This essay illustrates what the Chinese family-based and harmony-oriented model of medical decision making is like as well as how it differs from the modern Western individual-based and autonomy-oriented model in health care practice. The essay discloses the roots of the Chinese model in the Confucian account of the family and the Confucian view of harmony. By responding to a series of questions posed to the Chinese model by modern Western scholars in terms of the basic individualist concerns and values (...) embedded in the modern Western model, we conclude that the Chinese people have justifiable reasons to continue to apply the Chinese model to their contemporary health care and medical practice. (shrink)
Drawing on the results of modem psychology and cognitive science we suggest that the traditional theory of concepts is no longer tenable, and that the alternative account proposed by Kuhn may now be seen to have independent empirical support quite apart from its success as part of an account of scientific change. We suggest that these mechanisms can also be understood as special cases of general cognitive structures revealed by cognitive science. Against this background, incommensurability is not an insurmountable obstacle (...) to accepting Kuhn's position, as many philosophers of science still believe. Rather it becomes a natural consequence of cognitive structures that appear in all human beings. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the pattern of conceptual change during scientific revolutions by using methods from cognitive psychology. We show that the changes characteristic of scientific revolutions, especially taxonomic changes, can occur in a continuous manner. Using the frame model of concept representation to capture structural relations within concepts and the direct links between concept and taxonomy, we develop an account of conceptual change in science that more adequately reflects the current understanding that episodes like the Copernican revolution are (...) not always abrupt. When concepts are represented by frames, the transformation from one taxonomy to another can be achieved in a piecemeal fashion not preconditioned by a crisis stage, and a new taxonomy can arise naturally out of the old frame instead of emerging separately from the existing conceptual system. This cognitive mechanism of continuous change demonstrates the constructive roles of anomaly and incommensurability in promoting the progress of science. (shrink)
In a previous article we have shown that Kuhn's theory of concepts is independently supported by recent research in cognitive psychology. In this paper we propose a cognitive re-reading of Kuhn's cyclical model of scientific revolutions: all of the important features of the model may now be seen as consequences of a more fundamental account of the nature of concepts and their dynamics. We begin by examining incommensurability, the central theme of Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions, according to two different (...) cognitive models of concept representation. We provide new support for Kuhn 's mature views that incommensurability can be caused by changes in only a few concepts, that even incommensurable conceptual systems can be rationally compared, and that scientific change of the most radical sort—the type labeled revolutionary in earlier studies—does not have to occur holistically and abruptly, but can be achieved by a historically more plausible accumulation of smaller changes. We go on to suggest that the parallel accounts of concepts found in Kuhn and in cognitive science lead to a new understanding of the nature of normal science, of the transition from normal science to crisis, and of scientific revolutions. The same account enables us to understand how scientific communities split to create groups supporting new paradigms, and to resolve various outstanding problems. In particular, we can identify the kind of change needed to create a revolution rather precisely. This new analysis also suggests reasons for the unidirectionality of scientific change. (shrink)
To correct the misconception that incommensurability implies incomparability, Kuhn lately develops a new interpretation of incommensurability. This includes a linguistic theory of scientific revolutions (the theory of kinds), a cognitive exploration of the language learning process (the analogy of bilingualism), and an epistemological discussion on the rationality of scientific development (the evolutionary epistemology). My focus in this paper is to review Kuhn's effort in eliminating relativism, highlighting both the insights and the difficulties of his new version of incommensurability . Finally (...) I suggest that some of Kuhn's difficulties can be overcome by adopting a concept of rationality that filly appreciates the important role of instruments in the development of science. (shrink)
This paper offers a solution to a problem in Herschel studies by drawing on the dynamic frame model for concept representation offered by cognitive psychology. Applying the frame model to represent the conceptual frameworks of the particle and wave theories, this paper shows that discontinuity between the particle and wave frameworks consists mainly in the transition from a particle notion 'side' to a wave notion 'phase difference'. By illustrating intraconceptual relations within concepts, the frame representations reveal the ontological differences between (...) these two concepts. 'Side' is an object concept built on spatial relations, but 'phase difference' is an event concept built on temporal relations. The conceptual analyses display a possible cognitive source of Herschel's misconception of polarization. Limited by his experimental works and his philosophical beliefs, Herschel comprehended polarization solely in terms of spatial relations, which prevented him from replacing the object concept 'side' with the event concept 'phase difference', and eventually resulted in his failure to understand the wave account of polarization. (shrink)
