The Planteome project provides a suite of reference and species-specific ontologies for plants and annotations to genes and phenotypes. Ontologies serve as common standards for semantic integration of a large and growing corpus of plant genomics, phenomics and genetics data. The reference ontologies include the Plant Ontology, Plant Trait Ontology, and the Plant Experimental Conditions Ontology developed by the Planteome project, along with the Gene Ontology, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest, Phenotype and Attribute Ontology, and others. The project also provides (...) access to species-specific Crop Ontologies developed by various plant breeding and research communities from around the world. We provide integrated data on plant traits, phenotypes, and gene function and expression from 95 plant taxa, annotated with reference ontology terms. (shrink)
Originally known for his groundbreaking work in literary studies, the Bulgarian-born French scholar Tzvetan Todorov (1939-2017) was one of the world's foremost cultural theorists. His interventions cover an astounding range of topics, from narratology to ethics, from painting to politics, and from the Enlightenment to current affairs. Written by an international team of experts, this volume - the first-ever comprehensive examination of Todorov as a cultural critic - discusses the crucial elements of his work as well as his place in (...) European thought. (shrink)
_Leer y vivir_ es un libro en el que se coleccionan, de manera póstuma, ensayos, reseñas y artículos escritos en diferentes etapas de la prolífica vida intelectual de este pensador búlgaro-francés. Tales textos tienen que ver con diversos temas y autores que contribuyeron con su formación en campos como la historia, la memoria, el arte, la filosofía del lenguaje, las ciencias sociales, entre otros. Todos ellos asumidos por Todorov como elementos necesarios para entender el desarrollo de aspectos como la cultura (...) y el pensamiento ilustrado en el individuo, pero también dentro de los grupos sociales. (shrink)
En fecha reciente el jugador Josy Altidore fue víctima de insultos racistas en el Campeonato Holandés. Cada vez que tocaba la pelota, los hinchas del equipo contrario comenzaban a imitar un mono. La respuesta del jugador a estas manifestaciones de hostilidad y racismo fue la siguiente:“¿Qué se puede hacer? Apenas espero que esos hinchas encuentren un medio de mejorar (como personas). Uno solo pude rezar por ellas. Yo siento como si tuviese una obligación con mi club y mi familia, de (...) no reacci.. (shrink)
Conventional historical and popular accounts tend to emphasize sharp polarities between empires and nation-states. While an empire is traditionally associated with conquests, slavery, political inequalities, economic exploitation and the wars of yesteryear, a nation-state is understood to be the only legitimate and viable form of large-scale territorial organization today. This article challenges such interpretations by focusing on the organizational and ideological continuities between the imperial and the nation-state models of social order. In particular, I focus on the role coercive and (...) ideological apparatuses as well as the transformation of micro-solidarities play in the formation of polities over long periods of time. I argue that although empires and nation-states are different ideal types of polity they are highly compatible and as such prone to metamorphosing into each other. More specifically I explore how, when and why specific coercive-organizational, ideological and micro-interactional processes make this periodic historical metamorphosis possible. (shrink)
Gellner relied extensively on the work of Ibn Khaldun to understand both the dynamics of social order in North Africa and Islam’s alleged resistance to secularization. However, what the two scholars also shared is their focus on the social origins and functions of group solidarity. For Ibn Khaldun the concept of asabiyyah was central in understanding the strength of long-term group loyalties. In his view, asabiyyah was a fundamental and elementary cohesive bond of human societies which originated in nomadic tribal (...) structures and retained significance in the early formation of complex states and empires. For Gellner, the shape and character of group solidarity is heavily dependent on the economic foundations of a particular social order: foragers require small group bonds for mere survival, the agrarian universe stratifies solidarity and utilizes cultural bonds to differentiate between the ruling aristocrats and the plough-tied serfs, whereas the industrial world generates solidarity from incessant economic growth and state-induced, cross-class, national identifications. Thus, for Gellner, solidarity remains the central force that keeps social orders together. This paper provides a critical analysis of the Khaldunian and Gellnerian models of group solidarity and offers an alternative interpretation that places the social impact of micro-solidarity in the long-term development of ideological and coercive forms of social organization. (shrink)
This paper explores the ways nationalism has been theorised in classical and contemporary sociology. More specifically, the author analyses the relevance of Randall Collins’s contribution to theories of nationalism. Since Collins’s work is firmly rooted in the classical tradition, including the reinterpretation and synthesis of Weber, Durkheim and Goffman, the first part of this paper zooms in on the classics of sociology and their treatment of nations and nationalism. The second part of the paper outlines the key features of Collins’s (...) approach and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of this position. The final part builds on the footsteps of Collins and others to articulate an alternative approach focused on the coercive organisational, ideological and micro-interactional grounding of nationalisms. (shrink)
