European and international regulation of human health research is typified by a morass of interconnecting laws, diverse and divergent ethical frameworks, and national and transnational standards. There is also a tendency for legislators to regulate in silos—that is, in discrete fields of scientific activity without due regard to the need to make new knowledge as generalisable as possible. There are myriad challenges for the stakeholders—researchers and regulators alike—who attempt to navigate these landscapes. This Delphi study was undertaken in order to (...) provide the first interdisciplinary and crosscutting analysis of health research regulation, as it is experienced by such stakeholders in the UK context. As well as reinforcing existing understandings of the regulatory environment, Delphi participants called for greater collaboration, and even co-production, of processes involved in health research regulation. On the basis of this research, we offer insights about how health research regulation can become a matter with which a wider range of stakeholders—including researchers, regulators, publics and research sponsors—can engage. The evidence supports the normative claim that health research regulation should continue to move away from strict, prescriptive rules-based approaches, and towards flexible principle-based regimes that allow researchers, regulators and publics to co-produce regulatory systems serving core principles. By unpacking thorny concepts and practices at the heart of health research regulation—including the public interest and public engagement—our results have the potential to situate and breathe life into them. The results also demonstrate that while proportionality is well-recognised as a crucial element of flexible regulatory systems, more must be done to operationalise this as an ethical assessment of the values and risks at stake at multiple junctures in the research trajectory. This is required if we are to move beyond proportionality as a mere risk-management tool. Compliance culture no longer accurately reflects the needs and expectations of researchers or regulators, nor does it necessarily produce the best research. Embracing uncertainty—both as a human practice and a regulatory objective—may represent the brighter future for health research. (shrink)
Words refer to objects in the world, but this correspondence is not one-to-one: Each word has a range of referents that share features on some dimensions but differ on others. This property of language is called underspecification. Parts of the lexicon have characteristic patterns of underspecification; for example, artifact nouns tend to specify shape, but not color, whereas substance nouns specify material but not shape. These regularities in the lexicon enable learners to generalize new words appropriately. How does the lexicon (...) come to have these helpful regularities? We test the hypothesis that systematic backgrounding of some dimensions during learning and use causes language to gradually change, over repeated episodes of transmission, to produce a lexicon with strong patterns of underspecification across these less salient dimensions. This offers a cultural evolutionary mechanism linking individual word learning and generalization to the origin of regularities in the lexicon that help learners generalize words appropriately. (shrink)
This collection of original essays explores the social and relational dimensions of individual autonomy. Rejecting the feminist charge that autonomy is inherently masculinist, the contributors draw on feminist critiques of autonomy to challenge and enrich contemporary philosophical debates about agency, identity, and moral responsibility. The essays analyze the complex ways in which oppression can impair an agent's capacity for autonomy, and investigate connections, neglected by standard accounts, between autonomy and other aspects of the agent, including self-conception, self-worth, memory, and the (...) imagination. (shrink)
In this 2002 book, Anna Elisabetta Galeotti examines the most intractable problems which toleration encounters and argues that what is really at stake is not religious or moral disagreement but the unequal status of different social groups. Liberal theories of toleration fail to grasp this and consequently come up with normative solutions that are inadequate when confronted with controversial cases. Galeotti proposes, as an alternative, toleration as recognition, which addresses the problem of according equal respect to groups as well as (...) equal liberty to individuals. She offers an interpretation that is both a revision and an expansion of liberal theory, in which toleration constitutes an important component not only of a theory of justice, but also of the politics of identity. Her study will appeal to a wide range of readers in political philosophy, political theory, and law. (shrink)
Why should we be tolerant? What does it mean to ‘live and let live’? What ought to be tolerated and what not? Catriona McKinnon presents a comprehensive, yet accessible introduction to toleration in her new book. Divided into two parts, the first clearly introduces and assesses the major theoretical accounts of toleration, examining it in light of challenges from scepticism, value pluralism and reasonableness. The second part applies the theories of toleration to contemporary debates such as female circumcision, French (...) Headscarves, artistic freedom, pornography and censorship, and holocaust denial. Drawing on the work of philosophers, such as Locke, Mill and Rawls, whose theories are central to toleration, the book provides a solid theoretical base to those who value toleration, whilst considering the challenges toleration faces in practice. It is the ideal starting point for those coming to the topic for the first time, as well as anyone interested in the challenges facing toleration today. (shrink)
"Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" explores conceptual issues in psychiatry from the perspective of analytic philosophy of science. Through an examination of those features of psychiatry that distinguish it from other sciences - for example, its contested subject matter, its particular modes of explanation, its multiple different theoretical frameworks, and its research links with big business - Rachel Cooper explores some of the many conceptual, metaphysical and epistemological issues that arise in psychiatry. She shows how these pose interesting challenges for (...) the philosopher of science while also showing how ideas from the philosophy of science can help to solve conceptual problems within psychiatry. Cooper's discussion ranges over such topics as the nature of mental illnesses, the treatment decisions and diagnostic categories of psychiatry, the case-history as a form of explanation, how psychiatry might be value-laden, the claim that psychiatry is a multi-paradigm science, the distortion of psychiatric research by pharmaceutical industries, as well as engaging with the fundamental question whether the mind is reducible to something at the physical level. "Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" demonstrates that cross-disciplinary contact between philosophy of science and psychiatry can be immensely productive for both subjects and it will be required reading for mental health professionals and philosophers alike. (shrink)
While some trust theorists have adverted to the vulnerabilities involved in trust, especially vulnerability to betrayal, the literature on trust has not engaged with recent work on the ethics of vulnerability. This paper initiates a dialogue between these literatures, and in doing so begins to explore the complex interrelations between vulnerability and trust. More specifically, it aims to show how trust can both mitigate and compound vulnerability. Through a discussion of two examples drawn from literary sources, the paper also investigates (...) the effects of pathogenic vulnerability on the psychic economies of trust and distrust. (shrink)
A report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, contrary to the Declaration of Helsinki, permits most important research initiatives in developing countries.The Ethics of Research Related to Health Care in Developing Countries by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics makes a number of innovative recommendations that depart from codes such as the Declaration of Helsinki. It recommends that standards of care might be relativised to the standard of that nation. It recommends that very good reasons need to be given for not (...) giving post-trial access to medications but recognises that there may be justifiable instances of this. It is the view of the authors that these and other recommendations of the report are sensible pieces of advice given the complexities of the developing world. (shrink)
The ethical debate about neurotechnologies—including both drugs and implanted devices—has been largely framed around the questions of whether and when these technologies could damage or promote authenticity. Patients can experience changes in mood, behavior, emotion, or preferences—seemingly, changes in character or personality. Some describe such changes by saying they feel like different people; that they have become either more or less themselves; or that they feel as though some of their moods, behaviors, emotions or preferences are not their own. These (...) kinds of statements are used to describe both changes that a drug or device is... (shrink)
Childbearing intentions among women in high-fertility contexts are usually classified into those wanting to have a baby, those wanting to ‘space’ a birth and those wanting to ‘limit’ their family size. However, evidence from Africa increasingly suggests that women’s intentions are more complex than this classification suggests, and that there is fluidity in these intentions. This research explores women’s accounts of their childbearing intentions and decisions in order to examine how this fluidity plays out in a low-fertility context in urban (...) Africa. Six focus group discussions were conducted in April and May 2012 with women of reproductive age in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants were recruited using random and purposive sampling techniques. The focus group discussions had an average of seven participants each. Data were coded thematically and analysed using Nvivo software. The analysis explored the factors that women consider to be influential for childbearing and found that the health of the mother and child, costs of raising a child and relationships were commonly reported to be important. Evidence of intentions to space births and limit family size was found. However, the data also showed that there is fluidity in women’s family planning intentions, driven by changes in relationships or household finances, which often result in a desire to avoid pregnancy in the present moment. The fluidity observed in women’s childbearing intentions cannot be accounted for by the concepts of either ‘spacing’ or ‘limitation’ but is best explained by the concept of ‘postponement’. The research reveals the need for family planning clinics to provide a full method mix, as well as high-quality counselling, to enable women to choose a method that best suits their needs. (shrink)
This enlightening study examines the relationship between being and God in Aristotle and Heidegger. Focusing on the methodology of each thinker, Catriona Hanley contrasts their beliefs on the infinite or finite nature of being, and on God’s role therein. The author also offers some indication of how modern thinkers might rethink the relation of the finite to the infinite, based on the work of these two philosophers. Being and God in Aristotle and Heidegger is a valuable book for philosophers (...) of religion. (shrink)
This volume breaks new ground by investigating the ethics of vulnerability. Drawing on various ethical traditions, the contributors explore the nature of vulnerability, the responsibilities owed to the vulnerable, and by whom.
