Abstract This paper is a close textual criticism of Theodosius Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origin of Species. It argues that the book succeeds as interdisciplinary communication by promoting polysemy. The professional goals of two scientific communities are embedded in the text in such a way that each audience reads the call for co?operative action as implicit support for their own methods.
Hierarchical Bayesian models (HBMs) provide an account of Bayesian inference in a hierarchically structured hypothesis space. Scientific theories are plausibly regarded as organized into hierarchies in many cases, with higher levels sometimes called ‘paradigms’ and lower levels encoding more specific or concrete hypotheses. Therefore, HBMs provide a useful model for scientific theory change, showing how higher‐level theory change may be driven by the impact of evidence on lower levels. HBMs capture features described in the Kuhnian tradition, particularly the idea that (...) higher‐level theories guide learning at lower levels. In addition, they help resolve certain issues for Bayesians, such as scientific preference for simplicity and the problem of new theories. *Received July 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the authors, please write to: Leah Henderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32D‐808, Cambridge, MA 02139; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Does the Buddhist doctrine of no-self imply, simply put, no-other? Does this doctrine necessarily come into conflict with an ethics premised on the alterity of the other? This article explores these questions by situating Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics in the context of contemporary Japanese philosophy. The work of twentieth-century Japanese philosopher Watsuji Tetsurō provides a starting point from which to consider the ethics of the self-other relation in light of the Buddhist notion of emptiness. The philosophy of thirteenth-century Zen Master Dōgen (...) casts doubt on Watsuji’s commitment to reciprocal self-other relationality, showing that the idea of self-emptiness disrupts any conventional understanding of reciprocity and promotes instead other-oriented compassion. Despite interesting similarities between the ethics of alterity and Buddhist compassion, a Buddhist-influenced understanding of alterity differs from Levinas on important points, by making possible the claim that all others—human, animal, plant, and mineral—are ethical others. (shrink)
In the classic study Little science, big science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1963), Derek Price traces the historical shift from what he calls little science?exemplified by early?modern ?invisible colleges? of scientific amateurs and enthusiasts engaged in small?scale, informal interactions and personal correspondence?to 20th?century big science, dominated by professional scientists and wealthy institutions, where scientific information (primarily in print form and its analogues) was mass?produced, marketed and circulated on a global scale. This article considers whether the growing use of more (...) participatory, interactive ?Web 2.0? technologies and social media in science today (e.g. wikis, blogs, tagging and bookmarking, conferencing, etc.) may signal a revival of little science modes of communication that contrast with big science conventions that continue to dominate research policy, scientific institutions, and the publishing industry. A brief historical review of responses to the scientific ?information explosion? since the early 1900s is presented, with a particular focus on the idealization of large?scale, automated information systems and the privileging of formal (document?producing) over informal (interpersonal) modes of scientific communication. Alternative frameworks for scientific communication that incorporate both documents and interaction are used to examine contemporary examples of so?called Science 2.0 and citizen science projects to determine whether such projects indicate the emergence of new modes of communication in science that bridge the immediacy and involvement of invisible colleges and the rigor of peer?reviewed publishing. The implications for traditional documentary forms such as the journal article are also discussed. (shrink)
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly used to assess multiple facets of healthcare, including effectiveness, side effects of treatment, symptoms, health care needs, quality of care, and the evaluation of health care options. There are thousands of these measures and yet there is very little discussion of their theoretical underpinnings. In her 2008 Presidential address to the Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQoL), Professor Donna Lamping challenged researchers to grapple with the theoretical issues that arise from these measures. In (...) this paper, I attempt to do so by arguing for an analogy between PROMs and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s logic of question and answer. While researchers readily admit that the constructs involved in PROMs are imperfectly understood and lack a gold standard, they often ignore the consequences of this fact. Gadamer’s work on questions and their importance to philosophical hermeneutics helps to show that the questions researchers ask about such constructs are also imperfectly understood. I argue that these questions should not be standardized, and I instead propose a theoretical framework that understands PROMs as posing genuine questions to respondents—questions that are open to reinterpretation. (shrink)
