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)
An integrated overview of history The volume in this series are arranged topically to cover biography, literature, doctrines, practices, institutions, worship, missions, and daily life. Archaeology and art as well as writings are drawn on to illuminate the Christian movement in its early centuries. Ample attention is also given to the relation of Christianity to pagan thought and life, to the Roman state, to Judaism, and to doctrines and practices that came to be judged as heretical or (...) schismatic. Introductions to each volume tie the articles together for an integrated understanding of the history. Offers insights and understanding The aim of the collection is to give balanced and comprehensive coverage, selected on the basis of the following criteria: original and excellent research and writing; subject matter of use to teachers and students; groundbreaking importance for the history of research; background information for issues and opinions. Understanding the development of early Christianity and its impact on Western history and thought offers valuable insights into the modern world and the present state of Christiantiy. It also provides perspective on comparable developments in other periods of history and reveals human nature in its religious dimension. (shrink)
This paper discusses the historical voice in the history of the human sci ences. I address the question, 'Who speaks?', as a question about disci plinary identities and conventions of writing - identities and conventions which have the appearance of conditions of knowledge, in an area of activity where academic history and the history of science or intellectual history meet. If, as this paper contends, the subject-matter of the history of the human sciences (...) is inherently contestable because of fundamental differences about the subject, man, how is the field to be shaped as if it were a whole? The meta-narratives that once sustained synthetic writing, such as the teleological narratives of the emergence of a modern discipline or of progress towards truth, have lost authority. I ask whether the alternatives rely on 'wilful' authorial rhetoric, the use of the resources of language to sustain a narrative, the defence of which depends on intelligibility and inclusiveness, not detailed correspon dence to a supposedly independent past. If this is the case, an author's theoretical stance will inevitably be more out in the open - the author will have a 'theoretical voice' - than is common in most mainstream history writing. In the light of this, I reflect on my own effort to write a synthetic history of the human sciences. (shrink)
The historical imagination, as Hayden White has reminded us, is not singular;\nit is manifest in many forms (White, 1973). Not surprisingly, this diversity\nis reflected within the pages of History of the Human Sciences and in the four papers that follow. Indeed, from its inception, the journal has sought to\npromote a variety of styles of writing, representing the many voices that have\nan interest in the human sciences and their history.\nIn the opening article, Roger Smith suggests that a (...) distinctive feature of the\nhistorical imagination is the priority given to an engagement with primary\nsources. The historical imagination, on the other hand, is to be seen in its\nmany forms as the practical realization of that engagement through the constitution\nof the historical ‘record’ as a record and the activity of explaining to\noneself and others how it has come about. For Smith, an important value of\nprimary sources is their representation of ‘otherness’, providing ‘the possibility\nof an engagement with what is foreign to, outside, what we for most\npurposes take to be our selves and our world’. And the historical imagination,\nlike imagination in general, centrally involves a preoccupation with context\nand the provision of a vantage point that is different from the one that is originally\ngiven. Smith ends his paper with some remarks about the connections\nbetween imagination and narrative.\nIn the following article, Graham Richards focuses his reflections early in\nthe 20th century, in the period between the two world wars. Through a discussion\nof some of his recent work on the popularization of Psychoanalysis\nduring those two decades, he introduces an interesting counterfactual question:\n‘How then did it feel to be living without Freud and encountering\npsychoanalytic ideas and language for the first time?’2 Richards goes on to\noutline a number of imperatives (transcendental, presentist, narrative) that he\nsees as part of the historical imagination. In considering the implications of\nhis remarks, Richards – like Smith – highlights the importance of a sound\n‘evidential’ base in the stimulation of the historical imagination and he raises\nan important issue concerning the historian’s sense of time – ‘our feel for how\nthings unfold in real time in real biographies and collective experience’. (shrink)
Examples in the history of Automated Theorem Proving are given, in order to show that even a seemingly ‘mechanical’ activity, such as deductive inference drawing, involves special cultural features and tacit knowledge. Mechanisation of reasoning is thus regarded as a complex undertaking in ‘cultural pruning’ of human-oriented reasoning. Sociological counterparts of this passage from human- to machine-oriented reasoning are discussed, by focusing on problems of man-machine interaction in the area of computer-assisted proof processing.
