In a recent issue of CambridgeQuarterlyofHealthcareEthics, Howard Brody and Lawrence Schneiderman offer contrasting opinions about how to apply the concept of in medicine. Brody holds that are those in which it is reasonably certain that a given intervention when applied for the purpose of attaining a specific clinical goal. To determine which actions are futile, Brody prescribes a division of labor. Patients (or patient surrogates) are charged with choosing the goals of treatment while physicians are charged with determining whether specific (...) treatments will be effective in achieving these goals. Though physicians do not choose specific goals, Brody thinks they have a prerogative to decide whether they can, in good conscience, aid in the achievement of specific patient goals. Let us use to denote choosing between alternative goals and to denote choices about whether one will assist in the pursuit of particular goals. Brody's position is essentially that patients are positive validators and that physicians are negative validators. Brody concludes that treatments that are effective in achieving patients' goals are not futileFutilitypromote a goal that both agree is desirable.”. (shrink)
Research ethics education in the biosciences has not historically been a priority for research universities despite the fact that funding agencies, government regulators, and the parties involved in the research enterprise agree that it ought to be. The confluence of a number of factors, including scrutiny and regulation due to increased public awareness of the impact of basic research on society, increased public and private funding, increased diversity and collaboration among researchers, the impressive success and speed of research advances, and (...) high-profile cases of misconduct, have made it necessary to reexamine how the bioscience research community at all levels provides ethics education to its own. We discuss the need to and reasons for making ethics integral to the education of bioscientists, approaches to achieving this goal, challenges this goal presents, and responses to those challenges. (shrink)
The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Castellani, Department of Philosophy, University of Florence, Via Bolognese 52, 50139 (...) Florence, Italy Laura Crosilla, Department of Pure Mathematics, School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT UK Steven French, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK Décio Krause, Department of Philosophy, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC Brazil Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
— Niels Bohr, 19231 “There must be quite definite and clear grounds, why you repeatedly declare that one must interpret observations classically, which lie absolute ly in thei r essenc e. . . . It must belong to your deepest conviction—and I cannot understand on what you base it.”.
as the chief novelty in the quantum description of nature, Einstein for having found vindication in 3 relativity theory for either positivism or realism, depending upon whom one asks. Famous as is each in his own domain, they are famous also, together, for their decades-long disagreement over the future of fundamental physics, their respective embrace and rejection of quantum indeterminacy being only the most widely-known point of contention.
What is commonly known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, regarded as representing a unitary Copenhagen point of view, differs significantly from Bohr's complementarity interpretation, which does not employ wave packet collapse in its account of measurement and does not accord the subjective observer any privileged role in measurement. It is argued that the Copenhagen interpretation is an invention of the mid‐1950s, for which Heisenberg is chiefly responsible, various other physicists and philosophers, including Bohm, Feyerabend, Hanson, and Popper, having (...) further promoted the invention in the service of their own philosophical agendas. (shrink)
Steven French and Décio Krause have written what bids fair to be, for years to come, the definitive philosophical treatment of the problem of the individuality of elementary particles in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. The book begins with a long and dense argument for the view that elementary particles are most helpfully regarded as non-individuals, and it concludes with an earnest attempt to develop a formal apparatus for describing such non-individual entities better suited to the task than our (...) customary set theory. Along the way one is treated to a compendious philosophical history of quantum statistics and a well-nigh exhaustive (I’m tempted to say, “exhausting”) analytical history of philosophical responses to the quantum theory’s prima facie challenge to classical notions of particle individuality. The book is also a salvo from the headquarters artillery company of the “pro” side in the contemporary structuralism wars, and an essay in metaphysical naturalism. Whew! There are too many places where the friendly critic wants to engage the argument, and few where the authors have not already anticipated such engagement. I take this as my excuse, then, for offering not any systematic response to the whole project, but just some questions and observations about several points that caught my attention. (shrink)
