Historians of science have proposed many theories to explain why Copernicus rejected the Ptolemaic system and advanced his own heliocentric system. In support of his new cosmological system Copernicus always employed theoretical considerations and never the existence of discrepancies between the positions given in the Tables and those observed. It is shown that the general acceptance of the heliocentric system through the work of the astronomers resulted not so much from empirical considerations but rather from the fact that this system (...) was suited to a comprehensive, general dynamics. (shrink)
Euler ’s wave theory of light developed from a mere description of this notion based on an analogy between sound and light to a more and more mathematical elaboration on that notion. He was very successful in predicting the shape of achromatic lenses based on a new dispersion law that we now know is wrong. Most of his mathematical arguments were, however, guesswork without any solid physical reasoning. Guesswork is not always a bad thing in physics if it leads to (...) new experiments or makes the theory coherent with other theories. And Euler tried to find such experiments. He saw the construction of achromatic lenses, the explanation of colors of thin plates and of the opaque bodies as proof of his theory. When it came to the fundamental issues, the correctness of his dispersion law and the prediction of frequencies of light he was not at all successful. His wave theory degenerated, and it was not until Augustin Fresnel introduced transverse waves and an elaborate notion of interference that the wave theory again progressed. (shrink)
A common objection to paternalism concerns its expressive content. Many reject paternalistic policies and actions on the ground that they arguably involve insulting expressions of disrespect toward those subjected to them. The paper challenges this view. It argues that refraining from acting paternalistically can be disrespectful. Specifically, the paper argues that there is a relevant way in which A disregards the moral worth of B if A stands idly by when B is about to act very imprudently. If true, treating (...) others with equal respect and concern, as relational egalitarians and others rightly ask us to do, will somewhat surprisingly sometimes involve treating them paternalistically. (shrink)
Opponents of paternalism have sought to formulate non-paternalistic arguments for some seemingly reasonable but apparently paternalistic policies. This article addresses two such non-paternalistic arguments—the public charge argument and the psychic harm argument. The gist of both arguments is that a person’s imprudent or risky behavior often affects the interests of others adversely, and that this justifies restricting his or her behavior in various ways. The article shows that both arguments face important problems. It thus throws serious doubt on the prospect (...) of holding on to apparently sound and well-founded policies whilst at the same time avoiding paternalism. (shrink)
In this article I assess the Invariance Principle, which states that only quantities that are invariant under the symmetries of our theories are physically real. I argue, contrary to current orthodoxy, that the variance of a quantity under a theory’s symmetries is not a sufficient basis for interpreting that theory as being uncommitted to the reality of that quantity. Rather, I argue, the variance of a quantity under symmetries only ever serves as a motivation to refrain from any commitment to (...) the quantity in question. (shrink)
There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
The concept ‘hereditary breast cancer’ is commonly used to delineate a group of people genetically at risk for breast cancer—all of whom also having risk for other cancers. People carrying pathogenic variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often referred to as those having predisposition for ‘hereditary breast cancer’. The two genes, however, are when altered, associated with different risks for and dying from breast cancer. The main risk for dying for carriers of both genes is from ovarian cancer. (...) These biological facts are of philosophical interest, because they are the facts underlying the public debate on BRCA1/2 genetic testing as a model for the discussion of how to implement genetic knowledge and technologies in personalized medicine. A contribution to this public debate describing inherited breast cancer as ‘biological citizenship’ recently printed in Med Health Care and Philos illustrated how fragmented and detached from the biological and socio-political facts this debate sometimes is. We here briefly summarize some of the biological facts and how they are implemented in today’s healthcare based on agreed philosophical, ethical and moral principles. The suggestion of a ‘biological citizenship’ defined by hereditary breast cancer is incorrect and ill-advised. ‘Identity politics’ focusing hereditary breast cancer patients as a group based on a bundle of ill-defined negative arguments is well known, but is supported neither by scientific nor philosophical arguments. To those born with the genetic variants described, the philosophical rule of not doing harm is violated by unbalanced negative arguments. (shrink)
: The aim of the present paper is to discuss how the legal metaphors in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason can help us understand the work’s transcendental argumentation. I discuss Dieter Henrich’s claim that legal deductions form a methodological paradigm for all three Critiques that exempts the deductions from following a stringent logical structure. I also consider Rüdiger Bubner’s proposal that the legal metaphors show that the transcendental deduction is a rhetorical argument. On the basis of my own reading of (...) the many different uses of legal analogies in the first Critique, I argue that they cannot form a consistent methodological paradigm as Henrich and Bubner claim. (shrink)
Data-intensive science comes with increased risks concerning quality and reliability of data, and while trust in science has traditionally been framed as a matter of scientists being expected to adhere to certain technical and moral norms for behaviour, emerging discourses of open science present openness and transparency as substitutes for established trust mechanisms. By ensuring access to all available information, quality becomes a matter of informed judgement by the users, and trust no longer seems necessary. This strategy does not, however, (...) take into consideration the networks of professionals already enabling data-intensive science by providing high-quality data. In the life sciences, biological data- and knowledge bases managed by expert biocurators have become crucial for data-intensive research. In this paper, I will use the case of biocurators to argue that openness and transparency will not diminish the need for trust in data-intensive science. On the contrary, data-intensive science requires a reconfiguration of existing trust mechanisms in order to include those who take care of and manage scientific data after its production. (shrink)