I propose a new perspective on the study of scientific revolutions. This is a transformation from an object-only perspective to an ontological perspective that properly treats objects and processes as distinct kinds. I begin my analysis by identifying an object bias in the study of scientific revolutions, where it takes the form of representing scientific revolutions as changes in classification of physical objects. I further explore the origins of this object bias. Findings from developmental psychology indicate that children cannot distinguish (...) processes from objects until the age of 7, but they have already developed a core system of object knowledge as early as 4 months of age. The persistence of this core system is responsible for the object bias among mature adults, i.e., the tendency to apply knowledge of physical objects to temporal processes. In light of the distinction between physical objects and temporal processes, I redraw the picture of the Copernican revolution. Rather than seeing it as a taxonomic shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric cosmology, we should understand it as a transformation from a conceptual system that was built around an object concept to one that was built around a process concept. (shrink)
I propose a new perspective with which to understand scientific revolutions. This is a conversion from an object-only perspective to one that properly treats object and process concepts as distinct kinds. I begin with a re-examination of the Copernican revolution. Recent findings from the history of astronomy suggest that the Copernican revolution was a move from a conceptual framework built around an object concept to one built around a process concept. Drawing from studies in the cognitive sciences, I then show (...) that process concepts are independent of object concepts, grounded in specific regions of the brain and involving unique representational mechanisms. There are cognitive obstacles to the transformation from object to process concepts, and an object bias—a tendency to treat processes as objects—makes this kind of conceptual change difficult. Consequently, transformation from object to process concepts is disruptive and revolutionary. Finally, I explore the implications of this new perspective on scientific revolutions for both the history and philosophy of science.Keywords: Scientific revolutions; Process concepts; Object concepts; Object bias; Copernican revolution. (shrink)
: This paper offers a preliminary analysis of conceptual change between event concepts. It begins with a brief review of the major findings of cognitive studies on event knowledge. The script model proposed by Schank and Abelson was the first attempt to represent event knowledge. Subsequent cognitive studies indicated that event knowledge is organized in the form of dimensional organizations in which temporally successive actions are related causally. This paper proposes a frame representation to capture and outline the internal structure (...) of event concepts, in particular, their causal connections. The frame representation offers an effective method to analyze the relations between event concepts, and to expose the unique cognitive mechanisms behind conceptual change involved event concepts. Finally this paper shows that the frame representation of event concepts is instrumental to understanding an important historical episode of conceptual change in the context of nineteenth-century optics. (shrink)
This paper examines taxonomy comparison from a cognitive perspective. Arguments are developed by drawing on the results of cognitive psychology, which reveal the cognitive mechanisms behind the practice of taxonomy comparison. The taxonomic change in 19th-century ornithology is also used to uncover the historical practice that ornithologists employed in the revision of the classification of birds. On the basis of cognitive and historical analyses, I argue that incommensurable taxonomies can be compared rationally. Using a frame model to represent taxonomy, I (...) show how rational comparisons were achieved in the historical case through compatible contrast sets and attribute lists. Through analyzing the cognitive processes of classification and concept representation, I further explain how rival taxonomies in the historical case could be rationally compared on ‘platforms’ rooted in such cognitive mechanisms as relational assumptions and preferences for body parts in conceptual processing. (shrink)
In this paper I examine a cognitive mechanism of incommensurability. Using the frame model of concept representation to capture structural relations within concepts, I reveal an ontological difference between object and event concepts: the former are spatial but the latter temporal. Experiments from cognitive sciences further demonstrate that the mind treats object and event concepts differently. Thus, incommensurability can occur in conceptual change across different ontological categories. I use a historical case to illustrate how the ontological difference between an object (...) and an event concept actually caused incommensurability in the context of nineteenth‐century optics. The cognitive and historical analyses indicate that incommensurability can be a local phenomenon and does not necessarily imply incomparability. (shrink)
