The assessment of nanotechnology applications such as nanocarrier-based targeted drug delivery has historically been based mostly on toxicological and safety aspects. The use of nanocarriers for TDD, a leading-edge nanomedical application, has received little study from the angle of experts’ perceptions and acceptability, which may be reflected in how TDD applications are developed. In recent years, numerous authors have maintained that TDD assessment should also take into account impacts on ethical, environmental, economic, legal, and social issues in order to lead (...) to socially responsible innovation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with French and Canadian researchers and research trainees with diverse disciplinary backgrounds and involved in research related to emerging technologies. The interviews focussed on scenarios presenting two types of TDD nanocarriers in two contexts of use. Content and inductive analyses of interviews showed how facets of perceived impacts such as health, environment, social cohabitation, economy, life and death, representations of the human being and nature, and technoscience were weighed in acceptability judgments. The analyses also revealed that contextual factors related to device, to use, and to user influenced the weighting assigned to perceived impacts and thus contributed to variability in interviewees’ judgments of acceptability. Giving consideration to researchers’ perspective could accompany first steps of implementation and development of nanomedicine by producing a first, but wide, picture of the acceptability of nanocarrier-based TDD. (shrink)
The genetically manipulated organism crisis demonstrated that technological development based solely on the law of the marketplace and State protection against serious risks to health and safety is no longer a warrant of ethical acceptability. In the first part of our paper, we critique the implicitly individualist social-acceptance model for State regulation of technology and recommend an interdisciplinary approach for comprehensive analysis of the impacts and ethical acceptability of technologies. In the second part, we present a framework for the analysis (...) of impacts and acceptability, devised—with the goal of supporting the development of specific nanotechnological applications—by a team of researchers from various disciplines. At the conceptual level, this analytic framework is intended to make explicit those various operations required in preparing a judgement about the acceptability of technologies that have been implicit in the classical analysis of toxicological risk. On a practical level, we present a reflective tool that makes it possible to take into account all the dimensions involved and understand the reasons invoked in determining impacts, assessing them, and arriving at a judgement about acceptability. (shrink)
Abstract It would be puzzling if the morally best agents were not so good after all. Yet one prominent account of the morally best agents ascribes to them the exact motivational defect that has famously been called a “fetish.” The supposed defect is a desire to do the right thing, where this is read de dicto . If the morally best agents really are driven by this de dicto desire, and if this de dicto desire is really a fetish, then (...) the morally best agents are moral fetishists. This is puzzling. I resolve the puzzle by showing that on a proper understanding of the interaction between de dicto and de re moral motivation, it is not only not fetishistic, but quite possibly desirable, to be motivated by a de dicto desire to do the right thing. My argument relies partly on an appeal to a non-buck-passing account of moral rightness, according to which rightness is itself an additional reason-giving property over and above the right-making properties of an action. If this account of moral rightness is correct, then we would expect the morally best agents to exhibit de dicto moral motivation. However, since their de dicto desire acts in concert with de re desires, there is no reason to consider it a fetish. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9825-z Authors Vanessa Carbonell, Philosophy Department, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0374, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
One of the most plausible and widely discussed examples of strong emergence is molecular structure. The only detailed account of it, which has been very influential, is due to Robin Hendry and is formulated in terms of downward causation. This paper explains Hendry’s account of the strong emergence of molecular structure and argues that it is coherent only if one assumes a diachronic reflexive notion of downward causation. However, in the context of this notion of downward causation, the strong emergence (...) of molecular structure faces three challenges that have not been met and which have so far remained unnoticed. First, the putative empirical evidence presented for the strong emergence of molecular structure equally undermines supervenience, which is one of the main tenets of strong emergence. Secondly, it is ambiguous how the assumption of determinate nuclear positions is invoked for the support of strong emergence, as the role of this assumption in Hendry’s argument can be interpreted in more than one way. Lastly, there are understandings of causation which render the postulation of a downward causal relation between a molecule’s structure and its quantum mechanical entities, untenable. (shrink)
