BackgroundThe biopharmaceutical industry operates at the intersection of life sciences, clinical research, clinical care, public health, and business, which presents distinct operational and ethical challenges. This setting merits focused bioethics consideration to complement legal compliance and business ethics efforts. However, bioethics as applied to a biopharmaceutical industry setting often is construed either too broadly or too narrowly with little examination of its proper scope.Main textAny institution with a scientific or healthcare mission should engage bioethics norms to navigate ethical issues that (...) arise from the conduct of biomedical research, delivery of clinical care, or implementation of public health programs. It is reasonable to assume that while bioethics norms must remain constant, their application will vary depending on the characteristics of a given setting. Context “specification” substantively refines ethics norms for a particular discipline or setting and is an expected, needed and progressive ethical activity. In order for this activity to be meaningful, the scope for bioethics application and the relevant contextual factors of the setting need to be delineated and appreciated. This paper defines biopharmaceutical bioethics as: the application of bioethics norms to the research, development, supply, commercialization, and clinical use of biopharmaceutical healthcare products. It provides commentary on this definition, and presents five contextual factors that need to be considered when applying bioethics norms to a biopharmaceutical industry setting: dual missions; timely and pragmatic guidance; resource stewardship; multiple stakeholders; and operational complexity.ConclusionUnderstanding the scope of the biopharmaceutical enterprise and contextual factors of a biopharmaceutical industry setting is foundational for the application of bioethics norms. Establishing a common language and approach for biopharmaceutical bioethics will facilitate breadth and depth of discussion and subsequent implementation to benefit patients, the healthcare system and society. (shrink)
Computers are already approving financial transactions, controlling electrical supplies, and driving trains. Soon, service robots will be taking care of the elderly in their homes, and military robots will have their own targeting and firing protocols. Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach argue that as robots take on more and more responsibility, they must be programmed with moral decision-making abilities, for our own safety. Taking a fast paced tour through the latest thinking about philosophical ethics and artificial intelligence, the authors (...) argue that even if full moral agency for machines is a long way off, it is already necessary to start building a kind of functional morality, in which artificial moral agents have some basic ethical sensitivity. But the standard ethical theories don't seem adequate, and more socially engaged and engaging robots will be needed. As the authors show, the quest to build machines that are capable of telling right from wrong has begun. -/- Moral Machines is the first book to examine the challenge of building artificial moral agents, probing deeply into the nature of human decision making and ethics. (shrink)
The Rejected Body argues that feminist theorizing has been skewed toward non-disabled experience, and that the knowledge of people with disabilities must be integrated into feminist ethics, discussions of bodily life, and criticism of the cognitive and social authority of medicine. Among the topics it addresses are who should be identified as disabled; whether disability is biomedical, social or both; what causes disability and what could 'cure' it; and whether scientific efforts to eliminate disabling physical conditions are morally justified. (...) class='Hi'>Wendell provides a remarkable look at how cultural attitudes towards the body contribute to the stigma of disability and to widespread unwillingness to accept and provide for the body's inevitable weakness. (shrink)
Applied Ethicists.Wendell Wallach - 2010 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 11 (2):283-289.details
____The Rejected Body__ argues that feminist theorizing has been skewed toward non-disabled experience, and that the knowledge of people with disabilities must be integrated into feminist ethics, discussions of bodily life, and criticism of the cognitive and social authority of medicine. Among the topics it addresses are who should be identified as disabled; whether disability is biomedical, social or both; what causes disability and what could 'cure' it; and whether scientific efforts to eliminate disabling physical conditions are morally justified. (...) class='Hi'>Wendell provides a remarkable look at how cultural attitudes towards the body contribute to the stigma of disability and to widespread unwillingness to accept and provide for the body's inevitable weakness. (shrink)
Scientists and historians have often presumed that the divide between biochemistry and molecular biology is fundamentally epistemological.100 The historiography of molecular biology as promulgated by Max Delbrück's phage disciples similarly emphasizes inherent differences between the archaic tradition of biochemistry and the approach of phage geneticists, the ur molecular biologists. A historical analysis of the development of both disciplines at Berkeley mitigates against accepting predestined