It is difficult to translate the title “Wissen und Glauben” (Knowledge and Faith, see Romans 11:33 and I Corinthians 13:13) into English, because there ist a debate between Kant, Jacobi, Fichte and Hegel behind it. Through Fichtes “Wissenschaftslehre” knowledge has been accepted as the basic element of all scholarship, whereas faith belongs to religion.
Contemporary philosophers of mind tend to assume that the world of nature can be reduced to basic physics. Yet there are features of the mind consciousness, intentionality, normativity that do not seem to be reducible to physics or neuroscience. This explanatory gap between mind and brain has thus been a major cause of concern in recent philosophy of mind. Reductionists hold that, despite all appearances, the mind can be reduced to the brain. Eliminativists hold that it cannot, and that this (...) implies that there is something illegitimate about the mentalistic vocabulary. Dualists hold that the mental is irreducible, and that this implies either a substance or a property dualism. Mysterian non-reductive physicalists hold that the mind is uniquely irreducible, perhaps due to some limitation of our self-understanding. In this book, Steven Horst argues that this whole conversation is based on assumptions left over from an outdated philosophy of science. While reductionism was part of the philosophical orthodoxy fifty years ago, it has been decisively rejected by philosophers of science over the past thirty years, and for good reason. True reductions are in fact exceedingly rare in the sciences, and the conviction that they were there to be found was an artifact of armchair assumptions of 17th century Rationalists and 20th century Logical Empiricists. The explanatory gaps between mind and brain are far from unique. In fact, in the sciences it is gaps all the way down.And if reductions are rare in even the physical sciences, there is little reason to expect them in the case of psychology. Horst argues that this calls for a complete re-thinking of the contemporary problematic in philosophy of mind. Reductionism, dualism, eliminativism and non-reductive materialism are each severely compromised by post-reductionist philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind is in need of a new paradigm. Horst suggests that such a paradigm might be found in Cognitive Pluralism: the view that human cognitive architecture constrains us to understand the world through a plurality of partial, idealized, and pragmatically-constrained models, each employing a particular representational system optimized for its own problem domain. Such an architecture can explain the disunities of knowledge, and is plausible on evolutionary grounds. (shrink)
Over the past several decades, the philosophical community has witnessed the emergence of an important new paradigm for understanding the mind.1 The paradigm is that of machine computation, and its influence has been felt not only in philosophy, but also in all of the empirical disciplines devoted to the study of cognition. Of the several strategies for applying the resources provided by computer and cognitive science to the philosophy of mind, the one that has gained the most attention from philosophers (...) has been the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM). CTM was first articulated by Hilary Putnam (1960, 1961), but finds perhaps its most consistent and enduring advocate in Jerry Fodor (1975, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1994). It is this theory, and not any broader interpretations of what it would be for the mind to be a computer, that I wish to address in this paper. What I shall argue here is that the notion of symbolic representation employed by CTM is fundamentally unsuited to providing an explanation of the intentionality of mental states (a major goal of CTM), and that this result undercuts a second major goal of CTM, sometimes refered to as the vindication of intentional psychology. This line of argument is related to the discussions of derived intentionality by Searle (1980, 1983, 1984) and Sayre (1986, 1987). But whereas those discussions seem to be concerned with the causal dependence of familiar sorts of symbolic representation upon meaning-bestowing acts, my claim is rather that there is not one but several notions of meaning to be had, and that the notions that are applicable to symbols are conceptually dependent upon the notion that is applicable to mental states in the fashion that Aristotle refered to as paronymy. That is, an analysis of the notions of meaning applicable to symbols reveals that they contain presuppositions about meaningful mental states, much as Aristotle's analysis of the sense of healthy that is applied to foods reveals that it means conducive to having a healthy body, and hence any attempt to explain mental semantics in terms of the semantics of symbols is doomed to circularity and regress. I shall argue, however, that this does not have the consequence that computationalism is bankrupt as a paradigm for cognitive science, as it is possible to reconstruct CTM in a fashion that avoids these difficulties and makes it a viable research framework for psychology, albeit at the cost of losing its claims to explain intentionality and to vindicate intentional psychology. I have argued elsewhere (Horst, 1996) that local special sciences such as psychology do not require vindication in the form of demonstrating their reducibility to more fundamental theories, and hence failure to make good on these philosophical promises need not compromise the broad range of work in empirical cognitive science motivated by the computer paradigm in ways that do not depend on these problematic treatments of symbols. (shrink)
Young children learn words from a variety of situations, including shared storybook reading. A recent study by Horst et al., (2011) demonstrates that children learned more new words during shared storybook reading if they were read the same stories repeatedly than if they were read different stories that had the same number of target words. The current paper reviews this study and further examines the effect of contextual repetition on children’s word learning in both shared storybook reading and other (...) situations, including fast mapping by mutual exclusivity. The studies reviewed here suggest that the same cognitive mechanisms support word learning in a variety of situations. Both practical considerations for experimental design and directions for future research are discussed. (shrink)
This is a relatively breezy version of an exploration of some issues about how to provide a theory of concepts and conceptual semantics. I have also written more conventional versions of some of this material (without the Three Bears motif), though those are set in a broader context.
