This essay is in three Parts. Part 1 surveys some ideas about what water is - as a substance in its own right, and as an entity of major significance and symbolic importance. Part 2 explores basic considerations about the value of nature and its components. Part 3 applies findings from Parts 1 and 2 to thinking about water, with reference to water management issues facing humanity today.
If it is our aim to establish a world order in which nonviolence and peace prevail, then it is helpful - even essential - to understand the nature of violence. Many believe violence is such a fundamental expression of human nature that we will never be free of war. I wish to argue against this view. The analysis that follows will focus on these issues: defining violence; effects of violence; varieties of violence; causes and consequences of violence; and controlling violence.
In The Ethics of Food, Gregory E. Pence brings together a collection of voices who share the view that the ethics of genetically modified food is among the most pressing societal questions of our time. This comprehensive collection addresses a broad range of subjects, including the meaning of food, moral analyses of vegetarianism and starvation, the safety and environmental risks of genetically modified food, issues of global food politics and the food industry, and the relationships among food, evolution, and human (...) history. (shrink)
This article offers a critique of the recently revised BMA guidance on routine neonatal male circumcision and seeks to challenge the assumptions underpinning the guidance which construe this procedure as a matter of parental choice. Our aim is to problematise continued professional willingness to tolerate the non-therapeutic, non-consensual excision of healthy tissue, arguing that in this context both professional guidance and law are uncharacteristically tolerant of risks inflicted on young children, given the absence of clear medical benefits. By interrogating historical (...) medical explanations for this practice, which continue to surface in contemporary justifications of non-consensual male circumcision, we demonstrate how circumcision has long existed as a procedure in need of a justification. We conclude that it is ethically inappropriate to subject children—male or female—to the acknowledged risks of circumcision and contend that there is no compelling legal authority for the common view that male circumcision is lawful. (shrink)
BackgroundNarrative medicine is a well-recognized and respected approach to care. It is now found in medical school curricula and widely implemented in practice. However, there has been no analysis of the perception and usage of narrative medicine across different medical specialties and whether there may be unique recommendations for implementation based upon specialty. The aims of this study were to explore these gaps in research.MethodsFifteen senior physicians who specialize in internal medicine, pediatrics, or surgery were interviewed in a semi-structured format (...) about the utilization, benefits, drawbacks, and roles pertaining to narrative medicine. Qualitative content analysis of each interview was then performed.ResultsThree themes emerged from our analysis: roles, practice, and outcomes. Through these themes we examined the importance, utilization, barriers, benefits, and drawbacks of narrative medicine. There was consensus that narrative medicine is an important tool in primary care. Primary care physicians also believed that narrative medicine is not as important for non-primary care providers. However, non-primary care providers generally believed narrative medicine is valuable in their practice as well. Within specialties, providers’ choice of language varied when trying to obtain patients’ narratives, but choice in when to practice narrative medicine did not differ greatly. Among specialties, there was more variability regarding when to practice narrative medicine and what barriers were present. Primary care physicians primarily described barriers to eliciting a patient’s narrative to involve trust and emotional readiness, while surgeons primarily described factors involving logistics and patient data as barriers to obtaining patients’ narratives. There was broad agreement among specialties regarding the benefits and drawbacks of narrative medicine.ConclusionsThis study sheds light on the shared and unique beliefs in different specialties about narrative medicine. It prompts important discussion around topics such as the stereotypes physicians may hold about their peers and concerns about time management. These data provide some possible ideas for crafting narrative medicine education specific to specialties as well as future directions of study. (shrink)
According to the standard analysis of degree questions, the logical form of a degree question contains a variable that ranges over individual degrees and is bound by the degree question operator how. In contrast with this, we claim that the variable bound by the degree question operator how does not range over individual degrees but over intervals of degrees, by analogy with Schwarzschild and Wilkinson's proposal regarding the semantics of comparative clauses. Not only does the interval-based semantics predict the existence (...) of certain readings that are not predicted under the standard view, it is also able, together with other natural assumptions, to account for the sensitivity of degree questions to negative islands, as well as for the fact, uncovered by Fox and Hackl, that negative islands can be obviated by some properly placed modals. Like Fox and Hackl, we characterize negative island effects as arising from the fact that the relevant question, due to its meaning alone, can never have a maximally informative answer. Contrary to Fox and Hackl, however, we do not need to assume that scales are universally dense, nor that the notion of maximal informativity responsible for negative islands is blind to contextual parameters. (shrink)
High-spin states have been studied in Pr-135(59), populated through the Cd-116(Na-23,4n) reaction at 115 MeV, using the Gammasphere gamma-ray spectrometer. The negative-parity yrast band has been significantly extended to spin similar to 45 (h) over bar and excitation energy 21.5 MeV, showing evidence for several rotational alignments. The positive-parity yrast band of Ce-135(58), populated through the p4n channel of this reaction, was also populated to spin similar to 38 (h) over bar and excitation energy 18 MeV. Cranking calculations indicate that (...) these nuclei are soft with respect to the triaxiality parameter gamma and that several competing nuclear shapes occur at high spin. (shrink)
This is a critical introduction to modern French philosophy, commissioned from one of the liveliest contemporary practitioners and intended for an English-speaking readership. The dominant 'Anglo-Saxon' reaction to philosophical development in France has for some decades been one of suspicion, occasionally tempered by curiosity but more often hardening into dismissive rejection. But there are signs now of a more sympathetic interest and an increasing readiness to admit and explore shared concerns, even if these are still expressed in a very different (...) idiom and intellectual context. Vincent Descombes offers here a personal guide to the main movements and figures of the last forty-five years. He traces over this period the evolution of thought from a generation preoccupied with the 'three H's' - Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, to a generation influenced since about 1960 by the 'three masters of suspicion' - Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. In this framework he deals in turn with the thought of Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, the early structuralists, Foucault, Althusser, Serres, Derrida, and finally Deleuze and Lyotard. The 'internal' intellectual history of the period is related to its institutional setting and the wider cultural and political context which has given French philosophy so much of its distinctive character. (shrink)
As they age, many people are afraid that they might become a burden to their families and friends. In fact, fear of being a burden is one of the most frequently cited reasons for individuals who request physician aid in dying. Why is this fear so prevalent, and what are the issues underlying this concern? I argue that perceptions of individual autonomy, dependency, and dignity all contribute to the fear of becoming a burden. However, this fear is misplaced; common conceptions (...) of these values should be re-framed and re-examined. Practices that support a more community-centered type of autonomy can be found in dependency and dignity. This paper offers some practical examples of how to address common end-of-life situations that may cause anxiety to patients who are worried about being a burden. These practices include discussing expectations, both for care and how the relationship among the participants might change, and modeling respectful caregiving behaviors. Most difficult of all, though, includes cultural and societal attitude changes so that people recognize the good in receiving care and get used to the idea that they do not need to do anything to be valuable. (shrink)
While there had still been an increasing flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into China during the 2002 downturn in FDI globally, such investments have historically been only sporadically successful. Much writing has detailed and discussed problems associated with China FDI but several costs remain dangerously overlooked. One such cost is that of micro-monitoring plants for work conditions and employee treatment in violation of local Chinese laws and possible home country ethics. Further, a more personal cost is presented – the (...) personal cost associated with maintaining an investment in a facility that violates standards of ethical employee treatment. Background information related to these issues is presented, along with a general overview of FDI in China. (shrink)