Twilight of the Idols has a main role in Nietzsche’s work, since it represents the opening writing of his project of Transvaluation of all values. The task of this essay is sounding out idols, i.e. to disclose their lack of content, their being hollow. The theme of eternal idols is in this work strictly related to the idea of a ‘true’ world and, consequently, a study on this latter notion can contribute to a better comprehension of what does that emptiness (...) mean and which is the way that Nietzsche wants to follow to set his thought free from any metaphysical heritage. The analysis of the notion of truth Nietzsche concerns with in Twilight of the Idols takes us back to the content of his early writings, when he gives the first sketches of his theory of knowledge. The perspective he exposed in the ‘70s is constructed on the basis of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, that Nietzsche merges with the main ideas of Lange, Spir and other neo-Kantians. The outcome of his reflections on this matter is an evolutionary epistemology, a view that leads Nietzsche to define the historical reconstruction as the only resource through which the fact that concepts are mere thoughts gradually evolved can be point out. These observations correspond in many ways to what the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach wrote in his works, and one can say that Nietzsche agrees with his “anti-metaphysical intent”, i.e. his criticizing a thought still depending on “concepts which we forgot how we’ve reached”. With my paper I’ll try to show that Nietzsche wage his war against metaphysics with the theoretical ‘weapons’ he prepared in the ‘70s, indeed that his last attack to western knowledge arises from some contents he exposed in Human, All Too Human. In this text Nietzsche reflected on the mechanisms of language and world’s representation, and connected human knowledge with the overall development of organic beings. Moreover, in his work from 1878 the philosopher presented a comparison between “metaphysische Philosophie” and “historische Philosophie”, an idea that cannot be found in the following writings, but that comes up again in the Twilight of the Idols. Indeed, in this work Nietzsche repeats his complaining philosopher’s “lack of historical sense” he dealt with in the opening pages of Human, All Too Human, and he reflects on the kind of inquiry western thinkers should adopt to set themselves free from the fixed forms of metaphysics. Thus, Nietzsche’s observation about the role of history in philosophy testifies the connection between this main works, and allow us to define the way he wants to follow to carry his critic to eternal idols out and, in doing so, to show the way forward to his last thoughts. (shrink)
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)
The name of the Genevan critic Jean Starobinski will most likely evoke masterful\nreadings of Rousseau and Montaigne, or insightful reconstructions of the world\nof the Enlightenment. With the possible exception of the history of melancholy,\nmuch more rarely will it be associated with the history of psychology and\npsychiatry. A small number of the critic’s contributions to this field have\nappeared in some of his books. Most of them, however, remain scattered, and\nnothing suggests that they are known as widely as they deserve.\nStarobinski’s (...) work in the history of psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis\nis exemplary in its perspective of the problematic relations between\npsychological concepts and experiences, and between medical thought and the\nlarger culture. (shrink)
There were three broad categories of academic responses to Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (Kinsey, Pomeroy and Martin, 1948): method; findings; and broader reflections on the book’s place in American social life and democracy. This article focuses primarily on archival academic responses to Kinsey’s work that appeared in the year following the book’s publication. Many academics agreed that some aspects of Kinsey’s method were flawed and that his interpretations sometimes overreached his raw data. Nonetheless, they also (...) agreed that no one else had gathered such a diverse sampling of interviewees whose behaviors Kinsey could use to create new interpretive models of human sexuality. As Kinsey’s research was deliberately interdisciplinary, his research and statistical methodologies began to catch on in the human sciences and to encourage academics and intellectuals to rethink their human science practices. As academics reflected on the volume’s larger meaning in American life, several of them thought it exemplified the worst American values (emphases on money and size) while others saw the very existence of the Male volume as an excellent example of the ability of free citizens to pursue and to publish research on any topic. While members of the American intelligentsia championed the Male volume and its findings as democratic, the reception of Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard, 1953), published at an intense moment of the cold war, was viewed as a communist threat to American security for revealing the sexual secrets of the public. (shrink)
A generation or more ago, as the Cold War flourished, the continental European\nscholars whom I met seemed odd to me. They were, virtually without\nexception, totally preoccupied with whether their scholarship harmonized\nwith Marxism or refuted Marxism. This focus cut across disciplinary lines.\nIndeed, a basic assumption united these colleagues: the scholars’ world,\nwhether Karl Marx or Max Weber, consisted of centralized bureaucracies\nsuitable for socialism or at least for orderly organization.\nNorth American scholars shared with the Europeans, not the preoccupation\nwith Marxism, but the idea that (...) centralized bureaucracies made up the\ninteresting world. In such a world, the human sciences were disciplines, and,\ncontrary to Michel Foucault, the discipline was applied to the scholar. The\nscholar was expected to search for empirical evidence and to interpret the evidence\nas objectively as was humanly possible. The human science disciplines\nhad identifiable functional structures, and most scholars (perhaps excepting\nsome anthropologists) tended to be structural functionalists. (shrink)
What is our nature? What is this enigma that we call human? Who are we? Since the dawn of humanhistory, people have exhibited wildly contradictory qualities: good and evil, love and hate, strength and weakness, kindness and cruelty, aggressiveness and pacifism, generosity and greed, courage and cowardice. Experiencing a sense of eternity in our hearts--but at the same time confined to temporal and spatial constraints--we seek to understand ourselves, both individually and as a species. In Who (...) Are We? Theories of Human Nature, esteemed author Louis P. Pojman seeks to find answers to these questions by exploring major theories in Western philosophy and religion, along with several traditions in Eastern thought. The most comprehensive work of its kind, the volume opens with chapters on the Hebrew/Christian view of human nature and the contrasting classical Greek theories, outlining a dichotomy between faith and reason that loosely frames the rest of the book. The following chapters cover the medieval view, Hindu and Buddhist perspectives, conservative and liberal theories, Kant's Copernican revolution, Schopenhauer's pessimistic idealism, and Karl Marx's theory. Freud's psychoanalytic view, the existentialist perspective, the Darwinian view, and scientific materialism are also discussed. Pojman concludes with a discussion of the question of free will, ultimately asserting that each one of us must decide for ourselves who and what we are, and, based on that answer, how we shall live. (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)
If Augustine's view of human sexuality is to be understood properly, it must be represented across the history of creation, fall and redemption. His notion of sexuality prior to the fall, although defective in its understanding of personal bodily presence, does integrate sexuality into the essentially human. His account of fallen sexuality expresses not a body-soul dualism but a disordering of the self which finds a partial and redemptive remedy in the "goods of marriage." His treatment of (...) sexuality in relation to redemption-in-course has a distinctively historical dimension that must be respected if sexuality is not to be left merely to the endless rhythms of nature, but drawn into the human story in its Christian telling. (shrink)
When Did I Begin? investigates the theoretical, moral, and biological issues surrounding the debate over the beginning of human life. With the continuing controversy over the use of in vitro fertilization techniques and experimentation with human embryos, these issues have been forced into the arena of public debate. Following a detailed analysis of the history of the question, Reverend Ford argues that a human individual could not begin before definitive individuation occurs with the appearance of the (...) primitive streak about two weeks after fertilization. This, he argues, is when it becomes finally known whether one or more human individuals are to form from a single egg. Thus, he questions the idea that the fertilized egg itself could be regarded as the beginning of the development of the human individual. The author also differs sharply, however, from those who would delay the beginning of the human person until the brain is formed, or until birth or the onset of conscious states. (shrink)
