The paper focuses on the concept of matter and the material in Edgar Zilsel’s considerations about historiographical methods in the context of the Marxist debates on the materialist conception of history in the 1920s and 1930s (György Lukács, Max Adler). It sheds light on Zilsel’s understanding of matter as fluctuating, interfering processes in the lapse of time and the related concept of irreversible laws and relates it to Ernst Mach’s philosophy and to Richard Semon’s theory of mneme . Finally, it (...) shows the practical consequences of the concept of materialism in Edgar Zilsel’s epistemology. (shrink)
Comparative genomicists seem to be convinced that the unit of measurement employed in their studies is a gene that drives the function of cells and ultimately organisms. As a result, they have come to some substantive conclusions about how similar humans are to other organisms based on the percentage of genetic makeup they share. I argue that the actual unit of measurement employed in the studies corresponds to a structural rather than a functional gene concept, thus rendering many of the (...) implications drawn from comparative genomic studies largely unwarranted, if not completely mistaken. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Utah, 215 South Central Campus Drive, Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, 4th Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Actions expressing emotions (such as caressing the clothes of one's dead friend in grief, or tearing apart a photograph out of jealousy) pose a notorious challenge to action theorists. They are thought to be intentional in that they are in some sense under the agent's control. They are not thought to be done for a reason, however, because they cannot be explained by considerations that favor them from the agent's point of view. This seems to be the case, at least, (...) if one subscribes to the Davidsonian standard model of action explanation. So far, philosophers have had three different reactions to this challenge. Rationalists insist that such actions can be rationalized by re-interpreting them. Arationalists insist that there simply is no reasoning process moving agents in emotional states to act. A third reaction questions the intentionality of such actions altogether. All three reactions, however, share the assumption underlying the standard account: if an agent is thought to act for a reason - and hence acts intentionally - he must entertain a desire and some means-end belief reflecting his reasoning process about how to attain what he desires by acting. In this paper, I try to show that this reflective reasoning mechanism is only one way to rationalize an action. Another way is by tracing an action to an unreflective valuing stance respresenting reasons the agent has from his point of view. Emotions are attitudes that help to grasp reasons the agent has. Since emotions come with a strong motivational potential they move the agent to act expressively. But the agent typically allows himself to do so, thereby monitoring the way in which he does it. To the extent that the agent unreflectively acts on a motive that is itself representative of his point of view, his expressive actions can be regarded as rationalizable. (shrink)
The papers collected here are the result of an INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM: Data · Phenomena · Theories: What’s the notion of a scientific phenomenon good for? held in Heidelberg in September 2008. The event was organized by the research group Causality, Cognition, and the Constitution of Scientific Phenomena in cooperation with Philosophy Department at the University of Heidelberg (Peter McLaughlin and Andreas Kemmerling) and the IWH Heidelberg. The symposium was supported by the Emmy-Noether-Programm der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft and by Stiftung Universitat Heidelebrg (...) . The workshop was held in honor of Daniela Bailer-Jones, who died on 13 November 2006 at the age of 37 (cf. my 2007 Daniela Bailer-Jones ). Bailer-Jones was an Emmy Noether fellow, and the symposium was arranged and run by those who were working in her research group at the time of her death: Monika Dullstein, Jochen Apel, and Pavel Radchencko. To them goes the credit for the conception, planning, and carrying out of the symposium. (shrink)
Practical conflicts pervade human life. Agents have many different desires, goals, and commitments, all of which can come into conflict with each other. How can practical reasoning help to resolve these practical conflicts? In this collection of new essays a distinguished roster of philosophers analyze the diverse forms of practical conflict. Their aim is to establish an understanding of the sources of these conflicts, to investigate the challenge they pose to an adequate conception of practical reasoning, and to assess the (...) degree to which that challenge can be met. These essays will serve as a major resource for students of philosophy but will also interest students and professionals in related fields of the social sciences such as psychology, political science, sociology and economics. (shrink)
Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) have become increasingly popular over recent decades. Within bioethics CAM has so far mostly stimulated discussions around their level of scientific evidence, or along the standard concerns of bioethics. To gain an understanding as to why CAM is so successful and what the CAM success means for health care ethics, this paper explores empirical research studies on users of CAM and the reasons for their choice. It emerges that there is a close connection to fundamental (...) principles of medical ethics. The studies also highlight that CAM’s holistic ontology of health and illness has an empowering effect on people in caring for their health, and on an even deeper level, safeguards against biomedicine’s reducing image of oneself as biological body-machine. The question is raised what lessons bioethics should draw from this emancipatory social movement for its own relationship with biomedicine. (shrink)
