The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory is the first book to provide an exciting and diverse philosophical exploration of the role of practice and practices in human activity. It also shows how practice theory stands in opposition to numerous prevalent ways of thinking, such as structuralism, system theory, semiotics, and many strains of humanism.
The question of rationality and of its role in human agency has been at the core of pragmatist concerns since the beginning of this movement. While Peirce framed the horizon of a new understanding of human reason through the idea of inquiry as aiming at belief-fixation and James stressed the individualistic drives that move individuals to action, it is in Dewey’s writing that we find the deepest understanding of the naturalistic and normative traits of rationality considered as the qualifying attribute (...) of human agency. Recent developments in moral and political philosophy as well as in general pragmatist scholarship have shown a renewal of interest in the role of human reason in agency, both with respect to control of conduct (decisions about how to act) and with respect to normative attitudes (considerations of what is good and right). In this article I will examine some features of Dewey’s epistemology which are particularly promising for the elaboration of a theory of practical rationality based on pragmatist sources. In particular, I will focus on Dewey’s notion of “judgment of practice” in order to frame a distinctively Deweyan approach to practical rationality. In order to point out the specificity of Dewey’s epistemological framework, I will refer to it as an “epistemology of practice”i. The aim of this article is to clarify the epistemological meaning of the concepts of articulation and transformation, that Dewey places at the heart of his theory of inquiry. Part of my argument consists in showing that through these notions Dewey aimed at broadening the conception of rationality, bringing it beyond the reach of the standard notions of analysis and synthesis and of induction, deduction, and abduction. Once the specificity of Dewey’s conception of rationality will have been demonstrated, I will proceed to show some of its implications in the explanation of the rationality of human agency with reference to practical reasoning and value assessment. I will then conclude the article by drawing some implications of Dewey’s theory of judgment for a broader epistemology based upon the acknowledgment of the primacy of practice. (shrink)
Robert Brandom defends the intelligibility of the notion of a fully discursive practice that does not include any kind of logical vocabulary. Logical vocabulary, according to his account, should be understood as an optional extra to discursive practice, not as a necessary ingredient. Call this the Layer Cake Picture of the relation of logical to non-logical discursive practices. The aim pursued in this paper is to show, by way of an internal critique, that the Layer Cake Picture is (...) in fact incompatible with the most central claims of Brandom’s philosophy. A way is sketched how to give up the Layer Cake Picture and still hold on to a position that is central to Brandom’s philosophical outlook, namely his expressivism about logic. (shrink)
The privilege of having three sets of extensive and hard-hitting comments on one's work is as welcome as it is rare, and especially so on this occasion as the lectures were, for me, but thefirst (well, not entirely first) stab at a subject I hope to explore at greater length. The reflectionsthat follow will respond to some of the criticisms, but will not be a point by point reply. I will use the occasion to clarify some obscurities in the lectures, (...) and to contrast my view with some of my critics' own positions. I will proceed thematically, starting with some observations about method and about ontology, proceeding to explore several questions about the relations between social dependence and relativism, between genre, value, and normativity, and concluding with a fewwords on pluralism and liberal values. (shrink)
How Doctors Think defines the nature and importance of clinical judgment. Although physicians make use of science, this book argues that medicine is not itself a science but rather an interpretive practice that relies on clinical reasoning. A physician looks at the patient's history along with the presenting physical signs and symptoms and juxtaposes these with clinical experience and empirical studies to construct a tentative account of the illness. How Doctors Think is divided into four parts. Part one introduces (...) the concept of medicine as a practice rather than a science; part two discusses the idea of causation; part three delves into the process of forming clinical judgment; and part four considers clinical judgment within the uncertain nature of medicine itself. In How Doctors Think, Montgomery contends that assuming medicine is strictly a science can have adverse side effects, and suggests reducing these by recognizing the vital role of clinical judgment. (shrink)
General Practice and Ethics explores the ethical issues faced by general physicans in their everyday practice, addressing two central themes: the uncertainty of outcomes and effectiveness in general practice and the changing pattern of general practitioners' responsibilities.
Scientism is a philosophy which purports to define what the world ‘really is’. It adopts what the philosopher Thomas Nagel called ‘an epistemological criterion of reality’, defining what is real as that which can be discovered by certain quite specific methods of investigation. As a consequence all features of experience not revealed by those methods are deemed ‘subjective’ in a way that suggests they are either not real, or lie beyond the scope of meaningful rational inquiry. This devalues capacities that (...) (we argue) are in fact essential components of good reasoning and virtuous practice. Ultimately, the implications of scientism for statements of value undermine value-judgements essential for science itself to have a sound basis. Scientism has implications, therefore, for ontology, epistemology and also for which claims we can assert as objective truths about the world. Adopting scientism as a world view will have consequences for reasoning and decision-making in clinical and other contexts. We analyse the implications of this approach and conclude that we need to reject scientism if we are to avoid stifling virtuous practice and to develop richer conceptions of human reasoning. (shrink)
The current neurosciences contribute to the construction of gender/sex to a high degree. Moreover, the subject of gender/sex differences in cognitive abilities attracts an immense public interest. At the same time, the entanglement of gender and science has been shown in many theoretical and empirical analyses. Although the body of literature is very extensive and differentiated with regards to the dimensions of ‘neuroscience of gender’ and ‘gender in neuroscience’, the feeding back of these findings into the field of neuroscience remains (...) a desideratum. Especially, the question of how gender knowledge, i.e. insights from feminist theory on gender/sex and from gender and science studies on knowledge production, may be integrated and applied within the neurosciences has been strongly neglected. Presumably due to their epistemic culture and epistemological presuppositions, these critical engagements are conceived as externalist by critical scholars and neuroscientists alike. In this context, the question arises of how substantiated gender knowledge may be accounted for in neuroscientific research practice? The article outlines methodological considerations for a critical research agenda in the cognitive neurosciences. I present thoughts on how insights and expertise from gender and science studies can be taken into account in the neuroscientific practice of knowledge production. Starting from the assumption that changes in neuroscientific research practices are possible, my aim is to point out possibilities of integrating gender knowledge into the neurosciences. (shrink)
This paper uses a number of examples of diverse types and functions of models in evolutionary biology to argue that the demarcation between theory and practice, or "theory model" and "data model," is often difficult to make. It is shown how both mathematical and laboratory models function as plausibility arguments, existence proofs, and refutations in the investigation of questions about the pattern and process of evolutionary history. I consider the consequences of this for the semantic approach to theories and (...) theory confirmation. The paper attempts to reconcile the insights of both critics and advocates of the semantic approach to theories. (shrink)
This article proposes a reading of Michel de Certeau's The Writing of History which derives an understanding of the concept of practice as authoritative to the establishment and development of Enlightenment rationality. It is seen as a new form of legitimation established in the redeployment of religious ‘formalities’ in early modernity, supportive of the ostensible deliverance of the projects of reason. Subversive of its moral and ideological operations and geneses, this is an understanding of practice whose subject is (...) the state. Practice, as de Certeau advances it, led to the development of a concept of education productive of a regulatory ambit of social utility, and the student as both a figure of the utile and its moral postulate. This article thematizes the authoritative formality of the concept of practice in its hegemonic origins from early modernity to the thought of Karl Marx. It provides a needed supplement to Marx's still provocative contribution to a persistent counter-narrative (of practice as stark corrective to the ineffectual interpretive vagaries of ‘theory’), one which elides, and thus reinforces, significant prior, and no less persistent, functions of the concept of practice as here elaborated from de Certeau's The Writing of History. (shrink)
The important feature of Dao as a philosophic category in early Confucian philosophy is its prominent practical and historical properties, which make it different from those western metaphysic categories. Confucianism emphasizes that the Dao can not be separated with the practice and the history of human being, thus the Tao should be explored in peoples’ social activities and history. They believe that the Tao only lives in the historical tradition and can only be demonstrated by the narrative of history. (...) The historical and practical properties of Dao incarnated the unity of epistemology and axiology, and integrated the value of both “Dao” and “De”. It also spots the conjunction between Confucianism and the historical materialism that persists on the standpoint of dialectic and practice. (shrink)
We describe recent developments in research on mathematical practice and cognition and outline the nine contributions in this special issue of topiCS. We divide these contributions into those that address (a) mathematical reasoning: patterns, levels, and evaluation; (b) mathematical concepts: evolution and meaning; and (c) the number concept: representation and processing.
