In contemporary philosophy of religion, the doctrine of omniscience is typically rendered propositionally, as the claim that God knows all true propositions (and believes none that are false). But feminist work makes clear what even the analytic tradition sometimes confesses, namely, that propositional knowledge is quite limited in scope. The adequacy of propositional conceptions of omniscience is therefore in question. This paper draws on the work of feminist epistemologists to articulate alternative renderings of omniscience which remedy the deficiencies of the (...) traditional formulation. (shrink)
Paul D. Halliday: Habeas Corpus. From England to Empire Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11572-012-9141-5 Authors Lindsay Farmer, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK Journal Criminal Law and Philosophy Online ISSN 1871-9805 Print ISSN 1871-9791.
Transpersonal psychology first emerged as an academic discipline in the 1960s and has subsequently broadened into a range of transpersonal studies. Jorge Ferrer (2002) has called for a 'revisioning' of transpersonal theory, dethroning inner experience from its dominant role in defining and validating spiritual reality. In the current paradigm he detects a lingering Cartesianism, which subtly entrenches the very subject-object divide that transpersonalists seek to overcome. This paper outlines the development and current shape of the transpersonal movement, compares Ferrer's epistemology (...) with the heterophenomenology of Daniel Dennett, and speculates on the integration of the latter into transpersonal theory. (shrink)
Daniel Russell's Practical Intelligence and the Virtues is principally a defense of the Aristotelian claim that phronesis is part of every unqualified virtue—a defense of what Russell calls "hard virtue theory" and "hard virtue ethics." The main support for this is the further claim that we would be unable to act well reliably, or form our character reliably, without phronesis performing its "twin roles": correctly identifying the mean of each virtue, and integrating the mean of each virtue with those (...) of others so as to enable us to act in an overall virtuous manner. In following Russell's argument for these claims, we find much else of interest, including a persuasive account of right action and a resurrection of the old doctrine of cardinal virtues. Here I seek first to give readers a sense of the range and depth of this important book by summarizing the main lines of its argument. But I also raise some critical points, the most substantive of which concern his treatments of the unity of the virtues and of responsibility for character. (shrink)
Daniel Dennett has argued that consciousness can be satisfactorily accounted for in terms of physical entities and processes. In some of his most recent publications, he has made this case by casting doubts on purely conceptual thought experiments and proposing his own thought experiments to "pump" the intuition that consciousness can be physical. In this paper, I will summarize Dennett's recent defenses of physicalism, followed by a careful critique of his position. The critique presses two flaws in Dennett's defense (...) of physicalism. First, I will rebut his case against the traditional conceptual arguments against physicalism. Second, I will present some empirical grounds (empirical scientific findings on blind sight and tactile vision substitute systems) for thinking that a crucial move in the argument against physicalism is well-supported. For someone, like Dennett, who finds conceptual arguments dubious, the empirical findings make it exceptionally difficult to deny the anti-physicalist argument. (shrink)
Although arguments are a good way of exploring the limitations and complexities of a concept or a theory we may find ourselves faced with a real phenomenon that challenges the existing formulations of a concept or a theory so strongly and reveals its limitations to us so starkly that we are forced to break away from the current discussion and start anew. Such is the challenge posed by the phenomenon of farmer suicides on our existing theories of corporate social (...) responsibility. Contemporary discussions in corporate ethics are replete with many theories of corporate social responsibility which in one way or the other rely on the concept of the social contract. For the most part these theories have gone unchallenged and no fundamental limitations have been revealed. However, the phenomenon of farmer suicides in central India poses a serious challenge to them. This article attempts to show how the phenomenon of farmer suicides in central India starkly exposes some of the fundamental limitations of the contractarian formulations of corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
The industrialization of agriculture not only alters the ways in which agricultural production occurs, but it also impacts the decisions farmers make in important ways. First, constraints created by the economic environment of farming limit what options a farmer has available to him. Second, because of the industrialization of agriculture and the resulting economic pressures it creates for farmers, the fact that decisions are constrained creates new ethical challenges for farmers. Having fewer options when faced with severe economic pressures (...) is a very different situation for farmers than having many options available. We discuss the implications of constrained choice and show that it increases the likelihood that farmers will consider unethical behavior. (shrink)
