Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s leading causes of death due to infection and efforts to control TB would be substantially aided by the availability of an improved TB vaccine. There are currently nine new TB vaccines in clinical development, and the first efficacy trials are due to commence in 2009. There are many complex ethical issues which arise at all stages of TB vaccine development, from the need to conduct trials in developing countries to informed consent and the (...) process of ethical review. While it is important that these issues are discussed, it may also be timely to consider the challenges which may arise if a vaccine in clinical development proves to be highly effective. We examine a number of scenarios where decisions on the deployment of a new TB vaccine may impact on the rights and liberty of the individual. (shrink)
TB human challenge studies could accelerate TB vaccine development by reducing uncertainty in early-stage vaccine testing, selecting promising vaccine candidates for large-scale field trials, and identifying an immune correlate of protection. However, ethical concerns regarding the exposure of trial participants and bystanders to significant risk have been a limiting factor for TB human challenge models. We analyze the expected social value and risks of different types of TB human challenge models, and conclude that given the massive public health burden of (...) TB, challenge models with even scant probabilities of expediting TB vaccine authorization have enormous expected humanitarian value, saving between 33,000 and 1,375,000 lives over the next ten years. We argue that attenuated M.tb challenge trials can be conducted ethically, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of conducting virulent M.tb challenge trials. (shrink)
Helen Steward argues that determinism is incompatible with agency itself--not only the special human variety of agency, but also powers which can be accorded to animal agents. She offers a distinctive, non-dualistic version of libertarianism, rooted in a conception of what biological forms of organisation might make possible in the way of freedom.
In Studying Human Behavior, Helen E. Longino enters into the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture.” Rather than supporting one side or another or attempting..
El filósofo español José Ortega y Gasset y su traductora al alemán Helene Weyl intercambiaron correspondencia entre los años 1923 y 1946. José Ortega y Gasset y Helene Weyl formaron parte de dos grandes comunidades de intelectuales europeos: Ortega, representante de la filosofía académica en España y Helene Weyl, representante de una intelectualidad vivida más allá de cualquier corsé academicista. Su correspondencia documenta el desarrollo de dos grandes espíritus europeos así como la singular intersección de estos dos mundos y culturas (...) a través de un momento histórico difícil y turbulento del siglo XX. (shrink)
The maze and the masses -- Democracy as the rule of the dumb many? -- A selective genealogy of the epistemic argument for democracy -- First mechanism of democratic reason: inclusive deliberation -- Epistemic failures of deliberation -- Second mechanism of democratic reason: majority rule.
Traits like simplicity and explanatory power have traditionally been treated as values internal to the sciences, constitutive rather than contextual. As such they are cognitive virtues. This essay contrasts a traditional set of such virtues with a set of alternative virtues drawn from feminist writings about the sciences. In certain theoretical contexts, the only reasons for preferring a traditional or an alternative virtue are socio-political. This undermines the notion that the traditional virtues can be considered purely cognitive.
