Aristotle says that only humans can speak and the speech capability is a proper criterion of humanity. Speech is also designated by Aristotle to indicate the right and the wrong. He finishes by saying that it is partnership in these things that makes a city. Ultimately a human being who is not in a polis, would not really be a human being at all? Would this human being then be no more human than a statue with a human form?
El sentido que la educación liberal posee para Michael Oakeshott se concentra en que ésta consiste en un aprendizaje de las disciplinas humanísticas y científicas. Dichas disciplinas se muestran valiosas ya que tienen la virtud de desarrollar el intelecto y la sensibilidad humanas y porque aportan, además, una comprensión operativa de lo que son nuestro yo, la sociedad, la naturaleza y la cultura. No obstante, como también es sabido, los fines que la educación liberal se propone pecan un tanto de (...) idealistas, de manera especial cuando se insiste, como muchos han hecho desde los antiguos griegos, en que dicha educación es un fin en sí misma. En parte, lo demuestra la presencia permanente en nuestra cultura occidental de unos espacios de aprendizaje (‘schola’) que se conciben como si estuvieran separados del aquí y ahora en que transcurre la vida cotidiana. (shrink)
Uno de los más famosos legados que recibe el pensamiento moderno proveniente del estoicismo antiguo es la concepción del cosmopolitismo, a pesar de lo cual la idea original estoica cuenta con nuevos enfoques y corrientes. La filósofa e importante clasicista Martha Nussbaum ha establecido en la actualidad una de las teorías más destacables teniendo en cuenta un punto de vista explícitamente estoico. En este artículo pretendo analizar, por un lado la exposición que Nussbaum ha hecho de la ciudadanía mundial, así (...) como las discusiones críticas ulteriores que su teoría del cosmopolitismo ha originado. (shrink)
As Socrates argues in Cratylus, although different name-makers or name-designers (Greeks and barbarians) do not embody the name in the same syllables it must not be forgotten that they attempt to reproduce the same ideal (t´ypos). Could also Greek and barbarian names of gods, made of different letters and syllables, reproduce the same t´ypos? If one takes seriously Herodotus’ onomatological inquiry in his Egyptian lógos (The Histories II 50), one may find the optimum way to understand the scope of Plato’s (...) dialectical ‘games’ between the three speakers in Cratylus (Socrates, Hermogenes and Cratylus) and, more precisely, their «theological» implications. (shrink)
Human beings have imaged ideal societies across the time, with the aim of going beyond real ones, and solving the problems emerged from common life. This article intends to remark that theorical conceptions of society frequently have an ‘eutopian’ counterpart, that means, a very best physical or geographical location. It can be appreciated precisely in the Ancient Greek world. In order to approach to this subject, we will depart from the usual version in the pólis of the Golden Age given (...) by Hesiod, and we will put it together with the eutopian reformation proposed by Pythagoreans and the ‘conservative’ presentation found in Aristotle’s Politics and Ethics. (shrink)
Research ethics guidelines grew out of several infamous episodes where research subjects were exploited. There is significant international synchronization of guidelines. However, indigenous groups in New Zealand, Canada and Australia have criticized these guidelines as being inadequate for research involving indigenous people and have developed guidelines from their own cultural perspectives. Whilst traditional research ethics guidelines place a lot of emphasis on informed consent, these indigenous guidelines put much greater emphasis on interdependence and trust. This article argues that traditional guidelines (...) are premised on relationships of equal power, and that often the researcher has more power that is not fully equalized by providing information. Where there is a relationship of unequal power, then focusing on interdependence and trust is more likely to achieve ethical safety. We illustrate this thesis by describing the detail of a research project looking at the use of interpreters, where we video-recorded live consultations and then interviewed the patient, interpreter and doctor. We conclude by suggesting that mainstream research ethics guidelines should pay more attention to the development of a trustworthy relationship between subject and researcher, and that, following the lead from clinical medicine, we should develop a culturally competent ethical framework for research on human subjects. (shrink)
Identity itself has become complex and fragmented in our age, and in this sense, perhaps conventional categories as cosmopolitanism therefore no longer suit us very well. Conceptualizing the intellectual landscape between reactionary localism and vapid universalism, is where the debate in ethical cosmopolitanism has landed today. Although it shows no real sign of theoretical resolving or slowing, cosmopolitan theory has taken more explicitly new direction connected with the project associated with Martha Nussbaum’s thought. I propose to deal in this paper (...) her ultimately and re-articulated cosmopolitan ideas. (shrink)
