Originally published in 1937, this book presents the philosophy of James Ward, the Professor of Mental Philosophy and Logic at the University of Cambridge. Ward was primarily concerned with the perceived antagonism between science and philosophy or religion, and Murray supplies a psychological background to Ward's thinking that helps to explain his interest in this topic. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Ward or the duality of faith and reason.
Originally published in 1991, The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences, is the first monograph to identify and address some of the many interesting questions that pertain to thought experiments. While the putative aim of the book is to explore the nature of thought experimental evidence, it has another important purpose which concerns the crucial role thought experiments play in Brown’s Platonic master argument.In that argument, Brown argues against naturalism and empiricism (Brown 2012), for mathematical Platonism (...) (Brown 2008), and from the Platonist-friendly, abstract universals posited by the Dretske-Tooley-Armstrong (DTA) account of the laws of nature to a more general, physical Platonism. The Laboratory of the Mind is where he takes this final step. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary (...) American society. -/- A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
Working within the tradition of continental philosophy, this article argues in favour of a phenomenological understanding of language as a crucial component of bioethical inquiry. The authors challenge the ‘commonsense’ view of language, in which thinking appears as prior to speaking, and speech the straightforward vehicle of pre-existing thoughts. Drawing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's (1908–1961) phenomenology of language, the authors claim that thinking takes place in and through the spoken word, in and through embodied language. This view resituates bioethics as a (...) matter of bodies that speak. It also refigures the meaning of ethical self-reflexion, and in so doing offers an alternative view on reflexivity and critique. Referring to the Kantian critical tradition and its reception by Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, we advance a position we call ‘critical ethical reflexivity’. We contend that Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of language offers valuable insight into ethical reflexivity and subject formation. Moreover, his understanding of language may foster new qualitative empirical research in bioethics, lead to more nuanced methods for interpreting personal narratives, and promote critical self-reflexion as necessary for bioethical inquiry. (shrink)
This paper explores a novel philosophy of ethical care in the face of burgeoning biomedical technologies. I respond to a serious challenge facing traditional bioethics with its roots in analytic philosophy. The hallmarks of these traditional approaches are reason and autonomy, founded on a belief in the liberal humanist subject. In recent years, however, there have been mounting challenges to this view of human subjectivity, emerging from poststructuralist critiques, such as Michel Foucault's, but increasingly also as a result of advances (...) in biotechnology itself. In the face of these developments, I argue that the theoretical relevance and practical application of mainstream bioethics is increasingly under strain. Traditionalists will undoubtedly resist. Together, professional philosopher-bioethicists, public health policymakers, and the global commercial healthcare industry tend to respond conservatively by shoring up the liberal humanist subject as the foundation for medical ethics and consumer decision-making, appealing to the familiar tropes of reason, autonomy, and freedom. (shrink)
Thought experiments are a means of imaginative reasoning that lie at the heart of philosophy, from the pre-Socratics to the modern era, and they also play central roles in a range of fields, from physics to politics. The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments is an invaluable guide and reference source to this multifaceted subject. Comprising over 30 chapters by a team of international contributors, the Companion covers the following important areas: -/- · the history of thought experiments, from antiquity to (...) the trolley problem and quantum non-locality; -/- · thought experiments in the humanities, arts, and sciences, including ethics, physics, theology, biology, mathematics, economics, and politics; -/- · theories about the nature of thought experiments; -/- · new discussions concerning the impact of experimental philosophy, cross-cultural comparison studies, metaphilosophy, computer simulations, idealization, dialectics, cognitive science, the artistic nature of thought experiments, and metaphysical issues. -/- This broad ranging Companion goes backwards through history and sideways across disciplines. It also engages with philosophical perspectives from empiricism, rationalism, naturalism, skepticism, pluralism, contextualism, and neo-Kantianism to phenomenology. This volume will be valuable for anyone studying the methods of philosophy or any discipline that employs thought experiments, as well as anyone interested in the power and limits of the mind. (shrink)
This article is a critical methodological reflection on the use of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) initiated in the context of a qualitative research project on the experience of seclusion in a psychiatric setting. It addresses an explicit gap in the IPA literature to explore the ways that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology can extend the remit of IPA for noncognitivist qualitative research projects beyond the field of health psychology. In particular, the article develops Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of the lived-body, language, and embodied speech, with (...) specific attention to the ethical implications of body and place. It concludes with a discussion on phenomenological reflexivity and prompts a reconsideration of phenomenological methods across a wide range of qualitative research projects concerned with subjectivity and ethical practice, including critical health studies, critical bioethics, and cultural studies that employ a qualitative empirical research design. (shrink)
In critical care medicine, teaching and mentoring practices are extremely important in regard to attracting and retaining young trainees and faculty in this important subspecialty that has a scarcity of needed personnel in the USA. To this end, we argue that Foucault’s Technologies of the Self is critical background reading when endeavoring to effect the positive transformation of faculty into effective teachers and mentors.