Easy-care or natural lambing pertainsto those sheep able to successfully lamb andrear at least one lamb without human assistancein a difficult environment. Such sheep may havea higher survival rate, lower lamb mortality,and require less shepherding at lambing thanother sheep breeds or strains. The farmer orshepherd account of easy-care lambing revealsseveral themes. Firstly, stock were bred tosurvive or suit local environments orconditions, particularly steep hill country inNew Zealand. This involved extensive culling ofundesirable dams, regardless of how well theymight perform in (...) traits other than the abilityto survive and to produce live lambs atweaning. Sheep that did have problems wereoften assisted, recorded or marked and thenculled at an appropriate time; thus bothartificial (culling) and natural selection wereused. Secondly, natural selection enabled theimportant traits to be identified and they weresubsequently incorporated into artificialselection programs. Thirdly, the practice wasnecessitated by the impracticality ofsupervising lambing in difficult terrain andthe cost of skilled farm labor. Finally, it wasacknowledged that disturbance at lambingcreated problems and most importantly, theeasy-care approach reduced some of the problemstraditionally associated with lambing.Easy-care lambing systems thus aim to minimizesome of the detrimental effects associated withcarefully supervised lambing in someenvironments, by selecting sheep to suit boththat environment and modern farm management.They overcame pervasive influences our culturallegacy was exerting on the way we interact withanimals, and may have produced a system more inkeeping with the biology of the animal in anextensive environment. (shrink)
Nearly all contemporary people subsist on cultivated plants, most of which are vulnerable to diseases. Yet, there have been few studies of what traditional people know – and do not know – about crop disease. Agricultural scientists in general are becoming aware of the potential contribution of social scientists and farmers in developing integrated management of crop diseases. The International Potato Center (CIP) has focused on stimulating farmer-scientist collaboration in developing management of late blight, a major fungal disease of (...) potatoes and other plants. Understanding farmers' knowledge of this and other plant diseases is an important element in furthering such collaboration. Although not all agricultural scientists recognize the value of social science, this literature search shows that some agricultural scientists now actively collaborate with farmers, in ways that cross the boundary into social science research. During this search, much of the work we found was written by plant pathologists and entomologists. We found over fifty publications on farmer knowledge of crop disease, and we have annotated the material that we thought most relevant to farmer- scientist collaboration for research of crop diseases, especially late blight. (shrink)
Reasons for converting to organic farming have been studied in a number of instances. However, the underlying rationale that motivates the behavior is not always made clear. This study aims to provide a detailed picture of farmers’ decision-making and illustrate the choice between organic and conventional farm management. Based on 21 interviews with farmers, a decision-tree highlighting the reasons and constraints involved in the decision of farmers to use, or not to use, organic production techniques was formulated. The accuracy of (...) the decision-tree was tested through a written survey of 65 randomly sampled farmers. The decision-tree permits the identification of decision criteria and examines the decision-making process of farmers in choosing their farming method. It also allows for the characterization of farmer strategies and values, identifying five types of farmers: the “committed conventional;” the “pragmatic conventional;” the “environment-conscious but not organic;” the “pragmatic organic;” and the “committed organic.” The importance of taking into account heterogeneity in farmers’ attitudes, preferences, and goals and their impact on the choice of a farming method is emphasized. (shrink)
This article argues that present theoretical approaches within critical agri-food studies are inadequate for conceptualizing the role of non-humans in the shaping of farmer agency. While both political economy and actor-oriented approaches are significant in drawing attention to the broader social relations that construct and govern farmers as agents, the ordering and disordering influence of non-humans as part of these processes are neglected. Drawing upon a sociology of translation, located within actor network theory, the article explores how the ontological (...) move to recognize non-humans as actants contributes to a re-conceptualization of farmer agency. Through the application of four “moments” within a translation approach – problematization, interessement, enrollment, and mobilization – to a dairy planning workshop in Australia, it is concluded that non-humans are central in two key ways to programs governing the agency of farmers. First, they take the form of material artifacts and forms of inscription that are used by governing agencies to build durable actor networks. These inscriptions represent new ways of reflecting on farming practices and re-defining the scope for farmer action. Second, non-humans can take the form of material agents that, while crucial to the building of actor networks, are not always straightforward to enroll. The article demonstrates that problems enrolling these entities limit the efforts of governing agencies to “act at a distance” and shape farmer behavior. (shrink)
