This book provides an analysis of the debate surrounding cultural diversity, and attempts to reconcile the seemingly opposing views of "ethical imperialism," the belief that each individual is entitled to fundamental human rights, and cultural relativism, the belief that ethics must be relative to particular cultures and societies. The author examines the role of cultural tradition, often used as a defense against critical ethical judgments. Key issues in health and medicine are explored in the context of cultural diversity: the (...) physician-patient relationship, disclosing a diagnosis of a fatal illness, informed consent, brain death and organ transplantation, rituals surrounding birth and death, female genital mutilation, sex selection of offspring, fertility regulation, and biomedical research involving human subjects. Among the conclusions the author reaches are that ethical universals exist, but must not be confused with ethical absolutes. The existence of ethical universals is compatible with a variety of culturally relative interpretations, and some rights related to medicine and health care should be considered human rights. Illustrative examples are drawn from the author's experiences serving on international ethical review committees and her travels to countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where she conducted educational workshops and carried out out her own research. (shrink)
Explores the ethical issues faced by GPs 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.
Palliative care is a recent branch of health care. The doctors, nurses, and other professionals involved in it took their inspiration from the medieval idea of the hospice, but have now extended their expertise to every area of health care: surgeries, nursing homes, acute wards, and the community. This has happened during a period when patients wish to take more control over their own lives and deaths, resources have become scarce, and technology has created controversial life-prolonging treatments. Palliative care is (...) therefore faced with more ethical problems that other areas of health care. This book, by a clinician, teacher, and writer on health care ethics, has been written to provide all those who care for the terminally ill--doctors, nurses, social workers, clergymen, physiotherapists--with the concepts and principles which will assist them with difficult decisions. It challenges many received doctrines of palliative care, but its well-illustrated central theme is that technical expertise must be controlled by humane, non-technical judgments. (shrink)
This book explores the tradition of the 'science of man' in French medicine of the era 1750-1850, focusing on controversies about the nature of the 'physical-moral' relation and their effects on the role of medicine in French society. Its chief purpose is to recover the history of a holistic tradition in French medicine that has been neglected because it lay outside the mainstream themes of modern medicine, which include experimental, reductionist, and localistic conceptions of health and disease. Professor Williams also (...) challenges existing historiography, which argues that the 'anthropological' approach to medicine was a short-term by-product of the leftist politics of the French Revolution. This work argues instead that the medical science of man long outlived the Revolution, that it spanned traditional ideological divisions, and that it reflected the shared aim of French physicians, whatever their politics, to claim broad cultural authority in French society. (shrink)
While ethicists have directed much attention to controversial biomedical issues--including euthanasia, abortion, and genetic engineering--they have largely ignored the less obvious, but more pervasive, everyday ethical problems faced by family physicians. Ethical Issues in Family Medicine addresses these problems, offering an ethics that reflects the distinctive features of family practice, and helping family physicians to appreciate the extent to which ethical issues influence their practice.
This book presents the current feminist critique of science and the philosophy of science in such a way that students of philosophy of science, philosophers, feminist theorists, and scientists will find the material accessible and intellectually rigorous.Contemporary feminist debate, as well as the debate brought on by the radical critics of science, assumes—incorrectly—that certain movements in philosophy of science and science-driven theory are understood in their dynamics as well as in their details. All too often, labels such as “Kuhnian” or (...) “positivistic” are taken for granted, and much of the contemporary postmodern or post-structuralist feminist theory that sets out to criticize science does little to alleviate the reader’s lack of knowledge with regard to such movements.Unlike other texts, Philosophies of Science: Feminist Theories provides a student-oriented framework so that, for example, positivism is given a thorough grounding before the feminist critique of such epistemological theory is given. Other movements discussed include the Kuhnian turn, sociology of science, and the radical critique of science. Feminist theory and critique are interwoven throughout, with one chapter devoted to feminist thought, which includes the work of such thinkers as Longino, Hararway, Hubbard, Nelson, Harding, and Keller. (shrink)
Without scientific theory, the technology developments of recent years would not have been possible. In this exceptionally clear and engaging introduction to philosophy of science, James Ladyman explores the scope of natural science and its implications for human life. With the focus firmly upon realism, he discusses how fundamental philosophical questions can be answered by science and how scientific theory can confirm and inform our basic and intrinsic knowledge.
