There is disagreement in the literature about the exact nature of the phenomenon of empathy. There are emotional, cognitive, and conditioning views, applying in varying degrees across species. An adequate description of the ultimate and proximate mechanism can integrate these views. Proximately, the perception of an object's state activates the subject's corresponding representations, which in turn activate somatic and autonomic responses. This mechanism supports basic behaviors that are crucial for the reproductive success of animals living in groups. The Perception-Action Model, (...) together with an understanding of how representations change with experience, can explain the major empirical effects in the literature. It can also predict a variety of empathy disorders. The interaction between the PAM and prefrontal functioning can also explain different levels of empathy across species and age groups. This view can advance our evolutionary understanding of empathy beyond inclusive fitness and reciprocal altruism and can explain different levels of empathy across individuals, species, stages of development, and situations. Key Words: altruism; cognitive empathy ; comparative; emotion; emotional contagion; empathy ; evolution; human; perception-action; perspective taking. (shrink)
Many meta-ethicists are alethists: they claim that practical considerations can constitute normative reasons for action, but not for belief. But the alethist owes us an account of the relevant difference between action and belief, which thereby explains this normative difference. Here, I argue that two salient strategies for discharging this burden fail. According to the first strategy, the relevant difference between action and belief is that truth is the constitutive standard of correctness for belief, but not for action, while according (...) to the second strategy, it is that practical considerations can constitute motivating reasons for action, but not for belief. But the former claim only shifts the alethist's explanatory burden, and the latter claim is wrong—we can believe for practical reasons. Until the alethist can offer a better account, then, I argue that we should accept that there are practical reasons for belief. (shrink)
Moral duties are regularly attributed to groups. Does this make conceptual sense or is this merely political rhetoric? And what are the implications for these individuals within groups? Collins outlines a Tripartite Model of group duties that can target political demands at the right entities, in the right way and for the right reasons.
With the growth of precision medicine research on health data and biospecimens, research institutions will need to build and maintain long-term, trusting relationships with patient-participants. While trust is important for all research relationships, the longitudinal nature of precision medicine research raises particular challenges for facilitating trust when the specifics of future studies are unknown. Based on focus groups with racially and ethnically diverse patients, we describe several factors that influence patient trust and potential institutional approaches to building trustworthiness. Drawing on (...) these findings, we suggest several considerations for research institutions seeking to cultivate long-term, trusting relationships with patients: Address the role of history and experience on trust, engage concerns about potential group harm, address cultural values and communication barriers, and integrate patient values and expectations into oversight and governance structures. (shrink)
Classic statements of research ethics advise against permitting physician-investigators to obtain consent for research participation from patients with whom they have preexisting treatment relationships. Reluctance about “dual-role” consent reflects the view that distinct normative commitments govern physician–patient and investigator–participant relationships, and that blurring the research–care boundary could lead to ethical transgressions. However, several features of contemporary research demand reconsideration of the ethics of dual-role consent. Here, we examine three arguments advanced against dual-role consent: that it creates role conflict for the (...) physician-investigator; that it can compromise the voluntariness of the patient-participant’s consent; and that it promotes therapeutic misconceptions. Although these concerns have merit in some circumstances, they are not dispositive in all cases. Rather, their force—and the ethical acceptability of dual-role consent—varies with features of the particular study. As research participation more closely approximates usual care, it becomes increasingly acceptable, or even preferable, for physicians to seek consent for research from their own patients. It is time for a more nuanced approach to dual-role consent. (shrink)
Ethics for Journalists tackles many of the issues which journalists face in their everyday lives-- from the media's supposed obsession with sex, sleaze and sensationalism, to issues of regulation and censorship. Its accessible style and question and answer approach highlights the relevance of ethical issues for everyone involved in journalism, both trainees and professionals, whether working in print, broadcast or new media.
