In September 2008, 10 years after the untimely death of Pere Alberch (1954–1998), the 20th Altenberg Workshop in Theoretical Biology gathered a group of Pere’s students, col- laborators, and colleagues (Figure 1) to celebrate his contribu- tions to the origins of EvoDevo. Hosted by the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) outside Vienna, the group met for two days of discussion. The meeting was organized in tandem with a congress held in May 2008 at the Cavanilles Institute (...) for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE) in Valencia, Spain. The talks at the KLI were equal parts: nostalgic remembrance, excitement over new ways of thinking about old problems, and an unrepressed vitriol against the resurgence of reductionist thinking in EvoDevo. Here we highlight some of the key aspects of Pere’s life and work that informed and infused the talks. (shrink)
In Mourning Becomes the Law, Gillian Rose takes us beyond the impasse of post-modernism or 'despairing rationalism withour reason'. Arguing that the post-modern search for a 'new ethics' and ironic philosophy are incoherent, she breathes new life into the debates concerning power and domination, transcendence and eternity. Mourning Becomes the Law is the philosophical counterpart to Gillian Rose's highly acclaimed memoir Love's Work. She extends similar clarity and insight to discussions of architecture, cinema, painting and poetry, through which (...) relations between the formation of the individual and the theory of justice are connected. At the heart of this reconnection lies a reflection on the significance of the Holocaust and Judaism. Mourning Becomes the Law reinvents the classical analogy of the soul, the city and the sacred. It returns philosophy, Nietzsche's 'bestowing virtue', to the pulse of our intellectual and political culture. (shrink)
This study examines the role of acculturation in shaping consumers’ views of ethics. Specifically, it examines the relationships between the desire to keep one’s original culture, the desire to adopt the host culture, and the four dimensions of the Muncy and Vitell (Journal of Business Research Ethics 24(4), 297, 1992) consumer ethics scale. Using two separate immigrant populations – one of former Middle-Eastern residents now living in the U.S. and the other of Asian immigrants in the U.S. – results indicate (...) that those who want to keep their original culture are less tolerant of unethical consumer activities, while those who are more willing to adopt the host culture are more tolerant of these same consumer activities. Furthermore, the immigrants in both studies who are more tolerant of unethical consumer activities are those who are generally somewhat younger and with less formal education. The relationship between gender and consumer ethics was not significant. (shrink)
Despite the enormous influence of Michel Foucault in gender studies, social theory, and cultural studies, his work has been relatively neglected in the study of politics. Although he never published a book on the state, in the late 1970s Foucault examined the technologies of power used to regulate society and the ingenious recasting of power and agency that he saw as both consequence and condition of their operation. These twelve essays provide a critical introduction to Foucault's work on politics, exploring (...) its relevance to past and current thinking about liberal and neo-liberal forms of government. Moving away from the great texts of liberal political philosophy, this book looks closely at the technical means with which the ideals of liberal political rationalities have been put into practice in such areas as schools, welfare, and the insurance industry. This fresh approach to one of the seminal thinkers of the twentieth century is essential reading for anyone interested in social and cultural theory, sociology, and politics. (shrink)
Reductionism--understanding complex processes by breaking them into simpler elements--dominates scientific thinking around the world and has certainly proved a powerful tool, leading to major discoveries in every field of science. But reductionism can be taken too far, especially in the life sciences, where sociobiological thinking has bordered on biological determinism. Thus popular science writers such as Richard Dawkins, author of the highly influential The Selfish Gene, can write that human beings are just "robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish (...) molecules known as genes." Indeed, for many in science, genes have become the fundamental unit for understanding human existence: genes determine every aspect of our lives, from personal success to existential despair: genes for health and illness, genes for criminality, violence, and sexual orientation. Others would say that this is reductionism with a vengeance. In Lifelines, biologist Steven Rose offers a powerful alternative to the ultradarwinist claims of Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Daniel Dennett and others. Rose argues against an extreme reductionist approach that would make the gene the key to understanding human