).
This paper presents a challenge to conciliationist views of disagreement. I argue that conciliationists cannot satisfactorily explain why we need not revise our beliefs in response to certain moral disagreements. Conciliationists can attempt to meet this challenge in one of two ways. First, they can individuate disputes narrowly. This allows them to argue that we have dispute-independent reason to distrust our opponents’ moral judgment. This approach threatens to license objectionable dogmatism. It also inappropriately gives deep epistemic significance to superficial questions (...) about how to think about the subject matter of a dispute. Second, conciliationists can individuate disputes widely. This allows them to argue that we lack dispute-independent reason to trust our opponents’ moral judgment. But such arguments fail; our background of generally shared moral beliefs gives us good reason to trust the moral judgment of our opponents, even after we set quite a bit of our reasoning aside. On either approach, then, conciliationists should acknowledge that we have dispute-independent reason to trust the judgment of those who reject our moral beliefs. Given a conciliationist view of disagreement’s epistemic role, this has the unattractive result that we are epistemically required to revise some of our most intuitively secure moral beliefs. (shrink)
Radical moral encroachment is the view that belief itself is morally evaluable, and that some moral properties of belief itself make a difference to epistemic rationality. To date, almost all proponents of radical moral encroachment hold to an asymmetry thesis: the moral encroaches on rational belief, but not on rational credence. In this paper, we argue against the asymmetry thesis; we show that, insofar as one accepts the most prominent arguments for radical moral encroachment on belief, one should likewise accept (...) radical moral encroachment on credence. We outline and reject potential attempts to establish a basis for asymmetry between the attitude types. Then, we explore the merits and demerits of the two available responses to our symmetry claim: (i) embracing moral encroachment on credence and (ii) denying moral encroachment on belief. (shrink)
It seems that the revitalisation of Fritz Jahr’s thought has come just at the right time. During the course of its rapid development, bioethics managed to assume different forms, but also to become both reduced in its underlying intention and hyper-specialised in its theoretical and practical aspects. Summed up in his bioethical imperative, Fritz Jahr’s thought prompts us to re-examine both its underlying intention and its field of interest. Accordingly, this paper centres on Jahr’s bioethical imperative, its origins, (...) construction and implications, aiming to scrutinise Jahr’s original thought and his message within the contemporary discourse on bioethics in general and that on integrative bioethics in particular. The latter is examined only in its outlines, leaving room for a possible upgrade. Lastly, the paper looks at the Rijeka Declaration as a document that represents an attempt to both conceptually and methodologically transform contemporary bioethics within the context of Jahr’s thought.*. (shrink)
: In 1927, Fritz Jahr, a Protestant pastor, philosopher, and educator in Halle an der Saale, published an article entitled "Bio-Ethics: A Review of the Ethical Relationships of Humans to Animals and Plants" and proposed a "Bioethical Imperative," extending Kant's moral imperative to all forms of life. Reviewing new physiological knowledge of his times and moral challenges associated with the development of secular and pluralistic societies, Jahr redefines moral obligations towards human and nonhuman forms of life, outlining the concept (...) of bioethics as an academic discipline, principle, and virtue. Although he had no immediate long-lasting influence during politically and morally turbulent times, his argument that new science and technology requires new ethical and philosophical reflection and resolve may contribute toward clarification of terminology and of normative and practical visions of bioethics, including understanding of the geoethical dimensions of bioethics. (shrink)
It is demonstrated that the reduction of a physical theory S to another one, T, in the sense that S can be derived from T holds in general only for the mathematical framework. The interpretation of S and the associated central terms cannot all be derived from those of T because of the qualitative differences between the cognitive levels of S and T. Their cognitively autonomous status leads to an epistemic as well as an ontological pluralism. This pluralism is consistent (...) with the unity of nature in the sense of a substantive monism. (shrink)
In Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture, Fritz Allhoff demonstrates the weakness of the case against torture; while allowing that torture constitutes a moral wrong, he nevertheless argues that, in exceptional cases, it represents the ...
