Inequities in global health are increasingly of interest to health care providers in developed countries. In response, many academic healthcare programs have begun to offer international service learning programs. Participants in these programs are motivated by ethical principles, but this type of work presents significant ethical challenges, and no formalized ethical guidelines for these activities exist. In this paper the ethical issues presented by international service learning programs are described and recommendations are made for how academic healthcare programs can carry (...) out international service learning programs in a way that minimizes ethical conflicts and maximizes benefits for all stakeholders. Issues related to project sustainability and community involvement are emphasized. (shrink)
(2001). Against a third dogma of logical empiricism: Otto Neurath and 'unpredictability in principle' International Studies in the Philosophy of Science: Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 199-209. doi: 10.1080/02698590120059068.
In a recent article in this journal, Brian Alters argued that, given the many ways in which the nature of science is described and poor student responses to NOS instruments such as Nature of Scientific Knowledge Scale, Nature of Science Scale, Test on Understanding Science, and others, it is time for science educators to reconsider the standard lists of tenets for the NOS. Alters suggested that philosophers of science are authorities on the NOS and that consequently, it would be wise (...) to investigate their views of current NOS tenets. To that end, he conducted a survey of members of the Philosophy of Science Association, and, via various statistical techniques, made claims about the nature and extent of variation among philosophers of science regarding basic beliefs about the NOS. As three philosophers of science, we laud Alters’ attempt to understand philosophers of science’ view on the NOS. We believe, however, that his techniques for investigating this question are inappropriate and that consequently, several of his conclusions are unwarranted. In this comment, we will substantiate these criticisms. In addition, we will address some of the important questions that motivate Alters’ research and attempt to unravel the “byzantine complexity” of philosophical views about the NOS. We begin with our concerns regarding Alters’ research. We then provide a taxonomy of philosophic issues; and finally, we suggest some roles for philosophy of science in science teaching and the education of science teachers. (shrink)
In response to Roth and Ryckman, I explain in more detail why narratives fashioned with ideal, quantitative covering laws cannot be combined into large-scale covering-law explanations and specify further reasons for supposing that history can be conceived as dynamically nonlinear. I also appeal to an episode in the history of science to examine the idea that dynamical complexity is local in historical space and time and to suggest that such complexity does not pose a unique problem for historical narration. Finally, (...) I suggest that Roth and Ryckman's critique of the use of nonlinear dynamical concepts in historical explanation must extend to explanations employing concepts from linear science. I conclude that their warning against the incoherence of scientism is not convincing. (shrink)
This intriguing and ground-breaking book is the first in-depth study of the development of philosophy of science in the United States during the Cold War. It documents the political vitality of logical empiricism and Otto Neurath's Unity of Science Movement when these projects emigrated to the US in the 1930s and follows their de-politicization by a convergence of intellectual, cultural and political forces in the 1950s. Students of logical empiricism and the Vienna Circle treat these as strictly intellectual non-political projects. (...) In fact, the refugee philosophers of science were highly active politically and debated questions about values inside and outside science, as a result of which their philosophy of science was scrutinized politically both from within and without the profession, by such institutions as J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. It will prove absorbing reading to philosophers and historians of science, intellectual historians, and scholars of Cold War studies. (shrink)
I criticize conceptual pluralism, as endorsed recently by John Dupre and Philip Kitcher, for failing to supply strategies for demarcating science from non-science. Using creation-science as a test case, I argue that pluralism blocks arguments that keep creation-science in check and that metaphysical pluralism offers it positive, metaphysical support. Logical empiricism, however, still provides useful resources to reconfigure and manage the problem of creation-science in those practical and political contexts where pluralism will fail.
