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Since the earliest human societies, there has been an ongoing struggle between hierarchy and resistance to hierarchy, and this struggle is a major driver of the evolution of moralities and of institutions. Attempts to initiate or sustain hierarchies are often met with resistance; hierarchs then adopt new strategies, which in turn prompt new strategies of resistance; and so on. The key point is that the struggle is typically conducted using moral concepts in justifications for or against unequal power and involves the stimulation of the moral emotions. Both parties to the struggle treat morality as a valuable strategic resource; and the dynamic of interaction between hierarchs and resisters generates changes in that resource. The hierarch/resister struggle is in part a competition between moral concepts and justifications, and that competition drives the emergence of new moral concepts and justifications, just as competition in other contexts generates innovations. Among the moral concepts generated by the struggle are the following: authority, legitimacy, aristocracy, the divine right of kings, the mandate of heaven, natural rights, civil and political rights, constitutionalism, the rule of law, sovereignty, collective self-determination, exploitation, oppression, and domination.
COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be scarce for years to come. Many countries, from India to the U.K., have demonstrated vaccine nationalism. What are the ethical limits to this vaccine nationalism? Neither extreme nationalism nor extreme cosmopolitanism is ethically justifiable. Instead, we propose the fair priority for residents (FPR) framework, in which governments can retain COVID-19 vaccine doses for their residents only to the extent that they are needed to maintain a noncrisis level of mortality while they are implementing reasonable public health interventions. Practically, a noncrisis level of mortality is that experienced during a bad influenza season, which society considers an acceptable background risk. Governments take action to limit mortality from influenza, but there is no emergency that includes severe lockdowns. This “flu-risk standard” is a nonarbitrary and generally accepted heuristic. Mortality above the flu-risk standard justifies greater governmental interventions, including retaining vaccines for a country's own citizens over global need. The precise level of vaccination needed to meet the flu-risk standard will depend upon empirical factors related to the pandemic. This links the ethical principles to the scientific data emerging from the emergency. Thus, the FPR framework recognizes that governments should prioritize procuring vaccines for their country when doing so is necessary to reduce mortality to noncrisis flu-like levels. But after that, a government is obligated to do its part to share vaccines to reduce risks of mortality for people in other countries. We consider and reject objections to the FPR framework based on a country: (1) having developed a vaccine, (2) raising taxes to pay for vaccine research and purchase, (3) wanting to eliminate economic and social burdens, and (4) being ineffective in combating COVID-19 through public health interventions.
Global health is becoming a fashionable term among scholars, human rights activists, state officials, leaders of international and transnational organizations, and others. Until recently, health as a matter of collective concern largely implied national health. When the health problems of people in other countries became a public issue, it was usually within the confines of the notion of disaster relief, short-term responses to acute health crises caused by natural disasters or wars. Global health is a relatively new category of moral concern, empirical investigation, and institutional action.
People living in precarious housing or homelessness have higher than expected rates of psychotic disorders, persistent psychotic symptoms, and premature mortality. Psychotic symptoms can be modeled as a complex dynamic system, allowing assessment of roles for risk factors in symptom development, persistence, and contribution to premature mortality.
The severity of delusions, conceptual disorganization, hallucinations, suspiciousness, and unusual thought content was rated monthly over 5 years in a community sample of precariously housed/homeless adults (n = 375) in Vancouver, Canada. Multilevel vector auto-regression analysis was used to construct temporal, contemporaneous, and between-person symptom networks. Network measures were compared between participants with (n = 219) or without (n = 156) history of psychotic disorder using bootstrap and permutation analyses. Relationships between network connectivity and risk factors including homelessness, trauma, and substance dependence were estimated by multiple linear regression. The contribution of network measures to premature mortality was estimated by Cox proportional hazard models.
Delusions and unusual thought content were central symptoms in the multilevel network. Each psychotic symptom was positively reinforcing over time, an effect most pronounced in participants with a history of psychotic disorder. Global connectivity was similar between those with and without such a history. Greater connectivity between symptoms was associated with methamphetamine dependence and past trauma exposure. Auto-regressive connectivity was associated with premature mortality in participants under age 55.
Past and current experiences contribute to the severity and dynamic relationships between psychotic symptoms. Interrupting the self-perpetuating severity of psychotic symptoms in a vulnerable group of people could contribute to reducing premature mortality.
Homeless and precariously housed individuals experience a high burden of comorbid illnesses, and excess mortality. Cross-sectional studies report a high rate of cognitive impairment. Long-term trajectories have not been well investigated in this group.
To longitudinally assess risks for premature and/or accelerated cognitive ageing, and the relationship with early mortality in homeless and precariously housed people.
This is a 9-year community-based study of 375 homeless and precariously housed individuals from Vancouver, Canada. Annual cognitive testing assessed verbal learning and memory, and inhibitory control. Linear mixed-effects models examined associations between clinical risk factors (traumatic brain injury, psychotic disorders, viral exposure, alcohol dependence) and cognitive change over 9 years. Cox regression models examined the association between cognition and mortality.
