Many parents are hesitant about, or face motivational barriers to, vaccinating their children. In this paper, we propose a type of vaccination policy that could be implemented either in addition to coercive vaccination or as an alternative to it in order to increase paediatric vaccination uptake in a non-coercive way. We propose the use of vaccination nudges that exploit the very same decision biases that often undermine vaccination uptake. In particular, we propose a policy under which children would be vaccinated (...) at school or day-care by default, without requiring parental authorization, but with parents retaining the right to opt their children out of vaccination. We show that such a policy is likely to be effective, at least in cases in which non-vaccination is due to practical obstacles, rather than to strong beliefs about vaccines, ethically acceptable and less controversial than some alternatives because it is not coercive and affects individual autonomy only in a morally unproblematic way, and likely to receive support from the UK public, on the basis of original empirical research we have conducted on the lay public. (shrink)
Situated in critiques of the “moral muteness” of technical rationality, we examine concepts of ethics and the avoidance of ethical language among Australian gas pipeline engineers. We identify the domains in which they saw ethics as operating, including public safety, environmental protection, sustainability, commercial probity, and modern slavery. Particularly with respect to ethical matters that bear on public safety, in the course of design and operational activities, engineers principally advocated for action using technical language, avoiding reference to potential consequences such (...) as death or destruction of property. Within their organizations, they saw themselves as occupying a technical “line of defense”. We argue that this focus on technical language is action-oriented. Ethics tells practitioners of unacceptable outcomes, but it does not guide them in what they need to do to avoid that outcome in practice. We observed some cases where engineers had not made the connection between their role and ethics in the sense of public safety. We argue that muteness on ethical matters can obscure the nature of the risk where technical advice is being taken on by non-technical actors, and where technical actors themselves do not have a clear sense of their public safety obligations. (shrink)
In this unconventional article, Sarah Banet-Weiser, Rosalind Gill and Catherine Rottenberg conduct a three-way ‘conversation’ in which they all take turns outlining how they understand the relationship among postfeminism, popular feminism and neoliberal feminism. It begins with a short introduction, and then Ros, Sarah and Catherine each define the term they have become associated with. This is followed by another round in which they discuss the overlaps, similarities and disjunctures among the terms, and the article ends with how (...) each one understands the current mediated feminist landscape. (shrink)
We have been teaching gender issues and feminist theory for many years, and we know that there is certainly a diversity of views among women, and men, about what counts as feminist or as good for women. Some may see a competent woman running for V.P as inevitably a step forward for women's equality. But consider this.
Background -/- Innovative neurosurgical treatments present a number of known risks, the natures and probabilities of which can be adequately communicated to patients via the standard procedures governing obtaining informed consent. However, due to their novelty, these treatments also come with unknown risks, which require an augmented approach to obtaining informed consent. -/- Objective -/- This paper aims to discuss and provide concrete procedural guidance on the ethical issues raised by serious unexpected complications of novel deep brain stimulation treatments. -/- (...) Approach -/- We illustrate our analysis using a case study of the unexpected development of recurrent stereotyped events in patients following the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat severe chronic pain. Examining these unexpected complications in light of medical ethical principles, we argue that serious complications of novel DBS treatments do not necessarily make it unethical to offer the intervention to eligible patients. However, the difficulty the clinician faces in determining whether the intervention is in the patient's best interests generates reasons to take extra steps to promote the autonomous decision making of these patients. -/- Conclusion and recommendations -/- We conclude with clinical recommendations, including details of an augmented consent process for novel DBS treatment. (shrink)
