Semantic pathology is most widely recognized in the liar paradox, where an apparent inconsistency arises in ‘‘liar sentences’’ and their ilk. But the phenomenon of semantic pathology also manifests a sibling symptom—an apparent indeterminacy—which, while not largely discussed (save for the occasional nod to ‘‘truthteller sentences’’), is just as pervasive as, and exactly parallels, the symptom of inconsistency. Moreover, certain ‘‘dual symptom’’ cases, which we call naysayers, exhibit both inconsistency and indeterminacy and also manifest a higher-order indeterminacy between (...) them. In this paper, we explore and lay out the full, broader extent of semantic pathology. We then turn to the best-known attempts to diagnose and treat the phenomenon: consistentist approaches, proposed by Alfred Tarski and Saul Kripke, and an inconsistentist approach, originally presented by Graham Priest and dubbed ‘‘dialetheism’’. We explain the basic elements of each view and argue that each fails to provide an adequate way of dealing with the full extent of semantic pathology. We conclude that a new kind of approach is required and briefly sketch the pretense-based view that we favor. (shrink)
A new measure of individual habits and preferences in video game use is developed in order to better study the risk factors of pathological game use (i.e., excessively frequent or prolonged use, sometimes called “game addiction”). This measure was distributed to internet message boards for game enthusiasts and to college undergraduates. An exploratory factor analysis identified 9 factors: Story, Violent Catharsis, Violent Reward, Social Interaction, Escapism, Loss-Sensitivity, Customization, Grinding, and Autonomy. These factors demonstrated excellent fit in a subsequent confirmatory factor (...) analysis, and, importantly, were found to reliably discriminate between inter-individual game preferences (e.g., Super Mario Brothers as compared to Call of Duty). Moreover, three factors were significantly related to pathological game use: the use of games to escape daily life, the use of games as a social outlet, and positive attitudes towards the steady accumulation of in-game rewards. The current research identifies individual preferences and motives relevant to understanding video game players’ evaluations of different games and risk factors for pathological video game use. (shrink)
From the outset, critical social theory has sought to diagnose people’s participation in their own oppression, by revealing the roots of irrational and self-undermining choices in the complex interplay between human nature, social structures, and cultural beliefs. As part of this project, Ideologiekritik has aimed to expose faulty conceptions of this interplay, so that the objectively pathological character of what people are “freely” choosing could come more clearly into view. The challenge, however, has always been to find a way of (...) doing this without arrogantly assuming special access to what is good for people. And this danger of paternalism is one to which social theorists have all too often fallen prey. In this brief essay, I focus on contemporary instances of clearly self-defeating behavior in contexts of complex choices. I begin by discussing a recent attempt to diagnose and solve these failures of choices, namely the public policy recommendations of behavioral economist Richard Thaler and reform-minded legal theorist Cass Sunstein. Their influential “libertarian paternalist” approach is particularly interesting, both in what it includes (attention to the socially constructed nature of choice situations and the roots of the problems in human nature) and in what it leaves out (an understanding of the social construction of human nature and an adequate appreciation of the value of autonomy). After discussing it, I consider a broadly perfectionist alternative, to the effect that the problem lies in a failure to adequately appreciate the importance of developing autonomy. I then turn to sketching the outlines of a new approach, based on the concept of “autonomy gaps,” which approaches overly demanding policies in relational and action-theoretical terms. In the final section, I show how this provides the basis for an analysis both in terms of a critique of ideology and of social pathology. (shrink)
In the twenty-second series of The Logic of Sense, Gilles Deleuze references a remarkable essay by Günther (Stern) Anders. Anders’ essay, translated here as ‘The Pathology of Freedom’, addresses the sickness and health of our negotiation with the negative anthropological condition of ‘not being cut out for the world’.
Over the past 25 years, Graham Priest has ably presented and defended dialetheism, the view that certain sentences are properly characterized as true with true negations. Our goal here is neither to quibble with the tenability of true, assertable contradictions nor, really, with the arguments for dialetheism. Rather, we wish to address the dialetheist's treatment of cases of semantic pathology and to pose a worry for dialetheism that has not been adequately considered. The problem that we present seems to (...) have broader bite, afflicting both consistent and inconsistent proposals for resolving semantic pathology. Thus, while our primary goal is to uncover some important connections between dialetheism, semantic pathology, and other, more general issues, the problem that we pose might be a worry for anyone who aims to resolve semantic pathology - consistently or not. (shrink)
Competence is central to informed consent and, therefore, to medical practice. In this context, competence is regarded as synonymous with decision-making capacity. There is wide consensus that competence should be approached conceptually by identifying the abilities needed for decision-making capacity. Incompetence, then, is understood as a condition in which certain abilities relevant to decision-making capacity are lacking. This approach has been helpful both in theory and practice. There is, however, another approach to incompetence, namely to relate it to mental disorder. (...) This approach has been followed in recent research that has shown, for instance, that in anorexia nervosa a person's values may be changed, resulting in ‘pathological’ values. We explore some advantages and disadvantages of both abilities-based and pathology-based approaches. We argue that both can be valuable for further clarification of the concept of competence and improving clinical practice. Given the current predominance of the abilities-based approach, we make a plea for a greater focus on pathology-based practice and research. (shrink)
An enterprising odyssey might be one way to investigate whether a unique role is afforded to ‘a’ philosophy of management. The question is, first, which philosophy is at stake and what finery such a philosophy might bear. Second, three cardinal questions arise: (1) “What can we say about it?“; (2) “How do we know we can or cannot say something about it?“; and (3) “What is its relation to rationality?” Third, by an old scepticist tradition one may choose tantalising innersubjects (...) to punctuate these questions. In this case, the inner subject will run: “Is pathology dysfunctional?“ A survey of related problems and possible solutions mingled with suspension follows on from this. Supported by appropriate non-philosophical disciplines, it will serve as a crowbar to reappraise the relation between critical management studies and organisational studies on the one hand and philosophy of management on the other. (shrink)
The topic of disease mechanisms is of clinical importance, as our understanding of such mechanisms plays an important role in how we approach devising treatments for disease. In this paper, I critique an argument made by Mauro Nervi, in which he asserts that pathology is often better viewed in the context of distinct theoretical mechanisms. I use this critique as a starting point to argue that viewing pathology as a broken-normal, malfunctioning mechanism is more therapeutically practical and more (...) relevant to clinical drug design, than creating a theoretical separation of pathology from physiology. (shrink)
In the mid-1800s, there was much debate about the origin or 'exciting cause' of cholera. Despite much confusion surrounding the disease, the so-called miasma theory emerged as the prevalent account about cholera's cause. Going against this mainstream view, the British physician John Snow inferred several things about cholera's origin and pathology that no one else inferred. Without observing the vibrio cholerae, however,-data unavailable to Snow and his colleagues-, there was no way of settling the question of what exactly was (...) causing cholera and how, or if, it was passed on. The question then arises as to how Snow arrived at conclusions so systematically different from those of his opponents. In this paper, I want to look at Snow's reasoning in some detail, and show that there were certain principles, explanatory power in particular, that were epistemologically important to Snow in their own right. I will show that Snow himself takes explanatory power to be an epistemic property, and makes explicit links between explanatory power and confirmation. Systematically juxtaposing Snow's claims and his opponents', I will show that Snow was right to tout the explanatory power of his theory, and that his conclusions about the epistemic superiority of his theory over that of the miasmatists' were justified. (shrink)
Boyer & Lienard's (B&L's) biological model of ritual achieves a rather straightforward account of features shared by ritual pathology and the idiosyncratic rituals of children; but complexities accrue in extending it to human ritual culture generally. My commentary suggests that the ritual cultural traditions of animals such as songbirds share structural features, handicap-based origin, as well as the enabling neural mechanism of vocal learning with human ritual culture. (Published Online February 8 2007).
The following describes one distinct sense of ‘mechanism’ which is prevalent in biology and biomedicine and which has important epistemic benefits. According to this sense, mechanisms are defined by the functions they facilitate. This construal has two important implications. Firstly, mechanisms that facilitate functions are capable of breaking. Secondly, on this construal, there are rigid constraints on the sorts of phenomena ‘for which’ there can be a mechanism. In this sense, there are no ‘mechanisms for’ pathology, and natural selection (...) is not a ‘mechanism of’ evolution, because it does not serve a function. (shrink)
