Predictive genetic testing is now routinely offered to asymptomatic adults at risk for genetic disease. However, testing of minors at risk for adult-onset conditions, where no treatment or preventive intervention exists, has evoked greater controversy and inspired a debate spanning two decades. This review aims to provide a detailed longitudinal analysis and concludes by examining the debate's current status and prospects for the future. Fifty-three relevant theoretical papers published between 1990 and December 2010 were identified, and interpretative content analysis was (...) employed to catalogue discrete arguments within these papers. Novel conclusions were drawn from this review. While the debate's first voices were raised in opposition of testing and their arguments have retained currency over many years, arguments in favour of testing, which appeared sporadically at first, have gained momentum more recently. Most arguments on both sides are testable empirical claims, so far untested, rather than abstract ethical or philosophical positions. The dispute, therein, lies not so much in whether minors should be permitted to access predictive genetic testing but whether these empirical claims on the relative benefits or harms of testing should be assessed. (shrink)
The concept of selecting for a disability, and deafness in particular, has triggered a controversial and sometimes acrimonious debate between key stakeholders. Previous studies have concentrated on the views of the deaf and hard of hearing, health professionals and ethicists towards reproductive selection for deafness. This study, however, is the first of its kind examining the views of hearing children of deaf adults towards preimplantation genetic diagnosis and prenatal diagnosis to select for or against deafness. Hearing children of deaf adults (...) straddle both the deaf and hearing worlds, and this dual perspective makes them ideally placed to add to the academic discourse concerning the use of genetic selection for or against deafness. The study incorporated two complementary stages, using initial, semistructured interviews with key informants as a means to guide the subsequent development of an electronic survey, completed anonymously by 66 individuals. The participants shared many of the same views as deaf individuals in the D/deaf community. The similarities extended to their opinions regarding deafness not being a disability, their ambivalence towards having hearing or deaf children and their general disapproval of the use of genetic technologies to select either for or against deafness. (shrink)
The paper illustrates how organic chemists dramatically altered their practices in the middle part of the twentieth century through the adoption of analytical instrumentation - such as ultraviolet and infrared absorption spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy - through which the difficult process of structure determination for small molecules became routine. Changes in practice were manifested in two ways: in the use of these instruments in the development of 'rule-based' theories; and in an increased focus on synthesis, at the expense (...) of chemical analysis. These rule-based theories took the form of generalizations relating structure to chemical and physical properties, as measured by instrumentation. This 'Instrumental Revolution' in organic chemistry was two-fold: encompassing an embrace of new tools that provided unprecedented access to structures, and a new way of thinking about molecules and their reactivity in terms of shape and structure. These practices suggest the possibility of a change in the ontological status of chemical structures, brought about by the regular use of instruments. The career of Robert Burns Woodward (1917-1979) provides the central historical examples for the paper. Woodward was an organic chemist at Harvard from 1937 until the time of his death. In 1965, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. (shrink)
In a previous paper (Duncan, T.L., Semura, J.S. in Entropy 6:21, 2004) we considered the question, “What underlying property of nature is responsible for the second law?” A simple answer can be stated in terms of information: The fundamental loss of information gives rise to the second law. This line of thinking highlights the existence of two independent but coupled sets of laws: Information dynamics and energy dynamics. The distinction helps shed light on certain foundational questions in statistical mechanics. (...) For example, the confusion surrounding previous “derivations” of the second law from energy dynamics can be resolved by noting that such derivations incorporate one or more assumptions that correspond to the loss of information. In this paper we further develop and explore the perspective in which the second law is fundamentally a law of information dynamics. (shrink)
A remarkably condensed statement of the main features of Ortega's philosophy, organized "biographically" around three stages of his intellectual development, termed "objectivism," "perspectivism," and "ratio-vitalism," with chief attention given to the last. The presentation is marked by a soberness unusual in writers on Ortega. As a result, a certain fairness and balance are achieved, yet not at the cost of any adequacy to the vitality of Ortega's own thought.--L. K. B.
A disciple's exposition of the semi-mystical system of Msgr. Mario Sturzo, drawing solely on the latter's La Filosofia dell' Avvenire. Supposedly a critical re-thinking of the system, the author proposes with an air of daring to alter some of Sturzo's verbal formulas. --L. K. B.
The first volume of a projected two-volume treatise which will provide for the first time a systematic and comprehensive exposition of an important branch of mathematical logic. Previously published research is integrated and revised in the light of later results, and much new material is presented. Highly technical and, even in introductory sections, extraordinarily dense in style, this is a work for specialists. An important contribution.--L. K. B.
