Background International collaborators face challenges in the design and implementation of ethical biomedical research. Evaluating community understanding of research and processes like informed consent may enable researchers to better protect research participants in a particular setting; however, there exist few studies examining community perspectives in health research, particularly in resource-limited settings, or strategies for engaging the community in research processes. Our goal was to inform ethical research practice in a biomedical research setting in western Kenya and similar resource-limited settings. Methods (...) We sought to use mabaraza , traditional East African community assemblies, in a qualitative study to understand community perspectives on biomedical research and informed consent within a collaborative, multinational research network in western Kenya. Analyses included manual, progressive coding of transcripts from mabaraza to identify emerging central concepts. Results Our findings from two mabaraza with 108 community members revealed that, while participants understood some principles of biomedical research, they emphasized perceived benefits from participation in research over potential risks. Many community members equated health research with HIV testing or care, which may be explained in part by the setting of this particular study. In addition to valuing informed consent as understanding and accepting a role in research activities, participants endorsed an increased role for the community in making decisions about research participation, especially in the case of children, through a process of community consent. Conclusions Our study suggests that international biomedical research must account for community understanding of research and informed consent, particularly when involving children. Moreover, traditional community forums, such as mabaraza in East Africa, can be used effectively to gather these data and may serve as a forum to further engage communities in community consent and other aspects of research. (shrink)
This new edition brings together the English translation of the renowned Plato scholar and translator, Seth Benardete, with two illuminating commentaries on it: Benardete's "On Plato's Symposium" and Allan Bloom's provocative essay, "The ...
Michael Winkelman, who is a senior lecturer in the department of anthropology, Arizona State University, and director of its ethnographic field school, has provided a rich overview of the neurophenomenology of shamanism in his book, Shamanism: The Neural Ecology of Consciousness. Written in the tradition of Laughlin, McManus, and d'Aquili's 1992 classic, Brain, Symbol, and Experience: Toward a Neurophenomenology of Consciousness, Winkelman considers shamanism in many of its facets. He explores shamanism's social and symbolic content, and the implications of its (...) neurological underpinnings both for shamanic practitioners and for their clients. (shrink)
In this collection of critical essays, Dominick LaCapra, with characteristic verve, takes on a variety of authors who have addressed issues relating to intellectual history, history generally, violence, trauma, and the relation between the human and the animal. LaCapra offers two types of criticism—of historians for ignoring or misappropriating theory, and of theorists for engaging in “theoreticism,” a theorizing that rides roughshod over historical specificity and context. The present essay focuses on LaCapra’s discussion of the theoreticism of the critical theorists (...) Giorgio Agamben, Eric L. Santner, and Slavoj Žižek, and in particular on their and LaCapra’s attempts to engage with the “issue of the postsecular.” Although Agamben, Santner, and Žižek highlight some important and provocative issues, this brand of critical theory provides too limited a base for coming to an understanding of current debates over the relation between religion and secular perspectives. Instead, one must approach “postsecularity” with attentiveness to the larger “secularization debate,” and to the way the term postsecular is used by such writers as Jürgen Habermas and John Milbank. LaCapra rightly draws attention to the recent emergence of a discourse of “the postsecular.” Both the term and the concept now cry out for a deeper, more critical, and more historical examination than has so far been attempted. (shrink)
Allan Hazlett challenges the philosophical assumption of the value of true belief. He critiques the view that true belief is better for us than false belief, and the view that truth is "the aim of belief". An alternative picture is provided, on which the fact that some people love truth is all there is to "the value of true belief".
It is widely believed that such old-fashioned questions have been rendered absurd by the materialism of modern empirical science, but some seemingly 'magical' properties of quantum mechanics have brought them back into serious discussion in some circles. I will examine the possibility of making miracles using well-established principles of quantum mechanics--in particular, the possibility that quantum theory allows for the most desirable ' miracle ' of all: immortality.
