Is gender determined by biology, society or experience? How have notions of gender and sexuality differed in past societies? Addressing such questions, Gender and Archaeology is the first critical introduction to the field of gender archaeology as it has evolved over the last two decades. It examines the impact of feminist perspectives on archaeology and shows the unique insights that gender archaeology offers on topics like the sexual division of labor, issues of sexuality, and the embodiment of gender identity. A (...) substantial case study of gender and space in the medieval English castle lucidly draws together and illustrates these issues. Comprehensive and accessible, Gender and Archaeology is sure to further debate in the field. (shrink)
One property of the emulator framework presented by Grush is that imagery operates off-line. Contrary to this viewpoint, we present evidence showing that mental rotation of a simple figure modulates low-level features of drawing articulation. This effect is dependent upon the type of rotation, suggesting a more integrative online role for imagery than proposed by the target article.
This article reviews recent developments in health care law, focusing on the engagement of law as a partner in health care innovation. The article addresses: the history and contents of recent United States federal law restricting the use of genetic information by insurers and employers; the recent federal policy recommending routine HIV testing; the recent revision of federal policy regarding the funding of human embryonic stem cell research; the history, current status, and need for future attention to advance directives; the (...) recent emergence of medical–legal partnerships and their benefits for patients; the obesity epidemic and its implications for the child’s right to health under international conventions. (shrink)
This commentary centres around the system of human visual attention. Although generally supportive of the position advocated in the target article, we suggest that the detailed account overestimates the capacities of active human vision. Limitations of peripheral search and saccadic accuracy are discussed in relation to the division of labour between covert and overt attentional processes.
Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Links relating to the history and philosophy of biology, assembled by Roberta L. Millstein: reference works, societies, journals, historians and philosophers of biology with papers online, blogs, other resources in the history and philosophy of biology.
In the last 30 years much philosophical discussion has been generated by Kripke’s proof of the necessity of origin for material objects presented in footnote 56 of ‘Naming and Necessity’. I consider the two most popular reconstructions of Kripke’s argument: one appealing to the necessary sufficiency of origin, and the other employing a strong independence principle allegedly derived from the necessary local nature of prevention. I argue that, to achieve a general result, both reconstructions presuppose an implicit Humean atomistic thesis (...) of recombination, according to which any two (non-overlapping) possible objects can simultaneously coexist in one and the same world. Yet recombination ill accords with the other assumptions of the proofs. I also argue that the locality of prevention does not entail strong independence. (shrink)
Recently, much philosophical discussion has centered on the best way to characterize the concepts of random drift and natural selection, and, in particular, whether selection and drift can be conceptually distinguished (Beatty, 1984; Brandon, 2005; Hodge, 1983, 1987; Millstein, 2002, 2005; Pfeifer, 2005; Shanahan, 1992; Stephens, 2004). These authors all contend, to a greater or lesser degree, that their concepts make sense of biological practice. So it should be instructive to see how the concepts of drift and selection were distinguished (...) by the disputants in a high-profile debate; debates such as these often force biologists to take a more philosophical turn, discussing the concepts at issue in greater detail than usual. Moreover, it is important to consider a debate where the disputants are actually trying to apply the models of population genetics to natural populations; only then can their proper interpretations become fully apparent. (Indeed, I contend that some of the philosophical confusion has arisen because authors have considered only the models themselves, and not the phenomena that the models are attempting to represent). A prime candidate for just such a case study is what Provine (1986) has termed “The Great Snail Debate,” that is, the debates over the highly polymorphic land snails Cepaea nemoralis and C. hortensis in the 1950s and early 1960s. These studies represent one of the best, if not the best, of the early attempts to demonstrate drift in natural populations. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against the commonly received view that Kripke’s formal Possible World Semantics (PWS) reflects the adoption of a metaphysical interpretation of the modal operators. I consider in detail Kripke’s three main innovations vis-à-vis Carnap’s PWS: a new view of the worlds, variable domains of quantification, and the adoption of a notion of universal validity. I argue that all these changes are driven by the natural technical development of the model theory and its related notion of validity: (...) they are dictated by merely formal considerations, not interpretive concerns. I conclude that Kripke’s model theoretic semantics does not induce a metaphysical reading of necessity, and is formally adequate independently of the specific interpretation of the modal operators. (shrink)
1. Drift and selection can be distinguished conceptually. 2. Selection and drift are physical, biological phenomena. 3. Drift and selection can occur simultaneously in a population. 4. Selection and drift should be characterized as processes (see #1), not outcomes. 5. Distinguishing between selection and drift empirically is difficult, but is (sometimes) not impossible. 6. Selection and drift are population-level causal processes.
This paper explores whether natural selection, a putative evolutionary mechanism, and a main one at that, can be characterized on either of the two dominant conceptions of mechanism, due to Glennan and the team of Machamer, Darden, and Craver, that constitute the “new mechanistic philosophy.” The results of the analysis are that neither of the dominant conceptions of mechanism adequately captures natural selection. Nevertheless, the new mechanistic philosophy possesses the resources for an understanding of natural selection under the rubric.
The latter half of the twentieth century has been marked by debates in evolutionary biology over the relative significance of natural selection and random drift: the so-called “neutralist/selectionist” debates. Yet John Beatty has argued that it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the concept of random drift from the concept of natural selection, a claim that has been accepted by many philosophers of biology. If this claim is correct, then the neutralist/selectionist debates seem at best futile, and at worst, (...) meaningless. I reexamine the issues that Beatty raises, and argue that random drift and natural selection, conceived as processes, can be distinguished from one another. (shrink)
Over the past two decades there has been a great deal of research conducted into the question of gender differences in ethical decision making in organisations. Much of this has been based on questionnaire surveys, typically asking respondents (often students, sometimes professionals) to judge the moral acceptability of actions as described in short cases or vignettes. Overall the results seem inconclusive, although what differences have been noted tend to show women as 'more ethical' than men. The authors of this paper (...) believe that attention should be paid to the insight, from Carol Gilligan and others, that women are more inclined than men to subscribe to an 'ethic of care', and that once this perspective is adopted a pattern is discernible. In a critical examination of previous research we pay particular attention to the detailed content of cases used in surveys, and the statistical analysis of findings. We advocate greater reflection on the results of quantitative surveys and sensitivity to different possible interpretations of findings. This we do with our own exploratory study, conducted with UK undergraduate students of accounting, the findings from which seem to support the original hypothesis that where a 'care' orientation is invited, women do indeed react differently to business ethics issues than do men. (shrink)
Recent discussions in the philosophy of biology have brought into question some fundamental assumptions regarding evolutionary processes, natural selection in particular. Some authors argue that natural selection is nothing but a population-level, statistical consequence of lower-level events (Matthen and Ariew ; Walsh et al. ). On this view, natural selection itself does not involve forces. Other authors reject this purely statistical, population-level account for an individual-level, causal account of natural selection (Bouchard and Rosenberg ). I argue that each of these (...) positions is right in one way, but wrong in another; natural selection indeed takes place at the level of populations, but it is a causal process nonetheless. (shrink)
We live in interesting times. