Seen in its historical context, Mazur & Booth's (M&B's) target article may come to be viewed as a turning point in the study of the biological basis of human behavior in general, and dominance in particular. To facilitate further research, suggestions are offered for making the definition of dominance more precise. From an evolutionary point of view, the testosterone-dominance link may be as important in women as it is in men.
The challenge of pursuing sustainability in agriculture is often viewed as mainly or wholly technical in nature, requiring the reform of farming methods and the development and adoption of alternative technologies. Likewise, the purpose of sustainability is frequently cast in utilitarian terms, as a means of protecting a valuable resource (i.e., soil) and of satisfying market demands for healthy, tasty food. Paul B. Thompson has argued that the embrace of these views by many in the consumer/environmental movement enables easy co-optation (...) by agribusiness. It also reflects a critical weakness in this movement: a lack of commitment to philosophical principles that depart from the utilitarian premises of the industrial model of agriculture. This paper draws on the writings of Thomas Berry and Liberty Hyde Bailey to identify the philosophical principles of what we call planetary agrarianism. From the perspective of planetary agrarianism, the pursuit of sustainability is a broad and challenging moral, educational, and political task. Berry helps us see that it is fundamentally a project of worldview transition, which requires a new cultural narrative that must rival, in form and appeal, the mythic power of the utilitarian industrial vision. Liberty Hyde Bailey, author of The Holy Earth (1915) and a leader in the land-grant education and nature-study movements, took up the project of worldview transition in his life work. While in some ways dated and flawed, Bailey’s writings are a valuable source of guidance for developing and pursuing a viable philosophy of agriculture for the 21st century. (shrink)
An increasing number of natural scientists are doubling as natural theologians. I critically examine two recent defences of the design argument by biologists: "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe and "Nature's Destiny" by Michael Denton. Each claims that recent findings in biology provide new evidence for belief in a supernatural designer. For the sake of argument, I grant both the validity and soundness of their arguments. What I then try to show is that even if we grant that (...) the new biology supports a supernatural designer, J. S. Mill's objections, based on ordinary observation, still make it reasonable to doubt that the designer is the God of traditional theism -- a being infinite in power, knowledge, and goodness. (shrink)
In his recent book, Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong, Jerry Fodor retracts the radical concept-nativism he once defended. Yet that postion stood, virtually unchallenged, for more than twenty years. This neglect is puzzling, as Fodor's arguments against concepts being learnable from experience remain unanswered, and nativism has historically been taken very seriously as a response to empiricism's perceived shortcomings. In this paper, I urge that Fodorean nativism should indeed be rejected. I argue, however, that its deficiencies are not so (...) obvious that they can simply be taken for granted. Fodor can counter extant objections by stressing two distinctions: between historicist and counterfactual semantic theories and between explaining reference and explaining concept-acquisition. But, I argue, this victory is pyrrhic. Reformulated as objections to his account qua theory of concept-acquisition, and not qua theory of reference, analogous difficulties are fatal to the Fodorean position. (shrink)
H´ector-Neri Casta˜neda-Calder´on (December 13, 1924–September 7, 1991) was born in San Vicente Zacapa, Guatemala. He attended the Normal School for Boys in Guatemala City, later called the Military Normal School for Boys, from which he was expelled for refusing to ﬁght a bully; the dramatic story, worthy of being ﬁlmed, is told in the “De Re” section of his autobiography, “Self-Proﬁle” (1986). He then attended a normal school in Costa Rica, followed by studies in philosophy at the University of San (...) Carlos, Guatemala. He won a scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where he received his B.A. (1950), M.A. (1952), and Ph.D. (1954), all in philosophy. His dissertation, “The Logical Structure of Moral Reasoning”, was written under the direction of Wilfrid Sellars. He returned to teach in Guatemala, and then received a scholarship to study at Oxford University (1955–1956), after which he took a sabbatical-replacement position in philosophy at Duke University (1956). His ﬁrst full-time academic appointment was at Wayne State University (1957– 1969), where he founded the philosophy journal Noˆus (1967, a counter-offer made to him by Wayne State to encourage him to stay there rather than to take the chairmanship of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania). In 1969, he moved (along with several of his Wayne colleagues) to Indiana University, where he eventually became the Mahlon Powell Professor of Philosophy and, later, its ﬁrst Dean of Latino Affairs (1978–1981). He remained at Indiana until his death. He was also a visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin (1962–1963) and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1981–1982). He received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (1967–1968), the T. Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. He was elected President of the American Philosophical Association Central Division (1979– 1980), named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1990), and received the Presidential Medal of Honor from the Government of Guatemala (1991). Casta˜neda’s philosophical interests spanned virtually the entire spectrum of philosophy, and his theories form a highly interconnected whole.. (shrink)
Since Darwin, a genetic continuity of morphological and behavioral traits between all living beings has been taken for granted. This paper describes eight irreducible classes of descriptive traits on the basis of the presence or absence of (a) repetitivity, (b) correlation with natural environment properties and (c) inner integration. It is argued that some of these classes should neither be used in taxonomy nor in phylogenetic reconstructions. The remaining classes imply an inner dynamic indivisibility on the one hand, and an (...) evident relation to the concept of the reaction norm on the other. These implications, in turn, may lead to the recognition of much broader „natural species” units which embrace forms usually grouped within a genus or family. Morphological and behavioral gaps between such „natural species” have to be considered in relation to the rather mysterious developmental, integrative and adaptive potential of a particular natural species. Paleontological data seem to confirm the existence of such gaps. This introduces a serious objection to the theory of common descent and to the cognitive utility of the macro- and megaevolutionary „phylogenetic trees.”. (shrink)
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