The article sums up a number of points made by the author concerning the response to Darwinism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and repeats the claim that a proper understanding of the theory's impact must take account of the extent to which what are now regarded as the key aspects of Darwin's thinking were evaded by his immediate followers. Potential challenges to this position are described and responded to.
In her 1996 book, Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge, Deborah Mayo argues that use- (or heuristic) novelty is not a criterion we need to consider in assessing the evidential value of observations. Using the notion of a ''severe'' test, Mayo claims that such novelty is valuable only when it leads to severity, and never otherwise. To illustrate her view, she examines the historical case involving the famous 1919 British eclipse expeditions that generated observations supporting Einstein's theory of (...) gravitation over Newton's. My plan here is to defend use-novelty as a valuable methodological principle. I begin by exposing a weakness in Mayo's criticism of use-novelty. Remedying this weakness re-establishes the worth of use-novelty under specific conditions; in particular, heuristically novel data are to be preferred, as I will say, ''prima facie''. Armed with this revised version of use-novelty, I re-examine the history of the eclipse experiments and offer an interpretation of this episode that to an extent-and contrary to Mayo-restores the mildly heretical, Earman/Glymour evaluation of this episode offered in their (1980). I conclude by responding to criticism of my assessment of Mayo's work. (shrink)
Despite its virtues, lay decision-making in medicine shares with professional decision-making a disturbing common feature, reflected both in formal policies prohibiting high-risk research and in informal policies favoring treatment decisions made when a crisis or change of status occurs, often late in a downhill course. By discouraging patient decision-making but requiring dedication to the patient's interests by those who make decisions on the patient's behalf, such practices tend to preclude altruistic choice on the part of the patient. This eclipse (...) is to be regretted not just because widescale altruism has the capacity to provide important social goods and correct injustices in distribution, but for intrinsic reasons as well. It is argued that preserving the possibility of altruism obliges patients – and future patients – to make decisions about dying and other medical matters in advance, thus avoiding that displacement of decision-making onto lay and professional second parties which results in altruism's eclipse. Keywords: altruism, medical decision-making, patient's interest, self-interest, autonomy, death and dying decisions, refusal of treatment, prolongation of life, allowing to die, high-risk research CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This paper distinguishes four recognisably different geographical processes in principle causing species to die out. One of these processes, the one we dub “range eclipse”, holds that one range expands at the expense of another one, thereby usurping it. Channell and Lomolino (2000a, Journal of Biogeography 27: 169–179; 2000b, Nature 403: 84–87; see also Lomolino and Channell, 1995, Journal of Mammalogy 76: 335–347) measured the course of this process in terms of the proportion of the total range remaining in (...) its original centre, thereby essentially assuming a homogeneous distribution of animals over the range. However, part of their measure seems mistaken. By giving a general, analytical formulation of eclipsing ranges, we estimate the exact course of this process. Also, our formulation does not partition a range into two spatially equal parts, its core and its edge, but it assumes continuity. For applying this model to data on the time evolution of species, individual time series should be available for each of them. For practical purposes we give an alternative way of plotting and interpreting such time series. Our approach, being more sensitive than Channell and Lomolino’s, gives a less optimistic indication of range eclipses than theirs once these have started. (shrink)
La condición “líquida” de la ciudad contemporánea, en la que asistimos a un eclipse de la experiencia individual y colectiva y a una pérdida de los marcos de referencia social, no es más que la instancia última de un proceso histórico de desposesión hegemónica de las formas de existencia autónomas de la multitud, operado mediante una revolución permanente del espacio-tiempo social. En dicho proceso la ordenación del territorio y la planificación urbana han jugado un papel protagonista. El presente artículo (...) analiza los motivos y dimensiones de esta dinámica en una perspectiva teórica, identifica su evolución histórica a través de una serie de casos y esboza el escenario de conflicto que se abre ante una multitud postfordista que quiera reapropiarse de manera autónoma del espacio-tiempo social y el territorio. (shrink)
