Different kinds of medical technologies and biotechnologies have all been developed for “therapeutic purposes,” but the possible uses of these technologies are not restricted to therapy. These possibilities give rise to a number of questions. This chapter discusses whether mood enhancement is a legitimate goal of medicine when medical resources are limited and the medical enterprise is publicly funded. It focusses on the case of mood enhancement through so‐called cosmetic psychopharmaceuticals. It suggests that we should give absolute priority to those (...) who suffer most; we should give equal weight to all improvements in well‐being, regardless of where on the scale they occur; the better a person feels, the less is the value of a certain improvement; once a certain level of subjective well‐being is achieved, further improvement is worth nothing from a medical perspective, and an improvement beyond normal mood still has value, but it is worth less. (shrink)
A so called “weak value” of an observable in quantum mechanics (QM) may be obtained in a weak measurement + post-selection procedure on the QM system under study. Applied to number operators, it has been invoked in revisiting some QM paradoxes (e.g., the so called Three-Box Paradox and Hardy’s Paradox). This requires the weak value to be interpreted as a bona fide property of the system considered, a par with entities like operator mean values and eigenvalues. I question such an (...) interpretation; it has no support in the basic axioms of quantum mechanics and it leads to unreasonable results in concrete situations. (shrink)
In recent years, several formalisms for program construction have appeared. One such formalism is the type theory developed by Per Martin-L f. Well suited as a theory for program construction, it makes possible the expression of both specifications and programs within the same formalism. Furthermore, the proof rules can be used to derive a correct program from a specification as well as to verify that a given program has a certain property. This book contains a thorough introduction to type theory, (...) with information on polymorphic sets, subsets, monomorphic sets, and a full set of helpful examples. (shrink)
Current anti-doping in competitive sports is advocated for reasons of fair-play and concern for the athlete's health. With the inception of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), anti-doping effort has been considerably intensified. Resources invested in anti-doping are rising steeply and increasingly involve public funding. Most of the effort concerns elite athletes with much less impact on amateur sports and the general public.
Quantum mechanical weak values of projection operators have been used to answer which-way questions, e.g. to trace which arms in a multiple Mach–Zehnder setup a particle may have traversed from a given initial to a prescribed final state. I show that this procedure might lead to logical inconsistencies in the sense that different methods used to answer composite questions, like “Has the particle traversed the way X or the way Y?”, may result in different answers depending on which methods are (...) used to find the answer. I illustrate the problem by considering some examples: the “quantum pigeonhole” framework of Aharonov et al., the three-box problem, and Hardy’s paradox. To prepare the ground for my main conclusion on the incompatibility in certain cases of weak values and logic, I study the corresponding situation for strong/projective measurements. In this case, no logical inconsistencies occur provided one is always careful in specifying exactly to which ensemble or sample space one refers. My results cast doubts on the utility of quantum weak values in treating cases like the examples mentioned. (shrink)
From good intentions to real life: introducing crisis resolution teams in Norway In Norway, as in most western countries, the adult services for people experiencing mental health problems have gone through major changes over the last decades. A report submitted to the Norwegian Parliament in 1997 summarized several areas of improvement in the provision of mental health‐care to its population, and led to the introduction of a national mental health programme in 1998 for its implementation to be completed by 2008. (...) The most significant recent development in Norway is ‘Crisis Resolution/Home Treatment’ (CRHT) teams that provide an alternative to acute hospital care services. The major aim of this study is to explore an emerging form of community mental health‐care, and present a framework for establishment and examination of CRHT teams applying the user perspectives. An illustration of user experiences in an already established CRHT team provides a background for understanding implications of this form of service in relation to service users’ needs in acute crises. (shrink)
Harm-reduction approaches are used to reduce the burden of risky human behaviour without necessarily aiming to stop the behaviour. We discuss what an introduction of harm reduction for doping in sports would mean in parallel with a relaxation of the antidoping rule. We analyse what is ethically at stake in the following five levels: (1) What would it mean for the athlete (the self)? (2) How would it impact other athletes (the other)? (3) How would it affect the phenomenon of (...) sport as a game and its fair play basis (the play)? (4) What would be the consequences for the spectator and the role of sports in society (the display)? and (5) What would it mean for what some consider as essential to being human (humanity)? For each level, we present arguments for and against doping and then discuss what a harm-reduction approach, within a dynamic regime of a partially relaxed antidoping rule, could imply. We find that a harm-reduction approach is morally defensible and potentially provides a viable escape out of the impasse resulting from the impossibility of attaining the eradication of doping. The following question remains to be answered: Would a more relaxed position, when combined with harm-reduction measures, indeed have less negative consequences for society than today9s all-out antidoping efforts that aim for abstinence? We provide an outline of an alternative policy, allowing a cautious step-wise change to answer this question and then discuss the ethical aspects of such a policy change. (shrink)
