Nicholas Maxwell's provocative and highly-original philosophy of science urges a revolution in academic inquiry affecting all branches of learning, so that the single-minded pursuit of knowledge is replaced with the aim of helping people realize what is of value in life and make progress toward a more civilized world. This volume of essays from an international, interdisciplinary group of scholars engages Maxwell in critical evaluation and celebrates his contribution to philosophy spanning forty years. Several of the contributors, like Maxwell, took (...) their inspiration from Sir Karl Popper’s philosophy of science and were connected to the department he created at the London School of Economics. In the introductory chapter, Maxwell provides an overview of his thought and then defends his views against objections in a concluding essay. -/- . (shrink)
Ghostwriting for medical journals has become a major, but largely invisible, factor contributing to the problem of credibility in academic medicine. In this paper I argue that the pharmaceutical marketing objectives and use of medical communication firms in the production of ghostwritten articles constitute a new form of sophistry. After identifying three distinct types of medical ghostwriting, I survey the known cases of ghostwriting in the literature and explain the harm done to academic medicine and to patients. Finally, I outline (...) steps to address the problem and restore the integrity of the medical literature. (shrink)
This case study reports an instance of SmithKline Beecham's behind-the-scenes ghostwriting a letter to the editor in a medical journal article in the name of an academic physician. In order to respond to criticism that paroxetine caused severe withdrawal effects, SmithKline Beecham's marketing department hired a PR firm to ghostwrite three separate letters to spin a favorable impression of paroxetine vs fluoxetine and published one in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
In this essay I examine the concept of an event within the context of P. F. Strawson's distinction between descriptive and revisionary metaphysics. As opposed to the linguistic treatment of events in the descriptive approach of Strawson and Donald Davidson, I make a case for the revisionary approach of A. N. Whitehead and W. V. Quine, according to which events are basic rather than dependent on substances.
In this essay I make a case for a number of common themes between A. N. Whitehead and W. V. Quine in their approach to ontology. Both philosophers espoused a view of metaphysics as continuous with natural science and stressed the importance of physics in the development of ontology. As a consequence of the revolutionary developments in modern physics, both Whitehead and Quine contend that events are ontologically basic, but differ on the status of properties in their respective systems.
Recent developments in cosmology and particle physics have led to speculation that our universe is merely one of a multitude of universes. While this notion, the multiverse hypothesis, is highly contested as legitimate science, it has nonetheless struck many physicists as a necessary consequence of the effort to construct a final, unified theory. In Process and Reality, his magnum opus, Alfred North Whitehead advanced a cosmology as part of his general metaphysics of process. Part of this project involved a theory (...) of cosmic epochs which bears a remarkable affinity to current cosmological speculation. This paper demonstrates how the basic framework of a multiverse theory is already present in Whitehead’s cosmology and defends the necessity of speculation in the quest for an explanatory description. (shrink)
W.V.O. Quine and A.N. Whitehead shared a dualistic ontology of concrete and abstract objects but differed sharply on the status of properties. In this essay, we explore Whitehead’s reasons for admitting properties into his ontology and Quine’s objections. In the course of examining Quine’s position we demonstrate some deficiencies in his position and conclude that in spite of his claims, neither space-time coordinate systems nor classes can do all the ontological work of properties.
In his magnum opus, Process and Reality, Alfred North Whitehead claims a special affinity to Oxford philosopher Francis Herbert Bradley. McHenry clarifies exactly how much of Whitehead's metaphysics is influenced by and accords with the main principles of Bradley's "absolute idealism." He argues that many of Whitehead's doctrines cannot be understood without an adequate understanding of Bradley, in terms of both affinities and contrasts. He evaluates the arguments between them and explores several important connections with William James, Josiah Royce, George (...) Santayana, Bertrand Russell, and Charles Hartshorne. (shrink)
Timothy Sprigge advanced an original synthesis of panpsychism and absolute idealism. He argued that consciousness is an irreducible, subjective reality that is only grasped by an introspective, phenomenological approach and constructed his ontology from what is revealed in the phenomenology. In defending the unique place of metaphysics in the pursuit of truth, he claimed that scientific investigation can never discover the essence of consciousness since it can only provide descriptions of structure and function in what we normally think of as (...) physical existence. In this paper I present a critical evaluation of Sprigge's view focusing in particular on his conception of the nature of scientific inquiry vis-à-vis the ambitious project of his metaphysics. I argue that a naturalistic metaphysics provides a more adequate approach to the relation between science and metaphysics. (shrink)
In this Festschrift honoring the work of Timothy L. S. Sprigge, Sprigge summarizes his philosophy (a synthesis of absolute idealism, panpsychism, and utilitarianism), defends his position against criticism raised by philosophers in the preceding chapters of this volume, and offers in an addendum a proof for the existence of the Absolute, namely, a final and all-embracing Consciousness akin in many ways to Spinoza’s God. This defense of his philosophy consists mainly of responses to various points of criticism raised about his (...) view of time, the relation between his metaphysics and ethics, panpsychism, the Absolute, and animal rights. (shrink)
This essay examines the question of the ontological basis for historical propositions and contrasts the positions of A. N. Whitehead and George Santayana, i.e., presentism vs. eternalism. I argue that Whitehead's presentism is a more satisfactory solution to how propositions refer to the past.
