Lewis et al. (2011) attempted to restore the reputation of Samuel George Morton, a 19th century physician who reported on the skull sizes of different folk-races. Whereas Gould (1978) claimed that Morton’s conclusions were invalid because they reflected unconscious bias, Lewis et al. alleged that Morton’s findings were, in fact, supported, and Gould’s analysis biased. We take strong exception to Lewis et al.’s thesis that Morton was “right.” We maintain that Gould was right to reject Morton’s analysis (...) as inappropriate and misleading, but wrong to believe that a more appropriate analysis was available. Lewis et al. fail to recognize that there is, given the dataset available, no appropriate way to answer any of the plausibly interesting questions about the “populations” in question (which in many cases are not populations in any biologically meaningful sense). We challenge the premise shared by both Gould and Lewis et al. that Morton’s confused data can be used to draw any meaningful conclusions. This, we argue, reveals the importance of properly focusing on the questions asked, rather than more narrowly on the data gathered. (shrink)
Much of Stephen Jay Gould’s legacy is dominated by his views on the contingency of evolutionary history expressed in his classic Wonderful Life. However, Gould also campaigned relentlessly for a “nomothetic” paleontology. How do these commitments hang together? I argue that Gould’s conception of science and natural law combined with his commitment to contingency to produce an evolutionary science centered around the formulation of higher-level evolutionary laws.
This paper develops a critical response to John Beatty’s recent (2006) engagement with Stephen Jay Gould’s claim that evolutionary history is contingent. Beatty identifies two senses of contingency in Gould’s work: an unpredictability sense and a causal dependence sense. He denies that Gould associates contingency with stochastic phenomena, such as drift. In reply to Beatty, this paper develops two main claims. The first is an interpretive claim: Gould really thinks of contingency has having to do with (...) stochastic effects at the level of macroevolution, and in particular with unbiased species sorting. This notion of contingency as macro-level stochasticity incorporates both the causal dependence and the unpredictability senses of contingency. The second claim is more substantive: Recent attempts by other scientists to put Gould’s claim to the test fail to engage with the hypothesis that species sorting sometimes resembles a lottery. Gould’s claim that random sorting is a significant macroevolutionary phenomenon remains an intriguing and largely untested live hypothesis about evolution. (shrink)
They are correct that punctuated equilibria apply to sexually reproducing organisms and that morphological evolutionary change is regarded as largely (if not exclusively) correlated with speciation events. However, they err in suggesting that we attribute stasis strictly to "developmental constraints," which represent only one of a set of possible mechanisms that we have suggested for the causes of stasis. Others include habitat tracking and the internal structure of species themselves [for example, (2)].
A revised and updated edition of a title exploring the battle between evolutionary theory's biggest names. Known as one of the firecest battles in science Dawkins and Gould and their supporters have argued over evolution, for over twenty years, and continue, despite Gould's death. Kim Sterelny exposes the real differences between the conceptions of evolution of these two leading scientists. He shows that the conflict extends beyond evolution to their very beliefs in science itself.
: A central component of Bernard Williams' political realism is the articulation of a standard of legitimacy from within politics itself: LEG. This standard is presented as basic, inherent in all political orders and the best way to underwrite fundamental liberal principles particular to the modern state, including basic human rights. It does not require, according to Williams, a wider set of liberal values. In the following, I show that where Williams restricts LEG to generating only minimal political protections, seeking (...) to isolate his account of political legitimacy from a range of liberal principles, this is neither internal to, nor necessarily demanded by, the specifically political account of LEG. Instead, the limitation depends upon his wider ethical thought. (shrink)
Are there laws in evolutionary biology? Stephen J. Gould has argued that there are factors unique to biological theorizing which prevent the formulation of laws in biology, in contradistinction to the case in physics and chemistry. Gould offers the problem of complexity as just such a fundamental barrier to biological laws in general, and to Dollos Law in particular. But I argue that Gould fails to demonstrate: (1) that Dollos Law is not law-like, (2) that the alleged (...) failure of Dollos Law demonstrates why there cannot be laws in biological science, and (3) that complexity is a fundamental barrier to nomologicality. (shrink)
Attempts to explicate the substance-property nexus are legion in the philosophical literature both historical and contemporary. In this paper, I shall attempt to impose some structure into the discussion by exploring ways to combine two unlikely bedfellows—Platonic properties and Aristotelian substances. Special attention is paid to the logical structure of substances and the metaphysics of property exemplification. I shall argue that an Aristotelian-Platonic account of the substance-property nexus is possible and has been ably defended by contemporary philosophers.
