The discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in 2006 was heralded as a major breakthrough in stem cell research. Since then, progress in iPS cell technology has paved the way towards clinical application, particularly cell replacement therapy, which has refueled debate on the ethics of stem cell research. However, much of the discourse has focused on questions of moral status and potentiality, overlooking the ethical issues which are introduced by the clinical testing of iPS cell replacement therapy. First-in-human trials, (...) in particular, raise a number of ethical concerns including informed consent, subject recruitment and harm minimisation as well as the inherent uncertainty and risks which are involved in testing medical procedures on humans for the first time. These issues, while a feature of any human research, become more complex in the case of iPS cell therapy, given the seriousness of the potential risks, the unreliability of available animal models, the vulnerability of the target patient group, and the high stakes of such an intensely public area of science. Our paper will present a detailed case study of iPS cell replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease to highlight these broader ethical and epistemological concerns. If we accept that iPS cell technology is fraught with challenges which go far beyond merely refuting the potentiality of the stem cell line, we conclude that iPS cell research should not replace, but proceed alongside embryonic and adult somatic stem cell research to promote cross-fertilisation of knowledge and better clinical outcomes. (shrink)
The relations between physical science and technology, and their implications for culture, are investigated. Van Melsen argues that physical science merely extends, though in an abstract manner, man's ordinary methods of gaining knowledge about the world, that science and technology require one another, and that while science and technology threaten to overcome man's control of them, they also offer a great opportunity and stimulus to man's further self-realization.--K. P. F.
An introduction, in a somewhat humorous vein, to philosophy for the layman. The book, a series of brief dialogues between the author and a clothing salesman, deals with certain traditional questions in philosophy, concluding with, as most important, the questions of the existence and nature of God.--K. P. F.
As part of an attempt to reconcile Indian philosophy and Western science, the author here maintains that the methods and theories of contemporary science support idealism rather than materialism. He holds that the world is a primal, undifferentiated field of energy, itself indeterminate and inexpressible, which man conceptually distinguishes in ways determined by "the genetic habit of the race."--K. P. F.
An attempt to come to grips with the problem of how we acquire new concepts or how we develop new theories. Mr. Schon builds his theory on the basis of the idea that we do deal with new situations, or with old situations in new ways, and that we can do so only in terms of "old" theories—concepts which apply literally to other situations. He argues that we do so by "displacing" such concepts, using them as metaphors or projective models (...) for the new situation. This displacement both yields new concepts and conserves old assumptions uncritically. Mr. Schon devotes much attention to the role and nature of the metaphorical use of concepts, yet he fails to develop an explicit theory of their literal use.—K. P. F. (shrink)
Designed to acquaint students who already possess some knowledge of Thomism with modern, non-Thomistic systems of philosophy, this textbook examines the ways in which various modern philosophers have dealt with the problems of the nature and limits of knowledge and presents for comparison the Thomistic solutions to these problems. There are brief selections from the writings of major proponents of the positions considered. The interpretive expositions attempt to be sympathetic and, in view of the amount of abridgement and simplification required (...) by the nature of the text, involve few unhappy omissions or distortions.--K. P. F. (shrink)
This edition is apparently a facsimile reproduction of Andrew Motte's translation of 1729, but no acknowledgment is given. It contains a brief biographical introduction by Alfred Del Vecchio. It omits Newton's prefaces and that of Cotes to the second edition, the latter being of value to those interested in the conflict between Newton's views and those of Descartes. Neither index nor table of contents are provided. In short, a not very helpful edition.—K. P. F.
The nine essays in this collection attempt to define the relationships between classical or scholastic logic and modern symbolic logic, and to apply the formal tools of logistic in the attempt to solve some of the problems with which the older logic had grappled. The first four chapters argue that there is no basic divergence between modern logistic and the classical logic; indeed, the formal parts of these chapters develop a proposed formal system of the categorical syllogism which can be (...) interpreted as a special case of the class calculus. The final five chapters deal with a variety of logico-philosophical problems, including the paradox of the "liar," the logical analysis of existence, and, somewhat informally, the problem of universals. I. M. Bochénski is the author of five of the articles.--K. P. F. (shrink)
This second volume in a series of Source Books in Asian Philosophy contains selections and in several cases complete works, from the writings of Chinese philosophers from Confucian humanism to contemporary communism. Chan maintains a balance between modern, medieval, and ancient thinkers as well as between Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Chan has prefaced each of the 44 chapters with a brief introduction discussing the historical background and relative influence of a school, and has interspersed interpretive comments throughout the texts. Also (...) included are chronological tables of dynasties and philosophers, an appendix on translating Chinese philosophical terms, and a glossary of Chinese characters.--K. P. F. (shrink)
A clearly written and uncomplicated text, suitable for use with elementary and high school students as well as in college classes. It presents, in thorough detail, the techniques for making deductions, testing for validity, etc., in the logic of sentences and of universal quantification. The exposition rests upon the basic notion of inference according to rules; some fourteen rules of inference are presented and explained. Truth values and truth tables are discussed as means for determining important properties of inferences, e.g., (...) testing for validity of the inference, consistency of the premisses, etc. These techniques are then applied in formulating a simple mathematical system, a set of axioms for addition. The system is then used to illustrate the deduction of theorems with universal quantification.—K. P. F. (shrink)
Religion has to do with one's total response to the universe. Mature religion involves a healthy skepticism, a sense of humor, and a respect for persons, accepting only internal gods, and basing itself on the rational processes of scientific thinking. Intertwining with this statement is an attempted analysis of the nature and sources of "immature," "heard" religion, presented in a dogmatic manner--K. P. F.
