In this essay I analyse and criticize George Lindbeck's treatment of truth and meaning in his book "The Nature of Doctrine." On truth, his theory is riddled with conceptual problems, fails as an adequate theoretical description of our pretheoretic intuition of truth, and is finally parasitic on this intuition. On meaning, his reduction of meaning (and sometimes truth) to use or usefulness leads him to an incorrect categorization of doctrines as (essentially) performative utterances and second-order, non-assertive discourse, rather than as (...) propositional attitude statements. Finally, I suggest the inadequacy of his treatment of truth and meaning redounds to the failure of his theory of religion and doctrine as a whole. (shrink)
Human Nature After Darwin is an original investigation of the implications of Darwinism for our understanding of ourselves and our situation. It casts new light on current Darwinian controversies, and in doing so provides an introduction to philosophical reasoning and a range of philosophical problems. Janet Radcliffe Richards claims that many current battles about Darwinism, in particular about evolutionary psychology and religion, are based on mistaken assumptions about the implications of the rival views. Her analysis of these implications provides (...) a much-needed guide to the fundamentals of Darwinism and the so-called Darwin-wars, as well as providing a set of philosophical techniques relevant to wide areas of moral and political debate. It also raises philosophical problems of knowledge and certainly, free will and responsibility, altruism, the status of ethics, and the relevance of Darwinism to questions of ethics, politics and religion. The lucid presentation makes the book an ideal introduction to both philosophy and Darwinism, as well as a substantive contribution to topics of intense current controversy. It will be of interest to students of philosophy, science and the social sciences, and critical thinking. (shrink)
Ernst Haeckel’s popular book Nat¨urliche Sch¨opfungs- geschichte (Natural history of creation, 1868) represents human species in a hierarchy, from lowest (Papuan and Hottentot) to highest (Caucasian, including the Indo-German and Semitic races). His stem-tree (see Figure 1) of human descent and the racial theories that accompany it have been the focus of several recent books—histories arguing that Haeckel had a unique position in the rise of Nazi biology during the ﬁrst part of the 20th century. In 1971, Daniel Gasman brought (...) the initial bill of particulars; he portrayed Haeckel as having speciﬁc responsibility for Nazi racial programs. He argued that Darwin’s champion had a distinctive authority at the end of the 19th century, throwing into the shadows the myriads of others with similar racial attitudes.1 But it was not simply a general racism that Haeckel expressed; he was, according to Gasman (1971: 157–159), a virulent anti-Semite. Since its original publication, Gasman’s thesis has caught on with a large number of historians, so that in the present period it is usually taken as a truism, an obvious fact of the sordid history of biological thought in the ﬁrst half of the 20th century.2 Perhaps the most prominent scholar—at least among historians of biology—to adopt and advance Gasman’s contention was Stephen Jay Gould. In his ﬁrst book, Ontogeny and Phy- logeny (1977), Gould took as his subject Haeckel’s principle of recapitulation, the proposal that during ontogeny the developing embryo went through the same morphological stages as the phylum passed through in its evolutionary descent. So according to this conception, the human embryo begins as a one-celled creature, then takes on the form of an ancient invertebrate (e.g., a gastraea), then of a primitive vertebrate, then of an early mammal, then of a primate, and ﬁnally of a distinct.. (shrink)
Banging on about Darwin: Hodge in context Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9550-4 Authors Evelleen Richards, Unit for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney, PO Box 255, Thirroul, NSW 2515, Australia Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Force Fields collects the recent essays of Martin Jay, an intellectual historian and cultural critic internationally known for his extensive work on the history of Western Marxism and the intellectual migration from Germany to America.
Just before Ernst Haeckel’s death in 1919, historians began piling on the faggots for a splendid auto-da-fé. Though more people prior to the Great War learned of Darwin’s theory through his efforts than through any other source, including Darwin himself, Haeckel has been accused of not preaching orthodox Darwinian doctrine. In 1916, E. S. Russell, judged Haeckel's principal theoretical work, Generelle Morphologie der Organismen, as "representative not so much of Darwinian as of pre-Darwinian thought."1 Both Stephen Jay Gould and (...) class='Hi'>Peter Bowler endorse this evaluation, and see as an index of Haeckel’s heterodox deviation his use of the biogenetic law that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.2 Michael Ruse, without much analysis, simply proclaims that “Haeckel and friends were not true Darwinians.”3 These historians locate the problem in Haeckel’s inclinations toward Naturphilosophie and in his adoption of the kind of Romantic attitudes characterizing the earlier biology of Goethe. These charges of heresy assume, of course, that Darwin’s own theory harbors no taint of Romanticism and that it consequently remains innocent of the doctrine of recapitulation. I think both assumptions quite.. (shrink)
Considering the “Born-Alive” Rule and Possession of Sperm Following Death Content Type Journal Article Category Recent Developments Pages 323-327 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9324-0 Authors Bernadette Richards, Law School, The University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Bill Madden, School of Law, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia Tina Cockburn, School of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 4.