This paper explores how knowledge is exchanged between agricultural advisors and farmers in the context of sustainable farming practices in England. Specifically the paper examines the nature of the knowledge exchange at the encounters between one group of advisors, agronomists, and farmers. The promotion of best management practices, which are central to the implementation of sustainable agricultural policies in England, provide the empirical context for this study. The paper uses the notion of expert and facilitative approaches as a conceptual framework (...) for analyzing knowledge exchange encounters between agronomists and farmers. Data were derived from semi-structured interviews with 31 agronomists and 17 farmers, in the context of three initiatives promoting a range of best management practices including (a) targeted use of nitrogen (N), (b) use of nutrients within manure, and (c) management practices to improve soil structure. The interviews revealed that, although many agronomist–farmer knowledge exchange encounters are characterized by an imbalance of power, distrust, and the divergence of knowledge, other encounters provide a platform for the facilitation of farmer learning in their transition to more sustainable practices. (shrink)
A decline in public sector extension services in developing countries has led to an increasing emphasis on alternative extension approaches that are participatory, demand-driven, client-oriented, and farmer centered. One such approach is the volunteer farmer-trainer (VFT) approach, a form of farmer-to-farmer extension where VFTs host demonstration plots and share information on improved agricultural practices within their community. VFTs are trained by extension staff and they in turn train other farmers. A study was conducted to understand the (...) rationale behind the decisions of smallholder farmers to volunteer their time and resources to train other farmers without pay and to continue volunteering. Data were gathered through focus group discussions and individual interviews involving 99 VFTs. Findings of the study showed that VFTs were motivated by a combination of personal and community interests that were influenced by religious beliefs, cultural norms, and social and economic incentives. Altruism, gaining knowledge and skills, and social benefits were the most frequently mentioned motivating factors for becoming VFTs.3 years after starting, the income earned from selling associated inputs and services was also a main motivating factor. There were no significant differences between motivating factors for men and women VFTs. The findings point to the fact that VFTs work effectively without being paid, but investments in human, social, and financial capital are crucial to keeping them motivated. These factors are key to ensuring the sustainability of farmer-to-farmer extension programs beyond the projects’ lifespan. (shrink)
Differences in perceptions and knowledge of crop diseases constitute a major obstacle in farmer–researcher cooperation, which is necessary for sustainable disease management. Farmers’ perceptions and management of crop diseases in the northern Ethiopian Regional State of Tigrai were investigated in order to harness their knowledge in the participatory development of integrated disease management (IDM) strategies. Knowledge of disease etiology and epidemiology, cultivar resistance, and reasons for the cultivation of susceptible cultivars were investigated in a total of 12 tabias (towns) (...) in ten weredas (districts). Perception of diseases involved both scientific and spiritual conceptual frameworks. Of the more than 30 crop diseases recorded on the major crops in the region, only rusts and powdery mildews (locally called humodia) and a few root rots were considered by farmers to be important. Farmers’ awareness of other diseases was extremely low; some highly damaging but less conspicuous diseases, such as faba bean chocolate spot and chickpea ascochyta blight (also called humodia), were not regarded by farmers as disease but as problems caused primarily by excessive soil moisture. Considering that some of these “unrecognized” diseases can cause complete yield loss and genetic erosion in epiphytotic years, there is an urgent need for bringing together farmers’ and scientists’ knowledge to complement each other. Even when farmers had access to disease-resistant or disease-tolerant cultivars, they grew susceptible local varieties because of multiple criteria including earliness, good yield in years with low humodia severity, suitability for home consumption, market demand/quality, and low soil fertility and land management requirements. Farmer innovation and knowledge were evident in their use of diverse disease control measures, but these were a mixture of the “useful and the useless.” Our findings stress the necessity for extension workers and researchers to understand and improve farmers’ knowledge of crop diseases, and farmers’ ability to observe and experiment, through the Farmer Field School or a similar experiential learning approach. These insights about farmers’ knowledge of crop diseases provide a basis for further collaborative maintenance of crop genetic diversity, development of germplasm, and IPM-related research in Africa. (shrink)
