Western Kansas is one of the most important agricultural regions in the world. Most agricultural production in this semi-arid region depends on the consumption of nonrenewable groundwater from the High Plains Aquifer, which will be 70 % depleted by 2070. The problem of depletion has drawn significant attention from local citizens and policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels for at least 40 years, resulting in a variety of policies and institutions to manage groundwater from the aquifer as a (...) common pool resource. Yet depletion has persisted. We explain this conundrum as an outcome of a mismatch between the scale of resource management, which has become more intensively local, and the scale of resource exchange, which has rendered the High Plains Aquifer a global common pool resource. We then explain the deeper, structural origins of the management–exchange scale mismatch. Drawing on concepts from structural human ecology theory and empirical evidence from Southwest Kansas, we show that agriculture is predicated on local metabolic rift in the hydrological cycle that is exacerbated through ecological unequal exchange with higher-income, core areas beyond the region. We conclude by highlighting two key policies that, if implemented together, may lessen the deleterious effects of these structural dynamics and thus promote a more sustainable relationship between society and environment in this region and other water-scarce regions that are net-exporters of groundwater. (shrink)
Conspiracy theories are typically thought to be examples of irrational beliefs, and thus unlikely to be warranted. However, recent work in Philosophy has challenged the claim that belief in conspiracy theories is irrational, showing that in a range of cases, belief in conspiracy theories is warranted. However, it is still often said that conspiracy theories are unlikely relative to non-conspiratorial explanations which account for the same phenomena. However, such arguments turn out to rest upon how we define what gets counted (...) both as a ‘conspiracy’ and a ‘conspiracy theory’, and such arguments rest upon shaky assumptions. It turns out that it is not clear that conspiracy theories are prima facie unlikely, and so the claim that such theories do not typically appear in our accounts of the best explanations for particular kinds of events needs to be reevaluated. (shrink)
Recent scholarship has gone a long way toward placing Locke in his intellectual and historical context, and thus in coming to see the respect in which his work has a previously unacknowledged conceptual unity. There remains, however, some difficulty in reconciling the style, purpose and content of his two major works. The Essay Concerning Human Understanding is usually read as primarily concerned with issues in epistemology and philosophy of science, while the Two Treatises of Government is regarded as less systematically (...) rigorous, or at worst ad hoc political analysis. These two sides of Locke thus remain virtually unrelated fields of specialization among interpreters. ;My dissertation is a contribution to the project of understanding Locke's work as a connected whole; without attributing to him an attitude of scientific reductionism, I argue that the account which Locke gives of personal property in the Second Treatise bears an important relation to his account of qualities and personal identity in the Essay. Specifically, I try to make plausible the claim that there is in Locke a direct analogy between the property of a human person, on one hand, and the properties of a natural substance on the other. I suggest that Locke's methodological atomism in science and epistemology parallels his qualifiedly individualistic political theory, and thus that his claims about private property can be understood in terms of a broader philosophical context than is usually supposed. ;As part of a larger project concerning the genealogy of the concept of property and the relation between metaphysics and morality, I expect this work to have useful implications regarding much of contemporary moral and political theory. Given the historical influence of Locke's political work, a careful analysis of it in terms of its epistemological and scientific grounding should contribute to a rethinking of much twentieth century work on property and justice. (shrink)
Belief in conspiracy theories is typically considered irrational, and as a consequence of this, conspiracy theorists––those who dare believe some conspiracy theory––have been charged with a variety of epistemic or psychological failings. Yet recent philosophical work has challenged the view that belief in conspiracy theories should be considered as typically irrational. By performing an intra-group analysis of those people we call “conspiracy theorists”, we find that the problematic traits commonly ascribed to the general group of conspiracy theorists turn out to (...) be merely a set of stereotypical behaviours and thought patterns associated with a purported subset of that group. If we understand that the supposed prob- lem of belief in conspiracy theories is centred on the beliefs of this purported sub- set––the conspiracists––then we can reconcile the recent philosophical contribu- tions to the wider academic debate on the rationality of belief in conspiracy theories. (shrink)
Original value -- Value incrementalism -- A normative proposal -- Valuing development -- The many faces of value -- Direct and indirect moral considerability -- Affirming moral theories -- Ethical vegetarianism? -- The possibility of an environmental ethic -- Racism and moral perfectionism -- The bankruptcy of moral relativism.