Computer simulation is shown to be philosophically interesting because it introduces a qualitatively new methodology for theory construction in science different from the conventional two components of "theory" and "experiment and/or observation". This component is "experimentation with theoretical models." Two examples from the physical sciences are presented for the purpose of demonstration but it is claimed that the biological and social sciences permit similar theoretical model experiments. Furthermore, computer simulation permits theoretical models for the evolution of physical systems which use (...) cellular automata rather than differential equations as their syntax. The great advantages of the former are indicated. (shrink)
This paper presents the principal findings from a three-year research project funded by the US National Science Foundation on ethics of human enhancement technologies. To help untangle this ongoing debate, we have organized the discussion as a list of questions and answers, starting with background issues and moving to specific concerns, including: freedom & autonomy, health & safety, fairness & equity, societal disruption, and human dignity. Each question-and-answer pair is largely self-contained, allowing the reader to skip to those issues of (...) interest without affecting continuity. (shrink)
Nanoethics seeks to examine the potential risks and rewards of applications of nanotechnology. This up-to-date anthology gives the reader an introduction to and basic foundation in nanotechnology and nanoethics, and then delves into near-, mid-, and far-term issues. Comprehensive and authoritative, it: -/- - Goes beyond the usual environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns to explore such topics as privacy, nanomedicine, human enhancement, global regulation, military, humanitarianism, education, artificial intelligence, space exploration, life extension, and more -/- -Features contributions from forty (...) preeminent experts from academia and industry worldwide, reflecting diverse perspectives -/- -Includes seminal works that influence nanoethics today -/- -Encourages an informed, proactive approach to nanoethics and advocates addressing new and emerging controversies before they impede progress or impact our welfare -/- This resource is designed to promote further investigations and a broad and balanced dialogue in nanoethics, dealing with critical issues that will affect the industry as well as society. While this will be a definitive reference for students, scientists in academia and industry, policymakers, and regulators, it's also a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand the challenges, principles, and potential of nanotechnology. (shrink)
In this paper, I take a critical stance on the emerging field of nanoethics. After an introductory section, “Conceptual Foundations of Nanotechnology” considers the conceptual foundations of nanotechnology, arguing that nanoethics can only be as coherent as nanotechnology itself and then discussing concerns with this latter concept; the conceptual foundations of nanoethics are then explicitly addressed in “Conceptual Foundations of Nanoethics”. “Issues in Nanoethics” considers ethical issues that will be raised through nanotechnology and, in “What’s New?”, it is argued that (...) none of these issues is unique to nanotechnology. In “It’s a Revolution!”, I express skepticism about arguments which hold that, while the issues themselves might not be unique, they nevertheless are instantiated to such a degree that extant moral frameworks will be ill-equipped to handle them. In “What’s Different?”, I draw plausible distinctions between nanoethics and other applied ethics, arguing that these latter might well identify unique moral issues and, as such, distinguish themselves from nanoethics. Finally, in “What Now?”, I explore the conclusions of this result, ultimately arguing that, while nanoethics may fail to identify novel ethical concerns, it is at least the case that nanotechnology is deserving of ethical attention, if not a new associative applied ethic. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungIn der Deutschschweizer massenmedialen Debatte zur Weigerung zweier Schüler in der Gemeinde Therwil, ihrer Lehrerin die Hand zu schütteln, wird häufig der Kulturbegriff verwendet. Der vorliegende Beitrag analysiert, wie „Kultur“ als wissensstrukturierende Kategorie in der Konstituierung der Gruppenzugehörigkeiten zur Schweizer Mehrheitsgesellschaft und zur muslimischen Minderheit zum Tragen gekommen ist. Basierend auf dem Konzept der „Kulturalisierung“ untersucht die qualitative Medienanalyse die verschiedenen „Spielarten der Kulturalisierung“, die in der Debatte um den Fall Therwil verwendet wurden. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass „Kultur“ in Beziehung (...) zu geografischer Herkunft, religiöser Zugehörigkeit und spezifischen Wertvorstellungen gesetzt wurde. Gleichzeitig kann die Verknüpfung dieser Ideen mit Vorstellungen „kulturspezifischer“ Geschlechterverhältnisse und angenommenen Einstellungen zur Geschlechtergerechtigkeit und sexuellen Liberalisierung beobachtet werden. (shrink)
Ongoing research in nanotechnology promises both innovations and risks, potentially and profoundly changing the world. This book helps to promote a balanced understanding of this important emerging technology, offering an informed and impartial look at the technology, its science, and its social impact and ethics. Nanotechnology is crucial for the next generation of industries, financial markets, research labs, and our everyday lives; this book provides an informed and balanced look at nanotechnology and its social impact Offers a comprehensive background discussion (...) on nanotechnology itself, including its history, its science, and its tools, creating a clear understanding of the technology needed to evaluate ethics and social issues Authored by a nanoscientist and philosophers, offers an accurate and accessible look at the science while providing an ideal text for ethics and philosophy courses Explores the most immediate and urgent areas of social impact of nanotechnology. (shrink)
