This impressive volume presents the results of a symposium on the structure of scientific theories held at the University of Illinois, Urbana, on March 26-29, 1969; lest this create the wrong impression, let it be noted at the outset that the volume is much more than a collection of papers. Indeed, when one takes into account Frederick Suppe’s book-length introduction, the editing of the critical comments, the extensive bibliography, and the fine index, the work must be seen as the best (...) account of scientific theory now available, one that surely commends itself to every philosopher of science with the slightest interest in metaphysics. The thrust of the symposium was to examine the view of scientific theories that has enjoyed great vogue among logical positivists, who have seen such theories as "axiomatic calculi in which theoretical terms and statements are given a partial observational interpretation by means of correspondence rules." Suppe refers to this as the "Received View," although it has been increasingly questioned in recent years, particularly by philosophers who have some proficiency in the history of science and by scientists who question its fidelity to actual scientific practice. One of the major aims of the symposium was to subject the Received View to analysis and debate by its proponents and by its critics, to assess its present status, and to see if any consensus has begun to develop on this topic—which plays such a key role in the philosophy of science. Suppe performs the analytic function in his critical introduction, and Stephen Toulmin adds a postscript that attempts to chart a course for future research. The message seems to be that the Received View has run its course and has proved to be more a hindrance than a help to philosophizing about science; what will take its place, however, does not emerge with any clarity. Participants in the symposium include all the luminaries in the philosophy of science movement: Carl Hempel, Patrick Suppes, David Bohm, Hilary Putnam, Thomas Kuhn, and Dudley Shapere, among others. Especially noteworthy are Suppe’s account of the development of the Received View and the criticisms that have been lodged against it, viz., its reliance on the analytic-synthetic distinction; the tenability of the observational-theoretical distinction; the notion of partial interpretation; its failure to include models as integral components; its analysis of correspondence rules; and its reliance on axiomatization. Suppe also details some of the proposed alternatives to the Received View, giving in the process lucid expositions of the thought of Toulmin, Kuhn, Hanson, Popper, and Feyerabend—all of which he treats under the rubric of "Weltanshauungen [[sic]] Analyses." Those interested in the relationships between history of science and philosophy of science will find the interchange between I. Bernard Cohen and Peter Achinstein stimulating as well as illuminating. Kuhn takes this occasion to offer his "Second Thoughts on Paradigms," and Shapere continues his criticism of both Kuhn and logical positivism—now more constructively than heretofore—with a penetrating essay entitled "Scientific Theories and their Domains." About the only thing that is lacking is a treatment of recent developments in England, particularly the work of Rom Harré at Oxford and related thinkers, who likewise reject the Received View and offer interesting alternatives to it that have yet to be appreciated and critiqued in the U.S.—W.A.W. (shrink)
This was to have been a confutation. My intention was to rebut and for the record’s sake to correct certain fashionable errors concerning the life of Virginia Woolf. What could be more proper, and what, it has to be said, more tedious? If the defence of truth had remained my only objet, I should have left these words unwritten, or at least should have addressed them to a very small audience. But the pursuit of truth sent me back to my (...) sources, and there I found a story, in many ways sad, but also funny and certainly instructive. It seemed worth extracting this record of a friendship from the great mass of evidence in which it is embedded. I hope that the reader will agree with me in finding it interesting in itself but, just as Prince’s Hal’s “plain tale” is made livelier by being contrasted with Falstaff’s “eleven buckram men,” so too the simple facts are made more striking by the intentions of Virginia’s recent interpreters. Let me therefore begin with a quotation from one of them.Volume I [of Virginia Woolf’s Letters] has a rarely preserved portrait of a female artist in the making, love and work intensely intertwined in her relations with women who encouraged her to write, read, and think, and gave her the nourishment of womanly love and literary criticism, which she was to seek and find in female friendship all her life. Bloomsbury fades into insignificance as an “influence” next to the radiance of Woolf’s relationships with Margaret Llewelyn