differences, and underscores the similarities between the postwar development of biochemistry and the emergence of molecular biology (...) as a university discipline. Stanley's image of postwar biochemistry, with its focus on viruses as key experimental systems, and its preference for following macromolecular structure over metabolism pathways, traced the outline of molecular biology in 1950.Changes in the postwar political economy of research universities enabled the proliferation of disciplines such as microbiology, biochemistry, biophysics, immunology, and molecular biology in universities rather than in medical schools and agricultural colleges. These disciplines were predominantly concerned with investigating life at the subcellular level-research that during the 1930s had often entailed collaboration with physicists and chemists. The interdisciplinary efforts of the 1930s (many fostered by the Rockefeller Foundation) yielded a host of new tools and reagents that were standardized and mass-produced for laboratories after World War II. This commercial infrastructure enabled “basic” researchers in biochemistry and molecular biology in the 1950s and 1960s to become more independent from physics and chemistry (although they were practicing a physicochemical biology), as well as from the agricultural and medical schools that had previously housed or sponsored such research. In turn, the disciplines increasingly required their practitioners to have specialized graduate training, rather than admitting interlopers from the physical sciences.These general transitions toward greater autonomy for biochemistry and allied disciplines should not mask the important particularities of these developments on each campus. At the University of Caliornia at Berkeley, agriculture had provided, with medicine, significant sponsorship for biochemistry. The proximity of Lawrence and his cyclotrons supported the early development of Berkeley as a center for the biological uses of radioisotopes, particularly in studies of metabolism and photosynthesis. Stanley arrived to establish his department and virus institute before large-scale federal funding of biomedical research was in place, and he courted the state of California for substantial backing by promising both national prominence in the life sciences and virus research pertinent to agriculture and public health. Stanley's venture benefited significantly from the expansion of California's economy after World War II, and his mobilization against viral diseases resonated with the concerns of the Cold War, which fueled the state's rapid growth. The scientific prominence of contemporary developments at Caltech and Stanford invites the historical examination of the significance of postwar biochemistry and molecular biology within the political and cultural economy of the Golden State.In 1950, Stanley presented a persuasive picture of the power of biochemistry to refurbish life science at Berkeley while answering fundamental questions about life and infection. In the words of one Rockefeller Foundation officer,There seems little doubt in [my] mind that as a personality Stanley will be well able to dominate the other personalities on the Berkeley campus and will be able to drive his dream through to completion, which, incidentally, leaves Dr. Hubert [sic] Evans and the whole ineffective Life Sciences building in the somewhat peculiar position of being by-passed by much of the truly modern biochemistry and biophysics research that will be carried out at Berkeley. Furthermore, it seems likely that Dr. S's show will throw Dr. John Lawrence's Biophysics Department strongly in the shade both figuratively and literally, but should make the University of California pre-eminent not only in physics but in biochemistry as well.101Stanley, Sproul, Weaver, and this officer (William Loomis) all testified to a perceptible postwar opportunity to capitalize on public support for biological research that relied on the technologies from physics and chemistry without being captive to them, and that addressed issues of medicine and agriculture without being institutionally subservient. What is striking, given the expectation by many that Stanley would ‘be able to drive his dream through to completion,” was that in fact he did not. Biochemists who had succeeded in making their expertise valued in specialized niches were resistant to giving up their affiliations to joint Stanley's “liberated” organization. Stanley's failure was not simply due to institutional factors: researchers as well as Rockefeller Foundation officers faulted him for his lack of scientific imagination, which made it difficult for him to gain credibility in leading the field. Moreover, many biochemists did not share Stanley's commitment to viruses as the key material for the “new biochemistry.”In the end, Stanley's free-standing department did become a first-rate department of biochemistry, but only after freeing itself from Stanley's leadership and his single-minded devotion to viruses. Nonetheless, the falling-out with the Berkeley biochemists was rapidly followed by the establishment of a Department of Molecular Biology, attesting to the unabating economic and institutional possibilities for an authoritative “general biology” (or two, for that matter) to take hold. In each case, following Stanley's dream sheds light on how the possible and the real shaped the (re)formation of biochemistry and molecular biology as postwar life sciences. (shrink)
