This book offers a novel critique of public-private partnerships in public health. The author argues these relationships create webs of influence that undermine the integrity of public health agencies, and imperil public health. He makes a compelling case that the paradigm interaction between governments and corporations should be at arm's length: separation, not collaboration.
There is overwhelming evidence that the opioid crisis—which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars —has been created or exacerbated by webs of influence woven by several pharmaceutical companies. These webs involve health professionals, patient advocacy groups, medical professional societies, research universities, teaching hospitals, public health agencies, policymakers, and legislators. Opioid companies built these webs as part of corporate strategies of influence that were designed to expand the opioid market from cancer patients to larger groups of (...) patients with acute or chronic pain, to increase dosage as well as opioid use, to downplay the risks of addiction and abuse, and to characterize physicians’ concerns about the addiction and abuse risks as “opiophobia.” In the face of these pervasive strategies, conflict of interest policies have proven insufficient for addressing corporate influence in medical practice, medical research, and public health policy. Governments, the academy, and civil society need to develop counterstrategies to insulate themselves from corporate influence and to preserve their integrity and public trust. These strategies require a paradigm shift—from partnerships with the private sector, which are ordinarily vehicles for corporate influence, to a norm of separation. (shrink)
This letter addresses the editorial decision to publish the article, “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (Cofnas, 2020). Our letter points out several critical problems with Cofnas's article, which we believe should have either disqualified the manuscript upon submission or been addressed during the review process and resulted in substantial revisions.
In Perfection and Disharmony in the Thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jonathan Marks offers an interpretation of the philosopher's thought and its place in the contemporary debate between liberals and communitarians. Against prevailing views, he argues that Rousseau's thought revolves around the natural perfection of a naturally disharmonious being. At the foundation of Rousseau's thought he finds a natural teleology that takes account of and seeks to harmonize conflicting ends. The Rousseau who emerges from this interpretation is a radical critic of (...) liberalism who is nonetheless more cautious about protecting individual freedom than his milder communitarian successors. Marks elaborates on the challenge that Rousseau poses to liberals and communitarians alike by setting up a dialogue between him and Charles Taylor, one of the most distinguished ethical and political theorists at work today. (shrink)
This article examines Shiao, Bode, Beyer, and Selvig’s (2012) arguments in their article “The Genomic Challenge to the Social Construction of Race” and finds that their claims are based on fundamentally flawed interpretations of current genetic research. We discuss current genomic and genetic knowledge about human biological variation to demonstrate why and how Shiao et al.’s recommendations for future sociological studies and social policy, based on their inadequate understanding of genomic methods and evidence, are similarly flawed and will lead sociology (...) astray. (shrink)
“What’s the big deal?”The meaning of this interrogative depends on the inflection. From the mouths of proponents of public–private partnerships (PPPs) related to food and health, it asks—perhaps with some skepticism or bewilderment—what objections there could possibly be to public–private partnerships intended to address some of our most pressing public health challenges. This is due, in no small part, to the way such partnerships are often characterized by participants and proponents alike: they are a “win–win–win,” for the public sector actor, (...) for the private sector actor, and for the general public or relevant publics (often characterized as consumers).1 Posed by critics of PPPs, the question cynically .. (shrink)
We are addressing this letter to the editors of Philosophical Psychology after reading an article they decided to publish in the recent vol. 33, issue 1. The article is by Nathan Cofnas and is entitled “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (2020). The purpose of our letter is not to invite Cofnas’s contribution into a broader dialogue, but to respectfully voice our concerns about the decision to publish the manuscript, which, in our opinion, fails to (...) meet a range of academic quality standards usually expected of academic publications. (shrink)
Our knowledge of the evolution of human thought is limited not only by the nature of the evidence, but also by the values we bring to the authoritative scientific study of our ancestors. The tendency to see human thought as linear progress in rational capacities has been popular since the Enlightenment, and in the wake of Darwinism has been extended to other species as well. Human communication can be used to transmit useful information, but is rooted in symbolic processes that (...) are nonrational—that is, they involve choosing among functionally equivalent alternatives, any of which is as good an option as any other. The evolution of human thought cannot be realistically isolated from the evolution of human society or human communication, neither of which is rooted in obvious rationality. (shrink)
These are not the words of a harsh critic of the Food and Drug Administration. They were penned by the agency’s deputy commissioner for food. That this is an insider’s view makes it all the more troubling. Recent studies suggest that roughly half the products on supermarket shelves proclaim their purported health benefits.2 But a trip to the supermarket suggests that this is a conservative estimate. The FDA is not powerless to regulate these claims, but it operates in a regulatory (...) framework that is the product of piecemeal reform and compromise, not intelligent design. And its limited staff resources and budget further constrain what it can do. The food industry is required to seek prior .. (shrink)
This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.