The Dutch law states that a physician may perform euthanasia according to a written advance euthanasia directive when a patient is incompetent as long as all legal criteria of due care are met. This may also hold for patients with advanced dementia. We investigated the differing opinions of physicians and members of the general public on the acceptability of euthanasia in patients with advanced dementia.
In Belgium, as in most countries, each Minister or Secretary is assisted by a limited number of trusted collaborators who constitute the Ministerial Office.The article is an attempt to shed a light on the Chief Ministerial Officer who is the closest collaborator of the Minister.In order to show the role of the Chief Ministerial Officer, the article first describes the tasks, powers and composition of the Ministerial Office to proceed to a more extensive analysis of the functions, the appointment of (...) the Chief Ministerial Officer, and the question whether he can exercise executive power.The most important tasks of the Chief Ministerial Officer are: organization and coordination of the Office and its activities, acting as a «Liaison-Officer» with the Minister, passing on of information, exercising of a form of internal, political and administrative control.The article closes with some more personal remarks, pointing out a few guidelines which a Chief Ministerial Office, should keep in mind. (shrink)
In this paper we propose a modern theory of linguistic iconicity, comparing it with similar, though more primitive ideas expounded in Plato's Cratylus. In the Cratylus two views on natural language compete: Hermogenes favours absolute arbitrariness of names, Cratylus defends the naturalness — iconicity — of names. In the end, both these extreme views are rejected, the main conclusion being that one should not base philosophy on the study of words. The ancient controversy shows up again as a clash between (...) Saussurean and Peircean thinking, though extreme views are avoided. Onomatopoeia and Plato's articulatory mimicry are instances of imagic iconicity, now recognized by everybody. Less known but more interesting for grammar is diagrammatic iconicity. A diagram is „a systematic arrangement of signs, none of which necessarily resembles its referent, but whose relationships to each other mirror the relationships of their referents” . A well-known example is word-order reflecting temporal sequence . The most interesting area of diagrammatic iconicity is to be found in the opposition between marked and unmarked structures in natural language. For example, the plural is marked as opposed to the singular. The iconicity lies in the fact that the unmarked form of the singular corresponds to an unmarked meaning, while the marked form of the plural matches a marked meaning, i.e. the more form, the more meaning. Unmarked meaning is then viewed not in objectivist but in experiential terms: ‘unmarked’ is related to ‘prototypical‘. Prototypical linguistic structures are seen to go back to biological, psychological and cultural properties of the prototypical speaker . A number of examples of this kind of iconicity are discussed. On the biological level, so-called freezes exist, whereby unmarked sounds precede marked counterparts . On the biologicalpsychological level, this is paralleled by lexical coordinations . In morphological categories, one finds pairs like singular-plural, definite-indefinite, animate-inanimate, masculine-feminine, present-past, positive-negative, locativetemporal. As to semantic-syntactic structures, direct perception and direct causation are unmarked in relation to the indirect counterparts. On the cultural level, politeness structures are adduced. We conclude that both Plato and Wittgenstein II rejected iconicity too radically : languages are more motivated, less arbitrary, than is commonly thought. Our view qualifies the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as well. Other consequences concern feminism, Montaguegrammar, the place of intensions in a reference-theory of names and philosophy as a ‘critique of language’. (shrink)