All farmers have their own version of what it means to be a good farmer. For many US farmers a large portion of their identity is defined by the high input, high output production systems they manage to produce food, fiber or fuel. However, the unintended consequences of highly productivist systems are often increased soil erosion and the pollution of ground and surface water. A large number of farmers have conservationist identities within their good farmer identity, however their (...) conservation goals often need to be activated to rebalance the production-conservation meanings they give to their roles in society. In this paper we analyze US Cornbelt farmer interviews and surveys to trace how the performance-based environmental management process can be used to influence the farmer social identity and shift the overall good farmer identity towards a stronger conservationist standard. We find the continuous feedback loop in performance-based environmental management mimics the hierarchically organized feedback control processes of identity verification and can be used to help farmers activate their conservationist farmer identities at the person, role, and social levels to establish new norms for the practice of more sustainable agriculture. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to show how culture – shared norms and values – is challenged and used to facilitate cooperative behavior within the context of farmer field schools (FFS) in central Luzon, Philippines. The success of the FFS is primarily associated with cultural norms that encourage experiential and collective learning and eventually lead to the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) methods among the farmers. The study was conducted in central Luzon, the rice granary region of (...) the Philippines, from 1992 to 1995 and again in 1999. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed. Results indicate that a keen understanding of Filipino culture and values is essential if FFS is to be successful and if farmers are to successfully learn and practice IPM. (shrink)
Farmer innovation diffusion (FID) in the developing world is not simply the adoption of an innovation made by farmers, but a process of communication and cooperation between farmers, governments, and other stakeholders. While increasing attention has been paid to farmer innovation, little is known about how farmers’ innovations are successfully diffused. To fill this gap, this paper aims to address the following questions: What conditions are necessary for farmers to participate in FID? How is a collaborative network built (...) up between farmers and stakeholders for this purpose? And what roles can government play? The above questions are addressed through analysis of the diffusion of winter greenhouse technology in China. A framework for analyzing a FID system is developed, and the conclusion is drawn that building mutual trust and collaborative networks is crucial for the success of FID. Furthermore, this network building can be broken down into various levels with different scales, speeds and consequences for FID: informal networks among farmers themselves, farmer-led networks, and government-facilitated networks. The success of government intervention depends upon building and enhancing the collaborative networks in which farmer leadership is crucial. (shrink)
While questions about the environmental sustainability of contemporary farming practices and the socioeconomic viability of rural communities are attracting increasing attention throughout the US, these two issues are rarely considered together. This paper explores the current and potential connections between these two aspects of sustainability, using data on community members’ and farmers’ views of agricultural issues in California’s Central Valley. These views were collected from a series of individual and group interviews with biologically oriented and conventional farmers as well as (...) community stakeholders. Local marketing, farmland preservation, and perceptions of sustainable agriculture comprised the primary topics of discussion. The mixed results indicate that, while many farmers and community members have a strong interest in these topics, sustainable community development and the use of sustainable farming practices are seldom explicitly linked. On the other hand, many separate efforts around the Valley to increase local marketing and agritourism, improve public education about agriculture, and organize grassroots farmland preservation initiatives were documented. We conclude that linking these efforts more explicitly to sustainable agriculture and promoting more engagement between ecologically oriented farmers and their communities could engender more economic and political support for these farmers, helping them and their communities to achieve greater sustainability in the long run. (shrink)