Davies, head of the Cooperative Working Women’s Guild, Janet Case, her Greek teacher, violet Dickinson, Madge Vaughan, and her aunt Caroline Stephen, the Quaker whom she called “Nun.”1These words were written by Professor Jane Marcus, a person of great charm and ability, whose opinions are, I understand, accepted by a multitude of admirers. In those articles by her which I have read, she hardly disguises her contempt for me as a biographer. But, painful though it is to have incurred the disdain of so influential a personage, it much be allowed that, if the influence of Virginia Woolf’s husband, her sister, and her closest friends “fades into insignificance” when compared with that of Miss Caroline Stephen and Mrs. W. W. Vaughan, then indeed I have gone sadly astray. Quentin Bell is the author of, among other works, Virginia Woolf: A Biography, Bloomsbury, Ruskin, and On Human Finery. His previous contributions to Critical Inquiry include “Art and the Elite” and “Bloomsbury and ‘the Vulgar Passions’ ”. (shrink)
A recent article in this journal described practical and conceptual difficulties faced by public health researchers studying scabies outbreaks in British residential care facilities. Their study population was elderly, decisionally incapacitated residents, many of whom lacked a legally appropriate decision-maker for healthcare decisions. The researchers reported difficulties securing Research Ethics Committee approval. As practicing healthcare ethicists working in a large Canadian research hospital, we are familiar with this challenge and welcomed the authors’ invitation to join the discussion of the ‘outstanding (...) ambiguities and further questions’ that their experience uncovered. We propose a Power of Attorney for Research as one substantive solution to help address the problems they identified. Although we acknowledge the familiar shortcomings associated with Advance Directives in the clinical context, we believe that Powers of Attorney for Research Participation, accompanied by Advance Research Directives, may increase the likelihood of gaining deeper understandings of potential participant’s values and priorities and how they might apply to foreseeable research opportunities. (shrink)
_BMC Medical Ethics_ is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in relation to the ethical aspects of biomedical research and clinical practice, including professional choices and conduct, medical technologies, healthcare systems and health policies. _BMC __Medical Ethics _is part of the _BMC_ series which publishes subject-specific journals focused on the needs of individual research communities across all areas of biology and medicine. We do not make editorial decisions on the basis of the interest of a study or (...) its likely impact. Studies must be scientifically valid; for research articles this includes a scientifically sound research question, the use of suitable methods and analysis, and following community-agreed standards relevant to the research field. Specific criteria for other article types can be found in the submission guidelines. _BMC series - open, inclusive and trusted_. (shrink)
It is usually supposed that the Dirac and radiation equations predict that the phase of a fermion will rotate through half the angle through which the fermion is rotated, which means, via the measured dynamical and geometrical phase factors, that the fermion must have a half-integral spin. We demonstrate that this is not the case and that the identical relativistic quantum mechanics can also be derived with the phase of the fermion rotating through the same angle as does the fermion (...) itself. Under spatial rotation and Lorentz transformation the bispinor transforms as a four-vector like the potential and Dirac current. Previous attempts to provide this form of transformational behavior have foundered because a satisfactory current could not be derived.(14). (shrink)
We complete our previous(1, 2) demonstration that there is a family of new solutions to the photon and Dirac equations using spatial and temporal circles and four-vector behaviour of the Dirac bispinor. We analyse one solution for a bound state, which is equivalent to the attractive two-body interaction between a charged point particle and a second, which remains at rest. We show this yields energy and angular momentum eigenvalues that are identical to those found by the usual method of solving (...) of the Dirac equation,(4) including fine structure. We complete our previous derivation(2) of QED from a set of rules for the two-body interaction and generalise these. We show that QED may be decomposed into a two-body interaction at every point in spacetime. (shrink)
Reviews concepts of hope, despair, and depression. Hope is viewed as the belief and expectation that one has some control over life and the future, that unpleasant events are products of both personal perspective and fate, and that problems will be mastered or will fade.