As historians of science increasingly turn to work on recent (post 1945) science, the historiographical and methodological problems associated with the history of contemporary science are debated with growing frequency and urgency. This book brings together authorities on the history, historiography and methodology of recent and contemporary science to review the problems facing historians of contemporary science, technology and medicine and to explore new ways forward. The chapters explore topics which will be of ever increasing interest to historians of postwar (...) science, including the difficulties of accessing and using secret archival material, the interactions between archivists, historians and scientists and the politics of evidence and historical accounts. (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)
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)
Our lives are dominated by technology. We live with and through the achievements of technology. What is true of the rest of life is of course true of medicine. Many of us owe our existence and our continued vigour to some achievement of medical technology. And what is true in a major way of general medicine is to a significant degree true of psychiatry. Prozac has long since arrived, and in its wake an ever-growing armamentarium of new psychotropics; beyond that, (...) neuroscience promises ever more technological advances for the field. -/- However, the effect of technology on the field of psychiatry remains highly ambiguous. On the one hand there are the achievements, both in the science and practice of psychiatry; on the other hand technology's influence on the field threatens its identity as a humanistic practice. In this ambiguity psychiatry is not unique - major thinkers have for a long time been highly ambivalent and concerned about the technological order that now defines modern society. For the future, the danger is that the psychiatrically real becomes that which can be seen, the symptom, and especially that which can be measured. Disorders and treatments might become reduced to what can be defined by diagnostic criteria and what can be mapped out on a scale. -/- This book exams how technology has come to influence and drive psychiatry forward, and considers at just what cost these developments have been made. It includes a range of stimulating and thought-provoking chapters from a range of psychiatrists and philosophers. (shrink)
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)
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.
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 second edition of Women, Knowledge and Reality continues to exhibit the ways in which feminist philosophers enrich and challenge philosophy. Essays by twenty-five feminist philosophers, seventeen of them new to the second edition, address fundamental issues in philosophical and feminist methods, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, language, religion and mind/body. This second edition expands the perspectives of women of color, of postmodernism and French feminism, and focuses on the most recent controversies in feminist theory and philosophy. The (...) chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
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 ...
Neural Geographies draws together recent feminist and deconstructive theories, early Freudian neurology and contemporary connectionist theories of cognition. In this original work, Elizabeth A. Wilson explores the convergence between Derrida, Freud and recent cognitive theory to pursue two important issues: the nature of cognition and neurology, and the politics of feminist and critical interventions into contemporary scientific psychology. This book seeks to reorient the usual presumptions of critical studies of the sciences by addressing the divisions between the static and the (...) changeable; the natural and the political; the neuro-cognitive and the cultural that have been traditional to both scientific and critical accounts of neurology and cognition. (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)
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 ...