Published March 17, 2016
It has been a good week for David Limbaugh. He had a paper accepted by Ethics, Medicine and Public Health and then won the Evangelical Philosophical Society's prize for the Best Graduate Student Paper at their Mid West regional conference.
The journal, Ethics, Medicine and Public Health is published by Elsevier. Limbaugh's paper is entitled "Animals, Advance Directives, and Prudence: Should we let the Cheerfully Demented Die?"
The abstract reads, in part, "In this paper I raise a practical problem for the application of advanced directives to cheerfully and severely demented patients who cannot speak for themselves. This problem arises from the lack of psychological continuity present in such patients. I argue that attempting to sidestep the problem by adopting a biological account of personal identity fails.
When does a medical professional know enough to let me die? By completing an advanced directive, I can testify to the conditions under which I would refuse life saving treatment, and thus, I can consent to the circumstances in which I might be allowed to die. Now, what if as a doctor you are not sure that your pneumonia patient has in fact refused treatment via an advance directive. Such a situation may result from a misplaced chart, a wrongly assigned room, or from poorly maintained medical records. If Smith signs an advanced directive, then we should be sure that it gets assigned to Smith and not to Jones or anyone else. We should be sure that the signee of an advanced directive is identical to the patient it gets applied to, or so I argue in this paper."
David's paper, recognized at the ESP Mid West regional conference, is entitled "Could We Perform Evil Actions When We Never Would? An Essay on God, Dispositional Modality, and Ability". The paper uses a dispositional modal semantic to easily reconcile what are on a possible world semantic prima facie impossibilities: God's omnipotence and perfect goodness, and Jesus Christ's having been tempted in every way like we are tempted although he never would have given into that temptation in any circumstance.
Founded in 1974, the Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS) is an organization of professional scholars devoted to pursuing philosophical excellence in both the church and the academy. Interested laypersons can join as full, associate, or student members.
The EPS holds a national meeting each year in conjunction with the conference held by the Evangelical Theological Society and the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature, along with regional meetings with the American Philosophical Association.