We systematically reviewed contemporary literature to create an evidence-informed framework for research studies involving children and adolescents who can assent to participate. We searched seven citation indices to locate peer-reviewed research published in English language journals between 2000 and 2012. After screening 1,231 titles and abstracts for relevance, we assessed levels of evidence, extracted information, and analysed content from 87 articles. Most articles narrowly focused on paediatric assent barriers and facilitators for decision-making about research participation. No articles provided a single, (...) comprehensive ethical framework to guide the development and review of research assent protocols. We developed a 6-step framework that provides guidance to: prepare the child for the assent process; assess the child’s readiness to engage in decision making; discuss the elements of informed consent to the greatest extent possible; seek an initial assent decision; monitor and affirm assent; and respect the child’s role as a research participant. The PAeDS-MoRe framework also supports the creation of process models that address the unique, developmental needs of paediatric sub-groups, and guides the operationalization of jurisdictional requirements for ethical research involving children who are unable to provide free, informed and ongoing consent. (shrink)
Background While prenatal surgery historically was performed exclusively for lethal conditions, today intrauterine surgery is also performed to decrease postnatal disabilities for non-lethal conditions. We sought to describe physicians' attitudes about prenatal surgery for lethal and non-lethal conditions and to elucidate characteristics associated with these attitudes. Methods Survey of 1200 paediatric surgeons, neonatologists and maternal–fetal medicine specialists. Results Of 1176 eligible physicians, 670 responded. In the setting of a lethal condition for which prenatal surgery would likely result in the child (...) surviving with a severe disability, most respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that they would recommend the surgery. Male physicians were twice as likely to recommend surgery for the lethal condition, as were physicians who believe that abortion is morally wrong. Older physicians were less likely to recommend surgery. For non-lethal conditions, most respondents agreed that they would recommend prenatal surgery, even if the surgery increases the risk of prematurity or fetal death. Compared with MFMs, surgeons were less likely to recommend such surgery, as were physicians not affiliated with a fetal centre, and physicians who were religious. Conclusion Physician’s attitudes about prenatal surgery relate to physicians’ beliefs about disability as well as demographic, cultural and religious characteristics. Given the variety of views, parents are likely to receive different recommendations from their doctors about the preferable treatment choice. (shrink)
A central theme throughout the impressive series of philosophical books and articles Stephen Toulmin has published since 1948 is the way in which assertions and opinions concerning all sorts of topics, brought up in everyday life or in academic research, can be rationally justified. Is there one universal system of norms, by which all sorts of arguments in all sorts of fields must be judged, or must each sort of argument be judged according to its own norms? In The (...) Uses of Argument Toulmin sets out his views on these questions for the first time. In spite of initial criticisms from logicians and fellow philosophers, The Uses of Argument has been an enduring source of inspiration and discussion to students of argumentation from all kinds of disciplinary background for more than forty years. (shrink)
Why are people interested in money? Specifically, what could be the biological basis for the extraordinary incentive and reinforcing power of money, which seems to be unique to the human species? We identify two ways in which a commodity which is of no biological significance in itself can become a strong motivator. The first is if it is used as a tool, and by a metaphorical extension this is often applied to money: it is used instrumentally, in order to obtain (...) biologically relevant incentives. Second, substances can be strong motivators because they imitate the action of natural incentives but do not produce the fitness gains for which those incentives are instinctively sought. The classic examples of this process are psychoactive drugs, but we argue that the drug concept can also be extended metaphorically to provide an account of money motivation. From a review of theoretical and empirical literature about money, we conclude that (i) there are a number of phenomena that cannot be accounted for by a pure Tool Theory of money motivation; (ii) supplementing Tool Theory with a Drug Theory enables the anomalous phenomena to be explained; and (iii) the human instincts that, according to a Drug Theory, money parasitizes include trading (derived from reciprocal altruism) and object play. (Published Online April 5 2006) Key Words: economic behaviour; evolutionary psychology; giving; incentive; money; motivation; play; reciprocal altruism. (shrink)
The Limits of Influence is a detailed examination and defense of the evidence for largescale-psychokinesis . It examines the reasons why experimental evidence has not, and perhaps cannot, convince most skeptics that PK is genuine, and it considers why traditional experimental procedures are important to reveal interesting facts about the phenomena.