In this paper I compare and contrast the reproduction of elite strata in Randall Collins’s path-breaking book, The Credential Society, with Pierre Bourdieu’s important discussion found in The State Nobility. Although both approaches draw on Weber and Durkheim, focus on the interaction between material and cultural processes, subscribe to a relational form of analysis, and share a similar political world-view – social democrat and radical republican respectively – they also differ. These differences relate to their respective philosophical anthropology, the nature (...) of their long-term analysis, the different contexts within which their work emerged – Algeria and the post-war constellation and early Cold War period – and the divergent nature of the broader substantive sociological problems they are engaged with. In terms of their dissimilarities, not only is each approach useful for criticizing the other, but it will be argued that these divergences need to be synthesized into a broader, more powerful explanatory theory. (shrink)
Michel Foucault’s philosophy has recently come under sharp criticism across the political spectrum. While right-wing and centrist commentators identify Foucault as the intellectual progenitor of “woke” dogmatism and an irrationalist hostility to science, left-wing critics associate his work with neoliberalism and animosity towards the welfare state. Neither critique is grounded in an accurate understanding of the epistemological motivation of Foucault’s project.
We study the relationship between fields of transseries and residue fields of convex subrings of non-standard extensions of the real numbers. This was motivated by a question of Todorov and Vernaeve, answered in this paper.
This introduction to a special issue outlines the significance of Randall Collins’s contribution to sociology. The first section briefly reviews Collins’s main books and assesses their impact on social science. The second section offers a summary overview of the papers that comprise the special issue.
Ibn Khaldun and Ernest Gellner have both developed comprehensive yet very different theories of social cohesion. Whereas Ibn Khaldun traces the development of intense group solidarity to the ascetic lifestyles of nomadic warriors, for Gellner social cohesion is a product of different material conditions. In contrast to Ibn Khaldun?s theory, where all social ties are generated through similar social processes, in Gellner?s model the patterns of collective solidarity change through time, that is, different societies produce different forms of social cohesion. (...) While Ibn Khaldun argues that asbiyyah is the backbone of group unity in all social orders, Gellner insists that modern societies are underpinned by very different type of collective solidarity than their premodern counterparts. In this paper I offer a critique of Ibn Khaldun?s and Gellner?s theories of social cohesion and develop an alternative explanation, which situates the social dynamics of group solidarity in the organisational and ideological legacies of warfare. (shrink)
This article investigates what motivates combatants to fight in non-conventional armed organizations. Drawing on interviews with ex-combatants from the Army of the Serbian Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the article compares the role of nationalist ideology, coercive organizational structures, and small group solidarity in these two organizations. Our analysis indicates that coercion played a limited role in both armed forces: in the VRS coercion was relevant mostly in the recruitment phase, while in the IRA (...) its direct impact was only discernible during armed operations. We also find that although both organizations are seen as being highly motivated by nationalist ideas, the picture is much more complex and nationalism is less present than expected. The study demonstrates that nationalism played a relatively marginal role in combatants’ motivation to fight. Instead our research indicates that individualist motivations, small group solidarity, and local networks dominate. (shrink)
Most commentators agree that the study of war and collective violence remains the Achilles heel of sociology. However, this apparent neglect is often wrongly attributed to the classics of social thought. This article contests such a view by arguing: (1) that many classics were preoccupied with the study of war and violence and have devised complex concepts and models to detect and analyse its social manifestations; and (2) most of the classical social thought was in fact sympathetic to the ‘militarist’ (...) understanding of social life. In many respects, classical social thought shared the analytical, epistemological and even moral universe that understood war and violence as the key mechanisms of social change. The structural neglect of this rich and versatile theoretical tradition is linked to the hegemony of the normative ‘pacifist’ re-interpretation of the classics in the aftermath of two total wars of the twentieth century. The author argues that the contemporary sociology of war and violence can gain much by revisiting the key concepts and ideas of the classics. (shrink)