Rationale, aims and objectives : Evidence-based medicine (EBM) claims to be based on 'evidence', rather than 'intuition'. However, EBM's fundamental distinction between quantitative 'evidence' and qualitative 'intuition' is not self-evident. The meaning of 'evidence' is unclear and no studies of quality exist to demonstrate the superiority of EBM in health care settings. This paper argues that, despite itself, EBM holds out only the illusion of conclusive scientific rigour for clinical decision making, and that EBM ultimately is unable to fulfil its (...) own structural criteria for 'evidence'. Methods : Our deconstructive analysis of EBM draws on the work of the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida. Deconstruction works in the name of justice to lay bare, to expose what has been hidden from view. In plain language, we deconstruct EBM's paradigm of 'evidence', the randomized controlled trial (RCT), to demonstrate that there cannot be incontrovertible evidence for EBM as such. We argue that EBM therefore 'auto-deconstructs' its own paradigm, and that medical practitioners, policymakers and patients alike ought to be aware of this failure within EBM itself. Results : EBM's strict distinction between admissible evidence (based on RCTs) and other supposedly inadmissible evidence is not itself based on evidence, but rather, on intuition. In other words, according to EBM's own logic, there can be no 'evidentiary' basis for its distinction between admissible and inadmissible evidence. Ultimately, to uphold this fundamental distinction, EBM must seek recourse in (bio)political ideology and an epistemology akin to faith. (shrink)
In his six 1983 lectures published under the title, Fearless Speech (2001), Michel Foucault developed the theme of free speech and its relation to frankness, truth-telling, criticism, and duty. Derived from the ancient Greek word parrhesia, Foucault's analysis of free speech is relevant to the mentoring of medical students. This is especially true given the educational and social need to transform future physicians into able citizens who practice a fearless freedom of expression on behalf of their patients, the public, the (...) medical profession, and themselves in the public and political arena. In this paper, we argue that Foucault's understanding of free speech, or parrhesia, should be read as an ethical response to the American Medical Association's recent educational effort, Initiative to Transform Medical Education (ITME): Recommendations for change in the system of medical education (2007). In this document, the American Medical Association identifies gaps in medical education, emphasizing the need to enhance health system safety and quality, to improve education in training institutions, and to address the inadequacy of physician preparedness in new content areas. These gaps, and their relationship to the ITME goal of promoting excellence in patient care by implementing reform in the US system of medical education, call for a serious consideration and use of Foucault's parrhesia in the way that medical students are trained and mentored. (shrink)
◆ Writing is per se already violence: the rupture there is in each fragment, the break, the splitting, the tearing of the shred—acute singularity, steely point. And yet this combat is, for patience, debate. The name wears away [s'use], the fragment fragments, erodes.There is much talk today but little speech, or rather, little speech that could be received and responded to absent the vows of the unavowable community of its speakers. There is combat but debate is foreclosed by the absence (...) of asignifying absence. To avow that a community is unavowable—when the name wears away—is not to say that it has been disavowed, subjected, though in many cases this is so, for often the name names sovereignly.... (shrink)
This article argues for the value of considering the interaction of literary/cultural studies, disability studies and engineering/design studies in the ongoing development of a critical medical humanities research frame. With a specific focus on prosthesis, but also considerations of embodiment, technology and augmentation as concepts in both cultural/disability theory and engineering/design, we note how the shifting and plastic ideas of ‘the prosthetic’ as used within cultural studies have never been in conversation with scholars who work on prostheses in engineering design (...) or the processes through which such technologies are produced. Additionally, we show that the increased use of systems engineering in the design and construction of prostheses creates fractured ideas of disabled bodies that frequently ignore both the cultural meaning and lived experience of technology use. In design and engineering, prostheses are literal objects, often made to order for a diverse range of clients and produced across different working platforms; in cultural studies, the word creates multiple resonances around both augmented bodies and non-embodied states increasingly understood in terms of assemblage and supplementarity. Working from this, we outline how questions of metaphor, materiality and systems weave through the different disciplines. The article claims that a critical dialogue between the working methods of literary/cultural studies and engineering/design, for all their obvious differences, possesses the potential to create informed and sophisticated accounts of disability embodiment. Our conclusion brings the strands of the enquiry together and points to the merits of engineering the imagination, and imagining engineering, as both a subject and method in future medical humanities research. (shrink)
In this paper, we extend Michel Foucault’s final works on the ‘care of the self’ to an empirical examination of research practice in community-based research. We use Foucault’s ‘morality of behaviors’ to analyze interview data from a national sample of Canadian CBR practitioners working with communities affected by HIV. Despite claims in the literature that ethics review is overly burdensome for non-traditional forms of research, our findings suggest that many researchers using CBR have an ambivalent but ultimately productive relationship with (...) institutional research ethics review requirements. They understand and use prescribed codes, but adapt them in practice to account for the needs of participating community members, members of their research teams and the larger communities with whom they work. Complying with ethics protocols was seen as only the beginning, a minimum standard; our research suggests that the real ethical work happens in the field, where CBR practitioners encounter community members in diverse public roles and must forge ethical consensus across communities. CBR represents an ethical terrain in which practitioners challenge themselves to work differently, and as a result they care for themselves—and others—in ways that often resist the propensity for domination through public health research. ‘…there are different ways to “conduct oneself” morally, different ways for the acting individual to operate, not just as an agent, but as an ethical subject of action.’. (shrink)