This sparkling collection of essays both defines and reassesses the concept of Utility. Using it as a touchstone for the consideration of the place of ethics in the recent history of design, the collection offers a way into the issues which concern design decision-makers today. It offers previously unpublished research into diverse topics such as the investigation into the hitherto undiscovered designs for a utility vehicle, and it reveals a fresh perspective on the philosophy behind the concept (...) of Utility as a design theory. (shrink)
This article is the first in a two-part review of policy design for human embryo research in Canada. In this article we explain how this area of research is circumscribed by law promulgated by the federal Parliament (the Assisted Human Reproduction Act ) and by guidelines issued by the Tri-Agencies (the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans and Updated Guidelines for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research ). In so doing, we provide the first comprehensive account of (...) the rules currently governing human embryo research in Canada. In this article we also provide a chronological description of relevant policy initiatives and outcomes related to these policy instruments over the past 20 years, with particular attention to public involvement in policy design. This sets the stage for the second article (scheduled to appear in vol. 6 issue 3) in which we critically analyse the history of policy design for human embryo research in Canada, applying a typology of modes of public consultation developed by Eric Montpetit. Our goal is to carefully explain the various episodes of policy development and their corresponding outcomes, in order to more effectively address emerging questions about the legitimacy of future policy initiatives for human embryo research in Canada. (shrink)
This article reports the results of an experiment involving 108 college students with varying backgrounds in biology. Subjects answered questions about the evolutionary history of sets of hominid and equine taxa. Each set of taxa was presented in one of three diagrammatic formats: a noncladogenic diagram found in a contemporary biology textbook or a cladogram in either the ladder or tree format. As predicted, the textbook diagrams, which contained linear components, were more likely than the cladogram formats to yield (...) explanations of speciation as an anagenic process, a common misconception among students. In contrast, the branching cladogram formats yielded more appropriate explanations concerning levels of ancestry than did the textbook diagrams. Although students with stronger backgrounds in biology did better than those with weaker biology backgrounds, they generally showed the same effects of diagrammatic format. Implications of these results for evolution education and for diagram design more generally are discussed. (shrink)
Explicit, quantitative procedures for identifying biodiversity priority areas are replacing the often ad hoc procedures used in the past to design networks of reserves to conserve biodiversity. This change facilitates more informed choices by policy makers, and thereby makes possible greater satisfaction of conservation goals with increased efficiency. A key feature of these procedures is the use of the principle of complementarity, which ensures that areas chosen for inclusion in a reserve network complement those already selected. This paper sketches (...) the historical development of the principle of complementarity and its applications in practical policy decisions. In the first section a brief account is given of the circumstances out of which concerns for more explicit systematic methods for the assessment of the conservation value of different areas arose. The second section details the emergence of the principle of complementarity in four independent contexts. The third section consists of case studies of the use of the principle of complementarity to make practical policy decisions in Australasia, Africa, and America. In the last section, an assessment is made of the extent to which the principle of complementarity transformed the practice of conservation biology by introducing new standards of rigor and explicitness. (shrink)
Intelligent Design proponents consistently deny that science is rightfully governed by the norm of methodological naturalism—that independent of one’s actual metaphysical commitments regarding the natural/supernatural, a scientist, qua scientist, must behave as if the world is constituted by the natural, material world. This essay works to develop more fully a pragmatic justification for methodological naturalism, one that focuses on a number of key elements found in 17th and 18th century embryology.
