Commentaries on our target article raise further questions about the validity of an undifferentiated central executive that supplies resources to all verbal tasks. Working memory tasks are more likely to measure divided attention capacities and the efficiency of performing tasks within specific domains than a shared resource pool. In our response to the commentaries, we review and further expand upon empirical findings that relate performance on working memory tasks to sentence processing, concluding that our view that the two are not (...) strongly related remains viable in light of the material presented in the commentaries. We suggest that a productive research enterprise would be to develop the concept of working memory as a pool of resources in relation to specific tasks. (shrink)
Biologists studying complex causal systems typically identify some factors as causes and treat other factors as background conditions. For example, when geneticists explain biological phenomena, they often foreground genes and relegate the cellular milieu to the background. But factors in the milieu are as causally necessary as genes for the production of phenotypic traits, even traits at the molecular level such as amino acid sequences. Gene-centered biology has been criticized on the grounds that because there is parity among causes, the (...) “privileging” of genes reflects a reductionist bias, not an ontological difference. The idea that there is an ontological parity among causes is related to a philosophical puzzle identified by John Stuart Mill: what, other than our interests or biases, could possibly justify identifying some causes as the actual or operative ones, and other causes as mere background? The aim of this paper is to solve this conceptual puzzle and to explain why there is not an ontological parity among genes and the other factors. It turns out that solving this puzzle helps answer a seemingly unrelated philosophical question: what kind of causal generality matters in biology? (shrink)
Former discussions of biological generalizations have focused on the question of whether there are universal laws of biology. These discussions typically analyzed generalizations out of their investigative and explanatory contexts and concluded that whatever biological generalizations are, they are not universal laws. The aim of this paper is to explain what biological generalizations are by shifting attention towards the contexts in which they are drawn. I argue that within the context of any particular biological explanation or investigation, biologists employ two (...) types of generations. One type identifies causal regularities exhibited by particular kinds of biological entities. The other type identifies how these entities are distributed in the biological world. (shrink)
Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA led to developments that transformed many biological sciences. But what were the relevant developments and how did they transform biology? Much of the philosophical discussion concerning this question can be organized around two opposing views: theoretical reductionism and layer-cake antireductionism. Theoretical reductionist and their anti-reductionist foes hold two assumptions in common. First, both hold that biological knowledge is structured like a layer cake, with some biological sciences, such as molecular biology cast (...) at lower levels of organization, and others, such as classical genetics, cast at higher levels. Second, both assume that scientific knowledge is structured by theory and that the productivity of scientific research depends on whether the underlying theory identifies the fundamentals upon which the phenomena to be explained and investigated depend. In the first part of this paper, I challenge these assumptions. In the second part, I show how recasting the basic theory of classical genetics made it possible to retool the methodologies of genetics. It was the investigative power of these retooled methodologies, and not the explanatory power of a gene-based theory, that transformed biology. (shrink)
Leading philosophical accounts presume that Thomas H. Morgan’s transmission theory can be understood independently of experimental practices. Experimentation is taken to be relevant to confirming, rather than interpreting, the transmission theory. But the construction of Morgan’s theory went hand in hand with the reconstruction of the chief experimental object, the model organism Drosophila melanogaster . This raises an important question: when a theory is constructed to account for phenomena in carefully controlled laboratory settings, what knowledge, if any, indicates the theory’s (...) relevance to phenomena outside highly controlled settings? The answer, I argue, is found within the procedural knowledge embedded within laboratory practice. †To contact the author, please write to: Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, Department of Philosophy, 831 Heller Hall, 271 19th Ave., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455‐0310; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
The lack of concrete guidance provided by managerial moral standards and the ambiguity of the expectations they create are discussed in terms of the moral stress experienced by many managers. It is argued that requisite clarity and feelings of obligation with respect to moral standards derive ultimately from public discussion of moral issues within organizations and from shared public agreement about appropriate behavior. Suggestions are made about ways in which the moral dimension of an organization's culture can be more effectively (...) managed. This is the third in a research series of three papers. (shrink)