Most analyses of violence in the different historical periods tend to view the modern era as significantly less violent than all of its historical predecessors. By focusing on such apparently reliable indicators as the decrease in homicide rates, the disappearance of public torture or growing civility in inter-personal relationships, many authors contend that our ancestors inhabited a substantially more violent world. In this article, I argue that since such blanket evaluations do not clearly distinguish between different levels of violence analysis, (...) they are unable to provide an accurate picture of historical reality. To properly understand violence, it is necessary to compare and contrast its historical transformation at the interpersonal and intra-group (micro), the inter-group and intra-polity (mezzo), and inter-polity (macro) levels. When violence is comparatively analysed on these three interrelated levels, it becomes clear that the scale of collective brutality gradually and dramatically increases with the rise of modern social organizations and ideologies while the character of inter-personal and intra-group violence remains essentially constant. (shrink)
Given the paucity of evidence available, scholarship in archaeology and the social sciences is deeply divided over the question, how old is human violence? Some scholars have concluded that humans are intrinsically violent, and others that they are basically nonviolent, but in both interpretive schools there is a pronounced tendency to rely on simple naturalist epistemology. In contrast, this article offers an interpretation focusing on the structural foundations of violent action. Instead of tracing violent or nonviolent behavior to “human nature,” (...) the origins of violence are linked to the rise and proliferation of complex social organizations. (shrink)
This introduction to a special issue focuses on the complex and contradictory relationships of empires and nation-states. It contests the traditional views that posit nation-states and empires as the mutually exclusive forms of state organization. The paper identifies the key features of these two ideal types and then briefly reviews the current developments in this field. This introduction also provides a summary overview of the nine contributions that compose the special issue.
Istraživanje je provedeno na uzorku učenika trećih razreda strukovnih škola i gimnazija. Od uključenih učenika, gimnaziju je pohađalo njih 253, a srednje strukovne škole 352 učenika. Cilj istraživanja bio je ispitati neke specifičnosti u percepciji učenika srednjih škola o važnosti nastavnih predmeta iz područja likovnih umjetnosti. Napravljena je posebna analiza samo za dvije odabrane zavisne varijable: važnost nastavnih predmeta iz područja likovnih umjetnosti za razvoj pamćenja i sposobnosti za učenje ostalih nastavnih predmeta te interes i zadovoljstvo sudjelovanjem u likovnim aktivnostima. (...) Rezultati pokazuju da ne postoji statistički značajna razlika između učenika gimnazija i strukovnih škola u procjeni sudjelovanja u aktivnostima nastave likovne umjetnosti te u procjeni važnosti likovnih aktivnosti za razvoj pamćenja i sposobnosti za učenje ostalih predmeta. Postoji statistički značajna spolna razlika u procjeni sudjelovanja u aktivnostima nastave likovne umjetnosti te u procjeni važnosti likovnih aktivnosti za razvoj pamćenja i sposobnosti za učenje ostalih predmeta. Može se zaključiti da ispitanici nisu bili u mogućnosti procijeniti koliko i u koju svrhu će im u daljnjem školovanju i budućem zanimanju koristiti kompetencije stečene u nastavi likovne umjetnosti. This research was carried out on a sample of third year pupils of vocational schools and gymnasiums. Of the surveyed pupils, 253 of them attended gymnasiums, while 352 attended vocational secondary schools. The goal of this research was to examine specificities in secondary school pupils’ perceptions of the importance of subjects in the field of the fine arts. A separate analysis was undertaken for only two selected dependent variables: the importance of subjects in the field of the fine arts for developing memory and the ability to learn other subjects, and interest in and satisfaction with participation in fine arts activities. The results show that there is no statistically significant difference between the estimation of gymnasium and vocational school pupils regarding participation in fine arts activities or in their estimation of the importance of fine arts activities in developing memory and the ability to learn other subjects. There is a statistically significant gender difference in the estimation of participation in fine arts activities, as well as in the estimation of the importance of fine arts activities in developing memory and the ability to learn other subjects. It can be concluded that respondents were unable to estimate how much or why they would use competencies gained in fine arts teaching in their continued education or their future careers. (shrink)