Traumatic brain injury and alcohol dependence were associated with decline in verbal memory. Inhibitory control declined, independent of risk factors and to a greater extent in those who died during the study. Better inhibitory control was associated with a 6.6% lower risk of mortality at study entry, with a 0.3% greater effect for each year of life. For each one-point increase in the Charlson Comorbidity Index score at study entry, the risk of mortality was 9.9% higher, and was consistent across age. Adjusting for comorbidities, inhibitory control remained a significant predictor of mortality.
Findings raise the possibility of a premature onset, and accelerated trajectory, of cognitive ageing in this group of homeless and precariously housed people. Traumatic brain injury, alcohol dependence and cognition could be treatment priorities.
Liberal thinkers of the Enlightenment understood that surplus moral constraints, imposed by invalid moral norms, are a serious limitation on liberty. They also recognized that overcoming surplus moral constraints — what we call proper de-moralization — is an important dimension of moral progress. Contemporary philosophical theorists of liberty have largely neglected the threat that surplus moral constraints pose to liberty and the importance of proper de-moralization for human emancipation. This essay examines the phenomena of surplus moral constraints and proper de-moralization, utilizing insights from biological and cultural evolutionary thinking
Gloss, Carr, Reichman, Abdul-Nasiru, and Oestereich (2017) present a compelling argument (or rallying call) for there being a “moral imperative for I-O psychology to overrepresent people living in the deepest forms of poverty in both science and practice” (p. 330). We agree. Our research has been dominated by a POSH perspective, and it is incumbent upon us to ensure that our science benefits those who are most affected by poverty. We believe the interest in engaging in humanitarian work psychology is growing among industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists, yet many of us may not feel prepared to conduct such research and/or we may feel that we lack the skills to do so. Further, as Gloss et al. (2017) note, to the extent that we are unprepared to engage in research that benefits those living in poverty, in particular, we run the added risk of harming the very populations we are wanting to help. As such, the interest is there, but we may be daunted by the method. We argue that in order to heed that rallying call, without harm, we need to develop our own capabilities to engage in this important work.
From a moral standpoint, lethal drones are intrinsically no worse as a means of warfare than bombing or sending commandos to kill enemies. From the perspective of their users, they have six major advantages over more conventional weapons: they are often cheaper; their use can be more readily concealed; they allow for more precise targeting, with the potential for less “collateral damage”; their use can involve less serious infringements of sovereignty than invasion by troops; and they may be less likely to provoke widespread hostile reactions by the population of the country in which they are used than military operations involving troops on the ground. But these advantages generate three major risks: of violating sovereignty, of over-using the military option, and of making it more difficult to identify violations of constraints against targeting noncombatants. To deal with these risks, a Drone Accountability Regime is needed that imposes obligations on states, which in turn would be required to impose them on their agents. Since it would be infeasible to negotiate a treaty-based legal regime at present and for the foreseeable future, the Drone Accountability Regime should be informal and should involve transnational actors as well as states. Its key principle should be transparency, helping enable civil society to hold states accountable, and its central agent would be an Ombudsperson with broad authority to investigate situations and publicize her findings. No institution can ensure that states, or operators, are held fully accountable to appropriate standards of conduct, but such a regime could increase the degree of accountability for the use of lethal drones.
BOUT++ is a 3D nonlinear finite-difference plasma simulation code, capable of solving quite general systems of Partial Differential Equations (PDEs), but targeted particularly on studies of the edge region of tokamak plasmas. BOUT++ is publicly available, and has been adopted by a growing number of researchers worldwide. Here we present improvements which have been made to the code since its original release, both in terms of structure and its capabilities. Some recent applications of these methods are reviewed, and areas of active development are discussed. We also present algorithms and tools which have been developed to enable creation of inputs from analytic expressions and experimental data, and for processing and visualisation of output results. This includes a new tool Hypnotoad for the creation of meshes from experimental equilibria. Algorithms have been implemented in BOUT++ to solve a range of linear algebraic problems encountered in the simulation of reduced Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) and gyro-fluid models: A preconditioning scheme is presented which enables the plasma potential to be calculated efficiently using iterative methods supplied by the PETSc library (the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation) (Balay et al. 2014), without invoking the Boussinesq approximation. Scaling studies are also performed of a linear solver used as part of physics-based preconditioning to accelerate the convergence of implicit time-integration schemes.
This chapter makes the case that the concept of human rights on which the modern international human rights enterprise is grounded is morally progressive. I first clarify the idea of moral progress. Next, I focus on what I take to be some of the most important improvements in thinking about justice and explain how they are connected to one another. Then, I show that the modern conception of human rights encompasses all of these improvements.
My account of moral-conceptual progress will be neutral on the crucial question of causal relations between changes in normative ideas and interests or other so-called “material” factors. What I will say is compatible with both the view that the moral-conceptual changes I describe played a major causal role in progressive institutional change (such as the abolition of slavery) and with the view that they were largely post-hoc responses to institutional change caused by realignments of interests, as well as with a range of more nuanced alternative views that allow complex reciprocal causality between normative beliefs and interests. It will also be compatible with a sensible rejection of the facile distinction between normative beliefs and interests on the basis of which the question of causality is usually framed.