Originally published in 1954, this volume describes and analyses the course of short-period fluctuations in the British economy between 1833 and 1842. Through concentrating on a relatively short space of time, the text is able to provide a rigorous examination of the evidence and also avoids the over-simplification inherent in comparing the history of fluctuations in different periods. A variety of sources are put under scrutiny, both 'literary' and statistical, reflecting a relative lack of surviving economic material from the period. (...) This, in turn, reflects a generally broad approach which is described by the author as 'quantitative-historical'. Concise and highly informative, this book will remain of value to anyone with an interest in nineteenth century and economic history. (shrink)
In the literature on conspiracy theories, the least contentious part of the academic discourse would appear to be what we mean by a “conspiracy”: a secretive plot between two or more people toward some end. Yet what, exactly, is the connection between something being a conspiracy and it being secret? Is it possible to conspire without also engaging in secretive behavior? To dissect the role of secrecy in con- spiracies – and thus contribute to the larger debate on the epistemology (...) of conspir- acy theories – we dene the concepts of “conspiracy,” “conspirator,” and “secret,” and argue that while conspirators might typically be thought to commit to keeping secrets once their conspiracy is underway, the idea that conspiracies are necessarily secretive to start with is not as obvious as previously thought. (shrink)
Health professionals are involved in humanitarian assistance and development work in many regions of the world. They participate in primary health care, immunization campaigns, clinic- and hospital-based care, rehabilitation and feeding programs. In the course of this work, clinicians are frequently exposed to complex ethical issues. This paper examines how health workers experience ethics in the course of humanitarian assistance and development work. A qualitative study was conducted to consider this question. Five core themes emerged from the data, including: tension (...) between respecting local customs and imposing values; obstacles to providing adequate care; differing understandings of health and illness; questions of identity for health workers; and issues of trust and distrust. Recommendations are made for organizational strategies that could help aid agencies support and equip their staff as they respond to ethical issues. (shrink)
This article poses a challenge to the assumption that all conceptions of the imago Dei are practical, meaning that they can coherently provide a guide for human action. The article identifies three criteria for practicality and applies them to two accounts of the imago, one in the thought of the twentieth-century theologian Helmut Thielicke, the other in the Roman Catholic tradition. It argues that Thielicke’s account of the imago, which forms the basis for what he calls ‘alien dignity’, fails to (...) meet the criteria of practicality, and thus cannot serve as an adequate guide for action. In contrast, the account of the imago and human dignity in the Roman Catholic tradition does meet the criteria. This comparison, the article concludes, ultimately helps provide a means of assessing diverse theological interpretations of the imago and their value for supporting a morally useful conception of human worth. (shrink)
Various authors have argued that progress in the neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric sciences might threaten the commonsense understanding of how the mind generates behavior, and, as a consequence, it might also threaten the commonsense ways of attributing moral responsibility, if not the very notion of moral responsibility. In the case of actions that result in undesirable outcomes, the commonsense conception—which is reflected in sophisticated ways in the legal conception—tells us that there are circumstances in which the agent is entirely and fully (...) responsible for the bad outcome and circumstances in which the agent is not at all responsible for the bad outcome. (shrink)
From the early modern period, Western epistemologists have often been concerned with a rigorous notion of epistemic justification, epitomized in the work of Descartes: properly held beliefs require insulation from extreme skepticism. To the degree that veridical cognitive states may be indistinguishable from non-veridical states, apparently veridical states cannot enjoy high-grade positive epistemic status. Therefore, a good believer begins from what are taken to be neutral, subjective experiences and reasons outward—hopefully identifying the kinds of appearances that properly link up to (...) the world and those that do not. Good beliefs, beliefs that are justified (warranted, etc.), are those that a believer has .. (shrink)