Research seeking a scientific foundation for the theory of art appreciation has raised controversies at the intersection of the social and cognitive sciences. Though equally relevant to a scientific inquiry into art appreciation, psychological and historical approaches to art developed independently and lack a common core of theoretical principles. Historicists argue that psychological and brain sciences ignore the fact that artworks are artifacts produced and appreciated in the context of unique historical situations and artistic intentions. After revealing flaws in the (...) psychological approach, we introduce a psycho-historical framework for the science of art appreciation. This framework demonstrates that a science of art appreciation must investigate how appreciators process causal and historical information to classify and explain their psychological responses to art. Expanding on research about the cognition of artifacts, we identify three modes of appreciation: basic exposure to an artwork, the artistic design stance, and artistic understanding. The artistic design stance, a requisite for artistic understanding, is an attitude whereby appreciators develop their sensitivity to art-historical contexts by means of inquiries into the making, authorship, and functions of artworks. We defend and illustrate the psycho-historical framework with an analysis of existing studies on art appreciation in empirical aesthetics. Finally, we argue that the fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure can be amended to meet the requirements of the framework. We conclude that scientists can tackle fundamental questions about the nature and appreciation of art within the psycho-historical framework. (shrink)
Greg Bamford (2003). Research, Knowledge and Design. In Clare Newton, Sandra Kaj-O'Grady & Simon Wollan (eds.), Design + Research: Project Based Research in Architecture. Second International Conference of the Association of Australasian Schools of Architecture, Melbourne 28 – 30 September, 2003. Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia.score: 30.0
The discussion about relations between research and design has a number of strands, and presumably motivations. Putting aside the question whether or not design or “creative endeavour” should be counted as research, for reasons to do with institutional recognition or reward, the question remains how, if at all, is design research? This question is unlikely to have attracted much interest but for matters external to Architecture within the modern university. But Architecture as a discipline now needs to (...) understand research much better than in the past when ‘research’ was whatever went on in building science, history or people/environment studies. In this paper, I begin with some common assumptions about design, considered in relation to research, and suggest how the former can constitute or be a mode of the latter. Central to this consideration is an understanding of research as the production of publicly available knowledge. (shrink)
The post-Civil War American natural history craze spawned a new institution -- the natural history dealer -- that has failed to receive the historical attention it deserves. The individuals who created these enterprises simultaneously helped to promote and hoped to profit from the burgeoning interest in both scientific and popular specimen collecting. At a time when other employment and educational prospects in natural history were severely limited, hundreds of dealers across the nation provided encouragement, specimens, publication outlets, (...) training opportunities, and jobs for naturalists of all motivations and levels of expertise. This paper explores the crucial role that specimen dealers played in the larger natural history community. After briefly examining the development of local taxidermy shops in the mid-nineteenth century, it then traces the history of four large natural history dealerships established in the United States during the latter half of the century: Ward's Natural History Establishment, Frank Blake Webster's Naturalists' Supply Depot, Southwick & Jencks' Natural History Store, and Frank H. Lattin & Co. By the early twentieth century, changing tastes in interior design, the growth of the Audubon movement, and the dramatic expansion of alternate training and job opportunities for naturalists led many specimen dealers either to shift their emphasis or to shut their doors. (shrink)
C. J. Temminck, director of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie (now the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden) and a renowned ornithologist, gained his contemporary's respect thanks to the description of many new species and to his detailed monographs on birds. He also published a small number of works on biogeography describing the fauna of the Dutch colonies in South East Asia and Japan. These works are remarkable for two reasons. First, in them Temminck accurately described the species (...) composition of poorly explored regions, like the Sunda Islands and Japan. Secondly, he formulated a new law on the geographical distribution of animals around the globe, based on the parallels he observed between the fauna from Europe, Asia and Japan. The underlying ideas that lead Temminck to this law were the typeconcept, which he understood as the ideal morphological plan behind animal form, the unchanging character of the species and a strong belief in nature's divine design. During the first half of the nineteenth century, the type-and the species-concept, the origin and fixity of the species and the meaning of variations aroused heated discussions. When put in the context of his time, Temminck emerges as a scientist whose work was driven by the dominating scientific philosophy of the time in which he lived, under the influence of late eighteenth century natural history and of French empiricists, in particular, the great zoologist and paleontologist Georges Cuvier. Temminck's detailed descriptions of the Dutch East Indian fauna helped the great naturalists after him to understand nature's patterns and to propose comprehensive theories that explain its diversity. (shrink)