In the spring of 1937, the University of Chicago Press mailed hundreds of subscription forms for its latest enterprise – a projected series of twenty short monographs by various philosophers and scientists. Together the monographs were to form the first section of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. Included in each mailing was an introductory prospectus which began:Recent years have witnessed a striking growth of interest in the scientific enterprise as a whole and especially in the unity of science. The (...) concern throughout the world for the logic of science, the history of science, and the sociology of science reveals a comprehensive international movement interested in considering science as a whole in terms of the scientific temper itself. A science of science is appearing. The extreme specialization within science demands as its corrective an interest in the scientific edifice in its entirety. This is especially necessary if science is to satisfy its inherent urge for the systematization of its results and methods and if science is to perform adequately its educational role in the modern world. Science is gradually rousing itself for the performance of its total task. (shrink)
Hempel's proposal of covering laws which explain historical events has a certain plausibility, but can never be actually realized due to the chaotic nature of history. The natural laws that would govern both individual lives and greater history would be nonlinear; consequently, in the terminology of chaos theory, the final states of both are extremely sensitive to initial conditions. Initial conditions would need to be exactly known in order to account correctly for historic phenomena, especially for causes and effects which (...) span long, historically interesting, lengths of time. Covering-law history therefore fails because the details of initial conditions are generally unknowable. Since this constraint diminishes as the time over which covering laws operate is divided into smaller consecutive intervals of scenes, covering-law explanations resolve into those having a narrative temporal structure. (shrink)
In the light of two unpublished letters from Carnap to Kuhn, this essay examines the relationship between Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and Carnap's philosophical views. Contrary to the common wisdom that Kuhn's book refuted logical empiricism, it argues that Carnap's views of revolutionary scientific change are rather similar to those detailed by Kuhn. This serves both to explain Carnap's appreciation of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and to suggest that logical empiricism, insofar as that program rested on Carnap's (...) shoulders, was not substantially upstaged by Kuhn's book. (shrink)
This is a reply to Rebecca Taylor's 2017 JOPE article ‘Indoctrination and Social Context: A System-based Approach to Identifying the Threat of Indoctrination and the Responsibilities of Educators’. It agrees with her in going beyond the indoctrinatory role of the individual teacher to include that of whole educational systems, but differs in emphasizing indoctrinatory intention rather than outcome; and in allowing the possibility of indoctrination without individual teachers being indoctrinators at all.
Rebecca Bennett, in a recent paper dismissing Julian Savulescu's principle of procreative beneficence, advances both a negative and a positive thesis. The negative thesis holds that the principle's theoretical foundation – the notion of impersonal harm or non-person-affecting wrong – is indefensible. Therefore, there can be no obligations of the sort that the principle asserts. The positive thesis, on the other hand, attempts to plug an explanatory gap that arises once the principle has been rejected. That is, it holds (...) that the intuitions of those who adhere to the principle are not genuine moral intuitions, but instead simply give voice to mere (non-moral) preferences. This paper, while agreeing that Savulescu's principle does not express a genuine moral obligation, takes issue with both of Bennett's theses. It is suggested that the argument for the negative thesis is either weak or question-begging, while there is insufficient reason to suppose the positive thesis true. (shrink)
Rebecca Bennett, in a recent paper dismissing Julian Savulescu's principle of procreative beneficence, advances both a negative and a positive thesis. The negative thesis holds that the principle's theoretical foundation--the notion of impersonal harm or non-person-affecting wrong--is indefensible. Therefore, there can be no obligations of the sort that the principle asserts. The positive thesis, on the other hand, attempts to plug an explanatory gap that arises once the principle has been rejected. That is, it holds that the intuitions of (...) those who adhere to the principle are not genuine moral intuitions, but instead simply give voice to mere preferences. This paper, while agreeing that Savulescu's principle does not express a genuine moral obligation, takes issue with both of Bennett's theses. It is suggested that the argument for the negative thesis is either weak or question-begging, while there is insufficient reason to suppose the positive thesis true. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to determine after a one year program, the effects of Philosophy for Children on critical thinking skills of a select group of 22 second graders at Saginaw Elementary. These students have had no previous study in Philosophy for Children and met for 170 days, bi-weekly for at least 30-minutes with no more than three sessions missed. It was anticipated there would be a significant positive difference of critical thinking skills of second graders as observed (...) and noted by the teacher, in a recorded journal, prior, during and after the study. The teacher used Rebecca plus the teacher's manual for the basis of instruction. (shrink)
At a central point in his much-discussed book Real Presences, George Steiner writes of the “mountebank’s virtuosity... of a Hitler,” that realises “a counter-logos which conceptualizes and then enacts the deconstruction of the human.” It was clear to Steiner’s American readers what was meant by this transposition of the term ‘deconstruction’ from the field of aesthetics and philosophy, of literary and cultural criticism, to the context of political and ideological struggle against fascism and totalitarianism in general. Steiner discusses this in (...) another context, but again with all the pathos of confession at his disposal: “I believe that the eclipse of the humanities, in their primary sense and presentness, in today’s culture and society, implicates that of the human.” This creed closes Steiner’s discussion of the “liberals” who are treated with contempt because they preach tolerance in the face of the triumphal procession of deconstruction in the humanities. According to Steiner, such a policy of appeasement once again misjudges the degree of threat to which our social order is exposed: what starts in the humanities ends in society as the nihilistic corruption of binding human values. With the establishment of deconstruction in literary studies at elite American universities, the Occident succumbs to the powers of disintegration and ‘brutalization’ for the second time in the twentieth century—Yale of the seventies and eighties repeats Munich of 1938. (shrink)