This article examines the critique of the biological species concept advanced by protozoan geneticist Tracy Sonneborn at the 1955 AAAS symposium on "the species problem," published subsequently in 1957. Although Sonneborn was a strong proponent of a population genetical conception of species, he became critical of the biological species concept for its failure to incorporate asexual and obligatory inbreeding organisms. It is argued that Sonneborn's intimate knowledge of the ciliate protozoan Paramecium aurelia species complex brought him into conflict with a (...) growing pressure in the biological sciences to emphasize universal principles of life. Faced with the need to defend the value of P. aurelia as an investigative tool, Sonneborn argued that the sharp break in nature between sexual and asexual organisms posited by proponents of the biological species concept was not an existential feature of the living world, but rather the misleading consequence of an operational definition of species based only upon sexual organisms. Drawing upon his knowledge of the immense variability of P. aurelia, he proposed instead a continuum of breeding systems from obligatory outbreeding to asexual organisms, and a more broadly unifying definition of species that incorporated asexual as well as sexual organisms. Paradoxically, the push for unification that then characterized the evolutionary synthesis served to debar critical consideration of Sonneborn's more unificatory alternative, and his underlying contention that biological anomaly could serve as an important source of conceptual unification. (shrink)
Van Fraassen's Judy Benjamin problem has generally been taken to show that not all rational changes of belief can be modelled in a probabilistic framework if the available update rules are restricted to Bayes's rule and Jeffrey's generalization thereof. But alternative rules based on distance functions between probability assignments that allegedly can handle the problem seem to have counterintuitive consequences. Taking our cue from a recent proposal by Bradley, we argue that Jeffrey's rule can solve the Judy Benjamin (...) problem after all. Moreover, we show that the specific instance of Jeffrey's rule that solves the Judy Benjamin problem can be underpinned by a particular distance function. Finally, we extend the set of distance functions to ones that take into account the varying degrees to which propositions may be epistemically entrenched. (shrink)
In 1948, a dynamic junior member of the Johns Hopkins Biology Department, William McElroy, became the first director of the McCollum—Pratt Institute for the Investigation of Micronutrient Elements. The Institute was founded at the university to further studies into the practicalities of animal nutrition. Ultimately, however, the Institute reflected McElroy's vision that all biological problems, including nutrition, could be best investigated through basic biochemical and enzymes studies. The Institute quickly became a hub of biochemical research over the following decade, (...) producing foundational work on metabolism and a respected series of symposia. In this paper, I argue that McElroy's biochemical vantage on biology also permeated the traditionally morphological and embryological Biology Department at Hopkins. Largely due to the activity of McElroy and the Institute, the faculty, course offerings, and research underwent a radical reorientation toward biochemistry and molecular biology in the 1950s, even while maintaining a commitment to developmental biology. While the history of postwar biology is often told as the ascendancy of the "new" biology over "traditional" biology, the case of McElroy and the McCollum—Pratt Institute affords an opportunity for historical examination of biochemical and molecular science as a lens through which all branches of biology at an institution were reconceived and unified. (shrink)
The apparent tension between the moral codes of the Old and New Testaments constitutes a perennial problem for Christian ethics. Scholars who have taken this problem seriously have often done so in ways that presume sharp discontinuity between the Testaments. They then proceed to devise a system for identifying what is or is not relevant today, or what pertains to this or that particular social sphere. John Howard Yoder brings fresh perspectives to this perennial problem by refuting the presumption of (...) intratestamental discontinuity. Throughout multiple scattered works on the Old Testament, Yoder offers a coherent and provocative narration that culminates in the way of Christ and establishes the ethical continuity of the entire biblical canon. This essay presents the basic parameters of Yoder's Old Testament narration, suggests points where revision is needed, and highlights several implications for social ethics. (shrink)
This paper is an engagement with Equality by John Baker, Kathleen Lynch, Judy Walsh and Sara Cantillon. It identifies a dilemma for educational egalitarians, which arises within their theory of equality, arguing that sometimes there may be a conflict between advancing equality of opportunity and providing equality of respect and recognition, and equality of love care and solidarity. It argues that the latter values may have more weight in deciding what to do than traditional educational egalitarians have usually thought.