This paper presents the lineaments of a new account of concepts. The foundations of the account are four ideas taken from recent cognitive science, though most of them have important philosophical precursors. The first is the idea that human conceptuality shares important continuities with psychological faculties of other animals, and indeed that there is a well-distinguished hierarchy of such faculties that extend up and down the phylogenetic scale. While it would very likely be a mistake to look at some conglomeration (...) of these simpler abilities and assert that we have produced a reductive account of human conceptuality, an examination of these will lend insights into essential features of human conceptuality in a non-reductive, non-exhaustive manner. The second idea is that an important function of both human concepts and of their protoconceptual ancestors in the animal kingdom is to make distinctions or discriminations. We shall thus look at the human conceptual apparatus as being, in large part, a discrimination engine. How are these discriminations realized in humans and other beings? Presumably, some discriminative mechanisms are innate, while others are acquired through learning. But how is learning accomplished? The third idea from cognitive science is that adaptive discrimination is realized through neural networks, and that the properties of this realizing system explains familiar features of human thought that seem puzzling when viewed through other lenses, such as the logical analysis of language. The fourth and. (shrink)
Over the past thirty years, it is been common to hear the mind likened to a digital computer. This essay is concerned with a particular philosophical view that holds that the mind literally is a digital computer (in a specific sense of “computer” to be developed), and that thought literally is a kind of computation. This view—which will be called the “Computational Theory of Mind” (CTM)—is thus to be distinguished from other and broader attempts to connect the mind with computation, (...) including (a) various enterprises at modeling features of the mind using computational modeling techniques, and (b) employing some feature or features of production-model computers (such as the stored program concept, or the distinction between hardware and software) merely as a guiding metaphor for understanding some feature of the mind. This entry is therefore concerned solely with the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) proposed by Hilary Putnam  and developed most notably for philosophers by Jerry Fodor [1975, 1980, 1987, 1993]. The senses of ‘computer’ and ‘computation’ employed here are technical; the main tasks of this entry will therefore be to elucidate: (a) the technical sense of ‘computation’ that is at issue, (b) the ways in which it is claimed to be applicable to the mind, (c) the philosophical problems this understanding of the mind is claimed to solve, and (d) the major criticisms that have accrued to this view. (shrink)
It has recently been claimed (1) that mental states such as beliefs are theoretical entities and (2) that they are therefore, in principle, subject to theoretical elimination if intentional psychology were to be supplanted by a psychology not employing mentalistic notions. Debate over these two issues is seriously hampered by the fact that the key terms 'theoretical' and 'belief' are ambiguous. This article argues that there is only one sense of 'theoretical' that is of use to the eliminativist, and in (...) this sense some kinds of "belief" (dispositional states, infra-conscious states and the Freudian unconscious) are indeed "theoretical" and hence possible candidates for elimination, while others (consciously occurring thoughts like judgements and perceptual Gestalten) are not theoretical and hence not candidates for elimination. (shrink)
“One should always cherish some ambition to do something in the world. They alone rise who strive.” is the great wording of Dr.Ambedkar. There are two fundamental types of human nature. Creative and possessive. Creative humans use human intellect for creative endeavors which enriches human thought; knowledge and wealth thereby contribute to the development of human heritage for the posterity. Possessive people, on the other hand do not believe in the use of human intellect for creative purpose. Gautam Buddha, Jesus (...) Christ, Guru Nanak, Kabeer, Ravidas, Tukarama, Krantiba Jotirao Phoolay, Periyar and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar they all belong to the great class of Ceative humans called as Humanists in Indian context. Here we studies Ambedkar’s views related to humanism and Buddhism. (shrink)
The present education does riot yield required results mainly because it is divorced from the real social content and social goals. We as the citizens of the republic are constitutionally committed to democracy, social justice, equality of opportunity, secularism and above all to a welfare state. Educational policy and educational programmes should not merely equip an individual to adjust with society to its customs and conventions, but it should enable him to bring desirable changes in the society. Every educational institute (...) from secondary school to University College should be developed to become an agency of change, it is the dream of Dr. B.R .Ambedkar. (shrink)
