Although there is universal consensus both in the science education literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called “the consensus view” about the nature of science (NOS), whose goal is to teach students only those characteristics of science on which there is wide consensus. This (...) is an attractive view, but it has some shortcomings and weaknesses. In this article we present and defend an alternative approach based on the notion of family resemblance. We argue that the family resemblance approach is superior to the consensus view in several ways, which we discuss in some detail. (shrink)
Certain segments of science are becoming increasingly commercialized. This article discusses the commercialization of academic science and its impact on various aspects of science. It also aims to provide an introduction to the articles in this special issue. I briefly describe the major factors that led to this phenomenon, situate it in the context of the changing social regime of science and give a thumbnail sketch of its costs and benefits. I close with a general discussion of how the topic (...) of commercialization of academic science is relevant to science education. (shrink)
The papers collected in this Synthese special issue are the result of a conference that one of us (ES) casually suggested and the other (GI) organized, which took place at Bo˘gaziçi University in Istanbul, in May 2008, to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the publication of Experience and Prediction. These papers are historical and philosophical in varying degrees. Reichenbach is now often lumped together with the logical positivists of the Vienna Circle, but his ideas, especially those in Experience and Prediction, (...) were often developed in opposition to positivism. We hope that the essays collected here will be a resource for philosophers who work on the problems that Reichenbach addressed, and also that these essays will be useful to historians who want to develop a deeper understanding of Reichenbach in his historical context. (shrink)
Fleeing from the Nazi regime, along with many German refugees, Hans Reichenbach came to teach at Istanbul University in 1933, accepting the invitation of the Turkish government and stayed in Istanbul until 1938. While much is known about his work and life in Istanbul, the existing literature relies mostly on his letters and works. In this article I try to shed more light on Reichenbach's scholarly activities and personal life by also taking into account the Turkish sources and the academic (...) context in which Reichenbach taught and worked. (shrink)
No consensus yet exists on how to handle incidental fnd-ings in human subjects research. Yet empirical studies document IFs in a wide range of research studies, where IFs are fndings beyond the aims of the study that are of potential health or reproductive importance to the individual research participant. This paper reports recommendations of a two-year project group funded by NIH to study how to manage IFs in genetic and genomic research, as well as imaging research. We conclude that researchers (...) have an obligation to address the possibility of discovering IFs in their protocol and communications with the IRB, and in their consent forms and communications with research participants. Researchers should establish a pathway for handling IFs and communicate that to the IRB and research participants. We recommend a pathway and categorize IFs into those that must be disclosed to research participants, those that may be disclosed, and those that should not be disclosed. (shrink)
The attitudes of patients' to consent have changed over the years, but there has been little systematic study of the attitudes of anaesthetists and surgeons in this process. We aimed to describe observations made on the attitudes of medical professionals working in the UK to issues surrounding informed consent.
The rule of rescue describes the powerful human proclivity to rescue identified endangered lives, regardless of cost or risk. Deciding whether or not to perform a decompressive craniectomy as a life-saving or ‘rescue’ procedure for a young person with a severe traumatic brain injury provides a good example of the ethical tensions that occur in these situations. Unfortunately, there comes a point when the primary brain injury is so severe that if the patient survives they are likely to remain severely (...) disabled and fully dependent. The health resource implications of this outcome are significant. By using a web-based outcome prediction model this study compares the long-term outcome and designation of two groups of patients. One group had a very severe injury as adjudged by the model and the other group a less severe injury. At 18 month follow-up there were significant differences in outcome and healthcare requirements. This raises important ethical issues when considering life-saving but non-restorative surgical intervention. The discussion about realistic outcome cannot be dichotomised into simply life or death so that the outcome for the patient must enter the equation. As in other ‘rescue situations’, the utility of the procedure cannot be rationalised on a mere cost–benefit analysis. A compromise has to be reached to determine at what point either the likely outcome would be unacceptable to the person on whom the procedure is being performed or the social utility gained from the rule of rescue intervention fails to justify the utilitarian value and justice of equitable resource allocation. (shrink)
McCullough et al. propose adaptations that motivate forgiveness when the potential benefits of continuing the relationship outweigh the costs incurred by the transgression. The costs incurred are definite, whereas future benefits of forgiveness are only probabilistic. This situation exposes the forgiver to cheating in the form of repeat transgression. Adaptations motivating genuine forgiveness are therefore unlikely to evolve.
The state-of-art research in the field of life’s organization confronts the need to investigate a number of interacting components, their properties and conditions of sustainable behaviour within a natural system. In biology, ecology and life sciences, the performance of such stable system is usually related to homeostasis, a property of the system to actively regulate its state within a certain allowable limits. In our previous work, we proposed a deterministic model for systems’ homeostasis. The model was based on dynamical system’s (...) theory and pairwise relationships of competition, amensalism and antagonism taken from theoretical biology and ecology. However, the present paper proposes a different dimension to our previous results based on the same model. In this paper, we introduce the influence of inter-component relationships in a system, wherein the impact is characterized by direction (neutral, positive, or negative) as well as its (absolute) value, or strength. This makes the model stochastic which, in our opinion, is more consistent with real-world elements affected by various random factors. The case study includes two examples from areas of hydrobiology and medicine. The models acquired for these cases enabled us to propose a convincing explanation for corresponding phenomena identified by different types of natural systems. (shrink)
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