Countering the general reading of Confucian ethics as a form of virtue ethics or humanistic ethics, this essay reads Confucian ethics as a form of ethical personalism. Doing so, it examines the ethical orientations in the Confucian classics, The Analects, Da Xue, and others, pointing out that the touchstone concept of Confucian ethics taught in these classics is the person, recalling the Confucian motto of ethical cultivation, ?inner sagehood and outer kinghood?. It demonstrates that only the name of personalism describes (...) well the substance of Confucian ethics and captures its essence. It indicates that Confucian personalism is characterized by its starting not from the concept of the person or personhood as a divinely or naturally given, something akin to the Hindu Atman, but from the concept of the person or personhood that must be substantialized in ethical cultivation, e.g., cultivating a personhood after the image of the sage. (shrink)
Recently implemented Chinese health insurance schemes have failed to achieve a Chinese health care system that is family-oriented, family-based, family-friendly, or even financially sustainable. With this diagnosis in hand, the authors argue that a financially and morally sustainable Chinese health care system should have as its core family health savings accounts supplemented by appropriate health insurance plans. This essay’s arguments are set in the context of Confucian moral commitments that still shape the background culture of contemporary China.
ABSTRACTThis essay explores the Confucian theory of mind. Doing so, it first examines the early Confucian concept of the human mind as a substance that has both moral and cognitive functions and a universal nature. It then explores the neo-Confucian concept of the human mind, the original mind, and the relationships between the human mind and human nature, as well as between the human mind and the human body. Finally, it explores the Confucian concept of cultivation of the mind.
Supervenience was first used by Donald Davidson to describe the dependent and independent relationships between the mental and the physical. Jaegwon Kim presented a more precise definition, distinguishing between three types of supervenience: weak, strong and global. Kim further proved that strong and global supervenience are equivalent. However, three years later, Kim argued that strong supervenience is stronger than global supervenience, while weak supervenience and global supervenience are independent of each other. This paper demonstrates that Kim’s conclusion that weak supervenience (...) and global supervenience are independent of each other is wrong. The strength of strong, weak and global supervenience decreases in turn with the latter entailed by the former. This paper also corrects some defects in Kim’s argument and his formulation of strong and weak supervenience, and then further explores the relationship between the three types of supervenience and their philosophical significance. It also classifies other terms of supervenience such as layered supervenience, macro-micro supervenience, and mereological superveniece as relationships of the strong, weak and global. (shrink)
This essay explores the Confucian concept of the space of the mind and the Confucian view on cultivation of the space of mind. It then argues that the distinction between the mind as a mental substance and the body as a material substance is that the mind can be infinitely extended while the body can only extended to a certain limit.
The importance of downward causation lies in showing that it shows that functional properties such as mental properties are real, although they cannot be reduced to physical properties. Kim rejects nonreductive physicalism, which includes leading functionalism, by eliminating downward causation, and thereby returns to reductionism. In this paper, I make a distinction between two aspects of function—functional meaning and functional structure and argue that functional meaning cannot be reduced to the physical level whereas functional structure can. On this basis, I (...) further distinguish between the integer of the function, which includes the functional meaning and the functional structure, and the whole of the functional realization, and also among the strong, medial, and weak supervenience relations. So-called downward causation is indeed the relationship between the whole of the functional realization and its physical realizer, which is a whole-part relation instead of a relation between levels. As a result of understanding downward causation in this way and abandoning the principle of the causal closure of the physical world, Kim’s argument becomes invalid and nonreductive functionalism, justified. (shrink)