Glenn Gould was one of the most innovative and prophetic musical thinkers of the twentieth century. Few musicians of his time have had as much influence on the way people think about the art of music, its purpose, its effects, its practitioners, its audiences. Glenn Gould, Music and mind was the first, and for many years the only, study of Goulds work. It is about Gould as a musical thinker, Gould as a literary artist, Gould (...) as a glorious misfit. Geoffrey Payzant taught music at Mount Allison University and philosophy at the University of Toronto. He specialized in musical aesthetics, and was particularly fascinated by Glenn Gould and Eduard Hanslick. No one who takes an interest in performing or listening to music, or in thinking about it, can fail to be informed and delighted by Payzant's exploration of the music and mind of Glenn Gould. (shrink)
My general aim is to clarify the foundational difference between Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins concerning what biological entities are the units of selection in the process of evolution by natural selection. First, I recapitulate Gould’s central objection to Dawkins’s view that genes are the exclusive units of selection. According to Gould, it is absurd for Dawkins to think that genes are the exclusive units of selection when, after all, genes are not the exclusive interactors: those (...) agents directly engaged with, directly impacted by, environmental pressures. Second, I argue that Gould’s objection still goes through even when we take into consideration Sterelny and Kitcher’s defense of gene selectionism in their admirable paper “The Return of the Gene.” Third, I propose a strategy for defending Dawkins that I believe obviates Gould’s objection. Drawing upon Elisabeth Lloyd’s careful taxonomy of the various understandings of the unit of selection at play in the philosophy of biology literature, my proposal involves realizing that Dawkins endorses a different understanding of the unit of selection than Gould holds him to, an understanding that does not require genes to be the exclusive interactors. (shrink)
Lewis et al. (2011) attempted to restore the reputation of Samuel George Morton, a 19th century physician who reported on the skull sizes of different folk-races. Whereas Gould (1978) claimed that Morton's conclusions were invalid because they reflected unconscious bias, Lewis et al. alleged that Morton's findings were, in fact, supported, and Gould's analysis biased. We take strong exception to Lewis et al.’s thesis that Morton was “right.” We maintain that Gould was right to reject Morton's analysis (...) as inappropriate and misleading, but wrong to believe that a more appropriate analysis was available. Lewis et al. fail to recognize that there is, given the dataset available, no appropriate way to answer any of the plausibly interesting questions about the “populations” in question (which in many cases are not populations in any biologically meaningful sense). We challenge the premise shared by both Gould and Lewis et al. that Morton's confused data can be used to draw any meaningful conclusions. This, we argue, reveals the importance of properly focusing on the questions asked, rather than more narrowly on the data gathered. (shrink)
Over the past several decades, philosophers have grown to recognize the role played by frameworks and models in the construction of human knowledge. Further, they have paid increasing attention to the origins of knowing processes in social and historical contexts of human practical activities, and to social transformation of the frameworks over time. In a series of original essays by prominent philosophers, Constructivism and Practice advances the understanding of the role of construction and model creation, reflects on the relationship of (...) these models to social practices, and considers whether our modes of knowing themselves have a history. These questions are thoughtfully considered in the light of the 'historical epistemology' first developed by Marx Wartofsky. Contributions by Joseph Margolis; Tom Rockmore; Lisa Dolling; Jaakko Hintikka; Anton Alterman; Stephen Toulmin; Michel Paty; John Stachel; Gregg Horowitz; Michael Kelly; Tom Huhn; Barbara Savedoff; Saul Fisher; Sybil Schwarzenbach; John Pittman; Raphael Sassower; and MaryAnn Cutter. (shrink)
Abstract: The emergence of cross-border communities and transnational associations requires new ways of thinking about the norms involved in democracy in a globalized world. Given the significance of human rights fulfillment, including social and economic rights, I argue here for giving weight to the claims of political communities while also recognizing the need for input by distant others into the decisions of global governance institutions that affect them. I develop two criteria for addressing the scope of democratization in transnational contexts— (...) common activities and impact on basic human rights —and argue for their compatibility. I then consider some practical implications for institutional transformation and design, including new forms of transnational representation. (shrink)
FEW HEROES LOWER their sights in the prime of their lives; triumph leads inexorably on, often to destruction. Alexander wept because he had no new worlds to conquer; Napoleon, overextended, sealed his doom in the depth of a Russian winter. But Charles Darwin did not follow the Origin of Species (1859) with a general defense of natural selection or with its evident extension to human evolution (he waited until 1871 to publish The Descent of Man). Instead, he wrote his most (...) obscure work, a book entitled: On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilized by Insects (1862). (shrink)