Plausibly, only moral agents can bear action-demanding duties. This places constraints on which groups can bear action-demanding duties: only groups with sufficient structure—call them ‘collectives’—have the necessary agency. Moreover, if duties imply ability then moral agents (of both the individual and collectives varieties) can bear duties only over actions they are able to perform. It is thus doubtful that individual agents can bear duties to perform actions that only a collective could perform. This appears to leave us at a loss (...) when assigning duties in circumstances where only a collective could perform some morally desirable action and no collective exists. But, I argue, we are not at a loss. This article outlines a new way of assigning duties over collective acts when there is no collective. Specifically, we should assign collectivisation duties to individuals. These are individual duties to take steps towards forming a collective, which then incurs a duty over the action. I give criteria for when individuals have collectivisation duties and discuss the demands these duties place on their bearers. (shrink)
This chapter argues that the best way for a non-naturalist to explain why the normative supervenes on the natural is to claim that, while there are some sui generis normative properties whose essences cannot be fully specified in non-normative terms and do not specify any non-normative sufficient conditions for their instantiation, there are certain hybrid normative properties whose essences specify both naturalistic sufficient conditions for their own instantiation and sufficient conditions for the instantiation of certain sui generis normative properties. This (...) is the only metaphysical explanation for supervenience on offer, the chapter argues, that can both clearly maintain the pre-theoretical commitments of non-naturalism, and provide a metaphysical explanation not just for supervenience, but for all metaphysical necessities involving natural and normative properties. (shrink)
_Ethics for Journalists_ tackles many of the issues which journalists face in their everyday lives – from the media's supposed obsession with sex, sleaze and sensationalism, to issues of regulation and censorship. Its accessible style and question and answer approach highlights the relevance of ethical issues for everyone involved in journalism, both trainees and professionals, whether working in print, broadcast or new media. _Ethics for Journalists_ provides a comprehensive overview of ethical dilemmas and features interviews with a number of journalists, (...) including the celebrated investigative reporter Phillip Knightley. Presenting a range of imaginative strategies for improving media standards and supported by a thorough bibliography and a wide ranging list of websites, _Ethics for Journalists_, second edition, considers many problematic subjects including: representations of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, mental health and suicide ethics online – ‘citizen journalism’ and its challenges to ‘professionalism’ controversial calls for a privacy law to restrain the power of the press journalistic techniques such as sourcing the news, doorstepping, deathknocks and the use of subterfuge the handling of confidential sources and the dilemmas of war and peace reporting. (shrink)
More and more businesses are aligning their activities with the principles of sustainable development. Therefore they need to adapt their ways of measuring corporate performance. However, it includes issues which may be outside the direct control of the organisation, that are difficult to characterise and often are based on value judgements rather than hard data. The difficulty in measuring performance is further complicated by the fact that many corporations have a complex organisational structure, with different business streams, functions and projects. (...) This paper has used two case studies to explore how the appropriate use of indicators can be a powerful tool in addressing the sustainability of businesses both at a corporate wide level and at a project level. (shrink)
A surfeit of research confirms that people activate personal, affective, and conceptual representations when perceiving the states of others. However, researchers continue to debate the role of self–other overlap in empathy due to a failure to dissociate neural overlap, subjective resonance, and personal distress. A perception–action view posits that neural-level overlap is necessary during early processing for all social understanding, but need not be conscious or aversive. This neural overlap can subsequently produce a variety of states depending on the context (...) and degree of common experience and emotionality. We outline a framework for understanding the interrelationship between neural and subjective overlap, and among empathic states, through a dynamic-systems view of how information is processed in the brain and body. (shrink)
Individuals have various kinds of obligations: keep promises, don’t cause harm, return benefits received from injustices, be partial to loved ones, help the needy and so on. How does this work for group agents? There are two questions here. The first is whether groups can bear the same kinds of obligations as individuals. The second is whether groups’ pro tanto obligations plug into what they all-things-considered ought to do to the same degree that individuals’ pro tanto obligations plug into what (...) they all-things-considered ought to do. We argue for parity on both counts. (shrink)
