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Fridland, Ellen, , . They’ve lost control: reflections on skill
2014, Synthese 191 (12):2729-2750.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this paper, I submit that it is the controlled part of skilled action, that is, that part of an action that accounts for the exact, nuanced ways in which a skilled performer modifies, adjusts and guides her performance for which an adequate, philosophical theory of skill must account. I will argue that neither Jason Stanley nor Hubert Dreyfus have an adequate account of control. Further, and perhaps surprisingly, I will argue that both Stanley and Dreyfus relinquish an account of control for precisely the same reason: each reduce control to a passive, mechanistic, automatic process, which then prevents them from producing a substantive account of how controlled processes can be characterized by seemingly intelligent features and integrated with personal-level states. I will end by introducing three different kinds of control, which are constitutive of skilled action: strategic control, selective, top-down, automatic attention, and motor control.

Comment: It would be suitable to teach this paper in a module on skill, especially if considering the relationship between skill and control. It would be most suitable in a senior year module.

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Walker, Rebecca L., , . Medical Ethics Needs a New View of Autonomy
2009, Journal of medicine and philosophy 33: 594-608.
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Abstract: The notion of autonomy commonly employed in medical ethics literature and practices is inadequate on three fronts: it fails to properly identify nonautonomous actions and choices, it gives a false account of which features of actions and choices makes them autonomous or nonautonomous, and it provides no grounds for the moral requirement to respect autonomy. In this paper I offer a more adequate framework for how to think about autonomy, but this framework does not lend itself to the kinds of practical application assumed in medical ethics. A general problem then arises: the notion of autonomy used in medical ethics is conceptually inadequate, but conceptually adequate notions of autonomy do not have the practical applications that are the central concern of medical ethics. Thus, a revision both of the view of autonomy and the practice of “respect for autonomy” are in order.

Comment: Walker argues against the Black Box view advocated by Beauchamp and Childress. The text is most useful when discussing principlism in biomedical ethics and more general issues related to autonomy and consent. The text works well when read alongside's Onora O'Neill's "Some limits of informed consent."

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