Non-invasive prenatal testing is at the forefront of prenatal screening. Current uses for NIPT include fetal sex determination and screening for chromosomal disorders such as trisomy 21. However, NIPT may be expanded to many different future applications. There are a potential host of ethical concerns around the expanding use of NIPT, as examined by the recent Nuffield Council report on the topic. It is important to examine what NIPT might be used for before these possibilities become consumer reality. There is (...) limited research exploring views of women on possible future uses of NIPT, particularly those of women who have undergone NIPT. In this study, we examined the views of women who undertook NIPT previously on the acceptability of and interest levels in using NIPT for a number of current and possible future applications. These included several medical conditions encompassing psychiatric, neurodevelopmental and adult-onset conditions as well as non-medical traits such as intelligence. One thousand women were invited to participate and 235 eligible surveys were received. Women generally reported an interest in using NIPT for medical conditions that severely impacted quality of life and with an onset earlier in life and stressed the importance of the accuracy of the test. Concerns were raised about the use of NIPT for non-medical traits. Respondents indicated that termination of pregnancy was not their only reason for testing, particularly in the case of sex. These results can further inform the ethical debate around the increasing integration of NIPT into healthcare systems. (shrink)
If libertarianism is true, then there is a sense in which agents have it within their power to bring it about that some world is actual. Against recent arguments for the incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom, I offer an account of power over the past which takes this implication of libertarianism into consideration. I argue that the resulting account is available to Ockhamists and that it is immune to recent criticisms of the notion of counterfactual power over the (...) past. But I contend that it is not an option for Molinists and that this fact leaves that position vulnerable to incompatibilist arguments. (shrink)
This is an accessible, concise introduction to phenomenological research in education and social sciences. Mark Vagle outlines the key principles for conducting this research from leading contemporary practitioners, such as van Manen, Giorgi, and Dahlberg. He builds on their work by introducing his post-intentional phenomenology, which incorporates elements of post-structural thinking into traditional methods. Vagle provides readers with methodological tools to build their own phenomenological study, addressing such issues as data gathering, validity, and writing. Replete with exercises for students, (...) case studies, resources for further research, and examples of completed phenomenological studies, this brief book affords the instructor an easy entrée into introducing phenomenology into courses on qualitative research, social theory, or educational research. (shrink)
The first look at the philosophy behind the _Captain America_ comics and movies, publishing in advance of the movie release of _Captain America: The Winter Solider_ in April 2014. In _The Virtues of Captain America_, philosopher and long-time comics fan Mark D. White argues that the core principles, compassion, and judgment exhibited by the 1940’s comic book character Captain America remain relevant to the modern world. Simply put, "Cap" embodies many of the classical virtues that have been important to (...) us since the days of the ancient Greeks: honesty, courage, loyalty, perseverance, and, perhaps most importantly, honor. Full of entertaining examples from more than 50 years of comic books, White offers some serious philosophical discussions of everyone’s favorite patriot in a light-hearted and accessible way. Presents serious arguments on the virtues of Captain America while being written in a light-hearted and often humorous tone Introduces basic concepts in moral and political philosophy to the general reader Utilizes examples from 50 years of comics featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and other Marvel superheroes Affirms the value of "old-fashioned" virtues for the modern world without indulging in nostalgia for times long passed Reveals the importance of the sound principles that America was founded upon Publishing in advance of _Captain America: The Winter Soldier _out in April 2014. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as an effective way for firms to create favorable attitudes among consumers. Although prior research has addressed the direct influence of proactive and reactive CSR on consumer responses, this research hypothesized that consumers’ perceived organizational motives (i.e., attributions) will mediate this relationship. It was also hypothesized that the source of information and location of CSR initiative will affect the motives consumers assign to a firms’ engagement in the initiative. Two experiments were conducted to test (...) these hypotheses. The results of Study 1 indicate that the nature of a CSR initiative influences consumer attribution effects and that these attributions act as mediators in helping to explain consumers’ responses to CSR. Study 2 suggests that the source of the CSR message moderates the effect of CSR on consumer attributions. The mediating influence of the attributions as well as the importance of information source suggests that proper communication of CSR can be a viable way to inculcate positive corporate associations and purchase intentions. (shrink)
