To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This study seeks the opinions of qualified doctors on what they feel medical students should learn about otolaryngology. It aims to identify both the content deemed relevant and the performance levels for medical students in otolaryngology.
A national survey developed from a content analysis of undergraduate otolaryngology curricula from the UK was undertaken, accompanied by a review of the literature and input from an expert group. Data were collected from a wide range of doctors.
Participants felt that graduating students should be able to: recognise, assess and initiate management for common and life-threatening acute conditions; take an appropriate patient history; and perform an appropriate examination for the majority of otolaryngology clinical conditions but manage only a select few.
This study reports performance levels for otolaryngology topics at an undergraduate level. Participating doctors felt that a higher level of performance should be expected of students treating life-threatening, acute and common otolaryngology conditions.
This chapter explores assumptions about what things are made of (physicality) as revealed by ethnography and the study of antiquity. The history of Greek speculations on the problem reveals a striking diversity, where Aristotle’s ontology based on the primacy of substances was certainly not universally accepted by other theorists. A very different view on the question is common among ancient Chinese writers, who usually focussed not on stable substances but on interacting processes. This allows us to qualify some of the conclusions proposed by the anthropologist Descola in his account of the contrast between naturalism and animism.
This chapter challenges the binary contrast between ’myth’ and rational account (logos), reviewing the negative impact of the application of that dichotomy when used to draw contrasts between properly scientific modes of discourse and those to be dismissed as irrational. Ethnographic reports show that there is often no equivalent to our term ’myth’ in indigenous vocabularies, at least not one that carries similar pejorative undertones. The arguments of Lévi-Strauss that systems of myth may convey ’concrete science’ have the merit of taking those systems seriously, but still imply a pejorative binary judgement.
This chapter examines current assumptions about the agenda of the history of science where the dominant narrative concentrates on the Greek legacy and then on the transformations that took place in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. A Great Divide is often postulated between the workings of the Savage Mind and those of Western scientific modernity. When Greek ideas concerning nature, magic and metaphor are critically examined the way is open to expand the remit of the history of science to make room for a fuller appreciation of the work of other ancient societies and modern indigenous groups.
This chapter explores four different types of explanatory factors that might be invoked to account for the emergence of different groups of scientific theories, ontologies or cosmologies, namely ecology, language, technology and socio-political factors. It arrives at the negative conclusion that none of these singly nor all four taken in conjunction allow us to predict and explain the world-views and modes of scientific investigation that the historical record and the ethnographic data provide evidence for. The varying trajectories of the different developments that we encounter thus demand nuanced particular analysis.
This chapter accepts that biomedicine is the dominant influence on our ideas about health and disease but considers what qualifications need to be introduced to do justice first to the more complicated issues to do with mental health and then to the very diverse conceptions that have been entertained in this area in non-Western societies, ancient and modern. Drawing on Hacking’s work on natural kinds and Luhrmann’s analysis of the uncertainties of modern psychiatry, it suggests further respects in which we need to exercise caution in assessing competing claims for expertise in this area.
This chapter summarises certain conclusions concerning the scientific endeavours of different cultures at different periods. Cross-cultural understanding is fraught with difficulty but the recognition that there is no neutral vocabulary available in which to undertake our analyses does not mean that all mutual understanding is beyond reach. However, traditional views of the contrast between the literal and the metaphorical should be replaced by an acceptance of the pervasiveness of semantic stretch. Cross-cultural explorations provide an opportunity to examine our own preconceptions, including about the scope of science and the values it implies – and so also of its history.
This chapter introduces the key theme of the book, which is to challenge the dominant agenda in the history of science which concentrates on developments in the West since the seventeenth century. Once we focus on aims and methods rather than on results, the explorations of the members of ancient societies and of modern indigenous groups can be given due attention. Their different approaches offer us the opportunity to revise our own assumptions and so expand the horizons of the history of science.
This chapter examines the varying roles that definitions may play in scientific investigations. Obviously they may laudably aim at clarifying the problem to be explored, but the demand and search for univocal definitions can have a limiting effect on the inquiry subsequently pursued. When a definition is presented as the goal of an investigation, for example of the characteristics of an animal species, that may have the effect of obscuring some of the complexities that may be uncovered along the way. The problem of the role of definitions in an axiomatic system such as Euclid’s lies in their presumed self-evidence.
translation across different natural languages and conceptual systems. While there is no totally neutral vocabulary in which this can be effected, this does not mean that mutual understanding is quite beyond reach, although that will depend on allowing for the revisability of some of the initial preconceptions in play. Comparing divergent schemata is indeed an important means of expanding the horizons of the history of science.
This chapter reviews the complex evidence for differing conceptions of the locus of cognitive and affective faculties that have been entertained, as reported in modern ethnography and in the evidence for ancient societies such as Greece and China. The contrast between physicality and interiority that Descola uses to draw up a taxonomy of ontological regimes is subject to qualifications insofar as mind–body dualism is only one of a number of schemata that are to be found across cultures.
This chapter investigates the problems posed by the difficulties of translation across different natural languages and conceptual systems. While there is no totally neutral vocabulary in which this can be effected, this does not mean that mutual understanding is quite beyond reach, although that will depend on allowing for the revisability of some of the initial preconceptions in play. Comparing divergent schemata is indeed an important means of expanding the horizons of the history of science.
By what criteria should theories or explanations be judged to be good, over and above the requirement or at least the ambition for them to be true or correct? We may invoke appropriateness, relevance, economy, clarity, comprehensiveness, generality, parsimony, simplicity, elegance, even beauty, but what views did earlier investigators entertain on the subject? We have already seen that one group of ancient Greek theorists developed a model of axiomatic-deductive demonstration designed to bolster claims that a sequence of argument could yield results that are not only true but incontrovertible.
Figures 5.1 and 5.2 give the simplest forms of the epicyclic and eccentric models respectively. In Figure 5.1 the planet (or sun or moon) (P) moves round the circumference of an epicycle, whose centre (C) itself moves round the circumference of what is called the deferent circle whose centre E is the earth. The sense of the movement of a planet on its epicycle is the same as that of the deferent circle, while for the sun and moon, which do not exhibit retrogradation, the two circles move in opposite senses.
This book challenges the common assumption that the predominant focus of the history of science should be the achievements of Western scientists since the so-called Scientific Revolution. The conceptual frameworks within which the members of earlier societies and of modern indigenous groups worked admittedly pose severe problems for our understanding. But rather than dismiss them on the grounds that they are incommensurable with our own and to that extent unintelligible, we should see them as offering opportunities for us to revise many of our own preconceptions. We should accept that the realities to be accounted for are multi-dimensional and that all such accounts are to some extent value-laden. In the process insights from current anthropology and the study of ancient Greece and China especially are brought to bear to suggest how the remit of the history of science can be expanded to achieve a cross-cultural perspective on the problems.