I have been asked to consider two questions: How Christian ‘oughts’ are related to Christian ‘is-es’, and, What does Christianity take flourishing to be? The background to these questions is that Christian ethics have traditionally been taken, both by supporters and opponents, as au ethic of creature-hood, sometimes quite crudely conceived. It is a sketch, but by no means a caricature, of a great deal of standard Christian thinking, to depict it as answering the two questions as follows: God is (...) your Creator: therefore you ought to obey him. The end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. (shrink)
Philip McShane has had as one of his leisure specialties the provision of tantalising puzzles which are meant to provide samples of insight but sometimes, instead of promoting insight, reduce his readers to angry frustration. I will take as point of departure for my reflections a single puzzle Philip once presented on his own to some learned society – I forget which. Those present were invited to find the meaning of the letters SMTWTFS; when it was clear they were (...) getting nowhere, Philip rescued them from their frustration with the answer: the letters are the initials for the seven days of the week. Facing then the understandable chagrin of his audience at their failure and their irritated protest that they couldn’t be expected to find a sensible answer to such an absurd question, Philip informed them: ‘I gave the problem to a class in Grade School and they solved it.’ As one of the frustrated academics who didn’t solve the problem, I wish to reflect on this exchange, not just because, like the person in the Gospel, ‘I am willing to justify myself,’ but more importantly because it suggests an appropriate topic for the volume Michael Shute is editing in Philip’s honour, and gives me an opportunity to ponder once more a question we will never ponder enough or come close to exhausting: the working of the human mind as it strives to achieve and sometimes does achieve an insight. How does insight occur? How can it be encouraged to occur? And why in the present case did it not occur in the circle of academics, when it did to a Grade School class? (shrink)
This article examines the place of human and animal subjectivity in two autobiographically informed texts by Hélène Cixous. It takes her view on the word ‘human’ and the figure of Fips, the dog of the Cixous family, as a point of departure. By thinking through this figure, I argue, Cixous analyses the dehumanizing logic of colonialism and anti-Semitism in Algeria and develops her own response to such kinds of political evils, arguing for human relationality and animal corporeality. The article shows (...) that Cixous’ meeting with Fips creates a stigma that, belatedly, breaks through the barrier between herself and the dog; the reopening of the wound takes place in a poetical writing that reveals an intense ‘animal humanity’ formed by communal suffering, finiteness, and love. The lesson Cixous learns from the memory of Fips the dog is how to become ‘better human’. This becoming is also an assault on the false humanism of the colonial project and on racialized social exclusion. (shrink)
Much work performed under the banner of social epistemology still centers the problems of the individual cognitive agent. AU distinguishes multiple senses of "social," some of which are more social than others, and argues that different senses are at work in various contributions to social epistemology. Drawing on work in history and philosophy of science and addressing the literature on testimony and disagreement in particular, this paper argues for a more thoroughgoing approach in social epistemology.
James Tabery Helen Longino’s Studying Human Behavior is an overdue effort at a nonpartisan evaluation of the many scientific disciplines that study the nature and nurture of human behavior, arguing for the acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of all approaches. After years of conflict, Longino makes the pluralist case for peaceful coexistence. Her analysis of the approaches raises the following question: how are we to understand the pluralistic relationship among the peacefully coexisting approaches? Longino is ironically rather unpluralistic (...) about her pluralism, forcing a choice between integrative pluralism and her preferred ineliminative pluralism. I hope to show that the analysis of approaches she offers actually accommodates a pluralism that is both integrative and ineliminative.Approaches to studying human behaviorPhilosophy of biology took shape as a discipline in the 1970s. This disciplinary formation over. (shrink)
Helen Steward puts forward a radical critique of the foundations of contemporary philosophy of mind, arguing that it relies too heavily on insecure assumptions about the sorts of things there are in the mind--events, processes, and states. She offers a fresh investigation of these three categories, clarifying the distinctions between them, and argues that the category of state has been very widely and seriously misunderstood.
Let’s suppose that the Axial Period is a time in history that is a transition between the first time of the temporal subject and the second time of the temporal subject; that it is the second stage of meaning: a troubled time between a first stage of meaning, characterized by a spontaneously operative consciousness in ‘early’ culture, and a third stage of meaning constituted by at least a dominant authority of a luminous control of meaning and an explicit metaphysics in (...) a ‘later’ global culture. What this statement means we have now to uncover. (shrink)
Most people believe that it is sometimes morally permissible for a person to use force to defend herself or others against harm. In Defensive Killing, Helen Frowe offers a detailed exploration of when and why the use of such force is permissible. She begins by considering the use of force between individuals, investigating both the circumstances under which an attacker forfeits her right not to be harmed, and the distinct question of when it is all-things-considered permissible to use force (...) against an attacker. Frowe then extends this enquiry to war, defending the view that we should judge the ethics of killing in war by the moral rules that govern killing between individuals. She argues that this requires us to significantly revise our understanding of the moral status of non-combatants in war. Non-combatants who intentionally contribute to an unjust war forfeit their rights not to be harmed, such that they are morally liable to attack by combatants fighting a just war. (shrink)
The first major consideration of old age in Western philosophy and literature since Simone de Beauvoir's The Coming of Age, Helen Small ranges widely from Plato through to recent work by Derek Parfit, Bernard Williams and others, and from King Lear through Balzac, Dickens, Beckett, Stevie Smith, Bellow, Roth, and Coetzee.