Sale of Sperm, Health Records, Minimally Conscious States, and Duties of Candour Content Type Journal Article Category Recent Developments Pages 7-14 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9347-6 Authors Cameron Stewart, Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia 2006 Bernadette Richards, Law School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia 5005 Richard Huxtable, Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TH UK Bill Madden, School of Law, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia (...) Tina Cockburn, School of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 1. (shrink)
Recent Developments Content Type Journal Article Pages 113-119 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9300-8 Authors Bernadette Richards, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia Bill Madden, School of Law, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia Tina Cockburn, School of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld, Australia Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 2.
In The Ethics of Parenthood Norvin Richards explores the moral relationship between parents and children from slightly before the cradle to slightly before the grave. Richards maintains that biological parents do ordinarily have a right to raise their children, not as a property right but as an instance of our general right to continue whatever we have begun. The contention is that creating a child is a first act of parenthood, hence it ordinarily carries a right to continue (...) as parent to that child. Implications are drawn for a wide range of cases, including those of Baby Jessica and Baby Richard, prenatal abandonment, babies switched at birth and sent home with the wrong parents, and families separated by war or natural disaster. A second contention is that children have a claim of their own to have their autonomy respected, and that this claim is stronger the better the grounds for believing that what the child's actions express is a self of the child's own. A final set of chapters concern parents and their grown children. Views are offered about what duties parents have at this stage of life, about what is required in order to treat grown children as adults, and about what obligations grown children have to their parents. In the final chapter Richards discusses the contention that parents sometimes have an obligation to die rather than permit their children to make the sacrifices needed to keep them alive, arguing that a leading view about this undervalues both love and autonomy. (shrink)
This paper examines Wesley Salmon's "process" theory of causality, arguing in particular that there are four areas of inadequacy. These are that the theory is circular, that it is too vague at a crucial point, that statistical forks do not serve their intended purpose, and that Salmon has not adequately demonstrated that the theory avoids Hume's strictures about "hidden powers". A new theory is suggested, based on "conserved quantities", which fulfills Salmon's broad objectives, and which avoids the problems discussed.
Earlier in this volume, Wesley Salmon has given a characteristically clear and trenchant critique of the account of non-demonstrative reasoning known by the slogan `Inference to the Best Explanation'. As a long-time fan of the idea that explanatory considerations are a guide to inference, I was delighted by the suggestion that Wes and I might work together on a discussion of the issues. In the event, this project has exceeded my high expectations, for in addition to the intellectual gain (...) that comes from the careful study of his essay, I have benefited enormously from the stream of illuminating emails and faxes that Wes has sent me during our collaboration. Doing philosophy together has been an education and a pleasure. Salmon's essay would place Inference to the Best Explanation beyond the pale of acceptable philosophical accounts of inference. According to Salmon, Inference to the Best Explanation has serious internal difficulties and compares very unfavourably with Bayesian approaches to these matters. My aim in the following remarks is irenic. I hope to show that a number of the claimed difficulties either are not really difficulties or are avoidable. In some cases, the avoidance will require a mild reinterpretation of the account that lies behind the slogan `Inference to the Best Explanation'; in others, it will require admitting limits to the scope of the account. For I accept at the outset that Inference to the Best Explanation cannot possibly be the whole story about the assessment of scientific hypotheses. For me, the interesting idea is simply that we sometimes decide how likely a hypothesis is to be correct in part by considering how good an explanation it would provide, if it were correct. This is the idea of explanatory considerations providing a guide to inference, and this is the idea that I will here promote. (shrink)
Wesley Salmon provided three classic criteria of adequacy for satisfactory interpretations of probability. A fourth criterion is suggested here. A distinction is drawn between frequency‐driven probability models and theory‐driven probability models and it is argued that single case accounts of chance are superior to frequency accounts at least for the latter. Finally it is suggested that theories of chance should be required only to be contingently true, a position which is a natural extension of Salmon's ontic account of probabilistic (...) causality and his own later views on propensities. (shrink)
Note: The Simpson's, television's popular prime-time cartoon known for its satirical commentary on various social issues, recently took a shot at the creation-evolution debate by featuring Stephen Jay Gould prominently in one of its episodes. Here is Bill Dembski's review and observations of that episode.