This article looks at recent work in cognitive science on mathematical cognition from the perspective of history and philosophy of mathematical practice. The discussion is focused on the work of Lakoff and Núñez, because this is the first comprehensive account of mathematical cognition that also addresses advanced mathematics and its history. Building on a distinction between mathematics as it is presented in textbooks and as it presents itself to the researcher, it is argued that the focus of cognitive analyses (...) of historical developments of mathematics has been primarily on the former, even if they claim to be about the latter. (shrink)
There are several important conceptual issues and questions about the practice of healthcare ethics that can, and should, inform the development of any practice standards. This paper provides a relatively short overview of seven of these issues, with the invitation for further critical reflection and examination of their relevance to and implications for practice standards. The seven issues described include: diversity (from the perspective of training and experience); moral expertise and authority/influence; being an insider or outsider; flexibility (...) and adaptability (for local contexts of practice); the relative weighting of procedural and normative aspects of ethics practice; making mistakes or errors; and conflicts of interest in practice. (shrink)
The intention of this article is to make an educational analysis of Merleau-Ponty’s theory of experience in order to see what it implicates for educational practice as well as educational research. In this way, we can attain an understanding what embodied experience might mean both in schools and other educational settings and in researching educational activities. The analysis will take its point of departure in Merleau-Ponty’s analysis and criticism of empiricist and neokantian theories of experience. This will be followed (...) up by an introduction of some central concepts in Merleau-Ponty’s own understanding of experience with emphasis on their relevance for educational analysis. This way of presenting the theory of embodied experience has the advantage of being able to indicate the difference it makes in the field of theories of experience. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: It is not uncommon, in argumentation and in various professions, to diagnose a gap between theory and practice; and in the next step argue that they should be brought into line with each other. But what does this mean? I shall argue that some version of a gap is sound, as it leaves theory with a critical, independent role in relation to practice – something that an equilibrium view does not.
The aim of this book is to provide an accessible account of ethics in general practice, addressing concerns identified by practitioners. It contains many examples and allows the reader to gain practical insights into how to identify and analyze the ethical issues they encounter in everyday general practice.
Thomas L. Carson: Lying and Deception. Theory and Practice, Oxford Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9320-9 Authors Norbert Anwander, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Philosophie, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
In this paper I discuss the viability of the claim that at least some forms of moral theory are harmful for sound moral thought and practice. This claim was put forward by e.g. Elisabeth Anscombe ( 1981 ( 1958 )) and by Annette Baier, Peter Winch, D.Z Phillips and Bernard Williams in the 1970’s–1980’s. To this day aspects of it have found resonance in both post-Wittgensteinian and virtue ethical quarters. The criticism has on one hand contributed to a substantial (...) change and broadening of the scope of analytic moral philosophy. On the other hand it is, at least in its most strongly anti-theoretical formulations, now broadly considered outdated and—to the extent that it is still defended—insensitive to the changes that have occurred within the field in the last 20–30 years. The task of this paper is to relocate the anti-theoretical critique into the field of analytic ethics today. (shrink)
Much of the debate surrounding the concept of information in biology centers on the question of whether or not biological systems ‘really’ carry information. The criterion for determining if a system “really” carries information is whether or not there is a principled, theoretical account of information that captures the relevant biological usages. If biological systems do not carry information in this sense, information talk is termed merely heuristic and dismissed as philosophically uninteresting. To date, all three proposed theoretical accounts of (...) information—mathematical, causal and teleosemantic—fail to capture the meaning of biologists. Details of other biological practices that utilize informational concepts are often lost because the debate is too focused on one instance of information talk—genetic information and because biological representations are thought to need a certain kind of theoretical foundation. The problem with this methodology is that it takes the failure of philosophical accounts of information to capture current biological practices as conclusive evidence that informational representations in biology are incoherent. This approach is backwards. A better strategy is to get a clear understanding of biological practice and then to use it to shape our understanding of the philosophical significance of biological information. In this paper, I shift attention from abstract reasoning about information in the philosophical literature to concrete reasoning about informational models in biology. The current debate pays too little attention to the biologically prominent concept of signal. I develop a contextualized understanding of signaling models in biological practice. I argue that biologists use the concept of signal to model distinct functional roles in biological systems and not in any of the theoretical senses of information found in the current philosophical literature. For cell biologists, a signal causally indicates the state of a system at a given point and is used in the context of a style of functional explanation generally known as ‘causal role function,’ in which a mechanism or entity has a function if its behavior explains a contribution to a capacity of interest. I support this analysis with an example drawn from cell biology and reframe the debate over the significance of informational terms in biology. The focus on signal recasts the debate by highlighting examples of information talk which are central to active research programs in biology. The advantage of looking at these models is that their centrality to biological practice forces us to reconsider the adequacy of a methodology that dismisses biological models because we lack a particular kind of philosophical understanding of them. Standard philosophical accounts of information rely on assumptions appropriate for the needs of philosophers but are ill-suited for capturing biological practice. A contextualized understanding of the role of signal in biological practice allows us to work out from the details of practice to tackle broader philosophical issues. On this view, the significance of information talk in biology hinges more on our understanding of how biologists represent function than on our understanding of philosophical accounts of information. (shrink)
How should a practice, subservient to a public good, be regulated in order to guarantee fair access without encouraging improper claims? In the first place, a clear understanding of the goal of the practice is indispensable for knowing what criteria the regulation must contain. As to the purely formal aspect, the regulation of any practice must include both general rules and particular instances. Finally, to resolve conflicts, committees in which different kinds of expertise are represented should be (...) installed. These three theses are illustrated by the Dutch regulation for cosmetic surgery. (shrink)
Conflicts of interest affect recommendations in clinical guidelines and disclosure of such conflicts is important. However, not all conflicts of interest are disclosed. Using a public available disclosure list we determined the prevalence and underreporting of conflicts of interest among authors of clinical guidelines on drug treatments.
Quoique l'auteur de quatre romans, dont l'un a été couronné par l'un des prix littéraires les plus prestigieux, Michel Henry n'a jamais véritablement formulé une esthétique du roman. L'objet de cet article est, après une étude détaillée de son concept de vie, de tenter de saisir quelle place la pratique littéraire pouvait avoir au sein de son système. Autrement dit, elle s'interroge sur la possibilité de fonder sa création littéraire sur sa réflexion philosophique.