The more popular complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has become, the more often it is demanded that the integration of CAM should be limited to those approaches that are scientifically proven to be effective. This paper argues that this demand is ethically and philosophically questionable. The clinical legitimacy being gained by CAM and its increasing informal integration should instead caution against upholding the biomedical framework and evidence-based medicine as conditions of acceptance. Patients’ positive experiences with CAM deserve a truly scientific (...) exploration of non-biomedical conceptualizations of health and illness. It is also problematic to request scientific evidence when there is proven resistance against CAM in research institutions, under-funding and a lack of suitable research methodologies. This is even more so, when much conventional medicine is not practiced with the same level of evidence as demanded from CAM. (shrink)
The paper first defines palliative treatment and distinguishes it from symptomatic treatment. Then, the palliative situation is delineated as inseparably linked to the finitude of human life. Given the objectives of palliative treatment â responding to symptoms, damage to the patients' self-image, and the proximity of death â a subjective concept of disease is described, that is regarded as the focus of palliative treatment. The essence of the concept of disease is analysed as the patient's experience with a tendency of (...) reduction of her or his vitality. Palliative medicine is shown not to be symptom-oriented, but disease â directed as other domains of medicine. Implications and practical consequences, especially the status of objective findings, of this concept are discussed and therapeutic opportunities in the palliative situation reconsidered. (shrink)
Extrapolation from a well-understood base population to a less-understood target population can fail if the base and target populations are not sufficiently similar. Differences between laboratory mice and humans, for example, can hinder extrapolation in medical research. Mice that carry a partial or complete human physiological system, known as humanized mice, are supposed to make extrapolation more reliable by simulating a variety of human diseases. But what justifies our belief that these mice are similar enough to their human counterparts to (...) simulate human disease? I argue that, unless three requirements are met in the process of humanizing mice, very little does. My requirements are not meant to provide necessary and sufficient conditions that guarantee a particular outcome. Instead, they serve as a heuristic for guiding scientific judgments involving extrapolation. In developing each requirement, I engage with philosophical issues concerning the nature of model-based science and the mechanistic approach (and its limits) to making generalizations in the life sciences. (shrink)
Pulvermüller traces the differences in brain activity associated with function and content words. The model considers words displayed primarily in isolation. Research on letter detection suggests that what distinguishes function from content words are their roles in text. Hence a model that fails to consider context effects on the processing of words provides an insufficient accounting of word representation in the brain.
The notion of empathy has been explicated in different ways in the current debate on how to understand others. Whereas defenders of simulation-based approaches claim that empathy involves some kind of isomorphism between the empathizer’s and the target’s mental state, defenders of the phenomenological account vehemently deny this and claim that empathy allows us to directly perceive someone else’s mental states. Although these views are typically presented as being opposed, I argue that at least one version of a simulation-based approach—the (...) account given by de Vignemont and Jacob—is compatible with the direct-perception view. My argument has two parts: My first step is to show that the conflict between these accounts is not—as it seems at first glance—a disagreement on the mechanism by which empathy comes about. Rather, it is due to the fact that their proponents attribute two very different roles to empathy in understanding others. My second step is to introduce Stein’s account of empathy. By not restricting empathy to either one of these two roles, her process model of empathy helps to see how the divergent intuitions that have been brought forward in the current debate could be integrated. (shrink)
The paper presents the thesis that, in contrast to the conventional claim, capitalism is not characterized by virtualization, but by objectification and materialization. As materialized forms of industrial capitalism, warehouses are investigated with regard to their epistemic productivity. Central for the argument is the emergence of a new body of knowledge concerning commercial and economic sciences, which figures decisively in the practice of warehousing. After the worldwide economic crisis of 1920/21, stockpiling is called into question and a new era of (...) warehouse sciences begins, the consequences of which are also addressed in the formulation of trade cycle theories. German Der Text geht von der These aus, dass nicht, wie oft behauptet, eine Virtualisierung, sondern eine Vergegenständlichung und Materialisierung den Kapitalismus auszeichnet. Dabei werden Warenlager als materialisierte Form des industriellen Kapitalismus hinsichtlich ihrer epistemischen Produktivkraft untersucht. Im Zentrum steht dabei die Entstehung eines neuen handelswissenschaftlichen und volkswirtschaftlichen Wissenskorpus, das in die Praxis der Warenlagerung interveniert. Nach der Weltwirtschaftskrise von 1920/21 wird die Vorratshaltung in Frage gestellt und es beginnt eine neue Epoche der Warenlagerwissenschaften, deren Folgen auch bei der Formulierung von Konjunkturtheorien thematisiert werden. (shrink)
Christian hopes for salvation and redemption, and Marxist promises of emancipation and liberation have had and do have today much to do with each other. Historically they have grown up in dialogue with one another and today they address each other more than ever. Mutual condemnations get us nowhere. This article tries to identify areas of common intention and cooperation, without ignoring real differences, and offers a theological reflection that suggests an alliance with the critical elements within Marxist circles that (...) speak for humanism and the exercise of freedom in the present. (shrink)
This book examines the organization as embodied experience. An international range of contributors is assembled to deal explicitly with the 'maternal' aspects of organization. This challenging book will be of essential interest to all critical management theorists. With its innovative approach, it will also appeal to students, teachers, and all those looking for an approach to management that does justice to the complexity, ambivalence and chaos of the world of organizing.