Most philosophical defences of the state’s right to exclude immigrants derive their strength from the normative importance of self-determination. If nation-states are taken to be the political institutions of a people, then the state’s right to exclude is the people’s right to exclude – and a denial of this right constitutes an abridgement of self-determination. In this paper, I argue that this view of self-determination does not cohere with a group-agency view of nation-states. On the group-agency view that I defend, (...) a nation-state is the kind of group-agent that does not supervene on the intentionality of member/citizens. If we think that a nation-state is an intentional group-agent in its own right, then we should think that self-determination resides with the institutions of the state rather than with the citizens. If nation-states do not supervene on the intentionality of citizens, then it is unclear why citizens might have the right to control membership in the state as a feature of self-determination. (shrink)
Previous findings indicate that negative arousal enhances bottom-up attention biases favouring perceptual salient stimuli over less salient stimuli. The current study tests whether those effects were driven by emotional arousal or by negative valence by comparing how well participants could identify visually presented letters after hearing either a negative arousing, positive arousing or neutral sound. On each trial, some letters were presented in a high contrast font and some in a low contrast font, creating a set of targets that differed (...) in perceptual salience. Sounds rated as more emotionally arousing led to more identification of highly salient letters but not of less salient letters, whereas sounds’ valence ratings did not impact salience biases. Thus, arousal, rather than valence, is a key factor enhancing visual processing of perceptually salient targets. (shrink)
Healthcare user fees present an important barrier for accessing services for the poorest (indigents) in Burkina Faso and selective removal of fees has been incorporated in national healthcare planning. However, establishing fair, effective and sustainable mechanisms for the removal of user fees presents important challenges. A participatory action-research project was conducted in Ouargaye, Burkina Faso, to test mechanisms for identifying those who are indigents, and funding and implementing user fee removal. In this paper, we explore stakeholder perceptions of ethical considerations (...) relating to participation and partnership arising in the action-research. (shrink)
Much of classical Hindu thought has centered on the question of self: what is it, how does it relate to various features of the world, and how may we benefit by realizing its depths? Attempting to gain a conceptual foothold on selfhood, Hindu thinkers commonly suggest that its distinctive feature is consciousness (caitanya). Well-worn metaphors compare the self to light as its awareness illumines the world of knowable objects. Consciousness becomes a touchstone to recognize the presence of a self. A (...) rock is insentient, void of consciousness, and purely an object. Selves, however, are loci of awareness and thus subjects. Some schools, most notably classical Sāṁkhya and Advaita Vedānta, take this approach to its furthest conclusion: consciousness is not only unique to the self, but is the fundamental feature of selfhood. Other putative features of the self—feelings, memories, moral responsibility, and importantly, agency (kartṛtva)—are taken to be the impositions of insentient matter (prakṛti) or symptoms of primordial illusion (avidyā). Against this position, Nyāya defends a more robust notion of selfhood, placing qualities like desire, aversion, volition, and moral responsibility alongside cognition as the self’s distinctive qualities. These various aspects of selfhood come together neatly when we consider agency. An agent performs intentional actions under her volition, which is triggered by her own cognitive and affective states. Her volitional acts further generate moral consequences which she must bear, and which are, in the Indian context, embodied in the form of karmic merit and demerit. For Nyāya, agency is, therefore, a special expression of the self’s different capacities and potentialities, which coherently binds them together. Nyāya’s view is an important contribution to Indian theories of self as it is a counterpoint to what we may call exclusively cognitive accounts of selfhood in other influential Hindu schools, as noted above. The first half of this paper will consider Nyāya’s conception of agency in relation to selfhood. The second half will discuss Nyāya’s arguments with other Hindu schools—specifically Sāṁkhya—in support of the thesis that the self must be an agent as well as a knower. (shrink)
A reply to Gérald Bronner, Véronique Campion-Vincent, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez, Nicolas Gauvrit, Anthony Lantian, and Pascal Wagner-Egger's piece, '“They” Respond: Comments on Basham et al.’s “Social Science’s Conspiracy-Theory Panic: Now They Want to Cure Everyone”.
Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Practices: Process and Criteria for Evaluating Adaptations of Norms and Standards in Health Care Institutions Content Type Journal Article Pages 327-339 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9115-8 Authors Matthew R. Hunt, McMaster University Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Montreal Canada Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 4.