Holobionts are symbiotic assemblages composed by a macrobe host plus its symbiotic microbiota. In recent years, the ontological status of holobionts has created a great amount of controversy among philosophers and biologists: are holobionts biological individuals or are they rather ecological communities of independent individuals that interact together? Chiu and Eberl have recently developed an eco-immunity account of the holobiont wherein holobionts are neither biological individuals nor ecological communities, but hybrids between a host and its microbiota. According to their account, (...) the microbiota is not a proper part of the holobiont. Yet, it should be regarded as a set of scaffolds that support the individuality of the host. In this paper, we approach Chiu and Eberl’s account from a metaphysical perspective and argue that, contrary to what the authors claim, the eco-immunity account entails that the microorganisms that compose the host’s microbiota are proper parts of the holobiont. Second, we argue that by claiming that holobionts are hybrids, and therefore, not biological individuals, the authors seem to be assuming a controversial position about the ontology of hybrids, which are conventionally characterized as a type of biological individual. In doing so, our paper aligns with the contemporary tendency to incorporate metaphysical resources to shed light on current biological debates and builds on that to provide additional support to the consideration of holobionts as biological individuals from an eco-immunity perspective. (shrink)
The moral community is a social community, and as such it is vulnerable to social problems and pathologies. In this essay I identify a particular way in which participation in the moral community can be constrained by social factors. I argue that features of the social world—including power imbalances, oppression, intergroup conflict, communication barriers, and stereotyping—can make it nearly impossible for some members of the moral community to hold others responsible for wrongdoing. Specifically, social circumstances prevent some marginalized people from (...) engaging in what Stephen Darwall calls “felicitous moral address” (Darwall 2006). We should think of some members of the moral community as having “second-class moral citizenship” in ways that parallel second-class political citizenship. The injustice of second-class moral citizenship can be understood by drawing an analogy with Miranda Fricker’s notion of “epistemic injustice” (Fricker 2007). Fricker’s account of how people can be undermined in their capacity as knowers can be extended to show how people can be undermined in their capacity as makers of moral claims, which can be called “claimant injustice”. (shrink)
The purpose of cultural competence education for medical professionals is to ensure respectful care and reduce health disparities. Yet as Berger and Miller (2021) show, the cultural competence framework is dated, confused, and self-defeating. They argue that the framework ignores the primary driver of health disparities—systemic racism—and is apt to exacerbate rather than mitigate bias and ethnocentrism. They propose replacing cultural competence with a framework that attends to two social aspects of structural inequality: health and social policy, and institutional-system activity; (...) and two psychological aspects of structural inequality: the clinical encounter, and the epistemic. -/- We agree with the structural approach. To that end, we think it would be fruitful to include attention to physical contributors to structural inequality, namely the material artifacts used in medicine. Devices, tools, and technologies can materialize biases, perpetuate oppression, and contribute to health disparities. Granted, not everything that interests philosophers can be squeezed into medical education. Nevertheless, there are compelling reasons for including the study of material artifacts in education designed to reduce health disparities. First, devices and tools often carry forward biases from the past, and keep biases hidden from plain sight. Second, by studying these artifacts, future clinicians can begin to see themselves as part of a larger sociotechnical system. Finally, as medicine becomes increasingly tech-laden, it’s important for clinicians to see how material artifacts (including algorithms) connect individuals to structures. This will help to undermine oversimplified narratives according to which objective tools and technologies can correct for the bias and subjectivity of flawed human beings. (shrink)
I argue for the existence of a ‘ratcheting-up effect’: the behavior of moral saints serves to increase the level of moral obligation the rest of us face. What we are morally obligated to do is constrained by what it would be reasonable for us to believe we are morally obligated to do. Moral saints provide us with a special kind of evidence that bears on what we can reasonably believe about our obligations. They do this by modeling the level of (...) sacrifice a person can realistically bear. Exposure to moral saints thus ‘ratchets-up’ our obligations by combating a type of ignorance that would otherwise defeat those obligations. (shrink)
Marxism is a materialist theory that centers economic life in its analysis of the human social world. This materialist orientation manifests in explanations that take economic class to play a fundamental causal role in determining the emergence, character, and development of race-and sex-based oppression—indeed, of all forms of identity-based oppression within class societies. To say that labor is mediated by class in a class-based society is to say that, in such societies, the class-based division of that activity which produces and (...) reproduces the human species is the definite form in which labor appears, and that the human life which is the product of that self-making activity bears its stamp. Marxism’s emphasis on economic factors as central in the constitution and development of human life has been seized upon as evidence of its alleged “class reductionism”—its supposed tendency to think of all aspects of human life as direct and simple expressions of a class relation. No such thing follows; quite the opposite, a correct understanding of the relationships among capitalism, racism, and sexism only further highlights how central the struggle against each is to the struggles against any of the others. (shrink)