Donors, scientists and farmers all benefit when research and development projects have high impact. However, potential benefits are sometimes not realized. Our objective in this study is to determine why resource-poor farmers in Togo (declined to) adopt recommended practices that were promoted through a multi-organizational project on soil fertility management. We examine the processes and outcomes related to the adoption process. The project was undertaken in three villages in the Central Region of Togo in West Africa. The development and research (...) processes that took place during the implementation of the project were critically analyzed using a conceptual framework that may be useful for improving the impact of future participatory projects. At the macro level, opportunities for innovation were not deliberately explored with participating farmers and other village members; consequently “pre-analytical choices” made during the planning phase resulted in practices that resource-poor farmers were, for a variety of reasons, unable or unwilling to adopt. From the outset, donors and scientists focused on soil fertility management, but failed to take into account the wider economic context within which soil fertility management took place. This was a major obstacle to the subsequent adoption of recommended management strategies. Scientists and donor partners measured the success of the Project in terms of crop productivity, but farmers’ choices were influenced by a complex mix of socio-economic, political and technical factors. We also illustrate the importance of selecting appropriate categories of farmers for a particular experiment. We conclude that for participatory research and development projects to be successful, it is not enough to develop technologies that “work” in a technical sense. In order to be scaled up and widely implemented, such technologies must also meet a variety of needs of resource-poor farmers and be acceptable from a socio-cultural point of view. (shrink)
One of the most influential philosophical voices in the consciousness studies community is that of Daniel Dennett. Outside of consciousness studies, Dennett is well-known for his work on numerous topics, such as intentionality, artificial intelligence, free will, evolutionary theory, and the basis of religious experience. (Dennett, 1984, 1987, 1995c, 2005) In 1991, just as researchers and philosophers were beginning to turn more attention to the nature of consciousness, Dennett authored his Consciousness Explained. Consciousness Explained aimed to develop both a (...) theory of consciousness and a powerful critique of the then mainstream view of the nature of consciousness, which Dennett called,. (shrink)
In The illusion of conscious will , Daniel Wegner offers an exciting, informative, and potentially threatening treatise on the psychology of action. I offer several interpretations of the thesis that conscious will is an illusion. The one Wegner seems to suggest is "modular epiphenomenalism": conscious experience of will is produced by a brain system distinct from the system that produces action; it interprets our behavior but does not, as it seems to us, cause it. I argue that the evidence (...) Wegner presents to support this theory, though fascinating, is inconclusive and, in any case, he has not shown that conscious will does not play a crucial causal role in planning, forming intentions, etc. This theory's potential blow to our self-conception turns out to be a glancing one. (shrink)
Questions about Leibniz's views on the ontological status of the corporeal world have been at the center of debate in Leibniz scholarship for more than two decades, and one of the major players in these debates has been Daniel Garber. Having sketched his influential position in a number of articles over the years, he now gives full expression to his view in this highly anticipated and long-awaited book.
The article is a critical notice of Daniel Garber, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad. Garber presents a developmental reading of Leibniz's metaphysics that focuses on Leibniz's evolving analysis of body and force as the key to his account of substance. Garber claims that Leibniz shifts from an early theory of body to a theory of corporeal substance in his middle years, and only develops a theory of monads in his later writings—and that even then Leibniz looks not to abandon the (...) scheme of corporeal substances but to reconcile it with that of monads. The present article considers several challenges to Garber's interpretation, questioning, among other things, Garber's claims about development and Garber's account of Leibniz's primary arguments for the theory of monads. The article concludes that while crucial elements of the standard interpretation of Leibniz as an idealist can be defended against Garber's critique, the original traditional view that takes the theory of monads as the first and most fundamental principle of Leibniz's metaphysics is no longer sustainable. (shrink)
