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CauseHealth: £1m Philosophy and Science project to better understand unexplained conditions like CFS

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Dolphin, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    I haven't looked into this deeply but thought I'd highlight it.

    According to this article, it has a £1 million budget (or whatever the equivalent is in Norwegian kroner)


    Continues at:
    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/ne...ng_study_into_unexplained_medical_conditions/

    -----

    More info at:

    Probably if one searches around the internet one can find out more. I'll leave that to others for the moment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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  2. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    He seems to like the word psychosocial on his blog. Nothing extremist but I'm afraid this doesn't look good.
     
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  3. Bob

    Bob

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    £1m for a philosophical investigation of medically unexplained symptoms? Really? Please remind me what century we're in again? Are we still in the middle-ages? Have we not been through the enlightenment period yet?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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  4. Cheshire

    Cheshire Senior Member

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    Hummm... A physiotherapist granted for a project aiming at using philosophy to find the cause of medically unexplained symptoms...
     
  5. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    See, science hasn't given us adequate answers in this area, that surely means intuition and imagination will (it certainly helps that these answers won't be falsifiable).
     
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  6. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    Philosophobabble anyone?
     
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  7. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Of all the things that you could throw £1,000,000 at in order to figure this disease out, this has to be right down there with the dross.
     
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  8. duncan

    duncan Senior Member

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    Cogito, ergo thats-one-heck-of-a-sum!
     
  9. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    A different article on it

    https://sites.google.com/site/ranilillanjum/research/causehealth

    They seem doomed to failure in that they are starting from the assumption that there is no explanation rather than we have not found an explanation. They seem to be looking for a philosophy behind a psychosocial approach but I suspect if they applied any form of logical system to the reasoning it would collapse in a puff of logic. So I suspect that they will come up with a number of vague ill defined theories.

    I quite like the idea of looking at how people reason about unexplained illness but I would start from different perspectives. A much more formal approach is needed than I would detect here providing logical or evidential frameworks to understand how we can reason about unexplained disease.
     
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  10. Bob

    Bob

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    If studying the inappropriate presumptions about unexplained medical conditions that the medical establishment has been repeatedly making and perpetuating throughout the ages, then that might be quite an interesting philosophical study. (Edit: But not if it's going to waste £1m of research funding that could otherwise go towards biomedical research.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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  11. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    The justification is pompous twaddle. The philosophical issues about the nature of cause, which include things like Mackie's INUS theory and other such obscurities have nothing to do with the practical problems of working out causation in medicine. You have to think clearly to understand disease causes but philosophy will be of no help whatever.

    Maybe since Fluge and Mella got asked to put in a proposal all Norwegian academics think that the way to get a grant is to put one in on ME - not such a bad thing, but this one looks like money down the drain.
     
  12. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    Shouldn't philosophy bring a clarity of thought? I'm assuming philosphy has a strong logical component. So many papers seem to have muddled thinking and over generalisation.
     
  13. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Where's the dislike button when you need it.
     
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  14. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    Yes, on my MA philosophy course I learnt a lot about logic. It is very important to write A's upside down and E's backwards it seems. The problem, though, is that in logic what they are interested in is valid arguments. A valid argument generates a true answer if the premises are true. What they do not often talk about is a sound argument, which is a valid argument where the premises are true. So most of philosophy is the generation of false conclusions by valid argument from false premises.

    All philosophers are clever
    Clever people are always right

    Therefore
    Philosophers are always right

    Easy.
     
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  15. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    But they also have to write down the assumptions and hence acknowlegde them as beliefs. As I see it quite a lot of papers the assumptions are unclear. Having done quite a lot of mathematical modelling of various situations one of the big gains as to force people to carefully think through what assumptions they were making. Where people were disagreeing it often turned out they had different assumptions but until we applied a degree of rigour to their arguments that was not apparent.

    Having said that its applied maths really rather than philosopy.

    Maybe there are other ways to get people to think clearly but I worry about the reasoning and lack of acknowedgement of assumptions in some papers.
     
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  16. Bob

    Bob

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  17. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    That study looks like a self indulgent vanity - a million quid down the drain. Disgusting.
     
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  18. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    One of the issues here is that good science has sound philosophical underpinnings.

    Philosophy without evidence runs right into classical rationalism. Which is largely discredited. Its babble.

    Modern rationalists use empirical rationalism, or in Jonathon's words look for sound argument.

    Falsification theory is often important too, and as applied to science gives us critical rationalism. You have to be critical of your hypotheses, and can never presume you have found the ultimate truth.

    When you generalize these, and put primacy on asking questions, you have pancritical rationalism.

    A million pounds is not going to come even close to a minimal review of what we do know. The IOM spent most of that just on ME and CFS, and still fell short.

    Now a proper philosophical view of psychobabble .. my, my, that might get some results and discredit it even more. All the invalid argument and the failure to establish premises in evidence.
     
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  19. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrgggghh!

    :mad::mad::mad:
     
  20. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    Bad enough having to argue with psychoquackers, but philosophers can be even more infuriating / harder to pin down and counter with rational, evidence based arguments. Would anyone else like to use our illness as a vehicle to espouse their particular brand of pseudointellectual nonsense? Spiritualist mediums perhaps? Faerie believers? Please anyone feel free to blow a million pounds on your own publicity by linking your "study" to our illness.
     
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