A collective duty gap arises when a group has caused harm that requires remedying but no member did harm that can justify the imposition of individual remedial duties. Examples range from airplane crashes to climate change. How might collective duty gaps be filled? This paper starts by examining two promising proposals for filling them. Both proposals are found inadequate. Thus, while gap-filling duties can be defended against objections from unfairness and demandingness, we need a substantive justification for their existence. I (...) argue that substantive justification can be found in the normative force of commitments individuals make to others with regard to ends. Along the way, I argue that gap-filling duties must be conceptualized differently in group agents, as compared to non-agent groups: in the former, gap-filling duties can be understood as duties to “take up the slack”; in the latter, this would be a category error. (shrink)
Chapter 1 Introduction This chapter briefly explains what care ethics is, what care ethics is not, and how much work there still is to be done in establishing care ethics’ scope. The chapter elaborates on care ethics’ relationship to political philosophy, ethics, feminism, and the history of philosophy. The upshot of these discussions is the suggestion that we need a unified, precise statement of care ethics’ normative core. The chapter concludes by giving an overview of the chapters to come: Chapters (...) 2 to 5 will each develop concise statement of one of four key care ethical claims, while Chapters 6 to 8 will unify, specify, and justify those four claims under a new principle : the dependency principle. -/- Chapter 2 Scepticism about Principles Care ethicists tend to be sceptical that there is any useful role for general, abstract principles or rule in moral theory and practice. This chapter assesses this scepticism. It argues for the importance of maintaining a distinction between, on the one hand, scepticism about principles as a tool in deliberation, and, on the other hand, scepticism about principles as a ground of moral rightness. It surveys and assesses the statements made by care ethicists against principles. The conclusion is that care ethicists are correct to be somewhat sceptical about the use of principles in deliberation, but that this scepticism should not extend to principles as the source of moral rightness. -/- Chapter 3 The Value of Relationships Amongst care, a special place is often made for personal relationships. This chapter delimits and justifies this. First, it distinguishes three kinds of importance personal relationships are attributed by care ethicists –as moral paradigms, as goods to be preserved, and as sources of weighty duties. Next, it suggests such ‘relationship importance’ is not justified by the nature of personal relationships or the value of their relatives. It concludes that any personal relationship has importance in proportion to the value the relationship has to its participants. Crucially, this source of importance – a relationship’s value to participants – holds also for non-personal relationships. This allows us to understand how care ethics extends relationship importance to our relations with distant others. -/- Chapter 4 Caring Attitudes Care ethics calls upon agents to care about and for others. This chapter focus on the “about” aspect of caring: on caring attitudes. Caring attitudes are defined as pro-attitudes to the fulfilment of some entity’s interests. The moral value of these attitudes—particularly in emotions like love—is elaborated upon. However, attitudes do not seem under our voluntary control, so do not seem to be something we can be morally instructed to bear. This objection is responded to, with the explanation that we have long-term control over our attitudes and that moral theories can legitimately call upon agents to do things they cannot immediately control. Ultimately, then, care ethics’ injunction that agents hold caring attitudes is both defined and vindicated. -/- Chapter 5 Caring Actions This chapter starts by comparing and assessing the numerous definitions of care found in care ethics literature—distinguishing care, good care, bad care, and non- care. Caring actions are defined as having the intention to fulfil something’s perceived interests. The moral value of such actions is interrogated and found to be a combination off the intention’s value and the action’s consequences’ value. The chapter considers whether acknowledgment of care by the care recipient adds value to caring actions. It is suggested that such ‘ care receiving’ often, but not always, adds value to caring actions, and should not be part of the definition of care. Thus, care ethics’ imploration of agents to perform caring actions is defined. -/- Chapter 6 The Dependency Principle This chapter develops the dependency principle. This principle asserts that a moral agent, A, has a responsibility when: moral person B has an important interest that is unfulfilled; A is sufficiently capable of fulfilling that interest; and A’s most efficacious measure for fulfilling the interest will be not too costly. A incurs a weighty responsibility if ¬ to are true and A’s most efficacious measure for fulfilling the interest will be the least costly of anyone’s most efficacious measure for fulfilling B’s interest. Each of components to is elaborated on in turn. We arrive at a precise, comprehensive statement of the principle that will