: Although Eckart Förster’s work contains many advanced scholarly accounts, it also has weaknesses. As Förster’s central attempt to make Goethe a Spinozan unfortunately ended in failure, we must recur to previous research. The same holds for several of the interpretations of Kant.
This paper is on dangerous human experimentations with drugs against trypanosimiasis carried out in the former German colonies of German East Africa and Togo. Victory over trypanosomiasis could not be achieved in Berlin because animals were thought to be unsuitable for therapeutic laboratory research in the field of trypanosomiasis. The colonies themselves were necessarily chosen as laboratories and the patients with sleeping sickness became the objects of therapeutical and pharmacological research. The paper first outlines Robert Koch's trypanosomiasis research in the (...) large sleeping sickness laboratory of German East Africa and then focuses on the escalating human experiments on trypanosomiasis in the German Musterkolonie Togo, which must be interpreted as a reaction to the starting signal given by Robert Koch in East Africa. (shrink)
Few philosophers have thought as long and as deeply as Kant about the nature of philosophy. His reflections on this topic did not come to an end with the Critique of Pure Reason. In what follows I am going to argue that in his Opus postumum, Kant came to realize that the conception of philosophy presented in the first Critique cannot be upheld. I will suggest that Kant’s numerous attempts in the first fascicle of the Opus postumum to redefine transcendental (...) philosophy reflect this insight. These attempts are thus not to be interpreted as signs of senility, as has usually been done, but as indicative of a new and heightened level of reflection. In this sense one can, I suggest, speak of a “postcritical” phase in Kant’s thinking, comparable to the so-called critical and precritical phases. This does not, however, mean that after 1790 Kant returned to a form of dogmatism, but that in his last work a conception of philosophy emerges that differs as much from that developed in the first Critique as the latter does from the one to be found in his precritical writings. I shall look at all three conceptions in turn. I begin with the precritical one. (shrink)
There can be little doubt that without Spinoza, German Idealism would have been just as impossible as it would have been without Kant. Yet the precise nature of Spinoza's influence on the German Idealists has hardly been studied in detail. This volume of essays by leading scholars sheds light on how the appropriation of Spinoza by Fichte, Schelling and Hegel grew out of the reception of his philosophy by, among others, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Jacobi, Herder, Goethe, Schleiermacher, Maimon and, of course, (...) Kant. The volume thus not only illuminates the history of Spinoza's thought, but also initiates a genuine philosophical dialogue between the ideas of Spinoza and those of the German Idealists. The issues at stake - the value of humanity; the possibility and importance of self-negation; the nature and value of reason and imagination; human freedom; teleology; intuitive knowledge; the nature of God - remain of the highest philosophical importance today. (shrink)
A family reconstitution study of the Krummhörn population (Ostfriesland, Germany, 1720–1874) reveals that infant mortality and children’s probabilities of marrying or emigrating unmarried are affected by the number of living same-sexed sibs in farmers’ families but not in the families of landless laborers. We interpret these results in terms of a “local resource competition” model in which resource-holding families are obliged to manipulate the reproductive future of their offspring. In contrast, families that lack resources have no need to manipulate their (...) offspring and are more likely to benefit from allowing their offspring to capitalize on whatever opportunities to reproduce present themselves. (shrink)
We construct a model for the level by level equivalence between strong compactness and supercompactness in which below the least supercompact cardinal κ, there is a stationary set of cardinals on which SCH fails. In this model, the structure of the class of supercompact cardinals can be arbitrary.