For over thirty years, Stephen Braude has studied the paranormal in everyday life, from extrasensory perception and psychokinesis to mediumship and materialization. _The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations_ is a highly readable and often amusing account of his most memorable encounters with such phenomena. Here Braude recounts in fascinating detail five particular cases—some that challenge our most fundamental scientific beliefs and others that expose our own credulousness. Braude begins with a south Florida woman who can make thin (...) gold-colored foil appear spontaneously on her skin. He then travels to New York and California to test psychokinetic superstars—and frauds—like Joe Nuzum, who claim to move objects using only their minds. Along the way, Braude also investigates the startling allegations of K.R., a policeman in Annapolis who believes he can transfer images from photographs onto other objects—including his own body—and Ted Serios, a deceased Chicago elevator operator who could make a variety of different images appear on Polaroid film. Ultimately, Braude considers his wife’s surprisingly fruitful experiments with astrology, which she has used to guide professional soccer teams to the top of their leagues, as well as his own personal experiences with synchronicity—a phenomenon, he argues, that may need to be explained in terms of a refined, extensive, and dramatic form of psychokinesis. Heady, provocative, and brimming with eye-opening details and suggestions, _The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations_ will intrigue both adherents and detractors of its controversial subject matter alike. (shrink)
What is art's relationship to play? Those interested in this question tend to look to modern philosophy for answers, but, as this book shows, the question was already debated in antiquity by luminaries like Plato and Aristotle. Over the course of eight chapters, this book contextualizes those debates, and demonstrates their significance for theoretical problems today. Topics include the ancient child psychology at the root of the ancient Greek word for 'play', the numerous toys that have survived from antiquity, and (...) the meaning of play's conceptual opposite, the 'serious'. What emerges is a concept of play markedly different from the one we have inherited from modernity. Play is not a certain set of activities which unleashes a certain feeling of pleasure; it is rather a certain feeling of pleasure that unleashes the activities we think of as 'play'. As such, it offers a new set of theoretical challenges. (shrink)
The Limits of Influence is a detailed examination and defense of the evidence for largescale-psychokinesis. It examines the reasons why experimental evidence has not, and perhaps cannot, convince most skeptics that PK is genuine, and it considers why traditional experimental procedures are important to reveal interesting facts about the phenomena.
Bergson's 1896 theory of perception/memory assumed a framework anticipating the quantum revolution in physics, the still unrealized implications of this framework contributing to the large neglect of Bergson today. The basics of his model are explored, including the physical concepts he advanced before the crisis in classical physics, his concept of perception as ‘virtual action’ with its relativistic implications, and his unique explication of the subject/object relationship. All form the basis for his solution to the ‘hard’ problem. The relation between (...) Bergson and Gibson as natural complements is also explored, with Bergson providing the framework that explicates Gibson's concept of direct perception, with Gibson's resonance model as a precursor to dynamic systems models of the brain and his reliance on invariance laws defining perceived events providing more detail for the mechanisms Bergson only envisioned from afar, and with Bergson providing the basis for an otherwise missing Gibsonian model of direct memory. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory has yet to offer a detailed model of the complex transitions from a living system of one design to another of more advanced, or simply different, design. Hidden within the writings of evolution's expositors is an implicit appeal to AI-like processes operating within the "cosmic machine" that has hitherto been evolving the plethora of functional living systems we observe. In these writings, there is disturbingly little understanding of the deep problems involved, resting as they do in the very (...) heart of AI. The end-state requirements for a system, device, or "machine" with intelligence capable of design are examined. The representational power must be sufficient to support analogical thought, an operation demanding transformations of events in imagery, in turn a function of perception, both dependent on a non-differentiable flow of time. The operational dynamics of the device must inherit this fundamental property of the dynamically transforming matter-field. Whether the evolutionary mechanisms or algorithmics thus far envisioned by biology or AI are coordinate with such requirements is left seriously in doubt. (shrink)
The relations among consciousness, brain, behavior, and scientific explanation are explored in the domain of color perception. Current scientific knowledge about color similarity, color composition, dimensional structure, unique colors, and color categories is used to assess Locke.
The essay discusses the March 5, 1944 "Discussion on Sin," an event that was held between French intellectual Georges Bataille and the Jesuit priest and patristics scholar Jean Daniélou, along with other important Christian and non-Christian intellectuals. I argue that the event is the best recorded wartime intellectual encounter between the founders of contestation (subsequently so important in deconstructive thought) and serious practitioners of Christianity. Aspects of the thought of French thinker Maurice Blanchot and Swiss theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar (...) are also profiled. (shrink)
While humanists have pondered the subject of love to the point of obsessiveness, philosophers have steadfastly ignored it. One might wonder whether the discipline of philosophy even recognizes love. The word _philosophy _means “love of wisdom,” but the absence of love from philosophical discourse is curiously glaring. So where did the love go? In _The Erotic Phenomenon,_ Jean-Luc Marion asks this fundamental question of philosophy, while reviving inquiry into the concept of love itself. Marion begins his profound and personal book (...) with a critique of Descartes’ equation of the ego’s ability to doubt with the certainty that one exists—“I think, therefore I am”—arguing that this is worse than vain. We encounter being, he says, when we first experience love: I am loved, therefore I am; and this love is the reason I care whether I exist or not. This philosophical base allows Marion to probe several manifestations of love and its variations, including carnal excitement, self-hate, lying and perversion, fidelity, the generation of children, and the love of God. Throughout, Marion stresses that all erotic phenomena, including sentimentality, pornography, and even boasts about one’s sexual conquests, stem not from the ego as popularly understood but instead from love. A thoroughly enlightening and captivating philosophical investigation of a strangely neglected subject, _The Erotic Phenomenon _is certain to initiate feverish new dialogue about the philosophical meanings of that most desirable and mysterious of all concepts—love. (shrink)
This article explores the role of weakness of will in the Indian Buddhist tradition, and in particular within Śāntideva’s Introduction to the Practice of Awakening. In agreement with Jay Garfield, I argue that there are important differences between Aristotle’s account of akrasia and Buddhist moral psychology. Nevertheless, taking a more expanded conception of weakness of will, as is frequently done in contemporary work, allows us to draw significant connections with the pluralistic account of psychological conflict found in Buddhist texts. I (...) demonstrate this by showing how Amélie Rorty’s expanded treatment of akrasia as including emotional response and perceptual classification allows us to recognize that one of the purposes of many of Śāntideva’s meditations is to treat various forms of akratic response. (shrink)