This volume includes the Sigma XI-RESA National Lectures, 1961; the Sigma XI-Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, 1961; the RESA Proctor Prize Lecture, 1960; and a special Sigma XI Diamond Jubilee presidential article. The latter three are non-technical articles on such topics as trends in and growth of science in this decade, and the interrelations of science and government. The other articles discuss recent experimental and theoretical results in such areas as climatology, magnetic interaction of atomic nuclei, the effects of solar disturbances (...) on terrestrial magnetism, human genetics and evolution, the biophysics of chemoreceptors, astrophysics and cosmogony, and the physics of the plasma state of matter.--K. P. F. (shrink)
This collection of essays, presented to William Humbert Kane, O.P., founder of the Albertus Magnus Lyceum, has as its principle of unification the notion that the metaphysics and philosophy of nature of Aristotle, Albertus Magnus, and Thomas Aquinas relate directly and importantly--and more than historically--to modern science in all of its aspects. The general reader will probably find that several of the articles illumine for him aspects of the Aristotelian philosophy as much as they do aspects of modern science.--K. P. (...) F. (shrink)
While it is primarily a detailed, technical treatise on the principles of the technology of automata, this book does contain some philosophically interesting material. In Part II, devoted to the theoretical construction of robots with consciousness but which exhibit no behavior, Culbertson advances and develops the idea that we can analyze perceptual consciousness in terms of the four dimensional "world-lines" of the transmissions of impulses along neurons, or rather in terms of interconnecting networks of such world lines. In Part III, (...) he argues that consciousness, defined in physical terms, cannot cause behavior. He presents, as an alternative, a doctrine of "historical causation" in which whole extended time periods in the past affect the present—K. P. F. (shrink)
Though its title suggests a mere orderly exposition of philosophical theses, this book actually presents a series of arguments in step by step development for a frankly Thomistic system of metaphysics. Starting with an acceptance of the "critical attitude" in philosophy, Peters argues that we can find the epistemological ground of "the science of what transcends experience" in our experience of the "to be" of finite beings. He then proceeds to develop the traditional topics of Thomistic metaphysics. In large measure, (...) the arguments advance dialectically by critical consideration of various anti-metaphysical positions. Some of the major premisses of crucial arguments could be questioned by non-Thomists, but the challenges made are provocative.—K. P. F. (shrink)
Illustrates Aristotle's use of a vast number of terms by quoting, for each term, from one to almost forty passages ranging from a brief sentence to a paragraph. References to the loci of the passages in the Bekker edition are given. The book also includes an introduction of 162 pp. by Theodore E. James, consisting of brief summaries of Aristotle's works.--K. P. F.