It often appears that leading politicians in Belgium consider the results of the municipal elections in the light of national polities. They stick to the thesis that the municipal poll-results, at least in the bigger towns, are more and more influenced by the constellation of the nation's politics.Is it really so that the municipal elections indicate the hearings of the national political situation? Can one draw conclusions from the results of these elections as if they were national ones? And can (...) one,any how, compare municipal to parliamentary elections? By comparison of the results of municipal elections 1964 and of parliamentary elections 1965 it was checked which shifts in party-choice havehappened during this short period of eight months. If no oscillations, or only a few, were detected between both elections, one could conclude that the municipal elections 1964 indicated indeed the hearings of the parliamentary elections 1965.Successively, the national and provincial results of these elections were compared and the party-shifts on national and provincial level were calculated.To make a relevant comparison between the election-results on a lower level, a comparable basic unity had to be found. As there were no municipal data available at parliamentary elections on one side, andonly municipal results at the municipal elections on the other side, the least possible unity for which parliamentary election-results are known, the electoral canton namely, was chosen as a comparison-basis. For that purpose however the results per party had to be additioned in all municipalities belonging to one canton.Part of the electoral cantons was unfit for use as comparison-material for two reasons : the highly varied and often strongly local-coloured political party-structure on one hand, the big number of municipalitieswithout elections on the other hand. So we were bound to make a choice out of 212 electoral cantons. Finally the cantons with a maximum of 4 municipalities were chosen, which limited the number of cantons to 28. These cantons were classified by degree of urbanisation according to the typology of W. Van Waelvelde and H. Van der Haegen.In that classification the percentages of votes in favour of the political parties, at the occasion of these elections, were tabulated and compared.The participating parties and lists were grouped as much as possible around the traditional parties to which they were most related. So we distinguish in Flanders : CVP, BSP, PVV, VU, CPB and other parties ;in the Walloon region: PSC, PSB, PLP PCB, French-speaking lists and other parties.For this analysis we also thought it was relevant to control separately the shifts of the electoral corps in the Flemish, the Walloon and the Brussels cantons. These shifts were then specified according to thedegree of urbanisation.To measure the size of the party-shifts for these elections, the external election-shift standard was calculated for the chosen Flemish, Walloon and Brussels cantons, with a special attention for the degree of urbanisation. Finally we examined which attitude was assumed by the government, the governmental and the opposition parties, in relation to the results of the municipal 1964 elections.It appeared that some notable party-shifts had been realized during the short period between the municipal elections of 1964 and the legislative elections of 1965. In general, a certain polarization has taken place due to a centrifugal vote-shift to the left and still more to the right. The direction of vote-shifts, which had shown at the municipal elections of 1964, was affirmed at the legislative elections of 1965 and for some parties, CVP and PVV namely, it was even accentuated. The parallelism between both elections in relation to the direction of the vote-shifts did not mean however that the size of these shifts was the same everywhere. The image of the shifts was different according to linguistic region and degree of urbanisation.The analysis of the urbanisation-degree showed that the level of oscillations grew higher as the urbanisation-degree grew lower. Seen per linguistic region, the largest shifts had taken place in the Walloon cantons. According to the calculations of the electoral shift standards during the period 1964-1965, the lowest oscillations were noted in the Flemish and Brussels cantons, i.e. the voting-behaviour of the big agglomerations during the municipal elections of 1964 were the closest to the national electoral pattern. Seen that way they were, up to a certain degree, a value-measure for the general policy.Finally the remark should be made that the limitation to the two above-mentioned elections does not allow any generalization of the obtained conclusions. The short period between those elections was itself an exceptional situation which may have been of influence on the results of the comparisons. (shrink)
Benedetto Croce reageert op het fascistisch manifest van Gentile en laat niet alleen zien dat dat manifest net als het fascisme zelf een incoherente en bizarre mengelmoes is, maar roept ook op tot een behoud van de traditionele, humanistische waarden.