This research was carried out on a sample of third year pupils of vocational schools and gymnasiums. Of the surveyed pupils, 253 of them attended gymnasiums, while 352 attended vocational secondary schools. The goal of this research was to examine specificities in secondary school pupils’ perceptions of the importance of subjects in the field of the fine arts. A separate analysis was undertaken for only two selected dependent variables: the importance of subjects in the field of the fine arts for (...) developing memory and the ability to learn other subjects, and interest in and satisfaction with participation in fine arts activities. The results show that there is no statistically significant difference between the estimation of gymnasium and vocational school pupils regarding participation in fine arts activities or in their estimation of the importance of fine arts activities in developing memory and the ability to learn other subjects. There is a statistically significant gender difference in the estimation of participation in fine arts activities, as well as in the estimation of the importance of fine arts activities in developing memory and the ability to learn other subjects. It can be concluded that respondents were unable to estimate how much or why they would use competencies gained in fine arts teaching in their continued education or their future careers. (shrink)
Available in English for the first time, Imperfect Garden is both an approachable intellectual history and a bracing treatise on how we should understand and experience our lives. In it, one of France's most prominent intellectuals explores the foundations, limits, and possibilities of humanist thinking. Through his critical but sympathetic excavation of humanism, Tzvetan Todorov seeks an answer to modernity's fundamental challenge: how to maintain our hard-won liberty without paying too dearly in social ties, common values, and a coherent and (...) responsible sense of self.Todorov reads afresh the works of major humanists--primarily Montaigne, Rousseau, and Constant, but also Descartes, Montesquieu, and Toqueville. Each chapter considers humanism's approach to one major theme of human existence: liberty, social life, love, self, morality, and expression. Discussing humanism in dialogue with other systems, Todorov finds a response to the predicament of modernity that is far more instructive than any offered by conservatism, scientific determinism, existential individualism, or humanism's other contemporary competitors. Humanism suggests that we are members of an intelligent and sociable species who can act according to our will while connecting the well-being of other members with our own. It is through this understanding of free will, Todorov argues, that we can use humanism to rescue universality and reconcile human liberty with solidarity and personal integrity.Placing the history of ideas at the service of a quest for moral and political wisdom, Todorov's compelling and no doubt controversial rethinking of humanist ideas testifies to the enduring capacity of those ideas to meditate on--and, if we are fortunate, cultivate--the imperfect garden in which we live. (shrink)
The political history of the twentieth century can be viewed as the history of democracy’s struggle against its external enemies: fascism and communism. This struggle ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet regime. Some people think that democracy now faces new enemies: Islamic fundamentalism, religious extremism and international terrorism and that this is the struggle that will define our times. Todorov disagrees: the biggest threat to democracy today is democracy itself. Its enemies are (...) within: what the ancient Greeks called 'hubris'. Todorov argues that certain democratic values have been distorted and pushed to an extreme that serves the interests of dominant states and powerful individuals. In the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’, the United States and some European countries have embarked on a crusade to enlighten some foreign populations through the use of force. Yet this mission to ‘help’ others has led to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, to large-scale destruction and loss of life and to a moral crisis of growing proportions. The defence of freedom, if unlimited, can lead to the tyranny of individuals. Drawing on recent history as well as his own experience of growing up in a totalitarian regime, Todorov returns to examples borrowed from the Western canon: from a dispute between Augustine and Pelagius to the fierce debates among Enlightenment thinkers to explore the origin of these perversions of democracy. He argues compellingly that the real democratic ideal is to be found in the delicate, ever-changing balance between competing principles, popular sovereignty, freedom and progress. When one of these elements breaks free and turns into an over-riding principle, it becomes dangerous: populism, ultra-liberalism and messianism, the inner enemies of democracy. (shrink)
In this article, we trace the analogies, parallels and affinities between bio-inspired generative art and bio art practices with strong generative flavour. We look at the creative and expressive features in these two fields, compare their shared interests in the design and development of life, and discuss the strategies they apply to communicate and engage the audience. With respect to the existing literature, which relates bio and generative art primarily within a historical context, we compare these two fields focusing on (...) generativity as their common poetic driver. We indicate their shared impetus for rendering distinctive visions of nature in order to identify, contemplate or provoke dramatic changes in the era when biological processes become programmable and living matter can be instrumentalized for various forms of labour. We also examine the epistemological and practical effectiveness of the two fields within a broader socio-technical perspective, which leads us to their constructive critique. (shrink)