This article is an amendment to Drengson (2011) that offers examples from fieldwork and reporting of practices influenced by the technocratic paradigm. Specifically (1) Krippner's work with Brazilian shamans and the theft of their tribal knowledge by the biotechnology industry that Krippner refers to as ecopiratism. (2) Hitchcock's field research with indigenous populations in the northwestern Kalahari Desert region of southern Africa and his documented assault of these indigenous peoples by private companies that Hitchcock refers to as developmental genocide. And (...) (3) Walker's summary of Monsanto's patenting of seeds, and her warning of the health and environmental problems associated with genetically modified organisms. These examples offer support for the hypothesis that the eco-crisis is born of conscious agency. Beyond documenting and diagnosing these symptoms of the eco-crisis, this article puts forth the thesis that a transformation of consciousness would change the conditions of our present situation by providing the opportunity for different solutions to be found through the creation of a new mind set to make the necessary decisions for change. Many refer to the emerging field concerned with developing approaches to this transformation of consciousness as ecopsychology that Schroll prefers to call transpersonal ecosophy. (shrink)
Evidence for instances of astrophysical 'fine tuning' (or 'coincidences') is thought by some to lend support to the design argument (i.e. the argument that our universe has been designed by some deity). We assess some of the relevant empirical and conceptual issues. We argue that astrophysical fine tuning calls for some explanation, but this explanation need not appeal to the design argument. A clear and strict separation of the issue of anthropic fine tuning on one hand and any form of (...) Eddingtonian numerology and teleology on the other, may help clarify arguably the most significant issue in the philosophy of cosmology. (shrink)
A basic model of hierarchical structure, expressed by simple, linear differential equations, shows that the pattern of population growth is essentially determined by conditions of redundancy in the sub-structure of individuals. There does not exist any possible combination between growth rate and accident rate that could balance population numbers and/or the level of redundancy within the population; all possible combinations either lead to extinction or to positive population growth with a decline of the fraction of individuals with redundant substructure. Declining (...) populations, however, can be held fluctuating between certain limits by periodic phases of sub-unit repair. These results are particularly pertinent to the population dynamics of diploid (polyploid) organisms. (shrink)
This is a revised edition of Walker's well-known book in feminist ethics first published in 1997. Walker's book proposes a view of morality and an approach to ethical theory which uses the critical insights of feminism and race theory to rethink the epistemological and moral position of the ethical theorist, and how moral theory is inescapably shaped by culture and history. The main gist of her book is that morality is embodied in "practices of responsibility" that express our (...) identities, values, and connections to others in socially patterned ways. Thus ethical theory needs to be empirically informed and politically critical to avoid reiterating forms of socially entrenched bias. Responsible ethical theory should reveal and question the moral significance of social differences. The book engages with, and challenges, the work of contemporary analytic philosophers in ethics. Moral Understandings has been influential in reaching a global audience in ethics and feminist philosophy, as well as in tangential fields like nursing ethics; research ethics; disability ethics; environmental ethics, and social and political theory. This revised edition contains a new preface, a substantive postscript to Chapter 1 about "the subject of moral philosophy"; the addition of a new chapter on the importance of emotion in practices of responsibility; and the addition of an afterword, which responds to critics of the book. (shrink)
In a recent study of astrophysical “fine-tunings” (or “coincidences”), Robert Klee critically assesses the support that such astrophysical evidence might be thought to lend to the design argument (i.e., the argument that our universe has been designed by some deity). Klee argues that a proper assessment indicates that the universe is not as “fine-tuned” as advertised by proponents of the design arguments. We argue (i) that Klee’s assessment of the data is, to a certain extent, problematic; and (ii) even if (...) Klee’s assessment of the data is correct, it provides a necessary but not a sufficient response to the design argument. However, an adequate skeptical rejoinder to the design argument can be made by appealing to the anthropic principle. (shrink)