The notion of rationality is crucial to Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Economics, Law, Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology, etc. Most if not all of these disciplines presuppose the agent's capacity to infer in a logical manner. Theories about rationality tend toward two extremes: either they presuppose an unattainable logical capacity, or they tend to minimize the role of logic, in light of vast data on fallacious inferential performance. We analyze some presuppositions in the classical view of logic, and suggest empirical and (...) theoretical evidence for the place of inferential heuristics in a theory of rationality. We propose (1) to outline a new theory of rationality that includes the key notion of logical capacity as a necessary but realistic factor, (2) to expand the notion of inference to include non-deductive inference, specifically non-monotonic, and (3) to emphasize the logical role of inferential heuristics and constraints such as cognitive economy. (shrink)
Two of the most influential theories about scientific inference are inference to the best explanation (IBE) and Bayesianism. How are they related? Bas van Fraassen has claimed that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible rival theories, as any probabilistic version of IBE would violate Bayesian conditionalization. In response, several authors have defended the view that IBE is compatible with Bayesian updating. They claim that the explanatory considerations in IBE are taken into account by the Bayesian because the Bayesian either does or (...) should make use of them in assigning probabilities (priors and/or likelihoods) to hypotheses. I argue that van Fraassen has not succeeded in establishing that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible, but that the existing compatibilist response is also not satisfactory. I suggest that a more promising approach to the problem is to investigate whether explanatory considerations are taken into account by a Bayesian who assigns priors and likelihoods on his or her own terms. In this case, IBE would emerge from the Bayesian account, rather than being used to constrain priors and likelihoods. I provide a detailed discussion of the case of how the Copernican and Ptolemaic theories explain retrograde motion, and suggest that one of the key explanatory considerations is the extent to which the explanation a theory provides depends on its core elements rather than on auxiliary hypotheses. I then suggest that this type of consideration is reflected in the Bayesian likelihood, given priors that a Bayesian might be inclined to adopt even without explicit guidance by IBE. The aim is to show that IBE and Bayesianism may be compatible, not because they can be amalgamated, but rather because they capture substantially similar epistemic considerations. 1 Introduction2 Preliminaries3 Inference to the Best Explanation4 Bayesianism5 The Incompatibilist View: Inference to the Best Explanation Contradicts Bayesianism5.1 Criticism of the incompatibilist view6 Constraint-Based Compatibilism6.1 Criticism of constraint-based compatibilism7 Emergent Compatibilism7.1 Analysis of Inference to the Best Explanation7.1.1 Inference to the best explanation on specific hypotheses7.1.2 Inference to the best explanation on general theories7.1 3 Copernicus versus Ptolemy7.1.4 Explanatory virtues7.1.5 Summary7.2 Bayesian account8 Conclusion. (shrink)
This article engages bell hooks's concept of “radical black subjectivity” through the lens of the Buddhist doctrine of no-self. Relying on the Zen theorist Dōgen and on resources from Japanese aesthetics, I argue that non-attachment to the self clarifies hooks's claim that radical subjectivity unites our capacity for critical resistance with our capacity to appreciate beauty. I frame this argument in terms of hooks's concern that postmodernist identity critiques dismiss the identity claims of disempowered peoples. On the one hand, identity (...) critique has an emotional component, as it involves questioning the self and possibly letting go of aspects of that self in which a person has inevitably made emotional investments. On the other hand, it has an aesthetic component, as it opens a space for the creative crafting and recrafting of identity. Japanese aesthetics emphasizes that all aesthetic appreciation is accompanied by feelings of mournfulness, for the object of aesthetic appreciation is transient. Linking hooks's liberatory aesthetics with the resources of the Japanese tradition suggests that mournfulness in the face of self-loss necessarily accompanies all instances of critical resistance. Thus non-attachment becomes a useful framework in which to understand both the emotional and aesthetic components of empowered identity critique. (shrink)
Twelve years ago the British media got wind of a London gynecologist who performed an elective reduction on a twin pregnancy reducing it to a singleton. Perhaps not surprisingly, opinion on the moral status of twin reductions was divided. But in the last few years new evidence regarding the medical risks of twin pregnancies has emerged, suggesting that twin reductions are relevantly similar to the reductions performed on high-end multi-fetal pregnancies. This evidence has appeared to resolve the moral debate. In (...) this paper I look at the role of clinical evidence in medical ethics. In particular I examine the role of clinical evidence in determining what counts as a significant harm or risk. First, I challenge the extent to which these empirical claims are descriptive, suggesting instead that the evidence is to some degree normative in character. Second, I question whether such empirical claims should count as evidence for what are essentially difficult ethical decisions – a role they appear to play in the case of elective reductions. I will argue that they should not, primarily because the value-laden nature of this evidence conceals much of what is ethically at stake. It is important to recognize that empirical evidence cannot be a substitute for ethical deliberation. (shrink)