Combining philosophical and historical scholarship, the articles in this volume focus on scientific concepts, rather than theories, as units of analysis. They thereby contribute to a growing literature about the role of concepts in scientific research. The authors are particularly interested in exploring the dynamics of research; they investigate the ways in which scientists form and use concepts, rather than in what the concepts themselves represent. The fields treated range from mathematics to virology and genetics, from nuclear physics to psychology, (...) from technology to present-day neural engineering. The volume contains articles by Vassi Kindi, Miles MacLeod, Ingo Brigandt, Friedrich Steinle, Dirk Schlimm, Theodore Arabatzis, Uljana Feest, Corinne Bloch, Mieke Boon, Nancy Nersessian, and Hanne Andersen. (shrink)
This paper tackles with the issue of the place of comprehensive beliefs within the public space. It tries to strike a middle path between the liberal ban on comprehensive beliefs and the anti-liberal claim that comprehensive beliefs should be given full pride of place in public deliberations. The article relies on arguments that are inspired by the pragmatist tradition. It starts locating the main cause of failures at articulating comprehensive beliefs and public reason in a central feature of liberal epistemology, (...) namely the way it conceives public reason via a preliminary distinction between public and non public beliefs. After criticizing this distinction, the article introduces a distinction between the normative practice of justification and the normative practice of adjudication as a more perspicuous way to establish the place that comprehensive beliefs should play within political forums. It then concludes showing that this approach provides a satisfying answer to the issue of the public role of comprehensive beliefs in a liberal democratic regime that is respectful of citizens’ thick identities while at the same time complying with the requirements of respect set by the liberal tradition. Keywords: public reason and religion - pragmatism - liberalism - communitarianism - normative practices. (shrink)
Part I: The representation of life -- Can life be given a real definition? -- The representation of the living individual -- The representation of the life-form itself -- Part II: Naive action theory -- Types of practical explanation -- Naive explanation of action -- Action and time -- Part III: Practical generality -- Two tendencies in practical philosophy -- Practices and dispositions as sources of the goodness of individual actions -- Practice and disposition as sources of individual action.
We argue that theory-of-mind (ToM) approaches, such as “theory theory” and “simulation theory”, are both problematic and not needed. They account for neither our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others nor the true basis of our folk psychological understanding, even when narrowly construed. Developmental evidence shows that young infants are capable of grasping the purposeful intentions of others through the perception of bodily movements, gestures, facial expressions etc. Trevarthen’s notion of primary intersubjectivity can provide a theoretical framework for (...) understanding these capabilities and his notion of secondary intersubjectivity shows the importance of pragmatic contexts for infants starting around one year of age. The recent neuroscience of resonance systems (i.e., mirror neurons, shared representations) also supports this view. These ideas are worked out in the context of an embodied “Interaction Theory” of social cognition. Still, for more sophisticated intersubjective interactions in older children and adults, one might argue that some form of ToM is required. This thought is defused by appeal to narrative competency and the Narrative Practice Hypothesis (or NPH). We propose that repeated encounters with narratives of a distinctive kind is the normal route through which children acquire an understanding of the forms and norms that enable them to make sense of actions in terms of reasons. A potential objection to this hypothesis is that it presupposes ToM abilities. Interaction Theory is deployed once again to answer this by providing an alternative approach to understanding basic narrative competency and its development. (shrink)
After providing an overview of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) research in different contexts, and noting the varied methodologies adopted, two robust CSR conceptualizations – one by Carroll (1979, ‘A Three-Dimensional Conceptual Model of Corporate Performance’, The Academy of Management Review 4(4), 497–505) and the other by Wood (1991, ‘Corporate Social Performance Revisited’, The Academy of Management Review 16(4), 691–717) – have been adopted for this research and their integration explored. Using this newly synthesized framework, the research critically examines the CSR (...) approach and philosophy of eight companies that are considered active in CSR in the Lebanese context. The findings suggest the lack of a systematic, focused, and institutionalized approach to CSR and that the understanding and practice of CSR in Lebanon are still grounded in the context of philanthropic action. The findings are qualified within the framework of existing contextual realities and relevant implications drawn accordingly. (shrink)
With incisive and engaging introductions by the editor, Ethics in Practice integrates ethical theory and the discussion of practical moral problems into a text that is ideal for introductory and applied ethics courses. A fully updated and revised edition of this authoritative anthology of classic and contemporary essays covering a wide range of ethical and moral issues Integrates ethical theory with discussions of practical moral problems Provides coverage of ethical issues on familiar topics such as abortion, free speech and (...) affirmative action and contains an entirely new section on war and terrorism Also features essays on economic justice, world hunger and international justice, and obligations to the environment An excellent companion to LaFollette’s text, The Practice of Ethics (2006). (shrink)
The theory of concepts advanced in the present discussion aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. To this end, I suggest that each scientific concept consists of three components of content: 1) the concept.
Abstract This paper introduces the controversy surrounding active voluntary euthanasia and describes the legal position on euthanasia and assisted suicide in the UK. Findings from studies of the nurses' attitudes to euthanasia from the national and international literature are reviewed. There are acknowledged difficulties in carrying out research into attitudes to euthanasia and hence the review of findings from the published studies is followed by a methodological review. This methodological review examines the research design and data collection methods used in (...) the published studies, problems with understanding definitions of euthanasia and the measurement of attitudes. The paper concludes with a discussion of how research in this area may influence nursing practice. (shrink)
Reflective practice is one of the most popular theories of professional knowledge in the last 20 years and has been widely adopted by nursing, health, and social care professions. The term was coined by Donald Schön in his influential books The Reflective Practitioner , and Educating the Reflective Practitioner , and has garnered the unprecedented attention of theorists and practitioners of professional education and practice. Reflective practice has been integrated into professional preparatory programmes, continuing education programmes, and (...) by the regulatory bodies of a wide range of health and social care professions. Yet, despite its popularity and widespread adoption, a problem frequently raised in the literature concerns the lack of conceptual clarity surrounding the term reflective practice. This paper seeks to respond to this problem by offering an analysis of the epistemology of reflective practice as revealed through a critical examination of philosophical influences within the theory. The aim is to discern philosophical underpinnings of reflective practice in order to advance increasingly coherent interpretations, and to consider the implications for conceptions of professional knowledge in professional life. The paper briefly examines major philosophical underpinnings in reflective practice to explicate central themes that inform the epistemological assumptions of the theory. The study draws on the work of Donald Schön, and on texts from four philosophers: John Dewey, Nelson Goodman, Michael Polanyi, and Gilbert Ryle. Five central epistemological themes in reflective practice are illuminated: (1) a broad critique of technical rationality; (2) professional practice knowledge as artistry; (3) constructivist assumptions in the theory; (4) the significance of tacit knowledge for professional practice knowledge; and (5) overcoming mind body dualism to recognize the knowledge revealed in intelligent action. The paper reveals that the theory of reflective practice is concerned with deep epistemological questions of significance to conceptions of knowledge in health and social care professions. (shrink)
The GDC’s recent third edition (interim) of The First Five Years places renewed emphasis on the place of professionalism in the undergraduate dental curriculum. This paper provides a brief analysis of the concepts of ethics, professionalism and fitness to practice, and an examination of the GDC’s First Five Years and Standards for Dental Professionals guidance, as well as providing an insight into the innovative ethics strand of the BDS course at the University of Glasgow. It emerges that GDC guidance (...) is flawed inasmuch as it advocates a virtue-based approach to ethics and professionalism, and fails to distinguish clearly between these two concepts. (shrink)
