Culture, Truth, and Science After Lacan

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (4):633-644 (2015)

Grant Gillett
University of Otago
Truth and knowledge are conceptually related and there is a way of construing both that implies that they cannot be solely derived from a description that restricts itself to a set of scientific facts. In the first section of this essay, I analyse truth as a relation between a praxis, ways of knowing, and the world. In the second section, I invoke the third thing—the objective reality on which we triangulate as knowing subjects for the purpose of complex scientific endeavours like medical science and clinical care. Such praxes develop robust methods of “keeping in touch” with disease and illness. An analysis drawing on philosophical semantics motivates the needed account of meaning and truth and underpins the following argument: the formulation and dissemination of knowledge rests on language; language is selective in what it represents in any given situation; the praxes of a given culture are based on this selectivity; but human health and illness involve whole human beings in a human life-world; therefore, medical knowledge should reflectively transcend, where required, biomedical science towards a more inclusive view. Parts three and four argue that a post-structuralist account of the human subject can avoid both scientism and idealism or unconstrained relativism
Keywords Culture  Scientific truth  Philosophical semantics  Lacan
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DOI 10.1007/s11673-015-9664-2
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Bioethics and Epistemic Scientism.Christopher Mayes, Claire Hooker & Ian Kerridge - 2015 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (4):565-567.

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