Two environmental accidents in the mining industry provide the context for this study of the Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (1997, The Academy of Management Review 22, 853–886) analysis of stakeholder salience. I examine the reactions of two stakeholder groups: shareholder response is examined in terms of changing share returns and risk; management response through change in disclosure. I find the two decision-makers reacted at different times. Management responded to the first accident, though not the second. Shareholders responded to the second (...) accident alone. My findings support the Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (MAW) assertion that stakeholder status is impermanent, and determined through the eyes of the decision-maker. (shrink)
Susan Wolf famously claimed that the life of the moral saint is unattractive from the “point of view of individual perfection.” I argue, however, that the unattractive moral saints in Wolf’s account are self-defeating on two levels, are motivated in the wrong way, and are called into question by real-life counter-examples. By appealing to a real-life case study, I argue that the best life from the moral point of view is not necessarily unattractive from the individual point of view.
The Enlightenment saw a critical engagement with the ancient idea that music carries certain powers - it heals and pacifies, civilizes and educates. Yet this interest in musical utility seems to conflict with larger notions of aesthetic autonomy that emerged at the same time. In Enlightenment Orpheus, Vanessa Agnew examines this apparent conflict, and provocatively questions the notion of an aesthetic-philosophical break between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
There is a persisting debate about what chemical bonds are and whether they exist. I argue that chemical bonds are real patterns of interactions between subatomic particles. This proposal resolves the problems raised in the context of existing understandings of the chemical bond and provides a novel way to defend the reality of chemical bonds.
Here is something puzzling. Still Lifes can be expressive. Expression involves movement. Hence, (some) Still Lifes move. This seems odd. I consider a novel explanation to this ‘static-dynamic’ puzzle from Mitchell Green (2007). Green defends an analysis of artistic expressivity that is heavily indebted to work on intermodal perception. He says visual stimuli, like colours and shapes, can elicit experienced resemblances to sounds, smells and feelings. This enables viewers to know how an emotion feels by looking at the picture. The (...) hypothesis is intriguing, but I show that his suggestion that we empathize with the pictorial content is implausible and that this exposes a flaw in the way his argument moves from experiential mappings to experiential-affective mappings. Consequently, I register some reservations about the way Green supposes we detect these cross-modal qualities. (shrink)
There has been an exponential rise in use of the term vulnerability across a number of political and policy arenas, including child protection, sexual offences, poverty, development, care for the elderly, patient autonomy, globalisation, war, public health and ecology. Yet despite its increasing deployment, the exact meaning and parameters of this concept remain somewhat elusive. In this article, we explore the interaction of two very different strategies—one in which vulnerability is relied upon by those seeking improved social justice as a (...) mechanism by which to identify, problematise and compel state responses to a universal condition of precarious dependency, and the other in which it is used as a category of neo-liberal governance which legitimates state encroachment whilst constructing ‘vulnerable’ individuals as ‘risk-managers’ who must behave ‘responsibly’ in the face of disadvantage. We suggest that the co-existence of these divergent approaches highlights the fluidity and malleability of the concept of vulnerability. Using sex work as a specific case study, we explore the ways in which vulnerability bears multiple meanings, and has been used in recent times in the furtherance of moralistic and regressive agendas, which collude with, rather than challenge, state power. Without seeking to reject the label or normative import of vulnerability, we call, therefore, for a more circumspect approach to its usage, and a more critical evaluation of recent claims which hail it as a mechanism, preferable to the conventional use of equality paradigms, by which to secure progressive feminist outcomes. (shrink)
This study tests how various kinds of trust impact attitudes toward euthanasia among the general public. The indication that trust might have an impact on euthanasia attitudes is based on the slippery slope argument, which asserts that allowing euthanasia might lead to abuses and involuntary deaths. Adopting this argument usually leads to less positive attitudes towards euthanasia. Tying in with this, it is assumed here that greater trust diminishes such slippery slope fears, and thereby increases euthanasia acceptance.
