Vitalism was long viewed as the most grotesque view in biological theory: appeals to a mysterious life-force, Romantic insistence on the autonomy of life, or worse, a metaphysics of an entirely living universe. In the early twentieth century, attempts were made to present a revised, lighter version that was not weighted down by revisionary metaphysics: “organicism”. And mainstream philosophers of science criticized Driesch and Bergson’s “neovitalism” as a too-strong ontological commitment to the existence of certain entities or “forces”, over and (...) above the system of causal relations studied by mechanistic science, rejecting the weaker form, organicism, as well. But there has been some significant scholarly “push-back” against this orthodox attitude, notably pointing to the 18th-century Montpellier vitalists to show that there are different historical forms of vitalism, including how they relate to mainstream scientific practice. Additionally, some trends in recent biology that run counter to genetic reductionism and the informational model of the gene present themselves as organicist. Here, we examine some cases of vitalism in the twentieth century and today, not just as a historical form but as a significant metaphysical and scientific model. We argue for vitalism’s conceptual originality without either reducing it to mainstream models of science or presenting it as an alternate model of science, by focusing on historical forms of vitalism, logical empiricist critiques thereof and the impact of synthetic biology on current theorizing of vitalism. (shrink)
Starting from Denis Noble’s criticism on the modern synthesis, this article argues that the author’s presentation of the modern synthesis focusses too one-sidedly on the phenomenal characteristics of the living, whereby it is made easily suitable to his criticisms, but risks to remain trapped in a territory-struggle; this criticism lacks an explicit focus on logical matters, and more in particular on the synthetic principles required to situate the relevancy or irrelevancy of phenomenal characteristics beyond territory-struggles. A brief sketch of how (...) the principle of teleology calls for reflexivity allows us to reveal the tension in Noble’s account between, on the one hand, the way in which he stresses the importance of metaphors and language, and, on the other hand, the way in which he invokes empirical arguments to assess the illusory character of certain metaphors. (shrink)
In biology the term “vitalism” is usually associated with Hans Driesch’s doctrine of the entelechy: entelechies were nonmaterial, bio-specific agents responsible for governing a few peculiar biological phenomena. Since vitalism defined as such violates metaphysical materialism, the received view refutes the doctrine of the entelechy as a metaphysical heresy. But in the early twentieth century, a different, non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism was endorsed by some biologists and philosophers, which finally led to a logical refutation of the doctrine of the entelechy. (...) In this non-metaphysical evaluation, first, vitalism was not treated as a metaphysical heresy but a legitimate response to the inadequacy of mechanistic explanations in biology. Second, the refutation of vitalism was logically rather than metaphysically supported by contemporary biological knowledge. The entelechy was not a valid concept, because vitalists could neither formulate vital laws, nor offer convincing examples of experimental indeterminism. (shrink)
Gila Sher interviewed by Chen Bo: -/- I. Academic Background and Earlier Research: 1. Sher’s early years. 2. Intellectual influence: Kant, Quine, and Tarski. 3. Origin and main Ideas of The Bounds of Logic. 4. Branching quantifiers and IF logic. 5. Preparation for the next step. -/- II. Foundational Holism and a Post-Quinean Model of Knowledge: 1. General characterization of foundational holism. 2. Circularity, infinite regress, and philosophical arguments. 3. Comparing foundational holism and foundherentism. 4. A post-Quinean model of (...) knowledge. 5. Intellect and figuring out. 6. Comparing foundational holism with Quine’s holism. 7. Evaluation of Quine’s Philosophy -/- III. Substantive Theory of Truth and Relevant Issues: 1. Outline of Sher’s substantive theory of truth. 2. Criticism of deflationism and treatment of the Liar. 3. Comparing Sher’s substantive theory of truth with Tarski’s theory of truth. -/- IV. A New Philosophy of Logic and Comparison with Other Theories: 1. Foundational account of logic. 2. Standard of logicality, set theory and logic. 3. Psychologism, Hanna’s and Maddy’s conceptions of logic. 4. Quine’s theses about the revisability of logic. -/- V. Epilogue. (shrink)
Human behavior depends on the ability to effectively introspect about our performance. For simple perceptual decisions, this introspective or metacognitive ability varies substantially across individuals and is correlated with the structure of focal areas in prefrontal cortex. This raises the possibility that the ability to introspect about different perceptual decisions might be mediated by a common cognitive process. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether inter-individual differences in metacognitive ability were correlated across two different perceptual tasks where individuals made judgments (...) about different and unrelated visual stimulus properties. We found that inter-individual differences were strongly correlated between the two tasks for metacognitive ability but not objective performance. Such stability of an individual’s metacognitive ability across different perceptual tasks indicates a general mechanism supporting metacognition independent of the specific task. (shrink)