Philosophical accounts of "action" standardly take an action to be a doing which _satisfies some description that is semantically related to the content of a propositional attitude of the subject's which _explains why that doing occurred. Causal theories of action require that the explanation in question must involve the causation of action-doings by propositional attitudes (typically intentions, volitions, or combinations of belief and desire). I argue that there are actions whose status, as such, cannot be acknowledged by any causal theory, (...) since no such theory can allow that they fulfill the satisfaction condition. (shrink)
Aims and background: Little is known about how participants perceive prevention trials, particularly trials designed to prevent mental illness. This study examined participants’ motives for participating in a trial and their views of randomisation and the ability to withdraw from a randomised controlled trial (RCT) for prevention of depression. Methods: Participants were older adults reporting elevated depression symptoms (N = 900) living in urban and regional locations in Australia who had consented to participate in an RCT of interventions to prevent (...) depression. Participants rated their agreement with various statements describing motivations for enrolment in the trial and opinions regarding randomisation and withdrawal. Results: The majority of participants expressed a triad of altruistic motivation for participation, relative lack of concern about randomisation and commitment to the trial. Certain subgroups of participants, such as women and those with higher depression scores, reported higher levels of concern about specific issues. Conclusions: The findings suggest that participants enrolled in prevention trials for mental illness are likely to hold positive attitudes (eg, high commitment, low expectation of personal gain) towards research trials. The identification of relationships between key person factors and trial-related attitudes enabled profiling of participant groups, which can inform recruitment strategies and interactions of participants and research projects in future prevention trials. (shrink)
In a comment on my paper "Feminism, Ethics, and the Question of Theory" (Walker 1992), Keith Burgess-Jackson argues that I have misdiagnosed the problem with modern moral theory. Burgess-Jackson misunderstands both the illustrative-"theoretical-juridical"-model I constructed there and how my critique and alternative model answer to specifically feminist concerns. Ironically, his own view seems to reproduce the very conception of morality as an individually internalized action-guiding code of principles that my earlier essay argued is the conception central to modern (...) moral theories. (shrink)
Status characteristics theory predicts the emergence and structure of power and prestige orders in task groups from members' status attributes. This paper argues that application of the burden of proof assumption, central to the theory, is inconsistent with a key concept, generalized expectation state. A reformulation is proposed that eliminates the inconsistency and gives competing predictions for a wide range of situations. The reformulation predicts that, when not directly relevant to task performance, specific characteristics (e.g., athletic or analytical ability) have (...) less impact than diffuse characteristics (race, gender, or education) on performance expectations. The original formulation predicts equal effects. Critical tests are proposed and the paper concludes with additional comparisons of the two formulations on the grounds of parsimony and implications for intervention in settings characterized by status-based inequalities. (shrink)
Understanding the strengthening of small-scale materials and structures is one of the key issues in nanotechnology. Many theories exist, each addressing a small domain of experimentally observed size effects and invoking different mechanisms. Measurements of the stress?strain relationship of nickel foils in flexure by the load?unload method provide strikingly accurate data from the elastic region through the yield point and to high plastic strain. The data show that the effects on the rate of work-hardening due to crystallite size and sample (...) size interact, whereas in existing theories they should be independent. Existing theories cannot be complete. The symmetry of the dependence of flow stress on grain size and structure size suggests that strengthening effects are due to a finite strained volume, however this is delimited. (shrink)