In this essay, a Jewish thinker argues that the world as depicted by science forms a single system: each part is related to all because all are related to a single knower; this single system constitutes a whole which has priority over its parts because it conditions or delimits their behavior. This totality is the unchanging source of all processes, all making actual what had been merely possible. This totality Kohn attempts to define as God, and, taking it for granted (...) that science depicts the universe as undergoing continuous evolution on the whole and within its parts, he attempts to show how such evolution reveals, in the human perspective, that God is creativity. He distinguishes three "levels of being" produced in the course of the cosmic evolution--inorganic matter, sensitivity, conscience--but denies that the arising of any one of these phases involves the super-addition of something new to the preceding ones. He argues that this notion of God answers all religious requirements, and concludes with a warning and a plea regarding the possibility of future evolution in the light of man's ability to exercise conscious control over events.--K. P. F. (shrink)
Four essays of interest to the philosopher of science. The collection includes three short essays by L. P. Coonen, D. M. Lilly and C. DeKoninck. In the major essay, "Evolution: Scientific and Philosophical Dimensions," R. J. Nogar first presents a detailed analysis of the current status of the concept of evolution, showing that its meaning varies greatly from discipline to discipline. He argues that in view of the great stability of organic species, the consideration of evolutionary processes exclusively as space-time (...) distributions in inadequate, and needs supplementing by a concept of "nature," to explicate the relation between generator and generated, and the facts of heredity.--K. P. F. (shrink)
The seven contributors present the reader with a set of perspectives on the subsequent histories of the central ideas of these great thinkers. The essays focus on the ways in which these ideas were caught up in social movements and had been taken up by others who used them to support programs for radical historical changes, thereby subjecting them to distortions and perversions. The whole book reflects the feeling that history itself has purged away the dross which lay within the (...) original ideas, and that what now remains is either pure gold or later perversions illicitly smuggled in under the cover of various "isms."--K. P. F. (shrink)
This provocative, if sketchy, essay develops the theme that, although thought and reality are ultimately distinct, both are elements of one and the same reality--"a communion of living and interacting forces." The presentation recognizes a dialectical character to reality, in the form of opposing thrusts and tendencies, and a plurality of foci of demands to be met, all operating through and partially constituting history. It fails, however, to explicate the movement in the dialectic of reality and to explore the possibility (...) and value of dialectic as a cognitive process.--K. P. F. (shrink)
In the early twentieth century, China was on the brink of change. Different ideologies - those of radicalism, conservatism, liberalism, and social democracy - were much debated in political and intellectual circles. Whereas previous works have analyzed these trends in isolation, Edmund S. K. Fung shows how they related to one another and how intellectuals in China engaged according to their cultural and political persuasions. The author argues that it is this interrelatedness and interplay between different schools of thought (...) that are central to the understanding of Chinese modernity, for many of the debates that began in the Republican era still resonate in China today. The book charts the development of these ideologies and explores the work and influence of the intellectuals who were associated with them. In its challenge to previous scholarship and the breadth of its approach, the book makes a major contribution to the study of Chinese political philosophy and intellectual history. (shrink)
The double issue of Synthese devoted to essays on the work of W. V. Quine has been re-issued under hard cover with an additional paper by Grice on "Vacuous Names" and a 13-page bibliography of Quine's writings. With the exception of Berry's "Logic with Platonism" and Jensen's "On The Consistency of a Slight. Modification of Quine's New Foundation," the papers are concerned with the key issues of Word and Object. Quine's responses to each of the contributors are not as helpful (...) as they might be, but are at times quite illuminating. He dispels Stenius's view in "Beginning with Ordinary Things" that Quine holds a Russellian epistemology, for example, and clarifies somewhat his account of ontic commitment in replying to Hintikka's "Behavioral Criteria of Radical Translation." Hintikka argues that "to be is to be a value of a bound variable" presupposes the principle, "to be is to be an object of search." Quine rejects this view, identifying his ontology with the range of the variables as opposed to the class of all things to which a theory is ontically committed. The introduction to chapter two of Word and Object by Harman is quite helpful, suggesting among other things that Quine's use of 'propositional attitude' is a misnomer to be better replaced by 'sentential attitude'. An interesting and provocative paper by Kaplan offers a Fregean alternative to Quine's general mode of handling referentially opaque contexts, allowing "Quantifying In" with the variable ranging over expressions. Interestingly enough, Quine's remarks are rather laudatory and sympathetic. Davidson's "On Saying That" suggests a roughly similar account of oratio obliqua discourse. Føllesdal and Sellars discuss "Quine on Modality" and "Some Problems about Belief." There is a discussion of "Quine's Philosophy of Science" by Smart, tracing a shift from instrumentalism to realism on the part of Quine. Also included are papers by Chomsky, Stroud, and Geach, as well as Strawson's familiar "Singular Terms and Predication." In spite of the imposing price and the uneven quality of the essays, the book is a desirable piece of Quineana.--K. T. (shrink)
Hong Kong is undergoing a public debate on the need to reform and future directions of reforming its health care system. This paper highlights the debates and considerations brought up by the Hospital Authority, the largest provider of public health care in Hong Kong, on the ethical principles and societal values underlying the upcoming reform. It is recognized that the exact meanings behind each ethical principle and value must be debated and clarified during the reform process. In a modern day (...) society like Hong Kong, societal values are likely to be diversified. A health care system also has to fulfil different and often conflicting objectives of equity, efficiency, quality and choice. It would be difficult for a health care system to satisfy these different values and objectives based on a single value parameter. The Hong Kong experience shows that a society may prefer a combination of strategies in addressing different societal values. The re-structuring of the health care system in Hong Kong should therefore be based on a balanced and optimum combination of various financing and delivery strategies. (shrink)