Recent historiography of 19th century biology supports the revision of two traditional doctrines about the history of biology. First, the most important and widespread biological debate around the time of Darwin was not evolution versus creation, but biological functionalism versus structuralism. Second, the idealist and typological structuralist theories of the time were not particularly anti-evolutionary. Typological theories provided argumentation and evidence that was crucial to the refutation of Natural Theological creationism. The contrast between functionalist and structuralist approaches to (...) biology continues today, and the historical misunderstanding of 19th century typological biology may be one of its effects. This historical case can shed light on current controversies regarding the relevance of developmental biology to evolution. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of contributors; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the humanist tradition in Russian philosophy G. M. Hamburg and Randall A. Poole; Part I. The Nineteenth Century: 1. Slavophiles, Westernizers, and the birth of Russian philosophical humanism Sergey Horujy; 2. Alexander Herzen Derek Offord; 3. Materialism and the radical intelligentsia: the 1860s Victoria S. Frede; 4. Russian ethical humanism: from populism to neo-idealism Thomas Nemeth; Part II. Russian Metaphysical Idealism in Defense of Human Dignity: 5. Boris Chicherin and (...) class='Hi'>human dignity in history G. M. Hamburg; 6. Vladimir Solov'iev's philosophical anthropology: autonomy, dignity, perfectibility Randall A. Poole; 7. Russian panpsychism: Kozlov, Lopatin, Losskii James P. Scanlan; Part III. Humanity and Divinity in Russian Religious Philosophy after Solov'iev: 8. A Russian cosmodicy: Sergei Bulgakov's religious philosophy Paul Valliere; 9. Pavel Florenskii's trinitarian humanism Steven Cassedy; 10. Semën Frank's expressivist humanism Philip J. Swoboda; Part IV. Freedom and Human Perfectibility in the Silver Age: 11. Religious humanism in the Russian silver age Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal; 12. Russian liberalism and the philosophy of law Frances Nethercott; 13. Imagination and ideology in the new religious consciousness Robert Bird; 14. Eschatology and hope in silver age thought Judith Deutsch Kornblatt; Part V. Russian Philosophy in Revolution and Exile: 15. Russian Marxism Andrzej Walicki; 16. Adventures in dialectic and intuition: Shpet, Il'in, Losev Philip T. Grier; 17. Nikolai Berdiaev and the philosophical tasks of the emigration Stuart Finkel; 18. Eurasianism: affirming the person in an 'Era of Faith' Martin Beisswenger; Afterword: on persons as open-ended ends-in-themselves (the view from two novelists and two critics) Caryl Emerson; Bibliography. (shrink)
Sight and Embodiment in the Middle Ages breaks new ground by bringing postmodern writings on vision and embodiment into dialogue with medieval texts and images: an interdisciplinary strategy that illuminates and complicates both cultures. This is an invaluable reference work for anyone interested in the history and theory of visuality, and it is essential reading or scholars of art, science, or spirituality in the medieval period.
Ranging chronologically from the twelfth to the fifteenth century and thematically from Latin to vernacular literary modes, this book challenges standard assumptions about the musical cultures and philosophies of the European Middle Ages. Engaging a wide range of premodern texts and contexts, from the musicality of sodomy in twelfth-century polyphony to Chaucer's representation of pedagogical violence in the Prioress's Tale, from early Christian writings on the music of the body to the plainchant and poetry of Hildegard of Bingen, the author (...) argues that medieval music was quintessentially a practice of the flesh. The book reveals a medieval world in which erotic desire, sexual practice, torture, flagellation, and even death itself resonated with musical significance and meaning. In its insistence on music as an integral part of the material cultures of the Middle Ages, the book presents a revisionist account of an important aspect of premodern European civilization. (shrink)
My professional interest originally focused on curriculum planning and development, but for the last 30 years I have been researching, publishing and teaching in the field of human rights education. Suddenly, I became a human rights educator. Suddenly? No, nothing in our personal and professional life is the result of an abrupt occurrence. We are subjects of a particular history, a succession of events and narratives, located in time, space and circumstances. I constructed myself, consciously or unconsciously, (...) as a human rights educator as a consequence of many personal factors. Being the son of the first Rabbi in Chile, I felt, at a very early age, that I was different and suffered from discriminatory behaviour, prejudice and intolerance. In addition, I started to learn about the Holocaust. I lived in a poor neighbourhood and poverty had a profound impact on me. During the 1960s and 1970s many political changes took place in Chile. Severe human rights violations occurred, not only in Chile but also in the different contexts of many other Latin American countries. I became much more aware of, and sensitive to, human rights and their ethical implications. I decided to make use of my educational knowledge towards recovering democracy. I became a strong supporter of human rights education as an ethical and moral imperative throughout Latin America. (shrink)
Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical (...) philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches from (...) juvenility to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language. (shrink)
The nihilists are right, admits philosopher Loyal Rue. The universe is blind and aimless, indifferent to us and void of meaning. There are no absolute truths and no objective values. There is no right or wrong way to live, only alternative ways. There is no correct reading of a text or a picture or a dance. God is dead, nihilism reigns. But, Rue adds, nihilism is a truth inconsistent with personal happiness and social coherence. What we need instead is a (...) new myth, a noble lie. Only a noble lie can save us from the psychological and social chaos now threatened by the spread of skepticism about the meaning of life and the universe. In By the Grace of Guile, Loyal Rue offers a wide ranging look at the importance of deception in nature and in human society, concluding with an argument for a noble lie to replace the religious beliefs rejected by modern thought. Most of the book is a provocative apology for deception, illuminating its role in the shaping of history, evolution, personality, and society. Ranging from the Bible and Greek philosophy, to Saint Augustine and Montaigne, to Galileo, Kirkegaard, and Freud, Rue shows that it may be more accurate to describe the history of our culture as a flight from deception than as a quest for truth. He turns then to the natural world to reveal how deception works at every level of life, ranging from plants that mimic dung, carrion, or prey to lure insects that then spread pollen, to a remarkable African insect (Acanthaspis petax) that bedecks itself with dead ants and enters the ant colony undetected to binge at will. Moreover, he points out that psychological research has shown that strategies of deception and self-deception are essential to our personal well-being, that we sometimes shore up our self-esteem by deceptive means, by leaving others in a state of ignorance, by manipulating others into a state of false belief, by suppressing information from consciousness, and by fabricating or distorting our own sense of reality. And he argues that social coherence is achievable only within certain optimal limits of deception--the social fabric would be threatened by an overabundance of lies and false promises, of course, but it would also collapse if everyone were perfectly honest all the time. Finally, he argues that society is caught up in a Kulturkampf with nihilists promoting intellectual and moral relativism and realists defending objective and universal truths. The noble lie, says Rue, would introduce a third voice, one which first agrees with the nihilists that universal myths are pretentious lies, but then insists, against the nihilists, that without such lies humanity cannot survive. The challenge, he concludes, is ultimately an aesthetic one: it remains for the artists, poets, novelists, musicians, filmmakers, and other masters of illusion to seduce us into an embrace with a noble lie. We need a new myth that tells us where we have come from, what our nature is, and how we should live together--a story with the courage and presumption to say how things really are and what really matters. (shrink)
The article discusses the certain features of the constitutional doctrine of human rights developed by the Constitutional Court of Lithuania which were influenced by the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, the role of the European Convention on Human Rights as a legal source in the system of sources of constitutional law. The intersection of the jurisprudences, which came into being due to different assessments of the legal regulation in cases where the same legal act (...) was recognized by the Constitutional Court being in compliance with the Constitution and the European Court of Human Rights recognized that the application of the said act was a cause of the violation of a certain person’s rights protected by the Convention (or vice versa) is one of the most important questions and raises many theoretical and practical problems. Different assessment of the legal acts made by the European Court of Human Rights with regard to their compliance with the Conventionshould not be regarded as such an essential circumstance which could lead to possible repeated review of such legal act at the Constitutional Court, such intersection of the jurisprudences, should be solved by ordinary courts while following the doctrine that in cases where legal acts contain the legal regulation which competes with that established in the international treaty, the international treaty should be applied. (shrink)
Research with nonhuman primates can make important contributions to life history models of human attachment and reproductive strategies, such as: including parental responsiveness into female reproductive strategies, testing the assumption that adult attachment is a reproductive adaptation, assessing genetic and environmental effects on attachment and reproduction, and investigating the mechanisms through which early stress results in accelerated reproductive maturation.