The concept of dignity plays a foundational role in the more recent versions of Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities theory. However, despite its centrality to her theory, Nussbaum’s conception of dignity remains under-theorised. In this paper we critically examine the role that dignity plays in Nussbaum’s theory by, first, developing an account of the concept of dignity and introducing a distinction between two types of dignity, status dignity and achievement dignity. Next, drawing on this account, we analyse Nussbaum’s conception of dignity and (...) contrast it with Kant’s conception of dignity. On the basis of this comparison between Nussbaum and Kant, we highlight tensions between Nussbaum’s Aristotelianism, which is central to her conception of dignity, and her commitment to political liberalism. This leads us to conclude that Nussbaum’s claim that her conception of dignity is only a partial political conception is implausible and that her conception of dignity seems to commit her to a satisficing form of perfectionist liberalism. (shrink)
In his recent book Reflective Democracy, Robert Goodin argues that 'external-collaborative' models of democratic deliberation procedures need to be supplemented by 'internal-reflective' deliberation. The exercise of the moral imagination plays a central role in Goodin's account of 'democratic deliberation within'. By imaginatively putting ourselves in the place of a range of others, he argues, including those who maybe not be able to represent their own interests, we can make their points of view 'communicatively present' in deliberation. Goodin's argument emphasizes the (...) role of art and other forms of cultural representation in helping to bring about this expansion of moral imagination. Drawing on debates in philosophy of mind concerning the scope and limits of our capacities to simulate other minds, I argue that Goodin's analysis of 'democratic deliberation within' conflates different kinds of imaginative project. In doing so, it underestimates both the difficulties of imaginatively putting ourselves in the place of others and the political risks in doing so. I argue, alternatively, that moral engagement with others involves the capacity for sympathy and that art and other forms of cultural representation can enlarge the scope of our sympathies, by assisting us to overcome imaginative resistance to alien points of view. In developing this argument, I provide a qualified defense of Iris Young's claim that respect for others involves 'asymmetrical reciprocity'. (shrink)
Contemporary liberal political justification is often accused of preaching to the converted: liberal principles are acceptable only to people already committed to liberal values. Catriona McKinnon addresses this important criticism by arguing that self-respect and its social conditions should be placed at the heart of the liberal approach to justification. A commitment to self-respect delivers a commitment to the liberal values of toleration and public reason, but self-respect itself is not an exclusively liberal value.