As global governance institutions proliferate and become more powerful, their legitimacy is subject to ever sharper scrutiny. Yet what legitimacy means in this context and how it is to be ascertained are often unclear. In a previous paper in this journal, we offered a general account of the legitimacy of such institutions and a set of standards for determining when they are legitimate. In this paper we focus on the legitimacy of the UN Security Council as an institution for making decisions concerning the use of military force across state borders. The context for this topic has changed over the last decade as a result of the ongoing development of the responsibility to protect (RtoP) doctrine and extensive discussions about it in the United Nations. Yet the mostly widely accepted proposals for RtoP still require Security Council authorization for forceful intervention, and strictly limit the conditions under which such intervention may take place.
“Global health” is becoming a fashionable term among scholars, human rights activists, state officials, leaders of international and transnational organizations and others. Until recently, health as a matter of collective concern largely implied national health. When the health problems of people in other countries became a public issue, it was usually within the confines of the notion of disaster relief, short-term responses to acute health crises caused by natural disasters or wars. Global health is a relatively new category of moral concern, empirical investigation and institutional action.
There are several reasons for the current prominence of global health issues. First, there is a widening recognition that some major risks to health are global in three senses: Their adverse impact on health is potentially worldwide, the conditions for their occurrence include various transnational dependencies that are lumped together under the rubric of globalization and an effective response to them requires cooperation on a global scale. Examples of global health risks that are global in each of these three senses include emerging infections, pollution of the oceans, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, nuclear terrorism and bioterrorism. Second, due to the revolution in information technologies and the emergence of transnational epistemic communities equipped with powerful empirical methodologies for measuring and explaining health and disease, we now know more about the health problems of people in other countries than ever before.
To describe an unusual case of lateral neck swelling in a patient with a permanent cardiac pacemaker.
We describe a patient who presented with a painful, lateral neck swelling due to an internal jugular vein thrombus. This thrombus originated from around pacemaker wires in the subclavian vein. This case is unusual, as the vast majority of thromboses in patients with cardiac pacemakers are found in the subclavian vein alone. We also review the literature on the relationship between cardiac pacemakers and internal jugular vein thrombosis, and on the management of the latter.
Our patient illustrates a rare cause of a painful, lateral neck swelling: an internal jugular vein thrombus secondary to a cardiac pacemaker. Clinicians should be wary of such pathology in similar patients, in order to ensure early treatment and avoidance of complications.
An institution is legitimate in the normative sense if it has the right to rule – where ruling includes promulgating rules and attempting to secure compliance with them by attaching costs to non-compliance and/or benefits to compliance. An institution is legitimate in the sociological sense when it is widely believed to have the right to rule. When people disagree over whether the WTO is legitimate, the disagreement is typically normative. They are not disagreeing about whether they or others believe that this institution has the right to rule; they are disagreeing about whether it has the right to rule. This chapter focuses on legitimacy in the normative sense.
We articulate a global public standard for the normative legitimacy of global governance institutions – henceforth GGIs, for brevity. This standard can provide the basis for principled criticism of GGIs and guide reform efforts in circumstances in which people disagree deeply about the demands of global justice and the role that GGIs should play in meeting them. We stake out a middle ground between an increasingly discredited conception of legitimacy that conflates legitimacy with international legality understood as state consent, on the one hand, and the unrealistic view that legitimacy for these institutions requires the same democratic standards that are now applied to states, on the other.
Our approach to the problem of legitimacy integrates conceptual analysis and moral reasoning with an appreciation of the fact that GGIs are novel, still evolving, and characterised by reasonable disagreement about what their proper goals are and what standards of justice they should meet.
The international legal order is beginning to take human rights seriously, yet sound justifications for claims about human rights are conspicuously absent. Philosophers have begun to respond to this “justification deficit” by developing theories of human rights. Although a philosophical conception of human rights is needed, it would not be sufficient. The justification of human rights is a dynamic process in which a provisional philosophical conception of human rights both guides and is fleshed out by public processes of practical reasoning structured by legal institutions. Whether the “justification deficit” can be remedied depends not only upon the content of human rights norms as set out in the major conventions and the arguments philosophers can marshal to justify them but also upon the epistemic virtues of the institutions through which the norms are specified, contested, and revised over time.
We articulate a global public standard for the normative legitimacy of global governance institutions. This standard can provide the basis for principled criticism of global governance institutions and guide reform efforts in circumstances in which people disagree deeply about the demands of global justice and the role that global governance institutions should play in meeting them. We stake out a middle ground between an increasingly discredited conception of legitimacy that conflates legitimacy with international legality understood as state consent, on the one hand, and the unrealistic view that legitimacy for these institutions requires the same democratic standards that are now applied to states, on the other.
Steven Lee offers a probing and fair minded critique of our effort to show that the preventive use of military force could be justified if the decision to undertake preventive action was reached through an appropriate institutional process. Our responses to his thoughtful criticisms will help to clarify both the moral-philosophical arguments and the institutional proposal presented in our earlier paper.