I propose a theory of space with infinitesimal regions called smooth infinitesimal geometry based on certain algebraic objects, which regiments a mode of reasoning heuristically used by geometricists and physicists. I argue that SIG has the following utilities. It provides a simple metaphysics of vector fields and tangent space that are otherwise perplexing. A tangent space can be considered an infinitesimal region of space. It generalizes a standard implementation of spacetime algebraicism called Einstein algebras. It solves the long-standing problem of (...) interpreting smooth infinitesimal analysis realistically, an alternative foundation of spacetime theories to real analysis, 277–392, 1980). SIA is formulated in intuitionistic logic and is thought to have no classical reformulations. Against this, I argue that SIG is such a reformulation. But SIG has an unorthodox mereology, in which the principle of supplementation fails. (shrink)
In this paper, I introduce an intrinsic account of the quantum state. This account contains three desirable features that the standard platonistic account lacks: (1) it does not refer to any abstract mathematical objects such as complex numbers, (2) it is independent of the usual arbitrary conventions in the wave function representation, and (3) it explains why the quantum state has its amplitude and phase degrees of freedom. -/- Consequently, this account extends Hartry Field’s program outlined in Science Without Numbers (...) (1980), responds to David Malament’s long-standing impossibility conjecture (1982), and establishes an important first step towards a genuinely intrinsic and nominalistic account of quantum mechanics. I will also compare the present account to Mark Balaguer’s (1996) nominalization of quantum mechanics and discuss how it might bear on the debate about “wave function realism.” In closing, I will suggest some possible ways to extend this account to accommodate spinorial degrees of freedom and a variable number of particles (e.g. for particle creation and annihilation). -/- Along the way, I axiomatize the quantum phase structure as what I shall call a “periodic difference structure” and prove a representation theorem as well as a uniqueness theorem. These formal results could prove fruitful for further investigation into the metaphysics of phase and theoretical structure. -/- (For a more recent version of this paper, please see "The Intrinsic Structure of Quantum Mechanics" available on PhilPapers.). (shrink)
This study attempts to answer the question why Confucianism, the dominant “teaching” among the Three Teachings, is not a religion in contemporary China, unlike the other two “teachings,” Buddhism and Daoism. By examining this phenomenon in the social-historical context, this study finds its origin in Orientalism. The Orientalist conceptualization of religion became part of the New Culture discourse at the turn of the twentieth century. While China has undergone tremendous social changes over the past century, the old discourse remains.
Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions became the most widely read book about science in the twentieth century. His terms 'paradigm' and 'scientific revolution' entered everyday speech, but they remain controversial. In the second half of the twentieth century, the new field of cognitive science combined empirical psychology, computer science, and neuroscience. In this book, the theories of concepts developed by cognitive scientists are used to evaluate and extend Kuhn's most influential ideas. Based on case studies of the Copernican revolution, (...) the discovery of nuclear fission, and an elaboration of Kuhn's famous 'ducks and geese' example of concept learning, this volume, first published in 2006, offers accounts of the nature of normal and revolutionary science, the function of anomalies, and the nature of incommensurability. (shrink)
Our paper draws attention to a neglected channel of corruption—the bribe payments by state-owned enterprises. This is an important phenomenon as bribe payments by SOEs fruitlessly waste national resources, compromising public welfare and national prosperity. Using a large dataset of 30,249 firms from 50 countries, we show that, in general, SOEs are less likely to pay bribes for achieving organizational objectives owing to their political connectivity. However, in deteriorated institutional environments, SOEs may be subjected to potential managerial rent-seeking behaviors, which (...) disproportionately increase SOE bribe propensity relative to privately owned enterprises. Specifically, our findings highlight the importance of fostering democracy and rule of law, reducing prevalence of corruption and shortening power distance in reducing the incidence of SOE bribery. (shrink)
After surveying the epistemological difficulties in both Chinese and Western scholarship in addressing the controversy over Confucian religiosity, Yong Chen convincingly reveals the sociopolitical and cultural stakes that are deeply ...
Editor'sThis essay presents Mainland New Confucianism as diverse but distinctive, as still in a process of maturation but already with a clear direction. According to Chen, MNC is a rejection of the twin modernist narratives of the left and the right in favor of a narrative that downplays the ruptures associated with the May Fourth Movement and instead seeks to reconnect to China's past values and traditions.