The animal in Nietzsche's philosophy -- Culture and civilization -- Politics and promise -- Culture and economy -- Giving and forgiving -- Animality, creativity, and historicity -- Animality, language, and truth -- Biopolitics and the question of animal life.
Wie sollen sich autonome Fahrzeuge verhalten, wenn ein Unfall nicht mehr abwendbar ist? Die Komplexität spezifischer moralischer Dilemmata, die in diesem Kontext auftreten können, lässt bewährte ethische Denktraditionen an ihre Grenzen stoßen. Dieser Aufsatz versteht sich als Versuch, neue Lösungsperspektiven mithilfe einer risikoethischen Sichtweise auf die Problematik zu eröffnen und auf diese Weise deren Relevanz für die Programmierung von ethischen Unfallalgorithmen aufzuzeigen. Im Zentrum steht dabei die Frage, welche Implikationen sich aus einer Auffassung von Dilemma-Situationen als risikoethische Verteilungsprobleme im Hinblick (...) auf die Zulässigkeit von entsprechenden Risikoübertragungen ergeben. Dabei wird zunächst eine risikoethische Interpretation des zugrundeliegenden Entscheidungsproblems skizziert, welches durch seine dilemmatische Struktur eine besondere Risikokonstellation begründet. Ausgehend von den Positionen von Sven Ove Hansson und Julian Nida-Rümelin wird für einen deontologisch-risikoethischen Ansatz argumentiert, der auf Individualrechten einerseits und einer interpersonell gerechten Verteilung der entstehenden Schadensrisiken anderseits basiert. Diese beiden Kriterien werden für den Anwendungskontext des autonomen Fahrens konkretisiert. Zum einen wird in Bezug auf das erste Kriterium argumentiert, dass individuelle Rechte genau dann als angemessen gewahrt gelten können, wenn die resultierenden Risikoübertragungen auf die Einzelnen in ihrer absoluten Höhe jeweils zumutbar sind. Zum anderen werden Schwierigkeiten skizziert, die sich hinsichtlich der konkreten Umsetzung des zweiten Kriteriums der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit ergeben. In diesem Zusammenhang werden beispielsweise ethische Herausforderungen in Bezug auf einen möglichen Vorteilsausgleich, das Prinzip der Schadensminimierung sowie individuell unterschiedliche Ausgangsbedingungen der persönlichen Schadensreduktion kritisch in den Blick genommen. (shrink)
We emerge from certain activities with an altered sense of self. Whether returning from a warzone or from an experience as common as caring for an aging parent, one might remark, “I’m not the same person I was.” I argue that such transformations are relevant to debates about what morality requires of us. To undergo an alteration in one’s self is to make a special kind of sacrifice, a sacrifice of self. Since projects can be more or less morally obligatory (...) to the extent that they require more or less sacrifice, we must incorporate these unique sacrifices into any accounting of the contours and limits of moral obligation. But sacrifices of self pose a special difficulty for any such accounting, precisely because of their transformative nature. Unlike most other sacrifices, they cannot be analyzed entirely in terms of wellbeing. Using real-world case studies and examples, I argue for the existence of two types of sacrifice of self, involving changes in identity and moral agency. I argue that sacrifices of self require particular attention because they may be extra difficult to compare with other costs and with moral gains. (shrink)
The investigation of the relation between chemistry and quantum mechanics includes examining how the two theories each describe an isolated molecule. This paper focuses on one particular characteristic of chemistry’s and quantum mechanics’ descriptions of an isolated molecule; namely on the assumptions made by each description that an isolated molecule is stable and has structure. The paper argues that these assumptions are an idealisation. First, this is because stability and structure are partially determined by factors that concern the context in (...) which a molecule is considered. Secondly, the stability and structure of a molecule can only be empirically identified with reference to those factors. This paper examines these assumptions in the context of the philosophical literature on idealisations. This examination is a novel contribution that raises interesting questions about the relation between the two theories, the nature of stability and structure, and the function of these assumptions in the two theories. (shrink)
Contemporary biological research has suggested that some host–microbiome multispecies systems (referred to as “holobionts”) can in certain circumstances evolve as unique biological individual, thus being a unit of selection in evolution. If this is so, then it is arguably the case that some biological adaptations have evolved at the level of the multispecies system, what we call hologenomic adaptations. However, no research has yet been devoted to investigating their nature, or how these adaptations can be distinguished from adaptations at the (...) species-level (genomic adaptations). In this paper, we cover this gap by investigating the nature of hologenomic adaptations. By drawing on the case of the evolution of sanguivory diet in vampire bats, we argue that a trait constitutes a hologenomic adaptation when its evolution can only be explained if the holobiont is considered the biological individual that manifests this adaptation, while the bacterial taxa that bear the trait are only opportunistic beneficiaries of it. We then use the philosophical notions of emergence and inter-identity to explain the nature of this form of individuality and argue why it is special of holobionts. Overall, our paper illustrates how the use of philosophical concepts can illuminate scientific discussions, in the trend of what has recently been called metaphysics of biology. (shrink)