Quando nos detemos à querela recente sobre o enhancement, especialmente àquela que tem colocado em lados opostos bioconservadores e transhumanistas, não pode passar despercebido que pressuposições e mesmo concepções muito ingênuas sobre o homem se encontram no fundo do debate. No estudo que apresentaremos, buscaremos mostrar duas teses: antes de tudo, tentaremos evidenciar que tal querela formada em torno do enhancement é uma reformulação da querela que outrora envolveu a arte alquímica nos tempos medievais e renascentistas – arte cujo impulso (...) deu grande influxo ao ideal prático-transformador da ciência. Em segundo lugar, mostraremos que a atual controvérsia em torno do transhumanismo padece, em termos ontológicos, de problemas semelhantes àqueles que atormentavam o debate sobre aquela antiga arte. Por fim, deixaremos, entretanto, indicado que o esclarecimento das questões ontológicas envolvidas em tal controvérsia não eliminam necessariamente outras questões de ordem ética e política, as quais precisam certamente de um estudo complementar. (shrink)
. This is the first of four installments by the author, presenting an intellectual biography of Ralph Wendell Burhoe. This first segment follows Burhoe from his college years at Harvard through the founding of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science in 1954. In this period, after his college and seminary study, Burhoe worked at Harvard's Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory and as executive officer of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Throughout his early life he had (...) been concerned with how religion could maintain its credibility as a bearer of truth vis‐à‐vis the sciences, which were displacing religion not only among leading intellectuals, but also in other segments of society. The founding of IRAS provided an important instrument for dealing with this concern. (shrink)
We need a feminist theory of disability, both because 16 percent of women are disabled, and because the oppression of disabled people is closely linked to the cultural oppression of the body. Disability is not a biological given; like gender, it is socially constructed from biologically reality. Our culture idealizes the body and demands that we control it. Thus, although most people will be disabled at some time in their lives, the disabled are made "the other," who symbolize failure of (...) control and the threat of pain, limitation, dependency, and death. If disabled people and their knowledge were fully integrated into society, everyone's relation to her/his real body would be liberated. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in general, comprehensive models of human cognition. Such models aim to explain higher-order cognitive faculties, such as deliberation and planning. Given a computational representation, the validity of these models can be tested in computer simulations such as software agents or embodied robots. The push to implement computational models of this kind has created the field of artificial general intelligence (AGI). Moral decision making is arguably one of the most challenging tasks for computational (...) approaches to higher-order cognition. The need for increasingly autonomous artificial agents to factor moral considerations into their choices and actions has given rise to another new field of inquiry variously known as Machine Morality, Machine Ethics, Roboethics, or Friendly AI. In this study, we discuss how LIDA, an AGI model of human cognition, can be adapted to model both affective and rational features of moral decision making. Using the LIDA model, we will demonstrate how moral decisions can be made in many domains using the same mechanisms that enable general decision making. Comprehensive models of human cognition typically aim for compatibility with recent research in the cognitive and neural sciences. Global workspace theory, proposed by the neuropsychologist Bernard Baars (1988), is a highly regarded model of human cognition that is currently being computationally instantiated in several software implementations. LIDA (Franklin, Baars, Ramamurthy, & Ventura, 2005) is one such computational implementation. LIDA is both a set of computational tools and an underlying model of human cognition, which provides mechanisms that are capable of explaining how an agent’s selection of its next action arises from bottom-up collection of sensory data and top-down processes for making sense of its current situation. We will describe how the LIDA model helps integrate emotions into the human decision-making process, and we will elucidate a process whereby an agent can work through an ethical problem to reach a solution that takes account of ethically relevant factors. (shrink)
