We argue that C. Darwin and more recently W. Hennig worked at times under the simplifying assumption of an eternal biosphere. So motivated, we explicitly consider the consequences which follow mathematically from this assumption, and the infinite graphs it leads to. This assumption admits certain clusters of organisms which have some ideal theoretical properties of species, shining some light onto the species problem. We prove a dualization of a law of T.A. Knight and C. Darwin, and sketch a decomposition result (...) involving the internodons of D. Kornet, J. Metz and H. Schellinx. A further goal of this paper is to respond to B. Sturmfels’ question, “Can biology lead to new theorems?”. (shrink)
This is the classic study of the history and continuing philosophical values of the law of nature. D'Entreves discerned three distinct sources that have contributed to the development of natural law: Roman law teachings, Christian beliefs regarding law, and egalitarian and revolutionary theories of the Enlightenment. Now regarded as a classic work, Natural Law has exercised considerable influence over the course of Anglo-American legal theory in the past forty years. The statements of Clarence Thomas during his 1991 Senate confirmation hearings (...) show that the law of nature still holds powerful appeal in defining judicial rules. In the new introduction, Cary J. Nederman points out both the contemporary value and the historical significance of Natural Law. He also provides the biographical as well as intellectual context for d'Entreves immense accomplishments. This volume is essential reading for students of legal history, political theory, and philosophy. It will also be of interest to historians. "Few texts provide as concise or as cogent an introduction to natural theory as Alexander Passerin d'Entreves' Natural Law: An Introduction to Legal Philosophy.... Transaction Publishers has performed a genuine service by bringing out a new edition of Natural Law. D'Entreves' analysis is clear and penetrating, and will guide the student of natural law to further, fruitful study."¿Mitchell Muncy, The University Bookman. (shrink)
An infinite lottery machine is used as a foil for testing the reach of inductive inference, since inferences concerning it require novel extensions of probability. Its use is defensible if there is some sense in which the lottery is physically possible, even if exotic physics is needed. I argue that exotic physics is needed and describe several proposals that fail and at least one that succeeds well enough.
Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are (...) internally inconsistent and underestimate the importance of group selection. Specific themes that Alexander has developed in his account of human evolution are important but are best understood within the framework of multilevel selection theory. From this perspective, Alexander's views on moral systems are not the radical departure from conventional views that he claims, but remain radical in another way more compatible with conventional views. (shrink)
. Moral systems are described as systems of indirect reciprocity, existing because of histories of conflicts of interest and arising as outcomes of the complexity of social interactions in groups of long‐lived individuals with varying conflicts and confluences of interest and indefinitely iterated social interactions. Although morality is commonly defined as involving justice for all people, or consistency in the social treatment of all humans, it may have arisen for immoral reasons, as a force leading to cohesiveness within human groups (...) but specifically excluding and directed against other human groups with different interests. (shrink)
This collection introduces readers to some of the most respected Pre-Socratic scholarship of the twentieth century. It includes translations of important works from European scholars that were previously unavailable in English and incorporates the major topics and approaches of contemporary scholarship. Here is an essential book for students and scholars alike. "Students of the Pre-Socratics must be grateful to Mourelatos and his publishers for making these essays available to a wider public."--T. H. Irwin, American Journal of Philology "Mourelatos is a (...) superb editor, and teaching Pre-Socratics in the future with this collection on the reading list will not only be easier but also better."--Jorgen Mejer, The Classical World "The editor has done his work judiciously. It would be difficult to devise a better balance between different parts of the subject."--Edward Hussey, Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences "[This book] will undoubtedly become an indispensable aid for beginning and advanced students of the Pre-Socratics."--David E. Hahm, Isis. (shrink)
Despite wide acceptance that the attributes of living creatures have appeared through a cumulative evolutionary process guided chiefly by natural selection, many human activities have seemed analytically inaccessible through such an approach. Prominent evolutionary biologists, for example, have described morality as contrary to the direction of biological evolution, and moral philosophers rarely regard evolution as relevant to their discussions. -/- The Biology of Moral Systems adopts the position that moral questions arise out of conflicts of interest, and that moral systems (...) are ways of using confluences of interest at lower levels of social organiation to deal with conflicts of interest at higher levels. Moral systems are described as systems of indirect reciprocity: humans gain and lose socially and reproductively not only by direct transactions, but also by the reputations they gain from the everyday flow of social interactions. -/- The author develops a general theory of human interests, using senescence and effort theory from biology, to help analye the patterning of human lifetimes. He argues that the ultimate interests of humans are reproductive, and that the concept of morality has arisen within groups because of its contribution to unity in the context, ultimately, of success in intergroup competition. He contends that morality is not easily relatable to universals, and he carries this argument into a discussion of what he calls the greatest of all moral problems, the nuclear arms race. (shrink)