School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1511
Impact of the European clinical trials directive on prospective academic clinical trials associated with BMT.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2011-03)
The European Clinical Trials Directive (EU 2001; 2001/20/EC) was introduced to improve the efficiency of commercial and academic clinical trials. Concerns have been raised by interested organizations and institutions regarding the potential for negative impact of the Directive on non-commercial European clinical research. Interested researchers within the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) were surveyed to determine whether researcher experiences confirmed this view. Following a pilot study, an internet-based questionnaire was distributed to individuals in key research positions in the European haemopoietic SCT community. Seventy-one usable questionnaires were returned from participants in different EU member states. The results indicate that the perceived impact of the European Clinical Trials Directive has been negative, at least in the research areas of interest to the EBMT.
Recommendations for sex/gender neuroimaging research: key principles and implications for research design, analysis, and interpretation
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2014-08-28)
Neuroimaging (NI) technologies are having increasing impact in the study of complex cognitive and social processes. In this emerging field of social cognitive neuroscience, a central goal should be to increase the understanding of the interaction between the neurobiology of the individual and the environment in which humans develop and function. The study of sex/gender is often a focus for NI research, and may be motivated by a desire to better understand general developmental principles, mental health problems that show female-male disparities, and gendered differences in society. In order to ensure the maximum possible contribution of NI research to these goals, we draw attention to four key principles-overlap, mosaicism, contingency and entanglement-that have emerged from sex/gender research and that should inform NI research design, analysis and interpretation. We discuss the implications of these principles in the form of constructive guidelines and suggestions for researchers, editors, reviewers and science communicators.
Forced to be free? Increasing patient autonomy by constraining it
(B M J Group, 2014)
It is universally accepted in bioethics that doctors and other medical professionals have an obligation to procure the informed consent of their patients. Informed consent is required because patients have the moral right to autonomy in furthering the pursuit of their most important goals. In the present work, it is argued that evidence from psychology shows that human beings are subject to a number of biases and limitations as reasoners, which can be expected to lower the quality of their decisions and which therefore make it more difficult for them to pursue their most important goals by giving informed consent. It is further argued that patient autonomy is best promoted by constraining the informed consent procedure. By limiting the degree of freedom patients have to choose, the good that informed consent is supposed to protect can be promoted.
Time-Layered Cultural Map of Australia
(CEUR Workshop Proceedings (CEUR-WS.org), 2020)
This paper reports on an Australian project that is developing an online system to deliver researcher-driven national-scale infrastructure for the humanities, focused on mapping, time series, and data integration. Australian scholars and scholars of Australia worldwide are well served with digital resources and tools to deepen the understanding of Australia and its historical and cultural heritage. There are, however, significant barriers to use. The Time Layered Cultural Map of Australia (TLCMap) will provide an umbrella infrastructure related to time and space, helping to activate and draw together existing high-quality resources. TLCMap expands the use of Australian cultural and historical data for research through sharply defined and powerful discovery mechanisms. See https://tlcmap.newcastle.edu.au/.
Untimely ends: place, kin and culture in coronial inquests
(Public Record Office Victoria, 2020)
This article explores the utility of using the rich holdings of coronial inquests in the collection of Public Record Office Victoria as fertile sources for exploring histories of place, kin and culture. It suggests ways in which the minutiae of everyday life contained in inquest deposition files provide a unique source enabling the historian to tell stories about ways of life as much as the circumstances of death. Coronial inquiries were established in the British legal tradition, with hotels playing an important early role in both the housing of dead bodies and the holding of inquests. The article further explores a range of examples under the themes of work, place, family and race to analyse the value of inquest files in understanding the experience of individual workers against the backdrop of occupational categories, to research fine-grained local histories, to disrupt racial stereotypes, and to understand family dynamics and extended relationships. These case studies throw light on a range of methodological and ethical issues pertinent to this genre of record, revealing inquest records as a complex body of important public documents with personal sensitivities, both for the historian and their subject.
Psychopaths and blame: The argument from content
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2014-06-01)
The recent debate over the moral responsibility of psychopaths has centered on whether, or in what sense, they understand moral requirements. In this paper, I argue that even if they do understand what morality requires, the content of their actions is not of the right kind to justify full-blown blame. I advance two independent justifications of this claim. First, I argue that if the psychopath comes to know what morality requires via a route that does not involve a proper appreciation of what it means to cause another harm or distress, the content of violations of rules against harm will be of a lower grade than the content of similar actions by normal individuals. Second, I argue that in order to intend a harm to a person-that is, to intend the distinctive kind of harm that can only befall a person-it is necessary to understand what personhood is and what makes it valuable. The psychopath's deficits with regard to mental time travel ensure that s/he cannot intend this kind of harm.
KEEPING JUSTICE (LARGELY) OUT OF CHARITY: PLURALISM AND THE DIVISION OF LABOR BETWEEN CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS AND THE STATE
(Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021)
Justice can be pursued by the state, or through voluntary charity. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate about the appropriate division of labor between government and charitable agencies by developing a positive account of the charity sector's moral foundations. The account given here is grounded in a legal conception of charity, as a set of subsidies and privileges designed to cultivate a wide variety of activities aimed at enhancing civic virtue and autonomy. Among other things, this implies that a charity sector oriented largely around the pursuit of justice will come at a moral cost to a liberal society, at least when the state is in a position to take the greater share of the responsibility. So, a positive account of charity provides at least a pro tanto reason for preferring a division of labor in which the state takes a greater share of the responsibility for pursuing justice. As well as developing and defending this conception in its own right, we apply it in offering some criticisms and enhancements of existing views about the division of labor.
