This paper argues that many ethical issues in neuroeducational research cannot be appropriately addressed using the principles and guidance available in one of these areas alone, or by applying these in simple combination. Instead, interdisciplinary and public dialogue will be required to develop appropriate normative principles. In developing this argument, it examines neuroscientific and educational perspectives within three broad categories of ethical issue arising at the interface of cognitive neuroscience and education: issues regarding the carrying out of interdisciplinary research, the (...) scrutiny and communication of findings and concepts, and the application of research and associated issues of policy likely to arise in the future. To help highlight the need for interdisciplinary and public discussion, we also report the opinions of a group of educators (comprising trainee teachers, teachers and head teachers) on the neuroeducational ethics of cognitive enhancing drugs, infant screening, genetic profiling and animal research. (shrink)
Some researchers and autistic activists have recently suggested that because some ‘autism-related’ behavioural atypicalities have a function or purpose they may be desirable rather than undesirable. Examples of such behavioural atypicalities include hand-flapping, repeatedly ordering objects (e.g., toys) in rows, and profoundly restricted routines. A common view, as represented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV-TR (APA, 2000), is that many of these behaviours lack adaptive function or purpose, interfere with learning, and constitute the non-social behavioural (...) dysfunctions of those disorders making up the Autism Spectrum. As the DSM IV-TR continues to be the reference source of choice for professionals working with individuals with psychiatric difficulties, its characterization of the Autism Spectrum holds significant sway. We will suggest Extended Mind and Enactive Cognition Theories, which theorize that mind (or cognition) is embodied and environmentally embedded, as coherent conceptual and theoretical spaces within which to investigate the possibility that certain repetitive behaviours exhibited by autistics possess functions or purposes that make them desirable. As lenses through which to re-examine ‘autism-related’ behavioral atypicalities, these theories not only open up explanatory possibilities underdeveloped in the research literature, but also cohere with how some autistics describe their own experience. Our position navigates a middle way between the view of autism as understood in terms of impairment, deficit and dysfunction and one that seeks to de-pathologize the Spectrum. In so doing we seek to contribute to a continuing dialogue between researchers, clinicians and self- or parent advocates. (shrink)
The Routledge Companion to Bioethics is a comprehensive reference guide to a wide range of contemporary concerns in bioethics. The volume orients the reader in a changing landscape shaped by globalization, health disparities, and rapidly advancing technologies. Bioethics has begun a turn toward a systematic concern with social justice, population health, and public policy. While also covering more traditional topics, this volume fully captures this recent shift and foreshadows the resulting developments in bioethics. It highlights emerging issues such as climate (...) change, transgender, and medical tourism, and re-examines enduring topics, such as autonomy, end-of-life care, and resource allocation. (shrink)
We submit this brief in support of the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to secure habeas corpus relief for the elephant named Happy. We reject arbitrary distinctions that deny adequate protections to other animals who share with protected humans relevantly similar vulnerabilities to harms and relevantly similar interests in avoiding such harms. We strongly urge this Court, in keeping with the best philosophical standards of rational judgment and ethical standards of justice, to recognize that, as a nonhuman person, Happy should be (...) released from her current confinement and transferred to an appropriate elephant sanctuary, pursuant to habeas corpus. (shrink)
Recently, commentators close to and within the UK government have claimed that patient choice can increase equity in the context of the National Health Service. This article critically examines the basis for this claim through analysis of recent speeches and publications authored by secretaries of state for health and their policy advisers. It is concluded that this claim has not developed prospectively from an analysis of the causes of healthcare inequity, or even with a consistent normative definition of equity. The (...) limited justification that is “framed in causal explanations” of inequity has suffered from an apparent disregard of the available evidence. (shrink)