Feminist perspectives have been increasingly influential on philosophy of science. Feminism and Philosophy of Science is designed to introduce the newcomer to the central themes, issues and arguments of this burgeoning area of study. Elizabeth Potter engages in a rigorous and well-organized study that takes in the views of key feminist theorists - Nelson, Wylie, Anderson, Longino and Harding - whose arguments exemplify contemporary feminist philosophy of science. The book is divided into six chapters looking at important themes: naturalized feminist (...) empiricism feminist value theory feminist conceptual empiricism standpoint epistemologies of science value-free science Arranged thematically, F eminism and Philosophy of Science looks at the spectrum of views that have arisen in the debate, and unpicks the arguments on key topics such as value-free science, values, objectivity, point of view and relativism. It assumes no previous knowledge of the subject, and is written in an accessible, student-friendly style. It will be an important read for students of philosophy, philosophy of science, gender studies and feminist studies. (shrink)
Kenneth F. Schaffner compares the practice of biological and medical research and shows how traditional topics in philosophy of science--such as the nature of theories and of explanation--can illuminate the life sciences. While Schaffner pays some attention to the conceptual questions of evolutionary biology, his chief focus is on the examples that immunology, human genetics, neuroscience, and internal medicine provide for examinations of the way scientists develop, examine, test, and apply theories. Although traditional philosophy of science has regarded scientific (...) discovery--the questions of creativity in science--as a subject for psychological rather than philosophical study, Schaffner argues that recent work in cognitive science and artificial intelligence enables researchers to rationally analyze the nature of discovery. As a philosopher of science who holds an M.D., he has examined biomedical work from the inside and uses detailed examples from the entire range of the life sciences to support the semantic approach to scientific theories, addressing whether there are "laws" in the life sciences as there are in the physical sciences. Schaffner's novel use of philosophical tools to deal with scientific research in all of its complexity provides a distinctive angle on basic questions of scientific evaluation and explanation. (shrink)
This book confronts basic anomalies in the foundations of contemporary science and philosophy. It deals with paradoxes that call into question our conventional way of thinking about space, time, and the nature of human experience.
Sandra Harding here develops further the themes first addressed in her widely influential book, The Science Question in Feminism, and conducts a compelling analysis of feminist theories on the philosophical problem of how we know what we ...
Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings is a comprehensive anthology that draws together leading philosophers writing on the major themes in the philosophy of science. Sections are: Science and Philosophy; Explanation; Causation and Laws; Scientific Theories and Conceptual Change; Scientific Realism; Testing and Confirmation of Theories; and Science in Context. Each section is prefaced by an introductory essay by the editors. The readings are designed to complement Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge 2000), though the anthology can also be used (...) as a stand-alone volume. (shrink)
Some Key Controversies in the Philosophy of Science Larry Laudan. the mouths of my realist, relativist, and positivist. (By contrast, there is at least one person who hews to the line I have my prag- matist defending.) But I have gone to some ...
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science provides a lively and accessible introduction to current key issues and debates in this area. The classic philosophical questions about methodology, progress, rationality and reality are addressed by reference to examples from the full range of natural and social sciences. Lisa Bortolotti uses a historically-informed perspective on the evolution of science and includes a thorough discussion of the ethical implications of scientific research. Special attention is paid to the complex relationship between the advancement (...) of science, policy making and public interest and to the continuity between scientific research and other human activities. The book is designed to help students think for themselves about the issues identified above, and includes information tables and questions for further reflection to support all stages of the teaching and learning experience, from the comprehension of primary and other secondary texts to debate and essay writing. It also includes a thematic bibliography and a glossary of technical terms. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science is an excellent introduction to philosophy for students and provides researchers of scientific disciplines with an opportunity to reflect upon the value and impact of their work. It is also a stimulating read for anybody who is interested in the philosophical issues raised by the status of scientific knowledge, the practice of science and the role of experts in contemporary society. (shrink)
With more people in the world living into older age, Alzheimer's and other Dementias: The Facts takes a comprehensive look at the spread of dementia, and provides authoritative information and practical advice for sufferers, their families, and the medical professionals who care for them. -/- Written by a consultant in old age psychiatry, the book provides an overview of all the different types of dementia (including younger-onset dementias), from the most-recognized - Alzheimer's - to the less-frequent types, such as those (...) caused by inherited metabolic disorders or HIV. The book guides the reader step-by-step through how the brain works, and explains in clear and simple language the effect of dementias on the brain, and the impact on an individual's cognitive function. -/- A dedicated chapter explains how a diagnosis is reached, including the different modes of assessment, from blood tests carried out by a GP, to specialist scans, highlighting how the brain actually works. Detailed sections cover the latest treatments available, including the controversial use of antipsychotic medication, and the possibility of disease-modifying treatments in the future. -/- The book also explains how the multi-disciplinary team works together to look after the sufferer's social needs, such as bathing and washing, as well as their spiritual and palliative needs. Alzheimer's and other Dementias: The Facts provides all the relevant information and guidance for sufferers, family and their care-givers to choose the right intervention at the right time, to create - as the book advocates - a unique and personalized management plan. (shrink)