In this article, I examine Adam Smith's theory of the ways individuals in society bridge social and biological difference. In doing so, I emphasize the divisive effects of gender, race, and class to see if Smith's account of social unity can overcome such fractious forces. My discussion uses the metaphor of “proximity” to mean both physical and psychological distance between moral actors and spectators. I suggest that education – both formal and informal in means – can assist moral judgment by (...) helping agents minimize the effects of proximity, and, ultimately, learn commonality where difference may otherwise seem overwhelming. This article uses the methods of the history of philosophy in order to examine an issue within contemporary discourse. While I seek to offer an authentic reading of Smith representative of his eighteenth-century perspective, I do so with an eye towards determining the extent to which Smith anticipated central issues in modern multiculturalism. (Published Online April 18 2006) Footnotes1 I would like to thank Luc Bovens, Kim Donehower, David Levy, Elizabeth Sund, and Leah M. McClimans, for their help on previous drafts of this article. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper I discuss how we should distinguish legitimate from illegitimate questions. I will argue that we should not make such distinctions prior to asking our questions; that questioning is more of an art than a science and that this art is part of the art of conversation in general. Nonetheless, the desire to limit in advance the questions that we can legitimately ask is not infrequent. In the philosophy of science this ambition manifests in response to concerns (...) regarding the corruption of scientific knowledge and inquiry. Similarly in the quantitative social sciences researchers develop measures by isolating in advance just those questions that they believe will best illuminate the construct under investigation. In order to preserve the integrity of their data much is done to avoid and adjust for errant respondent understandings of these questions. I argue, however, that limiting our questions in these ways does not secure knowledge and inquiry from bias, but rather unduly limits what we might come to know. Drawing on Gadamer?s work in Truth and Method I argue that we can distinguish legitimate from illegitimate questions, but that we can only do so by first asking them. (shrink)
Shenker has claimed that Von Neumann's argument for identifying the quantum mechanical entropy with the Von Neumann entropy, S() = – ktr( log ), is invalid. Her claim rests on a misunderstanding of the idea of a quantum mechanical pure state. I demonstrate this, and provide a further explanation of Von Neumann's argument.
Failings in patient care and quality in NHS Trusts have become a recurring theme over the past few years. In this paper, we examine the Care Quality Commission’s Guidance about Compliance : Essential Standards of Quality and Safety and ask how NHS Trusts might be better supported in fulfilling the regulations specified therein. We argue that clinical ethics committees (CECs) have a role to play in this regard. We make this argument by attending to the many ethical elements that are (...) highlighted in the Commission’s Regulations and by providing practical examples of how CECs can (and in some case already do) provide ethics support to health professionals and trusts. Although CECs have been traditionally associated with case consultation, i.e., discrete problems caused by individual circumstances, in the previous 10 years the literature suggests that clinical ethics services have become more integrated into the life of the health care organization and are increasing construed as proactive agents of systematic change. We provide evidence from a recent survey of UK clinical ethics services that this trend is present in the UK. (shrink)
One of the key concepts in the Philosophy of Logic is the notion of inference. In this paper we expand the notion of logical inference and describe its role in a comprehensive theory of rationality. Some recent rationality theories either presuppose an unattainable logical capacity or they minimize the role of logic, in light of the vast amount of data on fallacious inferential performance. In this paper we defend the view that logical acuity, redefined to include heuristics, is a necessary (...) factor in rationality. We evaluate some presuppositions of algorithmic models and some normative and metatheoretical properties of heuristic models, and defend our model against possible objections. Our revised notion of logical inference functions as the nucleus of the notion of logical acuity which in turn is a necessary building block for a realistic model of rationality. This model emphasizes the logical role of inferential heuristics, cognitive constraints and contextuality, introduces concepts such as "obvious inference", "cautious deductive closure", and "familiarity", and develops the notions of cognitive economy and contextual limitations as tools for evaluating and predicting rational behavior. (shrink)
One of philosophy’s oldest paradoxes is the apparent contradiction between the great triumphs and the dramatic failures of the human mind. The same organism that routinely solves inferential problems too subtle and complex for the mightiest computer often makes errors in the simplest of judgments about everyday events. (Nisbett and Ross 1980, p. xi).