Consulting with a patient where there is a language barrier is unethical unless the barrier is overcome. Every patient with a language barrier should have this prominently documented on their file. Much of the literature relating to working with interpreters suggests that a professional interpreter should be used all the time, although in practice this is far from standard practice. In this paper we look at the issue using normative ethics, utilitarian ethics, an argument based on equality of health outcomes (...) before making an argument for an approach based on clinical judgement in each consultation of what form of language assistance is acceptable. (shrink)
Background: Differential learning is a motor learning method characterized by high amounts of variability during practice and is claimed to provide the learner with a higher learning rate than other methods. However, some controversy surrounds DL theory, and to date, no overview exists that compares the effects of DL to other motor learning methods.Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of DL in comparison to other motor learning methods in the acquisition and retention phase.Design: Systematic review and exploratory meta-analysis.Methods: PubMed, Web of (...) Science, and Google Scholar were searched until February 3, 2020. To be included, studies had to be experiments where the DL group was compared to a control group engaged in a different motor learning method, studies had to describe the effects on one or more measures of performance in a skill or movement task, and the study report had to be published as a full paper in a journal or as a book chapter.Results: Twenty-seven studies encompassing 31 experiments were included. Overall heterogeneity for the acquisition phase as well as for the retention phase was large, and risk of bias was high. The meta-analysis showed an overall small effect size of 0.26 [0.10, 0.42] in the acquisition phase for participants in the DL group compared to other motor learning methods. In the retention phase, an overall medium effect size of 0.61 [0.30, 0.91] was observed for participants in the DL group compared to other motor learning methods.Discussion/Conclusion: Given the large amount of heterogeneity, limited number of studies, low sample sizes, low statistical power, possible publication bias, and high risk of bias in general, inferences about the effectiveness of DL would be premature. Even though DL shows potential to result in greater average improvements between pre- and post/retention test compared to non-variability-based motor learning methods, more high-quality research is needed before issuing such a statement. For robust comparisons on the relative effectiveness of DL to different variability-based motor learning methods, scarce and inconclusive evidence was found. (shrink)
'Ik was bang - niet heel erg, maar toch wel een beetje - dat jullie me niet meer mochten omdat ik jullie tot last ben, maar de brief van Jo is voor mij het levende bewijs dat jullie heel goed beseffen dat ik van mijn kant net zo hard werk en ploeter als jullie.'.
Mill's most famous departure from Bentham is his distinction between higher and lower pleasures. This article argues that quality and quantity are independent and irreducible properties of pleasures that may be traded off against each other – as in the case of quality and quantity of wine. I argue that Mill is not committed to thinking that there are two distinct kinds of pleasure, or that ‘higher pleasures’ lexically dominate lower ones, and that the distinction is compatible with hedonism. I (...) show how this interpretation not only makes sense of Mill but allows him to respond to famous problems, such as Crisp's Haydn and the oyster and Nozick's experience machine. (shrink)
Consequentialists typically think that the moral quality of one's conduct depends on the difference one makes. But consequentialists may also think that even if one is not making a difference, the moral quality of one's conduct can still be affected by whether one is participating in an endeavour that does make a difference. Derek Parfit discusses this issue – the moral significance of what I call ‘participation’ – in the chapter of Reasons and Persons that he devotes to what he (...) calls ‘moral mathematics’. In my paper, I expose an inconsistency in Parfit's discussion of moral mathematics by showing how it gives conflicting answers to the question of whether participation matters. I conclude by showing how an appreciation of Parfit's error sheds some light on consequentialist thought generally, and on the debate between act- and rule-consequentialists specifically. (shrink)
Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends the (...) following views: pleasure, rather than achievement or the satisfaction of desire, is what makes life go well; death is generally bad for its victim, in virtue of depriving the victim of more of a good life; death is bad for its victim at times after death, in particular at all those times at which the victim would have been living well; death is worse the earlier it occurs, and hence it is worse to die as an infant than as an adult; death is usually bad for animals and fetuses, in just the same way it is bad for adult humans; things that happen after someone has died cannot harm that person; the only sensible way to make death less bad is to live so long that no more good life is possible. (shrink)