Pierre Duhem's often unrecognized influence on twentieth-century philosophy of science is illustrated by an analysis of his significant if also largely unrecognized influence on Albert Einstein. Einstein's first acquaintance with Duhem's La Théorie physique, son objet et sa structure around 1909 is strongly suggested by his close personal and professional relationship with Duhem's German translator, Friedrich Adler. The central role of a Duhemian holistic, underdeterminationist variety of conventionalism in Einstein's thought is examined at length, with special emphasis on Einstein's deployment (...) of Duhemian arguments in his debates with neo-Kantian interpreters of relativity and in his critique of the empiricist doctrines of theory testing advanced by Schlick, Reichenbach, and Carnap. Most striking is Einstein's 1949 criticism of the verificationist conception of meaning from a holistic point of view, anticipating by two years the rather similar, but more famous criticism advanced independently by Quine in Two Dogmas of Empiricism. (shrink)
What is Albert Einstein’s place in the history of twentieth-century philosophy of science? Were one to consult the histories produced at mid-century from within the Vienna Circle and allied movements (e.g., von Mises 1938, 1939, Kraft 1950, Reichenbach 1951), then one would find, for the most part, two points of emphasis. First, Einstein was rightly remembered as the developer of the special and general theories of relativity, theories which, through their challenge to both scientific and philosophical orthodoxy made vivid the (...) need for a new kind of empiricism (Schlick 1921) whereby one could defend the empirical integrity of the theory of relativity against challenges 1 coming mainly from the defenders of Kant. Second, the special and general theories of relativity were wrongly cited as straightforwardly validating central tenets of the logical empiricist program, such as verificationism, and Einstein was wrongly represented as having, himself, explicitly endorsed those same philosophical principles. As we now know, logical empiricism was not the monolithic philosophical movement it was once taken to have been. Those associated with the movement disagreed deeply about fundamental issues concerning the structure and interpretation of scientific theories, as in the protocol sentence debate, and about the overall aims of the movement, as in the debate between the left and right wings 2 of the Vienna Circle over the role of politics in science and philosophy. Along with such differences went subtle differences in the assessment of Einstein’s legacy to logical empiricism. Philipp Frank–himself a dissenter from central points of right-wing Vienna Circle doctrine–deserves.. (shrink)
more on the history of the Vienna Circle and its allies, see Coffa 1991; Friedman 1983; Hailer 1982, 1985; Kraft 1950; and Proust 1986, 1989). Without question, however, the crucial, formative, early intellectual experience of at least Schlick, Reichenbach, and Carnap, the experience that did most to give form and content to their emergent philosophies of science, was their engagement with relativity theory. Thus, after a few early writings on more general philosophical themes, Schlick first caught the attention of a (...) broader philosophical public with his 1915 essay, "Die philosophische Bedeutung des.. (shrink)
Neo-positivism is dead. Let that imperfect designation stand for the project that dominated and defined the philosophy of science, especially in its Anglophone form, during the fifty or so years following the end of the Second World War. While its critics were many,1 its death was slow, and some think still to find a pulse.2 But die it did in the cul-de-sac into which it was led by its own faulty compass.
Whence, then, do my errors arise? Only from the fact that the will is much more ample and farreaching than the understanding, so that I do not restrain it within the same limits but extend it even to those things which I do not understand. Being by its nature indifferent about such matters, it very easily is turned aside from the true and the good and chooses the false and the evil. And thus it happens that I make mistakes and (...) that I sin. (shrink)
On Saturday, August 26, 1893, thirteen-year-old Edith Low Babson was swimming in her favorite swimming hole on the Annisquam river in her home town of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Though she was a strong swimmer, something went wrong, and she drowned. A tragedy like all such. But this drowning had unusual consequences. Edith’s older brother was Roger W. Babson, who grew up to become one of America’s most prominent businessmen of the early twentieth century. A statistician, prolific author, philanthropist, founder of Babson (...) College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and the Prohibition Patry’s Presidential candidate in 1940, Roger Babson was deeply affected by his sister’s death, as he was again many years later, in 1947, by the death of his grandson, Michael, who drowned while saving the life of a companion who had been knocked off of a sailboat in Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire. But Roger Babson was a man of action, not one quietly to acquiesce when confronted by suffering inflicted by a seemingly impersonal and uncaring nature. One year after his grandson’s death, Babson dedicated a significant part of his vast personal wealth to the establishment of the Gravity Research Foundation in New Boston, New Hampshire, which thereafter awarded an annual prize for theoretical research on gravitation, a prize whose winners include the likes of Stephen Hawking. Why? As Babson explained in a pamphlet published by the new foundation, “Gravity: Our Enemy Number One” (Babson 1948), the goal was to alleviate the suffering for which gravity was responsible, the gravity that seized his sister “like a dragon and.. (shrink)
Such are those thick & gloomie shadows dampe Oft seene in charnel vaults, & sepulchers, Lingering, & sitting by a new made grave, As loath to leave the bodie that it lov'd, & link’t it selfe by carnall sensualtie To a degenerate, & degraded state.