Two decades of critique have sensitized historians and philosophers of science to the inadequacies of conventional dichotomies between theory and practice, thereby prompting the search for new ways of writing about science that are less beholden than the old ways to the epistemological mores of theoretical physics, and more faithful to the actual practices not only of physics but of all the natural sciences. The need for alternative descriptions seems particularly urgent if one is to understand the place of (...) theory (and, in parallel, the role of modeling) in contemporary molecular biology, a science where, until now, no division between theory and experiment has obtained, and where distinctions between representing and intervening, and more generally, between basic and applied science, are daily becoming more blurred. Indeed, the very division between theory and experiment threatens to slight the extensive and sophisticated theoretical analyses (and even modeling) on which experimental work in contemporary molecular biology so often depends. My aim in this paper is to find a way of talking about theoretical practices in biology that is directly rooted in the mix of conceptual and material work that biologists do. As an example of such theoretical practices, I choose for the focus of my analysis the development of a model for gene regulation out of the experimental work of Eric Davidson and his colleagues at Cal Tech. (shrink)
This essay will focus on the moral issues relating to surrogacy in the global context, and will critique the liberal arguments that have been offered in support of it. Liberal arguments hold sway concerning reproductive arrangements made between commissioning couples from wealthy nations and the surrogates from socioeconomically weak backgrounds that they hire to do their reproductive labor. My argument in this paper is motivated by a concern for controlling harms by putting the practice of globalized commercial surrogacy into (...) the context of care ethics. As I will argue, the unstable situations into which children of global surrogacy arrangements are born is symbolic of the crisis of care that the practice raises. Using the Baby Manji case as my touch point, I will suggest that liberalism cannot address the harms experienced by Manji and children like her who are created through the global practice of assisted reproductive technology. I will argue that, if commissioning couples consider their proposed surrogacy contracts from a care ethics point of view, they will begin to think relationally about their actions, considering the practice from an ethical lens, not just an economic or contractual one. (shrink)
In recent years, virtue theories have enjoyed a renaissance of interest among general and medical ethicists. This book offers a virtue-based ethic for medicine, the health professions, and health care. Beginning with a historical account of the concept of virtue, the authors construct a theory of the place of the virtues in medical practice. Their theory is grounded in the nature and ends of medicine as a special kind of human activity. The concepts of virtue, the virtues, and the (...) virtuous physician are examined along with the place of the virtues of trust, compassion, prudence, justice, courage, temperance, and effacement of self-interest in medicine. The authors discuss the relationship between and among principles, rules, virtues, and the philosophy of medicine. They also address the difference virtue-based ethics makes in confronting such practical problems as care of the poor, research with human subjects, and the conduct of the healing relationship. This book woith the author's previous volumes, A Philosophical Basis of Medical Practice and For the Patient's Good, are part of their continuing project of developing a coherent moral philosophy of medicine. (shrink)
In recent years, several systematic theories of linguistic meaning have been offered that give pride of place to linguistic practice, or the process of linguistic communication. Often these theories are referred to as neo-pragmatist or new pragmatist; I call them 'practice-based'. According to practice-based theories of meaning, the process of linguistic communication is somehow constitutive of, or otherwise essential for the existence of, propositional linguistic meaning. Moreover, these theories disavow, or downplay, the semantic importance of inflationary notions (...) of representation. I introduce the basic ideas and motives behind some practice-based theories of meaning, and offer some reasons why an eliminativist, non-quietist, epistemic practice-based approach to meaning that 1) disavows any explanatory role for the linguistic community as such, 2) prioritizes sentence meaning over word meaning, and 3) may , in the end, be naturalistic, should be favored over its practice-based competitors. (shrink)
Nursing as a profession has a social mandate to contribute to the good of society through knowledge-based practice. Knowledge is built upon theories, and theories, together with their philosophical bases and disciplinary goals, are the guiding frameworks for practice. This article explores a philosophical perspective of nursing's social mandate, the disciplinary goals for the good of the individual and society, and one approach for translating knowledge into practice through the use of a middle-range theory. It is anticipated (...) that the integration of the philosophical perspective and model into nursing practice will strengthen the philosophy, disciplinary goal, theory, and practice links and expand knowledge within the discipline. With the focus on humanization, we propose that nursing knowledge for social good will embrace a synthesis of the individual and the common good. This approach converges vital and agency needs described by Hamilton and the primacy of maintaining the heritage of the good within the human species as outlined by Maritain. Further, by embedding knowledge development in a changing social and health care context, nursing focuses on the goals of clinical reasoning and action. McCubbin and Patterson's Double ABCX Model of Family Adaptation was used as an example of a theory that can guide practice at the community and global level. Using the theory-practice link as a foundation, the Double ABCX model provides practising nurses with one approach to meet the needs of individuals and society. The integration of theory into nursing practice provides a guide to achieve nursing's disciplinary goals of promoting health and preventing illness across the globe. When nursing goals are directed at the synthesis of the good of the individual and society, nursing's social and moral mandate may be achieved. (shrink)
The Practice of Ethics is an outstanding guide to the burgeoning field of applied ethics, and offers a coherent narrative that is both theoretically and pragmatically grounded for framing practical issues. Discusses a broad range of contemporary issues such as racism, euthanasia, animal rights, and gun control. Argues that ethics must be put into practice in order to be effective. Draws upon relevant insights from history, psychology, sociology, law and biology, as well as philosophy. An excellent companion to (...) LaFollette's authoritative anthology, Ethics in Practice: An Anthology, Third Edition (Blackwell, 2006). (shrink)
Both sides in the debate about scientific realism have argued that their view provides a better account of actual scientific practice. For example, it has been claimed that the practice of theory conjunction presupposes realism, and that scientists' use of multiple and incompatible models presupposes some form of instrumentalism. Assuming that the practices of science are rational, these conclusions cannot both be right. I argue that neither of them is right, and that, in fact, all scientific practices are (...) compatible with both realism and instrumentalism. I also repudiate van Fraassen's argument to the effect that the instrumentalist account of scientific practice is logically weaker, hence better, than the realist account. In the end, there are no scientific practice arguments on the table that support either side of the debate. It is also noted that the deficiencies of van Fraassen's argument are recapitulated in Putnam's miracle argument for realism. My pessimistic assessment of the state of the debate is reminiscent of Arthur Fine's. However, Fine's argument for the ‘natural ontological attitude’ once again repeats the problems of van Fraassen's and Putnam's arguments. (shrink)
The Practice of Value explores the nature of value and its relation to the social and historical conditions under which human agents live. At the core of the book are the Tanner Lectures delivered at Berkeley in 2001 by Joseph Raz, who has been one of the leading figures in moral and legal philosophy since the 1970's. Raz argues that values depend importantly on social practices, but that we can make sense of this dependence without falling back on cultural (...) relativism. In response, three eminent philosophers, Christine Korsgaard, Robert Pippin, and Bernard Williams, offer their own distinctive reflections on the connections between value and practice. The book begins with an introduction by Jay Wallace, setting the scene for what follows, and ends with a response from Raz to his commentators. The result is a fascinating debate, accessible to readers throughout and beyond philosophy, about the relations between human values and human life. (shrink)
An interpretation of the yoga practice of prāṇāyāma (breath control) that is influenced by the existential phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty is offered. The approach to yoga is less concerned with comparing his thought to the classical yoga texts than with elucidating the actual experience of breath control through the constructs provided by Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of the lived body. The discussion of yoga can answer certain pedagogical goals but can never finally be severed from doing yoga. Academic discourse centered entirely on (...) the theoretical concepts of yoga philosophies must to some extent remain incomplete. Patañjali's "Yoga Sūtra" is itself a manual of practice. For this reason, the commentary of the scholar-practitioner T. K. V. Desikachar has been chosen as the basis for this study, rather than a more exclusively theoretical commentary. In so doing, yoga will be approached as an experience or phenomenon, not just in the context of a series of academic debates. (shrink)