Okasha claims at the outset of his book "Evolution and the Levels of Selection" (2006) that the Price equation lays bare the fundamentals underlying all selection phenomena. However, the thoroughness of his subsequent analysis of multi-level selection theories leads him to abandon his fundamentalist commitments. At critical points he invokes cost benefit analyses that sometimes favors the Price approach and sometimes the contextual approach, sometimes favors MLS1 and sometimes MLS2. And although he doesn’t acknowledge it, even the Price approach breaks (...) down into a family of alternative equations that parse the causes in different ways, none of which is uniquely correct and none of which achieves the ultimate isolation of effects due to what Okasha believes are the fundamental causes. I argue that his book provides good reason to re-conceive our understanding of evolutionary theorizing in terms of a toolbox view (developed here) and to stop subjecting the analyses of evolutionary concepts to a universalist standard. (shrink)
Abstract: My aim in this article is to introduce readers to the topic of exploratory experimentation and briefly explain how the three articles that follow, by Richard Burian, Kevin Elliott, and Maureen O’Malley advance our understanding of the nature and significance of exploratory research. I suggest that the distinction between exploratory and theory-driven experimentation is multidimensional and that some of the dimensions are continuums. I point out that exploratory experiments are typically theory-informed even if they are not theory-driven. I also (...) distinguish between research programs and experiments. Research programs that are largely exploratory, such as the ones discussed in these case studies, can involve both exploratory and theory-driven experimentation. (shrink)
Based on analysis of interviews with managers about the ethical questions they face in their work, a typology of morally questionable managerial acts is developed. The typology distinguishes acts committed against-the-firm (non-role and role-failure acts) from those committed on-behalf-of-the-firm (role-distortion and role-as-sertion acts) and draws attention to the different nature of the four types of acts. The argument is made that senior management attention is typically focused on the types of acts which are least problematical for most managers, and that (...) the most troublesome types are relatively ignored. (shrink)
This paper investigates what molecular biology has done for our understanding of the gene. I base a new account of the gene concept of classical genetics on the classical dogma that gene differences cause phenotypic differences. Although contemporary biologists often think of genes in terms of this concept, molecular biology provides a second way to understand genes. I clarify this second way by articulating a molecular gene concept. This concept unifies our understanding of the molecular basis of a wide variety (...) of phenomena, including the phenomena that classical genetics explains in terms of gene differences causing phenotypic differences. (shrink)
Susan Mills and John Beatty proposed a propensity interpretation of fitness (1979) to show that Darwinian explanations are not circular, but they did not address the critics' chief complaint that the principle of the survival of the fittest is either tautological or untestable. I show that the propensity interpretation cannot rescue the principle from the critics' charges. The critics, however, incorrectly assume that there is nothing more to Darwin's theory than the survival of the fittest. While Darwinians all scoff at (...) this assumption, they do not agree about what role, if any, this principle plays in Darwin's theory of natural selection. I argue that the principle has no place in Darwin's theory. His theory does include the idea that some organisms are fitter than others. But greater reproductive success is simply inferred from higher fitness. There is no reason to embody this inference in the form of a special principle of the survival of the fittest. (shrink)
Darwinians are realists about the force of selection, but there has been surprisingly little discussion about what form this realism should take. Arguments about the units of selection in general and genic selectionism in particular reveal two realist assumptions: (1) for any selection process, there is a uniquely correct identification of the operative selective forces and the level at which each impinges; and (2) selective forces must satisfy the Pareto-style requirement of probabilistic causation. I argue that both assumptions are false; (...) we must temper realism about the force of selection and revise the way we think about probabilistic causation. (shrink)
Based on the results of open ended interviews with managers in a variety of organizational positions, moral questions encountered in everyday managerial life are described. These involve transactions with employees, peers and superiors, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. It is suggested that managers identify transactions as involving personal moral concern when they believe that a moral standard has a bearing on the situation and when they experience themselves as having the power to affect the transaction. This is the first in (...) a research series of three papers. (shrink)