In recent controversies about Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC), the principle of methodological naturalism (MN) has played an important role. In this paper, an often neglected distinction is made between two different conceptions of MN, each with its respective rationale and with a different view on the proper role of MN in science. According to one popular conception, MN is a self-imposed or intrinsic limitation of science, which means that science is simply not equipped to deal with claims of the (...) supernatural (Intrinsic MN or IMN). Alternatively, we will defend MN as a provisory and empirically grounded attitude of scientists, which is justified in virtue of the consistent success of naturalistic explanations and the lack of success of supernatural explanations in the history of science (Provisory MN or PMN). Science does have a bearing on supernatural hypotheses, and its verdict is uniformly negative. We will discuss five arguments that have been proposed in support of IMN: the argument from the definition of science, the argument from lawful regularity, the science stopper argument, the argument from procedural necessity, and the testability argument. We conclude that IMN, because of its philosophical flaws, proves to be an ill-advised strategy to counter the claims of IDC. Evolutionary scientists are on firmer ground if they discard supernatural explanations on purely evidential grounds, instead of ruling them out by philosophical fiat. (shrink)
Four arguments are examined in order to assess the state of the Intelligent Design debate. First, critics continually cite the fact that ID proponents have religious motivations. When used as criticism of ID arguments, this is an obvious ad hominem. Nonetheless, philosophers and scientists alike continue to wield such arguments for their rhetorical value. Second, in his expert testimony in the Dover trial, philosopher Robert Pennock used repudiated claims in order to brand ID as a kind of pseudoscience. His (...) arguments hinge on the nature of methodological naturalism as a metatheoretic shaping principle. We examine the use of such principles in science and the history of science. Special attention is given to the demarcation problem. Third, the scientific merits of ID are examined. Critics rightly demand more than promissory notes for ID to move beyond the fringe. Fourth, although methodological naturalism gets a lot of attention, there is another shaping principle to contend with, namely, conservatism. Science, like most disciplines, tends to change in an incremental rather than revolutionary manner. When ID is compared to other non- or quasi-Darwinian proposals, it appears to be a more radical solution than is needed in the face of the anomalies. (shrink)
Looking for an adequate explication of the concept of a biological function, several authors have proposed to link function to design. Unfortunately, known explications of biological design in turn refer to functions. The concept of general design I will introduce here breaks up this circle. I specify design with respect to its ontogenetic role. This allows function to be based on design without making reference to the history of the design, or to the (...) phylogeny of an organism, while retaining the normative aspect of function ascriptions. The concept is applicable to the function and design of technical artifacts as well. Several problems well known with other definitions can be overcome by this approach. (shrink)
Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic marks the initial appearance of the multi-volume Handbook of the History of Logic. Additional volumes will be published when ready, rather than in strict chronological order. Soon to appear are The Rise of Modern Logic: From Leibniz to Frege. Also in preparation are Logic From Russell to Gödel, The Emergence of Classical Logic, Logic and the Modalities in the Twentieth Century, and The Many-Valued and Non-Monotonic Turn in Logic. Further volumes will follow, including Mediaeval (...) and Renaissance Logic and Logic: A History of its Central. In designing the Handbook of the History of Logic, the Editors have taken the view that the history of logic holds more than an antiquarian interest, and that a knowledge of logic's rich and sophisticated development is, in various respects, relevant to the research programmes of the present day. Ancient logic is no exception. The present volume attests to the distant origins of some of modern logic's most important features, such as can be found in the claim by the authors of the chapter on Aristotle's early logic that, from its infancy, the theory of the syllogism is an example of an intuitionistic, non-monotonic, relevantly paraconsistent logic. Similarly, in addition to its comparative earliness, what is striking about the best of the Megarian and Stoic traditions is their sophistication and originality. Logic is an indispensably important pivot of the Western intellectual tradition. But, as the chapters on Indian and Arabic logic make clear, logic's parentage extends more widely than any direct line from the Greek city states. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that for centuries logic has been an unfetteredly international enterprise, whose research programmes reach to every corner of the learned world. Like its companion volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic is the result of a design that gives to its distinguished authors as much space as would be needed to produce highly authoritative chapters, rich in detail and interpretative reach. The aim of the Editors is to have placed before the relevant intellectual communities a research tool of indispensable value. Together with the other volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, will be essential reading for everyone with a curiosity about logic's long development, especially researchers, graduate and senior undergraduate students in logic in all its forms, argumentation theory, AI and computer science, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, linguistics, forensics, philosophy and the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
The so-called evolution wars (Futuyma 1995; Pigliucci 2002) between the scientific understanding of the history of life on earth and various religiously inspired forms of cre- ationism are more than ever at the forefront of the broader ‘‘science wars,’’ themselves a part of the even more encom- passing ‘‘cultural wars.’’ With all these conflicts going on, and at a time when a potentially historical case on the teach- ing of Intelligent Design (ID) in public schools is being de- (...) bated in Pennsylvania, it may be useful to consider a number of books that have come out recently to help scientists and the public at large to understand what all the fuss is about. (shrink)
A variety of different arguments have been offered for teaching ‘‘both sides’’ of the evolution/ID debate in public schools. This article reviews five of the most common types of arguments advanced by proponents of Intelligent Design and demonstrates how and why they are founded on confusion and misunderstanding. It argues on behalf of teaching evolution, and relegating discussion of ID to philosophy or history courses.
