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Lukas J. Meier
Cambridge University
  1. What Matters in the Mirror of Time: Why Lucretius’ Symmetry Argument Fails.Lukas J. Meier - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):651-660.
    abstractBy appealing to the similarity between pre-vital and post-mortem nonexistence, Lucretius famously tried to show that our anxiety about death was irrational. His so-called Symmetry Argument has been attacked in various ways, but all of these strategies are themselves problematic. In this paper, I propose a new approach to undermining the argument: when Parfit’s distinction between identity and what matters is applied, not diachronically but across possible worlds, the alleged symmetry can be broken. Although the pre-vital and posthumous time spans (...)
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  2.  55
    Are the Irreversibly Comatose Still Here? The Destruction of Brains and the Persistence of Persons.Lukas J. Meier - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (2):99-103.
    When an individual is comatose while parts of her brain remain functional, the question arises as to whether any mental characteristics are still associated with this brain, that is, whether the person still exists. Settling this uncertainty requires that one becomes clear about two issues: the type of functional loss that is associated with the respective profile of brain damage and the persistence conditions of persons. Medical case studies can answer the former question, but they are not concerned with the (...)
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  3.  98
    Algorithms for Ethical Decision-Making in the Clinic: A Proof of Concept.Lukas J. Meier, Alice Hein, Klaus Diepold & Alena Buyx - forthcoming - American Journal of Bioethics:1-17.
    Machine intelligence already helps medical staff with a number of tasks. Ethical decision-making, however, has not been handed over to computers. In this proof-of-concept study, we show how an algorithm based on Beauchamp and Childress’ prima-facie principles could be employed to advise on a range of moral dilemma situations that occur in medical institutions. We explain why we chose fuzzy cognitive maps to set up the advisory system and how we utilized machine learning to train it. We report on the (...)
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  4.  62
    The Demise of Brain Death.Lukas J. Meier - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:000-000.
    Fifty years have passed since brain death was first proposed as a criterion of death. Its advocates believe that with the destruction of the brain, integrated functioning ceases irreversibly, somatic unity dissolves, and the organism turns into a corpse. In this article, I put forward two objections against this assertion. First, I draw parallels between brain death and other pathological conditions and argue that whenever one regards the absence or the artificial replacement of a certain function in these pathological conditions (...)
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  5.  77
    Brain Death: What We Are and When We Die.Lukas J. Meier - 2020 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews
    When does a human being cease to exist? For millennia, the answer to this question had remained largely unchanged: death had been diagnosed when heartbeat and breathing were permanently absent. Only comparatively recently, in the 1950s, rapid developments in intensive-care medicine called into question this widely accepted criterion. What had previously been deemed a permanent cessation of vital functions suddenly became reversible. -/- A new criterion of death was needed. It was suggested that the destruction of the brain could indicate (...)
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  6.  66
    Is Brain Death Death?Lukas J. Meier - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    For hundreds of years, death had been defined by cardiopulmonary criteria. When heart and respiratory functions were permanently absent, doctors declared their patients dead. Three developments in intensive care medicine called into question these widely-accepted criteria, however: the advent of positive pressure ventilation and the promotion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, both in the early 1950s, and the first successful heart transplantation in 1967. What had previously been diagnosed as the permanent absence of vital functions, suddenly became reversible. Not only could doctors (...)
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  7. Can Thought Experiments Solve Problems of Personal Identity?Lukas J. Meier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    Good physical experiments conform to the basic methodological standards of experimental design: they are objective, reliable, and valid. But is this also true of thought experiments? Especially problems of personal identity have engendered hypothetical scenarios that are very distant from the actual world. These imagined situations have been conspicuously ineffective at resolving conflicting intuitions and deciding between the different accounts of personal identity. Using prominent examples from the literature, I argue that this is due to many of these thought experiments (...)
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