Antibiotic use in animal farming is one of the main drivers of antibiotic resistance both in animals and in humans. In this paper we propose that one feasible and fair way to address this problem is to tax animal products obtained with the use of antibiotics. We argue that such tax is supported both by deontological arguments, which are based on the duty individuals have to compensate society for the antibiotic resistance to which they are contributing through consumption of animal (...) products obtained with the use of antibiotics; and a cost-benefit analysis of taxing such animal products and of using revenue from the tax to fund alternatives to use of antibiotics in animal farming. Finally, we argue that such a tax would be fair because individuals who consume animal products obtained with the use of antibiotics can be held morally responsible, i.e. blameworthy, for their contribution to antibiotic resistance, in spite of the fact that each individual contribution is imperceptible. (shrink)
Traditional philosophical discussions of knowledge have focused on the epistemic status of full beliefs. In this book, Moss argues that in addition to full beliefs, credences can constitute knowledge. For instance, your .4 credence that it is raining outside can constitute knowledge, in just the same way that your full beliefs can. In addition, you can know that it might be raining, and that if it is raining then it is probably cloudy, where this knowledge is not knowledge of propositions, (...) but of probabilistic contents. -/- The notion of probabilistic content introduced in this book plays a central role not only in epistemology, but in the philosophy of mind and language as well. Just as tradition holds that you believe and assert propositions, you can believe and assert probabilistic contents. Accepting that we can believe, assert, and know probabilistic contents has significant consequences for many philosophical debates, including debates about the relationship between full belief and credence, the semantics of epistemic modals and conditionals, the contents of perceptual experience, peer disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, perceptual dogmatism, and transformative experience. In addition, accepting probabilistic knowledge can help us discredit negative evaluations of female speech, explain why merely statistical evidence is insufficient for legal proof, and identify epistemic norms violated by acts of racial profiling. Hence the central theses of this book not only help us better understand the nature of our own mental states, but also help us better understand the nature of our responsibilities to each other. (shrink)
There is preliminary evidence, from case reports and investigational studies, to suggest that Deep Brain Stimulation could be used to treat some patients with Anorexia Nervosa. Although this research is at an early stage, the invasive nature of the intervention and the vulnerability of the potential patients are such that anticipatory ethical analysis is warranted. In this paper, we first show how different treatment mechanisms raise different philosophical and ethical questions. We distinguish three potential mechanisms alluded to in the neuroscientific (...) literature, relating to desire, control, and emotion, respectively. We explain why the precise nature of the mechanism has important implications for the patient’s autonomy and personal identity. In the second part of the paper, we consider practical dimensions of offering DBS to patients with AN in certain cases. We first discuss some limited circumstances where the mere offering of the intervention might be perceived as exerting a degree of coercive pressure that could serve to undermine the validity of the patient’s consent. Finally, we consider the implications of potential effects of DBS for the authenticity of the patient’s choice to continue using stimulation to ameliorate their condition. (shrink)
In this article, we outline a novel approach to understanding the role of responsibility in health promotion. Efforts to tackle chronic disease have led to an emphasis on personal responsibility and the identification of ways in which people can ‘take responsibility’ for their health by avoiding risk factors such as smoking and over-eating. We argue that the extent to which agents can be considered responsible for their health-related behaviour is limited, and as such, state health promotion which assumes certain forms (...) of moral responsibility should be avoided. This indicates that some approaches to health promotion ought not to be employed. We suggest, however, that another form of responsibility might be more appropriately identified. This is based on the claim that agents have prudential reasons to maintain their health, in order to pursue those things which make their lives go well—i.e. that maintenance of a certain level of health is rational for many agents, given their pleasures and plans. On this basis, we propose that agents have a self-regarding prudential responsibility to maintain their health. We outline the implications of a prudential responsibility approach to health promotion. (shrink)