By the time George Wilton Field concluded his work at the marine laboratory his initial scientific concerns had forced him directly into local politics. He pleaded with little success with the community of South Kingstown, and with no success with the town of Narragansett, to create and maintain a permanent breach:Is it not possible for the acute business sense and the broad philanthropy of the community to sweep aside petty, local, and personal jealousies which are now blocking practical progress for (...) the establishment of a permanent breach at Point Judith Pond? It is truly criminal neglect which permits fifteen hundred acres of valuable water-farming area to lie practically idle and rapidly deteriorate with each passing year.... In the opinion of the writer the Point Judith Pond and those of similar type could be made the seat of oyster, clam, crab, herring, white perch, and striped bass fisheries.30In the summer of 1899 Field was invited to teach a summer course on echinoderms at the MBL in Woods Hole, and to conduct summer research in a laboratory of the U.S. Fish Commission, also located at Woods Hole. When the summer was over, he remained there. Whether he had intentions of returning to resume his position in Rhode Island is unclear. At this point all correspondence with the Agricultural Experiment Station ceases, and Field's last report is a brief statement in the annual report of the experiment station for 1900 wherein he laments the variety of experiments he has not been able to carry to conclusion, such as a study of the artificial fertilization of water analogous to the method of chemically fertilizing the land for crops.The correspondence reveals that the enthusiasm Field brought to Point Judith Pond in 1896 was gradually sapped by his own fragile health, by three years' exposure to the local politics surrounding the southern Rhode Island fishing industry, and by a college administration determined to remove the stench of his invertebrates. He sought a refuge in the sheltered world of pure research at the U.S. Fish Commission Laboratory, where he set out to investigate the “Origin of Sex” using, as his animal models, squid and toadfish.On November 14, 1899, the Board of Managers of the college ordered the director of the experiment station to dispose of the marine laboratory at Point Judith Pond.31 How long the laboratory at Buttonwood Point survived in the institutional memory of the University of Rhode Island is open to question. The current Graduate School of Oceanography, in the event, traces its history back to 1937, not 1896.Nevertheless, Field and his one-room marine station established a precedent of land-grant marine research that other state colleges would follow, including Rhode Island itself, which reestablished its marine station, this time permanently, at South Ferry in 1937. In his brief research career in Rhode Island, George Wilton Field had discovered the same coastal attributes that would lead later to the creation of one of the world's major marine research centers at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography.And, in a measure of triumph for his work, little more than a year after Field left for Woods Hole and his laboratory was dismantled, the town of South Kingstown voted the funds necessary to begin the construction of a permanent breachway.32 Whether Field's scientific reasoning and the conclusions of his marine research played any part in finally deciding the thirty-year-old debate in the affirmative will probably never be known. What is evident is that Field had no patience for those who could not see the results of his research as clearly as he could himself. (shrink)
Quality improvement mechanisms increasingly use outcome measures to evaluate health care providers. This move toward outcome measures is a radical departure from the traditional focus on process measures. More radical still is the proposal to shift from relatively simple and proximal measures of outcome, such as mortality, to complex outcomes, such as quality of life. While the practical, scientific, and ethical issues associated with the use of outcomes such as mortality and morbidity to compare health care providers have been well (...) rehearsed, the specific concerns associated with the use of quality of life measures in quality of care research have received little attention. As with much research on quality of life there is a tendency to assume that the disadvantages are outweighed by the general virtue of “listening” to patients. In this paper we disagree with this assumption and argue that quality of life is a process, not an outcome. (shrink)
