Considerable controversy has recently arisen regarding the patenting of medical and surgical processes in the United States. One such patent, viz. for a "chevron" incision used in ophthalmologic surgery, has especially occasioned heated response including a major, condemnatory ethics policy statement from the American Medical Association as well as federal legislation denying patent protection for most uses of a patented medical or surgical procedure. This article identifies and discusses the major legal, ethical and public policy considerations offered by proponents and (...) opponents of such patents. The existing literature divides up into those who favor such patents essentially without qualification, and those who condemn and wish to outlaw them. We advance a compromise position where administrative and legislative action is called for to provide more specific guidelines regarding the patentability of such processes by the Patent and Trademark Office. Our position, in sum, will be that too much is at stake in this complicated area for either the blanket prohibition, or wholesale, uncritical acceptance, of the patenting of medical and surgical processes or techniques. (shrink)
McEvoy, James There's something distinctive about Australia, not only about its landscape, its vegetation, its wildlife, and its history, but also about the patterns of life and understanding that we, the country's human inhabitants, have developed together. There's something distinctive about Australian culture.
Historiography in a metaphysical mode Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9524-6 Authors Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, CETCOPRA/Université Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, 17 Rue de la Sorbonne, 75231 Paris Cedex05, France Jan Golinski, Department of History, University of New Hampshire, 20 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03824, USA Lissa L. Roberts, Department of Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STePS), University of Twente, Postbox 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands John McEvoy, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Journal Metascience Online (...) ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Robert Grosseteste was the initiator of the English scientific tradition, one of the first chancellors of Oxford University, and a famous teacher and commentator on the newly discovered works of Aristotle. In this book, James McEvoy provides the first general, inclusive overview of the entire range of Grosseteste's massive intellectual achievement.
Jody Azzouni has offered the following argument against the existence of mathematical entities: if, as it seems, mathematical entities play no role in mathematical practice, we therefore have no reason to believe in them. I consider this argument as it applies to mathematical platonism, and argue that it does not present a legitimate novel challenge to platonism. I also assess Azzouni's use of the ‘epistemic role puzzle’ (ERP) to undermine the platonist's alleged parallel between skepticism about mathematical entities and external-world (...) skepticism. I conclude that ERP fails to undermine this parallel. (shrink)
The Generality Problem for process reliabilism is to outline a procedure for determining when two beliefs are produced by the same process, in such a way as to avoid, on the one hand, individuating process types so narrowly that each type is instantiated only once, or, on the other hand, individuating them so broadly that beliefs that have different epistemic statuses are subsumed under the same process type. In this paper, I offer a solution to the problem which takes belief‐independent (...) processes to be functions that take as inputs information about distal states of affairs, and produce beliefs as outputs. Processes are individuated narrowly, so as to avoid the latter aspect of the Generality problem, but, by holding process tokens to be of the same type when they take perceptually equivalent scenes as inputs, and produce beliefs of the same kind as outputs, the former aspect of the problem is avoided too. Having argued that this method of typing process tokens solves the Generality Problem, I then argue that my solution does not fall prey to objections that have been, or might be, raised for similar proposals. (shrink)
Several high-profile mathematical problems have been solved in recent decades by computer-assisted proofs. Some philosophers have argued that such proofs are a posteriori on the grounds that some such proofs are unsurveyable; that our warrant for accepting these proofs involves empirical claims about the reliability of computers; that there might be errors in the computer or program executing the proof; and that appeal to computer introduces into a proof an experimental element. I argue that none of these arguments withstands scrutiny, (...) and so there is no reason to believe that computer-assisted proofs are not a priori. Thanks are due to Michael Levin, David Corfield, and an anonymous referee for Philosophia Mathematica for their helpful comments. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Hofstra University Department of Mathematics colloquium series, and at the 2005 New Jersey Regional Philosophical Association; I am grateful to both audiences for their comments. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The lottery problem is often regarded as a successful counterexample to reliabilism. The process of forming your true belief that your ticket has lost solely on the basis of considering the odds is, from a purely probabilistic viewpoint, much more reliable than the process of forming a true belief that you have lost by reading the results in a normally reliable newspaper. Reliabilism thus seems forced, counterintuitively, to count the former process as knowledge if it so counts the latter process. (...) -/- I offer a theory of empirical knowledge which, while being recognizably reliabilist, restricts empirical knowledge to cases in which the fact that p and the belief that p are causally connected. I show that this form of reliabilism solves the lottery problem, avoids the problems that beset the causal theory of knowledge, and show how it handles a number of problematic cases in the recent literature. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard's version of the safety analysis of knowledge has it that for all contingent propositions, p, S knows that p iff S believes that p, p is true, and (the “safety principle”) in most nearby worlds in which S forms his belief in the same way as in the actual world, S believes that p only if p is true. Among the other virtues claimed by Pritchard for this view is its supposed ability to solve a version of the (...) lottery puzzle. In this paper, I argue that the safety analysis of knowledge in fact fails to solve the lottery puzzle. I also argue that a revised version of the safety principle recently put forward by Pritchard fares no better. (shrink)