De acordo com Pettit e Skinner, o surgimento do utilitarismo teria contribuído decisivamente para o eclipse da tradição republicana moderna. Os utilitaristas teriam sido responsáveis por uma crítica radical à concepção de liberdade republicana, o que teria resultado no predomínio da concepção de liberdade hobbesiana. A agudeza e a força do ataque utilitarista à concepção de liberdade republicana estariam sintetizadas em um conjunto de objeções formuladas, ainda no final do século XVIII, pelo utilitarista teológico inglês William Paley. Um exame (...) do pensamento de Paley mostra que sua concepção de liberdade, ao contrário do que sugerem Skinner e Pettit, é bastante distinta da concepção hobbesiana. (shrink)
According to Pettit and Skinner the rising of utilitarianism would have decisively contributed to the eclipse of the modern republican tradition. The Utilitarians would have been responsible for a radical critique of the concept of republican liberty, which would have resulted in the predominance of the Hobbesian conception of freedom. The sharpness and strength of the utilitarian attack to the conception of republican liberty would have be summarized in a set of objections formulated, in the late eighteenth century, by (...) the English theological utilitarian William Paley. An examination of Paley's thought shows that his conception of liberty, contrary to what suggest Skinner and Pettit, is quite distinct from the Hobbesian concept. (shrink)
Many people still believe in life after death, but modern institutions operate as though this were the only world - eternity is now eclipsed from view in society and even in the church. This book carefully observes the eclipse - what caused it, how full is it, what are its consequences, will it last? How significant is recent interest in near-death experiences and reincarnation?
Nietzsche and Heidegger both challenge the metaphysical conception of the cosmos based on the principles of reason. They argue that the unspeakable, material and non-rational should be imbued with a renewed significance. In so doing, they make it possible to grant the feminine, which had been traditionally associated with these realms, philosophical importance. However, as Irigaray points out, woman is not an interlocutor in their philosophical dialogues but rather a silent foil against whom masculine self-creation takes place. Furthermore, if woman (...) is associated too closely with the mysterious powers of the cosmos, she is denied a voice and the overestimation of her powers leads to her dehumanization. She is thus stripped of the agency that makes her a human subject. Key Words: critique of metaphysics feminism Heidegger Irigaray Nietzsche. (shrink)
During the 1920s and 1930s, many biologists questioned the viability of Darwin’s theory as a mechanism of evolutionary change. In the early 1940s, and only after a number of alternatives were suggested, Darwinists succeeded to establish natural selection and gene mutation as the main evolutionary mechanisms. While that move, today known as the neo-Darwinian synthesis, is taken as signalling a triumph of evolutionary theory, certain critical problems in evolution—in particular the evolution of animal function—could not be addressed with this approach. (...) Here I demonstrate this through reconstruction of the evolutionary theory of Joseph Needham (1900–1995), who pioneered the biochemical study of evolution and development. In order to address such problems, Needham employed Herbert Spencer’s principles of emergence and Ernst Haeckel’s theory of recapitulation. While Needham did not reject Darwinian theory, Spencerian and Haeckelian frameworks happened to better fit his findings and their evolutionary relevance. He believed selectionist and genetic approaches to be important but far from sufficient for explaining how evolutionary transformations occur. (shrink)
Questions such as ‘What if such small companies as Hewletts and the Varians had not been established in Santa Clara County in California?’ or ‘What if Q-type keyboards had not been invented?’ are well known among economists. The questions point at a phenomenon called path dependence: ‘small events’, the argument goes, may cause the evolution of institutions to lock in to specific paths that may produce undesirable consequences. How about applying such skeptical views in economics to human ideas and thought (...) in general? That is to say, what if we ask such questions as: what if Greek philosophy had not been interested in ‘essences’ and ‘foundations’? What if Kant had not invented the ‘thing-in-itself?’ Nature and society, according to such Platonic philosophers, can be known only if it can be shown that events are governed, regulated and characterised by ‘forms’, which are immutable, complete, and perfect in their nature. But is there an ‘essence’ that makes a man 100 per cent male? Was there really a ‘foundation’ in history that caused a proletarian revolution in Russia? What if we had pushed aside the rhetoric of utopian ideality? What if we had a worldview different than the one depicted by Thomas More in his Utopia? The essay points at the possibility of such skepticism in human ideas and thought. (shrink)