The Narrative Practice Hypothesis (NPH) is a recently conceived, late entrant into the contest of trying to understand the basis of our mature folk psychological abilities, those involving our capacity to explain ourselves and comprehend others in terms of reasons. This paper aims to clarify its content, importance and scientific plausibility by: distinguishing its conceptual features from those of its rivals, articulating its philosophical significance, and commenting on its empirical prospects. I begin by clarifying the NPH's target explanandum and (...) the challenge it presents to theory theory (TT), simulation theory (ST) and hybrid combinations of these theories. The NPH competes with them directly for the same explanatory space insofar as these theories purport to explain the core structural basis of our folk psychological (FP)-competence (those of the sort famously but not exclusively deployed in acts of third-personal mindreading). (shrink)
There has been a long-standing interest in the putative roles that various so-called ‘theory of mind’ abilities might play in enabling us to understand and enjoy narratives. Of late, as our understanding of the complexity and diversity of everyday psychological capacities has become more nuanced and variegated, new possibilities have been articulated: (i) that our capacity for a sophisticated, everyday understanding of actions in terms of reason (our folk psychology) may itself be best characterized as a kind of narrative (...) class='Hi'>practice and (ii) that acquiring the capacity for supplying and digesting reasons explana- tions might (at least normally) depend upon having a special training with narratives. This introductory paper to the volume situates the claims of those who support the narrative approach to folk psychology against the backdrop of some traditional and new thinking about intersubjectivity, social cognition and ‘theory of mind’ abilities. Special emphasis is laid on the different reasons for being interested in these claims about narrative practice and folk psychology in light of various empirical and philosophical agendas. (shrink)
Philosophy of scientific practice aims to critically evaluate as well as describe scientific inquiry. Epistemic norms are required for such evaluation. Social constructivism is widely thought to oppose this critical project. I argue, however, that one variety of social constructivism, focused on epistemic justification, can be a basis for critical epistemology of scientific practice, while normative accounts that reject this variety of social constructivism (SCj) cannot. Abstract, (...) idealized epistemic norms cannot ground effective critique of our practices. I propose a new approach, placing SCj within a general framework of social action theory. This framework can be used to explicate epistemic norms implicit in our scientific practices. *Received July 2009; revised July 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: MS 14, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251‐1892; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Current discussion of scientific realism and antirealism often cites Pierre Duhem's argument for the underdetermination of theory choice by evidence. Participants draw on an account of his underdetermination thesis that is familiar, but incomplete. The purpose of this article is to complete the familiar account. I argue that a closer look at Duhem's The aim and structure of physical theory (1914) suggests that the rationale for his underdetermination thesis comes from his philosophy of scientific language. I explore how an understanding (...) of physical laws as symbolic is meant to support the thesis. In the course of my argument, I point out that Duhemian underdetermination is not meta-practical but grounded in the practice of science, specifically in the scientist's use of instruments and measurement techniques. Measurement has a significant limitation, according to Duhem: it always involves approximation and a degree of experimental error. Consequently, it cannot overcome the gap between the ordinary, concrete language of observation and the (abstract and symbolic) mathematical language of science. Moreover, Duhem argues that the use of instruments in experiment invokes whole groups of theories. I contend that, ultimately, this reliance on auxiliary assumptions-which makes possible the use of instruments-is the foundation of his thesis and that recognizing this completes the familiar account of his underdetermination argument. (shrink)
This article makes a case for the capacity of "social practice" accounts of agency and freedom to criticize, resist, and transform systemic forms of power and domination from within the context of religious and political practices and institutions. I first examine criticisms that Michel Foucault's analysis of systemic power results in normative aimlessness, and then I contrast that account with the description of agency and innovative practice that pragmatist philosopher Robert Brandom identifies as "expressive freedom." I argue that (...) Brandom can provide a normative trajectory for Foucault's diagnoses of power and domination, helping to resolve its apparent lack of ethical direction. I demonstrate that Foucault, in turn, presents Brandom with insights that might overcome the charges of abstraction and conservatism that his pragmatic inferentialism frequently encounters. The result is a vindication of social practice as an analytical lens for social criticism that is at once both immanent and radical. (shrink)
In the middle section of Theory and Practice , Kant speaks briefly `against Hobbes'; but for a fuller version of Kant's anti-Hobbesianism one must turn to the three Critiques , the Groundwork , and Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone . It is in those works that one learns that, for Kant, Hobbes's notion of `will' as fully determined `last appetite' destroys the freedom needed to take `ought' or moral necessity as the motives for self-determined action; (...) that Hobbes' s version of the social contract is thus incoherent; that Hobbes is not even able to show how moral ideas (i.e. `ought') are conceivable through the `pressure' of `outward objects'. For Kant, in short, Hobbes has no adequate notions of will, freedom, moral necessity, ideation, or even obligatory contract, and therefore fails in his own stated aims. Key Words: Hobbes Kant politics reason teleology will. (shrink)
Gadamer's rethinking of the interconnection of theory and practice can lead to a resolution of the debate in contemporary Aristotelian scholarship regarding the priority of theory or practice in Aristotle's Ethics. This is especially true in light of Aristotle's treatment of friendship which, as I will try to show, provides support for Gadamer's claim. In Aristotle's notion of friendship, theory and practice come together, and the activity of friendship is for Aristotle the highest expression of human life (...) precisely because true friendship requires the unity of theory and practice. I argue that Aristotle's sense of , contemplation, his sense of ultimate happiness that is constituted by the life of theory, is conceived by Aristotle in a thoroughly practical and political sense. Specifically I claim that the practice of theory is the politics of friendship. (shrink)
This original and exciting study offers a completely new perspective on the philosophy of mathematics. Most philosophers of mathematics try to show either that the sort of knowledge mathematicians have is similiar to the sort of knowledge specialists in the empirical sciences have or that the kind of knowledge mathematicians have, although apparently about objects such as numbers, sets, and so on, isn't really about those sorts of things as well. Jody Azzouni argues that mathematical knowledge really is a special (...) kind of knowledge with its own special means of gathering evidence. He analyses the linguistic pitfalls and misperceptions philosophers in this field are often prone to, and explores the misapplications of epistemic principles from the empirical sciences to the exact sciences. What emerges is a picture of mathematics both sensitive to mathematical practice, and to the ontological and epistemological issues that concern philosophers. (shrink)
The interest in moral education has focused largely on the teaching of morality or on nurturing moral qualities and virtues or on the "moral atmosphere" of the school; but little, comparatively speaking, has been written about education itself as essentially a moral practice. Failure, in this respect, has damaging results. First, the practice of education goes adrift from its moral roots ? and serves particular ends such as economic well-being or citizenship as conceived by those in power. Secondly, (...) the programmes of moral or personal and social education are isolated from the moral context in which they make sense. These issues are addressed in the lecture. (shrink)
What is the proper task of Kantian ethical theory? This paper seeks to answer this question with reference to Kant's reply to Christian Garve in Section I of his 1793 essay on Theory and Practice . Kant reasserts the distinctness and natural authority of our consciousness of the moral law. Every mature human being is a moral professional—even philosophers like Garve, if only they forget about their ill-conceived ethical systems and listen to the voice of pure practical reason. Normative (...) theory, Kant argues, cannot be refuted with reference to alleged experience. It is the proper task of the moral philosopher to emphasize this fact. The paper also discusses Kant's attempts to clarify his moral psychology, philosophy of value and conception of the highest good in the course of replying to Garve's challenge. Key Words: Christian Garve ethical theory and practice Immanuel Kant moral psychology theory of value. (shrink)