A recent on-line discussion asked whether healthcare for Americans is a constitutional right or a privilege. One can debate whether one can extract a legal right to healthcare from the Declaration of Independence depending on whether one sees it is a philosophical or as a legal document. The Constitution of the United States of America lists “promote the general welfare” and protect “ourselves and our posterity” as some of its aims. Perhaps this would demand the inclusion of certain basic health (...) services such as immunizations and antimicrobial therapy for every citizen; even for illegal immigrants, in order to protect the public. America must decide whether health care is a privilege or a right! If it is a privilege, one must accept the exclusion of some individuals and the unintended consequences of epidemics. If it is a constitutional right, one must accept paying for that right with increased taxes and the unintended consequences on the economy. But who should pay, how much and for what? (shrink)
Is science in the midst of a crisis of replicability and false discoveries? In a recent article, Alexander Bird offers an explanation for the apparent lack of replicability in the biomedical sciences. Bird argues that the surprise at the failure to replicate biomedical research is a result of the fallacy of neglecting the base rate. The base-rate fallacy arises in situations in which one ignores the base rate—or prior probability—of an event when assessing the probability of this event in the (...) light of some observed evidence. By extension, the replication crisis would result from ignoring the low prior probability of biomedical hypotheses. In this paper, my response to Bird’s claim is twofold. First, I show that the argument according to which the replication crisis is due to the low prior of biomedical hypotheses is incomplete. Second, I claim that a simple base-rate fallacy model does not account for some important methodological insights that have emerged in discussions of the replication crisis. (shrink)
This article presents results of exploratory research conducted with managers from over 500 Norwegian companies to examine corporate motives for engaging in social initiatives. Three key questions were addressed. First, what do managers in this sample see as the primary reasons their companies engage in activities that benefit society? Second, do motives for such social initiative vary across the industries represented? Third, can further empirical support be provided for the theoretical classifications of social initiative motives outlined in the literature? Previous (...) research on the topic is reviewed, study methods are described, results, are presented, and implications of findings are discussed. The article concludes with the analysis of study limitations and directions for future research. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to present a normative theory of the goals of medicine (a theory that tells us in what respects medicine should benefit the patient) that is both comprehensive and unified. A review of the relevant literature suggests that there are at least seven plausible goals that are irreducible to each other, namely to promote functioning, to maintain or restore normal structure and function, to promote quality of life, to save and prolong life, to help the (...) patient to cope well with her condition, to improve the external conditions under which people live, and to promote the growth and development of children. However, it seems that all these goals need to be qualified in different ways, e.g. it does not seem reasonable to improve physiological function or functional ability unless this is expected to have positive effects on quality of life and/or length of life, or to improve the quality of life in any respect, or by any means. These qualifications all suggest that the proposed goals are, as goals, conceptually, and not just causally, related to one another, and that they should therefore not be regarded in isolation. Instead, we should think of the medical enterprise as having a multidimensional goal structure rather than a single goal. In order to depict clearly how the different goals are related to one another, a multidimensional model is constructed. (shrink)