A computer can come to understand natural language the same way Helen Keller did: by using “syntactic semantics”—a theory of how syntax can suffice for semantics, i.e., how semantics for natural language can be provided by means of computational symbol manipulation. This essay considers real-life approximations of Chinese Rooms, focusing on Helen Keller’s experiences growing up deaf and blind, locked in a sort of Chinese Room yet learning how to communicate with the outside world. Using the SNePS computational (...) knowledge-representation system, the essay analyzes Keller’s belief that learning that “everything has a name” was the key to her success, enabling her to “partition” her mental concepts into mental representations of: words, objects, and the naming relations between them. It next looks at Herbert Terrace’s theory of naming, which is akin to Keller’s, and which only humans are supposed to be capable of. The essay suggests that computers at least, and perhaps non-human primates, are also capable of this kind of naming. (shrink)
Le nom de Kierkegaard est aujourd'hui bien connu des Français : " Ah, oui, le père de l'existentialisme! ". Ou encore : " Sa fiancée ne se prénommait-elle pas Régine? N'a-t-il pas été affreusement malheureux en amour? ". Ou parfois " Le solitaire de Copenhague, l'original, l'isolé... ". Et aussi : " Un non-philosophe ou même un anti-philosophe, un contempteur du système hégélien, précurseur de Nietzsche, frère en esprit de Rimbaud, de Van Gogh, de Dostdevski, de Pascal - et de (...) quelques autres ". Pourtant, l'œuvre de Soren Kierkegaard mérite mieux que ces amalgames, ces approximations, ces jugements à l'emporte-pièce. Le présent ouvrage, résultat d'une longue et patiente enquête, retrace les principales étapes de la réception de Kierkegaard en France ; documents à l'appui, il montre comment, au fil du XXe siècle, les malentendus autour de sa personne et de son œuvre se sont accumulés, se confortant curieusement les uns les autres jusqu'à devenir " vérité avérée ". Dès 1835 Kierkegaard disait, avec une belle lucidité prémonitoire, que " suivre le chemin des commentateurs, c'est souvent faire comme ce voyageur qui se rendait à Londres : le chemin mène bien à Londres ; mais lorsqu'on veut y aller, on doit se retourner ". Retournons-nous donc! Et reprenons à notre compte, pour notre plus grand bonheur, ces paroles de Constantin Constantius, l'auteur pseudonyme de La répétition : " C'est un art d'être un bon lecteur, sans même parler du fait que c'est aussi un art d'employer du temps à le devenir ". (shrink)
Many recent critical discussions of anthropocentrism have focused on Bryan Norton's 'convergence hypothesis': the claim that both anthropocentric and nonanthropocentric ethics will recommend the same environmentally responsible behaviours and policies. I argue that even if we grant the truth of Norton's convergence hypothesis, there are still good reasons to worry about anthropocentric ethics. Ethics legitimately raises questions about how to feel, not just about which actions to take or which policies to adopt. From the point of view of norms for (...) feeling, anthropocentrism has very different practical implications from nonanthropocentrism; it undermines some of the common attitudes - love, respect, awe - that people think it appropriate to take toward the natural world. (shrink)
The paper considers and opposes the view that processes are best thought of as continuants, to be differentiated from events mainly by way of the fact that the latter, but not the former, are entities with temporal parts. The motivation for the investigation, though, is not so much the defeat of what is, in any case, a rather implausible claim, as the vindication of some of the ideas and intuitions that the claim is made in order to defend — and (...) the grounding of those ideas and intuitions in a more plausible metaphysics than is provided by the continuant view. It is argued that in addition to a distinction between events and processes there is room and need for a third category, that of the individual process, which can be illuminatingly compared with the idea of a substance. Individual processes indeed share important metaphysical features with substantial continuants, but they do not lack temporal parts. Instead, it is argued that individual processes share with substantial continuants an important property I call ‘modal robustness in virtue of form’. The paper explains what this property is, and further suggests that the category of individual process, thus understood, might be of considerable value to the philosophy of action. (shrink)
