This paper reports the social and medical characteristics of women resident in Aberdeen city who were sterilized in 195162 and 197152 women were offered sterilization, the majority being lower social class mothers with five or more children who were sterilized concurrently with abortion; the small number of upper social class women had one or two children and were sterilized for medical or obstetric reasons. By 196172, women themselves requested sterilization, the two–three child family was the norm, the proportion of upper (...) social class women continued to increase, and interval sterilization was gaining ground. (shrink)
To design effective strategies to improve ethics consultation (EC) practices, it is important to understand the views of ethics practitioners. Previous U.S. studies of ethics practitioners have overrepresented the views of academic bioethicists. To help inform EC improvement efforts, we surveyed a random stratified sample of U.S. hospitals, examining ethics practitioners’ opinions on EC in general, on their own EC service, on strategies to improve EC, and on ASBH practice standards. Respondents across all categories of hospitals had very positive perceptions (...) of their own ethics consultation service (ECS) and few concerns about quality. Our findings suggest that the ethics-related needs of small, rural, non-teaching hospitals may be very different from those of academic medical centers, and therefore, different approaches to addressing ethical issues might be warranted. (shrink)
IntroductionBrain tumours frequently cause language impairments and are also likely to co-occur with localised abnormal slow-wave brain activity. However, it is unclear whether this applies specifically to low-grade brain tumours. We investigate slow-wave activity in resting-state electroencephalography in low-grade glioma and meningioma patients, and its relation to pre- and postoperative language functioning.MethodPatients with a glioma infiltrating the language-dominant hemisphere and patients with a meningioma with mass effect on this hemisphere underwent extensive language testing before and 1 year after surgery. EEG (...) was registered preoperatively, postoperatively, and once in healthy individuals. Slow-wave activity in delta- and theta- frequency bands was evaluated visually and quantitatively by spectral power at three levels over the scalp: the whole brain, the affected hemisphere, and the affected region.ResultsGlioma patients had increased delta activity and increased theta activity before and after surgery. In these patients, increased preoperative theta activity was related to the presence of language impairment, especially to poor word retrieval and grammatical performance. Preoperative slow-wave activity was also related to postoperative language outcomes. Meningioma patients showed no significant increase in EEG slow-wave activity compared to healthy individuals, but they presented with word retrieval, grammatical, and writing problems preoperatively, as well as with writing impairments postoperatively.DiscussionAlthough the brain-tumour pathology in low-grade gliomas and meningiomas has a different effect on resting-state brain activity, patients with low-grade gliomas and meningiomas both suffer from language impairments. Increased theta activity in glioma patients can be considered as a language-impairment marker, with prognostic value for language outcome after surgery. (shrink)
Ideas about heredity and evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. New findings in molecular biology challenge the gene-centered version of Darwinian theory according to which adaptation occurs only through natural selection of chance DNA variations. In Evolution in Four Dimensions, Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb argue that there is more to heredity than genes. They trace four "dimensions" in evolution -- four inheritance systems that play a role in evolution: genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, and symbolic. These systems, they argue, can (...) all provide variations on which natural selection can act. Evolution in Four Dimensions offers a richer, more complex view of evolution than the gene-based, one-dimensional view held by many today. The new synthesis advanced by Jablonka and Lamb makes clear that induced and acquired changes also play a role in evolution.After discussing each of the four inheritance systems in detail, Jablonka and Lamb "put Humpty Dumpty together again" by showing how all of these systems interact. They consider how each may have originated and guided evolutionary history and they discuss the social and philosophical implications of the four-dimensional view of evolution. Each chapter ends with a dialogue in which the authors engage the contrarieties of the fictional "I.M.," or Ifcha Mistabra -- Aramaic for "the opposite conjecture" -- refining their arguments against I.M.'s vigorous counterarguments. The lucid and accessible text is accompanied by artist-physician Anna Zeligowski's lively drawings, which humorously and effectively illustrate the authors' points. (shrink)
'...a challenging and useful book, both because it provokes a careful scrutiny of one's own basic ideas regarding evolutionary theory, and because it cuts across so many biological disciplines.' -The Quarterly Review of Biology 'In my view, this work exemplifies Theoretical Biology at its best...here is rampant speculation that is consistently based on cautious reasoning from the available data. Even more refreshing is the absence of sloganeering, grandstanding, and 'isms'.' -Biology and Philosophy 'Epigenetics is fundamental to understanding both development and (...) gene expression, and not surprisingly, evolutionary biologists have long been fascinated with its proper place in evolutionary theory...Enter Jablonka and Lamb, who provide a thoughtful review of the recent molecular literature and suggest a number of potential consequences.' -EvolutionSince first publication of this controversial book, much of the initial opposition to the ideas it contained has been replaced by a general, although often grudging, acceptance of them. Advances in knowledge, especially at the molecular level, have enhanced general awareness and interest in epigenetics and the evolution of systems that store and transmit information and put any of the authors' speculations on a more solid basis. This paperback edition contains a new Preface that sets out the major changes in the scientific world and in the authors' own thinking that have occurred since the book was published. A new Appendix provides a selected bibliography of the many books and articles about epigenetic inheritance and its role in evolution that have appeared since first publication. (shrink)