In this paper, I compare John Locke’s “memory theory” of personal identity and Memento (directed by Christopher Nolan). I argue that the plot of Memento is ambiguous, in that the main character (Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce) seems to have two histories. As such, Memento is but a series of puzzle cases that intend to illustrate that, although our memories may not be chronologically related to one another, and may even be fused with the memories of other persons, those (...) memories still constitute personal identity. Just as Derek Parfit argues, perhaps there is no personal identity as such, since only survival (in some degree) matters to us. In Memento, Leonard Shelby is not identity to his former self, but survives to some extent. (shrink)
John Campbell argues that visual attention to objects is the means by which we can refer to objects, and that this is so because conscious visual attention enables us to retrieve information about a location. It is argued here that while Campbell is right to think that we visually attend to objects, he does not give us sufficient ground for thinking that consciousness is involved, and is wrong to assign an intermediary role to location. Campbell’s view on sortals is also (...) queried, as is his espousal of the so-called Referential View of Experience. (shrink)
Vol. 13 of John Dewey, The Later Works, brings this edition of Dewey's Collected Works to the fateful years 1938-1939. It contains three main texts Experience and Education, Freedom and Culture, and Theory of Valuation, plus essays and miscellany. The editors, Jo Ann Boydston and Barabara Levine, provide twenty-five pages of Appendices, and Steven M. Cahn has written and excellent Introduction. The hardback version includes a scholarly apparatus featured in each of the volumes of the series.
n 1909, the 50th anniversary of both the publication of Origin of the Species and his own birth, John Dewey published "The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy." This optimistic essay saw Darwin's advance not only as one of empirical or theoretical biology, but a logical and conceptual revolution that would shake every corner of philosophy. Dewey tells us less about the influence that Darwin exerted over philosophy over the past 50 years and instead prophesied the influence it would (or should) (...) take in the future. I will discuss this landmark paper and the key lessons Dewey draws from Darwinism for philosophy, and give a preliminary assessment of how well we've done so far. (Dewey would be largely disappointed.). (shrink)
In recent years, pragmatism in general and John Dewey in particular have been of increasing interest to philosophers of science. Dewey's work provides an interesting alternative package of views to those which derive from the logical empiricists and their critics, on problems of both traditional and more recent vintage. Dewey's work ought to be of special interest to recent philosophers of science committed to the program of analyzing ``science in practice.'' The core of Dewey's philosophy of science is his theory (...) of inquiry---what he called ``logic.'' There is a major lacuna in the literature on this point, however: no contemporary philosophers of science have engaged with Dewey's logical theory, and scholars of Dewey's logic have rarely made connections with philosophy of science. This paper aims to fill this gap, to correct some significant errors in the interpretation of key ideas in Dewey's logical theory, and to show how Dewey's logic provides resources for a philosophy of science. (shrink)
Some argue that humans should enhance their moral capacities by adopting institutions that facilitate morally good motives and behaviour. I have defended a parallel claim: that we could permissibly use biomedical technologies to enhance our moral capacities, for example by attenuating certain counter-moral emotions. John Harris has recently responded to my argument by raising three concerns about the direct modulation of emotions as a means to moral enhancement. He argues (1) that such means will be relatively ineffective in bringing about (...) moral improvements, (2) that direct modulation of emotions would invariably come at an unacceptable cost to our freedom, and (3) that we might end up modulating emotions in ways that actually lead to moral decline. In this article I outline some counter-intuitive potential implications of Harris' claims. I then respond individually to his three concerns, arguing that they license only the very weak conclusion that moral enhancement via direct emotion modulation is sometimes impermissible. However I acknowledge that his third concern might, with further argument, be developed into a more troubling objection to such enhancements. (shrink)
We outline our central reasons for pursuing the project of equality studies and some of the thinking we have done within an equality studies framework. We try to show that a multi-dimensional conceptual framework, applied to a set of key social contexts and articulating the concerns of subordinate social groups, can be a fruitful way of putting the idea of equality into practice. Finally, we address some central questions about how to bring about egalitarian social change.
