The promotion of human rights, the punishment of crimes against humanity, the use of force with respect to humanitarian intervention: these are some of the complex issues facing governments in recent years. The contributors to this book offer a theoretical and empirical approach to these issues. Three leading normative theorists first explore what an 'ethical foreign policy' means. Four contributors then look at potential or actual instruments of ethical foreign policy-making: the export of democracy, non-governmental organisations, the International Criminal Court, (...) and bottom-up public pressure on governments. Finally, three case studies examine more closely developments in the foreign policies of the US, the UK, and the European Union, to assess the difficulties raised by the incorporation of ethical considerations into foreign policy. (shrink)
Psychological contracts represent perceived reciprocal obligations between an employer and an employee. Most research has focused on employee or employer rights (the entitlement side of the obligation equation). We examine the responsibilities inherent in psychological contracts. After reviewing the moral aspect of psychological contracts, we use the issue of tenure as a discussion point for this topic.
This volume collects contributions from leading scholars of early modern philosophy from a wide variety of philosophical and geographic backgrounds. The distinguished contributors offer very different, competing approaches to the history of philosophy.Many chapters articulate new, detailed methods of doing history of philosophy. These present conflicting visions of the history of philosophy as an autonomous sub-discipline of professional philosophy. Several other chapters offer new approaches to integrating history into one's philosophy by re-telling the history of recent philosophy. A number of (...) chapters explore the relationship between history of philosophy and history of science.Among the topics discussed and debated in the volume are: the status of the principle of charity; the nature of reading texts; the role of historiography within the history of philosophy; the nature of establishing proper context. (shrink)
The issue of the theory-ladenness of observation has long troubled philosophers of science, largely because it seems to threaten the objectivity of science. However, the way in which prior beliefs influence the perception of data is in part an empirical issue that can be investigated by cognitive psychology. This point is illustrated through an experimental analogue of scientific data-interpretation tasks in which subjects judging the covariation between personality variables based their judgments on pure data, their theoretical intuitions about the variables, (...) or both data and prior theoretical beliefs. Results showed that the perceived magnitude of correlations was greatest when subjects relied solely on theoretical intuitions; that data-based judgments were drawn in the direction of those prior beliefs; but that exposure to data nonetheless moderated the strength of the prior theories. In addition, prior beliefs were found to influence judgments only after a brief priming interval, suggesting that subjects needed time to retrieve their theoretical intuitions from memory. These results suggest ways to investigate the processes mediating theory-laden observation, and, contrary to the fears of positivist philosophers, imply that the theory-ladenness of observation does not entail that theoretical beliefs are immune to data. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Real-time graphical interval logic is a modal logic for reasoning about time in which the basic modality is the interval. The logic differs from other logics in that it has a natural intuitive graphical representation that resembles the timing diagrams drawn by system designers. We have developed an automted deduction system for the logic, which includes a theorem prover and a user interface. The theorem prover checks the validity of proofs in the logic and produces counterexamples to invalid proofs. (...) The user interface includes a graphical editor that enables the user to create graphical formulas on a workstation display, and a database and proof manager that tracks proof dependencies and allows graphical formulas to be stored and retrieved. In this paper we describe the logic, the automated deduction system, and an application to robotics. (shrink)
I discuss first Adam Smith’s ethical theory and the peculiar function played by the quadrangle of sympathy, the social function of sympathy with the rich and powerful and the unavoidable corruption of moral sentiments it carries. Secondly, I examine human nature in Smith’s work, and show how diverging tendencies are carried by different social roles. Thirdly I discuss the modest normative claims advanced by his ethical theory and show how these are not from utilitarian ones, how ethical pluralism (...) is mirrored in Smith’s triad of private virtues, prudence, justice, benevolence and of public virtues, liberty, justice, equality, how these are far from being utilitarian virtues, being rather the result of overlapping between several reasonable normative ethics. Fourthly I discuss Smith’s attitude to merchants and master-manufacturers, showing how, far being the theorist of ‘bourgeois virtues’, he was a radical critic of both the aristocratic establishment and the new emerging class in the name of oppressed. My conclusion is that ‘The Wealth of Nations’ is not an argument for self-regulating markets but instead an argument for a less authoritarian society where political authority, under pressure from a newly formed public opinion made by people in the middling ranks of life, would cease favouring the most powerful pressure group and leave ‘civil society’ in a condition where an adjustment in the distribution of wealth, revenue, knowledge and power could take place through a quasi-spontaneous process. (shrink)