The implementation of moral decision making abilities in artificial intelligence (AI) is a natural and necessary extension to the social mechanisms of autonomous software agents and robots. Engineers exploring design strategies for systems sensitive to moral considerations in their choices and actions will need to determine what role ethical theory should play in defining control architectures for such systems. The architectures for morally intelligent agents fall within two broad approaches: the top-down imposition of ethical theories, and the bottom-up building of (...) systems that aim at goals or standards which may or may not be specified in explicitly theoretical terms. In this paper we wish to provide some direction for continued research by outlining the value and limitations inherent in each of these approaches. (shrink)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, is considered by many to be the most influential American jurist. The voluminous literature devoted to his writings and legal thought, however, is diverse and inconsistent. In this study, Frederic R. Kellogg follows Holmes's intellectual path from his early writings through his judicial career. He offers a fresh perspective that addresses the views of Holmes's leading critics and explains his relevance to the controversy over judicial activism and restraint. Holmes is shown to be an original (...) legal theorist who reconceived common law as a theory of social inquiry and who applied his insights to constitutional law. From his empirical and naturalist perspective on law, with its roots in American pragmatism, emerged Holmes's distinctive judicial and constitutional restraint. Kellogg distinguishes Holmes from analytical legal positivism and contrasts him with a range of thinkers. (shrink)
Building artificial moral agents (AMAs) underscores the fragmentary character of presently available models of human ethical behavior. It is a distinctly different enterprise from either the attempt by moral philosophers to illuminate the “ought” of ethics or the research by cognitive scientists directed at revealing the mechanisms that influence moral psychology, and yet it draws on both. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have tended to stress the importance of particular cognitive mechanisms, e.g., reasoning, moral sentiments, heuristics, intuitions, or a moral grammar, (...) in the making of moral decisions. However, assembling a system from the bottom-up which is capable of accommodating moral considerations draws attention to the importance of a much wider array of mechanisms in honing moral intelligence. Moral machines need not emulate human cognitive faculties in order to function satisfactorily in responding to morally significant situations. But working through methods for building AMAs will have a profound effect in deepening an appreciation for the many mechanisms that contribute to a moral acumen, and the manner in which these mechanisms work together. Building AMAs highlights the need for a comprehensive model of how humans arrive at satisfactory moral judgments. (shrink)
This book explores the cultures of philosophy and the law as they interact with neuroscience and biology, through the perspective of American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes’ Jr., and the pragmatist tradition of John Dewey. Schulkin proposes that human problem solving and the law are tied to a naturalistic, realistic and an anthropological understanding of the human condition. The situated character of legal reasoning, given its complexity, like reasoning in neuroscience, can be notoriously fallible. Legal and scientific reasoning is to (...) be understood within a broader context in order to emphasize both the continuity and the porous relationship between the two. Some facts of neuroscience fit easily into discussions of human experience and the law. However, it is important not to oversell neuroscience: a meeting of law and neuroscience is unlikely to prove persuasive in the courtroom any time soon. Nevertheless, as knowledge of neuroscience becomes more reliable and more easily accepted by both the larger legislative community and in the wider public, through which neuroscience filters into epistemic and judicial reliability, the two will ultimately find themselves in front of a judge. A pragmatist view of neuroscience will aid and underlie these events. (shrink)
In The Ticklish Subject, Žižek argues that the Hegelian concrete universal is not the organic comprehensive totality that it is often assumed to be. Rather, he argues that Hegel's concrete universality is defined in its very concretion by an irreducible rupture, gap, or trauma that not only neither closes it off from otherness nor assimilates otherness within the same, but forever opens it to otherness, constituting it as such exposure. However, by understanding the function of negativity in Hegel's argument in (...) a foundational way, Žižek posits as final what is merely a transitional stage. As a result, he not only misconstrues concrete universality and substitutes for it a particularized universal which, as such, remains abstract, but in doing so he passes by the implications in his own account that could lead to a positive conception of concrete universality above and beyond the strictly negative and empty formality he takes it to be. By avoiding Žižek's foundationalist way of framing the category of universality we can thereby articulate a logic of implications in it that leads us out of the still abstract shape, to which Žižek limits it, to its truly concrete form. Furthermore, the latter contains political implications that are lost in Žižek's version. (shrink)
: Chronic illness is a major cause of disability, especially in women. Therefore, any adequate feminist understanding of disability must encompass chronic illnesses. I argue that there are important differences between healthy disabled and unhealthy disabled people that are likely to affect such issues as treatment of impairment in disability and feminist politics, accommodation of disability in activism and employment, identification of persons as disabled, disability pride, and prevention and "cure" of disabilities.