Moral psychology is between paradigms. Kohlberg's model of moral rationality has proved inadequate in explaining action; yet its augmentationâ€”moral personalityâ€”awaits empirical embodiment. This article addresses some critical issues in developing a comprehensive empirical paradigm of moral personhood. Is a first-person or a third-person definition of moral behaviour more appropriate? Is operative moral judgement better understood as deliberative or intuitive? What is the essential nature of the moral self? Two basic constructs of moral personality which have been posited to help span (...) the judgementâ€“action gapâ€”moral centrality and integrityâ€”are critically reviewed and some criteria are proffered for evaluating competing models of moral personhood. Significant directions for future research are noted with the hope of moving the field towards a new paradigm of moral personhood. While the content of this paradigm will differ markedly from Kohlberg's, we contend that the spirit of his enterprise will be manifest with vigour redoubled. (shrink)
Neil Levy argues that while addicts who believe they are not addicts are self-deceived, addicts who believe they are addicts are just as self-deceived. Such persons accept a false belief that their addictive behaviour involves a loss of control. This paper examines two implications of Levy's discussion: that accurate self-knowledge may be particularly difficult for addicts; and that an addict's self-deceived belief that they cannot control themselves may aid their attempts at self-control. I argue that the self-deceived beliefs of addicts (...) in denial and of self-described addicts differ in kind. Unlike the self-deception of an addict in denial, that of the self-described addict allows them to acknowledge their behaviour. As such, it may aid an addict to develop more self-control. A paradoxical implication is that this self-deception may allow an addict more self-knowledge. (shrink)
If God is morally perfect then He must perform the morally best actions, but creating humans is not the morally best action. If this line of reasoning can be maintained then the mere fact that humans exist contradicts the claim that God exists. This is the ‘anthropic argument’. The anthropic argument, is related to, but distinct from, the traditional argument from evil. The anthropic argument forces us to consider the ‘creation question’: why did God not create other gods rather than (...) humans? That is, if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect then why didn’t He create a world populated exclusively by beings that are perfect in the same way that He is—ontological equivalents— rather than choosing to create humans with finite natures and all the suffering that this entails? (shrink)
While various items closely associated with belief, such as speech?acts of assertion, or what have recently been termed acts of ?acceptance?, can clearly be voluntary, it is commonly supposed that belief itself, being intrinsically truth?directed, is essentially passive. I argue that while this may be true of belief proper, understood as a kind of disposition, it is not true of acts of assent or ?judgment?. Judgments, I contend, must be deemed voluntary precisely because of their truth?aimedness, for in their case (...) this feature entails that they can always be regarded as the subjects of a kind of implicit practical reasoning. By emphasizing the familiar point that voluntariness need not involve anything more than this, and by invoking the soft determinist option of holding causation to be compatible with choice, I seek to deflect some anticipated objections to this argument. (shrink)
The Ismailis, among whom are the followers of the Aga Khan, rose to prominence during the 4th Islamic/10th Christian century. They developed a remarkably successful intellectual programme to sustain and support their political activities, promoting demands of Islamic doctrine together with the then newly imported sciences from abroad. The high watermark of this intellectual movement is best illustrated in the writings of the Ismaili theoretician Abu Ya´qub al-Sijistani. Using both published and manuscript writings of al-Sijistani that have hitherto been largely (...) hidden, forgotten or ignored, Dr Paul Walker reveals the scholar's major contribution to the development of philosophical Shiism. He analyses his role in the Ismaili mission (da'wa) of that time and critically assesses the major themes in his combination of philosophy and religious doctrine. (shrink)
Philosophy and the Maternal Body is a fascinating exploration of an overlooked aspect of feminist thought: what is the role of maternity in philosophy and in what ways has it been used by male theorists to effectively "silence" the voices of women in philosophy? Drawing on rich examples such as Plato's allegory of the cave, Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein's writing on the mother and the mother-daughter relationship, and the psychoanalytic and feminist insights of Irigaray and Kristeva, Michelle Boulous (...) class='Hi'>Walker clearly shows how terms such as denial, repression and foreclosure offer crucial insight into the philosophical construction of the maternal body. (shrink)