Descriptions of how managers think about the moral questions that come up in their work lives are analyzed to draw out the moral assumptions to which they commonly refer. The moral standards thus derived are identified as (1) honesty in communication, (2) fair treatment, (3) special consideration, (4) fair competition, (5) organizational responsibility, (6) corporate social responsibility, and, (7) respect for law. It is observed that these normative standards assume the cultural form of social conventions but because managers invoke them (...) as largely private intuitions, their cultural status remains precarious and unclear. This is the second in a research series of three papers. (shrink)
When managers use moral expressions in their communications, they do so for several, sometimes contradictory reasons. Based upon analyses of interviews with managers, this article examines seven distinctive uses of moral talk, sub-divided into three groupings: (1) managers use moral talk functionally to clarify issues, to propose and criticize moral justifications, and to cite relevant norms; (2) managers also use moral talk functionally to praise and to blame as well as to defend and criticize structures of authority; finally (3) managers (...) use moral talk dysfunctionally to rationalize morally ambiguous behavior and to express frustrations. The article concludes with several practical recommendations. (shrink)
The article reflects on the nature of the political in theatre, assessing the notion that theatre is the last free public space and evaluating the claims to be political of rival, problematic modes of writing—the theatre of fact or verbatim theatre and the allegorical late plays of Bond, Pinter and Churchill, turning to consider the problematic legacy of Brecht, the avatar of the political. The discussion turns to writers often excluded from the political nomenclature, developing the notion of the centrality (...) of critique and offering an argument for the Naturalist writers as propagators of true ‘thinking aloud’, thereby suggesting they provide a model for theatre as such. The piece concludes with a discussion of the author’s own contribution to the genre in the light of these analyses. (shrink)
Clark Glymour has argued that hypothetico-deductivism, which many take to be an important method of scientific confirmation, is hopeless because it cannot be reconstructed in classical logic. Such reconstructions, as Glymour points out, fail to uphold the condition of relevance between theory and evidence. I argue that the source of the irrelevant confirmations licensed by these reconstructions lies not with hypothetico-deductivism itself, but with the classical logic in which it is typically reconstructed. I present a new reconstruction of hypothetico-deductivism in (...) relevance logic that does maintain the condition of relevance between theory and evidence. Hence, if hypothetico-deductivism is an important rationale in science, we have good reason to believe that the logic underlying scientific discourse is captured better by relevance logic than by its classical counterpart. (shrink)
Although historians have carefully examined exactly what role the analogy between artificial and natural selection might have played in Charles Darwin's discovery of natural selection, philosophers have not devoted much attention to the way Darwin employed the analogy to justify his theory. I suggest that philosophers tend to belittle the role that analogies play in the justification of scientific theories because they don't understand the special nature of analogical inference. I present a novel account of analogical argument developed by Julian (...) Weitzenfeld and then use it to carry out an in-depth analysis of Darwin's argument from artificial selection. (shrink)
Philosophers now treat the relationship between classical genetics and molecular biology as a paradigm of nonreduction and this example is playing an increasingly prominent role in debates about the reducibility of theories in other sciences. This paper shows that the anti-reductionist consensus about genetics will not withstand serious scrutiny. In addition to defusing the main anti-reductionist objections, this critical analysis uncovers tell-tale signs of a significant reduction in progress. It also identifies philosophical issues relevant to gaining a better understanding of (...) what is now happening in genetics and of what we might expect to happen in other sciences. (shrink)
We propose that the fine discrete movements of the tongue as used in speech are what account for the extreme lateralization in humans, and that handedness is a mere byproduct of tongue use. With regard to syntax, we support the Armstrong et al. (1995) proposition that syntax derives directly from gestural motor movements as opposed to facial expressions.
Advocacy publications, particularly those focused on the reporting and analysis of religious news and theology, have proliferated throughout American history. Today some 3,000 religious periodicals continue to vie for the eyes and hearts of American readers. Like their mainstream journalistic counterparts, advocacy publications over the years have formed professional associations that provide ongoing seminars, workshops, and professional standards for conduct and mutual accountability such as codes of ethics.