Various philosophers, political scientists and writers have given numerous ideas on democracy. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was a relentless champion of human rights and staunch believer in democracy, he said: “Democracy is not a form of government, but a form of social organisation.” In “Prospects of Democracy in India” he analyzed Indian Democracy and said a democracy is more than a form of government. It is primarily a mode of associated living. The roots of democracy are to be searched in the (...) social relationship, in the terms of associated life between the people who form a society. He believed that in democracy revolutionary changes in the economic and social life of the people are brought about without bloodshed. The conditions for that are (i) there should not be glaring inequalities in society, that is, privilege for one class, (ii) the existence of an opposition, (iii) equality in law and administration, (iv) observance of constitutional morality, (v) no tyranny of the majority, (vi) moral order of society, and (vii) public conscience. Addressing the Constituent Assembly, he suggested certain devices essential to maintain democracy: “(i) constitutional methods, (ii) not to lay liberties at the feet of a great man, (iii) make a political democracy a social democracy.” In this article, an attempt has been made to provide an analysis of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s critique of democracy in India and discuss his ideal of social democracy. -/- . (shrink)
In his book from 1984 Horst Wessel presents the system of strict logical consequence Fs (see also (Wessel, 1979)). The author maintained that this system axiomatized the relation |=s of strict logical consequence between formulas of Classical Propositional Calculi (CPC). Let |= be the classical consequence relation in CPC. The relation |=s is defined as follows: phi |=s psi iff phi |= psi, every variable from psi occurs in phi and neither phi is a contradiction nor psi is a (...) tautology. Clearly, if phi |=s psi, then neither phi is a tautology nor psi is a contradiction. Intuitions connected with the relation |=s were presented in (Wessel, 1984). The analysis of the relation |=s is also carried out in (Pietruszczak, 2004). In the present paper we will show that the system Fs is not a complete axiomatization of the relation |=s. Moreover, we will present the system VF s that is an «extension to completeness» of the Fs. (shrink)
Nicholas Rescher claims that rational decision theory “may leave us in the lurch”, because there are two apparently acceptable ways of applying “the standard machinery of expected-value analysis” to his Dr. Psycho paradox which recommend contradictory actions. He detects a similar contradiction in Newcomb’s problem. We consider his claims from the point of view of both Bayesian decision theory and causal decision theory. In Dr. Psycho and in Newcomb’s Problem, Rescher has used premisses about probabilities which he assumes to be (...) independent. From the former point of view, we show that the probability premisses are not independent but inconsistent, and their inconsistency is provable within probability theory alone. From the latter point of view, we show that their consistency can be saved, but then the contradictory recommendations evaporate. Consequently, whether one subscribes to evidential or causal decision theory, rational decision theory is not in any way vitiated by Rescher’s arguments. (shrink)
Dr. Evil learns that a duplicate of Dr. Evil has been created. Upon learning this, how seriously should he take the hypothesis that he himself is that duplicate? I answer: very seriously. I defend a principle of indifference for self-locating belief which entails that after Dr. Evil learns that a duplicate has been created, he ought to have exactly the same degree of belief that he is Dr. Evil as that he is the duplicate. More generally, the principle shows that (...) there is a sharp distinction between ordinary skeptical hypotheses, and self-locating skeptical hypotheses. (shrink)
In this article, I explore the relationship between the philosophy of Theodor Adorno and the Bilderverbot , or biblical Second Commandment against images. My starting point is J. F. Lyotard's construction of the melancholic sublime in his essay `What is the Postmodern?', which I argue he uses to critique Adorno's aesthetics, and, more generally, his position as a `modern' thinker. To prove that Lyotard had Adorno in mind when he constructed the category of the melancholic sublime, I return to an (...) earlier piece by Lyotard — `Adorno as the Devil' — which is a reading of Thomas Mann's Dr Faustus , in which Adorno is said to be one of the faces of the Devil. My argument is that Lyotard's understanding of Adorno is flawed because he does not recognize the distinctly Jewish, albeit secularized, character of his thought. I set out to challenge Lyotard by demonstrating the central importance that the Bilderverbot plays in Adorno's work, which should not be understood as melancholic because the Jewish Messianism associated with the Bilderverbot is profoundly future-oriented. In short, I argue that Lyotard's depiction of Adorno is flawed because he reads him as a Christian, while he should be approaching him as a secularized Jew. Key Words: Theodor Adorno • aesthetic theory • Dr Faustus • the image prohibition • Jewish thought • Jean-François Lyotard • Thomas Mann • Messianism • representation • the sublime. (shrink)
In October 1775, David Hume wrote to his printer William Strahan, requesting that an ‘Advertisement’ should be attached to remaining copies of the second volume of his Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. This volume contained his two Enquiries, the Dissertation on the Passions, and The Natural History of Religion, and the Advertisement states that these works should ‘alone be regarded as containing his philosophical sentiments and principles’ (E 2). In the covering letter, Hume comments that this ‘is a compleat (...) Answer to Dr Reid and to that bigotted silly Fellow, Beattie.’ (HL ii. 301). My aim here is to try to throw light on what Hume might have meant by this comment, and to assess to what extent it might have been justified. (shrink)
