The Irish poet W. B. Yeats once wrote, with great sapience and perception: Nor dread, nor hope attend A dying animal; A man awaits his end Dreading and hoping all. That death has ever been a problem to man is attested as far back as we can trace our species in the archaeological record—indeed, it seems to have been a problem even for that immediate precursor of homo sapiens, the so-called Neanderthal Man; for he buried his dead.
Sober (1992) has recently evaluated Brandon's (1982, 1990; see also 1985, 1988) use of Salmon's (1971) concept of screening-off in the philosophy of biology. He critiques three particular issues, each of which will be considered in this discussion.
H. G. Liddell & R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, rev. and aug. by Sir H. S. Jones. with the ass. of R. McKenzie, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1940. ῥυθμός , Ion. ῥυσμός (v. infr. 111, IV), ὁ : (ῥέω) :— A. any regular recurring motion (“πᾶς ῥ. ὡρισμένῃ μετρεῖται κινήσει” Arist.Pr.882b2) : I. measured motion, time, whether in sound or motion, Democr.15c ; = ἡ τῆς κινήσεως τάξις, Pl.Lg.665a, cf. 672e ; “ὁ ῥ. ἐκ τοῦ ταχέος (...) - Études grecques (...) et latines. (shrink)
The dominant unspoken philosophical basis of medical care in the United States is a form of Cartesian reductionism that views the body as a machine and medical professionals as technicians whose job is to repair that machine. The purpose of this paper is to advocate for an alternative philosophy of medicine based on the concept of healing relationships between clinicians and patients. This is accomplished first by exploring the ethical and philosophical work of Pellegrino and Thomasma and then by connecting (...) Martin Buber's philosophical work on the nature of relationships to an empirically derived model of the medical healing relationship. The Healing Relationship Model was developed by the authors through qualitative analysis of interviews of physicians and patients. Clinician-patient healing relationships are a special form of what Buber calls I-Thou relationships, characterized by dialog and mutuality, but a mutuality limited by the inherent asymmetry of the clinician-patient relationship. The Healing Relationship Model identifies three processes necessary for such relationships to develop and be sustained: Valuing, Appreciating Power and Abiding. We explore in detail how these processes, as well as other components of the model resonate with Buber's concepts of I-Thou and I-It relationships. The resulting combined conceptual model illuminates the wholeness underlying the dual roles of clinicians as healers and providers of technical biomedicine. On the basis of our analysis, we argue that health care should be focused on healing, with I-Thou relationships at its core. (shrink)
In this paper we first briefly review Bell's (1964, 1966) Theorem to see how it invalidates any deterministic "hidden variable" account of the apparent indeterminacy of quantum mechanics (QM). Then we show that quantum uncertainty, at the level of DNA mutations, can "percolate" up to have major populational effects. Interesting as this point may be it does not show any autonomous indeterminism of the evolutionary process. In the next two sections we investigate drift and natural selection as the locus of (...) autonomous biological indeterminacy. Here we conclude that the population-level indeterminacy of natural selection and drift are ultimately based on the assumption of a fundamental indeterminacy at the level of the lives and deaths of individual organisms. The following section examines this assumption and defends it from the determinists' attack. Then we show that, even if one rejects the assumption, there is still an important reason why one might think evolutionary theory (ET) is autonomously indeterministic. In the concluding section we contrast the arguments we have mounted against a deterministic hidden variable account of ET with the proof of the impossibility of such an account of QM. (shrink)