History and philosophy complement and overlap each other in subject matter, but the two disciplines exhibit conflict over methodology. Since Hempel's challenge to historians that they should adopt the covering law model of explanation, the methodological conflict has revolved around the respective roles of the general and the particular in each discipline. In recent years, the revival of narrativism in history, coupled with the trend in philosophy of science to rely upon case studies, joins the methodological conflict anew. (...) So long as contemporary philosophy of science relies upon history's methodology to construct its case studies, it subjects itself to a paradoxical situation: the better the history, the worse the philosophy. An example of the methodological conflict is presented in the case of Antoine Lavoisier. This example also serves our ultimateconclusion, which is that distinctively philosophical methods of case-study design promise enhanced prescriptive powers for philosophy of science. (shrink)
This article's goal is to outline one approach to providing a principled answer to the question of what is the proper relationship between philosophy and the study of philosophy's history, a question arising, for example, in the design of a curriculum for graduate students. This approach requires empirical investigation of philosophizing past and present, and thus takes philosophy as an object of study in something like the way that contemporary (naturalistic) philosophy of science takes science as an object (...) of study. This approach also requires articulating a sense in which philosophy might make, or might have made, progress. (shrink)
Should Probabilistic Design Replace Safety Factors? Content Type Journal Article Pages 151-168 DOI 10.1007/s13347-010-0003-6 Authors Neelke Doorn, Department of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Sven Ove Hansson, Department of Philosophy and the History of Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 78 B, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 2.
This paper starts from the presupposition that moral codes often do not suffice to make agents understand their moral responsibility. We will illustrate this statement with a concrete example of engineers who design a truckâs trailer and who do not think traffic safety is part of their responsibility. This opinion clashes with a common supposition that designers in fact should do all that is in their power to ensure safety in traffic. In our opinion this shows the need for (...) a moral philosophy that helps engineers to interpret their responsibility and think more critically about it. For this purpose we will explore the moral philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre, which is particularly interesting because he locates the beginning of moral thinking in the daily practice of a profession. This is consistent with the history of moral codes, for codes are also the product of moral reflection by professionals. We will use MacIntyreâs philosophy to (1) explain what is wrong with the designersâ understanding of their responsibility and (2) show a possible way to bring their reflection to a more self-critical level. We will also inspect MacIntyreâs proposal critically. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- List of Figures and Tables -- Acknowledgements -- PART I: FRAMING WEB DESIGN -- A Book About Web Design -- A Framework for Thinking About Web Design -- A Brief History of Web Design -- PART II: ETHICS AND VALUES IN WEB DESIGN -- Web Standards and the Self-Regulation of Web Designers -- The Fragile Ethics of Web Accessibility -- Going the Extra Mile? Web Accessibility for People with Intellectual (...) Disabilities -- Does User Activity Threaten the Cultural Industries? Web Designers' Ethical Responses -- Narrow Fame: Micro-Celebrities Making Good of Conditions Not of Their Own Making -- The (Ethical) Future(s) of Web Design -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index. (shrink)
This article examines the relationship between reflecting and making in the context of the new institutional connection between research and art/design. The article argues that while this new dispensation offers exciting possibilities for fruitful cross- and interdisciplinary development, caution is necessary to ensure that the artistic domain retains a level of autonomy within the broader university. For elucidation, the article initially looks to the early history of education in our fields and to Pierre Bourdieu's account of the "early (...) moments of the autonomization of the artistic field," in his critique of the "scholastic disposition." Bourdieu recognises "a repression of the material determinations of symbolic practices" within those early developments: in effect, a repression of those embodied, situated, and practical aspects of art and design production. He regards such repression as a trait of the broader academy, both then and in subsequent and recent periods. The article argues that this attitude still provides the impetus for what James Elkins refers to as "the incommensurability of studio art production and university life." The article further argues that a parity of esteem between reflecting and making is vital not only for the sake of the stability of the fields of art and design but for the ongoing development of the broader university. In this argument the article looks to the work of John Dewey, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. (shrink)