A survey on the knowledge and attitudes towards the Austrian organ donation legislation (an opt-out solution) of selected groups of the Austrian population taking into account factors such as age, gender, level of education, affiliation to healthcare professions and health related studies was conducted.
Actionable Postcolonial Theory in Education illustrates how postcolonial theory can be put to work in education. It offers an accessible and handy overview and comparison of postcolonial theory and other theoretical debates related to critiques of Western ethnocentrism and hegemony. It also offers examples that illustrate how a discursive strand of postcolonial theory has been applied successfully in the contexts of educational research/critique and in pioneering pedagogical projects. Andreotti encourages educators and researchers in education to engage with postcolonial theoretical frameworks (...) and their implications for research and educational practice. (shrink)
Departing from the thought-provoking conversation between David Theo Goldberg and Achille Mbembe on the driving themes in Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason, this commentary elaborates upon three topics that emerge in this conversation: the role of desire and how it is articulated in black abjection, the politics of care, and contemporary practices of repairing the injustices perpetrated in the context of European modernity. It is emphasized that black reason as a practice of repairing and transformation is especially enacted within contemporary (...) movements like the refugee movements organized around the Black Mediterranean and in the lived freedom archives and abolitionist imaginaries of movements where gender and race cross-cut. Characterized by their transnational dimension and a radical openness towards new beginnings, these expressions of black reason imagine and reinvent justice and democracy anew. (shrink)
Holobionts are symbiotic assemblages composed by a host plus its microbiome. The status of holobionts as individuals has recently been a subject of continuous controversy, which has given rise to two main positions: on the one hand, holobiont advocates argue that holobionts are biological individuals; on the other, holobiont detractors argue that they are just mere chimeras or ecological communities, but not individuals. Both parties in the dispute develop their arguments from the framework of the philosophy of biology, in terms (...) of what it takes for a “conglomerate” to be considered an interesting individual from a biological point of view. However, the debates about holobiont individuality have important ontological implications that have remained vaguely explored from a metaphysical framework. The purpose of this paper is to cover that gap by presenting a metaphysical approach to holobionts individuality. Drawing upon a conception of natural selection that puts the focus on the transgenerational recurrence of the traits and that supports the thesis that holobionts are units of selection, we argue that holobionts bear emergent traits and exert downward powers over the entities that compose them. In this vein, we argue, a reasonable argument can be made for conceiving holobionts as emergent biological individuals. (shrink)
In the first half of the twentieth century the attention of American and European researchers was drawn to the area of ‘extreme physiology’, partly because of expeditions to the north and south poles, and to high altitude, but also by global conflicts which were fought for the first time with aircraft, and involved conflict in non-temperate zones, deserts, and at the freezing Eastern front. In an attempt to help white Euro-Americans survive in extreme environments, physiologists, anthropologists, and explorers studied indigenous (...) people’s bodies, cultures, and technologies. This paper will sketch an outline of the science of white survival in three ‘extreme’ environments: the Antarctic and Arctic; high-altitude; and the Australian desert, with a particular focus on the ways in which indigenous populations were studied, or in some cases ignored, by Western biomedical scientists—despite their crucial and systematic contributions to the success of experiments and expeditions. Particularly focusing on altitude, and on blood in both its symbolic and literal sense, the article shows how assumptions about race, indigeneity, civilisation, and evolution shaped the ways White Westerners understood their own bodies as well as those of the people they encountered in cold, high and hot places on the earth. Despite new discoveries in physiology and evolutionary science, old racialised assumptions were maintained, especially those that figured the temperate body as civilised and the tropical body as primitive; and in at least one case it will be shown that these racialised assumptions significantly altered, if not retarded, the science of respiratory physiology. (shrink)
