Erdelyi identifies cognitive and emotional motives for repression, but largely neglects social motivations. Yet social pressure to not know, and implicit needs to isolate awareness in order to protect relationships, are common motives. Social motives may even trump emotional motives; the most painful events are sometimes the most difficult to repress. Cognitive repression may be impacted by social information sharing.
Stylistic analysis and rhetorical theory are used in this study to inform our understanding of impediments to the successful uptake of a new medical idea. Through examination of the work of the Victorian surgeon Joseph Lister, who was described by one biographer as suffering from “stylistic ham-handedness”, the study provides insights into the difficulty that Lister had in explaining his theory of antiseptic surgery. Using three comparisons—Lister’s scientific style in public discourse with that of his students, and Lister’s scientific style (...) in private discourse with those of both a surbordinate and a superior—the study suggests that the rhetorical concept of ethos played a major role in his communication difficulties. In this way, it presents a more nuanced perspective on modern presentations of “model” communications versus communication failures: that is, that problematic written discourse offers as useful a heuristic device as does exemplary discourse. (shrink)
We provide the results of a systematic key-informant review of medical humanities curricula at fourteen of Canada’s seventeen medical schools. This survey was the first of its kind. We found a wide diversity of views among medical educators as to what constitutes the medical humanities, and a lack of consensus on how best to train medical students in the field. In fact, it is not clear that consensus has been attempted – or is even desirable – given that Canadian medical (...) humanities programs are largely shaped by individual educators’ interests, experience and passions. This anarchic approach to teaching the medical humanities contrasts sharply with teaching in the clinical sciences where national accreditation processes attempt to ensure that doctors graduating from different schools have roughly the same knowledge (or at least have passed the same exams). We argue that medical humanities are marginalized in Canadian curricula because they are considered to be at odds philosophically with the current dominant culture of evidence-based medicine (EBM). In such a culture where adhering to a consensual standard is a measure of worth, the medical humanities – which defy easy metrical appraisal – are vulnerable. We close with a plea for medical education to become more comfortable in the borderlands between EBM and humanities approaches. (shrink)
The language of “participant-driven research,” “crowdsourcing” and “citizen science” is increasingly being used to encourage the public to become involved in research ventures as both subjects and scientists....
This essay is a critique of medical/clinical ethics from the personal perspective of a medical historian in an academic health science centre who has interacted with ethicists. It calls for greater transparency and accountability of ethicists involved in ‘bedside consulting;’ it questions the wisdom of the four principles of biomedical ethics and their American cultural origins with respect to training; challenges the authority of ‘core competencies’ for ethicists as identified by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; and muses over (...) the apparent reintroduction of religion into clinical medicine through the medium of bioethics. This essay is designed to provoke reflection on the putative ‘professionalism’ of the consulting ethics enterprise for which educational baselines and curricula are not standardized. By analysing sources such as the professional material communicated by the Canadian Bioethics Society, it also critiques the collective ethical shortcoming... (shrink)
In the present state of philosophy in the English-speaking world, to choose to talk about sense data may seem perverse. What could be more boring for one's audience than to attempt variations on so threadbare a theme? And worse, what could be more unfashionable in the aftermath of Wittgenstein and Austin? My reasons for selecting this unpromising topic are twofold. First, the general theme of this series of lectures is empiricism. And whatever meanings we put upon that ambiguous word, it (...) is clear that as a matter of history the problems of perception have been important problems for nearly all those philosophers who would consider themselves to be empiricists. And however unsatisfactory sense datum theories of perception may now be held to be, such theories have been central to the empiricist tradition. Secondly, it is important not to be too much impressed by the fact that a particular philosophical opinion is fashionable or unfashionable. The former certainly does not guarantee its truth nor the latter its falsity. It has often been remarked that philosophical opinions are very rarely refuted. Instead they fall out of vogue only to return some years later in another guise. It is perhaps time to take another look at the notion of sense data. The most ingenious and persistent attacks on analyses of perception in terms of sense data have been at best indecisive, as Professor Ayer showed in his reply to Austin's Sense and Sensibilia. (shrink)