The argument from fine tuning is supposed to establish the existence of God from the fact that the evolution of carbon-based life requires the laws of physics and the boundary conditions of the universe to be more or less as they are. We demonstrate that this argument fails. In particular, we focus on problems associated with the role probabilities play in the argument. We show that, even granting the fine tuning of the universe, it does not follow that the universe (...) is improbable, thus no explanation of the fine tuning, theistic or otherwise, is required. (shrink)
The eminent historian and philosopher of biology, Michael Ruse, has written several books that explore the relationship of evolutionary theory to its larger scientific and cultural setting. Among the questions he has investigated are: Is evolution progressive? What is its epistemological status? Most recently, in "Darwin and Design: Does Evolution have a Purpose?," Ruse has provided a history of the concept of teleology in biological thinking, especially in evolutionary theorizing. In his book, he moves quickly from Plato and (...) Aristotle to Kant and such British thinkers as Paley and Whewell. His main focus, though, is on Darwin's theory and its subsequent fate. Ruse rests his history on some shaky historical and philosophic assumptions, particularly the unexamined notion that evolutionary theory is an abstract entity that is unproblematically realized in different historical periods. He also assumes that Darwin conceived nature as if it were a Manchester spinning loom -- a clanking, dispassionate machine. A more subtle analysis, which Ruse eschews, might discover that Darwin's conception of nature owed a strong debt to German Romanticism and that he contrived to infuse nature with moral and aesthetic values, not to suck them from nature. Ruse proves he is a thinker to contend with, and this essay is quite contentious. (shrink)
If we arrange in chronological order the various statements Darwin made about God, creation, design, plan, law, and so forth, that I have discussed, there emerges a picture of a consistent development in Darwin's religious views from the orthodoxy of his youth to the agnosticism of his later years. Numerous sources attest that at the beginning of the Beagle voyage Darwin was more or less orthodox in religion and science alike.78 After he became a transmutationist early in 1837, he (...) concluded that the doctrine of secondary causes must be extented even to the history of life and that after the first forms of life were created, there was no further need for divine intervention, except where man was concerned. Man's body, he thought, was produced by the process of transmutation, but he believed for a time that man's soul was “superadded.” By mid-1838 he had become convinced that nothing, after the creation of life, was due to miracles. God works only through laws, which are capable of producing “every effect of evey kind which surrounds us.” The existence of man, the idea of God in man's mind, and the harmony of the whole system were in his eyes prearranged goals of deterministic laws imposed by God. Such a conception excludes the miracles on which Christianity depends; but it is not possible to say whether Darwin's loss of Christian faith, which occurred at about this same time, preceded and made possible his “materialism” or was rather caused or hastened by it.79 In the weeks after his reading of Malthus, Darwin's belief in a plan of creation gave way to the belief that God created matter and life and designed their laws, leaving the details, however, to the workings of chance. This remained his view until the 1860s.There is no exact parallel between this development of Darwin's religious views and the development of his ideas on evolution, but there is a general correspondence. When he believed in a plan of creation, Darwin's theory of transmutation did not depend on struggle or the selection of chance variations. Adaptation was, for him, an automatic response to environmental chance. From late 1838 to 1859 he believed in designed laws and chance, and this belief, too, has its parallel in his theory. The element of chance in natural selection meant that there could be no detailed plan,in which even man's idea of God would be a necessary outcome of nature's laws (man himself is not a necessary outcome of the working of natural selection).80 But Darwin still believed nature was programmed to achieve certain general ends. We might say that he believed in a general, though not a special, teleology. Natural selection was for him a law to maximize utility, creating useful organs, retaining vestiges for future use. For many years it was a law designed to produce organisms perfectly adapted to their environments. Only later did Darwin come to doubt even this sort of design in nature.81 One way of describing the development of Darwin's evolutionary thought is to say that it shows a gradual abandoning of his “theistic” assumptions, so that by the late 1860s his theory was informed to a slighter extent by notions of purpose and design than it was in 1838 or 1844 or 1859. (shrink)