Mathematical apriorists sometimes hold that our non-derived mathematical beliefs are warranted by mathematical intuition. Against this, Philip Kitcher has argued that if we had the experience of encountering mathematical experts who insisted that an intuition-produced belief was mistaken, this would undermine that belief. Since this would be a case of experience undermining the warrant provided by intuition, such warrant cannot be a priori.I argue that this leaves untouched a conception of intuition as merely an aspect of our ordinary ability to (...) reason. Thus the apriorist may still hold that some mathematical beliefs are warranted by intuition. (shrink)
This paper argues that reliabilism can handle Gettier cases once it restricts knowledge producing reliable processes to those that involve a suitable causal link between the subject’s belief and the fact it references. Causal tracking reliabilism (as this version of reliabilism is called) also avoids the problems that refuted the causal theory of knowledge, along with problems besetting more contemporary theories (such as virtue reliabilism and the “safety” account of knowledge). Finally, causal tracking reliabilism allows for a response to Linda (...) Zagzebski’s challenge that no theory of knowledge can both eliminate the possibility of Gettier cases while also allowing fully warranted but false beliefs. (shrink)
Mathematical apriorism holds that mathematical truths must be established using a priori processes. Against this, it has been argued that apparently a priori mathematical processes can, under certain circumstances, fail to warrant the beliefs they produce; this shows that these warrants depend on contingent features of the contexts in which they are used. They thus cannot be a priori. -/- In this paper I develop a position that combines a reliabilist version of mathematical apriorism with a platonistic view of mathematical (...) ontology. I argue that this view both withstands the above objection and explains the reliability of a priori mathematical warrant. (shrink)
It is sometimes argued that mathematical knowledge must be a priori, since mathematical truths are necessary, and experience tells us only what is true, not what must be true. This argument can be undermined either by showing that experience can yield knowledge of the necessity of some truths, or by arguing that mathematical theorems are contingent. Recent work by Albert Casullo and Timothy Williamson argues (or can be used to argue) the first of these lines; W. V. Quine and Hartry (...) Field take the latter line. I defend a version of the argument against these, and other objections. (shrink)
In recent decades, experimental mathematics has emerged as a new branch of mathematics. This new branch is defined less by its subject matter, and more by its use of computer assisted reasoning. Experimental mathematics uses a variety of computer assisted approaches to verify or prove mathematical hypotheses. For example, there is “number crunching” such as searching for very large Mersenne primes, and showing that the Goldbach conjecture holds for all even numbers less than 2 × 1018. There are “verifications” of (...) hypotheses which, while not definitive proofs, provide strong support for those hypotheses, and there are proofs involving an enormous amount of computer hours, which cannot be surveyed by any one mathematician in a lifetime. There have been several attempts to argue that one or another aspect of experimental mathematics shows that mathematics now accepts empirical or inductive methods, and hence shows mathematical apriorism to be false. Assessing this argument is complicated by the fact that there is no agreed definition of what precisely experimental mathematics is. However, I argue that on any plausible account of ’experiment’ these arguments do not succeed. (shrink)
Setting the thought of Robert Grosseteste within the broader context of the intellectual, religious, and social movements of his time, this study elucidates the evolution of his ideas on topics ranging from the mathematical laws that govern the movement of bodies, God as the mathematical Creator, and human knowledge, to religious experience and the place of humanity within the social, natural, and providential orders.
The foundation of humanist friendship and its purpose lay in the sharing of the Christian faith accompanied by the love of classical letters. The ideas of Erasmus concerning friendship are best developed in his Adagia, and thus in relationship to the ancient proverbs on the subject. The approval given by him to the classical, humanistic ideal of noble, virtuous, equal, and lasting friendship contrasts with Thomas More’s traditional conception of friendship which derived directly from Christian sources. More held that the (...) experience of friendship is a partial anticipation of the secure friendship of heaven, where we may hope that all will “be merry together”—not just our friends in this life but our enemies too. (shrink)
Michael Bishop and J.D.Trout have recently argued that analytic epistemology is incapable of incorporating insights from experimental psychology, and that while an acceptable epistemology should be normative, analytic epistemology lacks normativity. For these reasons, they urge that analytic epistemology should be replaced by what they call “ameliorative psychology”: a view that draws on empirical findings in psychology in order to help people become better reasoners. In this paper, I argue that analytic epistemology does not need to be replaced, as it (...) is indeed normative, and is quite capable of incorporating the insights of ameliorative psychology. (shrink)
This essay argues that Hélène Cixous's writings on theatre demonstrate an ongoing concern with the non-theorizable as a fundamental element of her experience of theatre. This creates a tension between Cixous's role as a theorist and her role as a creative writer, and this essay explores how this tension manifests itself in her reflections on theatre. It looks at the strategies Cixous adopts to allow the non-theoretical to inflect her critical and creative writing, focusing on her denial of specialist knowledge (...) about theatre, her conception of the theatre text in opposition to meditation and philosophical reflection, and on her attempts to model her own playwriting process on the practical work of actors and director Ariane Mnouchkine. Cixous's attraction to the non-theorizable, it is suggested, leads to a more poetic mode of criticism about the medium that draws both on embodied theatrical practice and the self/other relationships that structure theatre making. (shrink)
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