The debate following Berlin's famous lecture Two Concepts of Liberty circled around the opposition between negative and positive liberty. Berlin delivered his lecture during the period of the Cold War. Therefore it not only provoked a very technical debate within analytic philosophy on the concept of liberty but also contained an important butdebatable political message: those who endorse positive liberty should be conscious of the fact that the logic of positive liberty leads, if not necessarily at least easily to despotism, (...) paternalism and even totalitarianism. It is no unimportant question then to ask whether no conception of political society can be developed which, without denying pluralism and negative liberty, would show that virtue and law are part of freedom, that freedom entails the exercise of certain actions without this leading up to the imposition of one conception of the good. In this article there is shown in what sense the republican or neo-roman vision of civil liberty can fulfil this requirement. The analysis of the different components of the republican conception of freedom shows that republicanism distinguishes itself from liberalism not so much by the defence of different institutions but by a different legitimation of them which ultimately has its origin in taking serious the proper finality of political society, in taking serious, as the Ancients did, the political and not only social nature of man. (shrink)
According to the standards of public law, municipal polls have only a local scope : the election of a common council. Do politicians make deductions concerning the formal political power-constellation on national level either from the approach of municipal elections or from their results? Can these elections lead to changes in or of the government and eventually to anticipated legislative elections?After the first world-war, the electorate was called eight times to vote for new common councillors. Half of these elections had (...) no influence on the national power-constellation :they hardly stirred the national political life. In 1958 any possible influence of the municipal elections was even a priori ruled out. A remarkable point is that all municipal elections which took place undergovernments of national union, were only of local importance.Since the first world-war not a single municipal election has led to changes within the government : there was never a redistribution of ministerial portfolios amongst the coalitionpartners, nor did any electioncause the dismissal of an individual minister.It is traditional in Belgian politics that the national opposition, when the results of municipal elections are in its favour and prejudicial to the party in office, tries to call in question the legitimacy of the government in the opinion of the public by the way of motions or interpellations in parliament, claiming dismissal of the government or anticipated legislative elections. At these occasions it appeared unimportant whether the parliamental majority were confortable or not. But never did the governments give in to these attempts.The elections of 1857, 1884 and 1932 constitute an element of power - although of subsidiary importance - in the discharge of the then governments. The governmental crisis of 1884 however can only be explained if the constitutional position of Leopold II is taken into account. With all other factors alike, such a crisis wouldn't arise any more in the context of to-day. The municipal elections of 1932 have moreover led to anticipated legislative elections whose date was an element of power in the election-process. At that time, these elections played the part of an indicator of the electorial condition, comparable to that of the by elections in Great-Britain. And an unreliable indicator too, in view of the difference between national and local electionstatures. (shrink)
In zijn jongste boek, Kritiek van de interpreterende rede, bekijkt Filip Buekens de centrale thema's in de taalfilosofie van Davidson. Vertrekkend vanuit de stelling dat spreken en verstaan een vorm van rationeel handelen is, wordt onderzocht hoe een theorie voor een taal wordt geconstrueerd vanuit het standpunt van een 'radicale interpretator' die inzicht wil krijgen in het talig handelen van personen. In een uitgebreide vergelijking met de filosofie van Michael Dummett en W.V. Quine worden de specifieke uitgangspunten van Davidson verhelderd. (...) Daarbij gaat vooral aandacht naar de constitutieve principes die het verstaan van anderen en het begrijpelijk zijn voor anderen mogelijk maken. Davidson verbindt aan dit project belangrijke metafysische conclusies. Deze worden uitgebreid toegelicht. Zo bespreekt de auteur de anti-sceptische argumenten van Davidson, het probleem van de onbepaaldheid van de referentie-relatie en Davidson's afwijzing van het relativisme. In een laatste hoofdstuk wordt de filosofie van Davidson getoetst aan belangrijke taalfilosofische discussies die de jongste jaren gevoerd werden: essentialisme, het volgen van regels, het probleem van de lingu. (shrink)
Zijn filosofen gek? Zo ja, waarom? En ligt dat dan aan de filosoof, aan de filosofie of aan de diagnostiek? Dat zijn de vragen die in 'Diagnose van de moderne filosoof' centraal staan. Nicole des Bouvrie neemt aan de hand van het diagnostische handboek van psychiaters en psychologen (de DSM-V) de situatie van de hedendaagse denker onder de loep. Autisme, psychoses, anorexia en andere aandoeningen passeren de revue, om aan de hand van een grondige anamnese van hedendaagse denkbeelden uit de (...) westerse filosofie een diagnose te stellen. ''Des Bouvrie laat als geen ander zien hoe filosofie en waanzin zich in elkaar kunnen verstrikken, maar ook hoe ze bij elkaar een zone van vrijheid vinden.'' Filosoof Wouter Kusters, winnaar Socratesbeker 2015. (shrink)