"Open Democracy envisions what true government by mass leadership could look like."—Nathan Heller, New Yorker How a new model of democracy that opens up power to ordinary citizens could strengthen inclusiveness, responsiveness, and accountability in modern societies To the ancient Greeks, democracy meant gathering in public and debating laws set by a randomly selected assembly of several hundred citizens. To the Icelandic Vikings, democracy meant meeting every summer in a field to discuss issues until consensus was reached. Our contemporary representative (...) democracies are very different. Modern parliaments are gated and guarded, and it seems as if only certain people—with the right suit, accent, wealth, and connections—are welcome. Diagnosing what is wrong with representative government and aiming to recover some of the lost openness of ancient democracies, Open Democracy presents a new paradigm of democracy in which power is genuinely accessible to ordinary citizens. Hélène Landemore favors the ideal of “representing and being represented in turn” over direct-democracy approaches. Supporting a fresh nonelectoral understanding of democratic representation, Landemore recommends centering political institutions around the “open mini-public”—a large, jury-like body of randomly selected citizens gathered to define laws and policies for the polity, in connection with the larger public. She also defends five institutional principles as the foundations of an open democracy: participatory rights, deliberation, the majoritarian principle, democratic representation, and transparency. Open Democracy demonstrates that placing ordinary citizens, rather than elites, at the heart of democratic power is not only the true meaning of a government of, by, and for the people, but also feasible and, today more than ever, urgently needed. (shrink)
The aim of this literature review was to compose a narrative review supported by a systematic approach to critically identify and examine concerns about accountability and the allocation of responsibility and legal liability as applied to the clinician and the technologist as applied the use of opaque AI-powered systems in clinical decision making. This review questions if it is permissible for a clinician to use an opaque AI system in clinical decision making and if a patient was harmed as a (...) result of using a clinician using an AIS’s suggestion, how would responsibility and legal liability be allocated? Literature was systematically searched, retrieved, and reviewed from nine databases, which also included items from three clinical professional regulators, as well as relevant grey literature from governmental and non-governmental organisations. This literature was subjected to inclusion/exclusion criteria; those items found relevant to this review underwent data extraction. This review found that there are multiple concerns about opacity, accountability, responsibility and liability when considering the stakeholders of technologists and clinicians in the creation and use of AIS in clinical decision making. Accountability is challenged when the AIS used is opaque, and allocation of responsibility is somewhat unclear. Legal analysis would help stakeholders to understand their obligations and prepare should an undesirable scenario of patient harm eventuate when AIS were used. (shrink)
In her ‘Causality and Determination’, Anscombe argues for the strong thesis that despite centuries of philosophical assumption to the contrary, the supposition that causality and necessity have something essential to do with one another is baseless. In this paper, I assess Anscombe’s arguments and endorse her conclusion. I then attempt to argue that her arguments remain highly relevant today, despite the fact that most popular general views of causation today are firmly probabilistic in orientation and thus show no trace of (...) the assumptions Anscombe hoped to undermine. My suggestion is that Anscombe's interests in causality are distinct from those which mostly animate the modern debate about the general nature of causality and that in those specialized areas of philosophy in which those concerns still dominate, one can still see the effects of the fallacies and confusions to which she alerts us. I conclude by offering two possible complementary explanations of the tendency to suppose that causation is a variety of necessitation. (shrink)