In "Behavioral Law and Economics: The Assault on Consent, Will, and Dignity," Mark D. White uses the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant to examine the intersection of economics, psychology, and law known as "behavioral law and economics." Scholars in this relatively new field claim that, because of various cognitive biases and failures, people often make choices that are not in their own interests. The policy implications of this are that public and private organizations, such as the state and employers, (...) can and should design the presentation of options and default choices in order to "steer" people to the decision they would make, were they able to make choices in the absence of their cognitive biases and failures. Such policies are promoted under the name "libertarian paternalism," because choice is not blocked or co-opted, but simply "nudged." White argues that such manipulation of choice is impossible to conduct in people's true interests, and any other goal pursed by policymakers substitutes their own ends, however benevolent they may be, for people's true ends. Normatively, such manipulation should not be conducted because it fails to respect the dignity and autonomy of persons, what some hold to be the central idea in Kant's ethical system, and which serves to protect the individual from coercion, however subtle, from other persons or the state. (shrink)
Clinical bioethics is big business. There are now hundreds of people who bioethics in community and university hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation and home care settings, and some who play the role of clinical ethics consultant to transplant teams, managed care companies, and genetic testing firms. Still, there is as much speculation about what clinically active bioethicists actually do as there was ten years ago. Various commentators have pondered the need for training standards, credentials, exams, and malpractice insurance for ethicists engaged (...) in clinical consultation. Much of the discussion seems to accept an implicit presumption that all clinical ethics consultation practices look pretty much alike. But is this accurate? What do clinical ethicists do, how and where do they do it, and what kind of clinical ethics is useful in the hospital and in other settings? (shrink)
Prior research has studied the antecedents of beliefs regarding ethics and social responsibility (ESR). However, few studies have examined how individual well-being may be related to such beliefs. In this exploratory study, we assessed the relationship between perceived importance of ESR – both individually and of one's company – and indicators of physical and psychological well-being. Results demonstrated that perceived importance of ESR was associated with three aspects of well-being: exuberance for life, sleep problems, and job stress. The results are (...) discussed in terms of future directions for research, and the need for a conceptual framework connecting individual and organizational perceptions of ESR and outcomes of well-being. (shrink)
I argue in this article that there is a mistake in Searle's Chinese room argument that has not received sufficient attention. The mistake stems from Searle's use of the Church-Turing thesis. Searle assumes that the Church-Turing thesis licences the assumption that the Chinese room can run any program. I argue that it does not, and that this assumption is false. A number of possible objections are considered and rejected. My conclusion is that it is consistent with Searle's argument to hold (...) onto the claim that understanding consists in the running of a program. (shrink)
We show that the fundamental legal structure of a well-written financial contract follows a state-transition logic that can be formalized mathematically as a finite-state machine. The automaton defines the states that a financial relationship can be in, such as “default,” “delinquency,” “performing,” etc., and it defines an “alphabet” of events that can trigger state transitions, such as “payment arrives,” “due date passes,” etc. The core of a contract describes the rules by which different sequences of events trigger particular sequences of (...) state transitions in the relationship between the counterparties. By conceptualizing and representing the legal structure of a contract in this way, we expose it to a range of powerful tools and results from the theory of computation. These allow, for example, automated reasoning to determine whether a contract is internally coherent and whether it is complete relative to a particular event alphabet. We illustrate the process by representing a simple loan agreement as an automaton. (shrink)