This paper compares the statement ‘Mathematics is the study of structure’ with the actual practice of mathematics. We present two examples from contemporary mathematical practice where the notion of structure plays different roles. In the first case a structure is defined over a certain set. It is argued firstly that this set may not be regarded as a structure and secondly that what is important to mathematical practice is the relation that exists between the structure and the (...) set. In the second case, from algebraic topology, one point is that an object can be a place in different structures. Which structure one chooses to place the object in depends on what one wishes to do with it. Overall the paper argues that mathematics certainly deals with structures, but that structures may not be all there is to mathematics. (shrink)
We all have beliefs, even strong convictions, about what is just and fair in our social arrangements. How should these beliefs and the theories of justice that incorporate them guide our thinking about practical matters of justice? This wide-ranging collection of essays by one of the foremost medical ethicists in the USA explores the claim that justification in ethics, whether of matters of theory or practice, involves achieving coherence between our moral and non-moral beliefs. Amongst the practical issues addressed (...) in the volume are the design of health-care institutions, the distribution of goods between the old and the young, and fairness in hiring and firing. In combining ethical theory and practical ethics this volume will prove especially valuable to philosophers concerned with ethics and applied ethics, political theorists, bioethicists, and others involved in the study of public policy. (shrink)
It is argued in this article that the concept of practice is one of the key concepts in Wittgenstein's later philosophy. It partly replaces his earlier talk about the inexpressible. ?The practice has to speak for itself, as Wittgenstein succinctly puts it. The concept of practice not only points to the ways in which the unity of our concepts are underpinned, as Gordon Baker has it, it also comprises the skills involved in handling the conceptualized phenomena, our (...) prereflective familiarity with them, expressed in the sureness in our behaviour towards them, and the judgmental power exercised in applying or withholding a given concept on a particular occasion. These factors are all relevant to the establishment of knowledge, but they cannot themselves be fully and straightforwardly articulated by verbal means. Nevertheless, they represent what we go by when we apply concepts and other types of rules. To follow a rule is what Wittgenstein calls a practice. The sketched analysis of this concept makes us understand better how it is possible to apply a rule without the support of another rule. It also makes us realize in what sense one is justified in talking about tacit knowledge in connection with the application of concepts and rule?following in general. Quite a lot hangs on seeing the world aright at this point. (shrink)
This paper offers an imminent interpretation of Kant's political teleology in the context of his response to Moses Mendelssohn in Theory and Practice III concerning prospects of humankind's moral progress. The paper assesses the nature of Kant's response against his mature political philosophy in the Doctrine of Right . In `Theory and Practice III' Kant's response to Mendelssohn remains incomplete: whilst insisting that individuals have a duty to contribute towards humankind's moral progress, Kant has no conclusive answer as (...) to how individuals might act on that duty. `Theory and Practice III' lacks a clear conception of the distinctness of political morality from the domain of virtue; Kant's resort to teleological argumentation is indicative of his lack of an account of instituting Right. The latter can be found in the Doctrine of Right —yet Kant's earlier teleological arguments contribute crucially to the development of his mature morality of Right. Key Words: inborn duty moral progress political teleology principles of Right. (shrink)
The seventeenth century saw dramatic advances in mathematical theory and practice. With the recovery of many of the classical Greek mathematical texts, new techniques were introduced, and within 100 years, the rules of analytic geometry, geometry of indivisibles, arithmatic of infinites, and calculus were developed. Although many technical studies have been devoted to these innovations, Mancosu provides the first comprehensive account of the relationship between mathematical advances of the seventeenth century and the philosophy of mathematics of the period. Starting (...) with the Renaissance debates on the certainty of mathematics, Mancosu leads the reader through the foundational issues raised by the emergence of these new mathematical techniques, including the influence of the Aristotelian conception of science in Cavalieri and Guldin, the foundational relevance of Descartes' Geometrie, the relation between geometrical and epistemological theories of the infinite, and the Leibnizian calculus and the opposition to infinitesimalist procedures. In the process Mancosu draws a sophisticated picture of the subtle dependencies between technical development and philosophical reflection in seventeenth century mathematics. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to question Derrida's approach to the theme of friendship and to set out an alternative reading drawn from the work of Foucault on the care of the self. Derrida's treatment of friendship as aporetic, though faithful to a long tradition of writing on friendship, depends on the use of a formal language that, I argue, exacerbates the difficulties inherent in the theme of friendship. Moreover, it is not clear that the experience of friendship always (...) displays the temporal form given to this aporetic structure. In contrast, Foucault's work suggests that friendship emerges from the complex system of relations that condition who we are and how we can act. Friends are those with whom we work on the historical conditions of our existence, and those with whom we share the practice of becoming who we are. (shrink)
A rich tradition in philosophy takes truths about meaning to be wholly determined by how language is used; meanings do not guide use of language from behind the scenes, but instead are fixed by such use. Linguistic practice, on this conception, exhausts the facts to which the project of understanding another must be faithful. But how is linguistic practice to be characterized? No one has addressed this question more seriously than W. V. Quine, who sought for many years (...) to formulate a conception of use that makes sense of certain key features of meaning. The nature, development, and adequacy of his formulations are here explored. All are found to fall short of what he wanted to achieve. Donald Davidson has introduced significant variations on Quine's project. The resulting position is also examined, but likewise found to be problematic. Finally, a neo-Quinean conception is sketched, as are some of the problems such a view would have to surmount. (shrink)
While many books focus on the broader socially ethical topics of widening participation and promoting equal opportunities, this unique book concentrates specifically on the lecturer's professional responsibilities. Bruce Macfarlane analyzes the pros and cons of prescriptive professional codes of practice employed by many universities and proposes the active development of professional virtues over bureaucratic recommendations. The material is presented in a scholarly yet accessible style and case examples are used throughout to encourage a practical, reflective approach.
Most books about ethics focus either on the origins of ethics, or on the application of ethical thinking to a single form of therapy. This book sets out to span a range of very different forms of therapy and explores the similarities and the differences between the ethical thinking of the practitioners concerned. By looking at ethical issues in different therapeutic settings the reader is challenged to reconsider the working assumptions which underpin familiar therapeutic practice. Readers of Forms of (...) Ethical Thinking in Therapeutic Practice are offered the unique opportunity to gain insights into the ethical thinking of experienced practitioners offering strikingly different services to their clients and working in contrasting contexts. Essential reading for all practitioners in counselling and the therapies, students, trainers, supervisors and providers of therapeutic services. (shrink)
The concept of right or fit is an important element entailed, but not fully articulated, in the concept of action or practice in Aristotle’s theory of virtue; which, however, turns to be of the utmost importance in later Western ethics. Right is concerned with both feelings and actions, and is not the same for all individuals. It lies in between the two extremes of the spectrum of practical affairs, yet by no means equidistant from them. This account of the (...) concept of fitness or right is derived from the categories of quantity, relationship, and quality rather than from that of substance. Thus, it seems that virtue is relative to vice or error within a continuous existence. If, however, the right of passion and action is environmental and concrete, is it multiple and not singular? To this question, Aristotle gives his reply on two levels: On the level of concrete practitioners, what is right and fit to one man might not be so to another man, and hence the right of practice is not singular but multiple; whereas on the level concerned with the only right choice compared with the two extremes or errors, the right of practice will always be singular. (shrink)