BackgroundIn Australia, the peer review process for competitive funding is usually conducted by a peer review group in conjunction with prior assessment from external assessors. This process is quite mysterious to those outside it. The purpose of this research was to throw light on grant review panels through an examination of the impact of panel procedures, panel composition and panel dynamics on the decision-making in the grant review process. A further purpose was to compare experience of a simplified review process (...) with more conventional processes used in assessing grant proposals in Australia.MethodsThis project was one aspect of a larger study into the costs and benefits of a simplified peer review process. The Queensland University of Technology -simplified process was compared with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s more complex process. Grant review panellists involved in both processes were interviewed about their experience of the decision-making process that assesses the excellence of an application. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. Each transcription was de-identified and returned to the respondent for review. Final transcripts were read repeatedly and coded, and similar codes were amalgamated into categories that were used to build themes. Final themes were shared with the research team for feedback.ResultsTwo major themes arose from the research: assessing grant proposals and factors influencing the fairness, integrity and objectivity of review. Issues such as the quality of writing in a grant proposal, comparison of the two review methods, the purpose and use of the rebuttal, assessing the financial value of funded projects, the importance of the experience of the panel membership and the role of track record and the impact of group dynamics on the review process were all discussed. The research also examined the influence of research culture on decision-making in grant review panels. One of the aims of this study was to compare a simplified review process with more conventional processes. Generally, participants were supportive of the simplified process.ConclusionsTransparency in the grant review process will result in better appreciation of the outcome. Despite the provision of clear guidelines for peer review, reviewing processes are likely to be subjective to the extent that different reviewers apply different rules. The peer review process will come under more scrutiny as funding for research becomes even more competitive. There is justification for further research on the process, especially of a kind that taps more deeply into the ‘black box’ of peer review. (shrink)
The real history of the covey of attention-artists who call themselves "The Birds." A great deal of uncertainty--and even some genuine confusion--surrounds the origin, evolution, and activities of the so-called Avis Tertia or "Order of the Third Bird." Sensational accounts of this "attentional cult" emphasize histrionic rituals, tragic trance-addictions, and the covert dissemination of obscurantist ontologies of the art object. Hieratic, ecstatic, and endlessly evasive, the Order attracts sensual misfits and cabalistic aesthetes--both to its ranks, and to its scholarship. In (...) recent years, however, the revisionist work of the research collective ESTAR(SER) has done much to clear the air, bringing archival precision to the history of this covey of attention-artists who call themselves "The Birds." Gathering the best articles of the last twenty years of The Proceedings of ESTAR(SER), this volume represents a landmark in the history of aesthetic practices, and will be a point of departure for future work wading the muddy marshes at the limits of historicism."--Publisher description. (shrink)
The shortage of organs for transplantation by its nature prompts ethical dilemmas. For example, although there is an imperative to save human life and reduce suffering by maximising the supply of vital organs, there is an equally important obligation to ensure that the process by which we increase the supply respects the rights of all stakeholders. In a relatively unexamined practice in the USA, organs are procured from unrepresented decedents without their express consent. Unrepresented decedents have no known healthcare wishes (...) or advance care planning document; they also lack a surrogate. The Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 2006 sends a mixed message about the procurement of organs from this patient population and there are hospitals that authorise donation. In addition, in adopting the RUAGA, some states included provisions that clearly allow organ procurement from unrepresented decedents. An important unanswered question is whether this practice meets the canons of ethical permissibility. The current Brief Report presents two principled approaches to the topic as a way of highlighting some of the complexities involved. Concluding remarks offer suggestions for future research and discussion. (shrink)
