Marga Vicedo

Marga Vicedo
University of Toronto | U of T · Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST)

PhD History of Science, Harvard University

About

51
Publications
73,620
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416
Citations
Introduction
history of autism; history of biology; history of psychiatry; history of psychology; gender and science; women's history;

Publications

Publications (51)
Book
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Article
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This paper examines the genesis of Leo Kanner’s 1943 seminal paper on autism. It shows that describing children as autistic or lacking affective contact with people was not new by this time. But Kanner’s proposal that infantile autism constituted a hitherto unidentified condition that was inborn and different from childhood schizophrenia was new. I...
Article
This introduction offers a synoptic overview of some of Evelyn Fox Keller's influential works on the role and nature of metaphor in science, followed by a short précis of each of the contributed papers.
Article
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This article examines the parent intervention program evaluated by Weber et al. (2017) and argues that there are scientific and ethical problems with such intervention efforts in applied developmental science. Scientifically, these programs rely on data from a small and narrow sample of the world's population; assume the existence of fixed developm...
Article
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This paper explores ethologist Niko Tinbergen’s path from animal to human studies in the 1960s and 1970s and his views about human nature. It argues, first, that the confluence of several factors explains why Tinbergen decided to cross the animal/human divide in the mid 1960s: his concern about what he called “the human predicament,” his relations...
Article
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The idea that some diseases result from a poor fit between modern life and our biological make-up is part of the long history of what historian of medicine Charles Rosenberg has called the "progress-and-pathology narrative." This article examines a key episode in that history: 1973 Nobel laureate Niko Tinbergen's use of an evolutionary framework to...
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This article considers claims of Mesman et al. (2017) that sensitive responsiveness as defined by Ainsworth, while not uniformly expressed across cultural contexts, is universal. Evidence presented demonstrates that none of the components of sensitive responsiveness (i.e., which partner takes the lead, whose point of view is primary , and the turn-...
Article
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This article explores ethical issues raised by parenting interventions implemented in communities in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs) with rural, subsistence lifestyles. Many of these interventions foster “positive parenting practices” to improve children’s chances of fulfilling their developmental potential. The practices are derived from a...
Article
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This paper examines the parent intervention program evaluated by Weber, Fernald and Diop (2017), and argues that there are scientific and ethical problems with such intervention efforts in applied developmental science. Scientifically, these programs: rely on data from a small and narrow sample of the world’s population; assume the existence of fix...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper considers claims of Mesman et al. (2017) that sensitive responsiveness as defined by Ainsworth, while not uniformly expressed across cultural contexts, is universal. Evidence presented demonstrates that none of the components of sensitive responsiveness (i.e., which partner takes the lead, whose point of view is primary, and the turn-tak...
Chapter
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This chapter examines the history of some challenges to John Bowlby’s and Mary Ainsworth’s ethological attachment theory (EAT). Bowlby and Ainsworth argued that the mother-infant relationship is a natural dyad designed by evolution in which the instinctual responses of one party activate instinctual responses in the other, and that secure attachmen...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper explores ethical issues raised by parenting interventions implemented in communities in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs) with rural, subsistence lifestyles. Many of these interventions foster “positive parenting practices" to improve children’s chances of fulfilling their developmental potential. The practices are derived from att...
Chapter
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Attachment theory has its roots in an ethnocentric complex of ideas, longstanding in the United States, under the rubric of “intensive mothering.” Among these various approaches and programs, attachment theory has had an inordinate and wide-ranging influence on a wide range these four of professions concerned with children: family therapy, educatio...
Chapter
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Attachment theory has its roots in an ethnocentric complex of ideas, longstanding in the United States, under the rubric of "intensive mothering." Among these various approaches and programs, attachment theory has had an inordinate influence on a wide range of professions concerned with children (family therapy, education, the legal system, and pub...
Chapter
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This chapter presents an alternative view to classic attachment theory and research, arguing for systematic, ethnographically informed, approaches to the study of child development. It begins with the observation that the attachments children develop are locally determined, and insists that these features of attachment can only be captured through...
Article