Research in the neurosciences continues to provide evidence that sleep plays a role in the processes of learning and memory. There is less of a consensus, however, regarding the precise stages of memory development during which sleep is considered a requirement, simply favorable, or not important. This article begins with an overview of recent studies regarding sleep and learning, predominantly in the procedural memory domain, and is measured against our current understanding of the mechanisms that govern memory formation. Based on (...) these considerations, I offer a new neurocognitive framework of procedural learning, consisting first of acquisition, followed by two specific stages of consolidation, one involving a process of stabilization, the other involving enhancement, whereby delayed learning occurs. Psychophysiological evidence indicates that initial acquisition does not rely fundamentally on sleep. This also appears to be true for the stabilization phase of consolidation, with durable representations, resistant to interference, clearly developing in a successful manner during time awake (or just time, per se). In contrast, the consolidation stage, resulting in additional/enhanced learning in the absence of further rehearsal, does appear to rely on the process of sleep, with evidence for specific sleep-stage dependencies across the procedural domain. Evaluations at a molecular, cellular, and systems level currently offer several sleep specific candidates that could play a role in sleep-dependent learning. These include the upregulation of select plasticity-associated genes, increased protein synthesis, changes in neurotransmitter concentration, and specific electrical events in neuronal networks that modulate synaptic potentiation. Key Words: consolidation; enhancement; learning; memory; plasticity; sleep; stabilization. (shrink)
‘Contract cheating’ has recently emerged as a form of academic dishonesty. It involves students contracting out their coursework to writers in order to submit the purchased assignments as their own work, usually via the internet. This form of cheating involves epistemic and ethical problems that are continuous with older forms of cheating, but which it also casts in a new form. It is a concern to educators because it is very difficult to detect, because it is arguably more fraudulent than (...) some other forms of plagiarism, and because it appears to be connected to a range of systemic problems within modern higher education. This paper provides an overview of the information and literature thus far available on the topic, including its definition, the problems it involves, its causal factors, and the ways in which educators might respond. We argue that while contract cheating is a concern, some of the suggested responses are themselves problematic, and that best practice responses to the issue should avoid moral panic and remain focussed on supporting honest students and good academic practice. (shrink)
: I briefly reprise a few themes of my bookMoral Understandingsin order to address some questions about responsibility and justification. I argue for a thoroughly situated and naturalized view of moral justification that warns us not to take moral universalism too easily at face value. I also argue for the significance of reports of experience, among other kinds of empirical evidence, in testing the habitability of moral forms of life.
Editor's note: with this essay, Hypatia inaugurates a new column. We welcome musings on the state of the profession, the life of the independent scholar, political activism, teaching, publishing, or other topics of interest to feminist philosophers. We particularly invite submissions that pick up conversational threads begun by earlier contributions to the column, so that Musings becomes a forum for talking to one another. If you have an idea for the column, please tell us about it.
This article reports the results of an exploratory investigation of a particular area of moral tension experienced by MBA students in a graduate school of business. During the first phase of the study, MBA students'' own perceptions about the moral climate and culture of the business school were examined. The data gathered in this first part of the study indicate that the students recognize that a central part of this culture is constituted by a shared familiarity with a set of (...) institutionally reinforced premises about human behavior and motivation including the ideas that: 1) people are self-interested utility-maximizers, 2) individuals should be unimpeded in their pursuit of their own self-interest through economic transactions, and 3) virtually all human interactionsare economic transactions. The data further indicated that the business students experience a degree of tension between this ethic of self-maximizing and the everyday ethics prevalent in our broader culture, in which altruism and selflessness are central elements. The final section of the study was an effort to see whether and how these institutionally sanctioned premises were integrated into the students'' arguments about the relationship between self-interest and social responsibility. (shrink)
