Examining the naturalist and normativist concepts of health and disease this article starts with analysing the view of C. Boorse. It rejects Boorse's account of health as species-typical functioning, giving a critique of his view based on evolutionary theory of contemporary biology. Then it gives a short overview of the normativist theories of health, which can be objectivist and subjectivist theories. Rejecting the objectivist theories as philosophically untenable, it turns to the subjectivist theories of Gert and Culver, and to the (...) view of Nordenfelt. These theories give quite a good subjectivist account of health and disease, but they do not pay enough attention to the notion of the environment, without which it is impossible to define health and disease. Starting with their definitions but introducing the notion of “reasonable social norms”, the article arrives at the following definition of health: The healthier a physical or mental characteristic, process, reaction is, the more it makes it possible for the individual to adapt to reasonable social norms without pain and suffering, and the longer, and happier a life it will be able to ensure him in that society. (shrink)
The current use of citation-based metrics to evaluate the research output of individual researchers is highly discriminatory because they are uniformly applied to authors of single-author articles as well as contributors of multi-author papers. In the latter case, these quantitative measures are counted, as if each contributor were the single author of the full article. In this way, each and every contributor is assigned the full impact-factor score and all the citations that the article has received. This has a multiplication (...) effect on each contributor's citation-based evaluative metrics of multi-author articles, because the more contributors an article has, the more undeserved credit is assigned to each of them. In this paper, I argue that this unfair system could be made fairer by requesting the contributors of multi-author articles to describe the nature of their contribution, and to assign a numerical value to their degree of relative contribution. In this way, we could create a contribution-specific index of each contributor for each citation metric. This would be a strong disincentive against honorary authorship and publication cartels, because it would transform the current win-win strategy of accepting honorary authors in the byline into a zero-sum game for each contributor. (shrink)
This paper invokes the conceptual framework of Bourdieu to analyse the mechanisms, which help to maintain inappropriate authorship practices and the functions these practices may serve. Bourdieu’s social theory with its emphasis on mechanisms of domination can be applied to the academic field, too, where competition is omnipresent, control mechanisms of authorship are loose, and the result of performance assessment can be a matter of symbolic life and death for the researchers. This results in a problem of game-theoretic nature, where (...) researchers’ behaviour will be determined more by the logic of competition, than by individual character or motives. From this follows that changing this practice requires institutionalized mechanisms, and change cannot be expected from simply appealing to researchers’ individual conscience. The article aims at showing that academic capital is translated into honorary authorship. With little control, undetected honorary authorship gives the appearance of possessing intellectual capital. In this way a dominant position is made to be seen as natural result of intellectual ability or scientific merit, which makes it more acceptable to those in dominated positions. The final conclusion of this paper is that undemocratic authorship decisions and authorship based performance assessment together are a form of symbolic violence. (shrink)
One of the main driving forces in the era of cyber-physical systems is the introduction of massive sensor networks into manufacturing processes, connected cars, precision agriculture, and so on. Therefore, large amounts of sensor data have to be ingested at the server side in order to generate and make the “twin digital model” or virtual factory of the existing physical processes for predictive simulation and scheduling purposes usable. In this paper, we focus on our ultimate goal, a novel software container-based (...) approach with cloud agnostic orchestration facilities that enable the system operators in the industry to create and manage scalable, virtual IT platforms on-demand for these two typical major pillars of CPS: server-side framework for sensor networks and configurable simulation tool for predicting the behavior of manufacturing systems. The paper discusses the scalability of the applied discrete-event simulation tool and the layered back-end framework starting from simple virtual machine-level to sophisticated multilevel autoscaling use case scenario. The presented achievements and evaluations leverage on the synergy of the existing EasySim simulator, our new CQueue software container manager, the continuously developed Occopus cloud orchestrator tool, and the latest version of the evolving MiCADO framework for integrating such tools into a unified platform. (shrink)
The paper differentiates between three levels of the notion of health – biological health, medical health, and social health – and underlines the cultural concept of health and disease, its dependence on religion, ideology, and the general view of life. Keywords: biological health, medical health, normality, social health, well-being CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Anderson and Dyck claim that the current trend of almost exclusively using citation-based evaluative metrics to assess the research output of scholars is unsound. I agree with them in this, but I feel that, for practical reasons, this system will not disappear in the near future, so we must concentrate on making it fairer. Both commentators doubt whether numerically expressing each contributor's relative contribution is feasible. I admit that an important precondition for this task is the possibility of an informed, (...) democratic debate among equals about the relative contribution of each contributor to the article. Mechanisms should be established to protect vulnerable researchers in the academic field in the same way as safeguards exist today to protect vulnerable research participants. Theoretically, however, I think that the fair allocation of authorship credit is possible, and much of this task is already being performed routinely when contributors determine the order of their names in the byline, being well aware of the widespread assumption that this order mostly mirrors the order of their relative contributions. All they would have to do as an additional task is to express this order in numbers. If they cannot reach a consensus, they could always choose not to express their relative contribution in numbers, in which case the presumption would be that they contributed equally. My proposal could, at best, make the system fairer and, at worst, not reduce the options that evaluators already have. (shrink)
Today, bioethics experts have an increasing role in public life. However, the question arises: what does bioethics expertise really mean? Can there be such a thing in our globalised world characterised by ethical pluralism? I will argue that bioethics as a discipline represents the transformation of ethics expertise from a hard to a soft form of it. Bioethics was born as a reaction to the growing awareness of ethical pluralism, and it denied the hard form of normative–prescriptive ethics expertise, particularly (...) in its medical ethics form. In contrast, the traditional medical ethics model, and pre-modern societies in general, believed in hard normative ethics expertise. From this followed the characteristic paternalism of traditional medical practice: if physicians were experts in moral matters as well, if they knew what the right course of action to choose was, then they had a right to benevolently force this course of action on their patients. The remnants of this doctrine, although rarely stated explicitly, still can often be seen in clinical practice. The whole bioethics movement can be seen as a radical denial of the doctrine of physician's hard expertise in moral matters. Bioethics, however, represents a type of soft ethics expertise. Hence follows the seeming paradox of bioethics expertise: bioethics is both a denial of ethics expertise as well as a type of ethics expertise. (shrink)