This glossary is both an introduction to the key words of feminist critical theories and a guide to their origins. Acknowledging the variety of contemporary feminist theories, the glossary includes entries on black, post-colonial, Italian, and French feminisms, and draws on a wide range of fields including semiotics, psychoanalysis, structuralism, poststructuralism, and deconstruction.
We begin by distinguishing computationalism from a number of other theses that are sometimes conflated with it. We also distinguish between several important kinds of computation: computation in a generic sense, digital computation, and analog computation. Then, we defend a weak version of computationalism—neural processes are computations in the generic sense. After that, we reject on empirical grounds the common assimilation of neural computation to either analog or digital computation, concluding that neural computation is sui generis. Analog computation requires continuous (...) signals; digital computation requires strings of digits. But current neuroscientific evidence indicates that typical neural signals, such as spike trains, are graded like continuous signals but are constituted by discrete functional elements (spikes); thus, typical neural signals are neither continuous signals nor strings of digits. It follows that neural computation is sui generis. Finally, we highlight three important consequences of a proper understanding of neural computation for the theory of cognition. First, understanding neural computation requires a specially designed mathematical theory (or theories) rather than the mathematical theories of analog or digital computation. Second, several popular views about neural computation turn out to be incorrect. Third, computational theories of cognition that rely on non-neural notions of computation ought to be replaced or reinterpreted in terms of neural computation. (shrink)
In “Autonomy and the Feminist Intuition,” Natalie Stoljar asks whether a procedural or a substantive approach to autonomy is best for addressing feminist concerns. In this paper, I build on Stoljar’s argument that feminists should adopt a strong substantive approach to autonomy. After briefly reviewing the problems with a purely procedural approach, I begin to articulate my own strong substantive theory by focusing specifically on the problem of internalized oppression. In the final section, I briefly address some of the concerns (...) raised by procedural theorists who are leery of a substantive approach. (shrink)
I argue that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as an organization and through its individual members, can and should be a far greater ally in the prevention of violence against women. Specifically, I argue that we need to pay attention to obstetrical practices that inadvertently contribute to the problem of violence against women. While intimate partner violence is a complex phenomenon, I focus on the coercive control of women and adherence to oppressive gender norms. Using physician response (...) to alcohol use during pregnancy and court-ordered medical treatment as examples, I show how some obstetrical practices mirror the attitudes of abusive men insofar as they try to coercively control women's behavior through manipulation and violence. To be greater allies in the prevention of violence against women, obstetricians should stop participating in practices that inadvertently perpetuate violence against women. (shrink)
Fraudulent analysis and reporting of psychological data have the potential to contaminate the scientific knowledge base and eventuate in the unjustified expenditure of public money and scientific effort (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 1998). Traditionally, the field has relied on quantitative methodologists to educate researchers in proper analysis and reporting practices, and to examine these via peer review. The field has also relied on psychologists with training or board service in ethics to establish standards and implement strategies to discourage misconduct. However, this (...) division of responsibility for examination, standard setting, and deterrence is shown to compromise the effectiveness of methodologists' and ethicists' respective gatekeeping efforts. Methodologically and ethically trained specialists instead need to coordinate efforts to safeguard analysis and reporting procedures. Researchers also need to increase self-monitoring. Potential obstacles to achieving these ends are considered, and three tactics are proposed to overcome them. (shrink)
Although mutually advantageous cooperative strategies might be an apt account of some societies, other moral systems might be needed among certain groups and contexts. In particular, in a duty-based moral system, people do not behave morally with an expectation for proportional reward, but rather, as a fulfillment of debt owed to others. In such systems, mutualistic motivations are not necessarily a key component of morality.