We address the issue of whether, why and under what conditions, quarantine and isolation are morally justified, with a particular focus on measures implemented in the developing world. We argue that the benefits of quarantine and isolation justify some level of coercion or compulsion by the state, but that the state should be able to provide the strongest justification possible for implementing such measures. While a constrained form of consequentialism might provide a justification for such public health interventions, we argue (...) that a stronger justification is provided by a principle of State Enforced Easy Rescue: a state may permissibly compel individuals to engage in activities that entail a small cost to them but a large benefit to others, because individuals have a moral duty of easy rescue to engage in those activities. The principle of State Enforced Easy Rescue gives rise to an Obligation Enforcement Requirement: the state should create the conditions such that submitting to coercive or compulsive measures becomes a fundamental moral duty of individuals, i.e. a duty of easy rescue. When the state can create such conditions, it has the strongest justification possible for implementing coercive or compulsive measures, because individuals have a moral duty to temporarily relinquish the rights that such measures would infringe. Our argument has significant implications for how public health emergencies in the developing world should be tackled. Where isolation and quarantine measures are necessary, states or the international community have a moral obligation to provide certain benefits to those quarantined or isolated. (shrink)
Generic generalizations such as ‘mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus’ or ‘sharks attack bathers’ are often accepted by speakers despite the fact that very few members of the kinds in question have the predicated property. Previous work suggests that such low-prevalence generalizations may be accepted when the properties in question are dangerous, harmful, or appalling. This paper argues that the study of such generic generalizations sheds light on a particular class of prejudiced social beliefs, and points to new ways in (...) which those beliefs might be undermined and combatted. (shrink)
Davis called for “extreme caution” in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat neurological disorders in children, due to gaps in scientific knowledge. We are sympathetic to his position. However, we must also address the ethical implications of applying this technology to minors. Compensatory trade-offs associated with NIBS present a challenge to its use in children, insofar as these trade-offs have the effect of limiting the child’s future options. The distinction between treatment and enhancement has some normative force here. (...) As the intervention moves away from being a treatment toward being an enhancement—and thus toward a more uncertain weighing of the benefits, risks, and costs—considerations of the child’s best interests diminish, and the need to protect the child’s autonomy looms larger. NIBS for enhancement involving trade-offs should therefore be delayed, if possible, until the child reaches a state of maturity and can make an informed, personal decision. NIBS for treatment, by contrast, is permissible insofar as it can be shown to be at least as safe and effective as currently approved treatments, which are themselves justified on a best interests standard. (shrink)
Der protestantische Theologe Karl Girgensohn ist 1903 mit seinem frühen Werk über das Wesen der Religion an die Öffentlichkeit getreten, welches einen starken religionsphilosophischen Standpunkt zum Ausdruck bringt. Kernüberlegung ist hierbei eine kognitive Theorie des Religiösen, in der die Gottesidee zentral ist. Unter Berücksichtigung der Biographie Girgensohns geht der vorliegende Beitrag auf diese frühe Studie zum Wesen der Religion ein und skizziert den Übergang des Autors von einem philosophischen zu einem experimentell-introspektiven Ansatz der Religiositätsforschung, welcher dann zum Fundament für die (...) Dorpater religionspsychologische Schule wurde. Basierend auf Girgensohns frühem Werk werden abschließend Implikationen für die heutige empirische Theologie vorgeschlagen.The Protestant theologian Karl Girgensohn came to the public in 1903 with his early work on the nature of religion, which expresses a strong religious-philosophical standpoint. The core consideration here is a cognitive theory of the religious, in which the idea of God is central. Taking into account Girgensohn’s biography, the present contribution addresses this early study on the nature of religion and outlines the author’s transition from a philosophical to an experimental-introspective approach to religious research, which then became the foundation for the Dorpat School of the psychology of religion. Based on Girgensohn’s early work, implications for contemporary empirical theology are finally proposed. (shrink)
Since Mill's seminal work On Liberty, philosophers and political theorists have accepted that we should respect the decisions of individual agents when those decisions affect no one other than themselves. Indeed, to respect autonomy is often understood to be the chief way to bear witness to the intrinsic value of persons. In this book, Sarah Conly rejects the idea of autonomy as inviolable. Drawing on sources from behavioural economics and social psychology, she argues that we are so often irrational (...) in making our decisions that our autonomous choices often undercut the achievement of our own goals. Thus in many cases it would advance our goals more effectively if government were to prevent us from acting in accordance with our decisions. Her argument challenges widely held views of moral agency, democratic values and the public/private distinction, and will interest readers in ethics, political philosophy, political theory and philosophy of law. (shrink)
