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Philosophy of science

Philip Kitcher
Wisdom is a special kind of virtue. It is not to be identified with any outstanding cognitive ability-like having a prodigious memory or knowing a lot. Rather it consists in seeing what is most important and most valuable, either within a particular domain or in life as a whole. In the life of a wise person, that insight should be accompanied by traits of character, enabling the person to pursue what is seen as valuable. Viewing wisdom as a capacity for synthetic understanding, I argue for the need for philosophy, even at a time when all of us have much to learn from the sciences...
October 17, 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
John V Thomas, Rupan Sanyal, Janis P O'Malley, Satinder P Singh, Desiree E Morgan, Cheri L Canon
The academic educator's portfolio is a collection of materials that document academic performance and achievements, supplementing the curriculum vitae, in order to showcase a faculty member's most significant accomplishments. A decade ago, a survey of medical schools revealed frustration in the nonuniform methods of measuring faculty's medical education productivity. A proposed solution was the use of an academic educator's portfolio. In the academic medical community, compiling an academic portfolio is always a challenge because teaching has never been confined to the traditional classroom setting and often involves active participation of the medical student, resident, or fellow in the ongoing care of the patient...
October 11, 2016: Academic Radiology
Vincenzo Romei, Gregor Thut, Juha Silvanto
Progress in cognitive neuroscience relies on methodological developments to increase the specificity of knowledge obtained regarding brain function. For example, in functional neuroimaging the current trend is to study the type of information carried by brain regions rather than simply compare activation levels induced by task manipulations. In this context noninvasive transcranial brain stimulation (NTBS) in the study of cognitive functions may appear coarse and old fashioned in its conventional uses. However, in their multitude of parameters, and by coupling them with behavioral manipulations, NTBS protocols can reach the specificity of imaging techniques...
September 30, 2016: Trends in Neurosciences
Larry Laudan, Rachel Laudan
A basic premise of hyphenated history-and-philosophy-of-science is that theories of scientific change have to be based on empirical evidence derived from carefully constructed historical case studies. This paper analyses one such systematic attempt to test philosophical claims, describing its historical context, rationale, execution, and limited impact.
October 2016: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
David Ludwig
Current controversies about knowledge integration reflect conflicting ideas of what it means to "take Indigenous knowledge seriously". While there is increased interest in integrating Indigenous and Western scientific knowledge in various disciplines such as anthropology and ethnobiology, integration projects are often accused of recognizing Indigenous knowledge only insofar as it is useful for Western scientists. The aim of this article is to use tools from philosophy of science to develop a model of both successful integration and integration failures...
October 2016: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Konrad Werner
I shall propose metaphilosophy of mind as the philosophy of mind investigating mind. That is to say, I pose the question of how knowledge of mind provided by cognitive science, broadly construed, is constrained by the epistemic position of the knower, i.e. by the very fact that it is undertaken by a mind. Here I would like to propose a minimal framework, based on two distinctions: (i) the standard one between empirical and conceptual analysis; (ii) a new one, between the internal questions of mind and the boundary questions of mind...
September 24, 2016: Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science
Ilina Singh
Eighteen months ago, I left a permanent professorship in a generously interdisciplinary department of sociology and took an impermanent, lower-paying job at a university where I had to apply to something called the "Committee on Distinction" to retain the title of "Professor." Some people say, "That's what happens when Oxford calls." But it wasn't just that. It was the opportunity to engage in a groundbreaking experiment: to embed and integrate ethics within the Oxford Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience...
September 2016: Hastings Center Report
E Paul Zehr
Many think that communicating science is a necessary and rewarding activity. Yet finding compelling, relevant, and timely points of linkage between challenging scientific concepts and the experiences and interests of the general public can be difficult. Since science continues to influence more and more aspects of daily life and knowledge, there is a parallel need for communication about science in our society. Here I discuss the "middle-ground hypothesis" using popular culture for science communication and applying the "FUNnel model," where popular culture is used as a lead-in and wrap-up when discussing science...
September 2016: ENeuro
Timothy N W Jackson, Bryan G Fry
The "function debate" in the philosophy of biology and the "venom debate" in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate...
2016: Toxins
Mina Movahhed, Zohreh Poursaleh
BACKGROUND: Until now, Iranian traditional medicine (ITM) had been extensively based on Iranian philosophy in theoretical approach in diagnosis and treatment, with doubts on academic medicine. Nevertheless, the diagnosis of temperaments, herbal standardization, and quality control had been with the obscurity of functional molecules and their action mechanisms. Proteomics is a potent board to the mechanistic investigation of ITM and has been comprehensively applied profile drug-regulated proteins...