My friends, what I intend to do here is not simply to present a thesis. Rather, I will follow the main subject of this seminar, namely "The Possibilities and Questions in the Teaching and Transmitting Chinese Philosophy," concentrating in this lecture on the core concepts of neo-Confucianism.
Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Buber were giant thinkers of the twentieth century who made significant contributions to the understanding of religious consciousness and of Judaism. They wrote on various subjects, such as the Bible, the commandments, Hasidism, Zionism and Christianity, and had much in common, though they also differed on substantial points. Of special note is the intense and fruitful interaction that took place between them. Until now, scholars have not undertaken a comparative analysis of Buber and Heschel as (...) eminent contemporary interpreters of the Jewish tradition. In this volume, Meir and Even-Chen have taken upon themselves the challenge of monitoring their agreements and disputes. (shrink)
This field study investigated the relationship between strategic human resource management, internal environmental concern, organizational citizenship behavior for the environment, and environmental performance. The originality of the present research was to link human resource management and environmental management in the Chinese context. Data consisted of 151 matched questionnaires from top management team members, chief executive officers, and frontline workers. The main results indicate that organizational citizenship behavior for the environment fully mediates the relationship between strategic human resource management and environmental (...) performance, and that internal environmental concern moderates the effect of strategic human resource management on organizational citizenship behavior for the environment. (shrink)
Self-serving leadership is a form of unethical leadership behavior that has destructive effect on its targets and the overall organization. Adopting a social cognition perspective, this study expands our knowledge of its adverse effect and the way to mitigate the effect. Integrating two sub-theories of social cognition, we propose a theoretical model wherein self-serving leadership hinders team creativity through psychological safety as well as knowledge hiding, with task interdependence acting as a contextual condition. Results from a sample of 107 R&D (...) teams revealed that self-serving leadership not only reduced team psychological safety, but also induced team knowledge hiding, both of which ultimately affected team creativity. The presence of high task interdependence buffered the destructive effect of self-serving leadership on team creativity via team psychological safety as well as the indirect effect via knowledge hiding. (shrink)
Jin Yuelin (1895?1984), a Chinese logician and philosopher, is greatly influenced by Hume's and Russell's philosophies. How should we respond to Hume's problem of induction? This is an important clue to understand Jin's whole philosophical career. The first section of this paper gives a brief historical review of Russell and Jin. The second section outlines Hume's skeptical arguments against causality and induction. The third section expounds Russell's justification of induction by discussing his views on Hume's skepticism, causality, principle of induction, (...) and empirical postulates. The fourth section clarifies Jin's justification of induction by discussing his critique of Hume's epistemology and his arguments for the reliability of causality and the eternal truth and apriority of the principle of induction. The final section compares Jin's justification of induction with Russell's and concludes that there are similarities and differences between their projects and that both their attempts fail. This paper takes the similar responses to the problem of induction by Jin and Russell to demonstrate the communication that there has been between Chinese philosophers and the Western ones. (shrink)
After a thorough classical education, Chen Duxiu went on to be a pioneering reform writer and activist, leader of the New Culture movement, Dean of the Arts and Sciences at Beijing University, and cofounder of the Chinese Communist Party. His writings are usually brief and polemical, and he rarely pauses to expound on the meanings of central theoretical terms. He is nonetheless an astute and coherent author, not easily pigeonholed as "nationalist," "individualist," "cosmopolitan," or any of the numerous other (...) categories under which scholars have filed him. Prior to 1921 his writings regularly touched on rights and human rights; the following well-known essay provides a flavor of his concern for equality and individual self-determination. Chen moved away from talk of human rights during his career as a leader in the Chinese Communist Party, although he did return to the ideas of freedoms and rights later in life, after expulsion from the Party. (shrink)
This paper discusses the structural relationship between ideals on pleasure and pleasure as a human psychological phenomenon in Chinese thought. It describes the psychological phenomenon of pleasure, and compares different approaches by pre-Qin Confucian and Daoist scholars. It also analyzes its development in Song and Ming Confucianism. Finally, in the conclusion, the issue is transferred to a general understanding of happiness, so as to demonstrate the modern value of the classical ideological experience.
This paper investigates the relationship between methodological individualism and agent-based simulation. We use a thesis defended by Caterina Marchionni and Petri Ylikoski as the starting point of our approach. According to this thesis, since MI is often considered to be a reductionist orientation, it is confusing and meaningless to assume that ABS, which is a non-reductionist and emergentist explanatory model, is committed to MI. We criticise this view and focus on the problem of the proper definition of MI. We explain (...) that MI is compatible with the ABS strategy because reductionism is only the most simplistic variant of MI and argue that ABS explanations must be regarded as explanations in terms of non-reductionist MI. (shrink)