Laudan's thesis that conceptual problem solving is at least as important as empirical problem solving in scientific research is given support by a study of the relation between the chromosome theory and the Mendelian research program. It will be shown that there existed a conceptual tension between the chromosome theory and the Mendelian program. This tension was to be resolved by changing the constraints of the Mendelian program. The relation between the chromosome theory and the Mendelian program is shown to (...) be a good illustration of the influence of science itself on the rational standards governing scientific development. (shrink)
In this note a recently developed quantum oscillating finite space cosmological model is described. The principle novelty of the model is that there is a quantum blurring of the classical singularity between cycles, instead of a singularity free bounce. Recently, Quentin Smith (1988) has argued that present theoretical and observational evidence justifies the belief that the past history of the universe is finite. The relevance of this cosmological model to Smith's arguments is discussed.
Kitaro Nishida, a famous Japanese Philosopher and the founder of the Kyoto-School, for the first time in history transformed Zen-Buddhism, which here means especially a Japanese school of Buddhism and whose characteristics consists in its methodological meditation, into a philosophical theory of our existence. On the other hand he transformed western philosophy into a very original form of thought, which at the same time contains oriental elements. As Nishida did the bilateral transformation between western and eastern philosophies, he developed a (...) new perspective on the inquiry concerning the individuality of our personal existence and the relation between Self and the other. In his first Work, “An Inquiry into the good” Nishida examines the characteristics of pure experience, which is not understood from the outside, indirectly, and it is not a passive and static experience like for example in ordinary empiricism. It must be understood as active and creative experience which is experienced from within. In reading Thinkers as Ernst Mach and William James he came to realize that there must be a prereflective, pre-individual, unitary pure experience. This pure experience as ultimate reality on which the individual is based, is systematically self developing and Self-unfolding. In Nishidas understanding the pure experience is the common basis for, and is realized prior, to the distinction between subject and object, the Self and the Other, the Knower and the known. I try to explain how Nishidas approach overcomes this subjectivistic perspective and discuss in which way this standpoint offers a new understanding of the Self and the Other. Abe Masao, Ives Christopher: Translation of “An Inquiry into the Good”, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 1990. S. xviii. (shrink)
In spite of the seminal work A Philosophical Basis of Medical Practice, the debate on the task and goals of philosophy of medicine still continues. From an European perspective it is argued that the main topics dealt with by Pellegrino and Thomasma are still particularly relevant to medical practice as a healing practice, while expressing the need for a philosophy of medicine. Medical practice is a discursive practice which is highly influenced by other discursive practices like science, law and economics. (...) Philosophical analysis of those influences is needed to discern their effect on the goals of medicine and on the ways in which the self-image of man may be changed. The nature of medical practice and discourse itself makes it necessary to include different philosophical disciplines, like philosophy of science, of law, ethics, and epistemology. Possible scenario's of euthanasia and the human genome project in the USA and Europe are used to exemplify how philosopy of medicine can contribute to a realistic understanding of the problems which are related to the goals of medicine and health care. (shrink)
In this paper we will take a careful look at the well-known fact that a complete 2 rotation in three dimensional space, while leaving vectors, tensors and generally the integral representations of the rotation group unchanged, causes a sign change in the half-integral spinor representations of the rotation group. First, in a brief introduction, we review the origin of the sign change of spinors by a 2 rotation. Next, we analyze Aharonov and Susskind's (hereafter referred to as A. & S.) (...) (1967) original proposal for detecting such a sign change and compare it with a later proposal1 for detecting the sign change using neutron beams that are coherently split and recombined. While the A. & S. experiment is, we think, conceptually more interesting, the neutron beam experiment has actually been carried out. And finally, we discuss the philosophical significance of the rotationally induced spinor sign change. (shrink)
The approach to AIDS as a disease and a threat for social discrimination is used as an example to illustrate a conceptual thesis. This thesis is a claim that concerns what we call a medical issue or not, what is medicalised or needs to be demedicalised. In the friction between medicalisation and demedicalisation as discursive strategies the latter approach can only be effected through the employment of discourses or discursive strategies other than medicine, such as those of the law and (...) of economics. These discourses each realise different values, promote a different subject, and have a different concept of man. The concept of discourse is briefly outlined against concepts such as the linear growth concept of science and the growth model of science as changes in paradigm. The issue of testing for AIDS shows a conflict between the medical and the legal discourse and illustrates the title of our contribution: the human body as field of conflict between discourses. (shrink)