Whether or not quantum physics can account for molecular structure is a matter of considerable controversy. Three of the problems raised in this regard are the problems of molecular structure. We argue that these problems are just special cases of the measurement problem of quantum mechanics: insofar as the measurement problem is solved, the problems of molecular structure are resolved as well. In addition, we explore one consequence of our argument: that claims about the reduction or emergence of molecular structure (...) cannot be settled independently of the choice of a particular resolution to the measurement problem. Specifically, we consider how three standard putative solutions to the measurement problem inform our under- standing of a molecule in isolation, as well as of chemistry’s relation to quantum physics. (shrink)
Prudential hedonism has been beset by many objections, the strength and number of which have led most modern philosophers to believe that it is implausible. One objection in particular, however, is nearly always cited when a philosopher wants to argue that prudential hedonism is implausible—the experience machine objection to hedonism. This paper examines this objection in detail. First, the deductive and abductive versions of the experience machine objection to hedonism are explained. Following this, the contemporary responses to each version of (...) the argument are assessed and the deductive version is argued to be relatively ineffective compared to the abductive version. Then, a taxonomy of the contemporary critical responses to the abductive version is created. Consideration of these responses shows that the abductive version of the objection is fairly powerful, but also that one type of response seems promising against it. This response argues that experience machine thought experiments seem to elicit judgments that are either too biased to be used as evidence for the objection or not obviously in favour of reality. It is argued that only this type of refutation seems likely to convince proponents of the abductive version that the objection is much weaker than they believe it to be. Finally, it is suggested that more evidence is required before anything definitive can be said on the matter. (shrink)
The emotional state of war-affected populations has become a central concern for international policy-makers in the last decade. Growing interest in war trauma is influenced by contemporary Anglo-American emotionology, or emotional norms, which tends to pathologize ordinary responses to distress, including anger related to survival strategies. The article critically analyses the ascendancy of a therapeutic security paradigm in international politics, which seeks to explain the prevailing political, economic and social conditions in terms of cycles of emotional dysfunctionalism. The article contends (...) that international therapeutic governance pathologizes waraffected populations as emotionally dysfunctional and problematizes their right to self-government, leading to extensive external intervention. However, international therapeutic governance may be detrimental to postwar recovery as well legitimizing a denial of self-government. (shrink)
The field of emotion understanding is replete with measures, yet lacks an integrated conceptual organizing structure. To identify and organize skills associated with the recognition and knowledge of emotions, and to highlight the focus of emotion understanding as localized in the self, in specific others, and in generalized others, we introduce the conceptual framework of Emotion Understanding in Recognition and Knowledge Abilities. We then categorize 56 existing methods of emotion understanding within this framework to highlight current gaps and future opportunities (...) in assessing emotion understanding across the lifespan. We hope the EUReKA model provides a systematic and integrated framework for conceptualizing and measuring emotion understanding for future research. (shrink)
The well-being account of sacrifice says that sacrifices are gross losses of well-being. This account is attractive because it explains the relationship between sacrifice and moral obligation. However, sacrifices made on behalf of loved ones may cause trouble for the account. Loving sacrifices occur in a context where the agent’s well-being and the beneficiary’s well-being are intertwined. They present a challenge to individualism about well-being. Drawing inspiration from feminist philosophers and bioethicists, I argue that a notion of ‘relational well-being’, analogous (...) to ‘relational autonomy’, can help account for loving sacrifices without either undermining the well-being theory of sacrifice or minimizing the very real sacrifices made in caregiving situations. (shrink)