be used to unify, specify, and justify care ethics. -/- Chapter 7 Collective Dependency Duties It is impossible to do justice to care ethics without discussing the duties of groups—especially groups such as families and nation-states. This chapter defends the claim that the responsibilities produces by the dependency principle are, in many cases, responsibilities of groups. It develops permissive conditions that a group must meet in order to be a prospective responsibility-bearer, and explains how it is that groups’ responsibilities distribute to their individual members. This model of group responsibility is applied to states. This allows us to make sense of how the dependency principle can unify a care ethics that is greatly concerned with social and political outcomes. -/- Chapter 8 Unifying, Specifying, and Justifying Care Ethics Can the abstract, formalised ‘dependency principle ’—developed in Chapter 6 – serve as a compelling justification of the heterogeneous theory of care ethics? This chapter argues that it can. Each of the four claims of care ethics—developed in Chapters 2 to 5—is assessed in turn. Three questions are asked with regard to each. First, does the dependency principle generate some responsibilities of the relevant kind? Second, does the dependency principle generate enough responsibilities of the relevant kind? And third, does the dependency principle give the right explanation of these responsibilities? The answer each time, it is argued, is “yes”. Along the way, this answer produces some new results regarding both care ethics and the dependency principle. (shrink)
In a recent and provocative essay, Christopher Bartel attempts to resolve the gamer’s dilemma. The dilemma, formulated by Morgan Luck, goes as follows: there is no principled distinction between virtual murder and virtual pedophilia. So, we’ll have to give up either our intuition that virtual murder is morally permissible—seemingly leaving us over-moralizing our gameplay—or our intuition that acts of virtual pedophilia are morally troubling—seemingly leaving us under-moralizing our game play. Bartel’s attempted resolution relies on establishing the following three theses: (1) (...) virtual pedophilia is child pornography, (2) the consumption of child pornography is morally wrong, and (3) virtual murder is not murder. Relying on Michael Rea’s definition of pornography, I argue that we should reject thesis one, but since Bartel’s moral argument in thesis two does not actually rely thesis one that his resolution is not thereby undermined. Still, even if we grant that there are adequate resources internal to Bartel’s account to technically resolve the gamer’s dilemma his reasoning is still unsatisfying. This is so because Bartel follows Neil Levy in arguing that virtual pedophilia is wrong because it harms women. While I grant Levy’s account, I argue that this is the wrong kind of reason to resolve the gamer’s dilemma because it is indirect. What we want is to know what is wrong with virtual child pornography itself. Finally, I suggest alternate moral resources for resolving the gamer’s dilemma that are direct in a way that Bartel’s resources are not. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider a particular amoralist challenge against those who would morally criticize our single-player video play, viz., “come on, it’s only a game!” The amoralist challenge with which I engage gains strength from two facts: the activities to which the amoralist lays claim are only those that do not involve interactions with other rational or sentient creatures, and the amoralist concedes that there may be extrinsic, consequentialist considerations that support legitimate moral criticisms. I argue that the amoralist (...) is mistaken and that there are non-consequentialist resources for morally evaluating our single-player game play. On my view, some video games contain details that anyone who has a proper understanding of and is properly sensitive to features of a shared moral reality will see as having an incorrigible social meaning that targets groups of individuals, e.g., women and minorities. I offer arguments to support the claim that there are such incorrigible social meanings and that they constrain the imaginative world so that challenges like “it’s only a game” lose their credibility. I also argue that our responses to such meanings bear on evaluations of our character, and in light of this fact video game designers have a duty to understand and work against the meanings of such imagery. (shrink)
Pragmatic clinical trials offer important benefits, such as generating evidence that is suited to inform real-world health care decisions and increasing research efficiency. However, PCTs also present ethical challenges. One such challenge involves the management of information that emerges in a PCT that is unrelated to the primary research question, yet may have implications for the individual patients, clinicians, or health care systems from whom or within which research data were collected. We term these findings as?pragmatic clinical trial collateral findings,? (...) or?PCT-CFs?. In this article, we explore the ethical considerations associated with the identification, assessment, and management of PCT-CFs, and how these considerations may vary based upon the attributes of a specific PCT. Our purpose is to map the terrain of PCT-CFs to serve as a foundation for future scholarship as well as policy-making and to facilitate careful deliberation about actual cases as they occur in practice. (shrink)