This article considers the way we talk about learning and teaching the humanities in higher education in the UK. By using the tools of the arts and humanities within the scholarship of learning and teaching, and examining a personal perspective, the author explores the transformational impact of French language learning and teaching. Close textual analysis of literary language learning memoirs highlight the sensual and physical effects of language learning that can remain muted in our everyday conversations. As a result, the (...) author suggests that rather than lament the death of the humanities in 21st century higher education, learning and teaching a language offers a pedagogy of desire that embodies the transformation aspect of our disciplines, as we deal with the business of being human. (shrink)
Recent work on diachronic agency has challenged the predominantly structural or synchronic approach to agency that is characteristic of much of the literature in contemporary philosophical moral psychology. However, the embodied dimensions of diachronic agency continue to be neglected in the literature. This article draws on phenomenological perspectives on embodiment and narrative conceptions of the self to argue that diachronic agency and selfhood are anchored in embodiment. In doing so, the article also responds to Diana Meyers' recent work on corporeal (...) selfhood. (shrink)
From the paper's conclusion: "In conclusion, I have distinguished between two Rawlsian arguments for the SPP [strong precautionary principle] with respect to CCCs [climate change catastrophes]. Although both are persuasive, ultimately the “unbear-able strains” argument provides the most powerful categorical grounds for takingprecautionary action against CCCs. Overall, I have argued that the nature of CCCs requires us to take drastic precautions against further CC that could lead us to passthe tipping points that cause them. This is the case notwithstanding the (...) fact that weare in a state of strong uncertainty with respect to these events; indeed, our stronguncertainty with respect to them—given their nature—makes the case for action toprevent them even more persuasive, from the point of view of justice. Some peopletranslate the strong uncertainty of CCCs into weak uncertainty in order to justifytaking precautionary action using risk assessment.59My argument is complemen-tary to theirs. If divergent approaches to the uncertainty of CCCs neverthelessconverge on the PP, then we have what Cass Sunstein calls an “incompletelytheorized agreement” on a policy, that is, an agreement to which parties divided byoften deep theoretical differences can nevertheless give their assent,60which isall to the good from a political point of view. In the specific case of CC and itspossible catastrophes, the fact that such an agreement has emerged provides asliver of hope in the face of the increasingly dismal prospects for the planetuncovered by CC science as it progresses. At the level of principle, we are agreed,whatever justificatory reasons we advance. What is needed now—in the immedi-ate present—is policy to promote our principles, and the political will to enact it.". (shrink)
This is the first book that explains how you actually go about doing good bioethics. John McMillan develops an account of the nature of bioethics; he reveals how a number of methodological spectres have obstructed bioethics; and then he shows how moral reason can be brought to bear upon practical issues via an 'empirical, Socratic' approach.
In the recent neuroethics literature, there has been vigorous debate concerning the ethical implications of the use of neurotechnologies that may alter a person’s identity. Much of this debate has been framed around the concept of authenticity. The argument of this chapter is that the ethics of authenticity, as applied to neurotechnological treatment or enhancement, is conceptually misleading. The notion of authenticity is ambiguous between two distinct and conflicting conceptions: self-discovery and self-creation. The self-discovery conception of authenticity is based on (...) a problematic conception of a static, real inner self. The notion of self-creation, although more plausible, blurs the distinction between identity and autonomy. Moreover, both conceptions are overly individualistic and fail sufficiently to account for the relational constitution of personal identity. The authors propose that a relational, narrative understanding of identity and autonomy can incorporate the more plausible aspects of both interpretations of authenticity, while providing a normatively more illuminating theoretical framework for approaching the question of whether and how neurotechnologies threaten identity. (shrink)
Empirical research in bioethics has developed rapidly over the past decade, but has largely eschewed the use of technology-driven methodologies. We propose “design bioethics” as an area of conjoined theoretical and methodological innovation in the field, working across bioethics, health sciences and human-centred technological design. We demonstrate the potential of digital tools, particularly purpose-built digital games, to align with theoretical frameworks in bioethics for empirical research, integrating context, narrative and embodiment in moral decision-making. Purpose-built digital tools can engender situated engagement (...) with bioethical questions; can achieve such engagement at scale; and can access groups traditionally under-represented in bioethics research and theory. If developed and used with appropriate rigor, tools motivated by “design bioethics” could offer unique insights into new and familiar normative and empirical issues in the field. (shrink)