The concepts of meaning and mental content resist naturalistic analysis. This is because they are normative: they depend on ideas of how things ought to be. Allan Gibbard offers an expressivist explanation of these 'oughts': he borrows devices from metaethics to illuminate deep problems at the heart of the philosophy of language and thought.
there seems to be some kind of asymmetry, at least in some cases, between moral testimony and non-moral testimony, between aesthetic testimony and non-aesthetic testimony, and between religious testimony and non-religious testimony. In these domains, at least in some cases, we object to deference, and for this reason expect people to form their beliefs on non-testimonial grounds, in a way that we do not object to deference in paradigm cases of testimonial knowledge. Our philosophical puzzle is therefore: what explains these (...) (apparent) asymmetries (or are they merely apparent)? My aim here is to criticize three accounts of these testimonial asymmetries and to suggest an alternative strategy for solving our puzzle. I’ll consider the idea that testimony cannot be a source of understanding (§2), the idea that testimony cannot be a source of acquaintance (§3), and the idea that testimonial belief is not conducive to moral virtue (§4). These accounts all explain the badness of testimonial belief, in the relevant cases, by appeal to its consequences for the believer—respectively, a lack of understanding, acquaintance, or moral virtue. I’ll conclude by suggesting a way forward (§5): we should try to understand the badness of testimonial belief, in the relevant cases, as deriving from its consequences for the believer’s society. (shrink)
In this research, we examine the relationship between employee psychological entitlement and employee willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior. We hypothesize that a high level of PE—the belief that one should receive desirable treatment irrespective of whether it is deserved—will increase the prevalence of this particular type of unethical behavior. We argue that, driven by self-interest and the desire to look good in the eyes of others, highly entitled employees may be more willing to engage in UPB when their (...) personal goals are aligned with those of their organizations. Support for this proposition was found in Study 1, which demonstrates that organizational identification accentuates the link between PE and the willingness to engage in UPB. Study 2 builds on these findings by examining a number of mediating variables that shed light on why PE leads to a greater willingness among employees to engage in UPB. Furthermore, we explored the differential effects of PE on UPB compared to counterproductive work behavior. We found support for our moderated mediation model, which shows that status striving and moral disengagement fully mediate the link between PE and UPB. PE was also linked to CWB and was fully mediated by perceptions of organizational justice and moral disengagement. (shrink)
In Experiment, Right or Wrong, Allan Franklin continues his investigation of the history and philosophy of experiment presented in his previous book, The Neglect of Experiment. Using a combination of case studies and philosophical readings of those studies, Franklin again addresses two important questions: What role does and should experiment play in the choice between competing theories and in the confirmation or refutation of theories and hypotheses? How do we come to believe reasonably in experimental results? Experiment, Right or (...) Wrong makes a significant contribution to an important area in contemporary history and philosophy of science. Philosophers and historians of science, physicists, and advanced students in these areas will find much of interest in this engaging study. (shrink)
In this surprising book, Allan V. Horwitz argues that our current conceptions of mental illness as a disease fit only a small number of serious psychological conditions and that most conditions currently regarded as mental illness are cultural constructions, normal reactions to stressful social circumstances, or simply forms of deviant behavior.
This paper approaches the question of awareness outside of attention through a broader psychological examination of human consciousness. Questions regarding the boundaries of conscious awareness, as well as the possibility of 'subconscious' or 'unconscious' mental processes, were widely discussed 100 years and more ago when they played a central role in the thinking of turn-of-thecentury theorists such as William James, F.W.H. Myers, Jean-Martin Charcot, and Pierre Janet, all of whom were interested in dissociative phenomena suggestive of consciousness, or awareness, beyond (...) the margins of attention. Such phenomena included hypnosis, hysteria, trance states, and motor automatisms, and for many scholars also sleep related conditions such as dreaming and hypnogogic states. (shrink)
We often prefer non-deferential belief to deferential belief. In the last twenty years, epistemology has seen a surge of sympathetic interest in testimony as a source of knowledge. We are urged to abandon ‘epistemic individualism’ and the ideal of the ‘autonomous knower’ in favour of ‘social epistemology’. In this connection, you might think that a preference for non-deferential belief is a manifestation of vicious individualism, egotism, or egoism. I shall call this the selfishness challenge to preferring non-deferential belief. The aim (...) of this paper is to meet the selfishness challenge by arguing that non-deferential belief is socially valuable. (shrink)