In this essay, I provide an exposition of F. H. Bradley's arguments against relations and then critically evaluate his view using arguments advanced by William James and A. N. Whitehead. Against Bradley, I argue for the reality of relations as concrete aspects of the temporal process.
There is perhaps no other branch of philosophy that has suffered as much scorn and ridicule as metaphysics. With bruised ego and much the worse for wear, it always re-emerges as methodologies become fatigued and the discussion of the central questions within exhausts itself. Even Bradley, the doyen of what was believed to be a metaphysics finished once and for all, can regain his place in the pantheon along side the likes of Plato, Descartes and Spinoza.
This essay compares the fundamental metaphysical principles, the Categoreal Scheme of A. N. Whitehead's Process and Reality with the axiomatic-deductive scheme of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica to reveal the influence of mathematical logic on Whitehead's metaphysics.
In this introduction to philosophy, philosophers in their areas of specialization have produced essays written specifically for the novice. The collection includes traditional topics such as logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of religion , personal identity, and contemporary topics such as philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
In this volume of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, notable philosophers of the Anglo-American tradition, analytical philosophy, are represented as well as other philosophers who made significant contributions to American philosophy in the latter half of the twentieth century.
In this volume of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, early philosophers of the classical period, the "golden age," are represented as well as a number of other figures whose contributions gave shape and direction to philosophy in America in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Selective reporting is prevalent in the medical literature, particularly in industry-sponsored research. In this paper, we expose selective reporting that is not evident without access to internal company documents. The published report of study 329 of paroxetine in adolescents sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline claims that “paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents”. By contrast, documents obtained during litigation reveal that study 329 was negative for efficacy on all 8 protocol specified outcomes and positive for harm.
The lingering controversy concerning the usefulness and safety of antidepressants for children and adolescents is likely to confuse clinicians. Recent papers perpetuate the claim that antidepressants are shown to be safe and effective in randomised controlled trials. Others claim that antidepressants have been shown to prevent suicides. In this editorial we address the manipulation of outcomes that result from academics’ alliance with industry. We explain how industry and key opinion leaders have distorted the clinician’s perception of the safety and usefulness (...) of antidepressants for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents through publication bias, poor methodology, and selective reporting. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers have criticized A. N. Whitehead’s metaphysics for being obscure, yet several such philosophers have espoused positions in metaphysics and philosophy of mind that were advanced by Whitehead in the 1920s. In this paper, we evaluate the merits and demerits of these criticisms by Bertrand Russell, W. V. Quine, Karl Popper and others and then demonstrate the affinities and contrasts in the positions advanced by Galen Strawson, David Chalmers, Thomas Nagel and Whitehead regarding so-called “analytic panexperientialism.”.
In this biographical essay, I trace the development of A. N. Whitehead's philosophy from his early work in mathematical logic, philosophy of physics and finally to metaphysics. The entry includes a bibliography and secondary sources.
Editorial independence is a bedrock principle of academic publishing. The growing domination of academic publishing by large, for-profit corporations threatens this independence. There is alarming evidence that large companies too often serve their own business interests and those of powerful clients rather than serving the scientific community and the general public. This evidence includes the publication of infelicitous commercial science and concealing scientific misconduct. We present two case studies in which the UK-based publisher Taylor & Francis interfered in the editorial (...) process by blocking publication of legitimate criticism that had been reviewed and approved for publication by its specialized editors. The integrity of science depends in part on the transparency and intellectual honesty of all stakeholders. The widely acknowledged inadequacies of English libel law are reviewed as context for some of Taylor & Francis’s fearful decisions. (shrink)
The Kennedys embraced a political philosophy rooted in antiquity, one based on a domestic policy of justice and equality and a foreign policy of reason and gentle persuasion rather than force and fear. Imperialism abroad is inconsistent with democracy at home. This appears to be the foundation for John F. Kennedy’s foreign policy which also has a remarkable affinity to the lessons offered by Thucydides in the History of the Peloponnesian War and Plato in the Republic.
This article makes a distinction between pure and naturalized metaphysics and characterized F. H. Bradley's metaphysics as the former, according to which pure reason alone independent of the natural sciences discovers the true nature of reality. Bradley's view is critically evaluated via the the naturalized views of A. N. Whitehead and W. V. Quine.
