Assessments of the acceptability of new transplantation practices require a pinpointing of not only the meaning of death, but also the timing of death. They typically perceive elective ventilation as occurring just prior to death and non-heart-beating donor protocols as operative just after death. However, such practices in fact highlight the general vagueness and ambiguity surrounding these issues in both law and ethics. Supply-side dilemmas in transplantation lend real urgency to this "life or death" debate.
The Bare Theory was offered by David Albert as a way of standing by the completeness of quantum mechanics in the face of the measurement problem. This paper surveys objections to the Bare Theory that recur in the literature: what will here be called the oddity objection, the coherence objection, and the context-of-the-universe objection. Critics usually take the Bare Theory to have unacceptably bizarre consequences, but to be free from internal contradiction. Bizarre consequences need not be decisive against the Bare (...) Theory, but a further objection—dubbed here the calibration objection—has been underestimated. This paper argues that the Bare Theory is not only odd but also inconsistent. We can imagine a successor to the Bare Theory—the Stripped Theory—which avoids the objections and fulfills the original promise of the Bare Theory, but at the cost of amplifying the bizarre consequences. The Stripped Theory is either a stunning development in our understanding of the world or a reductio disproving the completeness of quantum mechanics. The Bare Theory The usual objections The calibration objection Beyond the Bare Theory. (shrink)
This paper questions the dogmatic stance of the domestic courts toward mandatory orders for treatment, arguing that this has the potential to subjugate patients' interests to clinical discretion, and proposing a via media to accommodate the legitimate concerns of all parties.
In this article we report the findings of a randomised control clinical trial that assessed the impact of a Philosophy for Children program and replicated a previous study conducted in Scotland by Topping and Trickey. A Cognitive Abilities Test was administered as a pretest and a posttest to randomly selected experimental groups and control groups. The students in the experimental group engaged in philosophy lessons in a setting of structured, collaborative inquiry in their language arts classes for one hour per (...) week for a number of weeks. The control group received the standard language arts curriculum in that one hour. The study found that the seventh grade students who had experienced the P4C program showed significant gains relative to those in the seventh grade control group at a high level of statistical significance, but the eighth grade students in the experimental group did not show such gains over the eighth grade control group. It was discovered that the seventh grade teachers started the program early in the school year and continued it for a period of 22 to 26 weeks, while the eighth grade teachers started much later and used the program for only 4 to 10 weeks. Our findings suggest that the P4C program must involve students in activities for a significant period of time before the program shows results, but that a meaningful impact on students’ cognitive abilities can be achieved in about 24 weeks of lessons, less than half the time evidenced by the study by Topping and Trickey. (shrink)
Employing the tools of logical analysis, Åquist presents a very careful, though cumbrously formalistic, reassessment of Price's Review of the Principal Questions in Morals, a treatise which he considers as the best in its field before Sidgwick and Moore.--A. P. D. M.
This is a book for reflective laypersons and health professionals who wish to better understand what the problem of healthcare rationing is all about. Ubel says clearly in the Introduction that it is unlikely that professional economists or philosophers are going to be very satisfied with this effort. For him it is more important (p. xix). This is a reasonable aim made achievable by Ubel's clear and engaging writing style. Probably the people who most need to be drawn into these (...) debates are physicians and medical students, this because one of Ubel's central claims is that the need for is both inescapable and sometimes morally permissible. What he wants to reject is the view of many physicians that bedside rationing by physicians is never morally permissible and that healthcare costs can be contained without having to resort to rationing of any kind. Before I explore this point any further, it is necessary to summarize the larger argument of this book. (shrink)
Four previously unpublished chapters by Jacob Viner. The first two deal with the economic doctrines of the Christian Fathers and the Scholastics; the last two are each concerned with a particular aspect of the relationship between religious thought, economic ethics, and society. Initially conceived as part of a larger study on "Religion and Society," this volume holds some interest for the philosopher of religion because it examines the treatment by Christian theologians, both Protestant and Catholic, of topics such as private (...) property, riches and poverty, commerce, just price and economic motivation. Viner explores the roles of early Protestant theology in the rise of capitalism, with special reference to the Weber-Tawney thesis which attributes significant responsibility to Calvinist doctrine for the growth and the character of modern capitalism. The chapters on Patristic and Scholastic economic thought are particularly strong. There is a detailed examination of the economic views of Thomas Aquinas, though the author is aware that Aquinas’s influence was not a dominant one before the sixteenth century. In the final chapter Viner amasses considerable historical evidence to construct a case against Weber and his followers. In the first three chapters, Viner appears to have been partly inspired by a desire to correct the false impressions of some earlier and less friendly commentators on Catholic economic thought. Throughout, documentation is extensive. There is a rich bibliography.—J.P.D. (shrink)