The debate on the ethical permissibility of euthanasia in medicine has a corollary in the ethical application of drugs. The overall moral limits of medical treatment apply evenly to the moral acceptability of the pharmacological aspect of the act of euthanasia. The pharmacological aspect of the act is of ethical importance not only for the person requesting an active ending of his or her life, but also for the grieving family. Keywords: effectivity, ideal euthanaticum, patient's/family's interest, pharmacology of euthanasia, routes (...) of application CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Background: The banking of biological samples raises a number of ethical issues in relation to the storage,export and re-use of samples. Whilst there is a growing body of literature exploringparticipant perspectives in North America and Europe, hardly any studies have been reportedin Africa. This is problematic in particular in light of the growing amount of research takingplace in Africa, and with the rise of biobanking practices also on the African continent. Inorder to investigate the perspectives of African research participants, we (...) conducted a studywith research participants in a TB study in the Western Cape, South Africa. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted using an interview guide which drew on the mostprominent themes expressed in current literature on sample storage, re-use and exportation.Interviews were conducted in Afrikaans and subsequently translated into English by the sameinterviewer. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed qualitatively. Results: The results of our study indicate that the majority of participants were supportive of givingone-time consent to the storage and re-use of their samples. The concept of research being fora "good cause" was a central prerequisite. Additionally, a significant minority requested thatthey be re-contacted if a future use was not stipulated on the original consent. There was alsoconsiderable variation in how participants understood the concept of a 'good cause', withparticipants describing three distinct categories of research, of which two were generallythought to constitute 'good cause' research. Research that was for-profit was considered tofall outside the spectrum of 'good cause' research. Participants displayed confidence in theabilities of the researchers to make future decisions regarding sample use, but seemedunaware of the role of ethics committees in either this process or more generally. Conclusions: Participants expressed a wide and complex range of views about issues of sample storage andre-use, and they showed a great deal of trust in researchers. Participants' willingness to havetheir samples stored and re-used is consistent with findings from existing studies. However,in contrast to existing literature, participants were generally not in favour of for-profitresearch. Further research needs to be done to explore these ideas in other communities, bothin South Africa and other countries. (shrink)
I tend to agree with Hillel Braude’s thesis that alleviation of suffering is not an aim, at least not the primary aim, of medicine. However, this thesis needs to be refined and reformulated, because it at best expresses half the truth. The other half is that it is not justifiable for doctors to pay no attention to suffering. In other words, the thesis I would have liked Braude to defend is that it is true that doctors are no experts in (...) existential issues and concerns and that it is equally true that they cannot ignore these existential issues and concerns without harming the relationship with their patients. After having read “Affecting the Body and Transforming Desire” (Braude 2012) another time, however, I .. (shrink)
This study focuses on the prediction of the engagement of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in environmental management practices, based on a random sample of 689 SMEs. The study finds that several endogenous factors, including tangibility of sector, firm size, innovative orientation, family influence and perceived financial benefits from energy conservation, predict an SME’s level of engagement in selected environmental management practices. For family influence, this effect is found only in interaction with the number of owners. In addition to empirical (...) research on SMEs’ environmental behavior, this article draws on the ecological modernization literature as well as the theory of planned behavior. (shrink)
The title of my paper, “Affecting the Body and Transforming Desire,” (Braude 2012a) is inspired from Plato’s Symposium, where the physician Eryximachus presents a purely neurophysiological discourse on love. James Giordano’s and Gerrit Glas’s commentaries on my paper have the timbre of a contemporary symposium, in this instance to discern the nature of suffering. Thus, I take Giordano’s and Glas’s commentaries to be generally sympathetic to my offering, although providing further critical insights that deepen the multidimensional understanding of suffering (...) and the correct ethical and medical response. From different perspectives both commentators zone in on one central aspect of my analysis, that is .. (shrink)
Investigating Subjectivity examines the importance of a phenomenological account of the subject for the nature and the status of phenomenology, for different themes from practical philosophy and in relation to issues from the philosophy of ...