In her 2006 book ‘‘My Stroke of Insight” Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor relates her experience of suffering from a left hemispheric stroke caused by a congenital arteriovenous malformation which led to a loss of inner speech. Her phenomenological account strongly suggests that this impairment produced a global self-awareness deficit as well as more specific dysfunctions related to corporeal awareness, sense of individuality, retrieval of autobiographical memories, and self-conscious emotions. These are examined in details and corroborated by numerous excerpts from Taylor’s (...) book. Ó 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (shrink)
The nationally-famous advocate of physician-assisted suicide did not die by his own hand. Dr. Jack Kevorkian died the old-fashioned way in America: in a hospital, with multiple disorders undercutting his life. Kevorkian took up interest in assisted suicide early in his medical career, and he wanted prisoners on death row to volunteer for experiments just before their execution. Kevorkian saw individual consent as the wheel, axle, and grease for all decisions in these matters. He helped many people die, but it (...) is unclear what moral principle guided his decisions to say yes and no to requests for help in dying. His spree in helping people die came to an end, when he himself injected a man with a lethal substance. Because of his single-minded focus on the value of assisted suicide and experimentation before execution, he had little impact on the broader ethical analysis of assisted-suicide and the rights of prisoners. He leaves little legacy in ethics for the analysis of assisted-suicide or in vivo experimentation. (shrink)
This essay is a discussion of the radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It is an assessment of the moral advice that she dispenses her radio show, and kinds of criticisms to which she has been subjected.
In several works, Frege argues that content is objective (i.e., thethoughts we entertain and communicate, and the senses of which theyare composed, are public, not private, property). There are, however,some remarks in the Fregean corpus that are in tension with this view.This paper is centered on an investigation of the most notorious andextreme such passage: the `Dr. Lauben example, from Frege (1918). Aprincipal aim is to attain more clarity on the evident tension withinFreges views on content, between this dominant objectivism (...) and someelements that seem to run counter to it, via developing an understandingof the `Dr. Lauben example. Then I will argue that this interpretation goes some way toward undermining some prevalent contemporary viewsabout language. Based on the advice of Dr. Lauben, I will argue againsta certain understanding of the causal-historical theory of reference –more specifically, of the phenomenon of deferential uses of linguisticexpressions – upon which these views are premised, and I will drawout some morals that pertain to individualism and competence. (shrink)
Dr Neil Campbell suggests that when patients suffering extremes of protracted pain ask for help to end their lives, their requests should be discounted as made under compulsion. I contend that the doctors concerned should be referred to and then act upon advance directives made by those patients when of sound and calm mind and afflicted by no such intolerable compulsion.
The one great quality of Socratic gift is that thinking as an activity continues but not repetitively but every time thinking takes place, it takes place a new. Thinking is the one activity that cannot be repeated like prayers and other pieties. All philosophical thinking is new thinking; it has to be new in order to be thinking. Philosophy had to become the handmaid of sociology and could not be allowed to remain surrogate sociology. When this happened new concepts or (...) new conceptualizations became the need of the hour: in the place of the age-old hierarchic social stratification a novel concept of materialism had to be inducted - after all matter is what matters. And in India morally entangled sociology was holding down the rich human resources of the sub-continent and a development-oriented ideology had to convert this moral society into a legal society: An unlegislated, unlegislatable society is condemned to be unstable andcollapsible; in its place a stable, legislatable society had to be created. With this felt-need Dr. Ambedkar came into the Indian political arena and gave a modernist rethinking to the outmoded Indian social structure: His hallmark was think to change. (shrink)
The euthanasia action in Nazi Germany during 1940/41 (Â«Aktion T4Â») belongs to the most horrible chapters in history of medicine. The article describes the life of Horst Schumann, who was involved in the murder of more than 15000 people and after that did cruel sterilization experiments in Auschwitz. It will be depicted the personal characteristics to show, why he was susceptible to this development. The critical look at these events shall warn us not to push away mental patients and (...) mentally handicapped people from our society. The personal rights of this group of patients must not be questioned. (shrink)
In December 1980 an elementary school teacher in Minnesota obtained a Restraining Order to ensure that a severely brain damaged friend would receive emergency medical care in her nursing home if she needed it. This situation focussed attention on the need for better understanding, among medical professionals and consumers alike, of the significance of a “No Dr. Blue/Do Not Resuscitate” order.