Résumé Les textes de Platon ont fait l’objet d’innombrables interprétations et récupérations depuis l’Antiquité grecque. Dans le contexte de l’Allemagne prénazie, l’écrivain Hans F.K. Günther a écrit un ouvrage apologétique des théories eugéniques en s’appuyant sur l’oeuvre du philosophe athénien, Platon als Hüter des Lebens. Dans cet article, nous présenterons les enjeux de ce texte de propagande, son contexte historique, ainsi que les implications inquiétantes de cette « appropriation », de cet « arraisonnement » de la philosophie classique à des (...) fins purement politiques.Plato’s works have been the object of countless interpretations and recuperations ever since Greek antiquity. In the context of prenazi Germany, the writer Hans F.K. Günther published a work in defence of eugenic theories, allegedly based on the work of the Athenian philosopher and entitled Platon als Hüter des Lebens. The present article tries to set forth what is at stake in that propaganda piece, its historical context, as well as the disquieting implications of such an “appropriation” of classical philosophy to purely political ends. (shrink)
This article compares two radically opposed views concerning “race” in the first half of the 20th century: the one of Franz Boas , the founder of American cultural anthropology, and the other of Hans F.K. Günther , the most widely read theoretician of race in Nazi Germany. Opposite as their views were, both derived from a similar non-evolutionist German anthropological matrix. The article reconstructs their definitions of racial objects and studies their analyses of racial intermixture. Although both believed that contemporary (...) peoples were racially deeply mixed, Boas moved towards an antiracist conception of race-as-population, whereas Günther moved towards a racist conception of homogenous races in mixed peoples. The comparison shows that the major difference between them concerns their ideals or guiding principles. Their respective ideals seeped into their versions of science and transformed the nature and the significance of their respective ideas. (shrink)
The paper âF. W. Bessel and Russian science by K. K. Lavrinovich published in NTM-Schriftenreihe contains several errors coming mainly from re-translations of German names and texts from Russian into German. The correct spelling of names and original texts are given here. Beside this, some additional information from sources not mentioned by the author is presented, and the kind of relationship between Bessel and W. Struve is discussed on the basis of their correspondence.
Classical scholarship played a vital role in the intellectual concerns of early nineteenth-century Germany. Situated at the crossroads of religion, history, and explorations of the development of the human mind, Greek mythology in particular was expected to shed light on the origins of civilization. In the search for the true nature of myth, the hermeneutic problems involved in historical understanding were intensified. As myth was held to be of a different nature than rationality, to read the sources was to look (...) for a completely different referent of the texts than was the case in historical reconstruction. In the quests for a scientific mythology, K. O. Müller was often regarded as an opponent of F. Creuzer . Yet an analysis of their published work and of their private documents shows that they had much in common, a fact they both appreciated. In particular they held similar, deeply Romantic views on the religious origin of culture, in Müller's case inspired by Pietism, in Creuzer's by neo-Platonism. Creuzer's influence is revealed in Müller's Prolegomena zu einer wissenschaftlichen Mythologie and more specifically in his interpretation of the Amazons as worshippers of sexuality in Die Dorier . Nevertheless, Müller differed from Creuzer in his views on the relationship of myth to history. Myth was not the reflection of a universal religion, sustained by a priestly class , but the outcome of the encounter between the mental endowment of a people and local, historical circumstances. In the case of the Amazons, however, Müller assessed the connection of myth to history in defiance of his own theory, guided by his views on gender difference and on sexual morality. (shrink)
Although Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen and modified to be an organism that would facilitate a reductionist program for neurogenetics, recent research has provided evidence for properties that are emergent from the neurons. While neurogenetic advances have been made using C. elegans which may be useful in explaining human neurobiology, there are severe limitations on C. elegans to explain any significant human behavior.
What is philosophy of mathematics and what is it about? The most popular answer, I suppose, to this question would be that philosophers should provide a justification for our presently most cherished mathematical theories and for the most important tool to develop such theories, namely logico-mathematical proof. In fact, it does cover a large part of the activity of philosophers that think about mathematics. Discussions about the merits and faults of classical logic versus one or other ‘deviant’ logics as the (...) logical basis for mathematical theories, ranging from intuitionist over modal logic to paraconsistent logic, typically belong to this area, as do debates about the natural-number concept, its ‘nature’, its properties, especially its uniqueness, and so on. No doubt sociologists of knowledge could explain why philosophers of mathematics came to select these particular problems and deal with them the way they do. What it does imply, however, is that the question is meaningful whether different kinds of philosophies of mathematics are possible, and—why not?—perhaps even desirable. To a certain extent, the answer is trivial: look at what, e.g., phenomenologists have to say about mathematics and you must notice it does not fit into the scheme sketched above.1 Rather, the question should be whether there are forms that, on the one hand, reinterpret the whole enterprise, and, on the other hand, somehow remain related to the work of ‘mainstream’ philosophers of mathematics today.The book under review here does precisely that. Let me be a bit more precise. The general proposal, present throughout all the contributions, is that even at a first, superficial, glance at what mathematicians do when they do mathematics, it is far more complex than ‘just thinking about and …. (shrink)