Although the notion of natural behavior occurs in many policy-making and legal documents on animal welfare, no consensus has been reached concerning its definition. This paper argues that one reason why the notion resists unanimously accepted definition is that natural behavior is not properly a biological concept, although it aspires to be one, but rather a philosophical tendency to perceive animal behavior in accordance with certain dichotomies between nature and culture, animal and human, original orders and (...) invented artifacts. The paper scrutinizes the philosophy of natural behavior as it developed in the organic movement in response to a perceived contrast between industrialized and traditional agriculture. There are two reasons for focusing on the organic movement: (i) the emphasis on “the natural” is most accentuated there and has a long history, (ii) everyday life on organic farms presupposes human/animal interplay, which conflicts with the philosophical tendency to separate nature from culture. This mismatch between theory and practice helps us see why, and how, the philosophy of natural behavior needs to be reconsidered. The paper proposes that we understand farms as local human/animal cultures, and asks what we can mean my natural behavior in such contexts. Since domestic animals adapt to agricultural environments via interaction with caretakers, such interplay is analyzed as “hub” in these animals’ natural behavior. (shrink)
I introduce a range of examples of different causal hypotheses about human mate selection. The hypotheses I focus on come from evolutionary psychology, fluctuating asymmetry research and chemical signaling research. I argue that a major obstacle facing an integrated biology of humanbehavior is the lack of a causal framework that shows how multiple proximate causal mechanisms can act together to produce components of our behavior.
In this unique and mind-expanding book, addressed to general readers as well as students of philosophy, Creel Froman establishes a fascinatingly new way of looking at humanbehavior. His principal themes are: What does life mean? How do we arrive at answers to such a question? What is the answer? In a skillful blending of fiction and scholarship, using dialogue, prose, and poetry, he makes his points regarding the human condition.
This is a review article of Charles Beitz's 2009 book on the philosophy of human rights, The Idea of Human Rights. The article provides a charitable overview of the book's main arguments, but also raises some doubts about the depth of the distinction between Beitz's 'practical' approach to humans rights and its 'naturalistic' counterparts.
Censorship in the area of public health has become increasingly important in many parts of the world for a number of reasons. Groups with vested interest in public health policy are motivated to censor material. As governments, corporations, and organizations champion competing visions of public health issues, the more incentive there may be to censor. This is true in a number of circumstances: curtailing access to information regarding the health and welfare of soldiers in the Kuwait and Iraq wars, poor (...) health conditions in Aboriginal communities, downplaying epidemics to bolster economies, and so forth. This paper will look at the use of a computer worm (the benevolent health worm) to disseminate vital information in␣situations where public health is threatened by government censorship and where there is great risk for those who ‹speak out’. The discussion of the benevolent health worm is focused on the Peoples’ Republic of China (China) drawing on three public health crises: HIV/AIDS, SARS and Avian Influenza. Ethical issues are examined first in a general fashion and then in a specific manner which uses the duty-based moral philosophy of Confucianism and a Western human rights-based analysis. Technical, political and legal issues will also be examined to the extent that they better inform the ethical debate. (shrink)
In this major new book, the internationally renowned thinker Jonathan Bennett offers a deeper understanding of what is going on in our own moral thoughts about humanbehavior. The Act Itself presents a conceptual analysis of descriptions of behavior on which we base our moral judgements, and shows that this analysis can be used as a means toward getting more control of our thoughts and thus of our lives.
Nowadays there is a growing interest in business ethics, both in academia and professionally. However, moral lapses continue to happen in business activities, leading academicians and professionals to rethink what is being done and reinventing new strategies to successfully manage ethics in business organisations. Thus, whereas efforts to promote ethics are basically oriented to using and developing explicit, written formal mechanisms, the literature suggests that other instruments are also useful and necessary to achieve this. Thus, studying the role of the (...)Human Resource Management (hereafter, HRM) in promoting ethics is an emerging research topic due to the heavy influence that HRM practices are thought to have on employees. This paper is aimed at developing a thorough analysis of HRM's role in promoting ethics, and specifically at focusing on one of its practices, training. As an illustrative example of the utility of this practice, an empirical study was conducted on a range of Spanish banking companies in which an impact was found on the employees' ethical behaviour when ethics training was being provided inside the organisation. Finally, the practical implications of these findings and directions for future research are presented. (shrink)
Economists, in stressing the prescriptive implications of their analysis, typically have ignored the potential contributions of their theorems and methodological principles to the understanding of humanbehavior as an end in itself. The purpose of the paper is to establish the principle, by detailed reference to the literature of economics, that the 'deductive pattern of explanation' constitutes a valid approach to the general study of humanbehavior. As such, it is a potentially useful method of analysis (...) in the other social sciences. Literature from the philosophy of social science bearing on the applicability of deductive theory to the study of humanbehavior is subjected to detailed critical analysis. (shrink)