The Wigner--Eckart theorem is central to the application of symmetry principles throughout atomic, molecular, and nuclear physics. Nevertheless, the theorem has a puzzling feature: it is dispensable for solving problems within these domains, since elementary methods suffice. To account for the significance of the theorem, I first contrast it with an elementary approach to calculating matrix elements. Next, I consider three broad strategies for interpreting the theorem: conventionalism, fundamentalism, and conceptualism. I argue that the conventionalist framework is unnecessarily pragmatic, (...) while the fundamentalist framework requires more ontological commitments than necessary. Conceptualism avoids both defects, accounting for the theorem's significance in terms of how it epistemically restructures the calculation of matrix elements. Specifically, the Wigner--Eckart theorem modularizes and unifies matrix element problems, thereby changing what we need to know to solve them. (shrink)
This volume is the first ever English translation of Kant's last major work, the so-called Opus Postumum, a work Kant himself described as his 'chef d'oeuvre' and as the keystone of his entire philosophical system. It occupied him for more than the last decade of his life. Begun with the intention of providing a 'transition from the metaphysical foundations of natural science to physics,' Kant's reflections take him far beyond the problem he initially set out to solve. In fact, he (...) reassesses a whole series of fundamental topics of transcendental philosophy: the thing in itself, the nature of space and time, the concept of the self and its agency, the idea of God, and the unity of theoretical and practical reason. Though never completed, the text reaches a logical albeit not fully developed, conclusion. (shrink)
In this article we try to give a philosophically reflected introductory overview of the current theoretical developments in the field of evolutionary aesthetics. Our aim is not completeness. Rather, we try to depict some of the central assumptions and explanatory tools frequently used in evolutionary accounts of human aesthetical preferences and address a number of currently debated, open research questions.
Based on historical data pertaining to the Krummhörn population (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Germany), we compared reproductive histories of mothers according to whether the maternal grandmother (MGM) or the paternal grandmother (PGM) or neither of them was resident in the parents’ parish at the time of the mother’s first birth. In contrast to effects of PGMs, we discovered conditional differences in the MGM’s effects between landless people and wealthier, commercial farmers. Our data indicate that the presence of the MGM only (...) lowers the woman’s age at marriage (AAM) and her age at the birth of her first child (AFB) in the case of landless families. However, among commercial farmers, who can generally be characterized by a lower AAM and AFB, we found opposite tendencies for the MGM’s effect leading to a relatively small delay in AAM and AFB. Moreover, we also analyzed differences in the completed fertility (i.e., children ever born: CEB). Results indicate that landless families in general do have fewer CEB compared with commercial farmers except for those families in which the MGM has been present. Emphasizing that the adaptiveness of investment decisions should depend on the interaction of genetic, lineage-specific (intrinsic) and ecologically imposed (extrinsic) constraints, we conclude that kin strategies consequently address different fitness components under different conditions. (shrink)
The relevance of Wolfgang K hler's psychoneural isomorphism principle to contemporary cognitive neuroscience is explored. K hler's approach to the mind—body problem is interpreted as a response to the foundational crisis of psychology at the beginning of the twentieth century. Some aspects of his isomorphism doctrine are discussed, with a view to reaching an interpretation that is both historically accurate and pertinent to issues currently debated in the philosophy of psychology. The principle was meant to be empirically verifiable. Accordingly, some (...) similarities between K hler's approach and current neural network modeling are pointed out, and it is shown that some recent trends in the neurosciences are broadly compatible with K hler's views on cortical functioning. Isomorphism is interpreted as a form of neuroreductionism constrained by bridging laws relating mental phenomena to macrosocopic parameters of neural function. While isomorphism is probably valid for perceptual phenomena, its applicability to higher mental processes remains doubtful. (shrink)
Wie wurde Europa in seiner wechselvollen Geschichte wahrgenommen? Dieser Band zeigt: Europa war und ist nicht nur ein politisches, sondern seit der Antike immer auch ein ästhetisches Projekt. Kunsthistorische, musikwissenschaftliche, theologische, pädagogische, soziologische, medien- und theaterwissenschaftliche Perspektiven ergänzen sich zu einem facettenreichen Bild des Kontinents, in dem man der realen Zerrissenheit in verschiedenen Zeitaltern durch die Künste und ästhetische Bildung begegnen wollte und will. Ein Buch, das in Zeiten einer wachsenden Kritik an Europa einen hohen Aktualitätsbezug vorzuweisen hat.