In his later years, Wesley Salmon believed that the two dominant models of scientific explanation (his own causal-mechanical model and the unificationist model) were reconcilable. Salmon envisaged a 'new consensus' about explanation: he suggested that the two models represent two 'complementary' types of explanation, which may 'peacefully coexist' because they illuminate different aspects of scientific understanding. This paper traces the development of Salmon's ideas and presents a critical analysis of his complementarity thesis. Salmon's thesis is rejected on the basis (...) of two objections, and an alternative view of the relation between different types of explanation is proposed. (shrink)
Norvin Richards, The Ethics of Parenthood Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9298-3 Authors Michael McFall, Department of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
‘Experience is the best teacher’ goes the cliché without ever making clear just want is meant by that slippery first term. ‘Experience is never remembered unaltered’ goes another. Is experience something to be undergone, like a journey, or is it perhaps the relational immediacy between organism and environment? What do we reference when we use the term experience? -/- Martin Jay, renowned intellectual historian from UC Berkeley, here examines these questions in a grand survey of the term’s use throughout the (...) intellectual history of what was once called Western Civilization. Beginning with the ancient Greeks (of course), he reviews the surprising number of variations employed and assumed by philosophers, theologians critical theorists, and right up to the poststructuralists. Jay knows his territory and reading this survey of it — for anyone with any sort of background in the history of philosophy — is often as pleasant as hearing a familiar symphony well-played in a unique way. (shrink)
Stephen Jay Gould’s monumental The Structure of Evolutionary Theory ‘‘attempts to expand and alter the premises of Darwinism, in order to build an enlarged and distinctive evolutionary theory . . . while remaining within the tradition, and under the logic, of Darwinian argument.’’ The three branches or ‘‘fundamental principles of Darwinian logic’’ are, according to Gould: agency (natural selection acting on individual organisms), efﬁcacy (producing new species adapted to their environments), and scope (accumulation of changes that through geological time yield (...) the living world’s panoply of diversity and morphological complexity). Gould’s efforts to contribute something important to each of these three fundamental components of Darwinian Theory are far from successful. (shrink)
In this response to essays by Barbara J. King, Gregory R. Peterson, Wesley J. Wildman, and Nancy R. Howell, I present arguments to counter some of the exciting and challenging questions from my colleagues. I take the opportunity to restate my argument for an interdisciplinary public theology, and by further developing the notion of transversality I argue for the specificity of the emerging theological dialogue with paleoanthropology and primatology. By arguing for a hermeneutics of the body, I respond (...) to criticism of my notion of human uniqueness and argue for strong evolutionary continuities, as well as significant discontinuities, between primates, humans, and other hominids. In addition, I answer critical questions about theological methodology and argue how the notion of human uniqueness, theologically restated as the image of God, is enriched by transversally appropriating scientific notions of species specificity and embodied personhood. (shrink)
Wesley Wildman: Religious philosophy as multidisciplinary comparative inquiry: envisioning a future for the philosophy of religion Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11153-012-9339-4 Authors Jeppe Sinding Jensen, Department of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, Tasingegade 3, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
This is a response to Wesley J. Wildman’s “Behind, Between, and Beyond Anthropomorphic Models of Ultimate Reality.” While I agree with much of what Wildman writes, I raise questions concerning standards for evaluating models of ultimate reality and the plausibility of ranking such models. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
In his new book, "The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe," Robert J. Richards argues that Charles Darwin's true evolutionary roots lie in the German Romantic biology that flourished around the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is argued that Richards is quite wrong in this claim and that Darwin's roots are in the British society within which he was born, educated, and lived.