A technical but lucid and relatively elementary discussion of the development of the physical concepts of space and time and the bearing of the parity hypothesis of Lee and Yang on the future course of this development.--L. K. B.
A sympathetic exposition, carefully documented, of the meaning and function of aesthetic concepts in the Enneads. The Plotinian dialectic is compared to the artistic process. Aesthetic experience is found analogous to the mystical, and artistic intuition similar to ecstasy.--L.K.B.
In a critical study of the factor-analytical theory of knowledge of the psychologist C. E. Spearman, the author tries to show that many so-called discoveries of modern psychology are mere elementary and unconscious repetitions of the older but much clearer Thomistic concepts.--L. K. B.
Begins with a critique of traditional metaphysics and of modern natural science, disclosing a common root in the more basic fact of creative symbolic expression, which is held to be the key to a radical and rectifying refounding of metaphysics. Expression and symbolization, are held to be essentially constitutive of human existence, of knowledge and of the known, and to be historical communal and creative. The merit of the work is in facing the question of the import for metaphysics of (...) the recent insights into the nature and importance of symbolization. The claims are sometimes too strong, but the discussions, though repetitious, are generally built on sound insights and wide learning, and are often illuminating. --L. K. B. (shrink)
By confining themselves to elementary principles, the authors manage to cover with an appropriate balance of simplicity and rigor a wider range of materials than is common in so readable an introduction. There is an emphasis on logic as a syntax for language. Though not a text book, the work meets very well the authors' aim of "presenting to Spanish speaking readers, in a succinct, clear, and rigorous manner, the fundamental themes of the discipline."--L. K. B.
To the task undertaken here of articulating the common values and goals which should be ours as heirs of Western culture, Greene brings a scholarly grasp of the history of ideas, a sensitive insight into the actual ideals of our nation, and a responsible concern for an honest and critical national self-understanding. The result is not novel; but it does offer a well expressed and compelling Christian, liberal social philosophy, stressing reverence for God, respect for man, and rich participation in (...) all areas of human activity. --L. K. B. (shrink)
On the basis of a re-examination of the status of laws, evidence, confirmation, prediction and explanation in sciences, social as well as physical, in which the reasoning processes are not fully formalized-this informative, pioneering monograph sketches a new epistemological orientation. It emphasizes the development of specifically predictive instrumentalities, regarding which new possibilities are explored and further areas of research suggested.--L. K. B.
This first volume of a projected two volume work deals with "science in general," which is understood to include theology and philosophy. The first two chapters analyze the concept of a science and issue in a descriptive definition which is then developed in subsequent chapters; among the topics of this development are abstraction as an intellectual operation, the necessity of scientific statements, induction and deduction, hypothesis and theory. The book presents neither an investigation of particular sciences nor epistemological arguments in (...) the modern mode, but rather a finished doctrine, not original in conception, but competent in development, frankly building upon an assumed realist-hylomorphist base a scheme of deliberate abstractness and rigid formality.--L. K. B. (shrink)
Any hopes roused by an informed philosopher's undertaking a task of such importance as this title indicates are quickly reduced to perplexity. Professor Reiser's "Scientific Humanism" turns out to be a sort of "philosophy-fiction" picture of the universe, woven out of concepts from an astounding variety of fields--semantics, logic, philosophy of mathematics, topology, cybernetics, relativity theory, social engineering, quantum mechanics, parapsychology, etc.--L. K. B.
This textbook, oriented toward non-majors in philosophy, aims to provide an understanding not merely of forms of valid and invalid inference but also of the cognitive situation, of the methods of successful "problem-solving thought" and of the role of language therein. Great emphasis is thus placed on semiotics, which is integrated with the material from methodology and logic by considerations from general theory of knowledge. The whole presentation is marked by innovations, both pedagogical and theoretical. Most of the material of (...) the usual course in elementary formal logic is crowded into the last part. The author has attempted, with some success, to develop a reformed "traditional" approach to logic in the light of the recent technical advances in semiotic and symbolic logic, without reducing it to a narrow and fragmentary formal exposition of these sciences. --L. K. B. (shrink)
A thoughtful inventor-businessman's statement of the simple truth about the world: All is energy, with causal order everywhere, and with such forces dominating as to justify optimistic trust in the necessary course of events.--L. K. B.
A collection of thirty essays and reviews published previously over the past twenty-five years, marked by Nagel's characteristic ease and clarity of style. Submitted as on the whole expressing a consistent philosophical outlook, as illustrating a sound method of philosophical analysis, and as outlining "the essential rationale for the logic of contextualistic naturalism," these essays and reviews provide a historical perspective on the development of American naturalism and analytic philosophy.--L. K. B.