The paradigm of rights, established throughout the academic, policy and migrant activism arenas, governs the protection of vulnerable migrant workers against abuse. To what extent this approach has achieved social justice for the migrant worker in the current global political economy climate is, however, uncertain. In analyzing the use of rights in migrant activism in Hong Kong, this paper shows the limitation of rights in the migrant experience at the same time as it shows how a new paradigm based on (...) the Capablities Approach could provide a more appropriate framework from which to achieve social justice for the migrant worker. (shrink)
There has been much philosophical interest regarding the ‘hierarchy of evidence’ used to determine which study designs are of most value for reporting on questions of effectiveness, prognosis, and so on. There has been much less philosophical interest in the choice of outcome measures with which the results of, say, an RCT or a cohort study are presented. In this paper, we examine the FDA’s recently published guidelines for assessing the psychometric adequacy of patient-reported outcome measures. We focus on their (...) recommendations for demonstrating content validity and also for how researchers should weigh up the sum of psychometric evidence when choosing these measures. We argue that questions regarding judgment and understanding meaning of these measures should play a more central role in determining their adequacy. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Introduction: 1. Personal epistemology in the classroom: a welcome and guide for the reader Florian C. Feucht and Lisa D. Bendixen; Part II. Frameworks and Conceptual Issues: 2. Manifestations of an epistemological belief system in pre-k to 12 classrooms Marlene Schommer-Aikins, Mary Bird, and Linda Bakken; 3. Epistemic climates in elementary classrooms Florian C. Feucht; 4. The integrative model of personal epistemology development: theoretical underpinnings and implications for education Deanna C. Rule and Lisa D. (...) Bendixen; 5. An epistemic framework for scientific reasoning in informal contexts Fang-Ying Yang and Chin-Chung Tsai; Appendices; 6. Who knows what and who can we believe? Epistemological beliefs are beliefs about knowledge (mostly) to be attained from others Rainer Bromme, Dorothe Kienhues, and Torsten Porsch; Part III. Students' Personal Epistemology, its Development, and Relation to Learning: 7. Stalking young persons' changing beliefs about belief Michael J. Chandler and Travis Proulx; 8. Epistemological development in very young knowers Leah K. Wildenger, Barbara K. Hofer, and Jean E. Burr; 9. Beliefs about knowledge and revision of knowledge: on the importance of epistemic beliefs for intentional conceptual change in elementary and middle school students Lucia Mason; 10. The reflexive relation between students' mathematics-related beliefs and the mathematics classroom culture Erik De Corte, Peter Op 't Eynde, Fien Depaepe, and Lieven Verschaffel; 11. Examining the influence of epistemic beliefs and goal orientations on the academic performance of adolescent students enrolled in high-poverty, high-minority schools P. Karen Murphy, Michelle M. Buehl, Jill A. Zeruth, Maeghan N. Edwards, Joyce F. Long, and Shinichi Monoi; 12. Using cognitive interviewing to explore elementary and secondary school students' epistemic and ontological cognition Jeffrey A. Greene, Judith Torney-Purta, Roger Azevedo, and Jane Robertson; Part IV. Teachers' Personal Epistemology and its Impact on Classroom Teaching: 13. Epistemological resources and framing: a cognitive framework for helping teachers interpret and respond to their students' epistemologies Andrew Elby and David Hammer; 14. The effects of teachers' beliefs on elementary students' beliefs, motivation, and achievement in mathematics Krista R. Muis and Michael J. Foy; Appendices; 15. Teachers' articulation of beliefs about teaching knowledge: conceptualizing a belief framework Helenrose Fives and Michelle M. Buehl; Appendices; 16. Beyond epistemology: assessing teachers' epistemological and ontological world views Lori Olafson and Gregory Schraw; Part V. Conclusion: 17. Personal epistemology in the classroom: what does research and theory tell us and where do we need to go next? Lisa D. Bendixen and Florian C. Feucht. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between early Germany and Rome following the defeat of the Romans in Germany in 9 BCE. The theories of several historians as to why the Romans did not try to conquer Germany and how the loss affected the Romans following the defeat.