Barry Commoner has argued that the environmental failure of modern technology is due in large part to the reductionistic character ofmodern science, especially its biological component where the reductionist approach has triumphed in molecular biology. I claim, first, that Commoner has confused reduction in the sense of the reduction of one theory to another with what is better called analysis, or the strategy of breaking a whoie into its parts in order to understand the properties of the whole, this latter (...) being the actual target of his attack. I then argue that his criticisms of molecular biology fail since each of the properties of the cell which he claims cannot be understood in an analytic fashion, such as reproduction, development and inheritance, can be so understood, and that, in fact, each of his putatively nonanalytic accounts of these properties is the result of analysis. Similarly, Commoner’s claim that ecosystenls possess properties that cannot be understood analytically is refuted by comparing ecosystems with automobiles, which Commoner acknowledges are susceptible to analysis, and by showing that there are no essential differences between the two. FinaIly, l observe that while it is false that ecosystems canna! be understood in analytic terms, it is true that they are not usually thus understood, and that the explanation for this is not that scientists subscribe to amistaken philosophy, but that our social institutions for the teaching and application of science do not adequately stress the importance of exploring the connections between the parts of such complex wholes. (shrink)
Some students do not cheat. Students high in measures of bravery, honesty, and empathy, our defining characteristics of heroism, report less past cheating than other students. These student heroes also reported that they would feel more guilt if they cheated and also reported less intent to cheat in the future than nonheroes. We find general consensus between students and professors as to reasons for the nonreporting of cheating, suggesting a general impression of insufficient evidence, lack of courage, and denial. Suggested (...) interventions in academia are based in positive psychology and an understanding of academic heroes. (shrink)
Both visual experience and conscious thought represent external objects, but in visual experience these objects seem present before the mind and available for direct access in a way that they don?t in conscious thought. In this paper, I introduce a couple of challenges that this ?Scene-Immediacy? of visual experience raises for traditional versions of Representationalism. I then identify a resource to which Representationalists can appeal in addressing these challenges: the low-detail fringe of visual experience. I argue that low-detail contents within (...) visual experience provide the mind with a rich access to additional high-detail information, an access that is not found in conscious thought. This access, in turn, speaks to the challenges raised by the Scene-Immediacy of visual experience. Robert Schroer is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. (shrink)
This paper discusses the Principle of Normative Invariance: ‘An action’s moral status does not depend on whether or not it is performed.’ I show the importance of this principle for arguments regarding actualism and other variations on the person-affecting restriction, discuss and rebut arguments in favor of the principle, and then discuss five counterexamples to it. I conclude that the principle as it stands is false; and that if it is modified to avoid the counterexamples, it is gutted of any (...) interest or power. (shrink)
I will focus on the topic announced in the subtitle of Professor Descombes’ profound and provocative work: The Mind’s Provisions: A Critique of Cognitivism. In the end, I will agree with practically everything in his incisive ‘critique’ except its conclusion: that cognitivism is incoherent. What he shows instead, I think, is that cognitivism, as an account of human thought and understanding, is deeply false. The difference matters because incoherence is harder to prove and, prima facie, less plausible. But, if (...) the same argument, slightly recast, shows falsehood with even more conviction, then the essential point is saved after all. So, following a quick characterization of cognitivism, I will attempt to distill what I take to be the main grounds and themes of Descombes’ critique, explain why I don’t think they expose an incoherence, and then show how they might be recast in a way that is devastating all the same. (shrink)