John Bickle's new book on philosophy and neuroscience is aptly subtitled 'a ruthlessly reductive account'. His 'new wave metascience' is a massive attack on the relative autonomy that psychology enjoyed until recently, and goes even beyond his previous (Bickle, J. (1998). Psychoneural reduction: The new wave. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) new wave reductionsism. Reduction of functional psychology to (cognitive) neuroscience is no longer ruthless enough; we should now look rather to cellular or molecular neuroscience at the lowest possible level for (...) explanations of memory, consciousness and attention. Bickle presents a fascinating set of experimental cases of such molecule-to-mind explanations. This book qualifies as a showcase of naturalism in the philosophy of mind. Naturally, many of the traditional conceptual approaches in the philosophy of mind are given short shrift, but - in Bickle's metascientific scheme - the role of philosophy of science also seems reduced to explicating laboratory findings. The present reviewers think that this reductionism suffers from overstretching; in particular, the idea of 'explanation in a single bound' from molecule to mind is a bit too ruthless. Still, Bickle's arguments are worth serious attention. (shrink)
The Monstrosity of Christ provides an exchange between the Slovenian theorist Slavoj Žižek and the British theologian John Milbank. Both authors argue that Christianity is the religion of ‘absolute truth,’ but provide very different accounts of this. Milbank argues that Christianity is true insofar as only the incarnation of Christ mediates the paradoxical metaphysical participation of the finite within the infinite. Žižek argues that the crucifixion of Christ constitutes the death of God, demonstrating that there is no providential or transcendent (...) reality supervening on human history. This realization constitutes the universal truth of Christianity. (shrink)
My aim in this study is not to praise Fischer's fine theory of moral responsibility, but to (try to) bury the "semi" in "semicompatibilism". I think Fischer gives the Consequence Argument (CA) too much credit, and gives himself too little credit. In his book, The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer gave the CA as good a statement as it will ever get, and put his finger on what is wrong with it. Then he declared stalemate rather than victory. In my (...) view, Fischer's view amounts to sophisticated compatibilism. It would be nice to be able to call it by its right name. In The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer develops his own version of Consequence Argument, which turns on two principles, one of which is the fixity of the past. FP: For any action K, agent S and time i, if it is true that is S were to do Y at t, some fact about that past relative to t would not have been a fact, then S cannot at t do Fat 1. 1 argue that the equipment needed to reject FP (and thereby defend the most plausible version of compatibilism) is needed to deal with the problem of fatalism. In addition, I argue that the rejection of FP is compatible with Fischer's approach to Frankfurt cases and with his account of transfer principles. (shrink)
The political and philosophical problems John Rawls set out to solve arise out of the identity and conflicts of interests between citizens. There is identity of interests because social cooperation makes possible for everyone a life that is much better than one outside of society. There is a conflict of interests because people all prefer a larger to a smaller share of the benefits of social cooperation, and people have ideological differences. The problem a theory of justice has to solve (...) is how, in the face of these conflicts, effective social cooperation can come about on terms that are justifiable to all. (shrink)
Newly re-printed, Sydney Hook’s classic (1939) work on Dewey appears with an Introduction by Richard Rorty. Hook may help us see how Dewey fit into his own time. That story is important. The new printing may also help us see how Dewey fits into our time. Rorty lauds more recent treatments of Dewey’s work, especially Robert Westbrook’s intellectual biography John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), and Steven Rockefeller’s John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (1991) gets honorable mention. Specific comments (...) focus on Alan Ryan’s John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism (1995). “It may be that Dewey and Hook witnessed, as Alan Ryan suggests, ... ‘the high tide of American liberalism,’ but if this is so, then America has lost its soul.”1 Even future-focused pragmatists need to look back to Dewey and Hook. They were “Americans” who, in the final words of the Hook volume, “still had hope for what America may yet be.”. (shrink)
This is a review of Peter Anstey's John Locke and Natural Philosophy, which is a masterful and well-argued study of Locke's philosophy of science that shall become both the standard and starting place, for scholars and students alike, for decades to come. Anstey's meticulous and thorough research, combined with his comprehensive knowledge of the history of natural philosophy, make this work a must-read for all who are interested in Locke, early modern philosophy, the history of the philosophy of science, or (...) early modern philosophy of science. His characteristically rigorous analysis and argumentation coupled with his easy and clear prose make this a highly readable and accessible work of scholarship. (shrink)