As the price of oil climbs toward $100 a barrel, our impending post-fossil fuel future appears to offer two alternatives: a bleak existence defined by scarcity and sacrifice or one in which humanity places its faith in technological solutions with unforeseen consequences. Are there other ways to imagine life in an era that will be characterized by resource depletion? The French intellectual Georges Bataille saw energy as the basis of all human activity--the essence of the human--and he envisioned a society (...) that, instead of renouncing profligate spending, would embrace a more radical type of energy expenditure: la depense , or "spending without return." In Bataille's Peak , Allan Stoekl demonstrates how a close reading of Bataille--in the wake of Giordano Bruno and the Marquis de Sade-- can help us rethink not only energy and consumption, but also such related topics as the city, the body, eroticism, and religion. Through these cases, Stoekl identifies the differences between waste, which Bataille condemned, and expenditure, which he celebrated. The challenge of living in the twenty-first century, Stoekl argues, will be to comprehend--without recourse to austerity and self-denial--the inevitable and necessary shift from a civilization founded on waste to one based on Bataillean expenditure. Allan Stoekl is professor of French and comparative literature at Penn State University. He is the author of Agonies of the Intellectual: Commitment, Subjectivity, and the Performative in the Twentieth-Century French Tradition and translator of Bataille's Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 (Minnesota, 1985). (shrink)
Although "objectivity" is a term used widely in many areas of public discourse, from discussions concerning the media and politics to debates over political correctness and cultural literacy, the question "What is objectivity?" is often ignored, as if the answer were obvious. In this volume, Allan Megill has gathered essays from fourteen leading scholars in a variety of fields--history, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, history of science, sociology of science, feminist studies, literary studies, and accounting--to gain critical understanding of the idea (...) of objectivity as it functions in today's world. In diverse essays the authors provide fascinating studies of objectivity in such areas as anthropological research, corporate and governmental bureaucracies, legal discourse, photography, and the study and practice of the natural sciences. Taken together, Megill argues, this volume calls for developing a notion of "objectivities." The absolute sense of objectivity--that is, objectivity as a "God's eye view"--must be supplemented, and in part supplanted, by disciplinary, procedural, and dialectical senses of objectivity. This book will be of great interest to a broad range of scholars as it presents current thinking on a topic of fundamental concern across the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. _Contributors._ Barry Barnes, Dagmar Barnouw, Lorraine Code, Lorraine Daston, Johannes Fabian, Kenneth J. Gergen, Mary E. Hawkesworth, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Evelyn Fox Keller, George Levine, Allan Megill, Peter Miller, Andy Pickering, Theodore M. Porter. (shrink)
In these three Tanner lectures, distinguished ethical theorist Allan Gibbard explores the nature of normative thought and the bases of ethics. In the first lecture he explores the role of intuitions in moral thinking and offers a way of thinking about the intuitive method of moral inquiry that both places this activity within the natural world and makes sense of it as an indispensable part of our lives as planners. In the second and third lectures he takes up the (...) kind of substantive ethical inquiry he has described in the first lecture, asking how we might live together on terms that none of us could reasonably reject. Since working at cross purposes loses fruits that might stem from cooperation, he argues, any consistent ethos that meets this test would be, in a crucial way, utilitarian. It would reconcile our individual aims to establish, in Kant's phrase, a "kingdom of ends." The volume also contains an introduction by Barry Stroud, the volume editor, critiques by Michael Bratman (Stanford University), John Broome (Oxford University), and F. M. Kamm (Harvard University), and Gibbard's responses. (shrink)
This volume draws together Allan Gotthelf's pioneering work on Aristotle's biology. He examines Aristotle's natural teleology, the axiomatic structure of biological explanation, and the reliance on scientifically organized data in the three great works with which Aristotle laid the foundations of biological science.
Grice’s Razor is a principle of parsimony which states a preference for linguistic explanations in terms of conversational implicature, to explanations in terms of semantic context-dependence. Here I propose a Gricean theory of knowledge attributions, and contend on the basis of Grice’s Razor that it is superior to contextualism about ‘knows’.
In this ground-breaking work, Allan Combs presents a wide-ranging survey of the nature and origins of consciousness research, viewing consciousness as a dynamic and self-organizing process with evolutionary potential. Combs reviews the work of evolutionary theorists such as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Ken Wilber, Jean Gebser, and Sri Aurobindo. What emerges is a fascinating study of consciousness that discloses itself as a rich and ongoing act of self-creation, poised at the edge of chaos between past and future.
Following strict rules of interpretation, this book focuses on the ideas in Plato's early and middle dialogues that lie within the fields now called logic and methodology, specifically elenchus and dialectic and the method of hypothesis.