nature, in favor of a more complex and richer vision of life. He urges instead that we focus on the organism and in particular on the organism's lifeline: the trajectory it takes through time and space. Our personal lifeline, Rose points out, is unique--even identical twins, with identical genes at birth, will differ over time. These differences are obviously not embedded in our genes, but come about through our developmental trajectory in which genes, as part of the biochemical orchestra of trillions of cells in each human body, have an important part--but only a part--to play. To illustrate this idea, Rose examines recent research in modern biology, and especially two disciplines--genetics (which looks at the impact of genes on form) and developmental biology (which examines the interaction between the organism and the environment)--and he explores new ideas on biological complexity proposed by scientists such as Stuart Kauffman. He shows how our lifelines are constructed through the interplay of physical forces--such as the intrinsic chemistry of lipids and proteins, and the self-organizing and stabilizing properties of complex metabolic webs--and he reaches a startling conclusion: that organisms are active players in their own fate, not simply the playthings of the gods, nature, or the inevitable workings out of gene-driven natural selection. The organism is both the weaver and the pattern it weaves. Lifelines will be a rallying point for all who seek an alternative to the currently fashionable, deeply determinist accounts which dominate popular science writing and, in fact, crowd the pages of some of the major scientific journals. Based on solid, state-of-the-art research, it not only makes important contributions to our understanding of Darwin and natural selection, but will swing the pendulum back to a richer, more complex view of human nature and of life. (shrink)
Introduction While quizzing during informed consent for research to ensure understanding has become commonplace, it is unclear whether the quizzing itself is problematic for potential participants. In this study, we address this issue in a multinational HIV prevention research trial enrolling injection drug users in China and Thailand. Methods Enrolment procedures included an informed consent comprehension quiz. An informed consent survey followed. Results 525 participants completed the informed consent survey (Heng County, China=255, Xinjiang, China=229, Chiang Mai, Thailand=41). Mean age was (...) 33 and mean educational level was 8 yrs. While quizzing was felt to be a good way to determine if a person understands the nature of clinical trial participation (97%) and participants did not generally find the quiz to be problematic, minorities of respondents felt pressured (6%); anxious (5%); bored (5%); minded (5%); and did not find the questions easy (13%). In multivariate analysis, lower educational level was associated with not minding the quizzing (6–10 yrs vs 0–5 yrs: OR=0.27, p=0.03; more than 11 yrs vs 0–5 yrs: OR=0.18, p=0.03). There were also site differences (Heng County vs Xinjiang) in feeling anxious (OR=0.07; p=<0.01), not minding (OR=0.26; p=0.03), being bored (OR=0.25; p=0.01) and not finding the questions easy (OR=0.10; p=<0.01). Conclusions Quizzing during the informed consent process can be problematic for a minority of participants. These problems may be associated with the setting in which research takes place and educational level. Further research is needed to develop, test and implement alternative methods of ensuring comprehension of informed consent. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov number NCT00270257. (shrink)
We doubt that primary sociopathy is adaptive, for three reasons: First, its prevalence is too low to require an adaptive explanation. Second, a common sequela of damage to the orbito-frontal lobes is Any pattern of behavior that can be produced by brain damage is unlikely to be adaptive. Third, we argue that most human social behavior is not under tight genetic control, but is produced by open-ended calculation of fitness-contingencies.
Abstract Moral or character education has settled mainly into two distinct and opposing ?camps? of thought and application: the conventional?behaviourist and the developmental?cognitive. The author introduces a third perspective based on a perceptual?experiential model. Here, young people construct their moral reality through a curriculum of stage?appropriate sensory challenges. This new perspective finds support in a variety of theoretical and clinical works. Implications and applications of this model are discussed.
This paper examines socrates' method for determining whether virtue is taught, And discusses some of the opposing interpretations that have been offered (e.G., By robinson and hackforth). Some major conclusions are: that hypotheses that have been deduced from other hypotheses can still be called hypotheses; that it is false that there can be only one hypothesis per argument; and that the several hypotheses in a given argument need not all be hypothesized with the same degree of confidence.