Can epistemologies anchor processes of social inequality? In this paper, we consider how epistemological dominance in science, engineering, and health fields perpetuates disadvantages for students who enter higher education with alternative epistemologies. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Native American students enrolled at two US research universities who adhere to or revere indigenous epistemologies, we find that epistemological dominance in SE&H degree programs disadvantages students through three processes. First, it delegitimizes Native epistemologies and marginalizes and silences students who value them. Second, (...) in the process of imparting these dominant scientific epistemologies, SE&H courses sometimes require students to participate in pedagogical practices that challenge indigenous ways of knowing. Third, students encounter epistemological imperialism: most students in the sample are working to earn SE&H degrees in order to return to tribal communities to “give back,” yet, because the US laws regulating the practice of SE&H extend onto tribal lands, students must earn credentials in epistemologies that devalue, delegitimate, and threaten indigenous knowledge ways to practice on tribal lands. We examine how students navigate these experiences, discuss the implications of these findings for SE&H education, and describe how epistemological dominance may serve as a mechanism of inequality reproduction more broadly. (shrink)
BackgroundPeople with upper extremity amputations report receiving insufficient information about treatment options. Furthermore, patients commonly report not knowing what questions to ask providers. A question prompt sheet, or list of questions, can support patient-centered care by empowering patients to ask questions important to them, promoting patient-provider communication, and increasing patient knowledge. This study assessed information needs among people with UE amputations about UE vascularized composite allotransplantation and developed a UE VCA-QPS.MethodsThis multi-site, cross-sectional, mixed-methods study involved in-depth and semi-structured interviews with (...) people with UE amputations to assess information needs and develop a UE VCA-QPS. Qualitative data were analyzed by thematic analysis; quantitative data were analyzed by descriptive statistics. The initial UE VCA-QPS included 130 items across 18 topics.ResultsEighty-nine people with UE amputations participated. Most were male, had a mean age of 46 years, and had a unilateral and below-elbow amputation. Participants desired information about UE VCA eligibility, evaluation process, surgery, risks, rehabilitation, and functional outcomes. After refinement, the final UE VCA-QPS included 35 items, across 9 topics. All items were written at a ≤ 6th grade reading level. Most semi-structured interview participants reported being ‘completely’ or ‘very’ likely to use a UE VCA-QPS.ConclusionPeople with UE amputations have extensive information needs about UE VCA. The UE VCA-QPS aims to address patients’ information needs and foster patient-centered care. Future research should assess whether the UE VCA-QPS facilitates patient-provider discussion and informed decision-making for UE VCA. (shrink)
This collection brings together fourteen contributions by authors from around the globe. Each of the contributions engages with questions about how local and global bioethical issues are made to be comparable, in the hope of redressing basic needs and demands for justice. These works demonstrate the significant conceptual contributions that can be made through feminists' attention to debates in a range of interrelated fields, especially as they formulate appropriate responses to developments in medical technology, global economics, population shifts, and poverty.
The value of any kind of data is greatly enhanced when it exists in a form that allows it to be integrated with other data. One approach to integration is through the annotation of multiple bodies of data using common controlled vocabularies or ‘ontologies’. Unfortunately, the very success of this approach has led to a proliferation of ontologies which itself creates obstacles to integration. The Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) consortium has set in train a strategy to overcome this problem. Existing (...) OBO ontologies, including the Gene Ontology, are undergoing a process of coordinated reform and new ontologies being created on the basis of an evolving set of shared principles governing ontology development. The result is an expanding family of ontologies designed to be interoperable, logically well-formed, and to incorporate accurate representations of biological reality. We describe the OBO Foundry initiative, and provide guidelines for those who might wish to become involved. (shrink)
Our best description of spacetime is provided by general relativity – yet, this theory is not thought to be fundamental. Instead, it is expected to be replaced by a theory of quantum gravity, which may not feature spacetime fundamentally. Models of quantum cosmology use quantum gravity to describe the ‘beginning’ of spacetime from the ‘big bang’ state, as well as the evolution of the universe at the level of quantum gravity. In this essay, I discuss the conditions under which spacetime (...) might be said to emerge from the physics of quantum gravity and models of quantum cosmology, the challenges that the case-study of spacetime emergence poses for our usual understanding of emergence in philosophy, and the appropriate conceptions of emergence for characterising the examples of emergent spacetime from quantum gravity and quantum cosmology. Traduzione dall'inglese a cura di Erica Onnis. (shrink)
The study of anarchism as a philosophical, political, and social movement has burgeoned both in the academy and in the global activist community in recent years. Taking advantage of this boom in anarchist scholarship, Nathan J. Jun and Shane Wahl have compiled twenty-six cutting-edge essays on this timely topic in New Perspectives on Anarchism.