Expert caring has nothing to do with possessing privileged information that increases one’s control and domination of another. Rather, expert caring unleashes the possibilities inherent in the self and the situation.While researching some issues in nursing, I noticed that nursing theorists often utilize philosophical theories in their own work—drawing on phenomenology, pragmatism, and even Plato to name a few. However, bioethicists have not paid as much attention to nursing theory and what it means to be an expert nurse.1 This is (...) unfortunate because—as I hope to show—the daily practice of expert nurses goes far toward enacting the... (shrink)
Studies on end-of-life care reveal different practices regarding withholding and/or withdrawing life-sustaining treatments between countries and regions. Available data about physicians’ practices regarding end-of-life care in ICUs in Egypt is scarce. This study aimed to investigate physicians’ attitudes toward end-of-life care and the reported practice in adult ICUs in Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt. 100 physicians currently working in several ICU settings in Ain Shams University Hospitals were included. A self-administered questionnaire was used for collection of data. Most of (...) the participants agreed to implementation of “do not resuscitate” orders and applying pre-written DNR orders, while only 13% almost always/often order DNR for terminally-ill patients. 52% of the participants agreed to usefulness of limiting life-sustaining therapy in some cases, but they expressed fear of legal consequences. 47% found withholding life-sustaining treatment is more ethical than its withdrawal. 16% almost always/often withheld further active treatment but continued current ones while only 6% almost always/often withdrew active therapy for terminally-ill patients. The absence of legislation and guidelines for end-of-life care in ICUs at Ain Shams University Hospitals was the main influential factor for the dissociation between participants’ attitudes and their practices. Therefore, development of a consensus for end-of-life care in ICUs in Egypt is mandatory. Also, training of physicians in ICUs on effective communication with patients’ families and surrogates is important for planning of limitation of life-sustaining treatments. (shrink)
Donald J. Munro's essay, "When Science Is in Defense of Value-Linked Facts," takes a stand against the fact-value dichotomy which has been heavily pronounced within the Greco-European philosophical canon. As Munro also points out, the continuing persistence of the fact-value dichotomy is traceable to Moore's discussion of the "naturalistic fallacy" and Hume's discussion of the is-ought problem. In opposition to these two views, classical Confucian thinkers present us with descriptive statements about human commonalities, including their inborn affects....
Philodemus of Gadara was a poet and Epicurean philosopher who, after leaving Gadara, studied in Athens under Zeno of Sidon before moving to Italy. Once in Italy, he lived in the area around the Bay of Naples, where he belonged to a circle of Epicureans that included Siro as well as the Roman poets Vergil, L. Varius Rufus, Quintilius Varus, and Plotius Tucca. His epigrams were preserved as part of the Greek Anthology, while his prose works were discovered at the (...) Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, carbonized by the first pyroclastic surge of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. He wrote on a wide range of topics, including epistemology, ethics, theology, aesthetics, logic and science, and the history of philosophy, but not physics. In his works, he presents himself as an entirely orthodox Epicurean. He does so by explicating the teachings of earlier Epicureans (especially those of Epicurus, Metrodorus, Hermarchus, and Polyaenus), defending the positions of his teacher Zeno of Sidon, arguing against fellow Epicureans whom he perceives to have strayed from orthodoxy, and advancing Epicurean positions against other schools like the Academics, Peripatetics, Stoics, Cynics, and Cyrenaics. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article draws a parallel between the Zhuangzi’s discussions of having no sense of “oneself” or “I,” on the one hand, and its critique of institutionalized order and visions of the unification of society, on the other. Highlighting the way the text distances itself from rituals and tradition, this article identifies the source of the shift in its view on personhood not simply in the situating of humans in the wider world or in acknowledgment of natural processes of change, but (...) in the character of one’s relation to the wider world and change. Although special attention is given here to the socially and politically disengaged tone of the text, I reject the view that the Zhuangzi’s goal is to help shed the “external,” “social,” or “constructed” layers of one’s person in order to unearth a “natural” or “authentic” core. (shrink)
Despite the fact that the requirement to obtain informed consent for medical procedures is deeply enshrined in both U.S. moral and legal doctrine, empirical studies and anecdotal accounts show that women's rights to informed consent and refusal of treatment are routinely undermined and ignored during childbirth. For example, citing the most recent Listening to Mothers survey, Marianne Nieuwenhuijze and Lisa Kane Low state that "a significant number of women said they felt pressure from a caregiver to agree to having an (...) intervention that they did not want during birth". Specifically, Nieuwenhuijze and Low cite that "19% of women who did not have epidural analgesia felt... (shrink)
Although Christianity's clout on sexuality has generally declined in Britain due to secularization, contemporary conservative Protestantism continues to encourage a conventional construction of sexuality — sex is only for the context of heterosexual marriage. Qualitative interviews with 26 heterosexual women and two lesbian women on how their Protestant church involvement impacted their sexuality revealed the pervasive discourse of a marital-confined sexuality and participants' sense of `accountability' to the group for carrying this out. Such accountability can result in a repressed sexuality (...) that is oppressive. Alternatively, it can produce a `sense of community' that functions as a source of empowerment. The oppressive and empowering nature of accountability, however, can be difficult to untangle because of women's religious commitment and supportive friendships found in church life. Relying on participants' accounts, this article addresses the oppression and empowerment young women experience when they negotiate their gendered identities in relation to a marital-confined sexuality. (shrink)