In this study, an attempt is made to understand why Burke at the same time refers to the natural law and to the principle of inheritance as moral standards for the human will. Indeed, the latter principle implies reverence to a particular tradition, whereas natural law is a universal standard, binding all people. First, the meaning of the principle of inheritance in Burke's critique of the French Revolution is explained, and next the conception of the natural law he implicitly adopts. (...) In the latter, the close link between the doctrine of the natural law and the doctrine of prudence deserves our particular attention. It is the task of prudence to give concrete form to the natural law in a way of life and a constitution, by adapting it to the concrete circumstances of a particular society. For Burke, however, this adaptation is the work of the practical reason of many generations and many individuals. Man's individual reason is too limited to invent a good social order. The latter is rather the unintended consequence of a process of bargaining and accommodation. It is thus wise and natural for Burke that people bend their eyes to the tradition as to an instantiation of the natural law. In normal circumstances, individuals do not need to appeal immediately to the principles of natural law. In the next section then, it is shown that it is Burke's conception of Providence which enables him to believe that the tradition represents here and now the natural law. Moreover, the practical substitution of the natural law by the principle of inheritance affects Burke's understanding of prudence. Prudence no longer receives its moral direction in the first place from the natural affections but from the prejudices. The habituation to a way of life and culture provides people with a practical knowledge of what is good here and now. They learn to act in a habitual manner without needing an abstract and universal theory. According to Burke, only 'narrative discourses', interpreting and articulating the 'spirit' of the constitution can have some meaning for the practical direction of our lives. The study ends in an interrogation of this last point. Doesn't a community ever need a universal and abstract theory in order to go on living as a moral community ? And what can it expect from such a moral, c.q. political theory? (shrink)
Here, we focus on the underexplored fictional relevance of videogame glitches. For this purpose, we will make use philosophical theories on fiction, as well as standard suggestions about how best to deal with unintended errors within fiction. Focusing on glitches like that of Red Dead Redemption’s "manimals", we argue that glitches, more than any kinds of mistakes in traditional, non-interactive fictions, can actually have a significant influence on the fictional worlds of the work in which they appear. In particular, we (...) will show that some glitches generate new fictional content without this content being intended by a videogame’s creators, and will offer practical ways for dealing with the inconsistencies that inevitably accompany such glitch-generated fictions. (shrink)
Dit is het boek der verbazing. Over de 101 oorsprongen. Over de grote woorden en de kleine dingen: van geluk en vriendschap tot liefde en dood. Van het paradijs tot de informatietechnologie. En over alles wat daartussen ligt. Een verzameling poëtisch-filosofische miniaturen. Een brede waaier aan speelse, toegankelijke teksten die samen toch een stevig parcours vormen.
This article confronts several theoretical role-models about mayor's behaviour with their own perception. For this purpose, the statistical data is drawn from a survey among Flemish mayors. Mayors perceive the ''father of the community" role as the most prevailing one. This perception is reflected in their timespending. More than 1/4 of their time is dedicated towards activities such as participation in the community life, individual service rendering to citizens and having individual contacts with them.The father of the community' role lives (...) strongly among mayors with a lower educational degree and less among the higher educated ones. It is also more perceived among mayors being recent office-bolders, while the more experienced ones seem more to maintain a certain distance from this role. Moreover, mayors with a lower educational degree are recordholders in having individual contacts with citizens. Finally, no relation has been found between roleperception and timespending on the one hand and party background on the other hand. (shrink)
There is only few information available about the use of preferential votes at local elections, since the Belgian Home Department does not publish that particular statistical material. This article registers the size of preferential voting and discusses its consequences for the local political system, based on statistical data collected in the 43 municipalities of the Limburg province where local elections were held in 1988.Nearly 9 of the 10 voters used the preferential vote to express their choice. This is a much (...) higher level than the one noticed at the general elections. The use of preferential votes is varying according to the size of the municipalities and differs from one party to another.The local election system and the size of preferential votes at local elections explain why nearly 7 of the 10 local councillors broke through the order of the candidate-list. For the comparison, this occured only twice at the 1991 general elections. (shrink)