Paul Horwich has formulated a paradox which he believes to be even more virulent than the related Hempel paradox. I show that Horwich's paradox, as orginally formulated, has a purely logical solution, hence that it has no bearing on the theory of confirmation. On the other hand, it illuminates some undesirable traits of classical predicate logic. A revised formulation of the paradox is then dealt with in a way that implies a modest revision of Nicod's criterion.
Engaging Anthropology takes an unflinching look at why the discipline has not gained the popularity and respect it deserves in the twenty-first century.While showcasing the intellectual power of discipline, Eriksen takes the anthropological community to task for its unwillingness to engage more proactively with the media in a wide range of current debates, from immigrant issues to biotechnology. Eriksen argues that anthropology needs to rediscover the art of narrative and abandon arid analysis and, more provocatively, anthropologists need to (...) lose their fear of plunging into the vexed issues modern societies present. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to elaborate on the phenomenological approach to expertise as proposed by Dreyfus and Dreyfus and to give an account of the extent to which their approach may contribute to a better understanding of how athletes may use their cognitive capacities during high-level skill execution. Dreyfus and Dreyfus's non-representational view of experience-based expertise implies that, given enough relevant experience, the skill learner, when expert, will respond intuitively to immediate situations with no recourse to deliberate actions (...) or mental representations. The paper will subsequently outline some implications and consequences of such an approach and will also examine to what extent Dreyfus and Dreyfus's skill model is capable to resist different attacks that have been made against their view, and in particular regarding the practical application of their approach to the skill domain of competitive sport. (shrink)
We claim that if a complete philosophy of evidence-based practice is intended, then attention to the nature of causation in health science is necessary. We identify how health science currently conceptualises causation by the way it prioritises some research methods over others. We then show how the current understanding of what causation is serves to constrain scientific progress. An alternative account of causation is offered. This is one of dispositionalism. We claim that by understanding causation from a dispositionalist stance, many (...) of the processes within an evidence-based practice framework are better accounted for. Further, some of the problems associated with the health research, e.g. external validity of causal findings, dissolve. (shrink)
An elementary presentation is given of classical and relativistic collision dynamics based upon the principle of conservation of momentum. The concepts of mass are shown to be implicitly defined and their basic properties are rigorously derived and discussed. Luxons and tachyons are treated on the same footing as material particles.
The discretionary powers of welfare state professionals are in tension with the requirements of the democratic Rechtsstaat. Extensive use of discretion can threaten the principles of the rule of law and relinquish democratic control over the implementation of laws and policies. These two tensions are in principle ineradicable. But does this also mean that they are impossible to come to grips with? Are there measures that may ease these tensions? We introduce an understanding of discretion that adds an epistemic dimension (...) (discretion as a mode of reasoning) to the common structural understanding of discretion (an area of judgment and decision). Accordingly we distinguish between structural and epistemic measures of accountability. The aim of the former is to constrain discretionary spaces or the behaviour within them while the aim of the latter is to improve the quality of discretionary reasoning. The focus in this article is on epistemic measures that are internally related to the main characteristic of accountability, namely justified use of discretionary power. (shrink)
Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) remain recalcitrant to the medical profession, proving less suitable for homogenic treatment with respect to their aetiology, taxonomy and diagnosis. While the majority of existing medical research methods are designed for large scale population data and sufficiently homogenous groups, MUS are characterised by their heterogenic and complex nature. As a result, MUS seem to resist medical scrutiny in a way that other conditions do not. This paper approaches the problem of MUS from a philosophical point of (...) view. The aim is to first consider the epistemological problem of MUS in a wider ontological and phenomenological context, particularly in relation to causation. Second, the paper links current medical practice to certain ontological assumptions. Finally, the outlines of an alternative ontology of causation are offered which place characteristic features of MUS, such as genuine complexity, context-sensitivity, holism and medical uniqueness at the centre of any causal set-up, and not only for MUS. This alternative ontology provides a framework in which to better understand complex medical conditions in relation to both their nature and their associated research activity. (shrink)
ExcerptTrends in the Political Critique of Modernity The political critique of modernity appears to have gained momentum in Europe in recent years. However, as with so many trends, it is a rather diverse movement, encompassing populist nationalist and national-conservative parties in Western Europe (including the Danish People's Party), a fascistoid Christian-nationalist revival (as seen in Serbia), and a number of trends that are directly incompatible with liberal democracy. A sinister connection between the cultural Right and centers of religious power may (...) not exist in Western Europe the way it does in Serbia, but a variation of the…. (shrink)