Kenneth J. Klabunde and Ryan M. Richards (Eds): Nanoscale materials in chemistry, 2nd edn Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9131-z Authors George B. Kauffman, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034, USA Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
tephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History , has become something of a watershed for those who study contingency and complexity, especially applied to organisms, societies, and history, and discussions of it can be found in many works. Walter Fontana and Leo Buss, for example, ask in the title of their chapter "What Would Be Conserved If 'The Tape Were Played Twice'?" This is a direct reference to Gould's suggestion in Wonderful Life that if (...) the tape of life were rewound to the time of the organisms found in the Canadian outcrop known as the Burgess Shale, dated to about 530 million years ago, and replayed with a few contingencies tweaked here and there, humans would most likely never have evolved. (shrink)
: In response to Jay Gallagher's criticism, I emphasize that my article "The Dilemma Faced by Chinese Feminists" (2000) is aimed at showing how both the level of economic development and sexual difference are relevant to the realization of sexual equality. It is a much more serious theoretical attempt than to argue that men have a physical advantage in a society where heavy labor is still in great demand.
This pleasantly written book has two related themes. The first is a statistical argument which Gould believes has great generality, uniting baseball, a moving personal response to the serious illness from which, thankfully, the author has now recovered, and his second theme: that of whether evolution is progressive.
n the pioneering days of radio, my grandfather's job was to lecture to young engineers who were joining Marconi's company. To illustrate that any complex wave form can be broken down into summed simple waves of different frequencies (important in both radio and acoustics), he took wheels of different diameters and attached them with pistons to a clothesline. When the wheels went round, the clothesline was jerked up and down, causing waves of movement to snake along it. The wriggling clothesline (...) was a model of a radio wave, giving the students a more vivid picture of wave summation than mathematical equations could ever have done. (shrink)
Theories postulating saltational evolution are a necessary consequence of essentialism. If one believes in constant types, only the sudden production of a new type can lead to evolutionary change. That such saltations can occur and indeed that their occurrence is a necessity is an old belief. Almost all of the theories of evolution described by H. F. Osborn (1894) in his From the Greek s to Darwin were saltational theories, that is, theories of the sudden origin of new kinds. The (...) Darwinian revolution (Darwin, 1859) did not end this tradition, which continued to flourish in the writings of Thomas H. Huxley, William Bateson, Hugo De Vries, J. C. Willis, Richard Goldschmidt, and Otto Schindewolf. Traces of this idea can even be found in the writings of some of the punctuationists. (shrink)
Mining companies have long had a questionable reputation for social responsibility, especially in developing countries. In recent years, mining companies operating in developing countries have come under increased pressure as opponents have placed them under greater public scrutiny. Mining companies have responded by developing global corporate social responsibility strategies as part of their larger global business strategies. In these strategies, a prominent place is given to their relationship with local communities. For business ethics, one basic issue is whether such an (...) approach to corporate responsibility is likely to effectively address the development concerns of local communities in developing countries. This paper addresses this question by investigating how the corporate social responsibility agenda of a major minor company has been implemented by one of its subsidiaries in South Africa. (shrink)
P.F. Strawson’s work on moral responsibility is well-known. However, an important implication of the landmark “Freedom and Resentment” has gone unnoticed. Specifically, a natural development of Strawson’s position is that we should understand being morally responsible as having externalistically construed pragmatic criteria, not individualistically construed psychological ones. This runs counter to the contemporary ways of studying moral responsibility. I show the deficiencies of such contemporary work in relation to Strawson by critically examining the positions of John Martin Fischer and Mark (...) Ravizza, R. Jay Wallace, and Philip Pettit for problems due to individualistic assumptions. (shrink)
I begin by warmly thanking Professors Garfield and Hansen for participating in this dialogue. I greatly value the work of both and appreciate having the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with them. Aside from the many important insights I gain from their replies, I believe that both Garfield and Hansen misrepresent my position. In response, I shall clarify the argument contained in my preceding comment, and will consider the objections as they bear on this clarified position.Both Garfield and Hansen (...) characterize the central argument of my comment as presupposing a relatively mainstream Western account of action. They suggest that, with a mainstream Western account in hand, I challenge Classical Chinese and Indo .. (shrink)
I outline Gould's conception of evolutionary theory and his ways of contrasting it with contemporary Darwinism; a contemporary Darwinism that focuses on the natural selection of individual organisms. Gould argues for a hierarchical conception of the living world and of the evolutionary processes that have built that living world: organisms are built from smaller components (genes, cells) and are themselves components of groups, populations, species, lineages. Selection, drift and constraint are important to all of these levels of biological organization, not (...) just that of individual organisms. Moreover, both drift and constraint are more important than orthodoxy supposes. While having some sympathy for both of these lines of argument, I argue that they are more problematic than Gould supposes, and that he understates the power and the heterogeneity of orthodox conceptions of life's evolution. (shrink)