There are numerous ways people can improve their cognitive capacities: good nutrition and regular exercise can produce long-term improvements across many cognitive domains, whilst commonplace stimulants such as coffee temporarily boost levels of alertness and concentration. Effects like these have been well-documented in the medical literature and they raise few ethical issues. More recently, however, clinical research has shown that the off-label use of some pharmaceuticals can, under certain conditions, have modest cognition-improving effects. Substances such as methylphenidate and modafinil can (...) improve capacities such as working memory and concentration in some healthy individuals. Unlike their more mundane predecessors, these methods of “cognitive enhancement” are thought to raise a multitude of ethical issues. This paper presents the six principal ethical issues raised in relation to pharmacological cognitive enhancers —issues such as whether: the medical safety-profile of PCEs justifies restricting or permitting their elective or required use; the enhanced mind can be an “authentic” mind; individuals might be coerced into using PCEs;, there is a meaningful distinction to be made between the treatment vs. enhancement effect of the same PCE; unequal access to PCEs would have implications for distributive justice; and PCE use constitutes cheating in competitive contexts. In reviewing the six principal issues, the paper discusses how neuroscientific research might help advance the ethical debate. In particular, the paper presents new arguments about the contribution neuroscience could make to debates about justice, fairness, and cheating, ultimately concluding that neuroscientific research into “personalized enhancement” will be essential if policy is to be truly informed and ethical. We propose an “ethical agenda” for neuroscientific research into PCEs. (shrink)
This paper develops a precise understanding of the thesis of moral encroachment, which states that the epistemic status of an opinion can depend on its moral features. In addition, I raise objections to existing accounts of moral encroachment. For instance, many accounts fail to give sufficient attention to moral encroachment on credences. Also, many accounts focus on moral features that fail to support standard analogies between pragmatic and moral encroachment. Throughout the paper, I discuss racial profiling as a case study, (...) arguing that moral encroachment can help us identify one respect in which racial profiling is epistemically problematic. (shrink)
We present an analysis of counterfactuals in terms of stories and combine it with an account similar to Walton’s account of truth in fiction to yield truth conditions for counterfactuals. We discuss unusual features of this account, and compare it to other main approaches. In particular, we argue that our analysis succeeds in accounting for counterpossibles and counterfactuals with true antecedents while the other two main approaches fail, and we give reasons for thinking that it is important to have an (...) adequate account of these two areas. (shrink)
In this incisive study Sarah Broadie gives an argued account of the main topics of Aristotle's ethics: eudaimonia, virtue, voluntary agency, practical reason, akrasia, pleasure, and the ethical status of theoria. She explores the sense of "eudaimonia," probes Aristotle's division of the soul and its virtues, and traces the ambiguities in "voluntary." Fresh light is shed on his comparison of practical wisdom with other kinds of knowledge, and a realistic account is developed of Aristototelian deliberation. The concept of pleasure (...) as value-judgment is expounded, and the problem of akrasia is argued to be less of a problem to Aristotle than to his modern interpreters. Showing that the theoretic ideal of Nicomachean Ethics X is in step with the earlier emphasis on practice, as well as with the doctrine of the Eudemian Ethics, this work makes a major contribution towards the understanding of Aristotle's ethics. (shrink)
Deep brain stimulation has been of considerable interest to bioethicists, in large part because of the effects that the intervention can occasionally have on central features of the recipient’s personality. These effects raise questions regarding the philosophical concept of authenticity. In this article, we expand on our earlier work on the concept of authenticity in the context of deep brain stimulation by developing a diachronic, value-based account of authenticity. Our account draws on both existentialist and essentialist approaches to authenticity, and (...) Laura Waddell Ekstrom’s coherentist approach to personal autonomy. In developing our account, we respond to Sven Nyholm and Elizabeth O’Neill’s synchronic approach to authenticity, and explain how the diachronic approach we defend can have practical utility, contrary to Alexandre Erler and Tony Hope’s criticism of autonomy-based approaches to authenticity. Having drawn a distinction between the authenticity of an individual’s traits and the authenticity of that person’s values, we consider how our conception of authenticity applies to the context of anorexia nervosa in comparison to other prominent accounts of authenticity. We conclude with some reflections on the prudential value of authenticity, and by highlighting how the language of authenticity can be invoked to justify covert forms of paternalism that run contrary to the value of individuality that seems to be at the heart of authenticity. (shrink)