The call has been made for global bioethics. In an age of pandemics, international drug trials, and genetic technology, health has gone global, and bioethics must follow suit. George Annas is one among a number of thinkers to recommend that bioethics expand beyond its traditional domain of patient–physician interactions to encompass a broader range of health-related matters. Medicine, Annas argues, must “develop a global language and a global strategy that can help to improve the health of all of the world's (...) citizens.” Individual countries cannot address global health issues, and culturally specific principles are inadequate for addressing global bioethics concerns. We will need a language and moral framework grounded in a foundation of universally shared, transcultural judgments about humankind that will also recognize moral pluralism. The claim has been made that such a foundation already exists in human rights, and that human rights should, therefore, be the new lingua franca of bioethics. (shrink)
We introduce a family of rules for adjusting one's credences in response to learning the credences of others. These rules have a number of desirable features. 1. They yield the posterior credences that would result from updating by standard Bayesian conditionalization on one's peers' reported credences if one's likelihood function takes a particular simple form. 2. In the simplest form, they are symmetric among the agents in the group. 3. They map neatly onto the familiar Condorcet voting results. 4. They (...) preserve shared agreement about independence in a wide range of cases. 5. They commute with conditionalization and with multiple peer updates. Importantly, these rules have a surprising property that we call synergy - peer testimony of credences can provide mutually supporting evidence raising an individual's credence higher than any peer's initial prior report. At first, this may seem to be a strike against them. We argue, however, that synergy is actually a desirable feature and the failure of other updating rules to yield synergy is a strike against them. (shrink)
It is clear from George Annas's response to our arguments that he has misunderstood and misrepresented our positions on several key points. We suspect that this may be due in part to significant differences between our respective agendas and points of view, so we begin this exchange with an exploration of these differences.
In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee living alone in a cage in a shed in rural New York (Barlow, 2017). Under animal welfare laws, Tommy’s owners, the Laverys, were doing nothing illegal by keeping him in those conditions. Nonetheless, the NhRP argued that given the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of chimpanzees, Tommy’s confinement constituted (...) a profound wrong that demanded remedy by the courts. Soon thereafter, the NhRP filed habeas corpus petitions on behalf of Kiko, another chimpanzee housed alone in Niagara Falls, and Hercules and Leo, two chimpanzees held in research facilities at Stony Brook University. Thus began the legal struggle to move these chimpanzees from captivity to a sanctuary, an effort that has led the NhRP to argue in multiple courts before multiple judges. The central point of contention has been whether Tommy, Kiko, Hercules, and Leo have legal rights. To date, no judge has been willing to issue a writ of habeas corpus on their behalf. Such a ruling would mean that these chimpanzees have rights that confinement might violate. Instead, the judges have argued that chimpanzees cannot be bearers of legal rights because they are not, and cannot be persons. In this book we argue that chimpanzees are persons because they are autonomous. (shrink)
Jeffery et al. accurately identify the importance of developing an understanding of spatial reference frames in a three-dimensional world. We examine human spatial cognition via a unique paradigm that investigates the role of saliency and adjusting reference frames. This includes work with adults, typically developing children, and children who develop non-typically (e.g., those with autism).
This paper makes a plea for more reflexive attempts to develop and anchor the emerging concept of responsible research and innovation. RRI has recently emerged as a buzzword in science policy, becoming a focus of concerted experimentation in many academic circles. Its performative capacity means that it is able to mobilise resources and spaces despite no common understanding of what it is or should be ‘made of’. In order to support reflection and practice amongst those who are interested in and (...) using the concept, this paper unpacks understandings of RRI across a multi-disciplinary body of peer-reviewed literature. Our analysis focuses on three key dimensions of RRI that remain particularly opaque. A total of 48 publications were selected through a systematic literature search and their content was qualitatively analysed. Across the literature, RRI is portrayed as a concept that embeds numerous features of existing approaches to govern and assess emerging technologies. Our analysis suggests that its greatest potential may be in its ability to unify and provide political momentum to a wide range of long-articulated ethical and policy issues. At the same time, RRI’s dynamism and resulting complexity may represent its greatest challenge. Further clarification on what RRI has to offer in practice—beyond what has been offered to date—is still needed, as well as more explicit engagement with research and institutional cultures of responsibility. Such work may help to realise the high political expectations that are attached to nascent RRI. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This article stems from a project launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2017 to examine the degree to which Buddhism might complement or enhance international humanitarian law, also known as ‘the law of war’ or ‘the law of armed conflict’. Given that Buddhist teachings discourage violence, scholarship has critiqued Buddhists’ involvement in armed conflict rather than considered how Buddhism might contribute to regulating the conduct of hostilities once war has broken out. Yet the Buddhist aim (...) to reduce suffering is particularly relevant during armed conflict, and the empirical realism of early Buddhist texts shows that early Buddhist communities were very much aware of its grim reality. The article investigates the evidence for this empirical realism before exploring a range of concepts, doctrines and practices from within Buddhism that are pertinent to the recognition and implementation of IHL principles and the conduct of war. While IHL lays down explicit rules to follow during war, Buddhism emphasises broader ethical principles to be applied, so as not to dilute its ideal of non-violence. At a deeper level, it addresses the intention or motivation of parties to armed conflict, and possesses psychological insights and resources to help change their behaviour. (shrink)
Vaesen asks whether goal maintenance and planning ahead are critical for innovative tool use. We suggest that these aptitudes may have an evolutionary foundation in motor planning abilities that span all primate species. Anticipatory effects evidenced in the reaching behaviors of lemurs, tamarins, and rhesus monkeys similarly bear on the evolutionary origins of foresight as it pertains to tool use.
To increase donations of nutritious food, Ontario introduced a tax credit for farmers who donate agricultural products to food banks in 2013. This research seeks to investigate the role of Ontario’s Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers in addressing both food loss and waste and food insecurity through a case study of fresh produce rescue in Windsor-Essex, Ontario. This research also documents the challenges associated with rescuing fresh produce from farms, as well as alternatives to donating. Interviews with food banks, (...) producers and key informants revealed that perceptions of the tax credit, and the credit’s ability to address FLW and food insecurity, contrasted greatly with the initial perceptions of the policymakers who created the tax credit. In particular, the legislators did not anticipate the logistical challenges associated with incentivizing this type of donation, nor the limitations of a donation-based intervention to provide food insecure Ontarians with access to fresh, nutritious food. (shrink)
We are going to present a panorama of Byzantine Philosophy. As starting point should be considered the Patristic Thought, which preceded the Byzantine Philosophy and was established in the first centuries A.D. into the Greek-Roman world. It was based on the Old and New Testament, the apostolic teachings, as well as on Judaism and Greek Philosophy. Also, the Ancient Oriental Religions – especially those of the Greek-Roman period, i.e. the Gnosticism- exerted an influence on it. The Patristic Thought and the (...) Ancient Greek Philosophy were the two main pedestals of Byzantine Philosophy. But, we cannot separate completely Patristic thought from the Byzantine Philosophy, first because the Byzantine Philosophy used all the corpus of the preceded texts of the Church Fathers and second because the Patristic Thought was continued to the end of Byzantium in interaction with Byzantine Philosophy. When we use he term Byzantine Philosophy we refer to the ideological currents that flourished from the 9th century till the 15th in the geographical area of the Greek East. Its main task was the quest for truth from the metaphysical point of view. In this era we have not only commentaries and scholastic works, but also an assimilation of the previous philosophical and scientific developments in purpose of an interior evolution. The opposition to, and the use of, the Western scholasticism were also another two special characteristics of Byzantine Thought. The use of the logical works of Aristotle and the metaphysics of Plato made up its main theoretical body, always in relation to the Christian dogmas. The logical, metaphysical, cosmological, ethical, aesthetical and anthropological subjects were closely connected with the fixed Christian view of the World, God and Man. But despite the influence of the Christian religion and the Aristotelic, Platonic, Stoic, Neoplatonic etc. teachings, today we can arrive at the conclusion that from the ninth through the fifteen century a relative autonomy of Philosophy in Byzantium was emerged. Also, the Philosophical thought in Byzantium gave some new solutions to the old problems and dared sometimes to proceed in new rational, mystical or even empirical elaborations of original philosophical questions. (shrink)
