Sociobiology has ignored the results of psychology, which is the discipline between biology and society. Campbell's target article fills some of the gaps beautifully, but the fact that women's direct and physical aggression has increased during the past 20 years, undermines Campbell's evolutionary explanation of female aggression. The two classical types of theoretical explanations of aggression are that (1) aggression is a drive and (2) aggression is instrumental behavior. Expressive aggression, assumed to be typical of women, is no more drive (...) aggression than is men's aggression. (shrink)
We have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals.Advocating the mere tolerance of difference between women is the grossest reformism.... Differences must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities.... Audre Lorde.
This essay has two aims: to affirm the significance of private banking in fourthcentury B.C. Athens, and to propose a model of its role in the economy. Such a project is desirable because there has been a tendency since the publication of Finley's The Ancient Economy to minimalize the significance of banking in ancient Greece. Banking is seen as a ‘fringe activity’ largely carried out by such ‘outsiders’ as metics and ex-slaves.Consequently historians have frequently overlooked the value of banking as (...) a tool for understanding the Greek economy. (shrink)
Climate change evokes different emotions in people. Recently, climate emotions have become a matter of normative scrutiny in the public debate. This phenomenon, which we refer to as the normativization of climate emotions, manifests at two levels. At the individual level, people are faced with affective dilemmas, situations where they are genuinely uncertain about what is the right way to feel in the face of climate change. At the collective level, the public debate reflects disagreement about which emotions are appropriate (...) to feel in the climate context. The aim of this paper is to examine the normative reasons in favour of different climate emotions by combining normative criteria from philosophy and psychology, such as rationality-based and consequentialist ones. We conclude that these criteria provide partial reasons for or against different climate emotions and that the suitability of each criterion will depend on various considerations, including the specific object that the emotion is directed to. We suggest that emotional disagreement in climate contexts may generate distrust, potentially hindering cooperation for climate action. We propose that we can ease challenges like this if we come to terms with the complex nature of climate emotions and their normative justification. (shrink)
Using as a springboard a three-way debate between theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright and myself, I address in layman’s terms the issues of why we need a unified theory of the fundamental interactions and why, in my opinion, string and M-theory currently offer the best hope. The focus will be on responding more generally to the various criticisms. I also describe the diverse application of string/M-theory techniques to other branches of physics and mathematics which render the (...) whole enterprise worthwhile whether or not “a theory of everything” is forthcoming. (shrink)
In “Imposing Risks,” Judith Thomson gives a case in which, by turning on her stove, she accidentally causes her neighbor’s death. She claims that both the following are true: (1) she ought not to have caused her neighbor’s death; (2) it was permissible for her to turn her stove on. In this paper it is argued that it cannot be that both (1) and (2) are true, that (2) is true, and that therefore (1) is false. How this is so (...) is explained, and the implications of this position regarding the relation between rights and duties is explored. (shrink)