This special issue of Games and Culture focuses on the intersection between video games and ethics. This introduction briefly sets out the key research questions in the research field and identifies trends in the articles included in this special issue.
ABSTRACTViolating a person's rights is disrespectful to that person. This is because it is disrespectful to someone to violate duties owed to that person. I call these ‘directed duties’; they are the flipside of rights. The aim of this paper is to consider why directed duties and respect are linked, and to highlight a puzzle about this linkage, a puzzle arising from the fact that many directed duties are justified independently of whether they do anything for those to whom they (...) are owed. (shrink)
OBJECTIVES: To compare 2005 and 1995 ethics guidelines from journal editors to authors regarding requirements for institutional review board (IRB) approval and conflict-of-interest (COI) disclosure. DESIGN: A descriptive study of the ethics guidelines published in 103 English-language biomedical journals listed in the Abridged Index Medicus in 1995 and 2005. Each journal was reviewed by the principal author and one of four independent reviewers. RESULTS: During the period, the proportion of journals requiring IRB approval increased from 42% (95% CI 32.2% to (...) 51.2%, p<0.001) to 76% (95% CI 66.4% to 83.1%, p<0.001). In 2005, an additional 9% referred to the Declaration of Helsinki or the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' Uniform requirements for ethical guidelines; 15% (95% CI 8.5% to 22.5%, p<0.01) provided ambiguous or no requirements. The proportion of journals requiring COI disclosure increased from 75% (95% CI 66.6% to 83.3%, p<0.05) to 94% (95% CI 89.4% to 98.6%, p<0.05); 41% had comprehensive requirements, while some addressed only funding source (6%), were vague (10%) or both (14%). Criteria for authorship rose from 40% (95% CI 30.5% to 49.5%, p<0.05) to 72% (95% CI 63.3% to 80.7%, p<0.05). Journals with higher impact factors were more likely to require IRB approval (p<0.01). Journals in anaesthesia and radiology all required IRB approval; requirements in other disciplines varied. CONCLUSIONS: Instructions to authors regarding ethical standards have improved. Some remain incomplete, especially regarding the scope of disclosure of COI. The ethical guidelines presented to authors need further clarification and standardisation. (shrink)
The introduction introduces the history of the concept of human rights and its philosophical genealogy. It raises questions of the nature of human rights, the grounds of human rights, difference between proposed and actual human rights, and scepticism surrounding the very idea of human rights. In the course of this discussion, it concludes that the diversity of positions on human rights is a sign of the intellectual, cultural, and political fertility of the notion of human rights. The chapter concludes with (...) an overview of the chapters present in the volume. (shrink)
Our think tank tasked by the Dutch Health Council, consisting of Radboud University Nijmegen Honours Academy students with various backgrounds, investigated the implications of Deep Brain Stimulation for psychiatric patients. During this investigation, a number of methodological, ethical and societal difficulties were identified. We consider these difficulties to be a reflection of a still fragmented field of research that can be overcome with improved organization and communication. To this effect, we suggest that it would be useful to found a centralized (...) DBS organization. Such an organization makes it possible to 1) set up and maintain a repository, 2) facilitate DBS studies with a larger sample size, 3) improve communication amongst researchers, clinicians and ethical committees, and 4) improve communication between DBS experts and the public at large. (shrink)
It is common for philosophers and legal theorists to bemoan the proliferation of the language of rights in popular discourse.1 In a wide range of contemporary public political and ethical debates, disputants are quick to appeal to the existence of rights that support their position – the ‘human rights’ of innocent victims of war, animals’ noninterference rights, individuals’ and businesses’ rights to economic freedom. It is often maintained, with some plausibility, that these public disputes involve hasty and undefended reliance on (...) assumptions that certain specific rights exist, and that such profligacy with the language of rights does little to clarify and enhance public debate. By contrast, the two prominent theoretical analyses of the concept ‘a right’ – the Will Theory and the Interest Theory – are both revisionary theories which, if widely adopted, would require people to revise their usage of the term ‘a right’. The Will Theory is an explicitly revisionary theory, according to which rights can be held only by beings capable of waiving their rights (and hence rights cannot be held by animals or young children).2 I shall argue that traditional versions of the Interest Theory would also require revisions of popular usage of the term ‘a right’ (by implying that certain property rights and promissory rights cannot genuinely qualify as rights). Such revisionary analyses of the concept ‘a right’ might be applauded for aiming to enhance the conceptual clarity of public debate. However, my stance in this paper is avowedly non-revisionary. My aims are to seek an analysis of the concept ‘a right’ that accords with the multifarious ways in which this term is used in everyday ethical and political debates, and to argue that philosophers and legal theorists would benefit from adopting such a non-revisionary approach. (shrink)
What kind of duties would we be subject to in a just global society where everyone fulfilled their duty and there was no significant risk of injustice? And what kind of duties do we face in a global society that falls short of the just society?
