Fincher & Thornhill (F&T) present a compelling argument that parasite stress underlies certain cultural practices promoting assortative sociality. However, we suggest that the theoretical framework proposed is limited in several ways, and that life history theory provides a more explanatory and inclusive framework, making more specific predictions about the trade-offs faced by organisms in the allocation of bioenergetic and material resources.
We agree that sexual selection is a more comprehensive explanation for sex differences in direct aggression than social role theory, which is an unparsimonious and vestigial remnant of human exceptionalism. Nevertheless, Archer misses several opportunities to put the theoretical predictions made by himself and by others into direct competition in a way that would further the interests of strong inference.
Over the last half-century, quality control standards have had the perverse effect of restricting the circulation of non-commercially bred vegetable cultivars in Britain. Recent European and British legislation attempts to compensate for this loss of agrodiversity by relaxing genetic purity standards and the cost of seed marketing for designated “Amateur” and “Conservation” varieties. Drawing on fieldwork conducted at a British allotment site, this article cautions against bringing genetically heterogeneous cultivars into the commercial sphere. Such a move may intensify the horticultural (...) “deskilling” of British allotment gardeners, who have come to rely on commercial seed catalogs as sources of germplasm and knowledge. Horticultural deskilling also entails the delegation of seed selection activities to professional breeders and the potential loss of agrodiversity. The activities of dedicated seed savers who save and circulate the seed of genetically heterogeneous “heritage” varieties, in a manner similar to the management of landraces in the global South, may provide a better model for attempts to safeguard vegetable diversity in the global North. (shrink)
The book investigates distinctions between independent individuality and interactive relationality in physical phenomena. This is a common topic for investigation in modern physics and philosophy of science, and the topic is explored using contemporary research in those disciplines. Additionally, it is common for Buddhism to focus on relationships, and it proposes that independent individual things do not exist. In the context of physical reality, I take this Buddhist view as a hypothesis and examine it critically. We evaluate its arguments and (...) find them generally to be problematic when evaluated against modern standards for logic and physics. However, its fundamental principle—emptiness, or shunyata—is still worthy of being tested. -/- Contrary to many books on Buddhism and science, this one takes a very positive view of science. Yet, this depends on how we define ‘science’. Hence, the book begins with an examination of that topic, informed by philosophy of science and the author’s experience and training as physicist and philosopher. While we discuss, explain and justify many standard views of science, and present the standard elements of science, physics and physics theories, the book argues extensively for one perspective: pluralism in a synthesis of the author’s design. -/- I will show shunyata to be quite consistent with the knowledge framework of Physics Pluralism. When we test Buddhist emptiness against the results of physics—interpreting both within that knowledge framework—we discover the relevance, importance, and some truth in the relationality ideas of shunyata. -/- Robert Alan Paul has studied physics, had a career as a physicist, and both studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics, and separate master’s degrees in philosophy; philosophy of science & mathematics; and physics (abd). He holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in four disciplines: philosophy of science, Western analytic metaphysics, Buddhist philosophy, and physics. His Ph.D. dissertation was the foundation of this book. (shrink)
During the nineteenth century an intellectual elite formed in Germany which owed its status primarily to educational qualifications rather than to hereditary rights or wealth. With the ascendency of this elite, which Fritz Ringer has called the German ‘mandarins’, came their acceptance as the spiritual bearers of culture in German life. Politically they controlled the life of the Reichstag and hence were the spokesmen of the nation. As an intellectual elite they fed a diet of German idealistic philosophy to the (...) educational class. The university professors, as the most influential members of this class, spoke for the mandarin elite as a whole; and most cultivated Germans looked to the academicians for their understanding of political and cultural issues. Hence, German academic opinion became a sort of ‘mandarin ideology’. (shrink)
Alongside existing research into the social, political and economic impacts of the Web, there is a need to study the Web from a cognitive and epistemic perspective. This is particularly so as new and emerging technologies alter the nature of our interactive engagements with the Web, transforming the extent to which our thoughts and actions are shaped by the online environment. Situated and ecological approaches to cognition are relevant to understanding the cognitive significance of the Web because of the emphasis (...) they place on forces and factors that reside at the level of agent–world interactions. In particular, by adopting a situated or ecological approach to cognition, we are able to assess the significance of the Web from the perspective of research into embodied, extended, embedded, social and collective cognition. The results of this analysis help to reshape the interdisciplinary configuration of Web Science, expanding its theoretical and empirical remit to include the disciplines of both cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)
_In Defense of Anarchism_ is a 1970 book by the philosopher RobertPaul Wolff, in which the author defends individualist anarchism. He argues that individual autonomy and state authority are mutually exclusive and that, as individual autonomy is inalienable, the moral legitimacy of the state collapses.