Peter Singer has argued that there are good utilitarian reasons for rejecting the prospect of superlongevity: developing technology to double (or more) the average human lifespan. I argue against Singer's view on two fronts. First, empirical research on happiness indicates that the later years of life are (on average) the happiest, and there is no reason to suppose that this trend would not continue if superlongevity were realized. Second, it is argued that there are good reasons to suppose that there (...) will be a certain amount of self-selection: the happiest are more likely to adopt superlongevity technology. This means that the adoption of superlongevity technology will have the effect of raising the level of aggregate utility. (shrink)
on writing prescriptions. These two reasons indicate why there are obvious repercussions for those who do not have reasonable access to physicians’ services. Of course, the word ‘reasonable’ is important here. After all, there is the old joke—for those who enjoy gallows humor—that the U.S. has universal access to healthcare so long as one is willing to commit a crime to see the county jail’s physician, or make one’s self sick enough to qualify for emergency services. Putting aside such extraordinary (...) measures, at least some deficit in accessing physicians’ services can be made up through consulting written medical knowledge. Many libraries have medical textbooks, and the Internet has many good sites that contain medical knowledge. Of course, all the knowledge in the world is not going to do much good if treatment requires a prescription. The physicians’ monopoly on writing prescriptions means that nothing (legal) can be done in terms of treatment if one does not have access to the services of a qualified physician. This state of affairs is unjust. A just society cannot have it both ways: legislation cannot say both that the expertise of physicians is so precious that only they can prescribe medicine AND not everyone is guaranteed reasonable access to their services. If there is no guarantee of reasonable access then physicians should not have a monopoly on writing prescriptions, and if there is a monopoly on writing prescriptions then people should have reasonable access to their services. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as an effective way for firms to create favorable attitudes among consumers. Although prior research has addressed the direct influence of proactive and reactive CSR on consumer responses, this research hypothesized that consumers’ perceived organizational motives (i.e., attributions) will mediate this relationship. It was also hypothesized that the source of information and location of CSR initiative will affect the motives consumers assign to a firms’ engagement in the initiative. Two experiments were conducted to test (...) these hypotheses. The results of Study 1 indicate that the nature of a CSR initiative influences consumer attribution effects and that these attributions act as mediators in helping to explain consumers’ responses to CSR. Study 2 suggests that the source of the CSR message moderates the effect of CSR on consumer attributions. The mediating influence of the attributions as well as the importance of information source suggests that proper communication of CSR can be a viable way to inculcate positive corporate associations and purchase intentions. (shrink)
This is the sequel to my paper 'Against One Form of Judgment-Determinism' ( IJPS , May 2001), wherein I argued that theoretical rationalization, that is, the forming of judgments by way of inference from other judgments, cannot simply be identified with any kind of predetermination of conclusion-judgments by premise-judgments. Taking 'free' to mean 'neither mechanistically explicable nor random' (where something is mechanistically explicable if and only if it is either predetermined or probabilified in a certain way, and is random if (...) and only if it is not why-explicable at all) I attempt here to establish that all judgments, whether rationalized or not, are necessarily free. (shrink)
Kok?Chor Tan argues for a conception of Liberal Cosmopolitanism that seeks to reconcile ideals of global justice and national partiality. I provide two objections to his luck egalitarian model of global justice: first, it fails to provide adequate space for legitimate cultural variation with respect to the understanding of and valuing of natural resources; and second, that its account of ideas of collective responsibility is restricted to a point at which it becomes unrecognizable and inefficacious. I conclude with some reflections (...) on the implications of my analysis for the more general question of whether or how national partiality and global justice can be reconciled. (shrink)
Following on from the target article, which presented a new model of procedural skill memory development, in this response I will reflect on issues raised by invited commentators and further expound attributes of the model. Discussion will focus on: evidence against sleep-dependent memory processing, definitions of memory stages and memory systems, and relationships between memory enhancement, sleep-stages, dreaming, circadian time, and sleep-disorders.