A radical approach to the environment which argues that by harnessing the power of science for human benefit, we can have a healthier planet As a prizewinning theoretical physicist and an outspoken advocate for scientific literacy, James Trefil has long been the public's guide to a better understanding of the world. In this provocative book, Trefil looks squarely at our environmental future and finds-contrary to popular wisdom-reason to celebrate. For too long, Trefil argues, humans have treated nature as something (...) separate from themselves-pristine wilderness to be saved or material resources to be exploited. What we need instead is a scientific approach to the environment that embraces the human transformation of nature for our benefit. In Human Nature , Trefil exposes the benefits of genetically modified species, uncovers vital facts about droughts and global warming, and points to examples of environmental management where catering to humans reaps greater rewards than sheltering other species. By taking advantage of explosive advances in the sciences, we can fruitfully manage the planet, if we rise to the challenge. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb, Human Nature promises to fundamentally alter the way we perceive our relationship to the Earth-but with optimism rather than alarm. (shrink)
Humanbehavior cannot be understood by using only models of explanation utilized in the natural sciences. Multiple models of explanation, which are not consistent with, or reducible to each other, are required and are in fact used in psychology to explain human actions. This situation, called "Multiexplanation," could cause a problem of developing a justified correspondence between psychological phenomena and multiple models of explanation. Unless this problem is solved, the explanatory capability of a psychological theory seems inconsistent (...) and ad hoc. A solution suggesting "correspondence guidelines" between phenomena and available models of explanation and "organization guidelines" for constructing a coherent psychological theory is offered. It contributes to the development of a "multiexplanation-model theory" (or a "multimodel theory" for brevity) which employs different models of explanation needed for proposing accounts of psychological phenomena. (shrink)
. Evolutionary psychology and behavioural genomics are both approaches to explain human behaviour from a genetic point of view. Nonetheless, thus far the development of these disciplines is anything but interdependent. This paper examines the question whether evolutionary psychology can contribute to behavioural genomics. Firstly, a possible inconsistency between the two approaches is reviewed, viz. that evolutionary psychology focuses on the universal human nature and disregards the genetic variation studied by behavioural genomics. Secondly, we will discuss the structure (...) of biological explanations. Some philosophers rightly acknowledge that explanations do not involve laws which are exceptionless and universal. Instead, generalisations that are invariant suffice for successful explanation as long as two other stipulations are recognised: the domain within which the generalisation has no exceptions as well as the distribution of the mechanism described by the generalisation should both be specified. It is argued that evolutionary psychology can contribute to behavioural genomic explanations by accounting for these two specifications. (shrink)
A work of outstanding originality and importance, which will become a cornerstone in the philosophy of geography, this book asks: What is human science? Is a truly human science of geography possible? What notions of spatiality adequately describe human spatial experience and behaviour? It sets out to answer these questions through a discussion of the nature of science in the human sciences, and, specifically, of the role of phenomenology in such inquiry. It criticises established understanding (...) of phenomenology in these sciences, and demonstrates how they are integrally related to each other. The need for a reflective geography to accompany all empirical science is argued strongly. The discussion is orgamsed into four parts: geography and traditional metaphysics; geography and phenomenology; phenomenology and the question of human science; and human science, worldhood and place. The author draws upon the works, of Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer and Kockelmans in particular. (shrink)
This review of John Russon's Human Experience: Philosophy, Neurosis, and the Elements of Everyday Life focuses on Russon's position that experience is open (having a developmental, situated and dynamic, rather than fixed, structure) and figured (having a structure inseparable from forms of bodily function), and that mind is something learned in the process of working out experience as figured and open. These themes are drawn together in relation to recent scientific discussions (e.g., of bodily dynamics, mirror neurons, robotic (...) systems and thermodynamics), to show how Russon's view challenges deep philosophical assumptions in prevailing accounts of mind, body and experience. (shrink)
`It is a safe bet that Key Thinkers will emerge as something of a 'hit' within the undergraduate community and will rise to prominance as a 'must buy' -Environment and Planning `Key Thinkers on Space and Place is an engagingly written, well-researched and very accessible book. It will surely prove an invaluable tool for students, whom I would strongly encourage to purchase this edited collection as one of the best guides to recent geographical thought' -Claudio Minca, University of Newcastle `Key (...) Thinkers is the best encyclopedic tool for human geographers since the Dictionary of Human Geography. It takes into its orbit discussions of the lives and work of the last three decades' major thinkers on space and place. It is hugely useful for students who want an easy way to access the roots of where some major themes and debates in contemporary geography. It is organized so that each chapter details the scholar's biography, their contribution to spatial and place-based theory and the controversies that arise through their work' - Stuart Aitken, San Diego State University Key Thinkers on Space and Place is a comprehensive guide to the latest work on space. Each entry is a short interpretative essay of 2,500 words, outlining the contributions made by the key theorists, and comprises: · a concise biography, indicating disciplinary background, career trajectory and collaboration with others · an outline of the key theoretical, conceptual and methodological ideas each has introduced to human geography · an explanation of the reaction to, and uptake of, how these ideas has changed and evolved over time · an explanation of how these theories have been used and critiqued by human geographers · a selective bibliography of each thinker's key publications (and key secondary publications) The text is introduced by a contextual essay which outlines in general terms the shifting ways in which space and place have been theorised and which explains how Key Thinkers on Space and Place can be used. A glossary that defines key traditions, with cross-links to key theorists and a timeline of key article/book publication date is also included. (shrink)
