The question asked in this paper is: How can we investigate our phenomenal experience in ways that are accurate, in principle repeatable, and produce experiences that help clarify what we understand about the processes of sensing, perceiving, moving, and being in the world? This sounds like an impossible task, given that introspection has so often in scientific circles been considered to be unreliable, and that first-person accounts are often coloured by mistaken ideas about what and how we are experiencing. The (...) first-person experiments I suggest are different from experiments done in the psychology laboratory in that there is no narrowing down of the experiments to looking at a singular aspect of a question, and that they are to be carried out in most instances in a natural or specially structured environment without strict task controls or statistical experimental design. There is no intent to replace formal second- and third-person investigation, but to use a phenomenological approach to conjoin with hard research, and to suggest ways of awareness training that can enhance the skills of researchers. I take as a model an informal phenomenological approach for experimentation. I also suggest that it is possible through directing and broadening the attention process to turn consciousness towards what is non-conscious or unattended to in order to develop an improved sensory awareness and an ability to be open to experiencing without prejudging and without expectations. The idea is to go back to experience without first creating a theoretical stance from which to interpret what happens. I conclude with some other examples of this approach. (shrink)
Much attention has been given to determining whether an adolescent patient has the capacity to consent to research. This study explores the factors that influence adolescents' decisions to participate in a research study about youth violence and to determine positive or negative feelings elicited by being a research subject. The majority of subjects perceived their decision to participate to be free of coercion, and few felt badly about having participated. However, adolescents who were alone in the room during the assent (...) process were more likely to report that they chose freely to be a research subject. This study may influence the ways physicians communicate with adolescent patients around research assent within a clinical care environment. 1This article was presented at the Annual Meetings of The Pediatric Academic Societies in Baltimore, MD and The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in Atlanta, GA in May, 2001. (shrink)
We suggest that, in animals, the core-affect system is linked to partially assimilated behavioral dispositions that act as developmental scaffolds for the ontogenetic construction of emotions. We also propose that in humans the evolution of language altered the control of emotions, leading to categories that can be adequately captured only by emotion-words.
Marjorie Grene's work expresses the conviction that what is called "the new philosophy of science" will not become viable until it is rooted in an understanding of the knower and the known which breaks with the familiar Cartesian dualisms. In order to provide this understanding, she has sought to restore central significance to the phenomenon of life -- to the distinctive ways in which animals, including human beings, perceive and act in their worlds. It is argued that her fundamental (...) premise is that humans, as living beings, bring a shared experience of the world with them into scientific activity. On this basis, she is able to show how scientific objectivity may be seen as a form of pre-scientific exploration and how the scientifically known world may be seen as the pre-scientific life-world interpreted and enriched in scientific terms. (shrink)
This essay pulls together from myriad sources the record of Marjorie Grene’s early collaboration with Michael Polanyi as well as her interesting, changing commentary on Polanyi’s philosophical perspective and particularly that articulated in Personal Knowledge. It provides an account of the conflicting perspectives of Grene and Harry Prosch, who collaborated in publishing Polanyi’s last work, Meaning.
These reflections summarize major themes in Marjorie Grene’s A Philosophical Testament. I also highlight Grene’s comments on her many years of work with Polanyi and try to draw out some connections between Grene’s thought and that of Polanyi.
Professor Grene's work on Aristotle is considered under three headings: teleology, form, and reductionism. A picture of Aristotle's philosophy of biology is sketched which stresses three elements: the place of living activity in the teleological account of the development and nature of organic structures; the functional nature of Aristotelian form; and the autonomy of biology as a natural science with its own basic principles. These elements are aspects of Aristotle's approach to biology with which Professor Grene has expressed sympathy.
Grene's Two Evolutionary Theories (1958), a philosophical analysis of the nature of scientific disputes, itself contributed directly to discourse in evolutionary theory. I conclude that Grene's descriptions of two rival theories of evolutionary paleontologists — those of George Gaylord Simpson, who stressed traditional Darwinian continuity, and of Otto Schindewolf, who stressed discontinuity in paleontological data — were entirely accurate. But I further argue that both Simpson, as well as Mayr and Dobzhansky, had incorporated notions of discontinuity into their earlier work, (...) but later removed, or at least de-emphasized discontinuity, in their later work. Grene's analysis, published in the year of the Darwinian centennial, was initially treated as a provocative sore point. The paper kept the issue of discontinuity alive in evolutionary theory, and directly influenced work in the 1960s and 1970s, which restored and further elaborated on the significance of discontinuity in evolutionary theory. (shrink)