. According to John Buridan, the time for which a statement is true is underdetermined by the grammatical form of the sentence – the intention of the speaker is required. As a consequence, truth-bearers are not sentence types, nor sentence tokens plus facts of the context of utterance, but statements. Statements are also the bearers of logical relations, since the latter can only be established among entities having determined truth-conditions. This role of the intention of the speaker in the determination (...) of what is said by an utterance is not isolated in medieval semantics. (shrink)
"When John Dewey died in 1952, he was memorialized as America's most famous philosopher, revered by liberal educators and deplored by conservatives, but universally acknowledged as his country's intellectual voice. Many things conspired to give Dewey an extraordinary intellectual eminence: He was immensely long-lived and immensely prolific; he died in his ninety-third year, and his intellectual productivity hardly slackened until his eighties." "Professor Alan Ryan offers new insights into Dewey's many achievements, his character, and the era in which his scholarship (...) had a remarkable impact. He investigates the question of what an American audience wanted from a public philosopher - from an intellectual figure whose credentials came from his academic standing as a philosopher, but whose audience was much wider than an academic one." "Ryan argues that Dewey's "religious" outlook illuminates his politics much more vividly than it does the politics of religion as ordinarily conceived. He examines how Dewey fit into the American radical tradition, how he was and was not like his transatlantic contemporaries, why he could for so long practice a form of philosophical inquiry that became unfashionable in England after 1914 at the latest."--BOOK JACKET. (shrink)
The solution John Buridan offers for the Paradox of the Liar has not been correctly placed within the framework of his philosophy of language. More precisely, there are two important points of the Buridanian philosophy of language that are crucial to the correct understanding of his solution to the Liar paradox that are either misrepresented or ignored in some important accounts of his theory. The first point is that the Aristotelian formula, ` propositio est vera quia qualitercumque significat in rebus (...) significatis ita est ', once amended, is a correct way to talk about the truth of a sentence. The second one is that he has a double indexing theory of truth: a sentence is true in a time about a time, and such times should be distinguished in the account of the truth-conditions of sentences. These two claims are connected in an important way: the Aristotelian formula indicates the time about which a sentence is true. Some interpreters of the Buridanian solution to the paradox, following the lead of Herzberger, have missed these points and have been led to postulate truth-values gaps, or surrogates of truth-value gaps, when there is nothing of this sort in his theory. I argue against this tradition of interpretation of Buridan and propose an interpretation of his solution to the Liar. (shrink)
The project method became a famous teaching method when William Heard Kilpatrick published his article ‘Project Method’ in 1918. The key idea in Kilpatrick's project method is to try to explain how pupils learn things when they work in projects toward different common objects. The same idea of pupils learning by work or action in an environment with objects also belongs to John Dewey's problem-solving method. Are Kilpatrick's project method and Dewey's problem-solving method the same thing? The aim of this (...) article is to analyze and prove that Kilpatrick's project method differs radically from Dewey's problem-solving method. (shrink)
∗A special thanks to those who have assisted my archival research, including Aldo Antonelli, John Burgess, Michael Della Rocca, Herbert Enderton, Bernard Linsky, Heidi Lockwood, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Julien Murzi and Bas van Fraassen. An extra special thanks to Julien Murzi, who as my research assistant in the Fall of 2005 helped me to identify and think more clearly about the famous anonymous referee reports, which are central to the present paper. For discussion and/or assistance I am also grateful to (...) many others, including Scott Berman, Berit Brogaard, Judy Crane, Susan Brower- Toland, David Chalmers, Solomon Feferman, Nick Griﬃn, Michael Hand, Monte Johnson, Jon Kvanvig, Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, Robert Meyer, Andreas Niederberger, Gualtiero Piccinini, Graham Priest, Krister Segerberg, Wilfried Sieg, Roy Sorensen, Kent Staley, Jim Stone, Neil Tennant, Achille Varzi, Nick Zavediuk, anonymous readers for OUP, and audience members at the Paciﬁc APA in Portland (March 24, 2006), the Goethe University of Frankfurt (May 15, 2006), the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam (May 23, 2006), and the Namicona Epistemology Workshop, at the University of Copenhagen (August 22, 2006). Thanks also to my department at Saint Louis University for granting time and resources to research and write the paper. (shrink)
This is a classic volume in the "library of Living Philosophers" and includes a collection of essays on Dewey's work by his contemporaries at the time of the volume's publication. It also includes a biographical essay on Dewey and his replies to the assembled essays.