Theories of embodied cognition assume that concepts are grounded in non-linguistic, sensorimotor experience. In support of this assumption, previous studies have shown that upwards response movements are faster than downwards movements after participants have been presented with words whose referents are typically located in the upper vertical space. This is taken as evidence that processing these words reactivates sensorimotor experiential traces. This congruency effect was also found for novel words, after participants learned these words as labels for novel objects that (...) they encountered either in their upper or lower visual field. While this indicates that direct experience with a word's referent is sufficient to evoke said congruency effects, the present study investigates whether this direct experience is also a necessary condition. To this end, we conducted five experiments in which participants learned novel words from purely linguistic input: Novel words were presented in pairs with real up- or down-words ; they were presented in natural sentences where they replaced these real words ; they were presented as new labels for these real words ; and they were presented as labels for novel combined concepts based on these real words. In all five experiments, we did not find any congruency effects elicited by the novel words; however, participants were always able to make correct explicit judgements about the vertical dimension associated to the novel words. These results suggest that direct experience is necessary for reactivating experiential traces, but this reactivation is not a necessary condition for understanding the corresponding aspects of word meaning. (shrink)
Criteria are given to characterize mature theories in contradistinction to developing theories. We lean heavily on the physical sciences. An established theory is defined as a mature one with known validity limits. The approximate truth of such theories is thereby given a quantitative character. Superseding theories do not falsify established theories because the latter are protected by their validity limits. This view of scientific realism leads to ontological levels and cumulativity of knowledge. It is applied to a defense of realism (...) against recent attacks by Laudan. (shrink)
The reduction from Einstein's to Newton's gravitation theories (and intermediate steps) is used to exemplify reduction in physical theories. Both dimensionless and dimensional reduction are presented, and the advantages and disadvantages of each are pointed out. It is concluded that neither a completely reductionist nor a completely antireductionist view can be maintained. Only the mathematical structure is strictly reducible. The interpretation (the model, the central concepts) of the superseded theory T′ can at best only partially be derived directly from the (...) superseding theory T; it is severely constrained by the mathematical structure, and it can involve qualitatively different central terms that cannot be logically related between T and T′. (shrink)
: Genetic interventions raise a host of moral issues and, of its various species, germ-line genetic enhancement is the most morally contentious. This paper surveys various arguments against germ-line enhancement and attempts to demonstrate their inadequacies. A positive argument is advanced in favor of certain forms of germ-line enhancements, which holds that they are morally permissible if and only if they augment Rawlsian primary goods, either directly or by facilitating their acquisition.
This article proposes a three-step model of empathy. It assumes that people have various empathy-related mechanisms available and thus can be described as hyper-empathic (Step 1). Under these conditions, the question of blocking and controlling empathy becomes a central issue to channel empathic attention and to avoid self-loss (Step 2). It is assumed that empathy can be sustained only when these mechanisms of controlling empathy are bypassed (Step 3). In particular, the article proposes a three-person scenario with one observing a (...) conflict of two others. By taking the side of one of the combatants, the observer is led into empathizing, perhaps to justify her/his earlier side-taking. (shrink)
On the one hand, bluffing in business seems to bear a strong resemblance to lying, and therefore might be thought to be prima facie impermissible. On the other, many people have the intuition that bluffing is an appropriate and morally permissible negotiating tactic. Given this tension, what is the moral standing of bluffing in business? In this paper, I will consider influential accounts of both Albert Carr and Thomas Carson, and I will present my criticisms thereof. Drawing off of these (...) accounts, I will then develop my own argument as to why bluffing in business is morally permissible, which will be that bluffing is a practice that should be endorsed by all rational negotiators. (shrink)
This article focuses on the development of, and new theorising about, a strong democracy education intervention, the Just Community approach. Three questions frame the discussion: (1) Does democracy education change children and adolescents or do students in these programs change their schools, or is there a dynamic interaction over time? (2) How can democracy be ?learned?? How can the concept of democracy be most thoroughly learned and how can democratic problem?solving skills best be acquired? (3) How can we optimise the (...) chances that the knowledge and skills learned will motivate future active citizenship? The article begins with a brief history of the Just Community approach, a description of the original developmental model created by Lawrence Kohlberg and collaborators and some variation in more recent European Just Community programs. In a discussion of controversial and difficult issues democracy education may face, the second question takes centre stage and several structural aspects are offered that should be included in such efforts to maximise their effectiveness. In the remainder of the article new perspectives coming from Europe are introduced. Some additional pathways to the Just Community approach and their justifications, which have not played a significant role in the theory and practice of the ?traditional? model but can add to its strengths, are identified. Finally, the idea of ?trusting in advance? is introduced as critical for well?functioning educational democracies. (shrink)
This essay presents some general background on nanomedicine, particularly focusing on some of the investment that is being made in this emerging field. The bulk of the essay, however, consists of explorations of two areas in which the impacts of nanomedicine are likely to be most significant: diagnostics and medical records and treatment, including surgery and drug delivery. Each discussion includes a survey some of the ethical and social issues that are likely to arise in these applications.