Ducks lay eggs' is a true sentence, and `ducks are female' is a false one. Similarly, `mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus' is obviously true, whereas `mosquitoes don't carry the West Nile virus' is patently false. This is so despite the egg-laying ducks' being a subset of the female ones and despite the number of mosquitoes that don't carry the virus being ninety-nine times the number that do. Puzzling facts such as these have made generic sentences defy adequate semantic treatment. (...) However complex the truth conditions of generics appear to be, though, young children grasp generics more quickly and readily than seemingly simpler quantifiers such as `all' and `some'. I present an account of generics that not only illuminates the strange truth conditions of generics, but also explains how young children find them so comparatively easy to acquire. I then argue that generics give voice to our most cognitively primitive generalizations and that this hypothesis accounts for a variety of facts ranging from acquisition patterns to cross-linguistic data concerning the phonological articulation of operators. I go on to develop an account of the nature of these cognitively fundamental generalizations and argue that this account explains the strange truth-conditional behavior of generics. (shrink)
BackgroundResuscitation and treatment of critically ill newborn infants is associated with relatively high mortality, morbidity and cost. Guidelines relating to resuscitation have traditionally focused on the best interests of infants. There are, however, limited resources available in the neonatal intensive care unit, meaning that difficult decisions sometimes need to be made. This study explores the intuitions of lay people regarding resource allocation decisions in the NICU.MethodsThe study design was a cross-sectional quantitative survey, consisting of 20 hypothetical rationing scenarios. There were (...) 119 respondents who entered the questionnaire, and 109 who completed it. The respondents were adult US and Indian participants of the online crowdsourcing platform Mechanical Turk. Respondents were asked to decide which of two infants to treat in a situation of scarce resources. Demographic characteristics, personality traits and political views were recorded. Respondents were also asked to respond to a widely cited thought experiment involving rationing.ResultsThe majority of respondents, in all except one scenario, chose the utilitarian option of directing treatment to the infant with the higher chance of survival, higher life expectancy, less severe disability, and less expensive treatment. As discrepancy between outcomes decreased, however, there was a statistically significant increase in egalitarian responses and decrease in utilitarian responses in scenarios involving chance of survival, life expectancy, and cost of treatment. In the classic ‘lifeboat’ scenario, all but two respondents were utilitarian.ConclusionsThis survey suggests that in situations of scarcity and equal clinical need, non-health professionals support rationing of life-saving treatment based on probability of survival, duration of survival, cost of treatment or quality of life. However, where the difference in prognosis or cost is very small, non-health professionals preferred to give infants an equal chance of receiving treatment. (shrink)
This paper motivates and develops a novel semantics for several epistemic expressions, including possibility modals and indicative conditionals. The semantics I defend constitutes an alternative to standard truth conditional theories, as it assigns sets of probability spaces as sentential semantic values. I argue that what my theory lacks in conservatism is made up for by its strength. In particular, my semantics accounts for the distinctive behavior of nested epistemic modals, indicative conditionals embedded under probability operators, and instances of constructive dilemma (...) containing epistemic vocabulary. (shrink)
This article presents a model for regulating cognitive enhancement devices. Recently, it has become very easy for individuals to purchase devices which directly modulate brain function. For example, transcranial direct current stimulators are increasingly being produced and marketed online as devices for cognitive enhancement. Despite posing risks in a similar way to medical devices, devices that do not make any therapeutic claims do not have to meet anything more than basic product safety standards. We present the case for extending existing (...) medical device legislation to cover CEDs. Medical devices and CEDs operate by the same or similar mechanisms and pose the same or similar risks. This fact coupled with the arbitrariness of the line between treatment and enhancement count in favour of regulating these devices in the same way. In arguing for this regulatory model, the paper highlights potential challenges to its implementation, and suggests solutions. (shrink)