John R. Searle is one of the world's leading philosophers. During his long and outstanding career, he has made groundbreaking and lasting contributions to the philosophy of language, to the philosophy of mind, as well as to the nature, structure, and functioning of social reality. This volume documents the 13th Münster Lectures on Philosophy with John R. Searle. It includes not only 11 critical papers on Searle's philosophy and Searle's replies to the papers, but also an original article by John (...) R. Searle on his overall philosophical enterprise entitled "The Basic Reality and the Human Reality". -/- "I think Münster is probably unique among contemporary universities in its ability to produce such a high level of philosophical production from their philosophy students." - John R. Searle. (shrink)
James Campbell's Understanding John Dewey represents the latest of his series of recent books, focused on the classical pragmatist tradition. In The Community Reconstructs. Campbell capably explored the meaning and relevance of pragmatic social thought, urging that the social pragmatists combined 'the inquiring and critical spirit of Peirce' with 'issues of general and direct human concern that interested James. Dewey is 'the most important figure of this movement' and the "primary figure' for the earlier book. Campbell now engages Dewey more (...) fully. (shrink)
John Searle zählt zweifellos zu den weltweit wichtigsten und einflussreichsten Denkern der Gegenwart. Seine grundlegenden und nachhaltigen Beiträge zur Sprachphilosophie, zur Philosophie des Geistes, zur Handlungstheorie und zur Sozialphilosophie werden weit über die Grenzen des Fachs Philosophie hinaus wahrgenommen und gehören vielfach zum Standardrepertoire wissenschaftlicher Forschung und Lehre. -/- Michael Kober und Jan G. Michel bieten in diesem Buch eine übersichtliche sowie gut verständliche, aber auch kritische Einführung in das Gesamtwerk John Searles: Neben einer sehr persönlichen biographischen Notiz und einem (...) kurzen Überblick über seine Leitfragen und Positionen wird jeder der genannten Arbeitsbereiche John Searles in seinen wesentlichen Grundzügen historisch wie systematisch eingeordnet, dargestellt und diskutiert. Indem Kober und Michel dabei nicht chronologisch, sondern inhaltlich systematisch vorgehen, treten außerdem die Zusammenhänge innerhalb des Gesamtwerks John Searles deutlich hervor, so dass dieses schließlich im Lichte der heutigen Philosophie bewertet werden kann. (shrink)
We reply to discussions of Equality: From Theory to Action by Harry Brighouse, Joanne Conaghan, Cillian McBride and Stuart White. We find many of their points helpful and treat them as a useful contribution to a continuing dialogue on egalitarianism.
In this paper I argue that the requirement for the qualitative is theory-dependent, determined by the fundamental assumptions built into the ontology. John Heil’s qualitative, in its role as individuator of objects and powers, is required only by a theory that posits a world of distinct objects or powers. Does Heil’s ‘deep’ view of the world, such that there is only one powerful object (e.g. a field containing modes or properties which we perceive as manifest everyday objects) require the qualitative (...) as individuator of objects and powers? The answer depends on whether it is possible to account for the manifest objects and the ostensible spatial primacy of our perceived world without recourse to the qualitative. In this paper I outline just such an account with the intention of extending Heil’s efforts to incorporate fundamental power in the world while providing a coherent explanation for our strong intuition of spatial, as against relational, priority. (shrink)