The recent translation into English of Jean-Luc Marion’s essay “Saint Thomas Aquinas and Onto-Theo-Logy” provides an opportunity to re-examine the significance of Marion’s earlier criticisms of Aquinas in the light of his most current position on Aquinas. Toward this end, I discuss the role that the doctrine of analogy plays in Marion’s reassessment, and partial retraction, of the controversial indictment of Aquinas that was presented in God without Being. Marion’s claim that the Thomistic conception of God (...) as ipsum esse should be understood by “starting from the distance of God” is highlighted in order to elucidate how, for Aquinas, the doctrine of analogy functions phenomenologically, as do the divine names generally, to manifest the character of God as infinite goodness and excessive givenness. (shrink)
Navigating Postmodern Theology: Insights from Jean-Luc Marion and Gianni Vattimo’s Philosophy provides an introduction to these two authors in relation to theology and metaphysics. This book invites the reader to consider new ways of thinking about theology in a postmetaphysical way, grounded in Marion’s phenomenology and Vattimo’s philosophy.
Current knowledge of the genetic, epigenetic, behavioural and symbolic systems of inheritance requires a revision and extension of the mid-twentieth-century, gene-based, 'Modern Synthesis' version of Darwinian evolutionary theory. We present the case for this by first outlining the history that led to the neo-Darwinian view of evolution. In the second section we describe and compare different types of inheritance, and in the third discuss the implications of a broad view of heredity for various aspects of evolutionary theory. We end with (...) an examination of the philosophical and conceptual ramifications of evolutionary thinking that incorporates multiple inheritance systems. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young took a strong stance against humanitarian intervention and other so-called legitimate instances of what she calls ‘official violence’. Nevertheless, she was also aware that there may be some situations for which military humanitarian intervention should at least be considered. Young was concerned that some states will use their obligation to defend against human rights violations as a mechanism in securing or maintaining global dominance. In addition, she recognized that what counts as a violation of human rights (...) is not uncontroversial; human rights norms and conventions are interpreted, negotiated, and otherwise contested. In this article, I build on Young’s arguments for a social connection model of responsibility by applying it to a situation where a forceful response to violence might be justified. I juxtapose Young’s position with the emerging international standard called ‘the responsibility to protect’ in order to suggest an account of intervention for global governance relations. (shrink)
A 1999–2000 national study of U.S. hospitals raised concerns about ethics consultation (EC) practices and catalyzed improvement efforts. To assess how practices have changed since 2000, we administered a 105-item survey to “best informants” in a stratified random sample of 600 U.S. general hospitals. This primary article details the methods for the entire study, then focuses on the 16 items from the prior study. Compared with 2000, the estimated number of case consultations performed annually rose by 94% to 68,000. The (...) median number of consults per hospital was unchanged at 3, but more than doubled for hospitals with 400+ beds. The level of education of EC practitioners was unchanged, while the percentage of hospitals formally evaluating their ECS decreased from 28.0% to 19.1%. The gap between large, teaching hospitals and small, nonteaching hospitals widened since the prior study. We suggest targeting future improvement efforts to hospitals where needs are not being met by current approaches to EC. (shrink)
Clinical ethics consultation is largely outside the scope of regulation and oversight, despite its importance. For decades, the bioethics community has been unable to reach a consensus on whether there should be accountability in this work, as there is for other clinical activities that influence the care of patients. The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the primary society of bioethicists and scholars in the medical humanities and the organizational home for individuals who perform CEC in the United States, has (...) initiated a two‐step quality attestation process as a means to assess clinical ethics consultants and help identify individuals who are qualified to perform this role. This article describes the process. (shrink)
BackgroundWhile previous research has examined various aspects of ethics consultation (EC) in U.S. hospitals, certain EC practices have never been systematically studied.MethodsTo address this gap, we surveyed a random stratified sample of 600 hospitals about aspects of EC that had not been previously explored.ResultsNew findings include: in 26.0% of hospitals, the EC service performs EC for more than one hospital; 72.4% of hospitals performed at least one non-case consultation; in 56% of hospitals, ECs are never requested by patients or families; (...) 59.0% of case consultations involve conflict; the usual practice is to visit the patient in all formal EC cases in 32.5% of hospitals; 56.6% of hospitals do not include a formal meeting in most EC cases; 61.1% of hospitals do not routinely assess ethics consultants’ competencies; and 31.6% of hospitals belong to a bioethics network. We estimate the total number of non-case consultations performed in U.S. hospitals to be approximately one half the number of case consultations; we estimate the total number of ECs performed in U.S. hospitals, including both case and non-case consultations, to be just over 100,000 per year.ConclusionsThese findings expand our current understanding of EC in U.S. hospitals, and raise several concerns that suggest a need for further research. (shrink)