Attributions of what we shall call normative responsibilities play a central role in everyday moral thinking. It is commonly thought, for example, that parents are responsible for the wellbeing of their children, and that this has important normative consequences. Depending on context, it might mean that parents are morally required to bring their children to the doctor, feed them well, attend to their emotional needs, or to see to it that someone else does. Similarly, it is sometimes argued that countries (...) that emit most greenhouse gases are responsible for preventing catastrophic climate change. This responsibility might imply that these countries are morally required to take necessary steps individually and jointly to come to an agreement on and implement a workable plan, and to avoid steps that worsen the situation. More trivially, the grading of your student’s essays might be your responsibility, as might making sure there is wine at tomorrow’s picnic, and you might thus be required to see to it that essays are competently graded and suitable wine brought to the picnic. -/- Though attributions of normative responsibilities are legion, such responsibilities have received surprisingly little philosophical attention compared to its normative relatives, obligations and reasons, and compared to retrospective responsibility. This chapter hopes to improve on this situation by taking on two main tasks. The first, attempted in section 1, is to spell out the general structure of normative responsibility, in particular the relation between normative responsibilities and corresponding obligations and demands. We suggest that normative responsibilities are constituted by normative requirements that the responsible agents care appropriately about how well things go in certain regards, and that obligations generally can be seen as straightforward upshots of requirements to care. -/- The second task, taken on in section 2, is to provide an overview of prominent sources of normative responsibility and its distribution among agents. Why would the children’s wellbeing be the parents’ responsibility? Why not the neighbor’s, or the state’s, or everyone’s? Here we discuss a range of possible sources, including agents’ abilities, costs involved in taking on the responsibility in question, retrospective responsibility for the situation, promises or contracts, and certain social relationships. (shrink)
This paper tries to evolve a distinctive model of Swedish management from the standpoint of human values. The author attempts to understand the deeper and subtle aspects of the Scandinavian manage ment style and discusses ways to understand different management styles in different cultural contexts and how they can be sustained in an information age where culture-specific values face extinction. His analysis draws on several sources including personal experiences and mythological references. The paper explores the 'deep structure' of the Swedish (...) mind and enumerates 'typical Swedish' values like equality, self-criticism, worship of nature, and their relationship with the Swedish management style. It also articulates the dilemma of the Swedish manager who has to stick to traditional Swedish values at work and at the same time be responsive to universal human values. According to the author, the ideal way to overcome this dilemma is to transcend into pure being by knowing one's real self and then coming out into the world of action to reflect the universal in the relative. (shrink)
Ockham’s razor is the idea that simpler hypotheses are to be preferred over more complex ones. In the context of medical diagnosis, this is taken to mean that when a patient has multiple symptoms, a single diagnosis should be sought that accounts for all the clinical features, rather than attributing a different diagnosis to each. This paper examines whether diagnostic parsimony can be justified by reference to probability theory. I argue that while attempts to offer universal justifications of diagnostic parsimony (...) fail, a more constrained use of this diagnostic principle can be supported. (shrink)
The paper discusses Bayesian convergence when the truth is excluded from the analysis by means of a simple coin-tossing example. In the fair-balance paradox a fair coin is tossed repeatedly. A Bayesian agent, however, holds the a priori view that the coin is either biased towards heads or towards tails. As a result the truth is ignored by the agent. In this scenario the Bayesian approach tends to confirm a false model as the data size goes to infinity. I argue (...) that the fair-balance paradox reveals an unattractive feature of the Bayesian approach to scientific inference and explore a modification of the paradox. (shrink)
This article addresses the issues of identity and ethics. Individual identity can be understood from an essence and/or constructive perspective, and organizational identity from an individual and/or strategic perspective. Three ethical dilemmas are identified in relation to human identity: construction of corporate identity, change of corporate identity, and the corporations’ role in society, summarized as the utility vs humanity dilemma. The conclusion recommends an increased focus on human values management and a process of detachment and transparency in identity issues.
The paper examines the claim that significance testing violates the Principle of Total Evidence. I argue that p-values violate PTE for two-sided tests but satisfy PTE for one-sided tests invoking a sufficient test statistic independent of the preferred theory of evidence. While the focus of the paper is to evaluate a particular claim about the relationship of significance testing and PTE, I clarify the reading of this methodological principle along the way.
SummaryCertain problems in Quine's philosophy of language are discussed. The first issue is his theory of how an observation sentence is understood. This is part of the more general problem of constructing a theory for how any single cognitive sentence is grasped. Quine's thesis of the inscrutability of reference, according to which it is senseless to ask what the referent of a term is, is our second subject. The content and truth of this thesis is discussed. In this context three (...) rather precise versions of the thesis are presented. The third issue to be treated is the relationship between the inscrutability thesis and theories of observation sentence understanding. The main conclusion of the paper is that the inscrutability thesis can hardly be true. (shrink)