The Philosophical Foundations of Modern Medicine by Keekok Lee (auth.)

By Keekok Lee (auth.)

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The twenty-first century expects science to deliver on the engineering front at the profound level of atoms: when nanotechnology, biotechnology as well as information technology are likely to combine forces to reach new heights of achievement. As a research programme, modern science may have run into many anomalies but, even after four centuries, it still seems capable of delivering surprises. Engineering, parts/wholes and reductionism Engineering demonstrates that one can construct a structured object out of certain basic elements or building blocks; reverse engineering demonstrates that one can deconstruct such a structured object in terms of its basic elements or building blocks.

In the opinion of this book, such an account is deeply flawed, as the arguments which follow will soon show. Other scholars tend to take the view that what is key to the philosophy of mechanism is not so much the modern laws of physics as formulated by the giants of the Scientific Revolution from the seventeenth century onwards, but the image of the machine. This presentation does imply a rupture in physics between the ancient and the modern versions of the science itself. More significantly, it maintains that a radical rupture exists between the older and the newer worldviews.

Why is it not as admissible in the second case as in the first? For this reason, and for no other, namely, that when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive—what we could not discover in the stone—that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose ... [The requisite] mechanism being observed ... the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker. Every observation which was made in our first chapter concerning the watch may be repeated with strict propriety concerning the eye, concerning animals, concerning plants, concerning, indeed, all the organized parts of the works of nature.

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