For centuries, religion and philosophy have been the primary basis for efforts to guide humans to be more ethical. However, training in ethics and religion and imparting positive values and morality tests such as those emanating from the categorical imperative and the Golden Rule have not been enough to protect humankind from its bad behaviors. To improve ethics education educators must better understand aspects of human nature such as those that lead to “self-deception” and “personal bias.” Through rationalizations, (...) faulty reasoning and hidden bias, individuals trick themselves into believing there is little wrong with their own unethical behavior. The application of science to human nature offers the possibility of improving ethics education through better self-knowledge. The author recommends a new paradigm for ethics education in contemporary modern society. This includes the creation of a new field called “applied evolutionary neuro-ethics” which integrates science and social sciences to improve ethics education. The paradigm can merge traditional thinking about ethics from religious and philosophical perspectives with new ideas from applied evolutionary neuro-ethics. (shrink)
In this paper I review some theoretical exchanges and empiricalresults from recent work on humanbehavior and cognition in thehope of indicating some productive avenues for critical engagement.I focus particular attention on methodological debates between Evolutionary Psychologists and behavioral ecologists. I argue for a broader and more encompassing approach to the evolutionarily based study of humanbehavior and cognition than either of these two rivals present.
Social scientists have not integrated relevant knowledge from the biological sciences into their explanations of humanbehavior. This failure is due to a longstanding antireductionistic bias against the natural sciences, which follows on a commitment to the view that social facts must be explained by social laws. This belief has led many social scientists into the error of reifying abstract analytical constructs into entities that possess powers of agency. It has also led to a false nature-culture dichotomy that (...) effectively undermines the place of biology in social scientific explanation. Following the principles of methodological individualism, we show how behavioral explanations supported by data and theory from the neurosciences can be used to correct the errors of reificationist thinking in the social sciences. We outline a mechanistic approach to the explanation of humanbehavior with the hope that the biological sciences will begin to find greater acceptance among social scientists. (shrink)
acknowledgements This is not a memoir, it is a description of the world seen by one pair of eyes. This is not intentionally a science book, although it draws on generations of scientific research. Because it is a book about the nature ...
Humans have developed the capacity to approve or disapprove of the behavior of their children and of unrelated individuals. The ability to approve or disapprove transformed social learning into a system of cumulative cultural inheritance, because it increased the reliability of cultural transmission. Moreover, people can transmit their behavioral experiences (regarding what can and cannot be done) to their offspring, thereby avoiding the costs of a laborious, and sometimes dangerous, evaluation of different cultural alternatives. Our thesis is that, during (...) ontogeny, the evaluative communication (approval/disapproval) between parents and offspring is substituted by other evaluative communications among peers, like individuals of the same generation. Each person belongs to a reference social group with individuals that interact more intensively. Humans have developed psychological mechanisms that enable cultural transmission by being receptive to parental advice as well as their reference social group. The selective pressure that promoted these new evaluative interactions arose to facilitate the establishment of efficient cooperative relationships. In short, the social control of behavior is essential to understand human cultural transmission. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to discuss the criminalization of conduct based on human dignity arguments. It proposes a modest version of integrating human dignity into discussions about criminalization. After a critical examination of both the notion of “human dignity as an objective value” and the assumption that the meaning of human dignity can be explained by referring to Kant’s moral philosophy, human dignity violations are characterized as severe humiliations.
[John Dupré] This paper attacks some prominent contemporary attempts to provide reductive accounts of ever wider areas of human behaviour. In particular, I shall address the claims of sociobiology (or evolutionary psychology) to provide a universal account of human nature, and attempts to subsume ever wider domains of behaviour within the scope of economics. I shall also consider some recent suggestions as to how these approaches might be integrated. Having rejected the imperialistic ambitions of these approaches, I shall (...) briefly advocate a more pluralistic approach to the understanding of human behaviour, and one which leaves some space for the possibility of genuine human autonomy. /// [John O'Neill] One response to Dupré's criticism of rational choice theory's unifying aspirations is that it is aimed at over-ambitious versions of the theory. Immodesty about the scope of rational choice theory may look more plausible given suitable modesty in assumptions about the rational agent. The paper examines problems with one immodest version of the theory-public choice theory-and show how these shed light on problems in modest versions employing minimal assumptions about the preference structure of rational agents. However, while rational choice theory may fail in its unifying ambitions, I argue those aspirations are defensible. (shrink)