This collection of essays by a group of international scholars focuses on specific issues in bioethics and paediatrics. It reflects interdisciplinary approaches to practical problems at the level of policy and practice.
Synaesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces photisms, i.e. mental percepts of colours. R is a 20 year old colour blind subject who, in addition to the relatively common grapheme-colour synaesthesia, presents a rarely reported cross modal perception in which a variety of visual stimuli elicit aura-like percepts of colour. In R, photisms seem to be closely related to the affective valence of stimuli and (...) typically bring out a consistent pattern of emotional responses. The present case study suggests that colours might be an intrinsic category of the human brain. We developed an empirical methodology that allowed us to study the subject's otherwise inaccessible phenomenological experience. First, we found that R shows a Stroop effect elicited by photisms despite the fact that he does not show a regular Stroop with real colours. Secondly, by manipulating the colour context we confirmed that colours can alter R's emotional evaluation of the stimuli. Furthermore, we demonstrated that R's auras may actually lead to a partially inverted emotional spectrum where certain stimuli bring out emotional reactions opposite to the normal ones. These findings can only be accounted for by considering R's subjective colour experience or qualia. Therefore the present paper defends the view that qualia are a useful scientific concept that can be approached and studied by experimental methods. (shrink)
This book seeks to critically expound and appraise the thoughts of the foremost British philosopher, J.M.E. McTaggart, with respect to three principal themes of his philosophy: substance, self, and immortality. Sharma draws on all of McTaggart’s major writings to provide a comprehensive exposition of his overall theory of reality.
The trend of much of recent moral philosophy has been to question the adequacy of traditional deontological and utilitarian views which place universal moral rights and duties at the center of ethical theory. Robert Goodin's book continues this trend and attempts to break new ground in ethical theory by proposing a general theory of special moral responsibilities. He argues that such responsibilities, though diverse in many ways, all derive from a common underlying moral principle, the vulnerability principle, according to which (...) moral agents acquire special responsibilities to the extent to which others are dependent upon them or are specially vulnerable in some way or ways to their choices and actions. (shrink)
In spite of his post-World War II works on international law, which seems more purely juridical, Hans Kelsen continues to put forward in his vast body of work an implicit – and sometimes even explicit – juridical objectivism and pacifism. Especially before and during the second World War he makes – by means of many moral-political writings – an effort for a more effective assurance of international peace. The fact that Kelsen regards the law as the pre-eminent means to achieve (...) the end of peace, is – in view of the tradition running from Hobbes to Kant – still not very innovating. But the primary and central role he assigns to the judiciary in order to guarantee international peace is on the other hand really original. To bring out Kelsen’s juridical objectivism and pacifism, I restrict myself in this article to his plea before and during the second World War for the judicial primacy in the international legal order. In that plea, which is spread over many writings and founded by several arguments, I distinguish however three main convincing arguments – namely an evolutionary, a technical and a moral-political argument – for the establishment of an international court with compulsory jurisdiction as the ‘guardian of international peace’. The fact that Kelsen’s original plea is still relevant to our times, is already evident from the post-World War II UN-system of peace-enforcement, which still functions little satisfactorily and of which the existing plans of reform go no further than strengthening the position of the Security Council, the current hardly effective ‘maintainer of world peace’. (shrink)