As we approach the end of the twentieth century, the ways in which knowledge--scientific, social, and cultural--is produced are undergoing fundamental changes. In The New Production of Knowledge, a distinguished group of authors analyze these changes as marking the transition from established institutions, disciplines, practices, and policies to a new mode of knowledge production. Identifying such elements as reflexivity, transdisciplinarity, and heterogeneity within this new mode, the authors consider their impact and interplay with the role of knowledge in social relations. (...) While the knowledge produced by research and development in science and technology is accorded central focus, the authors also outline the changing dimensions of social scientific and humanities knowledge and the relations between the production of knowledge and its dissemination through education. Placing science policy and scientific knowledge within the broader context of contemporary society, this book will be essential reading for all those concerned with the changing nature of knowledge, with the social study of science, with educational systems, and with the correlation between research and development and social, economic, and technological development. "Thought-provoking in its identification of issues that are global in scope; for policy makers in higher education, government, or the commercial sector." --Choice "By their insightful identification of the recent social transformation of knowledge production, the authors have been able to assert new imperatives for policy institutions. The lessons of the book are deep." --Alexis Jacquemin, Universite Catholique de Louvain and Advisor, Foreign Studies Unit, European Commission "Should we celebrate the emergence of a 'post-academic' mode of postmodern knowledge production of the post-industrial society of the 21st Century? Or should we turn away from it with increasing fear and loathing as we also uncover its contradictions. A generation of enthusiasts and/or critics will be indebted to the team of authors for exposing so forcefully the intimate connections between all the cognitive, educational, organizational, and commercial changes that are together revolutionizing the sciences, the technologies, and the humanities. This book will surely spark off a vigorous and fruitful debate about the meaning and purpose of knowledge in our culture." --Professor John Ziman, (Wendy, Janey at Ltd. is going to provide affiliation. Contact if you don't hear from her.) "Jointly authored by a team of distinguished scholars spanning a number of disciplines, The New Production of Knowledge maps the changes in the mode of knowledge production and the global impact of such transformations. . . . The authors succeed . . . at sketching out, in very large strokes, the emerging trends in knowledge production and their implications for future society. The macro focus of the book is a welcome change from the micro obsession of most sociologists of science, who have pretty much deconstructed institutions and even scientific knowledge out of existence." --Contemporary Sociology "This book is a timely contribution to current discussion on the breakdown of and need to renegotiate the social contract between science and society that Vannevar Bush and likeminded architects of science policy constructed immediately after World War II. It goes far beyond the usual scattering of fragmentary insights into changing institutional landscapes, cognitive structures, or quality control mechanisms of present day science, and their linkages with society at large. Tapping a wide variety of sources, the authors provide a coherent picture of important new characteristics that, taken altogether, fundamentally challenge our traditional notions of what academic research is all about. This well-founded analysis of the social redistribution of knowledge and its associated power patterns helps articulate what otherwise tends to remain an--albeit widespread--intuition. Unless they adapt to the new situation, universities in the future will find the centers of gravity of knowledge production moving even further beyond their ken. Knowledge of the social and cognitive dynamics of science in research is much needed as a basis of science and technology policymaking. The New Production of Knowledge does a lot to fill this gap. Another unique feature is its discussion of the humanities, which are usually left out in works coming out of the social studies of science." --Aant Elzinga, University od Goteborg. (shrink)
Government interference in free enterprise is growing. Should they intercede in business ethics and corporate responsibility; and if so, to what extent? The Morality of Business: A Profession for Human Wealthcare goes beyond the utilitarian case in discussing the various elements of business ethics, social policy, job security, outsourcing, government regulation, stakeholder theory, advertising and property rights. "Professor Machan has done it again! Profit seeking behavior by business is ethical and prudent, but it only can be ethical when a (...) person is free, and that depends upon having private property rights. Business ethics is not about ‘corporate citizenship,’ as so many others seem to believe. The contemplative life, so highly valued by many in academe, is made possible by the success of those in commerce. Which one lives a more ethical life? Read Machan’s, The Morality of Business for his answer." -Don Booth, Chapman University, California, USA. (shrink)