It may be possible to scientifically test philosophical skepticism; at least this is what I shall maintain. The argument develops the naturalistic insight that there may be no particular reason to suppose that nature has selected Homo sapiens’ epistemic capacities such that we are ideally suited to forming a true theory of everything, or indeed, a true theory of much of anything. Just as chimpanzees are cognitively limited - there are many concepts, ideas, and theories beyond their grasp - so (...) too might our conception of the universe seem limited from the point of view of some creature more “evolved” than humans. On the other hand, some physicists (et al.) have argued that humans are on the verge of discovering a “final theory of everything”. Such epistemic “optimism” seems to directly contradict the idea that we might be cognitively limited. To adjudicate between these views I shall suggest the outlines of several “crucial tests” that involve attempting to create creatures who stand to us, with respect to intelligence and wisdom, as we do to apes. A positive result from any of these experiments will indicate that the skeptical view is correct, while failure to create “higher” intelligences lends support to the epistemic optimists’ position. 2. (shrink)
In some places consumption of alcohol raises serious public health issues. One recent proposal for addressing these issues has been to set a minimum price at which a unit of alcohol can be sold. In this paper I argue that such a policy, while it may have substantial health benefits, is ethically problematic. This is primarily because it unfairly places considerable burdens on those already most disadvantaged in society. In addition, such policies are poorly targeted if our concern is with (...) preventing the harms drinkers pose to other people. (shrink)
The primary question to be addressed here is whether pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), used for both negative and positive trait selection, benefits potential supernumerary embryos. The phrase ‘potential supernumerary embryos’ is used to indicate that PGD is typically performed on a set of embryos, only some of which will be implanted. Prior to any testing, each embryo in the set is potentially supernumerary in the sense that it may not be selected for implantation. Those embryos that are not selected, and (...) hence destroyed or frozen, are ‘actually supernumerary’. The argument to be advanced is hypothetical: If embryos may be said to benefit or be harmed by our actions, then PGD used to select for an embryo or embryos with the highest expected Wellbeing benefits potential supernumerary embryos. The argument shows that the ‘non-identity’ problem is not sufficient to show that eugenic selection does not benefit supernumerary embryos. (shrink)
William Walker's original analysis of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding offers a challenging and provocative assessment of Locke's importance as a thinker, bridging the gap between philosophical and literary-critical discussion of his work. He presents Locke as a foundational figure who defines the epistemological and ontological ground on which eighteenth-century and Romantic literature operate and eventually diverge. He is revealed as a crucial figure for emerging modernity, less the familiar empiricist innovator and more the proto-Nietzschean thinker whose (...) text fosters hitherto unsuspected instabilities and promotes a new kind of rhetorical force to counterbalance them. Walker's reading of Locke is at once finely attentive to the text and engagingly resourceful in placing the Essay in its broadest philosophical and historical context. (shrink)
Work on representing women's voices in ethics has produced a vision of moral understanding profoundly subversive of the traditional philosophical conception of moral knowledge. I explicate this alternative moral "epistemology," identify how it challenges the prevailing view, and indicate some of its resources for a liberatory feminist critique of philosophical ethics.
Taking 'rationalized judgments' to be those formed by inference from other judgments, I argue against 'Extreme Determinism': the thesis that theoretical rationalization just is a kind of predetermination of 'conclusion-judgments' by 'premise-judgments'. The argument rests upon two key lemmas: firstly, that a deliberator - in this case, his/her assent to some proposition - to be predetermined (I call this the 'Openness Requirement'): secondly, that a subject's logical insight into his/her premise-judgments must enter into the explanation of any judgment s/he forms (...) that is rationalized by those judgments. My contention is that, given the Openness Requirement, no version of Extreme Determinsim can allow for the role played by logical insight in the rationalization of judgment. I end by indicating briefly how this result might figure in a wider argument against any form of determinism about rationalized judgment, and by explaining why I have focused specifically upon rebutting a deterministic view of theoretical as opposed to 'practical' rationalization. (shrink)