In men, high levels of endogenous testosterone (T) seem to encourage behavior intended to dominate other people. Sometimes dominant behavior is aggressive, its apparent intent being to inflict harm on another person, but often dominance is expressed nonaggressively. Sometimes dominant behavior takes the form of antisocial behavior, including rebellion against authority and law breaking. Measurement of T at a single point in time, presumably indicative of a man's basal T level, predicts many of these dominant or antisocial behaviors. T not (...) only affects behavior but also responds to it. The act of competing for dominant status affects male T levels in two ways. First, T rises in the face of a challenge, as if it were an anticipatory response to impending competition. Second, after the competition, T rises in winners and declines in losers. Thus, there is a reciprocity between T and dominance behavior, each affecting the other. We contrast a reciprocal model, in which T level is variable, acting as both a cause and effect of behavior, with a basal model, in which T level is assumed to be a persistent trait that influences behavior. An unusual data set on Air Force veterans, in which data were collected four times over a decade, enables us to compare the basal and reciprocal models as explanations for the relationship between T and divorce. We discuss sociological implications of these models. (shrink)
In this paper, we develop an analysis of unrealistic fiction that captures the everyday sense of ‘unrealistic’. On our view, unrealistic fictions are a species of inconsistent fictions, but fictions for which such inconsistency, given the supporting role we claim played by genre, needn’t be a critical defect. We first consider and reject an analysis of unrealistic fiction as fiction that depicts or describes unlikely events; we then develop our own account and make an initial statement of it: unrealistic fictions (...) are those that invite us to believe something false. We further develop this account and restate it in terms of the notion of “import-export inconsistency.” That is, unrealistic fictions invite us to import certain propositions true in the actual world then invite us to export propositions entailing the negation of those imported. Finally, we consider whether for fiction being unrealistic is always an aesthetic flaw. (shrink)
Female genital alteration is any cutting, removal or destruction of any part of the external female genitalia. Various FGA practices are common throughout the world. While most frequent in Africa and Asia, transglobal migration has brought ritual FGA to Western nations. All forms of FGA are generally considered undesirable for medical and ethical reasons when performed on minors. One ritual FGA procedure is the vulvar nick. This is a small laceration to the vulva that does not cause morphological changes. Besides (...) being performed as a primary ritual procedure it has been proposed as a substitute for more extensive forms of FGA. Measures advocated or taken to reduce the burden of FGA can be punitive or non-punitive. Even if it is unethical to perform VN, we argue that it also is unethical to attempt to suppress it through punishment. First, punishment of VN is likely to cause more harm than good overall, even to those ostensibly being protected. Second, punishment is likely to exceed legitimate retributive ends. We do not argue in favor of performing VN. Rather, we argue that non-punitive strategies such as education and harm reduction should be employed. (shrink)
It is often said that, according to common sense, there is a fundamental asymmetry between the past and future; namely, that the past is closed and the future is open. Eternalism in the ontology of time is often seen as conflicting with common sense on this point. Here I argue against the claim that common sense is committed to this fundamental asymmetry between the past and the future, on the grounds that facts about the past often depend on facts about (...) the future.1. (shrink)
The Dialectic of Essence offers a systematic new account of Plato's metaphysics. Allan Silverman argues that the best way to make sense of the metaphysics as a whole is to examine carefully what Plato says about ousia (essence) from the Meno through the middle period dialogues, the Phaedo and the Republic, and into several late dialogues including the Parmenides, the Sophist, the Philebus, and the Timaeus. This book focuses on three fundamental facets of the metaphysics: the theory of Forms; (...) the nature of particulars; and Plato's understanding of the nature of metaphysical inquiry. Silverman seeks to show how Plato conceives of "Being" as a unique way in which an essence is related to a Form. Conversely, partaking ("having") is the way in which a material particular is related to its properties: Particulars, thus, in an important sense lack essence. Additionally, the author closely analyzes Plato's idea that the relation between Forms and particulars is mediated by form-copies. Even when some late dialogues provide a richer account of particulars, Silverman maintains that particulars are still denied essence. Indeed, with the Timaeus's introduction of the receptacle, there are no particulars of the traditional variety. This book cogently demonstrates that when we understand that Plato's concern with essence lies at the root of his metaphysics, we are better equipped to find our way through the labyrinth of his dialogues and to better appreciate how they form a coherent theory. (shrink)
Despite significant ethical advances in recent years, including professional developments in ethical review and codification, research deception continues to be a pervasive practice and contentious focus of debate in the behavioral sciences. Given the disciplines' generally stated ethical standards regarding the use of deceptive procedures, researchers have little practical guidance as to their ethical acceptability in specific research contexts. We use social contract theory to identify the conditions under which deception may or may not be morally permissible and formulate practical (...) recommendations to guide researchers on the ethical employment of deception in behavioral science research. (shrink)