In A New Form of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics , Daniel Doviak develops a novel agent-based theory of right action that treats the rightness (or deontic status) of an action as a matter of the action’s net intrinsic virtue value (net-IVV)—that is, its balance of virtue over vice. This view is designed to accommodate three basic tenets of commonsense morality: (i) the maxim that “ought” implies “can,” (ii) the idea that a person can do the right thing for the wrong (...) reason, and (iii) the idea that a virtuous person can have “mixed motives.” In this paper, I argue that Doviak’s account makes an important contribution to agent-based virtue ethics, but it needs to be supplemented with a consequentialist account of the efficacy of well-motivated actions—that is, it should be transformed into a mixed (motives-consequences) account, while retaining its net-IVV calculus. This is because I believe that there are right-making properties external to an agent’s psychology which it is important to take into account, especially when an agent’s actions negatively affect other people. To incorporate this intuition, I add to Doviak’s net-IVV calculus a scale for outcomes . The result is a mixed view which accommodates tenets (ii) and (iii) above, but allows for (i) to fail in certain cases. I argue that, rather than being a defect, this allowance is an asset because our intuitions about ought-implies-can break down in cases where an agent is grossly misguided, and our theory should track these intuitions. (shrink)
Trucos del oficio de investigador es un libro coordinado por Daniel Guinea-Martin, y en el que colaboran doce investigadores. ¿Se pueden encontrar respuestas regladas sobre el oficio y la tarea de investigar? Todos nosotros sabemos —tal vez con hartazgo—, que es un debate permanente cuestionar si la virtud se puede enseñar. Recordamos por ejemplo que Sócrates repetía obsesivamente esta pregunta a cualquier ciudadano ateniense. ¿Qué es la virtud? ¿En qué se cifra la virtud del médico? ¿Cuál es la virtud (...) del poeta? ¿Estás seguro de que lo sabes? ¿En qué consiste realizar tu oficio con virtud? Sí, es cierto, rumiaba sin cesar lo mismo, y con esto basta para acordarse de la tarea de Sócrates; su virtud era tal que todos nos acordarnos de su pericia siglos después. (shrink)
We have never entirely agreed with Daniel Cohnitz on the status and rôle of thought experiments. Several years ago, enjoying a splendid lunch together in the city of Ghent, we cheerfully agreed to disagree on the matter; and now that Cohnitz has published his considered opinion of our views, we are glad that we have the opportunity to write a rejoinder and to explicate some of our disagreements. We choose not to deal here with all the issues that Cohnitz (...) raises, but rather to restrict ourselves to three specific points. (shrink)
Allhoff, Fritz, Patrick Lin, and Daniel Moore. 2010. What is nanotechnology and why does it matter? From science to ethics Content Type Journal Article Pages 209-211 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9289-z Authors Jennifer Kuzma, University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave So, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 2.
Democracy requires a rather large tolerance for confusion and a secret relish for dissent. I am delighted to respond to Daniel Dombrowski’s book Rawls and Religion. Dombrowski and I share a number of what he would call comprehensive doctrine, such as the ethical treatment of animals, the relational worldview of process thought, and the idiosyncratic love of pacifism. So, immediately I was drawn in and claimed Dombrowski as a kindred spirit. With so many commonalities, including an interest in political (...) philosophy and religion, I approached this book with a built-in desire to engage with and respect his thinking. To be honest, I wondered if I would be able to critically engage Dombrowski’s book given our .. (shrink)
Contemporary Philosophy in Focus will offer a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Each volume will consist of newly commissioned essays that will cover all the major contributions of a preeminent philosopher in a systematic and accessible manner. Author of such groundbreaking and influential books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Daniel C. Dennett has reached a huge general and professional audience that extends way beyond the confines of academic (...) philosophy. He has made significant contributions to the study of consciousness, the development of the child's mind, cognitive ethnology, explanation in the social sciences, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary theory. This volume is the only truly introductory collection that traces these connections, explores the implications of Dennett's work, and furnishes the non-specialist with a fully-rounded account of why Dennett is such an important voice on the philosophical scene. (shrink)
Daniel Garber’s Leibniz: Body, Substance and Monad . When I first entered graduate school Dan’s previous book Descartes’s Metaphysical Physics had recently appeared, and it made a huge and lasting impression on me. All of a sudden I saw Descartes’s project in a much different, more intriguing light. This Garber fella had managed to open up a new area of Descartes’s thought to me, to tease out with great care his philosophical arguments, and to situate both in a broader (...) historical context in which they seemed to me at least much more at home. In short, Dan’s Descartes’s book is one of the main reasons why I work on Leibniz. And now we have his rich, learned, and provocative book on Leibniz to wrestle with. I am certain that it will similarly inspire another generation of early modern scholars as well – hopefully they won’t all be moved to work on Kant! (shrink)