Abstract This study examined the cross?cultural universality of Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning development in the People's Republic of China??a culture quite different from the one out of which the theory arose. In particular, the applicability of the theory was evaluated in terms of its comprehensiveness and the validity of the moral stage model. Participants were 52 adolescents and adults, drawn from five groups: moral leaders, intellectuals, workers, college and junior high school students. In individual interviews they responded to hypothetical (...) moral dilemmas and discussed a real?life dilemma from their own experience. These interviews were scored for both moral stage and moral orientation. The findings indicated a high level of intra?individual consistency in level of moral reasoning. A wide range of moral stages was evidenced and predictable group differences in moral development were found. An analysis of moral orientations provided an additional perspective on individuals? moral reasoning, in particular, in revealing group differences. Although, in general, the universal applicability of Kohlberg's approach was supported by these data, a subjective analysis of responses revealed some indigenous concepts, fundamental to Communist Chinese morality, that are not well tapped by the approach. (shrink)
Presently, women receive two-thirds of the prescriptions for psychotropic drugs and Canadian studies have shown that, at any one time, 15–20% of women are taking the drugs. The authors suggest that this difference in prescription rates to men and women is rooted in the unrecognized stresses of women's traditional role and the pervasive sentiment that women who deviate from, or complain about, their traditional role as wife, mother, sex object and self-sacrificing nurturer must be sick. Thus a rationale for the (...) prescription of psychoactive drugs to women has grown up within the framework of the ideology surrounding the institution of the family, and both reflects and reinforces traditional stereotypes about women's status and role. (shrink)
The highly structured mechanisms of cancers, their tendency to occur as a response to environmental stress, and the existence of oncogenes, suggest that neoplasticity may represent more than a biological disfunction. It is proposed that cancer exists as a phylogenetic mechanism serving to promote hyperevolution, albeit at the expense of the ontogeny, that is similar to a process recently discovered in bacterial mutations. Cell-surface-associated nucleic acid in tumorigenic cells and sperm cell vectorization of foreign DNA indicate the existence of essential (...) mechanisms necessary to the occurrence of cancer mediated hyperevolution. An analysis of the proposed mechanism indicates that for mutagenesis of chemical cytology, stress induced neoplasticity confers an evolutionary advantage of more than two orders of magnitude. (shrink)
The argument is put forward that genetic mutations are viable then only, when the changed pattern of growth and/or metabolism is accommodated by the taxon-specific biochemistry of the organisms, i.e. by adaptive, somatic/physiological plasticity. The range of somatic plasticity under changing environmental conditions, therefore, has a certain predictive value for the kind of mutations that are likely to be viable.
New York City has a long history of gentrification, well demonstrated by the strategies of “revitalization” and “re-development” that have occurred in Harlem throughout the last century. Less well known is the historical, political, and social context surrounding New York’s Pier 45, also known as the Christopher Street Pier. As a historically-known gathering spot for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, the Christopher Street Pier gained recognition for harbouring what could be described as a queer public . However, recent processes (...) of gentrification have changed Pier 45 into the Hudson River Park, ostensibly privatizing the site. With reference to Braidotti’s nomadic subject, this paper explores the Christopher Street Pier as a representation of queer geographies. Further, it argues that the re-appropriation of the once queer public space of Pier 45 exposes a municipal agenda of surveillance in relation to sexualized and racialized identities. Through reference to the activist practices of FIERCE, a local NGO, I show how the nomadic subjectivities of queer youth open up a discussion of ethical responsibility and point toward strategic movements of resistance in the face of gentrification in New York’s West Village. (shrink)
Aldo Leopold was a pragmatist in the vernacular sense of the word. Bryan G. Norton claims that Leopold was also heavily influenced by American Pragmatism, a formal school of philosophy. As evidence, Norton offers Leopold's misquotation of a definition of right (as truth) by political economist, A.T. Hadley, who was an admirer of the philosophy of William James. A search of Leopold's digitised literary remains reveals no other evidence that Leopold was directly influenced by any actual American Pragmatist or by (...) Pragmatism (although he may have been indirectly influenced by Pragmatism early in his career). A 1923 reference, by Leopold, to Hadley and Hadley's putative definition of truth, cited by Norton, is dripping with irony. Leopold, as he matured philosophically, regarded a profound cultural shift from anthropocentric dominionism and consumerism to an evolutionary-ecological worldview and an associated non-anthropocentric 'land ethic' to be necessary for successful and sustainable conservation. Hadley espoused a brutal form of Social Darwinism and his philosophy, as expressed in the book of Hadley's that Norton cites, is politically reactionary, militaristic and unconcerned with conservation. Leopold's mature philosophy and Hadley's – far from consonant, as Norton claims – are diametrically opposed. (shrink)
In this article, we outline a simple and intuitively appealing procedure to derive default priors. The main idea is to regard the choice of such a prior as a formal Bayesian decision problem. We also discuss Jeffreys prior and more generally the reference prior of Bernardo (J R Stat Soc B 41:113–147, 1979) from this standpoint.