Plasticity of body representation fundamentally underpins human tool use. Recent studies have demonstrated remarkably complex plasticity of body representation in humans, showing that such plasticity (1) occurs flexibly across multiple time scales and (2) involves multiple body representations responding differently to tool use. Such findings reveal remarkable sophistication of body plasticity in humans, suggesting that Vaesen may overestimate the similarity of such mechanisms in humans and non-human primates.
This article seeks evidence of Herodotus's conception of his historical enterprise in the recurring scenes in which he portrays barbarian kings as inquirers and investigators. Through these scenes-involving most notably Psammetichus, Etearchus, Croesus, Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius, and Xerxes-the historian not only explores the character of autocrats, but also holds up a mirror to his own activity as inquirer. Once we recognize the metahistorical dimension of Herodotus's representation of inquiring kings, we can better understand the scenes in which these figures appear (...) and the historian who sees his own enterprise reflected or distorted in their efforts. I argue first that the tale of Darius's inquiry concerning the Paeonian wonder-woman is a paradigmatic Herodotean treatment of kingly inquiry in the way the historian both identifies with, and distances himself from, his kingly investigator. I then assess kingly research under three headings that reflect some of the many ways that Herodotean kings use and abuse investigation: Measurement and Self-Aggrandizement; Exploration and Conquest; Trial, Torture, and Test. Under the final rubric, kingly experiments are the focus, some involving human subjects , others involving the divine . Herodotus's extensive analysis of inquiring kings indicates that any earlier investigator-measurer, explorer, or experimenter-is a potential rival for him. If Herodotus is conscious that he is following in the footsteps of inquiring kings, however, his critique of their techniques and motives suggests that his inquiry is intellectually and ethically superior to theirs. Ultimately, then, Herodotus's exploration of regal investigation helps both to define and to lend authority to the historiê that he undertakes in the Histories. (shrink)
Pakṣilasvāmin Vātsyāyana (c. 450 CE) is the author of the Commentary on Nyāya (Nyāya-bhāṣya), the first full commentary on the Nyāya-sūtra of Gautama (c. 150 CE), which is itself the foundational text of the school of philosophy called “Nyāya.” The Nyāya tradition is home to a number of leading voices within the classical Indian philosophical scene and is celebrated in later doxographies as one of the six “orthodox” systems of Hindu thought. Given the way that sūtra texts and their first (...) commentaries are profoundly intertwined, Vātsyāyana’s work provides a formative vision of Nyāya’s self-conception as a philosophical system as well as interpretive strategies, central lines of argumentation, and determinations of importance that later Naiyāyikas (Nyāya philosophers) often take to be as much as a given as the original text itself. Along with its sustained defense of metaphysical realism across various fronts, Nyāya is best known for its achievements in epistemology and logic, and as indicated by the title of this chapter, the lens through which we will explore Vātsyāyana’s thought is his theory of knowledge. We will give special attention to his account of the nature and importance of cognition as a guide to action and will illustrate the way in which this theme informs a number of apparently distinct elements of his project including his realism, his account of epistemic entitlement, and his notion of philosophy’s contribution to living well. (shrink)
Despite the growing popularityof farmers' markets (FMs) across the UnitedStates, the experiences and perspectives offarmers who sell at markets have received verylittle research attention. This study describesthe views of 18 farmers from Upstate New Yorkon the importance of FMs as part of theirlifestyle and livelihood, the challenges theyface selling at markets, and their conceptionsof ideal FMs. Through in-depth, semi-structuredinterviews, farmers expressed economic andsocial motivations for selling at FMs; socialbenefits from interacting with customers; andthe challenges they faced as small-scalefarmers and sellers, (...) including extra-marketcompetition, uncooperative and problematicmarket vendors, rising farm input costs, andchanging consumer trends. Farmers alsodiscussed personal values associated withselling at FMs, such as pride in raising andmarketing one's own products, working togetherwith other farmer-vendors, and providingcustomers with honest information. Visions ofideal FMs were varied among farmers, but therewas general agreement that FMs should provide adiversity of products to attract customers andeducational opportunities for the public tolearn more about FMs and local produce. Theinterdependence of FM farmers was a majoremergent theme across interviews. Findingssuggested that market experiences of FMfarmers, including economic success, are notonly contingent on personal effort, but canalso be affected by the work of fellow vendors.Future research may look to further explore howFM farmers and other vendors interact ascooperative and competitive social and economicunits. At the community level, FM leadershipshould continue to focus on the experiences andperspectives of farmers and other marketvendors, in addition to identifying ways forenhancing cooperative FM enterprises. (shrink)