While the UK Home Office’s proposals to preventively detain people with what it has called dangerous severe personality disorder have been subjected to debate and criticism the deeply troubling jurisprudential issues in these proposals have not yet entered into public debate in a way that their seriousness deserves.1 It is good that a commentator as well known as Professor Szasz is speaking out on this issue.Professor Szasz focuses upon a crucial question by calling into question the medicalisation of terms like (...) dangerousness and mental illness.2 There is a great temptation for legislators and the public to treat these terms as if they are purely scientific terms and to think of risk assessment as a precise science. I don’t share Professor’s Szasz’s worry about how psychiatry is using these terms but I think there are some important questions about how these concepts function in the public sphere.This issue is important enough to justify the use of some rhetorical claims because such claims can serve to bring out what are neglected and important issues. In raising the following objections I am not attempting to refute the message that is in Szasz’s article or to say that he is not making an important point but rather to attempt to sharpen the issues and to suggest ways that we can respond to Professor Szasz’s challenge.Psychiatry has progressed in a number of ways since Professor Szasz wrote The Myth of Mental Illness.3 The science is much better, we have much better medications, and psychiatrists are acutely aware of the tension between treating their patient and their obligations to the public interest.So when Professor Szasz says: “Psychiatrists offer to relieve the disturbed person of the burden of coping …. (shrink)
This volume brings together philosophical perspectives on emotions, imagination and moral reasoning with contributions from neuroscience, cognitive science, social psychology, personality theory, developmental psychology, and abnormal psychology. The book explores what we can learn about the role of emotions and imagination in moral reasoning from psychopathic adults in the general community, from young children, and adolescents with callous unemotional traits, and from normal child development. It discusses the implications for philosophical moral psychology of recent experimental work on moral reasoning in (...) the cognitive sciences and neurosciences. Conversely, it shows what cognitive scientists and neuroscientists have still to learn from philosophical perspectives on moral reasoning, moral reflection, and moral responsibility. Finally, it looks at whether experimental methods used for researching moral reasoning are consistent with the work in social psychology and with philosophical thought on adult moral reasoning in everyday life. The volume's wide-ranging perspectives reflect the varied audiences for the volume, from students of philosophy to psychologists working in cognition, social and personality psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. (shrink)
In courses in the twenties and early thirties, Heidegger argues that in Aristotle the question of the being of beings (ontology) and that of the unity of beings (theology) are distinct. Although he treated the two questions as part of one science, prôtē philosophía, Aristotle did not, in Heidegger's view, discuss the way in which these questions belong together. Being is determined theoretically as presence; and God, the first mover, is an aítion, an explanatory ground of motion in sensible ousía. (...) God is required as a ground for the presence of beings as a whole. Heidegger no longer seeks explanatory grounds, nor does he prioritize theory. Rather, he inquires into the essence of ground, and the poietical involvement of Dasein in understanding being. The unity of Aristotle's questions is found in a groundless ground: Dasein as transcendence. The metaphysical god is thus no longer required in Heidegger's phenomenology. (shrink)
The essays collected in this volume address a range of issues that arise when the focus of philosophical reflection on identity is shifted from metaphysical to practical and evaluative concerns. They also explore the usefulness of the notion of narrative for articulating and responding to these issues. The chapters, written by an outstanding roster of international scholars, address a range of complex philosophical issues concerning the relationship between practical and metaphysical identity, the embodied dimensions of the first-personal perspective, the kind (...) of reflexive agency involved in the self-constitution of one’s practical identity, the relationship between practical identity and normativity, and the temporal dimensions of identity and selfhood. In addressing these issues, contributors engage with debates in the literatures on personal identity, phenomenology, moral psychology, action theory, normative ethical theory, and feminist philosophy. (shrink)
