: Protection of human subjects from investigators' conflicts of interest is critical to the integrity of clinical investigation. Personal financial conflicts of interest are addressed by university policies, professional society guidelines, publication standards, and government regulation, but "intrinsic conflicts of interest"—conflicts of interest inherent in all clinical research—have received relatively less attention. Such conflicts arise in all clinical research endeavors as a result of the tension among professionals' responsibilities to their research and to their patients and both academic and financial (...) incentives. These conflicts should be disclosed to research subjects and managed as assiduously as are financial conflicts of interest. (shrink)
The seventeen seminal essays by Robert J. Gordon collected here, including three previously unpublished works, offer sharply etched views on the principal topics of macroeconomics - growth, inflation, and unemployment. The author re-examines their salient points in a uniquely creative, accessible introduction that serves on its own as an introduction to modern macroeconomics. Each of the four parts into which the essays are grouped also offers a new introduction. The papers in Part I explore different key aspects of the (...) history, theory, and measurement of productivity growth. The essays in Part II investigate the sources of business cycles and productivity fluctuations. Those in Part III cover the effects of supply shocks in macroeconomics. The final group presents empirical studies of the dynamics of inflation in the United States. The foreword by Nobel Laureate Robert M. Solow comments on the abiding importance of these essays drawn from 1968 to the present. (shrink)
The traditional problem of evil is set forth, by no means for the first time, in Part X of Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion in these familiar words: ‘Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?’ This formulation of the problem of evil obviously suggests an argument to the effect that the existence of evil in (...) the world demonstrates that God does not exist. The purpose of this paper is to examine this argument, with a view to showing that while it is not a conclusive argument, it is much stronger than some apologists for traditional theism allow. (shrink)
Whilst Edward Gibbon's Memoirs of My Life comprise a notoriously complex document of autobiographical artifice, there is no reason to question the honesty of its revelation of his attitudes to geography and its relationship to the historian's craft. Writing of his boyhood before going up to Oxford, Gibbon commented that his vague and multifarious reading could not teach me to think, to write, or to act; and the only principle, that darted a ray of light into the indigested chaos, was (...) an early and rational application of the order of time and place. The maps of Cellarius and Wells imprinted in my mind the picture of ancient geography: from Stranchius I imbibed the elements of chronology: the Tables of Helvicus and Anderson, the Annals of Usher [ sic ] and Prideaux, distinguished the connection of events. . . This seems a fairly direct comment on Gibbon's attitude to geography as a historian in that it is confirmed by various of his working documents and commonplace book comments not aimed at posterity and by the practice embodied in his great work that was thus targeted, the Decline and Fall. Taking Gibbon's private documents, the first manuscript we have in his English Essays, for example, is a tabulated chronology from circa 1751 when Gibbon was fourteen years old, which begins with the creation of the world in 6000 BC and runs up to 1590 BC, this being exactly the sort of material which could be commonplaced from the likes of Ussher and Prideaux. Matching this attention to chronology is a concern with geography, and indeed the two are coupled together as in his comment in the Memoirs. Thus in his Index Expurgatoris, Gibbon berates Sallust as “no very correct historian” on the grounds that his chronology is not credible and that “notwithstanding his laboured description of Africa, nothing can be more confused than his Geography without either division of provinces or fixing of towns”. In this regard, Gibbon the author of the Decline and Fall was a “correct” historian, in that he was careful to frame each arena in which historical events were narrated in the light of a prefatory description of the geography of the location under discussion. This is most readily apparent in the second half of the opening chapter of the work, where Gibbon proceeds on what his “Table of Contents” calls a “View of the Provinces of the Roman Empire”, starting in the West with Spain and then proceeding clockwise to reach Africa on the other side of the Pillars of Hercules, a pattern of geographical description directly mirroring ancient practice in Strabo's Geography and Pomponius Mela's De Situ Orbis. But this practice of prefacing a historical account with geographical description repeats itself at various points in the work, as when, approaching the end of his grand narrative, Gibbon reaches the impact of “Mahomet, with sword in one hand and the Koran in the other” on “the causes of the decline and fall of the Eastern empire”. Before discussing the birth of Islam, Gibbon treats his readers to a discussion of the geography of Arabia, beginning with its size and shape before moving on to its soils, climate and physical–geographic subdivisions. (shrink)
. This article examines seven American films from the perspective of the first time the author saw them versus the perspective of today. What I discover is that I do not feel, or think, the same way about the films in question. In the process of making this discovery—of gaining, as it were, a cinematic education—I explore not only the subjectivity of memory but also the subjectivity of criticism; the changes that have occurred in movie viewing over the years, which (...) themselves have affected perception; and the place of the cinema in one’s life—past, present, and beyond. (shrink)
According to the Free Will Explanation of a traditional view of hell, human freedom explains why some people are in hell. It also explains hell’s punishment and finality: persons in hell have freely developed moral vices that are their own punishment and that make repentance psychologically impossible. So, even though God continues to desire reconciliation with persons in hell, damned persons do not want reconciliation with God. But this moral vice explanation of hell’s finality is implausible. I argue that God (...) can and would make direct or indirect alterations in their character to give them new motivational reasons that re-enable their freedom to repent. Subsequently, I argue that it is probable that each damned person will be saved eventually, because there is a potential infinity of opportunities for free repentance. Thus, if the Free Will Explanation’s descriptions of hell and divine love are correct, it is highly probable that each person in hell escapes to heaven. (shrink)
Robert J. Howell offers a new account of the relationship between conscious experience and the physical world, based on a neo-Cartesian notion of the physical and careful consideration of three anti-materialist arguments. His theory of subjective physicalism reconciles the data of consciousness with the advantages of a monistic, physical ontology.
