Abstract Ecological communities around the world are under threat while a consensus theory of community structure remains elusive. In the last decade ecologists have struggled with two seemingly opposing theories: niche-based theory that explains diversity with species’ differences and the neutral theory of biodiversity that claims that much of the diversity we observe can be explained without explicitly invoking species’ differences. Although ecologists are increasingly attempting to reconcile these two theories, there is still much resistance against the neutral theory of (...) biodiversity. Here we argue that the dispute between the two theories is a classic example of the dichotomy between philosophical perspectives, realism and instrumentalism. Realism is associated with specific, small-scale and detailed explanations, whereas instrumentalism is linked to general, large-scale, but less precise accounts. Recognizing this will help ecologists get both niche-based and neutral theories in perspective as useful tools for understanding biodiversity patterns. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9144-6 Authors Paul L. Wennekes, Community and Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands James Rosindell, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK Rampal S. Etienne, Community and Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
The natural based view of the firm using Hart (1995) is applied to firm responses in the Carbon Disclose Project (CDP) database. A large cross sectional sample(n=573) of North American and European firms is divided into 3 categories of proactivity to the climate change issue using 8 indicators of four resource domains. Results are presented along geographic and size dimensions.
Étienne de La Boétie (1530–63) is a central, if enigmatic, figure in modern French political philosophy. While his name is most famous for his friendship with Montaigne, his Discours de la servitude volontaire (Discourse of Voluntary Servitude) is a tour-de-force of humanist political writing, a youthful paean to liberty arguing that subjection to tyrants is the result of popular corruption. This article argues that the text can be read as a reflection on the perils and promise of transparency. Reading La (...) Boétie helps us see two radically different ways in which members of a polity can be known to one another – two models of transparency – and it offers an important, but ultimately unsettling, political ideal based on a classical conception of civic friendship. The article draws out the importance of this ideal for modern anti-corruption efforts. (shrink)
Philosophy and the Frontiers of the Political is the title of a biographical-theoretical interview between Emanuela Fornari and Étienne Balibar. The interview falls into three parts. The first part retraces the theoretical and intellectual climate in which Balibar received his education in the early 1960s: in this context the study of classical thinkers such as Spinoza went hand in hand with a radical rethinking of the relations between politics and philosophy, conducted in the context of an attempt to provide a (...) critical reconstruction of Marxism that drew upon the revolutionary perspective of structuralism. Through his friendship and association with his teacher Louis Althusser, Balibar developed a specific conception of philosophy as a "Kampfplatz," or battle-field, where we must struggle to forge a significant relationship between theory and practice, or between philosophy and politics. The second part of the interview focusses on questions of European nationalism and "neo-racism," and the way in which these questions come to explode the classical perspective of Marxism. In this context Balibar discusses his intellectual relations with Jacques Derrida and with Immanuel Wallerstein, and his attitude to the latter's theory of the "system-world." Balibar explains how his own conception of the relation between ideological formations and processes of accumulation can be described as a disjunctive synthesis: as a heterogeneous union of problems that have no determining "final instance." Finally, the third part of the interview is dedicated to a discussion of "cosmopolitics" and the role of Europe in the transition from the modern system of nation states to the new transnational and postnational constellation. Balibar's approach essentially undertakes to reactivate, in the context of global modernity, a Machiavellian conception of "conflictual democracy" which identifies the very core of the democratic principle in the constant interaction between the logic of conflict and the logic of institutions. (shrink)
Abstract. This paper combines reflections on the current "state of war" in the Middle East with an epistemological discussion of the meaning and implications of the category "war" itself, in order to dissipate the confusions arising from the idea of a "War on Terror." The first part illustrates the insufficiency of the ideal type involved in dichotomies which are implicit in the naming and classifications of wars. They point nevertheless to a deeper problem which concerns the antinomic character of a (...) collective institution of violence. The second part discusses the extent to which, in spite of the historical transformations in the means and political objectives of wars, the contemporary confrontation still obeys the rules of warfare described by Clausewitz, particularly with respect to temporality ("friction"). The third part discusses "non-clausewitzian" aspects of the "new wars" defined by Martin Van Creveld and Mary Kaldor, while suggesting that they have left aside the most salient contradiction illustrated by the US interventions, which results from the combination of a claim to universal sovereignty and a reduction of war to generalized police operations. (shrink)