Growth mindset is an important aspect of children’s socioemotional development and is subject to change due to environmental influence. Orchestral music education may function as a fertile context in which to promote growth mindset; however, this education is not widely available to children facing economic hardship. This study examined whether participation in a program of orchestral music education was associated with higher levels of overall growth mindset and greater change in levels of musical growth mindset among children placed at risk (...) by poverty. After at least 2 years of orchestral participation, students reported significantly higher levels of overall growth mindset than their peers; participating students also reported statistically significant increases in musical growth mindset regardless of the number of years that they were enrolled in orchestral music education. These findings have implications for future research into specific pedagogical practices that may promote growth mindset in the context of orchestral music education and more generally for future studies of the extra-musical benefits of high-quality music education. (shrink)
Attention Restoration Theory proposes that exposure to natural environments helps to restore attention. For sustained attention—the ongoing application of focus to a task, the effect appears to be modest, and the underlying mechanisms of attention restoration remain unclear. Exposure to nature may improve attention performance through many means: modulation of alertness and one’s connection to nature were investigated here, in two separate studies. In both studies, participants performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task before and immediately after viewing a meadow, (...) ocean, or urban image for 40 s, and then completed the Perceived Restorativeness Scale. In Study 1, an eye-tracker recorded the participants’ tonic pupil diameter during the SARTs, providing a measure of alertness. In Study 2, the effects of connectedness to nature on SART performance and perceived restoration were studied. In both studies, the image viewed was not associated with participants’ sustained attention performance; both nature images were perceived as equally restorative, and more restorative than the urban image. The image viewed was not associated with changes in alertness. Connectedness to nature was not associated with sustained attention performance, but it did moderate the relation between viewing the natural images and perceived restorativeness; participants reporting a higher connection to nature also reported feeling more restored after viewing the nature, but not the urban, images. Dissociation was found between the physiological and behavioral measures and the perceived restorativeness of the images. The results suggest that restoration associated with nature exposure is not associated with modulation of alertness but is associated with connectedness with nature. (shrink)
RésuméCet article aborde la querelle comme un élément de la stratégie d’un philosophe vis-à-vis de la postérité. On pourrait évidemment penser à des querelleurs invétérés comme Pascal, Voltaire ou Rousseau, mais il sera question ici du cas plus complexe de Diderot et du dernier ouvrage publié de son vivant, l’Essai sur les règnes de Claude et de Néron et sur les moeurs et les écrits de Sénèque pour servir à l’introduction de la lecture de ce philosophe. L’article démontre que celui-ci (...) constitue un cas de « texte-querelle », c’est-à-dire un texte qui met en scène la querelle menée à son propre sujet et qui ainsi la fait redémarrer; il analyse la posture qu’adopte le philosophe-querelleur, surtout dans l’énoncé paradoxal « ne nous engageons point dans les querelles », dont il examine les qualités performatives. (shrink)
Short-term limb immobilization results in skeletal muscle decline, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. This study aimed to determine the neurophysiologic basis of immobilization-induced skeletal muscle decline, and whether repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation could prevent any decline. Twenty-four healthy young males underwent unilateral limb immobilization for 72 h. Subjects were randomized between daily rTMS using six 20 Hz pulse trains of 1.5 s duration with a 60 s inter-train-interval delivered at 90% resting Motor Threshold, or Sham rTMS throughout immobilization. (...) Maximal grip strength, EMG activity, arm volume, and composition were determined at 0 and 72 h. Motor Evoked Potentials were determined daily throughout immobilization to index motor excitability. Immobilization induced a significant reduction in motor excitability across time. The rTMS intervention increased motor excitability at 0 h. Despite daily rTMS treatment, there was still a significant reduction in motor excitability, loss in EMG activity, and a loss of maximal grip strength after immobilization. Interestingly, the increase in biceps and posterior forearm skinfold thickness with immobilization in Sham treatment was not observed following rTMS treatment. Reduced MEPs drive the loss of strength with immobilization. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation cannot prevent this loss of strength but further investigation and optimization of neuroplasticity protocols may have therapeutic benefit. (shrink)