Similar to its old history, Japan has a rich traditional and ethical Architecture. Based on these tenets and ethics, different concepts and spaces are formed through the time, as now Japan's ethical and traditional design ideas has its standard principles. Linking the present and the past has always been a momentous criterion in the countries with an old rich Architecture. This fact is indeed important in Japan due to the blend of ethics and religions with peoples` life. Through (...) this idea, three Japanese Architects, Kenzo Tange, Fumihiko Maki and Tadao Ando-who are the only Japanese pritzker prize winners-have well, noticed the need for linking the country's traditional and ethical Architecture criteria with the contemporary Architecture. So, analyzing such projects of these architects prepares a good basis to find out the quality of how traditional and ethical design ideas crystallize in the works of contemporary Japanese architects. The research method for this article is a comparative analysis between the architects` particular projects and Japan's ethical and traditional design ideas, formed through the history of architecture in this country. The contents of this article rely heavily on three bases: 1) study of the historical documents concerning the ethical and traditional design concepts in Japan. 2) The consultancy of leading experts on Asian traditional constructions and ethical architecture specialists from Azad Universities in Tehran. 3) Comparative analysis between the ethical concepts applied in different contemporary works. The results show that the contemporary architects have had good bases for presenting the traditional design concepts as standard principles are all formed in the architecture of Japan today. Meanwhile, it seems that Maki and Ando are more likely to have a conceptual look at Japan's traditions while Tange has a more formal viewpoint. Chronological analysis of the architects` projects shows that despite, all the three architects were impressed by the works of le Corbusier, they were successful to keep contacts with Japan's traditional design concepts. (shrink)
Since intelligent design (ID) advocates claimed the ubiquitous mouse trap as an example of systems that cannot have evolved, mouse trap history is doubly relevant to studying material culture. On the one hand, debunking ID claims about mouse traps and, by implication, also about other irreducibly complex systems has a high educational value. On the other hand, a case study of mouse trap history may contribute insights to the academic discussion about material culture evolution. Michael Behe argued (...) that mouse traps cannot trap mice with any part missing; therefore, they cannot have a precursor with one part less, therefore, cannot have a continuous history, and therefore, cannot have evolved. The patented and seminal precursor of current flat snap traps, however, had one part less, because spring and striker were formed of one wire. Secondly, historical records that reach back into the Bronze Age suggest that its history continued for a very long time. Thirdly, all prerequisites for evolution (variation, transmission, and selection) abound in mouse trap populations. Hence, Behe’s triple-jump conclusion about mouse traps is false each step. There is no, in principle, impossibility for mouse traps to evolve. An evolutionary account of mouse trap history also has academic merits beyond its educational value. Three important conclusions can be drawn: (1) reticulate phylogenies of artifact systems may be resolvable as overlapping, but branching, phylogenies of parts; (2) homologous ideas may be realized by analogous material, that is, phylogenies of information do not necessarily coincide with those of material parts; (3) recombination of parts between different artifact systems increases the cumulative nature of cultural evolution. (shrink)
I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral development (...) is consistent, but also that the assumption of the possibility of moral progress is indispensible for Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
Intelligent design—the idea that a designing intelligence plays a substantive and empirically significant role in the natural world—no longer sits easily in our intellectual environment. Science rejects it for invoking an unnecessary teleology. Philosophy rejects it for committing an argument from ignorance. And theology rejects it for, as Edward Oakes contends, making the task of theodicy impossible.1 I want in this lecture to address all these concerns but especially the last. For many thinkers, particularly religious believers, intelligent design (...) exacerbates the problem of natural evil—intelligent design makes natural evil not an accident of natural history or a price exacted by evolution or a necessary consequence of creation’s freedom but an outcome fully intended by a sadistic designer. Or, as Robert Russell put it to me on the PBS program Uncommon Knowledge, “The notion of intelligent design is incoherent because it’s either a natural cause, in which case you don’t go anywhere, or it’s a divine cause, in which case you don’t have the biblical God.”2 The biblical God, presumably, would not design the rabies virus, the bubonic plague bacterium, or the mosquito. (shrink)
Philosophers expend considerable effort on the analysis of concepts, but the value of such work is not widely appreciated. This paper principally analyses some arguments, beliefs, and presuppositions about the nature of design and the relations between design and science common in the literature to illustrate this point, and to contribute to the foundations of design theory.
