Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Another Look at Semmelweis
Dana Tulodziecki, CPS Visiting Fellow
Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri-Kansas City
817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: The case of Semmelweis and the discovery of the cause of puerperal fever has been well-known in philosophy of science since Hempel (1966). More recently, it has been revived through discussions by Lipton (2004 ), Gillies (2005), Bird (2005, 2007), and Persson (2009). While all these accounts highlight Semmelweis's reasoning, there has, however, been considerably less discussion of the views of those who opposed him. In this talk, I want to examine in more detail some of these opposing views. I conclude by reflecting on the implications and usage of case-studies such as these for some theses in the epistemology of science.