Stephen Read has presented an argument for the inconsistency of the concept of validity. We extend Read’s results and show that this inconsistency is but one half of a larger problem. Like the concept of truth, validity is infected with what we call semantic pathology, a condition that actually gives rise to two symptoms: inconsistency and indeterminacy. After sketching the basic ideas behind semantic pathology and explaining how it manifests both symptoms in the concept of truth, we present (...) cases that establish the indeterminacy of validity and that link this indeterminacy with the concept’s inconsistency. Our conclusion is that an adequate treatment of the semantic pathology thus revealed must deal with both of its symptoms. Further, it must extend to the occurrences of this condition elsewhere: in the concept of truth, in the other central semantic notions, and even in certain philosophical concepts outside semantics. (shrink)
Traditionally, autoimmune disease has been considered to be a case of false recognition; the immune system mistakenly identifies 'self' tissues as foreign, attacking them thus causing damage and malady. Accordingly, the history of autoimmunity is usually told as part ot the history of immunology, that is, of theories and experiments relating to the ability of the immune system to discriminate between self and nonself. This paper challenges this view, claiming that the emergence of the notion of autoimmunity in the 1950s (...) must be considered as part of a long develolpment in thought about pathology throughout the twentieth century, namely the conceptualisaiton of disease as a reactive and self-destructive process. During the first part of the twentieth century this notion became one of the cornerstones of pathology and was increasingly employed for the explanation of the non-infections, slow-burning diseases. Thus, the category of chronic disease had been defined anew, now encompassing all those diseases characterised by a persistent inflammatory process. Inflammation, in turn, was conceived as double-eged physiological mechanism, which was usually the direct mediator of damage, of the essence of disease. The paper also shows how this kind of analysis could emable a unified historical discussion of autoimmunity and allergy, hitherto considered to have distinct conceptual origins. (shrink)
In Vagueness and Contradiction (2001), Roy Sorensen defends and extends his epistemic account of vagueness. In the process, he appeals to connections between vagueness and semantic paradox. These appeals come mainly in Chapter 11, where Sorensen offers a solution to what he calls the no-no paradox—a “neglected cousin” of the more famous liar—and attempts to use this solution as a precedent for an epistemic account of the sorites paradox. This strategy is problematic for Sorensen’s project, however, since, as we establish, (...) he fails to resolve the semantic pathology of the no-no paradox. (shrink)
We illustrate, using a simple model, that in the usual formulation the time-component of the Klein–Gordon current is not generally positive definite even if one restricts allowed solutions to those with positive frequencies. Since in de Broglie's theory of particle trajectories the particle follows the current this leads to difficulties of interpretation, with the appearance of trajectories which are closed loops in space-time and velocities not limited from above. We show that at least this pathology can be avoided if (...) one adapts in a covariant form the formulation of relativistic point particle dynamics proposed by Gitman and Tyutin. (shrink)
Recent work has revealed a relationship between pathological video game use and increased impulsivity among children and adolescents. A few studies have also demonstrated increased risk-taking outside of the video game environment following game play, but this work has largely focused on one genre of video games (i.e., racing). Motivated by these findings, the aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between pathological and non-pathological video game use, impulsivity, and risky decision making. The current study also investigated (...) the relationship between experience with two of the most popular genres of video games (i.e., first-person shooter and strategy) and risky decision making. Consistent with previous work, approximately 7% of the current sample of college-aged adults met criteria for pathological video game use. The number of hours spent gaming per week was associated with increased impulsivity on a self-report measure and on the temporal discounting task. This relationship was sensitive to the genre of video game; specifically, experience with first-person shooter games was positively correlated with impulsivity, while experience with strategy games was negatively correlated with impulsivity. Hours per week and pathological symptoms predicted greater risk-taking in the risk task and the Iowa Gambling task, accompanied by worse overall performance, indicating that even when risky choices did not pay off, individuals who spent more time gaming and endorsed more symptoms of pathological gaming continued to make these choices. Based on these data, we suggest that the presence of pathological symptoms and the genre of video game (e.g., first-person shooter, strategy) may be important factors in determining how the amount of game experience relates to impulsivity and risky-decision making. (shrink)
Summary This paper reconceptualizes Thomas Clifford Allbutt's contributions to the making of scientific medicine in late nineteenth-century England. Existing literature on Allbutt usually describes his achievements, such as his design of the pocket thermometer and his advocacy of the use of the ophthalmoscope in general medicine, as independent events; and his work on the development of comparative pathology is largely overlooked. In this paper I focus on this latter aspect. I examine Allbutt's books and addresses and claim that Allbutt (...) argued for the centrality of comparative pathology in the advancement of medical knowledge. He held that diseases should be studied as biological phenomena and that medicine should be made a biological science. He also argued that comparative pathology should be based upon the idea of evolution, and its study should embrace other nineteenth-century sciences including neurology, embryology and bacteriology. Allbutt's writings reveal that his endorsement of comparative pathology (1880s to 1920s), his promotion of the use of the ophthalmoscope and the thermometer in clinical medicine (early 1870s), and his support of the hospital unit system (1910s to 1920s) were part of a single programme. All were grounded in his scientific vision of medicine which emphasized a research culture, a stringent nosological attitude and an integration of laboratory sciences and clinical medicine. (shrink)