This article offers reinterpretation of the current economic and political crisis through the lens of Gramsci’s concept of “interregnum,” departing from the model of “punctured equilibrium” to analyze the specific political dynamics of nonhegemonic periods between the breakdown of one ideological order and the emergence of a new one. Although political science has a range theories about periods of hegemony and paradigmatic stability, the periods between stable hegemonies remain distinctly undertheorized. A theoretical concept describing periods of interregnum is offered and (...) applied to the changes in economic ideology and political alignments that followed the breakdown of the liberal order in the interwar period and the postwar Keynesian consensus of the 1970s. The concept is then applied to the current juncture, in which the hegemony of neoliberalism has been shaken by the 2008 financial crisis but no clear successor has emerged. (shrink)
The music ensemble has often been used as an analogy of organisation processes in general. Many versions of this analogy presuppose a specific organisation structure in the ensemble with clearly defined leader-follower relationships from which we can learn important points about successful leadership. This paper wishes to draw attention to the wide variety of organisation processes that may occur in a music ensemble, some of which are not dependent on leadership. Through the outlines of a logical analysis of a coordination (...) problem, it is argued that the music performance is in fact exemplary of a situation in which individual dedication to a goal promotes coordination in the entire group. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that there are differences in physicians’ and caregivers’ ethical attitudes towards clinical situations. The assumption is that the difference is driven by different values, views and judgements in specific situations. At Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark, we aimed to investigate these assumptions by conducting a large quantitative study. The study design, based on the Factorial Survey Method, was a carefully constructed survey with 50 questions designed to test which factors influenced the respondents’ ethical reasoning. The factors were (...) clustered into three categories of ethical reasoning and values. The categories were formulated in terms of easily recognizable ethical positions: consequential ethics, deontological ethics and relational ethics. Based on 2129 respondents, we found significant support for the assumption of differences between physicians and caregivers. The group of caregivers favoured the relational ethics view in clinical ethical situations, and the group of ph... (shrink)
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, his main work of theoretical philosophy, frequently uses metaphors from law. In this first book-length study in English of Kant's legal metaphors and their role in the first Critique, Sofie Møller shows that they are central to Kant's account of reason. Through an analysis of the legal metaphors in their entirety, she demonstrates that Kant conceives of reason as having a structure mirroring that of a legal system in a natural right framework. Her study shows (...) that Kant's aim is to make cognisers become similar to authorized judges within such a system, by proving the legitimacy of the laws and the conditions under which valid judgments can be pronounced. These elements consolidate her conclusion that reason's systematicity is legal systematicity. (shrink)
This collection of essays provides a reassessment of the question of sexual difference, taking into account important shifts in feminist thought, post-humanist theories, and queer studies. The contributors offer new and refreshing insights into the complex question of sexual difference from a post-feminist perspective, and how it is reformulated in various related areas of study, such as ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, biology, technology, and mass-media.
In this article I will attempt to show examples of the cultural manifestations of the identity crisis that is currently sweeping over Scandinavia. What is particular about this crisis is that it seems to have struck on most sides of society, while the?Scandinavian model? of the welfare state is slowly crumbling in the wake of the global financial problems. At the center of both this struggle and crisis is the notion of the Homo Scandinavicus; this seems at the same time (...) a threat to existence and contested in its very content. In all Scandinavian countries a so-called?cultural battle? has been articulated and used as heavy artillery when articulating characteristics of either side. It is this battle I will highlight and demonstrate through examples how the?general public? has been taken hostage on this identity battle field. Furthermore, I will give examples of alternative strategies, and why these have also failed to provide actual functioning alternatives to the leading, rivaling, identity strategies. The nature of this crisis and the ways it manifests itself, are by no means strictly restricted to Scandinavia. Therefore, considerations about manifestations and consequences presents some highly relevant and much more general insights. U ovom tekstu pokusavam da pokazem primere ispoljavanja krize identiteta u kulturi, koja se upravo odvija u Skandinaviji. Posebnost ove krize je u tome sto je ona pogodila vecinu drustva u vreme kada se?skandinavski model? drzave blagostanja polako rusi sa nastankom globalnih finansijskih problema. U centru ove krize je ideja Homo Scandinavicusa cije je postojanje istovremeno ugrozeno i ciji je sadrzaj doveden u pitanje. U svim skandinavskim zemljama takozvane?kulturne bitke? bile su koriscene kao?teska artiljerija? pri artikulisanju stavova obe sukobljene strane. Na primerima pokazujem kako je?javnost? postala talac poprista sukoba identiteta. Takodje cu na primerima alternativnih strategija pokazati zasto one nisu uspele da pruze funkcionalne alternative vodecim rivalskim strategijama identiteta. Priroda ove krize i nacini njenog ispoljavanja nisu ograniceni na Skandinaviju i zato su razmatranja njenih posledica relevantna i za siri uvid. (shrink)