This paper is concerned with the moral justification for palliative sedation until death. Palliative sedation involves the intentional lowering of consciousness for the relief of untreatable symptoms. The paper focuses on the moral problems surrounding the intentional lowering of consciousness until death itself, rather than possible adjacent life-shortening effects. Starting from a Kantian perspective on virtue, it is shown that continuous deep sedation until death (CDS) does not conflict with the perfect duty of moral self-preservation because CDS does not destroy (...) capacities for agency. In addition, it is argued that CDS can frustrate the imperfect duty of self-cultivation by reducing consciousness permanently. Nevertheless, there are cases where CDS is morally acceptable, namely, cases where the agent has already permanently lost the possibility for free action in advance of sedation—for example, due to excruciating and ongoing pain. Because the latter can be difficult to diagnose properly, safeguards may be needed in order to prevent the application of CDS for the wrong reasons. (shrink)
Borsboom and colleagues have recently proposed a “network theory” of psychiatric disorders that conceptualizes psychiatric disorders as relatively stable networks of causally interacting symptoms. They have also claimed that the network theory should include non-symptom variables such as environmental factors. How are environmental factors incorporated in the network theory, and what kind of explanations of psychiatric disorders can such an “extended” network theory provide? The aim of this article is to critically examine what explanatory strategies the network theory that includes (...) both symptoms and environmental factors can accommodate. We first analyze how proponents of the network theory conceptualize the relations between symptoms and between symptoms and environmental factors. Their claims suggest that the network theory could provide insight into the causal mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders. We assess these claims in light of network analysis, Woodward’s interventionist theory, and mechanistic explanation, and show that they can only be satisfied with additional assumptions and requirements. Then, we examine their claim that network characteristics may explain the dynamics of psychiatric disorders by means of a topological explanatory strategy. We argue that the network theory could accommodate topological explanations of symptom networks, but we also point out that this poses some difficulties. Finally, we suggest that a multilayer network account of psychiatric disorders might allow for the integration of symptoms and non-symptom factors related to psychiatric disorders and could accommodate both causal/mechanistic and topological explanations. (shrink)
Students’ educational engagement is both an important predictor of study success and a key preventive factor for dropout. Vocational tracks in secondary education show high dropout rates. There is strong evidence that the solution to educational disengagement lies in student‐centred, powerful learning environments. This study investigates characteristics of PLEs from the perspective of students in vocational secondary education. Students’ perspectives on a learning environment are crucial for their satisfaction and learning engagement. Therefore, we investigated whether the perceived learning environment meets (...) the requirements of PLEs, and to what extent it meets students’ preferences. Additionally, it was investigated whether students who perceive their learning environment as more powerful, are also more engaged for school. Survey data of 532 students showed that student perceptions of their current learning environment were largely discrepant from the characteristics of PLEs. Students strongly asked for more challenging learning pathways, in combination with adaptive learning support. Students who perceived the characteristics of PLEs as being present, reported higher satisfaction and stronger engagement than students who perceived their education to be a less powerful environment. There is a need to redesign curricula in vocational education in such a way that these more intensely implement characteristics of PLEs. (shrink)
The current study explores how the cultural distance of ethnic outgroups relative to the ethnic ingroup is related to stereotypical news representations. It does so by drawing on a sample of more than three million Dutch newspaper articles and uses advanced methods of automated content analysis, namely word embeddings. The results show that distant ethnic outgroup members are associated with negative characteristics and issues, while this is not the case for close ethnic outgroup members. The current study demonstrates the usefulness (...) of word embeddings as a tool to study subtle aspects of ethnic bias in mass-mediated content. (shrink)
In response to the failure of Zeelenberg, Plomp, and Raaijmakers to replicate the results of Seamon, Luo, and Gallo regarding their purported finding of a reliable false memory effect in the absence of memory for the list items, Gallo and Seamon report a new experiment that they claim shows that conscious activation of a related lure during study is not necessary for its subsequent recognition. We critically evaluate their conclusion and argue that the evidence clearly shows that false recognition is (...) critically dependent on the conscious recollection of one or more of the list items. Thus, this as well as the previous experiments show no evidence for nonconscious processes in producing false memories. (shrink)
We argue that an approach that treats short-term memory as activated long-term memory is not inherently in conflict with information recycling in a limited-capacity or working-memory store, or with long-term storage based on the processing in such a store. Language differences aside, real model differences can only be assessed when the contrasting models are formulated precisely.
Stoffregen & Bardy's target article is based on the assumption that our senses' ultimate purpose is to provide us with perfect information about the outside world. We argue that it is often more important that information be available quickly than that it be perfect. Consequently our nervous system processes different aspects of information about our surrounding as separately as possible. The separation is not between the senses, but between separate aspects of our surrounding. This results in inconsistencies between judgments: sometimes (...) because different frames of reference are used. Such inconsistencies are fundamental to the way the information is picked up, however, and hence cannot be avoided with clearer instructions to the subjects. (shrink)
There is great skepticism about the admittance of expert normative ethics testimony into evidence. However, a practical analysis of the way ethics testimony has been used in courts of law reveals that the skeptical position is itself based on assumptions that are controversial. We argue for an alternative way to understand such expert testimony. This alternative understanding is based on the practice of clinical ethics.
The familiar issue of corporate social responsibility takes on a new topic. Added to the list of concerns from affirmative action and environmental integrity is their growing contributions to education. At first glance, the efforts may appear to be ordinary gestures of communal good will in terms of providing computers, sponsoring book covers, and interactive materials provided by Scholastic Magazine. A closer view reveals a targeted market of student life who are vulnerable to commercials placed in these formats. Among the (...) most effective corporate intervention is Channel One News. It offers a newsworthy show but with mandatory commercial viewing. This increasing trend of corporations intervening to assist schools that need more money and/or equipment is disingenuous.In this essay, I present the background of this commercialization of education and demonstrate the violations against student autonomy and integrity. Although there may be utilitarian merits to some interventions, I argue that these infringe upon the moral value of personhood. Advertising in schools in its current practice is immoral on deontological grounds. (shrink)