In contemporary China, physicians tend to require more diagnostic work-ups and prescribe more expensive medications than are clearly medically indicated. These practices have been interpreted as defensive medicine in response to a rising threat of potential medical malpractice lawsuits. After outlining recent changes in Chinese malpractice law, this essay contends that the overuse of expensive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions cannot be attributed to malpractice concerns alone. These practice patterns are due as well, if not primarily, to the corruption of medical (...) decision-making by physicians being motivated to earn supplementary income, given the constraints of an ill-structured governmental policy by the over-use of expensive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. To respond to these difficulties of Chinese health care policy, China will need not only to reform the particular policies that encourage these behaviors, but also to nurture a moral understanding that can place the pursuit of profit within the pursuit of virtue. This can be done by drawing on Confucian moral resources that integrate the pursuit of profit within an appreciation of benevolence. It is this Confucian moral account that can formulate a medical care policy suitable to China's contemporary market economy. (shrink)
In the years since its introduction, Edward Said’s celebrated study Orientalism has acquired a near-paradigmatic status as a model of the relationships between Western and non-Western cultures. Said seeks to show how Western imperialist images of its colonial others—images that, of course, are inevitably and sharply at odds with the self-understanding of the indigenous non-Western cultures they purport to represent—not only govern the West’s hegemonic policies, but were imported into the West’s political and cultural colonies where they affected native points (...) of view and thus served as instruments of domination themselves. Said’s focus is on the Near East, but his critics and supporters alike have extended his model far beyond the confines of that part of the world. Despite the popularity of Said’s model, however, comparatists and sinologists have yet to make extensive use of it in their attempts to define China’s self-image or the nature of the Sino-Western social, cultural, and political relationships. Xiaomei Chen is assistant professor of Chinese and comparative literature at Ohio State University. She has recently completed a book on the politics of cross-cultural “misunderstanding” in modern China and the West, and is now working on a cultural study of post-Mao Chinese theater. (shrink)
Over the last quarter-century, China has experienced dramatic changes associated with its development of a market economy. The character of clinical practice is also profoundly influenced by the ways in which reimbursement scales are established in public hospitals. The market distortions that lead to the over-prescription of drugs and the medically unindicated use of more expensive drugs and more costly high-technology diagnostic and therapeutic interventions create the most significant threat to patients. The payment of red packets represents a black-market attempt (...) to circumvent the non-market constraint on physicians' fees for services. These economic and practice pattern changes are taking place as China and many Pacific Rim societies are reconsidering the moral foundations of their professional ethics and their bioethics. The integrity of the medical profession and the trust of patients in physicians can only be restored and protected if the distorting forces of contemporary public policy are altered. (shrink)
This paper offers a solution to a problem in Herschel studies by drawing on the dynamic frame model for concept representation offered by cognitive psychology. Applying the frame model to represent the conceptual frameworks of the particle and wave theories, this paper shows that discontinuity between the particle and wave frameworks consists mainly in the transition from a particle notion ‘side’ to a wave notion ‘phase difference’. By illustrating intraconceptual relations within concepts, the frame representations reveal the ontological differences between (...) these two concepts. ‘Side’ is an object concept built on spatial relations, but ‘phase difference’ is an event concept built on temporal relations. The conceptual analyses display a possible cognitive source of Herschel’s misconception of polarization. Limited by his experimental works and his philosophical beliefs, Herschel comprehended polarization solely in terms of spatial relations, which prevented him from replacing the object concept ‘side’ with the event concept ‘phase difference’, and eventually resulted in his failure to understand the wave account of polarization.Author Keywords: Herschel; Polarization; Object concept; Event concept; Frame; Cognitive psychology. (shrink)
A murderer's crimes are recognized its responsibility? Answer to this question will depend on a person's expectations for the human dimension of free will. But today in the philosophy of free will and psychological treatment have been presented ambiguous situation, which is due to material factors in the biology of the brain and neurological function of the fuzzy results presented between the differences in human thought and and non-material factors involved in psychological choice due to differences between mental processes. In (...) the biology of the disease and the so-called mental illness, the psychological treatment in an ongoing confusion that personal responsibility issue in this case more difficult to resolve. Philosophical counseling and help lay a better job of individual workers with a variety of distinctions: between the brain and mind, material factors and rational, and between the disease and confusion between, and material and moral responsibilities between. (shrink)