Sickle cell anemia is a disease characterized by abnormal hemoglobin structure. There is a mutation in the beta-globin gene that changes the sixth amino acid from glutamic acid to valine causing the mutated hemoglobin to polymerize reversibly when deoxygenated to form a gelatinous network of fibrous polymers that stiffen and distort the red blood cell membrane. This leads to episodes of microvascular vasoocclusion and premature RBC destruction leading to hemolytic anemia. For reasons that are unclear, some children develop a large (...) artery vasculopathy involving the intracranial arteries supplying the brain.The risk of stroke for a child with SCD is many times greater than that of a healthy child without SCD or heart disease. There is a technique that allows the identification of the children with SCD who have high risk even within this relatively high-risk group. And there is a highly effective preventive treatment. (shrink)
The risk of stroke for a child with SCD is many times greater than that of a healthy child without SCD or heart disease. There is a technique that allows the identification of the children with SCD who have high risk even within this relatively high-risk group. And there is a highly effective preventive treatment. While this would on the surface appear to be a straightforward medical decision, it is not. One must weigh the benefits of preventing permanent brain damage (...) against the risks of infection from transfused blood, iron overload, which is the result of the frequent transfusions, and rare transfusion reactions. (shrink)
The practice of manufacturers' payments of fees to retailers for the display and sale of their products has become a common practice. In the grocery retail business, the fees paid by manufacturers are called slotting fees, or a payment made for a slot on the shelf. The same practice is used now in the retail book industry. Large book chains command high fees from publishers for the prominent display of books. Entrepreneur's products are often precluded from stores and markets because (...) slotting fees are prohibitive. The fees are non-uniform and often paid in cash, creating an atmosphere that has already spawned illegal activity on the part of retail executives. This article examines the ethics of slotting fees. (shrink)
In Howard Kahane's current reply to my previous discussion of Goodman's elimination rules, he suggests both that the notion of conflict required by the first elimination rule cannot be made clear, and that both proposed revisions of the second elimination rule are too strong . These seem to me to be the points which require settlement, and I would like to discuss them in this paper.
How can we experience real emotions when viewing a movie or reading a novel or watching a play when we know the characters whose actions have this effect on us do not exist? This is a conundrum that has puzzled philosophers for a long time, and in this book Robert Yanal both canvasses previously proposed solutions to it and offers one of his own. First formulated by Samuel Johnson, the paradox received its most famous answer from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, (...) who advised his readers to engage in a "willing suspension of disbelief." More recently, philosophers have argued that we are irrational in emoting toward fiction, or that we do not emote toward fiction but rather toward factual counterparts, or that we do not have real but only quasi-emotion toward fiction, generated by our playing games of make-believe. All of these proposed solutions are critically reviewed. Finding these answers unsatisfactory, Yanal offers an alternative, providing a new version of what has been dubbed "thought theory." On this theory, mere thoughts not believed true are seen as the functional equivalent of belief at least insofar as stimulating emotion is concerned. The emoter's disbelief in the actuality of components of the thoughts must be rendered relatively inactive. Such emotion is real and typically has the character of being richly generated yet unconsummated. The book extends this theory also to resolving other paradoxes arising from emotional response to fiction: how we feel suspense over what comes next in a story even when we are re-reading it for a second or third time; and how we take pleasure in narratives, such as tragedy, that excite unpleasant emotions such as fear, pity, or horror. (shrink)
In this updated edition of his brief, engaging book, Robert J. Fogelin examines figures of speech that concern meaning-irony, hyperbole, understatement, similes, metaphors, and others-to show how they work and to explain their attraction.
he first institutional theory of art is outlined in a 1964 essay by Arthur Danto, “The Artworld,” which ruminates on the paradox that Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes is art though any of its perceptually indistinguishable twins—any stack of Brillo boxes in a grocery store—is not. Danto’s offers this solution to the paradox: “To see something as art requires something the eye cannot descry—an atmosphere of artistic theory, a knowledge of the history of art: an artworld.” Ultimately, though, it is “art (...) theory” that makes Warhol’s stack of silk screened plywood boxes into art. (shrink)
he most worrisome skeptical doubt Descartes raises in the first of his Meditations is the hypothesis of an evil deceiver. While it might seem plainly certain and indubitable that he is “sitting by the fire, wearing a winter cloak, holding this paper” in his hands, and so on, it is possible that all these—fire, cloak, paper, even hands—are illusions. “I will suppose, then, not that there is a supremely good God, the source of truth; but that there is an evil (...) spirit, who is supremely powerful and intelligent, and does his utmost to deceive me. I will suppose that sky, air, earth, colors, shapes, sounds and all external objects are mere delusive dreams, by means of which he lays snares for my credulity.”. (shrink)