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This paper examines the reception of John Bowlby’s and Mary Ainsworth’s ethological theory of attachment among anthropologists and cultural psychologists. First, it shows that from Margaret Mead’s criticisms in the mid 1950s to the present, many of them have challenged the main tenets of attachment theory but attachment theorists ignored those chal...
Article
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Textbooks have a low status in the history of science because they have been seen as mere repositories for scientific knowledge. But historians have recently shown how they play a number of roles that can illuminate different aspects of the history of science, from priority disputes to pedagogical practices. The essays in this Focus section aim to...
Article
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Starting in 1958, Harry Harlow published numerous research papers analyzing the emotional and social development of rhesus monkeys. This essay examines the presentation of Harlow's work in introductory psychology textbooks from 1958 to 1975, focusing on whether the textbooks erased the process of research, presented results without hedging, and pro...
Chapter
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The Cold War spans a period of profound social transformations and intense debate about gender roles, family structure, and their relation to the social order. American historians have examined the impact of World War II on women entering the paid workforce, the emphasis on domesticity during the Cold War, and the rise of the second feminist moveme...
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This paper examines the development of British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby's views and their scientific and social reception in the United States during the 1950s. In a 1951 report for the World Health Organization Bowlby contended that the mother is the child's psychic organizer, as observational studies of children worldwide showed...
Conference Paper
Following WWII, there was an explosion of research on human emotions and their biological underpinnings, instincts. Through scholarly and popular writings, psychoanalysts, ethologists, and psychologists studying child development succeeded in bringing instincts back into scientific and social debates. In my paper I will explore their influential wo...
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Harlow deserves a place in the early history of evolutionary psychiatry but not, as he is commonly presented, because of his belief in the instinctual nature of the mother-infant dyad. Harlow's work on the significance of peer relationships led him to appreciate the evolutionary significance of separate affectional systems. Over time, Harlow distan...
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Aún en nuestros días es fácil comprobar la existencia de filósofos, y también de científicos, que creen que los límites de la razón se identifican con los de su propia concepción del mundo. Desgraciadamente, el ocultamiento y la tergiversación de datos es, todavía hoy, una práctica usual. Actitud que no es más que la vertiente práctica de una postu...
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Konrad Lorenz's popularity in the United States has to be understood in the context of social concern about the mother-infant dyad after World War II. Child analysts David Levy, René Spitz, Margarethe Ribble, Therese Benedek, and John Bowlby argued that many psychopathologies were caused by a disruption in the mother-infant bond. Lorenz extended hi...
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Teaches history of biology, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto
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StanfordP. Kyle, Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. xiv+234. ISBN 0-19-517408-9. £26.99 (hardback). - Volume 40 Issue 4 - Marga Vicedo
Chapter
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This paper analyzes the role played by the criterion of simplicity in the construction and evaluation of the Chromosome Theory of Mendelian Inheritance. First, I briefly discuss some views on simplicity held by philosophers. We can see that despite their different views on scientific methodology and epistemology, most of them consider simplicity as...
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In this paper I claim that the goal of mapping and sequencing the human genome is not wholly new, but rather is an extension of an older project to map genes, a central aim of genetics since its birth. Thus, the discussion about the value of the HGP should not be posed in global terms of acceptance or rejection, but in terms of how it should be dev...
Article
Philosophers have started to use the history of science to address some of their philosophical concerns. In this paper I point out some aspects of contemporary practice that require further consideration in order to achieve a more fruitful integration of history and philosophy: one, the limitations of using case studies; two, the need to articulate...
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T. H. Morgan (1866–1945), the founder of the Drosophila research group in genetics that established the chromosome theory of Mendelian inheritance, has been described as a radical empiricist in the historical literature. His empiricism, furthermore, is supposed to have prejudiced him against certain scientific conclusions. This paper aims to show t...
Article
This paper examines the process that led to the identification of chromosomes as carriers of genes. It focuses on the role played by explanations in theory construction and analyzes the status given to the entities and processes introduced through such explanations. I argue that the theory of the gene was a functional explanation that, as such, cou...

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Projects (3)
Project
All children aren't created equal, nor are all children's lives and experiences interchangeable. In this work, I explore the local contexts that make a difference in children's daily experiences and long-term opportunities alike.