We argue that the concepts of `human equality' and `inequality' play an important role in the structure of science and philosophy. When the value of `human inequality' predominates, scientific categories are formed in accordance with the principle of `hierarchical differentiation' and concepts remain closely tied to the objects they are referring to. Following Mirowski we define this as the `anthropometric stage' of human thought and development. Contrary, Mirowski's `syndetic stage' refers to societies where the value of ` (...) class='Hi'>human equality' prevails. Here concepts appear that are universally applicable. However, because of their conventional nature these concepts cannot be `grasped' any longer by human intuition. Between the `anthropometric' and `syndetic' stages, a `lineamentric stage' appears, a period of transition from `human equality' to `human inequality'. Being both a bridge and gap between the two other stages, the `lineamentric' stage contains many contradictions between an `abstract attitude' and `concrete categories'. In this paper we examine the anthropometric, lineamentric and syndetic stages and discuss several examples taken from philosophy, logic, mathematics and physics. (shrink)
In the advertising discourse of human genetic database projects, of genetic ancestry tracing companies, and in popular books on anthropological genetics, what I refer to as the anthropological gene and genome appear as documents of humanhistory, by far surpassing the written record and oral history in scope and accuracy as archives of our past. How did macromolecules become "documents of human evolutionary history"? Historically, molecular anthropology, a term introduced by Emile Zuckerkandl in 1962 (...) to characterize the study of primate phylogeny and human evolution on the molecular level, asserted its claim to the privilege of interpretation regarding hominoid, hominid, and human phylogeny and evolution vis-à-vis other historical sciences such as evolutionary biology, physical anthropology, and paleoanthropology. This process will be discussed on the basis of three key conferences on primate classification and evolution that brought together exponents of the respective fields and that were held in approximately ten-years intervals between the early 1960s and the 1980s. I show how the anthropological gene and genome gained their status as the most fundamental, clean, and direct records of historical information, and how the prioritizing of these epistemic objects was part of a complex involving the objectivity of numbers, logic, and mathematics, the objectivity of machines and instruments, and the objectivity seen to reside in the epistemic objects themselves. (shrink)
The basic concepts 'person' (Person), I/self (Ich) and 'subject' (Subjekt) structuring the Russian discourse of personhood (Personalität) developed during the philosophical discussions of the 1820s-1840s. The development occurred in the course of an intense reception of German Idealism and Romanticism. Characteristic of this process is that the modern meaning of personhood going back to the theological and natural-law interpretations of the person in Western Europe does not exist in the Russian cultural consciousness. Therefore the Russian concepts of personhood demonstrate the (...) influence of the semantic innovations of Romanticism. Correspondingly, the semantic core of the Russian discourses on personhood is not the idea of an 'autonomous person' but that of an 'unique individuality'. Here, personhood is not the indefeasible attribute of every man, but the mark of inimitable individuality. Accordingly, the basic distinction underlying the discourse on personhood in Russia is not the differentiation between 'person' and ' thing' as in the European tradition, but the distinction between 'individual' and (anonymous) 'community'. Also, in the meaning of the concept of I/self the dominant differentiation is not that between I/self (Ich) and not-I/not-self (Nicht-Ich), but that between I and We. This discourse on personhood centring on the idea of individuality took form in Russia starting in the middle of the nineteenth century, in particular in aesthetics, psychology, and educational theory, as well as in the philosophy of history. The comparative intercultural analysis of the history of concepts pertaining to personhood in the German-Russian cultural transfer brings to light the dialectic of European modernity in which a degree of tension is visible between the idea of personal autonomy and individuality. (shrink)