The Strange Case of Dr. B and Mr. Hide: Ethical Sensitivity as a Means to Reflect Upon One’s Actions in Managing Conflict of Interest Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9360-4 Authors Marie-Josée Potvin, Programmes de bioéthique, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7 Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
Die folgende Bibliographie wurde erstellt auf Anregungen mehrerer Autoren aus der ehemaligen DDR auf der vom APC organisierten Diskussionsrunde „Perspektiven der Philosophie der Chemie“ im November 1995 in der Humboldt-Universität Berlin (s. Mitteilungsblatt 1 (1995)). Im Sinne einer „unzensierten“ Bestandsaufnahme soll sie einen Überblick über chemiephilosophische Aktivitäten der DDR für sowohl systematische Anknüpfungen als auch philosophiehistorische Forschungen bieten. Unter den ebenfalls zahlreich vorliegenden chemiehistorischen Arbeiten sind nur ausgewählte begriffs-, theorien- und disziplinenhistorische sowie philosophiehistorisch relevante Texte berücksichtigt. Ebenfalls aufgenommen sind einige (...) chemiedidaktische Texte mit weltanschaulich-philosophischen oder erkenntnistheoretischen Inhalten. Das thematische Spektrum ist zwar weitgehend auf theoretisch-philosophische Fragen beschränkt, aber hierin durchaus weit gefächert. Hinsichtlich der wissenschaftlichen Originalität und Qualität sind ganz beträchtliche Differenzen festzustellen. Es bleibt dem Leser überlassen, zwischen den zahlreichen Kurzbemerkungen und Paraphrasierungen „offizieller“ Grundsätze des dialektischen Materialismus diejenigen Forschungsarbeiten zu selektieren, die eigenständig reflektierend chemiephilosophisches Neuland beschreiten und eine Grundlage für weitere Forschungen darstellen sollten. Die Bibliographie wurde z.T. aus Angaben der Autoren, überwiegend jedoch durch eigene Recherchen in Bibliographien, den Inhaltverzeichnissen diverser Zeitschriften sowie den Katalogbeständen der Deutschen Bibliothek Leipzig erstellt. Die Angaben sind zum größten Teil kontrolliert und vervollständigt. Mein Dank gilt Prof. Dr. Hubert Laitko (Berlin), Prof. Dr. Gustav Kertscher (Mühlhausen), Dr. Alfred Neubauer (Berlin), Dr. Reinhardt Pester (Berlin), Dr. habil. Horst Remane (Halle), Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Sprung (Rostock) für die Bereitstellung von Veröffentlichungsverzeichnissen sowie insbesondere Prof.. (shrink)
This article discusses the work of Dr Mary Louisa Gordon, who was appointed as the first English Lady Inspector of Prisons in 1908, and remained in post until 1921. Her attitude towards and treatment of women prisoners, as explained in her 1922 book Penal Discipline, stands in sharp contrast to that of her male contemporaries, and the categorisation of her approach as ‘feminist’ is reinforced by her documented connections with the suffragette movement. Yet her feminist and suffragist associations also resulted (...) in the marginalisation and dismissal of her work, such that Mary Gordon and Penal Discipline are virtually unknown today. Nevertheless, her insights into the position and needs of women prisoners retain a striking contemporary relevance. (shrink)
There are secrets but they are not the secrets of the filmmakers; the whispers remain inaudible to all: *Silencio*. The significance of _Mulholland Dr._ will be revealed indirectly, in a kind of articulate silence, like Kierkegaard's incognito Jesus.