Kerry Laird, a literature and composition professor who does not have tenure, is in his first year at Temple. He said that, as a student and instructor, he always enjoyed the way professors use their office doors to reveal bits of their personality and to challenge students with cartoons, artwork, and various phrases. So when he started at Temple, he put a cartoon up showing Smokey the Bear, a girl scout and a boy scout and the tag line: “Kids (...) — don’t fuck with God or bears will eat you.” He received a complaint and decided that he understood why the college “might not want the f word” in the hallway, and so he decided to put up something else. (shrink)
In addition to the standard ellipsis process known as VP-ellipsis, another ellipsis process, known as pseudo-gapping, was first brought to the fore-front in the 1970’s by Sag (1976) and N. Levin (1986). This process elides subparts of a VP, as in (1): (1) Although I don’t like steak, I do___pizza. Developing ideas of K.S. Jayaseelan (Jayaseelan (1990)), Howard Lasnik has developed an analysis in which pseudo-gapping, which, in some instances, looks as though it is simply deleting a verb, is in (...) fact deletion of a verb phrase, so that pseudo-gapping is really a probe into the structure of the verb phrase. I will examine pseudo-gapping in detail, and will show that it truly is a gold mine of insight into a number of fundamental issues in syntax. More concretely, I will demonstrate that a careful, detailed analysis of this process will bear on the derivational level at which Principle A of the binding theory applies, as well as the amount of explicit encoding within syntactic representations of informational structure, particularly focus. The paper will also re-assess Lasnik’s conclusion that pseudo-gapping provides evidence for Larson’s (1988) V-raising to a higher empty V position, a case of head movement, and will show that the movement involved is actually a case of remnant movement, or XP-movement. (shrink)
As an eminent practical theologian, Don S. Browning watched religious belief and practice interact with the larger culture for a long time, especially in regard to issues of personal and family well-being. As Alexander Campbell Professor Emeritus of Ethics and the Social Sciences at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, he also lived in the midst of currents and controversies in academic philosophy, theology, and other disciplines. As a result, his work is distinguished by its alertness to (...) a variety of endeavors including medicine and the sciences.From the vantage point of his years of work and thought, Browning perceived that certain critical interactions, social and intellectual, are currently .. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with one rather specific question: Is indeterminacy of translation a consequence of the publicness of meaning? As I understand professor Quine, he thinks that the answer to this question is yes.1 I shall provide some support for this interpretation. Personally, I believe that the answer is no, but I shall not try to establish that answer. I don’t know how to do that, or even if it is possible to do it.
1. A Road to Philosophy of Mathematics l became interested in philosophy and mathematics at more or less the same time, rather late in high school; and my interest in the former certainly influenced my attitude towards the latter, leading me to ask what mathematics is really about at a fairly early stage. I don ’t really remember how it was that I got interested in either subject. A very good math teacher came to my school when I was in (...) 9th grade and I got caught up in his course on solid geometry; but he soon left and math then lost its luster again in the hands of teachers who neither liked nor understood it. Calculus wasn’t taught in high school in those days, or at least not in mine: besides geometry we learned some algebra (how to solve some equations) and trigonometry (with, of course, very little proved). I doubt that even the word “philosophy” passed the lips of any of my teachers. My mother, who worked for a publishing house, brought home for me copies of, among other works, the Jowett translations of Plato’s Dialogues, Will Durant’s Story of Philosophy and Courant and Robbins’ What Is Mathematics?; but I can’t remember why she did that: She wasn’t at all intellectual and, as far as I recall, my interests at the time were mostly confined to sports and girls—in some order. Maybe she just thought it was time for me to develop new interests. After high school, I went in 1948 to Lehigh University, then at least primarily an engineering school, on an athletic scholarship (which I was lucky to get: I wasn’t that good an athlete and there was a glut of more talented GI’s returning to school). There I had the good fortune in my first year to have an introduction to philosophy course with Lewis White Beck. He had just moved there from the University of Delaware and shortly thereafter moved on to the University of Rochester, where he became one of the leading lights of American Kant studies. My good luck was compounded when, in my second year, Adolph Gr¨ unbaum arrived at Lehigh, fresh from graduate school at Yale, and stayed at least long enough for me to graduate, before moving to the University of Pittsburgh as Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy of Science.. (shrink)