[SydPhil] HPS Research Seminar - Paul Griffiths 4th March
debbie.castle at sydney.edu.au
Tue Feb 26 10:31:31 AEDT 2019
SCHOOL OF HISTORY
Held in conjunction with the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science
SEMESTER ONE 2019
RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES
MONDAY 4th MARCH 2019
PROFESSOR PAUL GRIFFITHS
Professorial Research Fellow
Associate Academic Director (Arts and Social Sciences), Charles Perkins Centre
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
The Normal and the Pathological Revisited.
The dominant view amongst philosophers of medicine is that biological facts are neither necessary nor sufficient to determine whether a phenotype is pathological. Once it has been determined by social facts that a phenotype is a pathological, biomedical science can reveal many facts about that phenotype, but biomedical science cannot reveal that it is a pathology. Given the right social facts, any phenotype could be either pathological or normal. While the internal dialectic in the philosophy of medicine that has led to this position is compelling, from the perspective of the broader biological sciences this is a puzzle. A distinction between the normal and the pathological seems implicit in straightforwardly scientific questions, such as distinguishing parasitic from commensal relationships between species, or regarding pathology as an alternative to the hypothesis that intra-specific variation is maintained by selection.
I argue that discussion of the distinction between the normal and the pathological has been too focused on the human case and the context of clinical medicine. Whilst acknowledging the important insights about the distinction offered by philosophers of medicine, starting with Canguilhem, it is time to acknowledge that the distinction between is part of what Canguilhem’s contemporaries would have called a ‘theory of the organism’ and to integrate the philosophy of medicine with the philosophy of biology.
WHERE: LEVEL 5 FUNCTION ROOM F23
(NEW) ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
AT THE ENTRANCE TO CITY ROAD
WHEN: MONDAY 4TH MARCH
All Welcome | No Booking Required | Free
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