Pierre Bourdieu's theory of practice is an unsung classic of contemporary social philosophy. It combines the first analysis by a social theorist of the practical intelligibility governing action with an exciting perspective on how the structure of social phenomena determines and is itself perpetuated by action. Bourdieu, however, misinterprets his own theory of intelligibility as a theory of the causal generation of action. Moreover, he attempts to analyze the underlying structure of intelligibility with a set of fundamental oppositions that (...) at the same time structure the social phenomena found in the worlds through which people live. It is argued that practical intelligibility has no underlying structure, that the fundamental oppositions apply at best to traditional societies alone, and that these oppositions do not even structure intelligibility in such societies but, instead, are only a descriptive scheme with which a social scientist can reconstruct social phenomena in them. The outline of a more adequate account of practical intelligibility is also presented. (shrink)
In conversation, in the lecture hall, in the Dharma centre and in the public teaching, Buddhists and students of Buddhism worry about authenticity. Is the doctrine defended in a particular text or is a particular textual interpretation authentic? Is a particular teacher authentic? Is a particular practice authentic? Is a phenomenon under examination in a scholarly research project authentically Buddhist? If the doctrine, teacher, practice or phenomenon is not authentically Buddhist, we worry that it is a fraud, that (...) our scholarship, teaching or religious life is vacuous, or at least that it is not really Buddhist studies or Buddhist practice. It is hard for me to remember a conversation of any length with a Western or Tibetan colleague, or with a serious advanced student in which the term “authenticity” or a cognate did not arise, and in which that term did not function as a term of approbation. (shrink)
The familiar idea that literature is embedded in social practices that help explain both its existence and its value took a distinctive form in analytic philosophy, drawing on speech act theory and a conception of ‘rules’. A major influence was John Rawls's seminal paper ‘Two Concepts of Rules’ (1955) in which he introduced the ‘practice conception of rules’ according to which certain practices are defined by rules that in turn make possible certain kinds of action. The idea underlies the (...) notion of ‘constitutive rules’ in speech act theory and draws on a comparison with games. The origin of this idea can clearly be traced to Wittgenstein, with his highly original thoughts on practices, rules, and games. Yet the Wittgensteinian influence is not sufficiently acknowledged in this context (that is, the context of literary aesthetics). As someone who holds the idea of a practice or ‘institution’ to be of crucial importance in philosophy of literature, I therefore thought it would be useful to put the record straight and remind ourselves what Wittgenstein says about practices (and games) to see just what the relation is between the roots of that idea (in Wittgenstein) and its current manifestations in literary aesthetics. The results suggest that there is much to be learned from Wittgenstein and that his model might be more fruitful than that of Rawls. (shrink)
Colemanand Shapiro have recently advanced a second at- tempt to reconcile Hart’s practice theory of rules and the idea of the normativity of law; i.e., the idea that legal rules qua social rules give reasons for actions and, in some circumstances create and impose duties and obligations. Their argumentative strategy is to resort to elements in Bratman’s work on shared agency and planning, though they introduce important and substantive modiﬁcations to Bratman’s own explanation. Bratman describes his own theory as (...) a modest theory of the will where the notion of planning plays a fundamental role. Both Shapiro’s and Coleman’s application of Bratman’s planning theory of agency to an authority structure such as law is impressive, but a number of objections can be levelled, with the intention of grasping both the nature of authority structures and the normativity of law. Although I have referred to Shapiro’s and Coleman’s applica- tions as being similar to one another, the diﬀerences are sub- stantive and important. I will scrutinise both Shapiro’s and Coleman’s explanations of ‘shared agency’ and discuss the objections that can be raised against each application. (shrink)
Meaning, Understanding, and Practice is a selection of the most notable essays of leading contemporary philosopher Barry Stroud on a set of topics central to analytic philosophy. In this collection, Stroud offers penetrating studies of meaning, understanding, necessity, and the intentionality of thought. Throughout he asks how much can be expected from a philosophical account of one's understanding of the meaning of something, and questions whether such an account can succeed without implying that the person understands many other things (...) as well. Most of the essays work with ideas derived from Wittgenstein, and five of the essays focus specifically on Wittgenstein's philosophy. Stroud's helpful introduction draws out the recurring themes he pursues and explains how his ideas and aims have developed over the years. (shrink)
There remains a paucity of research investigating the efficacy of executive coaching. Ambiguity surrounds its definition, its methodology and outcomes. Despite this, the executive coaching remains a viable business proposition. Practitioners bring services to the business community offering services that transcend traditional performance management consultations establishing independent “performance-driven” relationships with executives. This paper examines the process of coaching suggesting that a better understanding of process will enhance practice efficacy and accelerates empirical investigations. In addition, ethical, confidential and legal issues (...) require attention when planning to utilize an executive coach. All this implicates the need to better understand coaching – and how it typically operates. Case studies are provided in the examination of coaching consultations in Fortune 100 settings. (shrink)
This article attends to Deleuze and Guattari's idea of a ‘minor literature’ as well as to Deleuze's concepts of the figural, probe-heads and the diagram in relation to Bacon's paintings. The paper asks specifically what might be usefully taken from this Deleuze–Bacon encounter for the expanded field of contemporary art practice.
A prevailing conceptualization of values in organizations regards values as preferable modes of conduct or end-states of existence. Accordingly, values are pursued through prescriptions, actions of implementation and evaluation, based on the presumption that values inform actions. Thus, holding the ‘right’ values leads to desired practice. However, this is a problematic stance, suppressing the fact that correlation between value and action is highly questioned. The article claims that proliferation of values in organizations is more plausible and influential turning the (...) process around, utilizing the ideas of sensemaking, tacit knowledge and virtue in a critical reflection-upon-action model, engaging organizational members as co-researchers of their own value constructions in context. (shrink)
: Quite rightly, philosophers of physics examine the theories of physics, theories like Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, the Special and General Theories of Relativity, and Statistical Mechanics. Far fewer, however, examine how these theories are put to use; that is to say, little attention is paid to the practices of theoretical physicists. In the early 1950s David Bohm and David Pines published a sequence of four papers, collectively entitled, 'A Collective Description of Electron Interaction.' This essay uses that quartet (...) as a case study in theoretical practice. In Part One of the essay, each of the Bohm-Pines papers is summarized, and within each summary an overview is given, framing a more detailed account. In Part Two theoretical practice is broken into six elements: (a) the use of models, (b) the use of theory, (c) modes of description and narrative, (d) the use of approximations, (e) experiment and theory, (f) the varied steps employed in a deduction. The last element is the largest, drawing as it does from the earlier ones. Part Three enlarges on the concept of 'theoretical practice,' and briefly outlines the subsequent theoretical advances which rendered the practices of Bohm and Pines obsolete, if still respected. (shrink)
My aim is to understand the practice of mathematics in a way that sheds light on the fact that it is at once a priori and capable of extending our knowledge. The account that is sketched draws first on the idea, derived from Kant, that a calculation or demonstration can yield new knowledge in virtue of the fact that the system of signs it employs involves primitive parts (e.g., the ten digits of arithmetic or the points, lines, angles, and (...) areas of Euclidean geometry) that combine into wholes (numerals or drawn Euclidean figures) that are themselves parts of larger wholes (the array of written numerals in a calculation or the diagram of a Euclidean demonstration). Because wholes such as numerals and Euclidean figures both have parts and are parts of larger wholes, their parts can be recombined into new wholes in ways that enable extensions of our knowledge. I show that sentences of Frege's Begriffsschrift can also be read as involving three such levels of articulation; because they have these three levels, we can understand in essentially the same way how a proof from concepts alone can extend our knowledge. (shrink)
The tension in evidence-based practice and reflective practice -- The relationship between reflection and action research -- An overview of theories of consciousness and unconsciousness -- What do we mean by creativity? -- Using metaphor and symbolism as analysis -- Infinite possibilities of knowing and transformation -- Concluding thoughts; the linkages to action research and critical creativity.