"In this clearly written and accessible book, (Wendell) Harris sets out to expose the inadequacies of current methods and trends in literary criticism. . . . The book's greatest strength is its lucid presentation of critical works, which are then shown to be compromised by fallacies and flaws".-- CHOICE.
ResumoO presente artigo visa mostrar o significado da filosofia biológica da técnica em Gilbert Simondon. Essa rubrica coloca em ação uma leitura da filosofia da técnica do filósofo francês como uma ontologia regional no interior de sua ontologia geral ontogenética, que, nesse regime específico, baseia-se em um modelo do orgânico. Para tanto, mostraremos que a individuação dos objetos técnicos, sua concretização marcada pela superdeterminação funcional, obriga-nos a pensá-los em sua organicidade e desde uma organologia geral. Ademais, os conceitos de adaptação (...) e de ambiente associado também contribuem enquanto aspectos biológicos que acompanham a concepção de Simondon do modo de existência dos seres técnicos. Como resultado, veremos que quanto mais concreto e adaptado - na série de sua evolução específica -, mais o objeto técnico se aproxima da individualidade propriamente biológica. Essa aproximação não terá, entretanto, o sentido de uma assimilação completa entre o técnico e o orgânico. Na autoprodução vital, permanece sempre um resto para além do maquínico, cuja demonstração é erigida por Simondon, por fim, com a ideia de uma origem vital absoluta dos objetos técnicos enquanto "mutação orientada". Apontaremos que tal origem não tem base meramente humana, mas se estende também para outras esferas do domínio vital.The present article aims to show the meaning of the biological philosophy of technique in Gilbert Simondon. This concept puts into action a reading of the French philosopher's philosophy of technique as a regional ontology within his ontogenetic general ontology, which in that particular scheme is based on an organic model. We will elaborate this to show that the individuation of technical objects, their concretization marked by their functional overdetermination, forces us to think of them in its organicity and from a general organology. Moreover, the concepts of adaptation and associated environment also contribute as biological aspects that accompany Simondon's conception of the mode of existence of technical beings. As a result, we will see that the more concrete and adapted the technical object is - in the series of its specific evolution - the more it comes closer to the proper biological individuality. This approximation will not have, however, the meaning of a complete assimilation between the technical and the organic. In the vital self-production, Simondon demonstrates that there always remains something beyond the machinical, namely, the idea of an absolute vital source of technical objects as a "guided mutation". We will show that such a source is not merely human, but also extends to other spheres of the vital domain. (shrink)
Chronic illness is a major cause of disability, especially in women. Therefore, any adequate feminist understanding of disability must encompass chronic illnesses. I argue that there are important differences between healthy disabled and unhealthy disabled people that are likely to affect such issues as treatment of impairment in disability and feminist politics, accommodation of disability in activism and employment, identification of persons as disabled, disability pride, and prevention and “cure” of disabilities.