The paper discusses the relationship between Adam Smith’s economic doctrines and his ethical doctrines in the light of the “Lectures on Jurisprudence”. The main claim is a comparatively autonomous status of economic discourse, an autonomy granted not by dismissal of ethical claims but instead precisely by a given constellation of claims, on liberty, justice, equality, prudence and benevolence.
To date, research into socially responsible investment (SRI), and in particular the socially responsible investment funds industry, has focused on whether investing in SRI assets has any differential impact on investor returns. Prior findings generally suggest that, on a risk-adjusted basis, there is no difference in performance between SRI and conventional funds. This result has led to questions about whether SRI funds are really any different from conventional funds. This paper examines whether the portfolio allocation across industry sectors and the (...) stock-picking ability of SRI managers are different when compared to conventional fund managers. The study finds that SRI funds exhibit different industry betas consistent with different portfolio positions, but that these differences vary from year to year. It is also found that there is little difference in stock-picking ability between the two groups of fund managers. (shrink)
Using Virgil’s Aeneid VI as an example, this paper explores what might become of language and “truth” if contrary to Plato’s proposed course of education for the guardians of the state one moves, not up from sense perceptions to univocal, intelligible being, but down to the ambiguous realm of sleep, dreams and death.
In questo saggio l'Autore studia l'influenza che i pensatori scozzesi, da Hume a Smith, da Dugald Stewart a Reid, hanno esercitato sulla riflessione di Maine de Biran , figura chiave nella transizione dal sensismo condillachiano e dal fisiologismo idéologique verso l'eclettismo e lo spiritualismo francesi del Secondo Ottocento. Tale influenza, ben più corposa di quanto non sia finora parso agli studiosi del filosofo di Bergerac, agisce su Biran in specie sulle prime fasi del suo pensiero attraverso la mediazione, qui (...) ampiamente ricostruita, dei divulgatori in lingua francese delle opere degli illuministi scozzesi. (shrink)
For years a debate has raged within the various literatures of philosophy, psychiatry, and psychology over whether, and to what degree, the concepts that characterize psychopathology are social constructions that reflect cultural values. While the majority position among philosophers has been normativist, i.e., that the conception of a mental disorder is value-laden, a vocal and cogent minority have argued that psychopathology results from malfunctions that can be described by terminology that is objective and scientific. Scientists and clinicians have tended to (...) endorse the objectivist position, with some notable exceptions. (shrink)
A number of commentators on Smith's philosophy have observed that the relationship between his moral theory and his theological beliefs is "exceedingly difficult to unravel". The available evidence, as generally presented, suggests that although Smith was not entirely orthodox by contemporary standards, he has no obvious or significant irreligious commitments or orientation. Contrary to this view of things, I argue that behind the veneer of orthodoxy that covers Smith's discussion in The Theory of the Moral Sentiments there (...) are significant irreligious themes present in his work. Two irreligious themes, I maintain, are especially important. The first is that the impartial spectator, as described in Smith's moral system, serves to sustain and support moral conduct and practice without any reliance on the goodness and justice of God in a future state. By this means, Smith is able to show how moral life is grounded in human nature without collapsing into the scepticism and "licentiousness" associated with the moral systems of Hobbes and Mandeville. On the other hand, related to this first irreligious theme, Smith also points out that there is no perfect match between virtue and happiness in this life. More specifically, he notes that even the mechanism of the impartial spectator cannot protect the innocent person from the miseries associated with unjust condemnation by others in our society. The general force of Smith's observations on this matter is not to justify the credibility of the doctrine of a future state but rather to explain its deep psychological roots in our (human) moral nature. In the final section of this paper I argue that although these two irreligious themes are clearly present in The Theory of the Moral Sentiments, Smith does not manifest the kind of systematic hostility to the influence of religion on moral life that features prominently in Hume's writings. On this basis, I conclude that Smith's views on ethics should be characterized as "weakly irreligious" in contrast with Hume's "strongly irreligious" ethical views. (shrink)