One of the main themes that has emerged from behavioral decision research during the past three decades is the view that people's preferences are often constructed in the process of elicitation. This idea is derived from studies demonstrating that normatively equivalent methods of elicitation (e.g., choice and pricing) give rise to systematically different responses. These preference reversals violate the principle of procedure invariance that is fundamental to all theories of rational choice. If different elicitation procedures produce different orderings of options, (...) how can preferences be defined and in what sense do they exist? This book shows not only the historical roots of preference construction but also the blossoming of the concept within psychology, law, marketing, philosophy, environmental policy, and economics. Decision making is now understood to be a highly contingent form of information processing, sensitive to task complexity, time pressure, response mode, framing, reference points, and other contextual factors. (shrink)
In the United Kingdom, a number of National Health Service Clinical Commissioning Groups have proposed controversial measures to restrict elective surgery for patients who either smoke or are obese. Whilst the nature of these measures varies between NHS authorities, typically, patients above a certain Body Mass Index and smokers are required to lose weight and quit smoking prior to being considered eligible for elective surgery. Patients will be supported and monitored throughout this mandatory period to ensure their clinical needs are (...) appropriately met. Controversy regarding such measures has primarily centred on the perceived unfairness of targeting certain health states and lifestyle choices to save public money. Concerns have also been raised in response to rhetoric from certain NHS authorities, which may be taken to imply that such measures punitively hold people responsible for behaviours affecting their health states, or simply for being in a particular health state. In this paper, we examine the various elective surgery rationing measures presented by NHS authorities. We argue that, where obesity and smoking have significant implications for elective surgical outcomes, bearing on effectiveness, the rationing of this surgery can be justified on prognostic grounds. It is permissible to aim to maximise the benefit provided by limited resources, especially for interventions that are not urgently required. However, we identify gaps in the empirical evidence needed to conclusively demonstrate these prognostic grounds, particularly for obese patients. Furthermore, we argue that appeals to personal responsibility, both in the prospective and retrospective sense, are insufficient in justifying this particular policy. Given the strength of an alternative justification grounded in clinical effectiveness, rhetoric from NHS authorities should avoid explicit statements, which suggest that personal responsibility is the key justificatory basis of proposed rationing measures. (shrink)
Gilbert et al. have raised important questions about the empirical grounding of neuroethical analyses of the apparent phenomenon of Deep Brain Stimulation ‘causing’ personality changes. In this paper, we consider how to make neuroethical claims appropriately calibrated to existing evidence, and the role that philosophical neuroethics has to play in this enterprise of ‘evidence-based neuroethics’. In the first half of the paper, we begin by highlighting the challenges we face in investigating changes to PIAAAS following DBS, explaining how different trial (...) designs may be of different degrees of utility, depending on how changes to PIAAAS following DBS are manifested. In particular, we suggest that the trial designs Gilbert et al. call for may not be able to tell us whether or not DBS directly causes changes to personality. However, we suggest that this is not the most significant question about this phenomenon; the most significant question is whether these changes should matter morally, however they are caused. We go on to suggest that neuroethical analyses of novel neuro-interventions should be carried out in accordance with the levels of evidence hierarchy outlined by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, and explain different ways in which neuroethical analyses of changes to PIAAAS can be evidence-based on this framework. In the second half of the paper, we explain how philosophical neuroethics can play an important role in contributing to mechanism-based reasoning about potential effects on PIAAAS following DBS, a form of evidence that is also incorporated into the CEBM levels of evidence hierarchy. (shrink)
This paper argues that just as full beliefs can constitute knowledge, so can properties of your credence distribution. The resulting notion of probabilistic knowledge helps us give a natural account of knowledge ascriptions embedding language of subjective uncertainty, and a simple diagnosis of probabilistic analogs of Gettier cases. Just like propositional knowledge, probabilistic knowledge is factive, safe, and sensitive. And it helps us build knowledge-based norms of action without accepting implausible semantic assumptions or endorsing the claim that knowledge is interest-relative.