Roughly speaking, classical statistical physics is the branch of theoretical physics that aims to account for the thermal behaviour of macroscopic bodies in terms of a classical mechanical model of their microscopic constituents, with the help of probabilistic assumptions. In the last century and a half, a fair number of approaches have been developed to meet this aim. This study of their foundations assesses their coherence and analyzes the motivations for their basic assumptions, and the interpretations of their central concepts. (...) The most outstanding foundational problems are the explanation of time-asymmetry in thermal behaviour, the relative autonomy of thermal phenomena from their microscopic underpinning, and the meaning of probability. A more or less historic survey is given of the work of Maxwell, Boltzmann and Gibbs in statistical physics, and the problems and objections to which their work gave rise. Next, we review some modern approaches to (i) equilibrium statistical mechanics, such as ergodic theory and the theory of the thermodynamic limit; and to (ii) non-equilibrium statistical mechanics as provided by Lanford's work on the Boltzmann equation, the so-called Bogolyubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon approach, and stochastic approaches such as `coarse-graining' and the `open systems' approach. In all cases, we focus on the subtle interplay between probabilistic assumptions, dynamical assumptions, initial conditions and other ingredients used in these approaches. (shrink)
Symbiosis plays a fundamental role in contemporary biology, as well as in recent thinking in philosophy of biology. The discovery of the importance and universality of symbiotic associations has brought new light to old debates in the field, including issues about the concept of biological individuality. An important aspect of these debates has been the formulation of the hologenome concept of evolution, the notion that holobionts are units of natural selection in evolution. This review examines the philosophical assumptions that underlie (...) recent proposal of the hologenome concept of evolution, and traces those debates back in time to their historical origins, to the moment when the connection between the topics of symbiosis and biological individuality first caught the attention of biologists. The review is divided in two parts. The first part explores the historical origins of the connection between the notion of symbiosis and the concept of biological individuality, and emphasizes the role of A. de Bary, R. Pound, A. Schneider and C. Merezhkowsky in framing the debate. The second part examines the hologenome concept of evolution and explores four parallelisms between contemporary debates and the debates presented in the first part of the essay, arguing that the different debates raised by the hologenome concept were already present in the literature. I suggest that the novelty of the hologenome concept of evolution lies in the wider appreciation of the importance of symbiosis for maintaining life on Earth as we know it. Finally, I conclude by suggesting the importance of exploring the connections among contemporary biology, philosophy of biology and history of biology in order to gain a better understanding of contemporary biology. (shrink)
Epicurus seems to have thought that death is not bad for the one who dies, since its badness cannot be located in time. I show that Epicurus’ argument presupposes Presentism, and I argue that death is bad for its victim at all and only those times when the person would have been living a life worth living had she not died when she did. I argue that my account is superior to competing accounts given by Thomas Nagel, Fred Feldman and (...) Neil Feit. (shrink)
Bourrat and Griffiths :33, 2018) have recently argued that most of the evidence presented by holobiont defenders to support the thesis that holobionts are evolutionary individuals is not to the point and is not even adequate to discriminate multispecies evolutionary individuals from other multispecies assemblages that would not be considered evolutionary individuals by most holobiont defenders. They further argue that an adequate criterion to distinguish the two categories is fitness alignment, presenting the notion of fitness boundedness as a criterion that (...) allows divorcing true multispecies evolutionary individuals from other multispecies assemblages and provides an adequate criterion to single out genuine evolutionary multispecies assemblages. A consequence of their criterion is that holobionts, as conventionally defined by hologenome defenders, are not evolutionary individuals except in very rare cases, and for very specific host-symbiont associations. This paper is a critical response to Bourrat and Griffiths’ arguments and a defence of the arguments presented by holobiont defenders. Drawing upon the case of the hologenomic basis of the evolution of sanguivory in vampire bats, I argue that Bourrat and Griffiths overlook some aspects of the biological nature of the microbiome that justifies the thesis that holobionts are evolutionarily different to other multispecies assemblages. I argue that the hologenome theory of evolution should not define the hologenome as a collection of genomes, but as the sum of the host genome plus some traits of the microbiome which together constitute an evolutionary individual, a conception I refer to as the stability of traits conception of the hologenome. Based on that conception I argue that the evidence presented by holobiont defenders is to the point, and supports the thesis that holobionts are evolutionary individuals. In this sense, the paper offers an account of the holobiont that aims to foster a dialogue between hologenome advocates and hologenome critics. (shrink)
Decision Theory and Rationality offers a challenging new interpretation of a key theoretical tool in the human and social sciences. This accessible book argues, contrary to orthodoxy in politics, economics, and management science, that decision theory cannot provide a theory of rationality.