May 2016: Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences
Dorota Zielińska
In view of the critique of the methodology of the dominant interdisciplinary research involving language studies as the main component, in particular clinical linguistics, Cummings (Pragmatic disorders. Perspectives in pragmatics, philosophy and psychology, vol 3. Springer, Dordrecht, 2014) proposes that "It is perhaps appropriate at this point to move the debate onto non-empirical grounds." In Cummings (2014: 113) she starts such a debate on the grounds of the philosophy of language and pragmatics. In this article, I propose to expand that debate by including the input of the philosophy of science...
2016: SpringerPlus
Jan Sprenger
This paper develops a probabilistic reconstruction of the No Miracles Argument (NMA) in the debate between scientific realists and anti-realists. The goal of the paper is to clarify and to sharpen the NMA by means of a probabilistic formalization. In particular, I demonstrate that the persuasive force of the NMA depends on the particular disciplinary context where it is applied, and the stability of theories in that discipline. Assessments and critiques of "the" NMA, without reference to a particular context, are misleading and should be relinquished...
2016: Eur J Philos Sci
Christiane Brems, Dharmakaya Colgan, Heather Freeman, Jillian Freitas, Lauren Justice, Margaret Shean, Kari Sulenes
BACKGROUND: The practice of yoga has a long history as an integrated lifestyle science. Those who have practiced yoga in its full form (including all eight traditional aspects) find that it touches almost every aspect of their inter- and intra-personal lives. Despite this rich history, the West has adopted limited aspects of yoga practice. When understood narrowly as a physical fitness practice, healthful benefits of yoga may be lost, possibly promoting body-consciousness and injury instead...
July 2016: International Journal of Yoga
Neil D Theise, Menas C Kafatos
The ontologic framework of Fundamental Awareness proposed here assumes that non-dual Awareness is foundational to the universe, not arising from the interactions or structures of higher level phenomena. The framework allows comparison and integration of views from the three investigative domains concerned with understanding the nature of consciousness: science, philosophy, and metaphysics. In this framework, Awareness is the underlying reality, not reducible to anything else. Awareness and existence are the same...
May 2016: Communicative & Integrative Biology
John H Zammito
Epigenesis has become a far more exciting issue in Kant studies recently, especially with the publication of Jennifer Mensch's Kant' Organicism. In my commentary, I propose to clarify my own position on epigenesis relative to that of Mensch and others by once again considering the discourse of epigenesis in the wider eighteenth century. Historically, I maintain that Kant was never fully an epigenesist because he feared its materialist implications. This makes it highly unlikely that he drew heavily, as other interpreters like Dupont and Huneman have suggested, on Caspar Friedrich Wolff for his ultimate theory of "generic preformation...
August 2016: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Dalia Nassar
In contrast to the previously widespread view that Kant's work was largely in dialogue with the physical sciences, recent scholarship has highlighted Kant's interest in and contributions to the life sciences. Scholars are now investigating the extent to which Kant appealed to and incorporated insights from the life sciences and considering the ways he may have contributed to a new conception of living beings. The scholarship remains, however, divided in its interest: historians of science are concerned with the content of Kant's claims, and the ways in which they may or may not have contributed to the emerging science of life, while historians of philosophy focus on the systematic justifications for Kant's claims, e...
August 2016: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Thomas Breda, Mélina Hillion
Discrimination against women is seen as one of the possible causes behind their underrepresentation in certain STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. We show that this is not the case for the competitive exams used to recruit almost all French secondary and postsecondary teachers and professors. Comparisons of oral non-gender-blind tests with written gender-blind tests for about 100,000 individuals observed in 11 different fields over the period 2006-2013 reveal a bias in favor of women that is strongly increasing with the extent of a field's male-domination...
July 29, 2016: Science
Simon Fitzpatrick, Grant Goodrich
Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936) is widely regarded as the father of modern comparative psychology. Yet, Morgan initially had significant doubts about whether a genuine science of comparative psychology was even possible, only later becoming more optimistic about our ability to make reliable inferences about the mental capacities of non-human animals. There has been a fair amount of disagreement amongst scholars of Morgan's work about the nature, timing, and causes of this shift in Morgan's thinking. We argue that Morgan underwent two quite different shifts of attitude towards the proper practice of comparative psychology...
July 25, 2016: Journal of the History of Biology
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