This short but thought-provoking volume asks the question 'What is it that tragedy makes us know?'. The focus is on tragedy as a mode of representing the experience of radical suffering, pain, or loss, a mode of narrative through which we come to know certain things about ourselves and our world--about its fragility and ours. Through a mixture of historical discussion and close reading of a number of dramatic texts--from Sophocles to Sarah Kane--the book addresses a wide range of debates: (...) how tragedy is defined, whether there is such a thing as 'absolute tragedy', various modern attempts to rework the classical heritage and the relation of comedy to tragedy. There is also a fresh discussion of whether religious--particularly Christian--discourse is inimical to the tragic, and of the necessary tension between tragic narrative and certain kinds of political as well as religious rhetoric. Rowan Williams argues that tragic drama both articulates failure and frailty and, in affirming the possibility of narrating the story of traumatic loss, refuses to settle for passivity, resignation, or despair. In this sense, it still shows the trace of its ritual and religious roots. And in challenging two-dimensional models of society, power, humanity and human knowing, it remains an intrinsic part of any fully humanist culture. (shrink)
In this article I argue that, despite the views of such theorists as Locke, Hart and Raz, most of a person's property rights cannot be individualistically justified. Instead most property rights, if justified at all, must be justified on non-individualistic (e.g. consequentialist) grounds. This, I suggest, implies that most property rights cannot be morally fundamental ‘human rights’.
Basic rights are often of great instrumental value in securing protection for important human needs and interests. The first two sections of this paper defend the thesis that basic rights are also valuable independently of their instrumental role. Taking my cue from Frances Kamm's suggestion that basic rights reflect or express human worth, in the third, fourth and fifth sections I develop the proposal that the non-instrumental value of basic rights derives from their constitutive role in a universal form of (...) community or fellowship. The importance of basic rights' instrumental role is reaffi rmed in the final section of the paper, which builds on the earlier sections to offer a 'mixed' theory according to which basic rights have both instrumental and non-instrumental value. (shrink)
This essay makes three suggestions: first, that it is attractive to conceive individualistic justification as one of the hallmarks - maybe even the one hallmark - of human rights; secondly, that combining this conception of human rights with standard worries about socioeconomic rights can tempt one to take the phrase "human rights" to refer to any individualistically justified weighty normative consideration (including considerations that are not rights); and thirdly, that reflections on the individuation of rights and rights' dynamic quality give (...) us some reason to resist this temptation - though this reason is interestingly inconclusive. (shrink)
If it works, I can use Putnam’s vat argument to show that I have not always been a brain-in-a-vat. It is widely thought that the vat argument is of no use against closure scepticism – that is, scepticism motivated by arguments that appeal to a closure principle. This is because, even if I can use the vat argument to show that I have not always been a BIV, I cannot use it to show that I was not recently envatted, and (...) it is thought that the claim that I am not justified in thinking that I was not recently envatted is all that the closure sceptic requires. In this paper I first argue that scenarios in which I have been recently envatted are inadequate for the sceptic’s purposes, and so the standard argument that the vat argument is of no use against closure scepticism fails. I then argue that it is not possible to revise the standard argument to meet my objection. I conclude that, if it works, I can use the vat argument as a defence against closure scepticism. (shrink)
What makes something a human right? What is the relationship between the moral foundations of human rights and human rights law? What are the difficulties of appealing to human rights? This book offers the first comprehensive survey of current thinking on the philosophical foundations of human rights. Divided into four parts, this book focuses firstly on the moral grounds of human rights, for example in our dignity, agency, interests or needs. Secondly, it looks at the implications that different moral perspectives (...) on human rights bear for human rights law and politics. Thirdly, it discusses specific and topical human rights including freedom of expression and religion, security, health and more controversial rights such as a human right to subsistence. The final part discusses nuanced critical and reformative views on human rights from feminist, Kantian and relativist perspectives among others. The essays represent new and canonical research by leading scholars in the field. Each section is structured as a set of essays and replies, offering a comprehensive analysis of different positions within the debate in question. The introduction from the editors will guide researchers and students navigating the diversity of views on the philosophical foundations of human rights. (shrink)