We focus on the task of finding a 3D conductivity structure for the DO-18 and DO-27 kimberlites, historically known as the Tli Kwi Cho kimberlite complex in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Two airborne electromagnetic surveys are analyzed: a frequency-domain DIGHEM and a time-domain VTEM survey. Airborne time-domain data at TKC are particularly challenging because of the negative values that exist even at the earliest time channels. Heretofore, such data have not been inverted in three dimensions. In our analysis, we start (...) by inverting frequency-domain data and positive VTEM data with a laterally constrained 1D inversion. This is important for assessing the noise levels associated with the data and for estimating the general conductivity structure. The analysis is then extended to a 3D inversion with our most recent optimized and parallelized inversion codes. We first address the issue about whether the conductivity anomaly is due to a shallow flat-lying conductor or a vertical conductive pipe; we conclude that it is the latter. Both data sets are then cooperatively inverted to obtain a consistent 3D conductivity model for TKC that can be used for geologic interpretation. The conductivity model is then jointly interpreted with the density and magnetic susceptibility models from a previous paper. The addition of conductivity enriches the interpretation made with the potential fields in characterizing several distinct petrophysical kimberlite units. The final conductivity model also helps better define the lateral extent and upper boundary of the kimberlite pipes. This conductivity model is a crucial component of the follow-up paper in which our colleagues invert the airborne EM data to recover the time-dependent chargeability that further advances our geologic interpretation. (shrink)
One of the challenges facing complex democratic societies marked by deep normative disagreements and differences along lines of race, gender, sexuality, culture and religion is how the perspectives of diverse individuals and social groups can be made effectively present in the deliberative process. In response to this challenge, a number of political theorists have argued that empathetic perspective-taking is critical for just democratic deliberation, and that a well-functioning democracy requires the cultivation in citizens of empathetic skills and virtues. In this (...) paper, we begin by distinguishing several kinds of imaginative projection and corresponding kinds of empathy. On the basis of this analysis, we suggest that genuine empathetic perspective-taking, especially across gendered, racial and embodied differences, is more challenging than is often assumed in the literature. This poses a dilemma for theorists who place great store on the role of empathetic imagination to overcome the challenges of democratic deliberation. On the one hand, placing responsibilities for empathetic perspective-taking primarily on the socially privileged raises risks of inaccurate and inappropriate projection. On the other hand, mitigating the risks of projection by calling on the socially marginalised to articulate their experiences and feelings in a way that can engage the imagination of the socially privileged, risks perpetuating epistemic injustice. We suggest that while this dilemma may be difficult to overcome, its effects can nevertheless be mitigated through both the cultivation of individual deliberative virtues and pragmatic institutional responses. (shrink)
This article provides an account of some of the education provisions by Irish women religious, in the Anglophone world, in the nineteenth century. Although many orders sent Sisters around the globe, to both establish and run schools for English-speaking children, the main focus of this article is on two Irish orders, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sisters of Mercy. While the work of other female congregations is noted, the focus on these two orders (...) reflects the fact that they spread quickly around the globe, attracting many Irish vocations and eventually making a substantial contribution to education. The Sisters of Mercy were also known for their work in health care; however, the focus of this article is on education. The article commences with a review of the research in the field and the approaches taken by historians. The article also notes some lacunae in research and points to areas that merit more attention. The article then examines the experience of Irish nuns overseas and the contribution of the Mercy and Presentation nuns. (shrink)
In this paper we defend the notion of narrative identity against Galen Strawson's recent critique. With reference to Elyn Saks's memoir of her schizophrenia, we question the coherence ofStrawsons conception of the Episodic self and show why the capacity for narrative integration is important for a flourishing life. We aho argue that Scú put pressure on narrative theories that specify unduly restncúve constraints on self-constituting narratives, and chrify the need to distinguish identity from autonomy.
In the Anthropocene, human beings are capable of bringing about globally catastrophic outcomes that could damage conditions for present and future human life on Earth in unprecedented ways. This paper argues that the scale and severity of these dangers justifies a new international criminal offence of ‘postericide’ that would protect present and future people against wrongfully created dangers of near extinction. Postericide is committed by intentional or reckless systematic conduct that is fit to bring about near human extinction. The paper (...) argues that a proper understanding of the moral imperatives embodied in international criminal law shows that it ought to be expanded to incorporate a new law of postericide. (shrink)