In their reply to my recent paper on Munchausen's syndrome by proxy, Professor Southall and Dr. Samuels concede that some things may be learned from my observations. They do not attend to the main argument of the paper, however, that the proportion of research interest in their use of covert video surveillance merits consideration of the research protocol by an independent research ethics committee. It will not do simply to assert that the use of this technology for the purposes outlined (...) in their accounts is not research. I formulated arguments based on facts divulged in those published accounts for regarding their work as containing a considerable proportion of research activity. Unfortunately their reply did not address these arguments. Until such points are adequately answered the protection of patients calls for satisfactory judgments to be made on certain important issues which any research ethics committee would be obliged to consider in an evaluation of their activities. I suggest that some of these features will create more difficulties for approval of such a protocol than others. (shrink)
The Reply to Dr. Rolfs essay makes the following main points: (1) The logic of inexactness has the same syntax as Kleene's three-valued logic. Its semantics is different in that the third truth-value can by choice be correctly turned into either truth or falsehood. (2) The definition of resemblance classes includes, but is not exhausted by, ostensive rules. (3) The application of classical mathematics to sense-experience consists in the limited identification of non-isomorphic structures. (4) There are exact perceptual and vague (...) mathematical concepts. (5) The distinction between my categorial framework, a categorial framework and the true categorial framework, if any, is neither relativistic nor absolutistic. (shrink)
In an article in an earlier edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics (1) Dr Iglesias bases her analysis upon the mediaeval interpretation of Platonic metaphysics and Aristotelian logic as given by Aquinas. Propositional forms are applied to the analysis of experience. This results in a very abstract analysis. The essential connection of events and their changing temporal relationships are ignored. The dichotomy between body and soul is a central concept. The unchanging elements in experience are assumed to be more (...) real than the actual world of experienced process. Such a view makes the analysis of the temporal factors in experience impossible. Its abstractness is quite unsuitable for the analysis of the ontological structure and development of the neonate from fertilisation to birth. A N Whitehead made the notion of organism central to his philosophy. He refused to place human experience outside nature, or admit dualism. His philosophy of organism is an attempt to uncover the essential elements connecting human experience with the physical and biological sciences. Time, change and process are, in his view, more real than the static abstractions obtainable by the use of the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. Use of the latter negates the essential connectedness of events and the importance of temporarily and change (2). In this paper I argue that the embryo, being an organism, is not analysable in terms of thinghood. It is a process. To apply Aristotelian logical concepts to it is to distort the real nature of the datum. (shrink)
Summary The rhetorical uses of discovery and invention stories are legion, but of particular concern in this paper are those that are deployed for economic or commercial reasons, especially in claiming intellectual property rights, usually in the form of patents. The case of stories about Dr Irving Langmuir (1881?1957) of the General Electric Research Laboratory, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1932 and was the first industry-based laureate from the United States, is examined. Langmuir won the prize for (...) his ?outstanding discoveries and inventions within the field of surface chemistry?, which also happened to underlie the virtual monopoly that General Electric gained in the supply of electric light. Langmuir was the inspiration for the stereotypically absent-minded and disinterested character of Dr Felix Hoenikker in Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Cat's Cradle (1963). My case study focuses on this and other representations of Langmuir as a discoverer, especially those generated by the General Electric Company, and explores the utility of these representations for Langmuir himself, and for his employer, in corporate PR, in ongoing struggles over patents, and in the post-war organisation of R&D. It is argued that, while the era of corporate research produced new collective modes of discovery and invention their description in heroic, individualistic terms long continued, and for good reason. (shrink)
Vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) was a common ailment among American women in the 19th century. Prior to that time, no successful surgery had been developed for the cure of this condition until Dr J Marion Sims perfected a successful surgical technique in 1849. Dr Sims used female slaves as research subjects over a four-year period of experimentation (1845-1849). This paper discusses the controversy surrounding his use of powerless women and whether his actions were acceptable during that historical period.
Jednym z elementów współczesnej kultury są seriale telewizyjne, w przeważającej mierze charakteryzujące się brakiem jakichkolwiek wartości artystycznych oraz intelektualnych. Do nielicznych pod tym względem należy serial pt. Dr House. Centralną kwestią w tym serialu jest postawa moralna głównego bohatera. Krytycy dostrzegli w niej wiele analogii do moralności Nietzscheańskiego nadczłowieka. W artykule podjęto próbę ukazania, że w moralności dr House'a odzwierciedla się Nietzscheański model estetyzacji moralności, polegający na tym, że kryterium etycznej słuszności czynów jest wolność jednostki i jej autonomiczność w kształtowaniu (...) swego życia jako dzieła sztuki. (shrink)