This is the second volume of an "essay in existential philosophy." The first, published in 1977, was intended to "do justice to certain experiential givens of immediate experience" which, once subjected to "severe" testing, could be established as "scientific hypotheses at the level of an existential critique of knowledge". The second volume now means to provide "an ensemble of ideal base intuitions, expressible as a 'system', of which each constitutes the concrete taking of a position before a certain state of (...) things in the existential domain". Its method is to work from descriptions of "the existent in the domain of action" in order to find "kernels of convergence, centers of autonomy, that is structures," and so to be able to ask, finally, about the ground of these in a transcendent act of being. (shrink)
Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker and end everyone's misery? Can we hold the Joker morally responsible for his actions? Is Batman better than Superman? If everyone followed Batman's example, would Gotham be a better place? What is the Tao of the Bat? Batman is one of the most complex characters ever to appear in comic books, graphic novels, and on the big screen. What philosophical trials does this superhero confront in order to keep Gotham safe? Combing through seventy (...) years of comic books, television shows, and movies, Batman and Philosophy explores how the Dark Knight grapples with ethical conundrums, moral responsibility, his identity crisis, the moral weight he carries to avenge his murdered parents, and much more. How does this caped crusader measure up against the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Lao Tzu? (shrink)
_A unique philosophical look at the hit television series _Downton Abbey_ _ Who can resist the lure of _Downton Abbey_ and the triumphs and travails of the Crawley family and its servants? We admire Bates's sense of honor, envy Carson's steadfastness, and thrill to Violet's caustic wit. _Downton Abbey and Philosophy_ draws on some of history's most profound philosophical minds to delve deeply into the dilemmas that confront our favorite characters. Was Matthew right to push Mary away after his injury (...) in the war? Would Lord Grantham have been justified in blocking Lady Sybil's marriage to Tom Branson? And is Thomas really such a bad person? Offers fresh and intriguing insights into your favorite _Downton Abbey_ characters, plot lines, and ideas Addresses many of your most pressing questions about _Downton Abbey's_ story and characters, such as: Should Daisy have lied to William about her feelings toward him—especially to the point of marrying him? Should Mr. Bates have been upfront with Anna from the beginning about his past? Views _Downton Abbey_ through the lens of some of the most influential philosophical thinkers, from Saint Augustine and David Hume to Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill Ventures upstairs _and_ downstairs to examine key themes involving ethics, virtue, morality, class, feminism, the human condition, and more Philosophical speculation awaits on every page of this essential _Downton Abbey_ companion. So take a seat in your personal library, have the butler pour a cup of tea, and start reading! (shrink)
The first look at the philosophy behind the Iron Man comics and movies, timed for the release of Iron Man 2 in March 2010 On the surface, Iron Man appears to be a straightforward superhero, another rich guy fighting crime with fancy gadgets. But beneath the shiny armor and flashy technology lies Tony Stark, brilliant inventor and eccentric playboy, struggling to balance his desires, addictions, and relationships with his duties as the Armored Avenger. Iron Man and Philosophy explores the many (...) philosophical issues that emerge from the essential conflicts found in the decades of Iron Man stories in comics and movies. What kind of moral compass does Tony Stark have? Is Iron Man responsible for the death of Captain America after the Marvel Universe “Civil War”? Should people like Stark run the world? How does Tony’s alcoholism impact his performance as Iron Man, and what does it say about moral character? Ultimately, what can Iron Man teach us about the role of technology in society? As absorbing as Iron Man comic books and movies, Iron Man and Philosophy: Gives you a new perspective on Iron Man characters, story lines, and themes Shows what philosophical heavy hitters such as Aristotle, Locke, and Heidegger can teach us about Tony Stark/Iron Man Considers issues such as addiction, personal responsibility, the use of technology, and the role of government Whether you've been reading the comic books for years or have gotten into Iron Man through the movies, Iron Man and Philosophy is a must-have companion for every fan. (shrink)
_Go beyond the cape and into the mind of the Man of Steel, in time for release of Zack Snyder's _Man of Steel_ movie and Superman's 75th anniversary_ He has thrilled millions for 75 years, with a legacy that transcends national, cultural, and generational borders, but is there more to the Man of Steel than just your average mythic superhero in a cape? The 20 chapters in this book present a fascinating exploration of some of the deeper philosophical questions raised (...) by Superman, the Last Son of Krypton and the newest hero in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture arsenal. (shrink)
A volume by leading economists and philosophers that explores the contributions that virtue ethics can make to economics. Provides historical and modern insights in both economics and philosophy and offers suggestions for incorporating the ethics of virtue into economics to make it more applicable to moral dilemmas in the world outside the models.