This article presents an overlooked case of research misconduct and violations of basic principles of medical and business ethics. When Bayer’s Cutter Laboratories realized that their blood products, Factor VIII and IX or antihemophiliac factor (AHF), were contaminated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the financial investment in the product was considered too high to destroy the inventory. Cutter misrepresented the results of its own research and sold the contaminated AHF to overseas markets in Asia and Latin America without the precaution (...) of heat treating the product recommended for eliminating the risk. As a consequence, hemophiliacs who infused the HIV-contaminated Factor VIII and IX tested positive for HIV and developed AIDS. (shrink)
In this volume of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, notable British philosophers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are represented, including thinkers from the traditions of empiricism, idealism, logical positivism, and analytical philosophy.
T. L. S. Sprigge produced an eclectic yet highly original system of metaphysics and ethics, a synthesis of panpsychism, absolute idealism, and utilitarianism, at a time in which orthodox analytical philosophy could only view this system as an anachronism of the nineteenth century. His critics claim that his philosophy has only historical interest to a small group of specialists in the relatively dormant tradition of British Idealism, that an attempt to defend his view of consciousness is a hopeless nonstarter, and (...) that his Spinozistic monism can have no relevance in our intellectual culture.1 Yet others have defended Sprigge as the "most independent of thinkers within the field of metaphysics" and salute him as "a .. (shrink)
This essay examines the effects of commercialization on education with particular focus on corporatization of academic research. This trend results from a business model of education, which I identify as profit-based inquiry. I contrast profit-based inquiry with Nicholas Maxwell's conception of wisdom-based inquiry and conclude that the business model fails to achieve enduring value and results in a promotional or ideological emphasis rather than one that stresses the importance of critical rationalism. In order to make my case for this failure, (...) I focus attention on the current state of commercialization in research of medicines. (shrink)
Despite growing concern about medical ghostwriting, pharmaceutical companies, universities, medical journals, and communication companies employing ghostwriters have thus far failed to adequately stem the problem. As a result, some commentators have proposed that legal remedies could be sought by patients harmed by drugs publicized in ghostwritten papers. In this Essay, we build on a recent analysis by Stern and Lemmens in PLoS Medicine to outline specific areas of legal liability.
Journals are failing in their obligation to ensure that research is fairly represented to their readers, and must act decisively to retract fraudulent publications. Recent case reports have exposed how marketing objectives usurped scientific testing and compromised the credibility of academic medicine. But scant attention has been given to the role that journals play in this process, especially when evidence of research fraud fails to elicit corrective measures. Our experience with The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent (...) Psychiatry (JAACAP) illustrates the nature of the problem. The now-infamous Study 329 of paroxetine in adolescent depression was negative for efficacy on all eight protocol-specified outcomes and positive for harm, but JAACAP published a report of this study that concluded that “paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents.” The journal’s editors not only failed to exercise critical judgment in accepting the paper, but when shown evidence that the paper misrepresented the science, refused either to convey this information to the medical community or to retract the article. (shrink)
In this chapter I provide an elementary exposition of the development of Whitehead's view of objectivity and his theory of extension, with particular focus on explaining how macroscopic objects of ordinary perception and the whole structure of space-time arise out of the units of his ontology, namely, the actual occasions. I also review the scholarship on Whitehead's view of extension and discuss the major problems that arise in connection with the theory in his magnum opus, Process and Reality.
The first thing to note about the present work is that it is divided into twenty short chapters, all of which contain numbered sections averaging two to three pages in length. This organization adds to the concision and clarity of the book and works well with Heil’s attempt to present ideas in an unpretentious manner. The dust jacket tells us that the book is written in an accessible, nontechnical style that is intended for nonspecialists as well as seasoned metaphysicians. But (...) despite the organization and flow of bite-sized nuggets, I doubt anyone with less than graduate training in analytical philosophy will understand the problems and issues. A brief survey of the contemporary philosophers who get the most discussion should confirm the point. This includes: C. B. Martin, D. M. Armstrong, Frank Jackson, David Chalmers, Sidney Shoemaker, E. J. Lowe, Donald Davidson, Saul Kripke, and Hilary Putnam. (shrink)
Sergio Sismondo argues that pharmaceutical industry-sponsored research and ghostwriting produce genuine knowledge and science (albeit commercial science) not different from established medical science. In this essay I critically evaluate Sismondo' view and conclude that the commercial medical science that has created the ghostwriting industry is a corruption of science and not merely science done in a new corporate mode. Serious harm to patients has resulted from misrepresented commercial biomedical research.
Ghost-Managed Medicine exposes the conspiracy to conceal all of the players in the marketing of drugs, including ghostwriters, key opinion leaders, patient advocacy organizations, contract research organizations, publication planners, and even medical journal editors and publishers. The credibility of the claims conveyed by the industry depends on the invisibility of these players.
The specific type of irrationality known as akrasia or weakness of the will has been a subject of vigorous debate ever since Plato in his Protagoras had Socrates defend the thesis that "no one willingly does wrong." Against Socrates and many contemporary thinkers on the subject, Mele attempts to vindicate akrasia as a genuine possibility. As he explores the theoretical labyrinth, his view emerges as rich in philosophic insight and experimental data from psychological research, the latter of which he uses (...) effectively in showing the way out of a number of paradoxes. (shrink)