The aim of this paper is to argue that Kant's philosophy of biology has crucial implications for our understanding of his philosophy of history, and that overlooking these implications leads to a fundamental misconstruction of his views. More precisely, I will show that Kant's philosophy of history is modelled on his philosophy of biology due to the fact that the development of the human species shares a number of peculiar features with the functioning of organisms, these features entailing (...) important methodological characteristics. From this main claim will follow three further claims: (1) Kant's teleological view of history is not simply based on ethical considerations that have to do with the moral progress of the human species; rather, it stems from his conception of teleology as developed in his philosophy of biology. (2) Kant's philosophy of history allows for the practice of scientific history. In this sense, Kant's view of history is not merely teleological but involves a mechanical (and thus empirical) element. (3) Just as teleology is useful for furthering mechanical accounts of biological phenomena, teleological history is useful for scientific history. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments (...) for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
While "scientism" is typically regarded as a position about the exclusive epistemic authority of science held by a certain class of "cultured despisers" of "religion", we show that only on the assumption of this sort of view do purportedly "scientific" claims made by proponents of "intelligent design" appear to lend epistemic or apologetic support to claims affirmed about God and God's action in "creation" by Christians in confessing their "faith". On the other hand, the hermeneutical strategy that better describes (...) the practice and method of Christian theologians, from the inception of theological reflection in the Christian tradition, acknowledges the epistemic authority of the best available tests for truth in areas of human inquiry such as science and history. But this strategy does not assume that such tests, whose authority must be regarded as provisional, provides authority for the warrant of affirming claims constituting the confessed "faith". By attributing theological import to claims advanced by appeal to the best available tests for truth in the practice of science, supporters of ID not only confuse the epistemic authority of these tests with the normative authority of a faith community's confessional identity, but impute to scientific tests for truth a sort of authority that even goes beyond the "methodological naturalism" against which they counterpose their claims. (shrink)
I show the sense in which the concept of history as a human science affects our theory of the natural sciences and, therefore, our theory of the unity of the physical and human sciences. The argument proceeds by way of reviewing the effect of the Darwinian contribution regarding teleologism and of post-Darwinian paleonanthropology on the transformation of the primate members of Homo sapiens into societies of historied selves. The strategy provides a novel way of recovering the unity of the (...) sciences: by construing the physical sciences themselves as human sciences - and, therefore, as themselves historied. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.