This chapter defines and defends time-slice epistemology, according to which there are no essentially diachronic norms of rationality. The chapter begins by distinguishing two notions of time-slice epistemology, and ends by defending time-slice theories of action under indeterminacy, i.e. theories about how you should act when the outcome of your decision depends on some indeterminate claim. In a recent chapter, J. Robert G. Williams defends a theory of action under indeterminacy which is subject to several objections. An alternative theory is (...) proposed in its place. The resulting discussion highlights a more general moral about action under indeterminacy, namely that time-slice theories are supported by strong analogies with ethical theories. In particular, our understanding of agents torn between interpretations of a decision situation should be guided by our theories of agents torn between incommensurable values. (shrink)
The existence of free gas and gas hydrate in the pore spaces of marine sediments causes changes in acoustic velocities that overprint the background lithological velocities of the sediments themselves. Much previous work has determined that such velocity overprinting, if sufficiently pronounced, can be resolved with conventional velocity analysis from long-offset, multichannel seismic data. We used 2D seismic data from a gas hydrate province at the southern end of New Zealand’s Hikurangi subduction margin to describe a workflow for high-resolution velocity (...) analysis that delivered detailed velocity models of shallow marine sediments and their coincident gas hydrate systems. The results showed examples of pronounced low-velocity zones caused by free gas ponding beneath the hydrate layer, as well as high-velocity zones related to gas hydrate deposits. For the seismic interpreter of a gas hydrate system, the velocity results represent an extra “layer” for interpretation that provides important information about the distribution of free gas and gas hydrate. By combining the velocity information from the seismic transect with geologic samples of the seafloor and an understanding of sedimentary processes, we have determined that high gas hydrate concentrations preferentially form within coarse-grained sediments at the proximal end of the Hikurangi Channel. Finer grained sediments expected elsewhere along the seismic transect might preclude the deposition of similarly high gas hydrate concentrations away from the channel. (shrink)
How fragile is our knowledge of morality, compared to other kinds of knowledge? Does knowledge of the difference between right and wrong fundamentally differ from knowledge of other kinds? Sarah McGrath offers new answers to these questions as she explores the possibilities, sources and characteristic vulnerabilities of moral knowledge.
Recently, von Fintel (2001) and Gillies (2007) have argued that certain sequences of counterfactuals, namely reverse Sobel sequences, should motivate us to abandon standard truth conditional theories of counterfactuals for dynamic semantic theories. I argue that we can give a pragmatic account of our judgments about counterfactuals without giving up the standard semantics. In particular, I introduce a pragmatic principle governing assertability, and I use this principle to explain a variety of subtle data concerning reverse Sobel sequences.
The Archival and Constructive views of memory offer contrasting characterizations of remembering and its relation to memory errors. I evaluate the descriptive adequacy of each by offering a close analysis of one of the most prominent experimental techniques by which memory errors are elicited—the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. Explaining the DRM effect requires appreciating it as a distinct form of memory error, which I refer to as misremembering. Misremembering is a memory error that relies on successful retention of the targeted event. It (...) differs from both successful remembering and from confabulation errors, where the representation produced is wholly inaccurate. As I show, neither the Archival nor the Constructive View can account for the DRM effect because they are insensitive to misremembering’s unique explanatory demands. Fortunately, the explanatory limitations of the Archival and Constructive Views are complementary. This suggests a way.. (shrink)
The Ethics of Need: Agency, Dignity, and Obligation argues for the philosophical importance of the notion of need and for an ethical framework through which we can determine which needs have moral significance. In the volume, Sarah Clark Miller synthesizes insights from Kantian and feminist care ethics to establish that our mutual and inevitable interdependence gives rise to a duty to care for the needs of others. Further, she argues that we are obligated not merely to meet others’ needs (...) but to do so in a manner that expresses "dignifying care," a concept that captures how human interactions can grant or deny equal moral standing and inclusion in a moral community. She illuminates these theoretical developments by examining two cases where urgent needs require a caring and dignifying response: the needs of the elderly and the needs of global strangers. Those working in the areas of feminist theory, women’s studies, aging studies, bioethics, and global studies should find this volume of interest. (shrink)