Context: There is a growing recognition in consciousness science of the need for rigorous methods for obtaining accurate and detailed phenomenological reports of lived experience, i.e., descriptions of experience provided by the subject living them in the “first-person.” Problem: At the moment although introspection and debriefing interviews are sometimes used to guide the design of scientific studies of the mind, explicit description and evaluation of these methods and their results rarely appear in formal scientific discourse. Method: The recent publication of (...) an edited book of papers dedicated to the exploration of first-and second-person methods, Ten Years of Viewing from Within: The Legacy of Francisco Varela, serves as a starting point for a discussion of how these methods could be integrated into the growing discipline of consciousness science. We complement a brief review of the book with a critical analysis of the major pilot studies in Varela’s neurophenomenology, a research program that was explicitly devised to integrate disciplined experiential methods with the latest advances in neuroscience. Results: The book is a valuable resource for those who are interested in impressive recent advances in first- and second-person methods, as applied to the phenomenology of lived experience. However, our review of the neurophenomenology literature concludes that there is as yet no convincing example of these specialized techniques being used in combination with standard behavioral and neuroscientific approaches in consciousness science to produce results that could not have also been achieved by simpler methods of introspective reporting. Implications: The end of behaviorism and the acceptance of verbal reports of conscious experience have already enabled the beginning of a science of consciousness. It can only be of benefit if new first- and second-person methods become well-known across disciplines. Constructivist content: Constructivism has long been interested in the role of the observer in the constitution of our sense of reality, so these developments in the science of consciousness may open new avenues of constructivist research. More specifically, one of the ways in which the insights from first- and second-person methods are being validated is by recursively applying the methods to themselves; a practical application of an epistemological move that will be familiar to constructivists from the second-order cybernetics tradition. (shrink)
This article argues that Thomas Pogge's important theory of global justice does not adequately appreciate the relation between interactional and institutional accounts of human rights, along with the important normative role of care and solidarity in the context of globalization. It also suggests that more attention needs to be given critically to the actions of global corporations and positively to introducing democratic accountability into the institutions of global governance. The article goes on to present an alternative approach to global justice (...) based on a more robust conception of human rights grounded in a conception of equal positive freedom, in which these rights are seen to apply beyond the coercive political institutions to which Pogge primarily confines them (e.g. to prohibiting domestic violence), and in which they can guide the development of economic, social and political forms to enable their fulfillment. (shrink)
Pons Asinorum Or The Future of Nonsense George Edinger and E J C Neep Originally published in 1929. "A most entertaining essay, rich in quotation from the old masters of clownship’s craft." Saturday Review The author maintains that true nonsense must be aimless humour – the humour that makes fun as opposed to the humour that makes fun of something. 88pp Democritus Or The Future of Laughter Gerald Gould Originally published in 1929. "Democritus is bound to be among the (...) favourites of the series. Gould’s humour glances at history, morality, and humanity…wise and witty writing." Observer Democritus is intended to illustrate the prevailing fashion in laughter and on the basis of historical and philosophical principles to forecast the humour of the future. 90pp Mrs Fisher Or The Future of Humour Robert Graves Originally published in 1928 "Mr Graves is the best man who could have been chosen to write on this subject." Daily Express "…perfectly irresponsible, as a joker should be." The Times This volume analyzes humour with a solemnity which becomes almost nightmarish. 90pp Babel Or the Past, Present and Future of Human Speech Richard Paget Originally published in 1930. "…stimulating and absorbing." Journal of Education This volume discusses human speech and treats it as a growth which must be tamed if it is to fulfil its highest purpose as a symbolism for human thought. 86pp. (shrink)
A panel titled Feminist Philosophy after Twenty Years was organized by Carol C. Gould for the session sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women at the American Philosophical Association's 1993 Eastern Division Meeting, December 30, 1993 in Atlanta, GA. The remarks of the three panelists, Linda Lopez McAlister, Ann Ferguson and Kathy Addelson are printed below.