Pathological Altruism Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9362-2 Authors Katrina A. Bramstedt, Bond University School of Medicine, University Drive, Gold Coast, Queensland, 4229 Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
The article is the text of a lecture given at the Faculty of the Humanities, March 2001. It argues that one implication of recent advances in the sciences of life may be that the binary opposition of the normal and the pathological is put into question. Canguilheim’s distinction between vital and social norms is challenged and superseded by a Foucauldian genealogical approach to programs for the government of individuals, and the norms of life that emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth (...) centuries are argued to be fundamentally social. Viewing genetics, biopsychiatry, and the commercialisation of drug development and biomedicine, the author argues that the logic of normalisation is loosing its hold, and being replaced by strategies for the continuous molecular management of variation, the modulation of susceptibilities, and the capitalisation of life itself. (shrink)
Given the resurgence of scientific studies on the etiology of homosexuality in the wake of the AIDS epidemic, this article considers the effects these studies had on contemporaneous queer filmmakers. By using the subject of criminality as a way to talk about homosexual causality, queer films of the 1990s illustrate that contemporary scientific studies on homosexuality were historically and politically situated in relation to cultural anxieties about other forms of deviance. This article focuses on films that dissect the hetero-normative tendency (...) to amalgamate forms of deviance in order to distinguish between the diseased and the healthy. Such products of New Queer Cinema highlight this amalgamation of criminality and homosexuality in order to challenge demands by the LGBT community of the 1980s and 1990s for “more positive images” in film. This article argues that queer filmmakers have manipulated the image of the queer criminal to usurp the medical tendency to biologize and pathologize the notion of queer transgression. In such a way, queer films that enthusiastically dramatize the queer outlaw perpetuate myths about homosexuality in order to dissect and discredit them. (shrink)
According to the ‘fact-plus-value’ model of pathology propounded by K. W. M. Fulford, ‘disease’ is a value term that ought to reflect a ‘balance of values’ stemming from patients and doctors and other ‘stakeholders’ in medical nosology. In the present article I take issue with his linguistic-analytical arguments for why pathological status must be relative to such a kind of medico-ethical normativity. Fulford is right to point out that Boorse and other naturalists are compelled to utilize evaluative terminology when (...) they characterize the nature of diseases and biological dysfunctions. But the relevant ‘biofunctional judgements’ are no less factual and empirical for that. While it is indeed evaluative to say that biological dysfunctions involve failures to execute naturally selected functions, such judgments are not bound to entail anything about what is good or bad for us, and what should be treated or not. In the last part of the paper I ruminate briefly on the relationship between ‘biological evaluationism’, on my construal, and descriptions of ‘causal biology’. As I note in my conclusion, a strict bioevaluative concept of disease can be valid for every species on earth, and thus be of particular usefulness in general biological contexts. (shrink)
In 1905 two different microbes were proposed to fill the vacant role of etiologic agent for syphilis, one, the Cytorrhyctes luis, by John Siegel, the other, Spirochaeta pallida, by Fritz Schaudinn. After gathering and reviewing the evidence the majority of medical scientists decided in favor of Schaudinn's candidate. In a previous issue Jean Lindenmann challenged Ludwik Fleck's suggestion that under suitable social conditions Siegel's candidate could just as well have won acceptance by the scientific community (). To refute this counterfactual (...) thesis, Lindenmann presented an asymmetric account of the dispute over the etiology of syphilis. He adopted the view of the proponents that Schaudinn's spirochete had already been there in syphilitic lesions for centuries, only awaiting the discovery of an appropriate staining technique to be revealed. Here a more symmetric analysis of the episode will be attempted, paying serious attention to the arguments put forward by the spirochete's opponents, who expatiated on the many possibilities of inadvertently creating artifacts through microscopic preparation and staining. The symmetric account that is presented in this rejoinder thus aims to trace the simultaneous construction of facts and artifacts. It will not, however, resurrect Fleck's counterfactual thesis. (shrink)
Though the resurgence of Hindu nationalism as a political phenomenon is well-understood, Meera Nanda is correct in suggesting that the ascendancy of Hindutva has other dimensions, such as the avent placed by cultural nationalist on 'Vedic science'. However, apart from this rudimentary insight, Nanda's contribution, far from being a resounding demonstration of potmodernism's complicity in the projects of Hindu nationalism, is a striking testament to her own commitment to a rigidly positivist, ferociously intolerant, and intellectually sterile conception of modern science (...) and the Enlightenment rationality which she views as the pinnacle of human achievement. Nanda displays an impoverished understanding of the scholarly contributions of the last three decades and is unable to countenance the idea of a plurality of sciences; at the same time, in veiw of her deliberate conflation of Hindutva with Hinduism, and her attempts to equate Hinduism as such with Nazism, it is clear that Hinduism itself stands condemned, and not merely resurgent Hindu nationalism. Nanda's book is an indiscriminate and uninteresting assault upon the innumerable enemies of reason, and it is, ironically, likely to have the result of further eroding confidence in self-proclaimed champions of rationality such as herself and the modern science of which she claims herself to be a true and peerless inheritor. (shrink)