Nanoethics is a contentious field for several reasons. Some believe it should not be recognized as a proper area of study, because they believe that nanotechnology itself is not a true category but rather an amalgamation of other sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and engineering. Critics also allege that nanoethics does not raise any new issues but rather revisits familiar ones such as privacy. This paper answers such criticisms and sets the context for the papers that follow in this nanoethics (...) symposium. (shrink)
Positive emotions are highly valued and frequently sought. Beyond just being pleasant, however, positive emotions may also lead to long-term benefits in important domains, including work, physical health, and interpersonal relationships. Research thus far has focused on the broader functions of positive emotions. According to the broaden-and-build theory, positive emotions expand people’s thought–action repertoires and allow them to build psychological, intellectual, and social resources. New evidence suggests that positive emotions—particularly gratitude—may also play a role in motivating individuals to engage in (...) positive behaviors leading to self-improvement. We propose and offer supportive evidence that expressing gratitude leads people to muster effort to improve themselves via increases in connectedness, elevation, humility, and specific negative states including indebtedness. (shrink)
With multi-year funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), a team of researchers has just released a comprehensive report detailing ethical issues arising from human enhancement (Allhoff et al. 2009). While we direct the interested reader to that (much longer) report, we also thank the editors of this journal for the invitation to provide an executive summary thereof. This summary highlights key results from each section of that report and does so in a self-standing way; in other words, this (...) summary presupposes no familiarity with the report and offers the opportunity to gain quick familiarity with its most central findings. (shrink)
According to the algebraic approach to spacetime, a thoroughgoing dynamicism, physical fields exist without an underlying manifold. This view is usually implemented by postulating an algebraic structure (e.g., commutative ring) of scalar-valued functions, which can be interpreted as representing a scalar field, and deriving other structures from it. In this work, we point out that this leads to the unjustified primacy of an undetermined scalar field. Instead, we propose to consider algebraic structures in which all (and only) physical fields are (...) primitive. We explain how the theory of natural operations in differential geometry—the modern formalism behind classifying diffeomorphism-invariant constructions—can be used to obtain concrete implementations of this idea for any given collection of fields. For concrete examples, we illustrate how our approach applies to a number of particular physical fields, including electrodynamics coupled to a Weyl spinor. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue for the permissibility of torture in idealized cases by application of separation of cases: if torture is permissible given any of the dominant moral theories (and if one of those is correct), then torture is permissible simpliciter and I can discharge the tricky business of trying to adjudicate among conflicting moral views. To be sure, torture is not permissible on all the dominant moral theories as at least Kantianism will prove especially recalcitrant to granting moral (...) license of torture, even in idealized cases. Rather than let the Kantian derail my central argument, I directly argue against Kantianism (and other views with similar commitments) on the grounds that, if they cannot accommodate the intuitions in ticking time-bomb cases, they simply cannot be plausible moral views—these arguments come in both foundationalist and coherentist strains. Finally, I postulate that, even if this paper has dealt with idealized cases, it paves the way for the justification of torture in the real world by removing some candidate theories (e.g., Kantianism) and allowing others that both could and are likely to justify real-world torture. (shrink)