Traces of places: sacred sites in miniature on Minoan gold rings.
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2021-01-25)
Sacred sites in Minoan Crete are known from both archaeological remains and iconography. Glyptic art is the most extensive body of Aegean Bronze Age representational art and consists of carved seals in the form of engraved metal signet rings, stone seals, and the clay impressions (sealings) that these were used to produce. Gold signet rings from the Cretan Neopalatial period (1750–1490 BCE) depict various types of sacred site including mountain, rural, cave, and urban sanctuaries. How should we understand the built structures depicted in these miniature cult scenes? Do they all depict variations of walls or buildings, or are they altars? This paper differentiates the built structures depicted in cult scenes on Minoan gold rings, correlates them to archaeological remains at Minoan sacred sites, and proposes an explanation of ephemeral cult structures now only recorded in the iconographic evidence. It will be demonstrated that these miniature art forms represent Minoan sacred sites in three ways: as natural places characterised by the presence of trees and stones and the absence of architecture; as outdoor sanctuaries surrounded by ashlar stone walls; and as shrines and altars, the shapes of which evoke natural cult locations such as mountains and sacred groves through abstract form. It will be argued that representation of Minoan cult structures that evoked the natural landscape within prestigious art forms was a method whereby Neopalatial elites naturalised their authority by depicting themselves in special relationship with the animate landscape.
The Declaration of Interdependence! Feminism, Grounding and Enactivism
This paper explores the issue whether feminism needs a metaphysical grounding, and if so, what form that might take to effectively take account of and support the socio-political demands of feminism; addressing these demands I further propose will also contribute to the resolution of other social concerns. Social constructionism is regularly invoked by feminists and other political activists who argue that social injustices are justified and sustained through hidden structures which oppress some while privileging others. Some feminists (Haslanger and Sveinsdóttir, Feminist metaphysics. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Stanford: Stanford University, 2011) argue that the constructs appealed to in social constructivism are real but not metaphysically fundamental because they are contingent. And this is exactly the crux of the problem-is it possible to sustain an engaged feminist socio-political critique for which contingency is central (i.e., that things could be otherwise) and at the same time retain some kind of metaphysical grounding. Without metaphysical grounding it has been argued, the feminist project may be rendered nonsubstantive (Sider, Substantivity in feminist metaphysics. Philosophical Studies, 174(2017), 2467-2478, 2017). There has been much debate around this issue and Sider (as an exemplar of the points under contention) nuances the claims expressed in his earlier writings (Sider, Writing the book of the world. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2011) and later presents a more qualified account (Sider, Substantivity in feminist metaphysics. Philosophical Studies, 174(2017), 2467-2478, 2017). Nonetheless, I propose the critiques and defences offered by the various parties continue to depend on certain erroneous assumptions and frameworks that are challengeable. I argue that fundamentality as presented in many of these current accounts, which are underpinned by the explicit or implicit ontologies of monism and dualism and argued for in purely rationalist terms which conceive of subjects as primarily reason-responding agents, reveal basic irresolvable problems. I propose that addressing these concerns will be possible through an enactivist account which, following phenomenology, advances an ontology of interdependence and reconceives the subject as first and foremost an organism immersed in a meaningful world as opposed to a primarily reason-responding agent. Enactivism is thus, I will argue, able to legitimize feminist socio-political critiques by offering a non-reductive grounding in which not only are contingency and fundamentality reconciled, but in which fundamentality is in fact defined by radical contingency. My paper proceeds in dialogue with feminists generally addressing this 'metaphysical turn' in feminism and specifically with Sally Haslanger and Mari Mikkola.
The Inhuman Gaze and Perceptual Gestalts; The making and unmaking of others and worlds.
(Routledge - Taylor & Francis, 2020-07-05)
While on the one hand for Merleau-Ponty, ‘the perception of the other founds morality’; on the other, it is the rationalizing of perception by stripping it of empathic responsiveness, becoming an inhuman gaze, that allows ethical failure. Through his ground-breaking analyses of embodied percipience, Merleau-Ponty offers a powerful critique of the view from nowhere, the objectivist, disembodied, unsituated, purely rationalist view which underwrites all inhuman gazes. Complicating and deepening these analyses, Merleau-Ponty also draws on gestalt theory, elaborating particularly on the roles of perspectivism, wholism and figure-ground structures in the perception of things and of others. It is Merleau-Ponty’s engagement with gestalt theory that informs the key claims of this essay, supported by diverse accounts and analyses of the underlying psychological dimensions and consequences of torture. Specifically, I will argue that while we can theoretically decompose perception in terms of gestalt structures to better understand the mechanisms of perceptual experience in general, we can also understand how it is possible to achieve an inhuman gaze through a rationalizing deconstructive process of perception; rather than ‘making’ others and worlds, these are ‘unmade’ for potentially violent and unethical ends.
A Tale of Two Objects: Electro-Convulsive Therapy, History, and the Politics of Museum Display
(Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine, 2020)
This essay offers a biography of two Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) machines: the Bini-Cerletti machine used for the very first shock treatments and now housed in the History of Medicine Museum, Rome; and a machine from Adelaide based upon H.M. Birch's original design and used to give the first shock treatments in Australia. In discussing these objects, I take a number of steps. Firstly, a short history of ECT introduces the major debates around the therapy and its history. Secondly, the machines are positioned within this history. Thirdly, the machines 'function within the galleries is discussed. Finally, I ask how these objects might be presented in a way that better reflects their history and the history of psychiatry more generally.