Noninvasive, prenatal whole genome sequencing may be a technological reality in the near future, making available a vast array of genetic information early in pregnancy at no risk to the fetus or mother. Many worry that the timing, safety, and ease of the test will lead to informational overload and reproductive consumerism. The prevailing response among commentators has been to restrict conditions eligible for testing based on medical severity, which imposes disputed value judgments and devalues those living with eligible conditions. (...) To avoid these difficulties, we propose an unrestricted testing policy, under which prospective parents could obtain information on any variant of known significance after a careful informed consent process that uses an interactive decision aid to deliver a mandatory presentation on the purposes, techniques, and limitations of genomic testing, as well as optional resources for reflection and consultation. This process would encourage thoughtful, informed deliberation... (shrink)
Stars are conspicuously absent from reflections on natural kinds and scientific classifications, with gold, tiger, jade, and water getting all the philosophical attention. This is too bad for, as this paper will demonstrate, interesting philosophical lessons can be drawn from stellar taxonomy as regards two central, on-going debates about natural kinds, to wit, the monism/pluralism debate and the realism/antirealism debate. I’ll show in particular that stellar kinds will not please the essentialist monist, nor for that matter will it please the (...) pluralist embracing promiscuous realism à la Dupré. (shrink)
Both the distinction between the 'internal' and 'external' phases of science and the concept of 'inductive risk' are core constructs in the values in science literature. However, both constructs have shortcomings, which, we argue, have concealed the unique significance of values in scientific representation. We defend three closely- related proposals to rectify the problem: i) to draw a conceptual distinction between endorsing a 'fact' and making a decision about representation; ii) to employ a conception of inductive risk that aligns with (...) this distinction, not one between internal/external phases in science; iii) to conceptualize 'representational risk' as a unique epistemic risk, no less significant than inductive risk. We outline the implications of each proposal for current debates in the values in science literature. (shrink)
Which kinds of responsibility can we attribute to which kinds of collective, and why? In contrast, which kinds of collective responsibility can we not attribute—which kinds are ‘gappy’? This study provides a framework for answering these questions. It begins by distinguishing between three kinds of collective and three kinds of responsibility. It then explains how gaps—i.e. cases where we cannot attribute the responsibility we might want to—appear to arise within each type of collective responsibility. It argues some of these gaps (...) do not exist on closer inspection, at least for some collectives and some of the time. (shrink)
There is currently little empirical information about attitudes towards cognitive enhancement - the use of pharmaceutical drugs to enhance normal brain functioning. It is claimed this behaviour most commonly occurs in students to aid studying. We undertook a qualitative assessment of attitudes towards cognitive enhancement by conducting 19 semi-structured interviews with Australian university students. Most students considered cognitive enhancement to be unacceptable, in part because they believed it to be unethical but there was a lack of consensus on whether it (...) was similar or different to steroid use in sport. There was support for awareness campaigns and monitoring of cognitive enhancement use of pharmaceutical drugs. An understanding of student attitudes towards cognitive enhancement is important in formulating future policy. (shrink)
In this article, I consider the harms inflicted upon transgender persons through “misgendering,” that is, such deployments of gender terms that diminish transgender persons’ selfrespect, limit the discursive resources at their disposal to define their own gender, and cause them microaggressive psychological harms. Such deployments are morally contestable, that is, they can be challenged on ethical or political grounds. Two characterizations of “woman” proposed in the feminist literature are critiqued from this perspective. When we consider what would happen to transgender (...) women upon the broad implementation of these characterizations within transgender women’s social context, we discover that they suffer from two defects: they either exclude at least some transgender women, or else they implicitly foster hierarchies among women, marginalizing transgender women in particular. In conclusion, I claim that the moral contestability of gender-term deployments acts as a stimulus to regularly consider the provisionality and revisability of our deployments of the term “woman.”. (shrink)
David Lewis famously argued that the time traveller ‘can’ murder her grandfather, even though she never will: it is compossible with a particular set of facts including her motive, opportunity and skill . I argue that while ordinary agents ‘can’ under Lewis’s conception, philosophers cannot – the latter will not only fail to fulfill their homicidal intentions but also fail to form them in the first place.