There are a large number of disciplines that are interested in the theoretical aspects of the history of thought. Their perspectives and subjects may vary, but fundamentally they have a common research interest: the history of human thinking and its products. Despite this, they are studied in relative isolation. I argue that having different subjects as specific objects of research, such as political or scientific thinking, is not a valid justification for the separation. I propose the formation (...) of a new integrated field of study, the philosophy of the history of thought. Its most fundamental questions can be taken to be: 1) What is the basic theoretical unit in the history of thought? 2) How does change take place and how can it be described? 3) What kind of reasons are there for change? Why is there a change in a particular case? The existing confusions around the commitments and basic vocabulary used in contemporary historiography makes the establishment of this field important. Recognizing that there is such a discipline is necessary in order to enable concentration on the fundamental theoretical issues. It is likely that progress on theoretical questions and better awareness of the implicit commitments would have a positive impact on historical practice. (shrink)
The “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and the “Geneva Declaration” by the World Medical Association, both in 1948, were preceded by the foundation of the United Nations in New York (1945), the World Medical Association in London (1946) and the World Health Organization in Geneva (1948). After the end of World War II the community of nations strove to achieve and sustain their primary goals of peace and security, as well as their basic premise, namely the health of (...) class='Hi'>human beings. All these associations were well aware of the crimes by medicine, in particular by the accused Nazi physicians at the Nuremberg Doctors Trial (1946/47, sentence: August 1947). During the first conference of the World Medical Association (September 1947) issues of medical ethics played a major role: and a new document was drafted concerning the values of the medical profession. After the catastrophe of the War and the criminal activities of scientists, the late 1940s saw increased scrutiny paid to fundamental questions of human rights and medical ethics, which are still highly relevant for today’s medicine and morality. The article focuses on the development of medical ethics and human rights reflected in the statement of important persons, codes and institutions in the field. (shrink)
In a critical review of late twentieth-century gene-culture co-evolutionary models labelled as ‘global phylogeny’, the authors present evidence for the long legacy of co-evolutionary theories in European-based thinking, highlighting that (1) ideas of social and cultural evolution preceded the idea of biological evolution, (2) linguistics played a dominant role in the formation of a unified theory of human co-evolution, and (3) that co-evolutionary thinking was only possible due to perpetuated and renewed transdisciplinary reticulations between scholars of different disciplines—especially within (...) the integrative framework of the ‘humanid’ and the ‘hominid’ branches of anthropology. (shrink)
Introduction : points of departure -- A genealogy of the Christian colonial mindset : ex nihilo from disputed beginnings to orthodox origins -- Ex nihilo and the origin of an empire -- Ex nihilo, erasure and discovery? -- The cogito, ex nihilo, and the legacy of John Locke -- The creation ex nihilo of terra nullius lands : omnipotent nations and the logic of global-colonization -- From epistemologies of domination to grounded thinking -- Opening words about God onto creatio continua (...) -- Creatio continua "all the way down": a post-colonial, planetary understanding of continuing creation -- Conclusion : a brief thought after. (shrink)
In this book, award-winning historian of religion Paula Fredriksen tells the surprising story of early Christian concepts of sin, exploring the ways that sin came to shape ideas about God no less than about humanity.
Among many important claims, Allen Wood in Kant's Ethical ought proposes that Kant's philosophy of history can be grasped as a "naturalist" approach, grounding human nature in biology. I suggest some reservations. First, I question Kant's conception of biology as (a still emergent) science. Second, I question Kant's extension of his notion of "natural predisposition" to reason and freedom. Third, I question the naturalism of Kant's philosophy of history by suggesting the excessive role providence must play in (...) Kant's account. The upshot is to find Kant's philosophy of history one of the less persuasive elements in his system of thought, despite Wood's energetic effort at a contemporary reconstruction. (shrink)
Physical attractiveness has always had a large effect on personal success, social standing, and behavior. In It , Arthur Marwick observes beauty as a possessed quality as important to ones fate as intelligence, strength, wealth, education, or family. From royal mistresses and ancient queens to modern film stars and politicians, Marwick looks at the potent influence appearance has had on history and human fate.
Physical attractiveness has always had a large effect on personal success, social standing, and behavior. In It , Arthur Marwick observes beauty as a possessed quality as important to ones fate as intelligence, strength, wealth, education, or family. From royal mistresses and ancient queens to modern film stars and politicians, Marwick looks at the potent influence appearance has had on history and human fate.