How can free and equal people cooperate to solve conflicts and common problems in a rational and legitimate way? In this article I deduce principles for doing so from the requirements of rational communication set out in the discourse theory of Jürgen Habermas. I apply them in defining a process of efficient decisionmaking. What I call ‘communicative design’ denotes the design of a reason giving process in which the practice of proposing and assessing claims with regard to rulemaking and problem (...) solving is undertaken on an equal and autonomous basis. Two sets of prescriptions are given: organisational principles for the composition of groups and argumentative principles for deliberation. However, any procedure aimed at achieving a rational consensus in decision making in organisations has to deal in practice with limitations of time, participation and the information available. Communicative design may not guarantee strictly rational decisions, then, but the procedure it constructs does promise relatively ‘more valid’ decisions than might be expected if another procedure had been adopted. (shrink)
The acknowledgement of basic human vulnerability in relationships between mental health service users and professionals working in community-based mental health services (in Norway) was a starting point. The purpose was to explore how users of these services describe and make sense of their meetings with other people. The research is collaborative, with researcher and person with experienced-based knowledge cooperating through the research process. Data is derived from 19 interviews with 11 people who depend on mental health services for assistance at (...) least three times a week. Data is analysed according to the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results confirm that reciprocity is fundamental for relationships, and that recognizing the individual entails personal involvement. The participants describe a struggle, and recognizing this struggle may help the professional to achieve a deeper understanding of the individual. (shrink)
Intuition has increasingly been considered as a legitimate foundation for decision-making, and the concept has started to find its way into military doctrines as a supplement to traditional decision-making procedures, primarily in time-constrained situations. Yet, absent inside the military realm is a critical and level-headed discussion of the ethical implications of intuitive behaviour, understood as an immediate and situational response with no recourse to thoughtful or deliberate activity. In this article the author turns to phenomenological philosophy, and in particular to (...) the works of Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus, to elaborate on the ethical implications and consequences of intuitive behaviour. Dreyfus and Dreyfus understand moral behaviour as a skill, and as such they claim that it is possible to develop this capability through practice. They even claim that intuitive behaviour is the hallmark of the way experts respond to situations. The article seeks to investigate if the prerequisites for development of experience-based intuition are fulfilled inside the frames of military operations. The possible implications and consequences of utilizing such a capability are also emphasized. The article's empirical materials are qualitative and build mainly upon extracted information from interviews and informal conversations with Norwegian soldiers and officers serving in Afghanistan under ISAF's Regional Command North in 2007 and 2008. (shrink)
Medicine is facing wide-ranging challenges concerning the so-called medically unexplained disorders. The epidemiology is confusing, different medical specialties claim ownership of their unexplained territory and the unexplained conditions are themselves promoted through a highly complicated and sophisticated use of language. Confronting the outcome, i.e. numerous medical acronyms, we reflect upon principles of systematizing, contextual and social considerations and ways of thinking about these phenomena. Finally we address what we consider to be crucial dimensions concerning the landscape of unexplained “matters”; fatigued (...) being, pain-full being and dys-ordered being, all expressive momentums of an aesthetic of resistance. (shrink)
There is one concept in medicine which is prominent, the symptom. The omnipresence of the symptom seems, however, not to be reflected by an equally prominent curiosity aimed at investigating this concept as a phenomenon. In classic, traditional or conventional medical diagnostics and treatment, the lack of distinction with respect to the symptom represents a minor problem. Faced with enigmatic conditions and their accompanying labels such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, medically unexplained symptoms, and functional somatic syndromes, the contestation of (...) the symptom and its origin is immediate and obvious and calls for further exploration. Based on a description of the diagnostic framework encompassing medically unexplained conditions and a brief introduction to how such symptoms are managed both within and outside of the medical clinic, we argue on one hand how unexplained conditions invite us to reconsider and re-think the concept we call a “symptom” and on the other hand how the concept “symptom” is no longer an adequate and necessary fulcrum and must be enriched by socio-cultural, phenomenological and existential dimensions. Consequently, our main aim is to expand both our interpretative horizon and the linguistic repertoire in the face of those appearances we label medically unexplained symptoms. (shrink)