Part I aims at the constructive establishment of a concept of the self to undergird the theologically indispensable concept of the soul. It begins with a judgment theory of cognition, from which a "substantival" subject is extracted. Having a creative power constituting it a free and responsible agent, this subject is related through moral consciousness and will to an objective moral order. Part II, concerned with the problem of God and the objective validity of religious belief, begins in religion as (...) such, where theism is held to recommend itself strongly under a symbolic interpretation, then develops a metaphysical support for the central tenets of this creed. The guiding methodological convictions are revealed in a major emphasis on introspection, a firm rejection of the sensationalist conception of experience, and an insistence on the primacy of thought over words. Professor Campbell has here carried on the tradition of British Idealism and Rationalism with insight and ingenuity, in dignified and deliberate defiance of the prevailing empiricist and linguistic dogmas. Despite its high rank among similar efforts, however, this work does not represent a real advance beyond the recent impasses, nor a resolution of the genuine epistemological and methodological enigmas plaguing contemporary philosophy. --L. K. B. (shrink)
A timely and competently argued case for a broadened conception of rationality, this book attacks the currently orthodox dogma that rational justification must proceed according to the model either of logico-mathematical deduction or "piecemeal inductive engineering," and tries positively to clarify the concept of such justification in important cases where these models are inadequate. The use of reason is considered first in the context of political theory, then in ethics, finally in terms of generalized philosophical methodology. The traditional modes of (...) rational justification are found at best adequate only for propositions, whereas an adequate world view must involve non-propositional modes of understanding, "decisions in action," which infect not just ethics but every sphere of theoretical activity, and which require their own appropriate modes of justification. -- L. K. B. (shrink)
This volume brings together flux essays by an eminent scholar on the origins, development, and import of Kant's philosophy, chiefly in its metaphysical aspects. Four of these were separately published between 1924 and 1926, but until now have been difficult to obtain, despite great demand. Their appearance here will be welcomed. The thesis emerging from these studies is that the critical philosophy originates in metaphysical probings concerning the nature and presuppositions of being, and issues in doctrines which, despite psychological, epistemological, (...) and ethical presentation, are intended to have definite ontological import. --L. K. B. (shrink)
Not a philosophical analysis or explication, this compact, lyrical study remains deliberately within the "organic" categories of biblical speech--which it is part of its purpose to exemplify--and with considerable success communicates the Christian conception of ethical life as man's response to God's self-revealing activity in history, to be understood only in terms of "the living continuity between man-in-God and man-in-man."--L. K. B.
A collection of essays on various aspects of philosophy of science, written around the turn of the century by a perceptive historian of science and methodologist who, under the influence of Peirce, Mach and Peano, anticipated many basic doctrines of the later semantically oriented analytic philosophy. The short introduction discusses Vailati's viewpoint in connection with his chief contemporaries; a brief biography and bibliography are provided. --L. K. B.
Five previously published articles dealing with various topics in philosophy of history. They center on the problem of a metaphysics adequate to a radical emphasis on history over against nature and to a conception of values as emergent through history.--L. K. B.
This well-translated and slightly revised edition of El Hombre en la Encrucijada approaches the problem of social crisis and creative integration of conflicting strains into higher "forms of material and spiritual life" with Spanish intimacy and terseness and with wide erudition in unusual combination with a sense of reality. Part II treats the modern period as a series of crises, roughly describable as the inception, spread, and ultimate failure of secular, scientific intellectualism. This work combines the usual "cultural heritage" and (...) "crisis" themes with striking success.--L. K. B. (shrink)
A rewritten version, following the same plan and theme, of the author's earlier work of the same title. New chapters are added on Unamuno's ideas of fiction and of reality. The bibliographical appendix, with brief comments, is brought up-to-date. The unifying stress is on the "incessant fluctuation" between opposites, such as reason and the irrational, as the source of Unamuno's originality. Sympathetically expository rather than critical, this brief sketch deliberately sacrifices precision and analysis for the sake of "interiorizacion"--probably the most (...) profitable introductory approach to such a thinker.--L. K. B. (shrink)
The needs of both metaphysics and art criticism for an understanding of creativity are approached here as a single task. The author illustrates his ontological principles in a study of D. H. Lawrence's conception of creative spontaneity. An unusual mixture of rigor, cryptic phrases, parapsychological fact-citing, and fanciful speculation.--L. K. B.
