Rejecting a morality based on religious sanctions and appeals to a spiritual order of being, David Hume advocated a wholehearted immersion in worldliness. Contemtus mundi is replaced with amor mundi, an orientation that Hume saw as fostering virtue and socially beneficial relationships.
One recent instance is David Fate Norton in David Hume: Common-Sense Moralist, Sceptical Metaphysician (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), but despite the title, Norton is not concerned with the details of Hume's moral teaching.
If philosophers of science advise government on science policy, it will have to be from a descriptive theory of scientific validity taken as hypothetically normative, as in naturalized epistemology. While logical positivism denied any normative import for the practice of science, in the area of "operational definitions" it had an unfortunate influence in psychology and sociology, and one that persists in the accountability movement. Not all philosophy of science issues have implications for the justificatory practice of scientists. For example, both (...) anti-realists and realists condone scientific quarreling about unobserved particles. Many young philosophers of science are now contributing to a sociology of scientific validity which, taken in a hypothetically normative manner, will produce recommendations on science policy. (shrink)
This essay – a collection of contributions from 10 scholars working in the field of biosemiotics and the humanities – considers nature in culture. It frames this by asking the question ‘Why does biosemiotics need the humanities?’. Each author writes from the background of their own disciplinary perspective in order to throw light upon their interdisciplinary engagement with biosemiotics. We start with Donald Favareau, whose originary disciplinary home is ethnomethodology and linguistics, and then move on to Paul Cobley’s contribution (...) on general semiotics and Kalevi Kull’s on biosemiotics. This is followed by Cobley with Frederick Stjernfelt who contribute on biosemiotics and learning, then Gerald Ostdiek from philosophy, and Morten Tønnessen focusing upon ethics in particular. Myrdene Anderson writes from anthropology, while Timo Maran and Louise Westling provide a view from literary study. The essay closes with Wendy Wheeler reflecting on the movement of biosemiotics as a challenge, often via the ecological humanities, to the kind of so-called ‘postmodern’ thinking that has dominated humanities critical thought in the universities for the past 40 years. Virtually all the matters gestured to in outline above are discussed in much more satisfying detail in the topics which follow. (shrink)