This review critically engages with Radhika Desai’s concept of geopolitical economy as a framework for understanding the evolution of the capitalist state system. While presenting a useful challenge to many of the most deeply-held beliefs in International Relations theory, Desai’s over-reliance on a geopolitical lens produces a relatively one-sided account of the ways in which capitalism forges distinct international regimes and ideological formations under a given set of historical conditions of possibility. Thus, Desai’s somewhat opaque reading of the international relations (...) of capitalism clouds our understanding of what the current conjuncture might entail for any possible future beyond the social discipline of capital. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether responsibility could be borne vicariously. I distinguish between three different senses of responsibility: attributional responsibility, practices of holding people responsible, and substantive responsibility. I argue that it is doubtful both whether attributional responsibility could be borne vicariously, and whether it could be appropriate to hold someone vicariously responsible. However, I suggest that substantive responsibility can genuinely be borne vicariously. Getting clear on these conceptual issues has important implications for how we approach more concrete legal and political (...) questions. More specifically, I argue these abstract arguments can be used to inform views on the common-law doctrine of joint enterprise, and on reparations for historic injustice. (shrink)
Stove attempts to undermine Hume's argument on induction by denying Hume the claim that induction presupposes the uniformity of nature. I argue that Stove's attack on Hume's argument fails. *A paper from which the present piece was derived was read at the Hume Symposium. Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia, in July 1990, where George Couvalis and David Gauthier made helpful criticisms of my argument.
"Proof" has been and remains one of the concepts which characterises mathematics. Covering basic propositional and predicate logic as well as discussing axiom systems and formal proofs, the book seeks to explain what mathematicians understand by proofs and how they are communicated. The authors explore the principle techniques of direct and indirect proof including induction, existence and uniqueness proofs, proof by contradiction, constructive and non-constructive proofs, etc. Many examples from analysis and modern algebra are included. The exceptionally clear style and (...) presentation ensures that the book will be useful and enjoyable to those studying and interested in the notion of mathematical "proof.". (shrink)
Henry Chadwick's achievement overall remains immense. The range of his learning in classical and post-classical literature, both Greek and Latin, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Fathers and, increasingly, the early medievals was rare by any standard, and his success in making it available to the non-specialist reader as well as the expert was striking. Chadwick played a pivotal role in redefining a whole area of scholarship. Individual works, both long and short, still occupy a significant place in the literature (...) of their subjects–especially the work on Origen, Augustine, and Boethius. The translations that frame his career–the Contra Celsum and the Confessions–illustrate his capacity to get into the skin of ancient authors. Chadwick was without doubt the foremost patristic scholar of his generation in the English-speaking world, and one of the foremost in Europe. He will be remembered with enormous gratitude and affection by a large number of scholars to whom, by direct or indirect teaching and example, he taught their business. (shrink)
This essay responds to Sajjad Rizvi’s analysis of Shi‘a political theology in terms of the risks of over-emphasising the achieved clarity of a religious/political ethic in society. It notes the comparable reserve in Christian political thought, especially in the Augustinian tradition, in respect of a single sacral authority in society, and briefly discusses the various ways in which this has been articulated in mediaeval and modern contexts.
To understand what the Psalms “made of” Augustine is to grasp the central issues of faith and ecclesiology as Augustine understood them. To read the Psalms is to make our own voice the voice of the Body of Christ in worship.