In her 2004 book Carol Gould addresses the fundamental issue of democratizing globalization, that is to say of finding ways to open transnational institutions and communities to democratic participation by those widely affected by their decisions. The book develops a framework for expanding participation in crossborder decisions, arguing for a broader understanding of human rights and introducing a new role for the ideas of care and solidarity at a distance. Reinterpreting the idea of universality to accommodate a multiplicity of (...) cultural perspectives, the author takes up a number of applied issues, including the persistence of racism, cultural rights, women's human rights, the democratic management of firms, the use of the Internet to enhance political participation, and the importance of empathy and genuine democracy in understanding terrorism and responding to it. Accessibly written with a minimum of technical jargon this is a major contribution to political philosophy. (shrink)
McBride offers a succinct summary of Gould’s book and ponders what the significance of theoretical discussions of the nature of human rights and degrees of democracy might be for our time when the U.S. government has descended into “barbarism” and made a sham out of anything resembling democracy. He concludes that Gould’s book is “first rate” as “a learned exercise in dreaming,” granting against his own deep pessimism that one can never know for sure that “dreams” may not (...) turn out to have some practical relevance. [Abstract prepared by the Editors.]. (shrink)
When is conceptual change so significant that we should talk about a new theory, not a new version of the same theory? We address this problem here, starting from Gould’s discussion of the individuation of the Darwinian theory. He locates his position between two extremes: ‘minimalist’—a theory should be individuated merely by its insertion in a historical lineage—and ‘maximalist’—exhaustive lists of necessary and sufficient conditions are required for individuation. He imputes the minimalist position to Hull and attempts a reductio (...) : this position leads us to give the same ‘name’ to contradictory theories. Gould’s ‘structuralist’ position requires both ‘conceptual continuity’ and descent for individuation. Hull’s attempt to assimilate into his general selectionist framework Kuhn’s notion of ‘exemplar’ and the ‘semantic’ view of the structure of scientific theories can be used to counter Gould’s reductio , and also to integrate structuralist and population thinking about conceptual change. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Chris Haufe paints a provocative portrait of the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. His principal aim is to resolve a “paradox” arising from a prima facie inconsistent pair of commitments: Gould believed that the biological facts could have been otherwise, and Gould believed that there are evolutionary laws. In order to resolve this paradox, Haufe makes two substantive claims: Gould was aware of the challenges that the Replay Thesis posed for a law-centered (...) science of evolution, even early in his career, and Gould endeavored to meet these challenges by deploying the “species-as-particles approach.” In this paper, I put pressure on both of these claims. By examining the goals and methods of Gould’s first “nomothetic research program,” the science of form, I show that it does not fit the picture of nomothetic science that Haufe illustrates. Additionally, I show that no straightforward connection exists between Gould’s understanding of contingency and his adoption of the species-as-particles approach. I propose that Gould’s career can be usefully split into three periods, each of which employed a distinct strategy for establishing distinctively paleontological contributions to evolutionary theory. (shrink)
Some methodological adaptationists hijacked the term “exaptation,” and took an occasion of Stephen Jay Gould’s misspeaking as confirmation that it possessed an evolutionarily “designed” function and was a version of an adaptation, something it was decidedly not. Others provided a standard of evidence for exaptation that was inappropriate, and based on an adaptationist worldview. This article is intended to serve as both an analysis of and correction to those situations. Gould and Elisabeth Vrba’s terms, “exaptation” and “aptation,” as (...) originally introduced, are very useful, unlike the faded adaptationist echo of “exaptation” devised by the methodological adaptationists, which has made the term incoherent. We will discuss how exaptation relates to function, to aptation, and to adaptation, both primary and secondary. These ideas have been rendered practically useless through their mistaken definitions and misapplications by evolutionary psychologists. (shrink)
ig Brother, the tyrant of George Orwell's 1984, directed his daily Two Minutes Hate against Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the people. When I studied evolutionary biology in graduate school during the mid 1960s, official rebuke and derision focused upon Richard Goldschmidt , a famous geneticist who, we were told, had gone astray. Although 1984 creeps up on us, I trust that the world will not be in Big Brother's grip by then. I do, however, predict that during this decade Goldschmidt (...) will be largely vindicated in the world of evolutionary biology. (shrink)
This paper provides a plausible answer to the question of how God created. In addition, it explores an additional reason, beyond those related to the debate over God’s relationship to abstract objects, for thinking theistic activism true. Specifically, a new model of God’s creative activity—the activist model—will be offered that satisfies key desiderata with respect to the nature of God’s perfect power to create.
The paper questions the extent to which MacIntyre’s current ethical and political outlook should be traced to a pro ject begun in After Virtue. It is argued that, instead, a critical break comes in 1985 with his adoption of a ‘Thomistic Aristotelian’ standpoint. After Virtue’s ‘positive thesis’, by contrast, is a distinct position in MacIntyre’s intellectual journey, and the standpoint of After Virtue embodies substantial commitments not only in conflict with, but antithetical to, MacIntyre’s later worldview—mostly clearly illustrated in the (...) contrasting positions on moral conflict and tragedy. (shrink)
Political theory contains two views of social care for people with intellectual disabilities. The favor view treats disability services as an undeserved gratuity, while the entitlement view sees them as a deserved right. This paper argues that David Hume is one philosophical source of the favor view; he bases political membership on a threshold level of mental capacity and shuts out anyone who falls below. Hume’s account, which excludes people with intellectual disabilities from justice owing to their lack of power, (...) but includes them in charity, is morally deficient. The shortcomings of Hume’s theory underscore the necessity of having a view of justice which ensures that people with intellectual disabilities are not marginalized. In defending the entitlement view, I integrate philosophical analysis and concrete examples of policy issues. (shrink)