Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Medical Ethics in the Wake of the Holocaust: Departing from a postwar paper by Ludwik Fleck
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
2007 (English)In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, ISSN 1369-8486, E-ISSN 1879-2499, Vol. 38, no 3, 642-655 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 1948 Ludwik Fleck published a paper in Polish discussing the use of humans in medical experiments, thereby addressing his peers. Though the paper has so far not been translated or studied, it has been taken to indicate Fleck's deep commitment to ethical questions, notably the question of informed consent. In being written by a former victim of the Nazi policy and a survivor of the Holocaust also acting as an expert witness in the trial of the IG Farben in Nuremberg, the paper is of interest. A scrutiny of Fleck's text and related sources discloses, however, not only the complexity of the issue at the centre of the Nuremberg trial, but also Fleck's unexpected stance in seemingly adducing his arguments from both the German defendants and the prosecution, heavily informed by US scientists. Further, the contentious discussion of the past in Fleck's paper reveals its links to modern bioethical discussion. Though sometimes oblivious of that past, it still faces the same questions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 38, no 3, 642-655 p.
Keyword [en]
Doctors' Trial; Human experimentation; Informed consent; Ludwik Fleck; Nuremberg Code; Prisoner research
National Category
Philosophy History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6683DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2007.06.005PubMedID: 17893071Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-34548807979OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-6683DiVA: diva2:11460
Note
QC 20100826Available from: 2006-12-22 Created: 2006-12-22 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Reading fleck: Questions on philosophy and science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reading fleck: Questions on philosophy and science
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis is based on a scientifically-informed, contextualized and historicized reading of Ludwik Fleck. In addition to his monograph, the material studied includes his additional philosophical writings, his internationally-published scientific articles and two, thus-far-unstudied postwar Polish papers related to his Buchenwald experiences. The sources provided by Fleck have been traced back to the time of their origin. Based on the above material, it is argued that, rather than relativizing science and deeply influencing Kuhn, Fleck, attempting to participate in the current debates, is an ardent proponent of science, offering an internal account of its pursuit that accords with his oft-contested epistemic concepts, e.g., Denkzwang, Sinnsehen and Kopplungen. The exposure of his description of the Wassermann reaction discloses a highly selective reading of the sources available at the time, but also reveals its relation to the current debate on Einzelwissenschaften, or the standing of new emerging disciplines versus age-old ones, all occasioned by the remarkable progress of science that has also affected philosophy. The divide between philosophers and scientists on the philosophical implications of modern physics is exposed, as is Fleck’s heuristic use of the latter topic in his epistemology. A more realistic account of his often-valued scientific accomplishments is provided. It is argued that the modern interpretation or received humanist view of Fleck is based on the opposition, at the time Fleck’s monograph was rediscovered, of STS writers to a scientifically-informed reading of his texts. An additional corrective to the received view of Fleck is found in some of his postwar Polish papers related his Buchenwald experiences. The latter might also provide an answer to some of the contradictions inherent in the modern mythology surrounding Fleck. In amply exposing the precarious situation of the time, and the complexity of the ethical issues at stake, Fleck’s papers in fact generate age-old philosophical questions still worth contemplating.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. 26 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831
Keyword
Ludwik Fleck, Wassermann reaction, Informed consent, Buchenwald studies, Human experimentation
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4250 (URN)91-7178-471-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-01-15, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100826Available from: 2006-12-22 Created: 2006-12-22 Last updated: 2010-08-26Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMedScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hedfors, Eva
By organisation
Philosophy and History of Technology
In the same journal
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
PhilosophyHistory

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn
Total: 67 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf