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Three broad social factors – childhood adversity, immigration, and urban living – are robustly associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. To date, however, there is no consensus on what it is about these phenomena that raises the risk of psychotic illness. In 2005, J. P. Selten and E. Cantor-Graae proposed a “social defeat” hypothesis according to which the social determinants of schizophrenia are best characterized as experiences of social subordination. In recent years, the social-defeat hypothesis has been broadened to include experiences of social exclusion. In this chapter, we review the different versions of the social defeat hypothesis and argue that it fails to account for the urban effect. We further argue for the potential utility of paying greater attention to social science when theorizing about the social determinants of schizophrenia.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
In this essay I argue that adversarial institutional systems, such as multi-party democracy, present a distinctive risk of institutional corruption, one that is particularly difficult to counteract. Institutional corruption often results not from individual malfeasance, but from perverse incentives that make it the case that agents within an institutional framework have rival institutional interests that risk pitting individual advantage against the functioning of the institution in question. Sometimes, these perverse incentives are only contingently related to the central animating logic of an institution. In these cases, immunizing institutions from the risk of corruption is not a theoretically difficult exercise. In other cases, institutions generate perverse or rival incentives in virtue of some central feature of the institution’s design, one that is also responsible for some of the institution’s more positive traits. In multi-party democratic systems, partisanship risks giving rise to too close an identification of the partisan’s interest with that of the party, to the detriment of the democratic system as a whole. But partisanship is also necessary to the functioning of such a system. Creating bulwarks that allow the positive aspects of partisanship to manifest themselves, while offsetting the aspects of partisanship through which individual advantage of democratic agents is linked too closely to party success, is a central task for the theory and practice of the institutional design of democracy.
John Rawls is usually thought of as a stalwart critic of utilitarianism in all of its forms. It might therefore come as a surprise that Rawls devoted an entire early essay to providing utilitarianism with philosophical ammunition with which to deflect one of the most common objections to that theory, which is that, given certain empirical sets of circumstances, it can require morally quite counterintuitive behavior. As a theory which views the good-making properties of actions as residing solely in their consequences, and which views consequences in a purely aggregative way, utilitarianism can yield prescriptions that are startling in their distributive implications.
Utilitarianisms since John Stuart Mill have responded to this concern by claiming that the theory is best thought of as applying not to individual actions, but rather to rules. “Rule-utilitarianism” would have us focus not on the consequences of each particular instance of a kind of behavior X, but rather on a general practice of X-ing. Many counterintuitive consequences are thought to dissolve if the focus of the theory is changed in this manner. What may be justified in the individual case (lying, deceit, torture, etc.) ceases to be so justified when a general rule recommending this kind of behavior is envisaged.
Rule-utilitarianism has been viewed as inadequate by orthodox utilitarian such as J. J. C. Smart. They have accused rule-utilitarians of being “rule-fetishists,” that is, of cleaving to rules even in individual cases in which the agent can plainly see that breaking the rule would best conduce to general utility.
Toleration is a paradoxical political virtue. To tolerate the morally odious smacks of moral weakness. Yet to speak of toleration in the case of beliefs or practices that are morally acceptable also seems to speak poorly of the individual or group that practices toleration. To tolerate is to prescind from using the power one has to condemn or prohibit a practice of which one disapproves. But if the practice being tolerated is morally acceptable, then on the face of it there is no reason to disapprove of it in the first place. Thus the paradox: a political virtue that has been widely praised throughout history ends up being difficult to spell out without making the tolerators either morally spineless or overly censorious.
Rawls’s forays into the discussion of toleration begin with the first of these two apparently unattractive postures. The question he asks, in an early essay on “Constitutional Liberty and the Concept of Justice,” and then again in A Theory of Justice, is whether “tolerant sects” have the right to suppress “intolerant sects,” where intolerance is defined as the rejection of the principle of equal liberty. Rawls argues that they do not. In his view, the widely held thought that the intolerant can be suppressed stems from a fallacious inference. Though it is true, Rawls claims, that the intolerant do not have a legitimate claim against those that would suppress them, it does not follow that the tolerant have the right to suppress them. Whether that right exists should be determined on the basis of principles of justice, rather than on the presence or absence of a legitimate claim on the part of the intolerant that they not be suppressed.
Isaiah berlin (1909–1997) was a Latvian-born political theorist and historian of political ideas. He was the Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford University between 1957 and 1967. Though the bulk of his writing had to do with the political ideas of thinkers of the Enlightenment and of the Counter-Enlightenment, he is perhaps best known among political philosophers for a relatively small number of essays that were published in the volume Four Essays on Liberty (Berlin 1969).
In these essays, Berlin defended a view of political life that emphasized the irreducible plurality of ends legitimately pursued by human agents. In Berlin’s view, pluralism puts paid to certain forms of political rationalism, according to which reason militates in favor of one of these values, or a small subset thereof. He viewed this kind of rationalism as insuficiently attentive to the plurality of ends, and as potentially politically noxious since the belief in a single rational end can fuel tyrannical political forms aimed at “freeing” human subjects from the hold that illusory desires and ends have upon them.
Pluralism is one of the grounds of Berlin’s preference for a negative as opposed to a positive conception of liberty. Negative liberty obtains when no one stands in the way of my doing what I want to do, whereas positive liberty has to do with the quality of my will, and with whether I truly want what I rationally ought to want. Some critics have urged that Berlin’s espousal of both pluralism and negative liberty is inconsistent, since a real pluralist would be indifferent as between the two conceptions (Gray 1996; Weinstock 1997).
The term “communitarianism” refers to the writings of a number of political theorists who, in the 1980s and early 1990s, sought to critique what they saw as the excessively individualistic aspects of liberal theory in general, and of Rawls’s arguments in particular.
Beyond this very general characterization, it is hard to identify a core set of substantive claims to which all of the theorists who have been described as communitarians subscribe. The claims of communitarians are addressed at diverse dimensions of the liberal project, from the putative metaphysical assumptions that lie at the basis of the liberal project, to the substantive policy prescriptions to which liberalism allegedly gives rise.
While it is clearly not exhaustive, the following list of claims is at the heart of what came in the 1980s to be known as the “liberal/communitarian” debate.
(1) The metaphysics of the self. According to some communitarians, most notably Michael Sandel (Sandel 1982), liberals go wrong by placing a deicient conception of the moral and political agent at the core of their theories. Liberals, the argument goes, see the self as “unencumbered,” that is as related to its cultural and historical entanglements in a contingent rather than a constitutive manner. According to the view attributed to liberals by communitarians, the self is metaphysically “prior” to its ends, and to the conceptions of the good that are prevalent in its community.
Rawls was concerned with the conditions underlying the objectivity of moral and political judgment from the very beginning of his philosophical career. His first published essay, “Outline of a Decision Procedure for Ethics,” represents a first attempt at delineating the conditions that must be satisfied both by the competent judge and by the judgments that she reaches if they are to be deemed objective.
Despite changes in emphasis and restrictions of scope (by the time of his final writings, he makes it clear that he is interested exclusively in political objectivity),certain themes remain as constants throughout Rawls’s writings on objectivity. The first of these themes is that objectivity emerges from the taking up by moral and political judges of a certain standpoint. That standpoint is elaborated through the exclusion of those kinds of particularities that might incline otherwise competent judges to partiality. The original position, the situation of choice from which principles of justice are chosen, embodies this set of constraints. To quote Rawls in A Theory of Justice, “its stipulations express the restrictions on arguments that force us to consider the choice of principles unencumbered by the singularities of the circumstances in which we find ourselves” (TJ 516).
Much liberal theorizing of the past twenty years has been built around a conception of neutrality and an accompanying virtue of reasonableness according to which citizens ought to be able to view public policy debates from a perspective detached from their comprehensive conceptions of the good. The view of “justificatory neutrality” that emerges from this view is discussed and rejected as embodying controversial views about the relationship of individuals to their conceptions of the good. It is shown to be based upon a “protestant” assumption according to which conceptions of the good can be cashed out in terms of propositional beliefs. An alternative conception of reasonableness, grounded in the stable disposition of individuals to prefer social peace over conflict is described. It is argued that it better satisfies the neutralist requirement than do theories of justificatory neutrality.
One of the hallmarks of liberal democratic societies is their thriving associational life. People belong to all kinds of different groups. The fairly robust guarantees of freedom of association that exist in most modern democracies have given rise to a cornucopia of forms of groups, whose members associate under often very different terms with a view to all kinds of ends.
Many such groups organize their internal affairs illiberally. That is, they enforce norms that run foul of the commitments to freedom and equality characteristic of liberal democracies. They are often structured in highly authoritarian ways. They tend not to respect the principle of gender equality which liberal democracies strive to live by. And in certain cases, they impose what would from a liberal standpoint seem like unacceptable physical abuse upon some of its members, including children.
How should the liberal state respond to such breaches of liberal principles? One prominent view, which presently dominates the philosophical literature on the subject, is that the state should abstain from intervening in the internal affairs of groups, so long as their members are provided with robust exit rights. When nothing objectively stands in the way of an individual terminating her membership in a group, and she chooses nonetheless to remain despite what might appear to others as harsh treatment, then the inference that ought to be drawn by the state is that she considers that continued membership in the group is worth more to her, all things considered, than the cessation of harsh treatment.
Many political theorists believe that the extension of democratic institutions beyond the nation-state would inevitably be deleterious to the possibility of meaningful citizenship and to the functioning of democratic institutions. It is argued here that many of the problems that would be faced in setting up transnational institutions mirror problems that have already been addressed by appropriate institutional mechanisms in the establishment of the modern nation-state.
Substantive theorists of secession face a problem explaining why the international community ought on their view to withhold recognition from secessions which involve a loss in terms of the substantive criteria they privilege; this is so because the normal electoral politics giving rise to such a loss should not in their opinion meet with any adverse international reaction. The substantive theory of David Miller uses criteria for the legitimacy of secessions which give rise to strangely amoral consequences. A procedural theory of secession is to be preferred on both moral and pragmatic grounds; this is one which that countenance secession when appropriate procedural hurdles are cleared, regardless of the substance of the claims put forward by secessionists to justify secession.