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Monday 24th February – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

You are invited to the next session of the Biological Interest Group on Monday 24th February. As usual, it will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 1-2pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Rani Lill Anjum will present the paper “It’s not all in your genes: the dispositional nature of causal mechanisms in biology”. Here she presents (with her collaborators philosopher Stephen Mumford [https://sites.google.com/site/stephendmumford/] and biologist Thomas Bøhn [http://genok.no/ansatt/thomas-a-bohn/]) a dispositional theory of causation which differs radically from the orthodox view of causation: the two-events plus relation model of Hume. They try to show how the dispositional theory fits better with natural causal processes, and especially as seen in biology. Features such as complexity, context-sensitivity, non-linear composition, and the possibility of interference are emphasized and illustrated with examples from biology.

The work started years ago so needs an update. They are planning on finishing it this spring, and in this connection feedback from the Biological Interest Group would be very helpful. In particular, they are interested in whether there are features in biology that a causal theory ought to be able to explain. Also they are interested in any examples that can be used to support, challenge or develop their account.

This work is part of the Causation in Science project (http://www.umb.no/causci), where the aim is to have an empirically informed theory of causation which can also inform the way scientists think of causation in discovery, explanation and prediction. Dr. Anjum’s background is entirely philosophical (https://sites.google.com/site/ranilillanjum/), but she is interested in causation in biology and medicine.

To obtain the paper, or for any other information, please email Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] ex.ac.uk

Please do not disseminate this work in progress any further without Dr. Anjum’s express permission.

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Monday 10th February – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

You are invited to the next session of the Biological Interest Group on Monday 10th February. As usual, it will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 1-2pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Nick Binney will be presenting a draft paper entitled “Nosology, Ontology and Promiscuous Realism”. Nick has written this draft in response to the call for papers on the role of philosophy in medicine made by the Journal of Clinical Evaluation, so his audience for this is largely medical rather than philosophical. Please see at the bottom of this post the JECP’s notes about what they are looking for. He hopes to submit it in March, and any comments would be welcome. In particular, Nick wants to make quite a lot of use of John Dupré’s work on promiscuous realism, especially his example of cedar trees, and he does not want to misrepresent his position, so he would appreciate any feedback on that.

To obtain the paper, or for any other information, please email Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] ex.ac.uk

Please do not disseminate this work any further without Nick’s express permission.

 

“The Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice is an international health sciences journal (Impact Factor 1.52) that focuses on the evaluation and development of clinical practice in medicine, nursing and the allied health professions.  It has a large and diverse readership including practitioners and academics from a vast range of areas, and a twenty-year tradition of publishing papers raising epistemological, metaphysical and ethical issues underlying clinical policy and practice.  April 2010 saw the publication of the first thematic issue of the journal devoted entirely to philosophical issues, and May 2013 saw the publication of the fourth of these ‘philosophy thematics’.  In the anniversary year of the journal, we are seeking contributions to a fifth thematic issue in philosophy.  Papers are particularly welcome on the following themes:

1. Philosophy and clinical practice.  Aside from ethics, what role, if any, does philosophy have at the bedside?  Do discussions of ontology and metaphysics have any place in the education of practitioners?  Recent arguments about ‘Values-based Medicine’ have raised questions about the ‘foundation’ of medicine as a practice but what, if anything, is sui generis to medicine? Is the proper role of applied philosophy to discover the foundations of clinical practice, or is this idea based on a misconception of the proper scope and limits of philosophical questioning?”

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