In this chapter, we analyze the relationships between the Internet and its users in terms of situated cognition theory. We first argue that the Internet is a new kind of cognitive ecology, providing almost constant access to a vast amount of digital information that is increasingly more integrated into our cognitive routines. We then briefly introduce situated cognition theory and its species of embedded, embodied, extended, distributed and collective cognition. Having thus set the stage, we begin by taking an embedded (...) cognition view and analyze how the Internet aids certain cognitive tasks. After that, we conceptualize how the Internet enables new kinds of embodied interaction, extends certain aspects of our embodiment, and examine how wearable technologies that monitor physiological, behavioral and contextual states transform the embodied self. On the basis of the degree of cognitive integration between a user and Internet resource, we then look at how and when the Internet extends our cognitive processes. We end this chapter with a discussion of distributed and collective cognition as facilitated by the Internet. (shrink)
The current ethical norms of genomic biobanking creating and maintaining large repositories of human DNA and/or associated data for biomedical research have generated criticism from every angle, at both the practical and theoretical levels. The traditional research model has involved investigators seeking biospecimens for specific purposes that they can describe and disclose to prospective subjects, from whom they can then seek informed consent. In the case of many biobanks, however, the institution that collects and maintains the biospecimens may not itself (...) be directly involved in research, instead banking the biospecimens and associated data for other researchers. Moreover, the future uses of biospecimens may be unknown, if not unknowable, at the time of collection. Biobanking may thus stretch the meanings of inform and consent to their breaking point: if you cannot inform subjects about what their biospecimens will be used for, what can they consent to? Given that informed consent by individual subjects is the ethical gold standard, the seeming dilution of the concept in the context of biobanking is a profound problem. (shrink)
Karl Marx's great work, Capital, has intrigued and puzzled readers for more than a century by its mystifyingly intricate arguments and dramatic literary embellishments. In this book, RobertPaul Wolff dispels much of the mystery surrounding Capital by providing a literary-philosophical analysis of the text and of Marx's intentions. Writing in a lively, often satirical, sometimes comical style that echoes Marx's own use of language Wolff shows that Marx was at the very same time and in the very (...) same texts a brilliant theoretical economist and a powerfully imaginative writer and that he deliberately forged an ironic voice in Capital in order to better communicate his theoretical arguments. (shrink)
A good pragmatist's constitutional theory is inseparable from the legal disputes out of which it arises. John Paul Stevens's theory, that of deciding individual cases well instead of applying constitutional principles in the abstract to cases by category, thus lends itself to being studied in its natural, factual habitat—in his own words, case by case. That's what this book does. In Chapter 1 Sickels distills Stevens's thoughts about law and appellate judging from his early writings and his opinions on (...) the federal appeals court and, from 1975 to the present, on the U.S. Supreme Court. Stevens shows a concern for facts and consequences, for balancing, for deference to other decision makers unless they have been careless, for avoidance of undue complexity in judge-made law, and for drawing the line between clarity and oversimplification in legal rules. The next three chapters describe the application of Stevens's pragmatism to areas of constitutional law to which the Court and he especially have devoted most attention in recent years: First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression and religion, the procedural guarantees of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, and the equal protection of the laws. In each area, Stevens's special contributions are described. The concluding chapter places Stevens's judging in the contexts of the ongoing debate about the legitimacy of balancing, the ways of other moderates on the Court, and the voting records of the other members of the Court as a whole. Unique to this work is a meaningful introduction to the term moderate when applied to a Supreme Court justice, a definition based on careful analysis of the interplay of general rules and specific, case-by-case context. As such it is the very essence of Stevens's own way of judging and thus enables analysis of the work of a pragmatist on his own terms rather than through the distortions of a conflicting theory of law. John Paul Stevens is recognized as a jurist of unusual ability and one adheres to no ideological camp. While it is one thing to know he is neither rigid liberal nor a conservative, this book goes beyond the "neither nor" to accomplish the more difficult goal of defining what he is. This study is intended for scholars and students of the Supreme Court, the Constitution, the courts, and the American political process. Lawyers working before the Supreme Court, informed generalists, and courtwatchers generally, whether liberal, conservative, or neutral, will find much of interest here. (shrink)