The biological sciences employ a concept of normality that must be distinguished from statistical or value concepts. The concept of normality is presupposed in the standard explications of biological functions, and it is crucial to the strategy of explanation by approximations in, for example, physiology. Nevertheless, this concept of normality does not seem to be captured in the language of physics. Thus attempts at explaining the methodological relationship between the biological sciences and the physical sciences by concentrating only on the (...) concept of biological function cannot go very far. An analysis of the concept of normality is also necessary. (shrink)
This study brings together two important literatures together in the one volume. One concerns the role of quality assessments in social policy, especially health policy. The second concerns ethical and social issues raised by prenatal testing for disability. Hitherto, these two literatures have had little contact with each other: few scholars have written about both, or have compared the two domains in a systematic way, while people with disabilities and disability scholars are underrepresented in recent discussion on health policy and (...) quality of assessment. This book turns the perspectives of disability scholars on issues that have largely been the province of health methodology, policy and philosophy, while angling philosophical policy analysis on problems that have largely been the province of disability scholarship. This volume will be sought after by bioethicists, philosophers, and specialists in disability studies and healthcare economics. (shrink)
The essays in this volume apply philosophical analysis to address three kinds of questions: What are the implications of genetic science for our understanding of nature? What might it influence in our conception of human nature? What challenges does genetic science pose for specific issues of private conduct or public policy?
In this 2001 volume a group of leading philosophers address some of the basic conceptual, methodological and ethical issues raised by genetic research into criminal behavior. The essays explore the complexities of tracing any genetic influence on criminal, violent or antisocial behavior; the varieties of interpretations to which evidence of such influences is subject; and the relevance of such influences to the moral and legal appraisal of criminal conduct. The distinctive features of this collection are: first, that it advances public (...) discussion while clarifying the debate about genetic research and criminal behavior; second, that it explains scientific controversies about behavioral genetics in lucid, non-technical terms; third, that it demonstrates how the possible findings on genetics and crime bear on fundamental issues of moral and criminal responsibility. The volume will be of particular value to philosophers concerned with applied ethics, behavioral geneticists, psychologists, legal theorists, and criminologists. (shrink)
: Nearly all of the literature on the ethical, legal, or social issues surrounding genetic tests has proceeded on the assumption that any particular test for a gene mutation yields information about only one disease condition. Even though the phenomenon of pleiotropy, where a single gene has multiple, apparently unrelated phenotypic effects, is widely recognized in genetics, it has not had much significance for genetic testing until recently. In this article, I examine a moral dilemma created by one sort of (...) pleiotropic testing, APOE genotyping, which can yield information about the risk of two different conditions--coronary heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. A physician administering APOE testing for the beneficial purpose of assessing the risk of heart disease may discover medically useless and socially harmful information about the patient's risk of Alzheimer's disease. I explore how much providers should disclose to patients about pleiotropic test results and whether patients are obligated to know as much about their genetic condition as possible. (shrink)
Background Protecting the privacy of research participants is widely recognized as one of the standard ethical requirements for clinical research. It is unknown, however, how research professionals regard concepts of privacy as well as the situations in the research setting that require privacy protections. The aim of this study was to explore the views of research professionals from Arab countries regarding concepts and scope of privacy that occur in clinical research. Methods We adopted an exploratory qualitative approach by the use (...) of focus group discussions. We recruited individuals involved in research from Egypt and Morocco. We analyzed focus group data via a constant comparison approach, which consisted of close reading of the transcribed interviews followed by coding and then determining themes and subthemes. Results Between August 2016 and July 2018, we conducted nine focus group discussions. Respondents discussed several privacy issues that occurred before the research began ; during research, and after the research. Respondents revealed their perspectives of patients towards privacy in the clinical and research settings and mentioned that patients are more likely to permit access to their privacy in the clinical setting compared with research setting due to the existence of benefits and trust in clinical care. Respondents also recommended training regarding data protections for individuals involved in research. Conclusions Our study shows that research professionals discussed a range of privacy issues that are present during the different stages of research. We recommend 1) development of standards regarding privacy protections during recruitment efforts; 2) additional training for individuals involved in research regarding best practices with data security in secondary research; 3) a quantitative study involving investigators and REC members to determine their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding privacy issues that occur in research; and 4) a quantitative study involving patients to elicit their views regarding their privacy concerns in research. (shrink)
In this contribution, we identify and clarifysome distinctions we believe are useful inestablishing the reliability of information onthe Internet. We begin by examining some of thesalient features of information that go intothe determination of reliability. In so doing,we argue that we need to distinguish contentand pedigree criteria of reliability and thatwe need to separate issues of reliability ofinformation from the issues of theaccessibility and the usability of information.We then turn to an analysis of some commonfailures to recognize reliability orunreliability.
Realism about progress--that progress consists in the obtaining of some metaphysical relation between a sequence of theories and the world--is often thought to be required by realism about the representational character of theories. The purpose of this paper is to show how one can be a realist about theories without being a realist about progress. The result is a view that cannot be at odds with what the history of science shows.
The spread of new information and communications technologies during the past two decades has helped reshape civic associations, political communities, and global relations. In the midst of the information revolution, we find that the speed of this technology-driven change has outpaced our understanding of its social and ethical effects. The moral dimensions of this new technology and its effects on social bonds need to be questioned and scrutinized: Should the Internet be understood as a new form of public space and (...) a source of public good? What are we to make of hackers? Does the Internet strengthen or weaken community? In The Internet in Public Life, essayists confront these and other important questions. This timely and necessary volume makes clear the need for a broader conversation about the effects of the Internet, and the questions raised by these seven essays highlight some of the most pressing issues at hand. (shrink)
In this 2001 volume a group of leading philosophers address some of the basic conceptual, methodological and ethical issues raised by genetic research into criminal behavior. The essays explore the complexities of tracing any genetic influence on criminal, violent or antisocial behavior; the varieties of interpretations to which evidence of such influences is subject; and the relevance of such influences to the moral and legal appraisal of criminal conduct. The distinctive features of this collection are: first, that it advances public (...) discussion while clarifying the debate about genetic research and criminal behavior; second, that it explains scientific controversies about behavioral genetics in lucid, non-technical terms; third, that it demonstrates how the possible findings on genetics and crime bear on fundamental issues of moral and criminal responsibility. The volume will be of particular value to philosophers concerned with applied ethics , behavioral geneticists, psychologists, legal theorists, and criminologists. (shrink)