In this article, we present an ethics framework for health practice in humanitarian and development work: the ethics of engaged presence. The ethics of engaged presence framework aims to articulate in a systematic fashion approaches and orientations that support the engagement of expatriate health care professionals in ways that align with diverse obligations and responsibilities, and promote respectful and effective action and relationships. Drawn from a range of sources, the framework provides a vocabulary and narrative structure for examining the moral (...) dimensions of providing development or humanitarian health assistance to individuals and communities, and working with and alongside local and international actors. The elements also help minimize or avoid certain miscalculations and harms. Emphasis is placed on the shared humanity of those who provide and those who receive assistance, acknowledgement of limits and risks related to the contributions of expatriate health care professionals, and the importance of providing skillful and relevant assistance. These elements articulate a moral posture for expatriate health care professionals that contributes to orienting the practice of clinicians in ways that reflect respect, humility, and solidarity. Health care professionals whose understanding and actions are consistent with the ethics of engaged presence will be oriented toward introspection and reflective practice and toward developing, sustaining and promoting collaborative partnerships. (shrink)
Recent studies of Nyäya’s account of testimony have illustrated its anticipation of contemporary testimonial antireductionism, the position that testimony cannot be reduced to a more fundamental means of knowledge like inference or perception. This paper discusses another relevant but less discussed anticipation of current debate, involving the status of speaker belief in testimonial exchange. Is a speaker’s veridical apprehension of the content of his utterance a necessary condition on testimonial exchange? This was a source of much disputation among Indian epistemologists, (...) particularly Naiyäyikas (adherents of the Nyäya, or “Logic” school) and Mimamsakas(adherents of the Mimamsa, or “Exegete” school). (shrink)
Several features of this compact passage have puzzled scholars ever since the discovery of the Aristotelian Constitution of the Athenians a century ago. First, did the Athenian Assembly really deliberate on all these disparate matters in the chief meeting of the sixth prytany, and if so, why? Second, why did it limit complaints against sycophants to a total of six divided equally between citizens and metics? Since the answers we give to these questions are fundamental to our understanding of basic (...) Athenian institutions, they deserve careful consideration. This paper will argue that the Assembly did deliberate on these matters at the same meeting and indeed that this was natural, since they are all symbolic, as well as practical, instruments for controlling behaviour inimical to the demos' interests. It will also suggest that the limitation on probolai against citizen and metic sycophants was introduced to safeguard against the sort of abuse of the label ‘sycophant’ that took place under the regime of the Thirty, and that the measures described in Ath. Pol. 43.5 were, therefore, most likely linked together in the early years of the restored democracy. (shrink)
Patients with psychotic disorders experience a range of reality distortions. These often include auditory-verbal hallucinations, and thought insertion to a lesser degree; however, their mechanisms and relationships between each other remain largely elusive. Here we attempt to establish a integrative model drawing from the phenomenology of both AVHs and TI and argue that they in fact can be seen as ‘spectra’ of experiences with varying degrees of agency and ownership, with ‘silent and internal own thoughts’ on one extreme and ‘fully (...) external and clearly audible voices’ in the absence of a speaker on the other. We believe a spectral model will add emphasis to the continuity of experience and help to better understand how one type of psychotic symptom may interact with another, and put forward the argument that the experience of TI itself is not sufficient to classify as a delusion. In addition we aim to discuss some of the conceptual issues surrounding AVHs and TI with first-person accounts and current philosophical and neuropsychological theories in mind. We propose that the mechanisms behind AVHs and TI are more complex than source-monitoring deficits; indeed, to understand such phenomena one must appreciate that their very ‘existence’ and ‘reality’ as experienced by the individual have much deeper implications and meaning, both philosophically and clinically. (shrink)