In Setting Limits, Daniel Callahan advances the provocative thesis that age be a limiting factor in decisions to allocate certain kinds of health services to the elderly. However, when one looks at available data, one discovers that there are many more elderly women than there are elderly men, and these older women are poorer, more apt to live alone, and less likely to have informal social and personal supports than their male counterparts. Older women, therefore, will make the heaviest (...) demand on health care resources. If age were to become a limiting factor, as Dr. Callahan suggests it should, the limits that will be set are limits that will affect women more drastically than they affect men. This review essay examines the implications of Callahan's thesis for elderly women. (shrink)
According to Daniel Flage, Berkeley thinks that all necessary truths are founded on acts of will that assign meanings to words. After briefly commenting on the air of paradox contained in the title of Flage’s paper, and on the historical accuracy of Berkeley’s understanding of the abstractionist tradition, I make some remarks on two points made by Flage. Firstly, I discuss Flage’s distinction between the ontological ground of a necessary truth and our knowledge of a necessary truth. Secondly, I (...) discuss Flage’s attempt to show that, according to Berkeley, the resemblance relation does not constitute a necessary connection. (shrink)
(2001). Corpuscular alchemy and the tradition of Aristotle's Meteorology, with special reference to Daniel Sennert. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science: Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 145-153. doi: 10.1080/02698590120059013.
A taped conversational interview with Daniel Dennett and Bill Uzgalis covers a wide range of topics arising from Dennett’s thoughts about computing and human beings. The background of Dennett’s work is explored as are his views about mind-brain identity theory, artificial intelligence, functionalism, human exceptionalism, animal culture, language, pain, freedom and determinism, and quality of life.
In this discussion note I clarify the motivation behind my original paper "Social Mechanisms, Causal Inference and the Policy Relevance of Social Science." I argue that one of the tasks of philosophers of social science is to draw attention to methodological problems that are often forgotten or overlooked. Then I show that my original paper does not make the mistake or fallacy that Daniel Steel suggests in his comment on it. Key Words: social mechanisms causal inference social (...) policy. (shrink)
In the beginning, policy debates between critics and advocates of genetically modified (GM) crops focused on scientifically determined risks. Ten years later, the argument between environmentalists or consumers and regulators or industry has changed into a discussion about the implementation of more democratic policymaking about GM farming. A notable omission from the political debate about food biotechnology in the United States, however, is the opinion of farmers who cultivate the GM crops. Policymakers should value practical knowledge based on experiences from (...) farmers, not only scientific industry reports or consumer product opinions. This project uses in-depth interviews to create an original mail survey that uses the practical discourse of farmers in order to explore the relationship of farmer attitudes and GM agriculture. Although national research indicates that larger yields are the most common reason for GM adoption, qualitative information suggest that the potential of GM crops to increase revenue per acre does not truly reflect all the concerns of modern farmers. For example, farmers who use GM seeds indicate that they constantly question the social impacts of their agricultural practices. As such, GM policies should be restructured as a political rationalization of both economic modeling and political theory because this research suggests that farmers’ business decisions are utility calucations that consider economics without ignoring environmental and political contexts. Farmers’ concerns about non-economic risks suggest that they need more information about GM crops and that governmental policies should respond to their interests, as they are more democratic or pluralistic than industry or consumer arguments. (shrink)
As Peter Niebyl has documented, one of the issues in which the Wittenberg-based physician and philosopher Daniel Sennert (1572–1637) departed from Paracelsus and his followers was the concept of disease. Paracelsus and some of his followers regarded diseases as real beings—so-called “disease-entities” (entia morbis) that can enter into the body of a living being and thereafter possess a clearly defined location in the affected organism. 1 For Sennert, such a view is a dangerous confusion between disease and its causes. (...) According to him, causes of disease can be present in an organism without actually causing a disease (Sennert 1629, p. 253). Moreover, he shares the traditional Christian doctrine .. (shrink)