The chief of these five essays is the effort of a composer and conductor, deeply attached to Kant and widely read in mathematics and popularized physics, to disclose in "music's innate design" a key to the nature of "subliminal" reality, the "Ever Present." Result: both the order of music and the order of subliminal reality are elliptical. The accompanying essays, of chiefly biographical interest, present a philosophical critique of the new mathematics and geometry by a doctrinaire young Kantian. -- L. (...) K. B. (shrink)
Part of a series on Spanish philosophy, this work presents medieval Islamic philosophy from an unusual and consciously restricted perspective. This is most evident in the distribution of emphasis: Al-Kindi, Al-Zarabi, Algazel, even Avicenna are considered in the brief introductory discussion of "Oriental" Islamic philosophy, while the system of Averroes is treated in great detail as the culmination of a distinctly Spanish tradition. Not a definitive history of the subject, but a "scientific manual" of the present state of historical-philosophical knowledge, (...) based on available bibliographies and edited texts, this work will nevertheless serve many as a valuable and authoritative reference source on a neglected chapter in the history of ideas.--L. K. B. (shrink)
An over-compact but vivid metaphysical scheme woven out of categories such as process, endurance, self-realization, etc., and stressing a contrast between "cosmic" reality, a perpetual activity whose unity lies in the urge for endurance of which it is the self-realization, and "anthropocosmic" reality, a perishing complex of realized finite purposes. The vocabulary and style are obscure, and originality is more is evidence than fruitfulness.--L. K. B.
A characterization of the categories and theoretical orientation of Argentine "positivism" --in a broad but classical sense, amounting roughly to the identification of knowledge with the conclusions of experimental science--carried out through an historical study of the origins, development, and doctrines of indigenous philosophical and sociological theories. --L. K. B.
A comparative methodological examination of neo-positivism and analytic philosophy, phenomenology, and existentialism. These are interpreted as springing from the cultural and existential crisis of our time, each responding to a genuine element of this crisis, and thus tending toward integration into a unified method by which modern thought can extricate itself from the crisis--a recognition of the logical analysis of language, tempered by phenomenology and an historical orientation, as the methodological basis of modern philosophy. Speculative metaphysics and cosmology are much (...) too lightly dismissed.--L. K. B. (shrink)
This presentation of scientific methodology tries to avoid metaphysical issues without being unphilosophical. Drawing from a wide range of material, the book describes clearly but rather generally what empirical scientists are concerned with, how they proceed, what they accomplish. The five parts deal with the roles in science of definitions, physical laws and theories, induction, and the interplay of reason and immediate experience. Despite the slant indicated by the many quotations from St. Thomas and Aristotle--peculiarly but pleasantly combined with passages (...) from Einstein, Schrödinger, de Broglie, Eddington, etc.--a rather objective presentation is achieved.--L. K. B. (shrink)
A reprint of Freud's lectures of 1910. In his philosophically critical preface, Allers briefly but effectively points up logical and scientific weaknesses in Freud's theories, attributes their peculiar success to the appealing ambiguity of approach as between the scientific and the historical, then finds their chief merit in furthering the recognition of man's "historicity."--L. K. B.
This brief and valuable reconstruction of Mead's theory of social reality combines a carefully documented exposition of the development of Mead's thought with a philosophically critical examination of some of his major themes. Whereas most interpreters have typed Mead as a "social behaviorist," his theories are here rightly portrayed as transcending the behavioristic framework, moving "from a problematic empiricism toward an idealistic and subjectivistic account of the nature of social reality." The author finds unresolved "foundational confusions" in Mead's theories, however, (...) springing primarily from his evasion of epistemological issues. --L. K. B. (shrink)
A metaphysical scheme which is both a philosophy and a personal religion, presented confessionally in four terse and lyrical essays. The basic concepts are authenticity, solitude, heroism, act, life and death. God is conceived as finite and multiple, engendered through history, "the fundamental meaning toward which converge the most intense fibres of the heroism which forms our history." --L. K. B.
This book claims to state a "method of polarity" whereby philosophy can be advanced significantly. This method presupposes a conception of knowledge as rooted in value and of truth as encompassing contrary or "contrapletive" positions. Finding in experience irreducible oppositions demanding a definite method of treatment, it prescribes for this a "calculus," which is then applied to "typical philosophical problems." A vast amount of reading --somewhat over-documented by more than four hundred citations and references--are brought to bear rather externally on (...) the problems treated, which themselves are hardly more than posed in terms of the polarity concept.--L. K. B. (shrink)