This commentary discusses the dynamic systems (DS) approach to communication over an information-processing (IP) model. The commenters suggest that the authors of the target article, in their treatment of the issue, do not identify the central failing of the IP model. Further, it is suggested that the DS approach should include examination of mechanisms in the emergence of symbolic communication.
Preface -- How brave a new world? : God, technology, and medicine -- A theological reflection on reproductive medicine -- Are our genes our fate? : genomics and Christian theology -- Persons, neighbors, and embryos : some ethical reflections on human cloning and stem cell research -- Extending human life : to what end? -- What is Christian about Christian bioethics? -- Revitalizing medicine : empowering natality vs. fearing mortality -- The future of the human species -- Creation, creatures, and (...) creativity : the Word and the final Word. (shrink)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types are sexually transmitted infections that cause a number of human cancers. According to the competitive exclusion principle in ecology, HPV types that have lower transmission probabilities and shorter durations of infection should be outcompeted by more virulent types. This, however, is not the case, as numerous HPV types co-exist, some which are less transmissible and more easily cleared than others. This paper examines whether this exception to the competitive exclusion principle can be explained by the aggregation (...) of infection with HPV types, which results in patchy spatial distributions of infection, and what implications this has for the effect of vaccination on multiple HPV types. A deterministic transmission model is presented that models the patchy distribution of infected individuals using Lloyd’s mean crowding. It is first shown that higher aggregation can result in a reduced capacity for onward transmission and reduce the required efficacy of vaccination. It is shown that greater patchiness in the distribution of lower prevalence HPV types permits co-existence. This affirms the hypothesis that the aggregation of HPV types provides an explanation for the violation of the competitive exclusion principle. Greater aggregation of lower prevalence types has important implications where type-specific HPV vaccines also offer cross-protection against non-target types. It is demonstrated that the degree of cross-protection can be less than the degree of vaccine protection conferred against directly targeted types and still result in the elimination of non-target types when these non-target types are patchily distributed. (shrink)
Elliott Sober and Ken Waters both raise interesting and difficult challenges for various aspects of the position I set out in Evolution and the Levels of the Selection. I am grateful to them for their penetrating criticisms of my work, and find myself in agreement with many of their points.
Identity politics deployed by lesbian feminists of color challenges the philosophy of the subject and white feminisms based on sisterhood, and in so doing opens a space where feminist coalition building is possible. I articulate connections between Gloria Anzaldúa's epistemological-political action tools of complex identity narration and mestiza form of intersubject, Nancy Hartsock's feminist materialist standpoint, and Seyla Benhabib's standpoint of intersubjectivity in relation to using feminist identity politics for feminist coalition politics.
Except for a small clutch of academic shark-defenders, everyone seems to know that hostile takeovers are wrong, destructive of people and industries, and damaging to the long-term competitiveness of corporate America. But analysis of the takeover process, absent insider trading, fails to identify any injury that is not replicated elsewhere in the business system. Current suggestions for remedying the situation seem inadequate, ill-fitted to the problem, or hostile to the entire capitalist system. Could it be that it is that system (...) as a whole, or the assumptions underlying it, that is at fault? (shrink)
In discussions on the ethics of surveillanceand consequently surveillance policy, thepublic/private distinction is often implicitlyor explicitly invoked as a way to structure thediscussion and the arguments. In thesediscussions, the distinction public and private is often treated as a uni-dimensional,rigidly dichotomous and absolute, fixed anduniversal concept, whose meaning could bedetermined by the objective content of thebehavior. Nevertheless, if we take a closerlook at the distinction in diverse empiricalcontexts we find them to be more subtle,diffused and ambiguous than suggested. Thus,the paper argues (...) for the treatment of thesedistinctions as multi-dimensional, continuousand relative, fluid and situational orcontextual, whose meaning lies in how they areinterpreted and framed. However, the aim ofthis paper is not to finally sort things out. The objective is rather to demonstrate thecomplexities of the distinction in variouscontexts and to suggest that those using thedistinction, when considering the ethics andpolitics of surveillance technologies, wouldbenefit from more clearly specifying whichdimensions they have in mind and how theyrelate. (shrink)