This article aims to review the standard objections to dualism and to argue that will either fail to convince someone committed to dualism or are flawed on independent grounds. I begin by presenting the taxonomy of metaphysical positions on concrete particulars as they relate to the dispute between materialists and dualists, and in particular substance dualism is defined. In the first section, several kinds of substance dualism are distinguished and the relevant varieties of this kind of dualism are selected. The (...) remaining sections are analyses of the standard objections to substance dualism : It is uninformative, has troubles accounting for soul individuation, causal pairing and interaction, violates laws of physics, is made implausible by the development of neuroscience and it postulates entities beyond necessity. I conclude that none of these objections is successful. (shrink)
Contemporary biological research has suggested that some host–microbiome multispecies systems (referred to as “holobionts”) can in certain circumstances evolve as unique biological individual, thus being a unit of selection in evolution. If this is so, then it is arguably the case that some biological adaptations have evolved at the level of the multispecies system, what we call hologenomic adaptations. However, no research has yet been devoted to investigating their nature, or how these adaptations can be distinguished from adaptations at the (...) species-level (genomic adaptations). In this paper, we cover this gap by investigating the nature of hologenomic adaptations. By drawing on the case of the evolution of sanguivory diet in vampire bats, we argue that a trait constitutes a hologenomic adaptation when its evolution can only be explained if the holobiont is considered the biological individual that manifests this adaptation, while the bacterial taxa that bear the trait are only opportunistic beneficiaries of it. We then use the philosophical notions of emergence and inter-identity to explain the nature of this form of individuality and argue why it is special of holobionts. Overall, our paper illustrates how the use of philosophical concepts can illuminate scientific discussions, in the trend of what has recently been called metaphysics of biology. (shrink)
Given one conception of biological individuality (evolutionary, physiological, etc.), can a holobiont – that is the host + its symbiotic (mutualistic, commensalist and parasitic) microbiome – be simultaneously a biological individual and an ecological community? Herein, we support this possibility by arguing that the notion of biological individuality is part‐dependent. In our account, the individuality of a biological ensemble should not only be determined by the conception of biological individuality in use, but also by the biological characteristics of the part (...) of the ensemble under investigation. In the specific case of holobionts, evaluations of their individuality should be made either host‐relative or microbe‐relative. We support the claim that biological individuality is part‐dependent by drawing upon recent empirical evidence regarding the physiology of hosts and microbes, and the recent characterization of the ‘demibiont’. Our account shows that contemporary disagreements about the individuality of the holobiont derive from an incorrect understanding of the ontology of biological individuality. We show that collaboration between philosophers and biologists can be very fruitful in attempts to solve some contemporary biological debates. (shrink)
The issue of whether emotions are rational is at the centre of philosophical and psychological discussions. I believe that emotions are rational, but that they follow different principles to those of intellectual reasoning. The purpose of this paper is to reveal the unique logic of emotions. I begin by suggesting that we should conceive of emotions as a general mode of the mental system; other modes are the perceptual and intellectual modes. One feature distinguishing one mode from another is the (...) logical principles underlying its information processing mechanism. Before describing these principles, I clarify the notion of ‘rationality,’ arguing that in an important sense emotions can be rational. (shrink)
The literature on conscientious objection in medicine presents two key problems that remain unresolved: Which conscientious objections in medicine are justified, if it is not feasible for individual medical practitioners to conclusively demonstrate the genuineness or reasonableness of their objections? How does one respect both medical practitioners’ claims of conscience and patients’ interests, without leaving practitioners complicit in perceived or actual wrongdoing? My aim in this paper is to offer a new framework for conscientious objections in medicine, which, by bringing (...) medical professionals’ conscientious objection into the public realm, solves the justification and complicity problems. In particular, I will argue that: an “Uber Conscientious Objection in Medicine Committee” —which includes representatives from the medical community and from other professions, as well as from various religions and from the patient population—should assess various well-known conscientious objections in medicine in terms of public reason and decide which conscientious objections should be permitted, without hearing out individual conscientious objectors; medical practitioners should advertise their conscientious objections, ahead of time, in an online database that would be easily accessible to the public, without being required, in most cases, to refer patients to non-objecting practitioners. (shrink)
Holobionts are symbiotic assemblages composed by a host plus its microbiome. The status of holobionts as individuals has recently been a subject of continuous controversy, which has given rise to two main positions: on the one hand, holobiont advocates argue that holobionts are biological individuals; on the other, holobiont detractors argue that they are just mere chimeras or ecological communities, but not individuals. Both parties in the dispute develop their arguments from the framework of the philosophy of biology, in terms (...) of what it takes for a “conglomerate” to be considered an interesting individual from a biological point of view. However, the debates about holobiont individuality have important ontological implications that have remained vaguely explored from a metaphysical framework. The purpose of this paper is to cover that gap by presenting a metaphysical approach to holobionts individuality. Drawing upon a conception of natural selection that puts the focus on the transgenerational recurrence of the traits and that supports the thesis that holobionts are units of selection, we argue that holobionts bear emergent traits and exert downward powers over the entities that compose them. In this vein, we argue, a reasonable argument can be made for conceiving holobionts as emergent biological individuals. (shrink)