Epistemological Issues (epistemological + issues)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Science, systems and geomorphologies: why LESS may be more

Keith Richards
Abstract This paper has been stimulated by a debate triggered by the then British Geomorphological Research Group (now the British Society for Geomorphology) about the connections between geomorphology and Earth system science (ESS). Its purpose is to expand on some arguments we have already made about these connections, amongst other things drawing attention to neglected historical antecedents, and to the questionable status of the science implied by ESS. A premise of this further paper is that such a debate cannot be assumed to mirror conventional assessments of the content of a science, since it is about scientific institutional structures, names, boundaries and relationships. This implies that the terms of reference go well beyond critical scientific appraisal, extending to matters of evaluating a social organization, and to politics, policies, purposes and practices. We therefore begin by considering the sociology of science, scientific knowledge and technology, before moving to a consideration of the historical relationship amongst geomorphology, geology and physical geography; and to some perspectives this might offer for the current debate. Epistemological issues, arising both from the use of systems theory over multiple spatial and temporal scales, and from the demands of contemporary environmental science, are then introduced, and these lead to a conclusion that geomorphology might more appropriately be assessed against (or seen as part of) a more locally orientated ESS, which we term LESS. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

How Do We Know?: Students Examine Issues of Credibility With a Complicated Multimodal Web-Based Text

Mark Baildon
ABSTRACT As reading continues to become governed by a spatial "logic of the image" rather than strictly a temporal or linear logic of written language (Kress, 2003), and readers increasingly engage with a range of Internet-based texts, a host of challenges ensue for educators and students alike. One of the most vexing of these challenges deals with discernments of credibility. Determining the credibility of multimodal texts, especially on/within the Internet with its "vast network of relations of credibility" (Burbules & Callister, 2000), is particularly challenging because these texts mix images, music, graphic arts, video, and print to make sophisticated claims supported by various forms or types of evidence. This article examines how a group of ninth-grade students grappled with issues of credibility after viewing the controversial Internet video, Loose Change, a well-documented and comprehensive multimedia account that argues the "real story" of September 11 was covered up by the U.S. government. Findings from the study highlight the range of knowledge and literacy practices students mobilized to "read" the video and the challenges they experienced reading and evaluating the video as a multimodal text. Implications of this work point to the need to consider epistemological issues and further develop tools that can support teachers and students in critically assessing multimodal texts. [source]

The Network Perspective: An Integration of Attachment and Family Systems Theories,

FAMILY PROCESS, Issue 3 2002
FRANZCP, Kasia Kozlowska MBBS
In this article we discuss the network paradigm as a useful base from which to integrate attachment and family systems theories. The network perspective refers to the application of general systems theory to living systems, and provides a framework that conceptualizes the dyadic and family systems as simultaneously distinct and interconnected. Network thinking requires that the clinician holds multiple perspectives in mind, considers each system level as both a part and a whole, and shifts the focus of attention between levels as required. Key epistemological issues that have hindered the integration of the theories are discussed. These include inconsistencies within attachment theory itself and confusion surrounding the theoretical conceptualizations of the relationship between attachment and family systems theories. Detailed information about attachment categories is provided using the Dynamic Maturational model. Case vignettes illustrating work with young children and their families explore the clinical implications of integrating attachment data into family therapy practice. [source]

Marking a Weberian Moment: Our Discipline Looks Ahead

Donald J. Puchala
That the discipline of International Relations is again in disarray was the prevailing theme of a seminar titled Visions of International Relations, held at the University of South Carolina in autumn 1998. This essay is at once a reflection on the discussions that took place at the seminar and a representation of views that I offered as a participant. It comments on the epistemological issues in contention in the "third great debate" in International Relations, and it raises questions about the place and legitimacy of humanistic approaches to the study of relations among states and peoples. By my reckoning, International Relations is a full-fledged, full-blown, autonomous, legitimate and accomplished academic discipline, and ought not to be thought of as a subfield of political science or of any other of the socialsciences. [source]

McDowell on Kant: Redrawing the Bounds of Sense

Christopher Norris
John McDowell's Mind and World is a notable attempt to redirect the interest of analytic philosophers toward certain themes in Kantian and more recent continental thought. Only thus, he believes, can we move beyond the various failed attempts , by Quine, Davidson, Rorty, and others , to achieve a naturalised epistemology that casts off the various residual "dogmas" of old-style logical empiricism. In particular, McDowell suggests that we return to Kant's ideas of "spontaneity" and "receptivity" as the two jointly operative powers of mind which enable thought to transcend the otherwise unbridgeable gulf between sensuous intuitions and concepts of understanding. However, this project miscarries for several reasons. Chief among them is the highly problematical nature of Kant's claims, taken over by McDowell without reference to their later treatment at the hands of subjective and objective idealists. Hence he tends to fall back into different versions of the same mind/world dualism. I then question McDowell's idea that Kant can be "naturalised" by reinterpreting those claims from a more hermeneutic or communitarian standpoint with its sources in Hegel, Wittgenstein, and Gadamer. For the result is to deprive Kant's philosophy of its distinctively critical dimension not only with regard to epistemological issues but also in relation to matters of ethical and sociopolitical judgement. [source]


BIOETHICS, Issue 6 2009
ABSTRACT Purpose: Whereas ethical considerations on imaging techniques and interpretations of neuroimaging results flourish, there is not much work on their preconditions. In this paper, therefore, we discuss epistemological considerations on neuroimaging and their implications for neuroethics. Results: Neuroimaging uses indirect methods to generate data about surrogate parameters for mental processes, and there are many determinants influencing the results, including current hypotheses and the state of knowledge. This leads to an interdependence between hypotheses and data. Additionally, different levels of description are involved, especially when experiments are designed to answer questions pertaining to broad concepts like the self, empathy or moral intentions. Interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks are needed to integrate findings from the life sciences and the humanities and to translate between them. While these epistemological issues are not specific for neuroimaging, there are some reasons why they are of special importance in this context: Due to their inferential proximity, ,neuro-images' seem to be self-evident, suggesting directness of observation and objectivity. This has to be critically discussed to prevent overinterpretation. Additionally, there is a high level of attention to neuroimaging, leading to a high frequency of presentation of neuroimaging data and making the critical examination of their epistemological properties even more pressing. Conclusions: Epistemological considerations are an important prerequisite for neuroethics. The presentation and communication of the results of neuroimaging studies, the potential generation of new phenomena and new ,dysfunctions' through neuroimaging, and the influence on central concepts at the foundations of ethics will be important future topics for this discipline. [source]