To date, no satisfactory account of the connection between natural-scientific and historical explanation has been given, and philosophers seem to have largely given up on the problem. This paper is an attempt to resolve this old issue and to sort out and clarify some areas of historical explanation by developing and applying a method that will be called “pragmatic explication” involving the construction of definitions that are justified on pragmatic grounds. Explanations in general can be divided into “dynamic” and “static” (...) explanations, which are those that essentially require relations across time and those that do not, respectively. The problem of assimilating historical explanations concerns dynamic explanation, so a general analysis of dynamic explanation that captures both the structure of natural-scientific and historical explanation is offered. This is done in three stages: In the first stage, pragmatic explication is introduced and compared to other philosophical methods of explication. In the second stage pragmatic explication is used to tie together a series of definitions that are introduced in order to establish an account of explanation. This involves an investigation of the conditions that play the role in historiography that laws and statistical regularities play in the natural sciences. The essay argues that in the natural sciences, as well as in history, the model of explanation presented represents the aims and overarching structure of actual causal explanations offered in those disciplines. In the third stage the system arrived at in the preceding stage is filled in with conditions available to and relevant for historical inquiry. Further, the nature and treatment of causes in history and everyday life are explored and related to the system being proposed. This in turn makes room for a view connecting aspects of historical explanation and what we generally take to be causal relations. (shrink)
Although first published in 1969, the methodological views advanced in Quentin Skinner's “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” remain relevant today. In his article Skinner suggests that it would be inappropriate to even attempt to write the history of any idea or concept. In support of this view, Skinner advances two arguments, one derived from the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein and the other from that of J. L. Austin. In this paper I focus on the (...) first of these arguments. I claim that the conclusion which Skinner draws from this particular argument does not necessarily follow and that an alternative assessment of the methodological significance of Wittgenstein's philosophy for historians of ideas is possible. On this alternative view, far from ruling out conceptual history, an appeal to the view of meaning set out in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations leads to a quite different conclusion, namely that the writing of such a history is arguably a necessary precondition for the elucidation of the meaning of a number of the core concepts in the canon of the history of political thought. Skinner's views have changed somewhat since 1969. Indeed, from the mid 1970s onwards he came to relax the strict opposition to the idea of conceptual history to which he was then committed. The paper concludes by noting that this evolution in Skinner's thinking has made him much more sympathetic than anybody reading “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” would have imagined to the research project of the Begriffgeschichte School of conceptual history. (shrink)
One of the most influential and significant developments in the philosophy of language over the last thirty years has been the rise of externalist conceptions of content. This essay aims to explore the implications of a form of externalism, largely derived from the work of Donald Davidson, for thinking about history, and in so doing to suggest one way in which contemporary philosophy of language may engage with contemporary philosophy of history. Much of the discussion focuses on the (...) elaboration of the externalism that is at issue, along with the holistic approach to content with which it is connected. It will be argued that such holistic externalism is itself thoroughly in keeping with the very character of historical inquiry itself, and can be seen to provide an underpinning to certain contemporary developments in historical thinking. (shrink)
The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870-1945 comprises over sixty specially commissioned essays by experts on the philosophy of this period, and is designed to be accessible to non-specialists. The first part of the book traces the history of philosophy from its remarkable flowering in the 1870s through to the early years of the twentieth century. After a brief discussion of the impact of the First World War, the second part of the book describes further developments in philosophy in (...) the first half of the twentieth century. The essays concentrate on developments across the range of philosophical topics, from logic and metaphysics to political philosophy and philosophy of religion. This volume will be of critical importance not only to teachers and students of philosophy but also to scholars in neighbouring disciplines such as the history of science, the history of ideas, theology and the social sciences. (shrink)
Philosophers' reflections on history have been dominated for decades by two themes: representation and memory. On both of these accounts, historical inquiry is divided by a certain gap from what it seeks to find or wants to know, and its activity is seen by philosophers as that of bridging this gap. Against this background, the concept of experience, in spite of its apparent rootedness in the present, can be revived as a means of thinking about our connection to the (...) past. After examining variants on the concept of experience, with special attention to its temporality, I argue in this essay that experience can be said to furnish a connection to the past that underlies both memory and representation. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophical psychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained in (...) contemporary philosophy of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual (as opposed to contextual) standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as (heuristic) postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a non-textual standard for historical work in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
Abstract Contrary to most modern interpretations, in the early modern period, history was an indispensable resource for many philosophers. The different uses of history by Bacon, Gassendi, Locke, and Hume are explored to establish the role of history as a resource in early-modern philosophy.
In this paper I argue that, in at least two cases - his discussions of the temporal precedence o f polytheism over monotheism and of the origins of civil society - we see Hume consigning to historical development certain aspects of reason which, as a comparison with Locke will show, have sometimes been held to be uniform. In the first of these cases Hume has recourse to claims about the general historical development of human thought. In the second case, the (...) origin of the civil institution of justice and government is not linked directly to external circumstances and the principles of human nature, as it is in contractarian theories, but makes a detour through the historical acquisition of certain concepts. Because Hume's position does not conform in any simple sense to Dugald Stewart's 'incontrovertible logical maxim' that the capacities of the human mind have been the same in all ages, Stewart's account of the method of conjectural history is, in any simple sense, inadequate as a description of Hume's practice. (shrink)