BackgroundTo help inform the development of more accessible, acceptable, and effective ethics consultation (EC) training programs, we conducted an EC training needs assessment, exploring ethics practitioners’ opinions on: the relative importance of various EC practitioner competencies; the potential market for EC training (that is, how many individuals would benefit and how much individuals and hospitals would be willing to pay); and the preferred content, format, and characteristics of EC training.MethodsAs part of a multipart study, we surveyed “best informants” who self-identified (...) as the person most actively involved in EC or healthcare ethics in a random sample of 600 U.S. general hospitals, stratified for bed size.ResultsThe competency that was ranked most important for a lead or solo ethics consultant was knowledge of ethics, while common sense was ranked least important. The median estimated number of individuals at each hospital who would benefit from EC training was six at the basic level, three at the advanced level, and two for EC management training. In 19.1 percent of hospitals, respondents thought their hospital would not be willing to pay anything for EC training within the next two years. Respondents thought potential trainees would be likely to participate in EC training on multiple different topics. Opinions varied widely on preferred formats. Most respondents thought it very important to be able to interact with instructors and with other trainees, practice EC skills, receive a certificate for completing EC training, and complete EC training during work hours.ConclusionsThese findings provide U.S. population data that may be useful to healthcare educators and bioethics leaders in their efforts to develop EC training programs and products that match trainees’ preferences and needs. (shrink)
In his theory of evolution, Darwin recognized that the conditions of life play a role in the generation of hereditary variations, as well as in their selection. However, as evolutionary theory was developed further, heredity became identified with genetics, and variation was seen in terms of combinations of randomly generated gene mutations. We argue that this view is now changing, because it is clear that a notion of hereditary variation that is based solely on randomly varying genes that are unaffected (...) by developmental conditions is an inadequate basis for evolutionary theories. Such a view not only fails to provide satisfying explanations of many evolutionary phenomena, it also makes assumptions that are not consistent with the data that are emerging from disciplines ranging from molecular biology to cultural studies. These data show that the genome is far more responsive to the environment than previously thought, and that not all transmissible variation is underlain by genetic differences. In Evolution in Four Dimensions (2005) we identify four types of inheritance (genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, and symbol-based), each of which can provide variations on which natural selection will act. Some of these variations arise in response to developmental conditions, so there are Lamarckian aspects to evolution. We argue that a better insight into evolutionary processes will result from recognizing that transmitted variations that are not based on DNA differences have played a role. This is particularly true for understanding the evolution of human behavior, where all four dimensions of heredity have been important. (shrink)
Often scholars who call themselves social scientists have not meant by the term science the sort of activity which has generally concerned those calling themselves natural scientists. In the latter sense very little of what has been called “social science” can also be called scientific. The term “social science” as used here refers primarily to the studies which have gone under such titles as Politics, Sociology, Anthropology, Social and Clinical Psychology, and Economics. To some degree much of what will here (...) be said does not apply with equal justice to the field of Economics. It has a more highly developed system of general abstractions and considerably more precise techniques of analysis than have generally characterized the other social sciences. The difference, however, is one of degree not kind. Many of the difficulties mentioned below certainly plague the field of Economics as well as the others. (shrink)
Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1903–30) made seminal contributions to philosophy, mathematics and economics. Whilst he was acknowledged as a genius by his contemporaries, some of his most important ideas were not appreciated until decades later; now better appreciated, they continue to bear an influence upon contemporary philosophy. His historic significance was to usher in a new phase of analytic philosophy, which initially built upon the logical atomist doctrines of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein, raising their ideas to a new level of (...) sophistication, but ultimately he became their successor rather than remain a mere acolyte. (shrink)
In responding to three reviews of Evolution in Four Dimensions (Jablonka and Lamb, 2005, MIT Press), we briefly consider the historical background to the present genecentred view of evolution, especially the way in which Weismann’s theories have influenced it, and discuss the origins of the notion of epigenetic inheritance. We reaffirm our belief that all types of hereditary information—genetic, epigenetic, behavioural and cultural—have contributed to evolutionary change, and outline recent evidence, mainly from epigenetic studies, that suggests that non-DNA heritable variations (...) are not rare and can be quite stable. We describe ways in which such variations may have influenced evolution. The approach we take leads to broader definitions of terms such as ‘units of heredity’, ‘units of evolution’, and ‘units of selection’, and we maintain that ‘information’ can be a useful concept if it is defined in terms of its effects on the receiver. Although we agree that evolutionary theory is not undergoing a Kuhnian revolution, the incorporation of new data and ideas about hereditary variation, and about the role of development in generating it, is leading to a version of Darwinism that is very different from the gene-centred one that dominated evolutionary thinking in the second half of the twentieth century. (shrink)
Adam Graves presents a new framework for understanding the importance of the concept of revelation in the development of phenomenology while also charting a path towards a more fruitful understanding of the relationship between reason and revelation, one that is rooted in a deeper appreciation of the complexities of our linguistic inheritance.