Individuals sometimes pass their duties on to collectives, which is one way in which collectives can come to have duties. The collective discharges its duties by acting through its members, which involves distributing duties back out to individuals. Individuals put duties in and get (transformed) duties out. In this paper we consider whether (and if so, to what extent) this general account can make sense of states' duties. Do some of the duties we typically take states to have come from (...) individuals having passed on certain individual duties? There are complications: states can discharge their duties by contracting fulfilment out to non-members; states seem able to dissolve the duties of non-members; and some of states' duties are not derived in this way. We demonstrate that these complicate, but do not undermine, the general account and its application to states. And the application has an interesting upshot: by asking which individuals robustly participate in this process of duty transfer-and-transformation with a given state, we can begin to get a grip on who counts as a member of that state. (shrink)
A standard objection to socioeconomic human rights is that they are not claimable as human rights: their correlative duties are not owed to each human, independently of specific institutional arrangements, in an enforceable manner. I consider recent responses to this ‘claimability objection,’ and argue that none succeeds. There are no human rights to socioeconomic goods. But all is not lost: there are, I suggest, human rights to ‘socioeconomic consideration’. I propose a detailed structure for these rights and their correlative duties, (...) while remaining neutral on substantive moral debates. I argue that socioeconomic-consideration human rights are satisfactorily claimable and sufficiently practical. (shrink)
Much research on cognitive development focuses either on early-emerging domain-specific knowledge or domain-general learning mechanisms. However, little research examines how these sources of knowledge interact. Previous research suggests that young infants can make inferences from samples to populations (Xu & Garcia, 2008) and 11- to 12.5-month-old infants can integrate psychological and physical knowledge in probabilistic reasoning (Teglas, Girotto, Gonzalez, & Bonatti, 2007; Xu & Denison, 2009). Here, we ask whether infants can integrate a physical constraint of immobility into a statistical (...) inference mechanism. Results from three experiments suggest that, first, infants were able to use domain-specific knowledge to override statistical information, reasoning that sometimes a physical constraint is more informative than probabilistic information. Second, we provide the first evidence that infants are capable of applying domain-specific knowledge in probabilistic reasoning by using a physical constraint to exclude one set of objects while computing probabilities over the remaining sets. (shrink)
This study examines the independent and combined influences of internal and external antecedents to upstream environmental practices. Proactive environmental strategy is considered as an internal antecedent and competitive pressure as an external antecedent. Multiple hierarchical regression analysis is used to test the hypothesized relationships using data from a sample of 149 manufacturing companies located within the U.K. food industry. The results suggest that proactive strategy and competitive pressure exert both independent and combined influences on environmental supply chain practices. Proactive strategy (...) appears to be a stronger driver of these practices, suggesting that internal stakeholders such as directors, managers, and employees may be more influential in the adoption of certain practices than external stakeholder pressures. This article builds upon the recent wave of research highlighting the potential for internal and external factors to generate a combined influence on the adoption of environmental practices within companies and their supply chains. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe Assistance Principle is common currency to a wide range of moral theories. Roughly, this principle states: if you can fulfil important interests, at not too high a cost, then you have a moral duty to do so. I argue that, in determining whether the ‘not too high a cost’ clause of this principle is met, we must consider three distinct costs: ‘agent-relative costs’, ‘recipient-relative costs’ and ‘ideal-relative costs’.
Why, morally speaking, ought we do more for our family and friends than for strangers? In other words, what is the justification of special duties? According to partialists, the answer to this question cannot be reduced to impartial moral principles. According to impartialists, it can. This paper briefly argues in favour of impartialism, before drawing out an implication of the impartialist view: in addition to justifying some currently recognised special duties, impartialism also generates new special duties that are not yet (...) widely recognised. Specifically, in certain situations, impartial principles generate duties to take actions and adopt attitudes in our personal lives that increase the chance of new or different special relationships being formed—new or different friendships, family-like relationships, relationships akin to co-nationality, and so on. In fact, even if one thinks partialism is the best justification of the duties we have once in special relationships, impartialist justifications for taking steps to form such relationships should have some sway. Moreover, a little reflection shows that these duties are not as demanding or counterintuitive as one might expect. (shrink)
My main aim in this paper is to show that influential antireductionist arguments such as Fodor's, Kitcher's, and Dupré's state stronger conclusions than they actually succeed in establishing. By putting to the fore the role of metaphysical presuppositions in these arguments, I argue that they are convincing only as 'temporally qualified argument', and not as 'generally valid ones'. I also challenge the validity of the strategy consisting in drawing metaphysical lessons from the failure of reductionist programmes. What most of these (...) antireductionist standpoints have in common is a pretension to methodological imports. I conclude by explaining why, in order to remain relevant for scientific practice, antireductionist arguments should stay clear of metaphysics, for the latter, I argue, does not mix well with a taste for methodological prescriptions. (shrink)