Gain new understanding ofwhat constitutes excellence in teaching. Learn what thousands of teachers who have been recognized for educational excellence—and who have been recipients of such teaching awards—believe make up the fabric of success in the classroom. Noted experts gathered thousands of insights directly from these educators and placed them within the context of history and research. Inspiring and informative, this book sheds new light on the components of excellence in education that are both definable and intangible.
American orthodox medicine consolidated its professional authority in the early 20th Century on the basis of its unbiased scientific method. The centerpiece of such a method is a strategy for identifying truly effective new therapies, i.e., the randomized clinical trial (RCT). A crucial component of the RCT in illnesses without established treatment is the placebo control. Placebo effects must be identified and distinguished from pharmacological effects because placebos produce actual but unexplained therapeutic successes. The blinding necessary for a proper placebo-controlled (...) RCT therefore introduces an epistemic bias into orthodox medicine: therapeutic successes that rely upon a direct link between knowing and healing, such as placebo effects, are discarded in favor of therapeutic successes that rely upon an indirect link between knowing and healing, such as pharmacological interventions. Where the capacity to produce therapeutic results once validated the method of clinical medical science, now method validates results. The clinical consequences of this method of testing therapies include a diminished vision of the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship and of the potential human resources available for healing. Keywords: doctor-patient relationship, epistemology, placebo effect, professionalization, randomized clinical trials CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Previous research on unethical business behavior usually has focused on its impact from a financial or philosophical perspective. While such foci are important to our understanding of unethical behavior, we argue that another set of outcomes linked to individual well-being are critical as well. Using data from psychological, criminological, and epidemiological sources, we propose a model of unethical behavior and well-being. This model postulates that decrements in well-being result from stress or trauma stemming from being victimized by, engaging in, or (...) witnessing unethical behavior, or even from being associated with individuals involved in such behavior. (shrink)
How far is Thomas Aquinas available for current discussions in political philosophy? While there are certainly things to be learned from him about our political preoccupations, the pedagogy of his moral teaching typically resists our familiar questions. This holds even when the question is put in terms that Thomas should recognize—say, as a question about the virtues appropriate for a democracy. Thomas not only gives different meanings to these terms, he moves political topics away from the center of theological attention (...) and so organizes them very differently. A reader can notice these differences at many points but perhaps especially in the attention that Thomas gives in the Summa to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His account of these gifts qualifies significantly what he says of virtue and suggests large limits on human agency, whether in ethics or in politics. (shrink)
In the Aharonov- Bohm effect, electromagnetic potentials alter the two-slit interference pattern formed by an electron beam. We discuss here a curious feature of this effect, namely that, even though the interference pattern changes, none of its moments are shifted.
The issue of the dimensionality of materialism and postmaterialism, and their impact on key social and personal indicators, has been a hotly debated topic for decades. This study sought to achieve two goals to further our understanding of these constructs. First, it assessed whether an interactive materialism–postmaterialism conceptualization could be expanded to predict outcomes related to well-being. Second, the study extended the interactive model by using Richins’ three dimensions of materialism instead of the unidimensional construct utilized in previous studies. Results (...) indicated that the interactive model successfully predicted three different measures of well-being, specifically physical symptoms, stress, and subjective vitality. Results are discussed in terms of extending materialism–postmaterialism theory, both with respect to refining the materialism construct as well as its associations with new criterion variables. (shrink)
THERE are several answers in Aquinas to the question, what is the ground of the world's intelligibility. The fullest- answer is contained by the account of creation and expressed in the doctrine of divine Ideas. I would like to trace the lines of that doctrine in Aquinas's corpus as a means of showing how an account of creation at once clarifies and inverts the analysis of natural intelligibility.
Rousseau’s discussion of education in Émile has for its essential background his rejection of a truly public education in modern society on the one hand and the rejection of the possibility of modern human beings developing in a state of natural innocence on the other hand. His suggestion in Émile is that a form of private education (“home-schooling”) is possible that preserves the inherent goodness of the natural state while at the same time providing the instruction necessary for the student (...) to become a successful social, and thus moral, person. The possibility of such an education on Rousseau’s own terms will be the central focus of this essay; though implications for education today will also be raised. (shrink)