This volume contains thirteen papers that were presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics/Société canadienne d’histoire et de philosophie des mathématiques, which was held at Ryerson University in Toronto. It showcases rigorously reviewed modern scholarship on an interesting variety of topics in the history and philosophy of mathematics from Ancient Greece to the twentieth century. A series of chapters all set in the eighteenth century consider topics such as John Marsh’s techniques (...) for the computation of decimal fractions, Euler’s efforts to compute the surface area of scalene cones, a little-known work by John Playfair on the practical aspects of mathematics, and Monge’s use of descriptive geometry. After a brief stop in the nineteenth century to consider the culture of research mathematics in 1860s Prussia, the book moves into the twentieth century with an examination of the historical context within which the Axiom of Choice was developed and a paper discussing Anatoly Vlasov’s adaptation of the Boltzmann equation to ionized gases. The remaining chapters deal with the philosophy of twentieth-century mathematics through topics such as an historically informed discussion of finitism and its limits; a reexamination of Mary Leng’s defenses of mathematical fictionalism through an alternative, anti-realist approach to mathematics; and a look at the reasons that mathematicians select specific problems to pursue. Written by leading scholars in the field, these papers are accessible to not only mathematicians and students of the history and philosophy of mathematics, but also anyone with a general interest in mathematics. (shrink)
Since his 1977 The Idol and Distance, Jean-Luc Marion has almost continually drawn upon the work of the 5th-6th century Christian mystic Pseudo-Denys the Areopagite, not only within his explicitly theological considerations, but throughout his Cartesian and phenomenological work as well. The present essay maps out the influence of Denys upon Marion’s thinking, organizing Marion’s career into a three-part periodization, each of which corresponds to a distinct portion of the Dionysian corpus—in Marion’s work of the seventies (...) the Celestial Hierarchy and the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy are foregrounded, in the eighties this emphasis is shifted to the The Divine Names, and in the nineties The Mystical Theology takes center stage. Insofar as these emphases directly correlate to the unique tasks that Marion has set himself in each of these various periods, Dionysius is revealed as a hermeneutical key, unlocking and clarifying crucial aspects of Marion’s theologically-inflected phenomenology. (shrink)
The commentaries on Evolution in Four Dimensions reflect views ranging from total adherence to gene-centered neo-Darwinism, to the acceptance of non-genetic and Lamarckian processes in evolution. We maintain that genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, and cultural variations have all been significant, and that the developmental aspects of heredity and evolution are an important bridge that can unite seemingly conflicting research programs and different disciplines.
Adaptive evolution is usually assumed to be directed by selective processes, development by instructive processes; evolution involves random genetic changes, development involves induced epigenetic changes. However, these distinctions are no longer unequivocal. Selection of genetic changes is a normal part of development in some organisms, and through the epigenetic system external factors can induce selectable heritable variations. Incorporating the effects of instructive processes into evolutionary thinking alters ideas about the way environmental changes lead to evolutionary change, and about the interplay (...) between genetic and epigenetic systems. (shrink)
The attitude of biologists to the history of their discipline varies. For some, a hazy knowledge of the recent past is all that is necessary to provide an explanatory basis for their work. They take it for granted that everything of value from the less recent past has been appropriately incorporated into present-day thinking. Other biologists see history as an integral part of their research: the historical roots of accepted facts and theories help in the evaluation of present positions. These (...) biologists bring to history their specialized knowledge, which can be an advantage, but often they also bring an agenda that biases what they investigate and how they present it. We illustrate this by describing our own foray into history, which was motivated by findings in cell biology that suggested that some accepted views about heredity and evolution were wrong. (shrink)