In this article, we present a dialogical approach to empirical ethics, based upon hermeneutic ethics and responsive evaluation. Hermeneutic ethics regards experience as the concrete source of moral wisdom. In order to gain a good understanding of moral issues, concrete detailed experiences and perspectives need to be exchanged. Within hermeneutic ethics dialogue is seen as a vehicle for moral learning and developing normative conclusions. Dialogue stands for a specific view on moral epistemology and methodological criteria for moral inquiry. Responsive evaluation (...) involves a structured way of setting up dialogical learning processes, by eliciting stories of participants, exchanging experiences in (homogeneous and heterogeneous) groups and drawing normative conclusions for practice. By combining these traditions we develop both a theoretical and a practical approach to empirical ethics, in which ethical issues are addressed and shaped together with stakeholders in practice. Stakeholders' experiences are not only used as a source for reflection by the ethicist; stakeholders are involved in the process of reflection and analysis, which takes place in a dialogue between participants in practice, facilitated by the ethicist. This dialogical approach to empirical ethics may give rise to questions such as: What contribution does the ethicist make? What role does ethical theory play? What is the relationship between empirical research and ethical theory in the dialogical process? In this article, these questions will be addressed by reflecting upon a project in empirical ethics that was set up in a dialogical way. The aim of this project was to develop and implement normative guidelines with and within practice, in order to improve the practice concerning coercion and compulsion in psychiatry. (shrink)
This paper addresses questions of ethics in the professional practice of architecture. It begins by discussing possible relationships between ethics and aesthetics. It then theorises ethics within concepts of 'practice', and argues for the importance of the context in architecture where narrative can be used to learn and to integrate past and present experience. Narrative reflection also takes in the future, and in the case of architecture there is a positive but not yet well accepted move (particularly within (...) the 'academy') to realise the imperative nature of architecture's responsibility with respect of global sustainability. Architects, more perhaps than other professions, use the faculty of imagination in their work, and this paper therefore maintains that architects as artists are uniquely qualified to exercise 'moral imagination' when it comes to situations where moral deliberation is needed. Pragmatism has given a new impetus to the importance of imagination in moral reflection, and I focus on John Dewey's categories of 'empathy' and 'dramatic rehearsal' as descriptors of moral imagination as applied in situations. I argue in conclusion firstly that empathy between end-users and architects is an essential but not always realised part of morality in architecture, and secondly that 'dramatic rehearsal', when extended more widely that a given situation, may lead architects to question the social, political and ecological contexts of their work and thus motivate them to prioritise the 'ethical' in all the choices they make. (shrink)
This paper demystifies reflective practice on teaching by focusing on the idea of reflection itself and how it has been conceived by two philosophers, Plato and Irigaray. It argues that reflective practice has become a standardized method of defining the teacher in teacher education and teacher accreditation systems. It explores how practices of reflection themselves can suggest ways out of dictated pathways of reflection in teaching. Drawing on Luce Irigaray's and Plato's ideas on reflection, the paper includes a (...) critical overview of how reflective practice can contradict its own aims and become non-reflective, shutting off possibilities for transformations and educational differences that it has set out to achieve. Keeping up the deconstructive mood, the paper draws on Irigaray's re-reading of Plato's parable of the cave to argue that reflective teaching that merely reflects phallogocentric educational systems and that attempts to universally reproduce standardized forms of reflective practice can never be conducive to the diversification of educational spaces.The paper seeks to re-think Plato's idea of reflection as mere copying and takes up Irigaray's strategic mimesis to explore ways through which reflective practice can regain its critical edge and reactivate teachers' reflective voices. It argues for the repetition of the practice of reflection by drawing on a feminist critique that challenges phallogocentric reflective tendencies in education and for mimetic strategies that engender difference. (shrink)
Primarily between 1833 and 1840, Whewell attempted to accomplish what natural philosophers and scientists since at least Galileo had failed to do: to provide a systematic and broad-ranged study of the tides and to attempt to establish a general scientific theory of tidal phenomena. In the essay at hand, I document the close interaction between Whewell’s philosophy of science (especially his methodological views) and his scientific practice as a tidologist. I claim that the intertwinement between Whewell’s methodology and his (...) tidology is more fundamental than has hitherto been documented. (shrink)
By illustrating the presence and scope of the bodhisattva ideal in Theravāda Buddhist theory and practice, this article shows that some of the distinctions used to separate Mahāyāna Buddhism from Hīnayāna Buddhism are problematic, and, in particular, calls into question the commonly held theoretical model that postulates that the goal of Mahāyāna practitioners is to become buddhas by following the path of the bodhisattva (bodhisattva-yāna), whereas the goal of Hīnayāna practitioners is to become arahants by following the path of (...) the hearers of Buddha's disciples (śrāvaka-yāna). (shrink)
In the latter half of the twentieth century, there has been a sharp decline in confidence in sentencing principles, due to a questioning of the efficacy of punishment. It has been very difficult to develop consistent, fair, and humane criteria for evaluating legislative, judicial and correctional advancements. The Practice of Punishment offers a comprehensive study of punishment that identifies the principles of sentencing and corrections on which modern correctional systems should be built. The theory of punishment that emerges is (...) built on the view that the central function of the law is to reduce the need to use force in the resolutions of disputes. In this text, Wesley Cragg argues that the proper role of sentencing and sentence administration, as well as policing and adjudication, is to sustain public confidence in the capacity of the law to fulfill that function. Cragg believes that sentencing and corrections should be guided by principles of restorative justice, and he contends that inflicting punishment is in itself not a legitimate objective of criminal law. The Practice of Punishment is a philosophical account of punishment, sentencing, and correction which draws strongly on first-hand experience of penal practices, diverse recent studies, government reports, position papers, crime surveys, and victim concerns. It will be of special interest to applied ethicists, those concerned with the theory and practice of punishment and policing, and criminal justice scholars and lawyers. (shrink)
: Discussions of ethical approaches in nursing have been much enlivened in recent years, for instance by new developments in the theory of care. Nevertheless, many ethical concepts in nursing still need to be clarified. The purpose of this contribution is to develop a fundamental ethical view on nursing care considered as moral practice. Three main components are analyzed more deeply--i.e., the caring relationship, caring behavior as the integration of virtue and expert activity, and "good care" as the ultimate (...) goal of nursing practice. For the development of this philosophical-ethical interpretation of nursing, we have mainly drawn on the pioneering work of Anne Bishop and John Scudder, Alasdair MacIntyre, Lawrence Blum, and Louis Janssens. We will also show that the European philosophical background offers some original ideas for this endeavor. (shrink)
The basic concern of the paper is to state what the practice of African Philosophy is and should be in view of the contemporary dismal situation of postcolonial Africa. The attempt is to articulate a conception of African philosophy as a critical un-packing of the ideas and conceptions that legitimated European expansion and to this day–having been internalized by the Westernized African elite–sanction Western hegemony. And so, along with the critique of Eurocentrism the paper explores what it means to (...) “return to the source” and to reclaim our “generic human identity.” The aim, in all of this, is to articulate a conception of African philosophy as a critical and combative hermeneutics of the contemporary African situation. (shrink)
Cultural safety is a relatively new concept that has emerged in the New Zealand nursing context and is being taken up in various ways in Canadian health care discourses. Our research team has been exploring the relevance of cultural safety in the Canadian context, most recently in relation to a knowledge-translation study conducted with nurses practising in a large tertiary hospital. We were drawn to using cultural safety because we conceptualized it as being compatible with critical theoretical perspectives that foster (...) a focus on power imbalances and inequitable social relationships in health care; the interrelated problems of culturalism and racialization; and a commitment to social justice as central to the social mandate of nursing. Engaging in this knowledge-translation study has provided new perspectives on the complexities, ambiguities and tensions that need to be considered when using the concept of cultural safety to draw attention to racialization, culturalism, and health and health care inequities. The philosophic analysis discussed in this paper represents an epistemological grounding for the concept of cultural safety that links directly to particular moral ends with social justice implications. Although cultural safety is a concept that we have firmly positioned within the paradigm of critical inquiry, ambiguities associated with the notions of 'culture', 'safety', and 'cultural safety' need to be anticipated and addressed if they are to be effectively used to draw attention to critical social justice issues in practice settings. Using cultural safety in practice settings to draw attention to and prompt critical reflection on politicized knowledge, therefore, brings an added layer of complexity. To address these complexities, we propose that what may be required to effectively use cultural safety in the knowledge-translation process is a 'social justice curriculum for practice' that would foster a philosophical stance of critical inquiry at both the individual and institutional levels. (shrink)