Engaging in present debates on happiness, this essay shows that a good, happy life and an authentic life entail one another. Doing so, the essay first explores the Confucian approach to the relationships between happiness and authenticity, and between authenticity and value. It then presents the Heideggeran approach. Therefore, it demonstrates how authenticity, happiness, and value are inseparable in a person’s being; the so called fact-value dichotomy, even if it is applicable to non-human beings, has no magic touch in human (...) existence. (shrink)
Many recent cognitive studies reveal that human cognition is inherently perceptual, sharing systems with perception at both the conceptual and the neural levels. This paper introduces Barsalou's theory of perceptual symbols and explores its implications for philosophy of science. If perceptual symbols lie in the heart of conceptual processing, the process of attribute selection during concept representation, which is critical for defining similarity and thus for comparing taxonomies, can no longer be determined solely by background beliefs. The analogous nature of (...) perceptual symbols and the spatial nature of intraconceptual relations impose new constraints on attribute selection. These constraints help people with different background beliefs select compatible attributes, which constitute a common "platform" for taxonomy comparison. (shrink)
Kuhn regards local incommensurability as an unavoidable result of changes in worldview, but his account fails to explain both historical cases in which rivals with different paradigms obtained consensus, and psychological experiments in which people with different cultural backgrounds accurately presented other points of view. Although the conditions required to generate local incommensurability were present in the dispute between Brewster and Herschel on light absorption, they succeeded in communicating. Ultimately Brewster understood his opponent's position, in the same way that subjects (...) in Barsalou's recent psychological experiments proved able to comprehend alien conceptual structures. Building upon recent cognitive theories of graded conceptual structures, I offer a new account of incommensurability, which accommodates these historical cases and psychological results. By correcting and extending Kuhn's account I show that local incommensurability may be a matter of degree. (shrink)
This essay argues that a person's fate is defined by the interaction of necessity and contingency, indicating that a person's existential competence consists of his or her ability to dance well with both necessity and contingency, not merely with either of them. As a result, it rejects the traditional association of fate with fatalism and fatality on the one hand and resists the present current to define individual fate and identity merely in terms of contingency and as contingency on the (...) other hand. Meanwhile, it defines necessity that shapes a person's fate in terms of laws of nature and human existence, not as some predetermined scheme or design. (shrink)
According to Lakatos's theory of scientific change, the victory of the wave theory in the nineteenth-century optical revolution was due to its empirical successes. However, historical facts do not support this opinion. Based on Laudan's theory of scientific change, this paper presents a different orientation to reconstruct the optical revolution. By comparing the conceptual problems that both optical theories had, this paper argues that it was the inferior status of the corpuscular theory in dealing with conceptual problems that constituted the (...) primary cause of the optical revolution. (shrink)
Ryan Darby, Judith Edersheim, and Bruce Price (DEP) argue that patients with Behavioral-Variant Frontotemporal Dementia have intact moral knowledge. In effect, they assume a motivational externalist understanding of moral knowledge. We question this by probing the cases they present as evidence for their position.
Countering the present trend in the discourse on justice wherein human reason is perceived and marginalized as an embarrassment to justice and the trend to reject the concept of formal justice, this paper argues that there is formal justice and the essence of justice is setting things right and setting righteousness to stand straight. By this token, justice means the rule of reason, not the rule of power and desire, and the ethics of justice differs fundamentally from the ethics of (...) care/benevolence. The popular assumption that justice as the rule of reason is incompatible with the idea of justice as accommodating diversity is unjustified. The paper joins the present discourse on justice from a historical perspective. It examines the historical Confucian and neo-Confucian concept of justice in a way of its dialogues with other Western concepts of justice such as Plato's concept of justice. (shrink)
This paper explores the Confucian value of authenticity. Taking as the starting point of the Confucian concept of becoming authentic persons of bo, da, jing, and shen, the paper first demonstrates that a high–far–firm zhixiang, creativity, an examined life, and sincerity are four necessary conditions for a self to be an authentic one of bo, da, jing, and shen. It then demonstrates that Confucian ethics operates with a metaphysical concept of a substantive self and Confucian self-cultivation implies authenticating such a (...) substantive self. Finally, it demonstrates that in Confucian ethics, cultivating a person’s self and cultivating the person’s humanity are not separable and entail one another. (shrink)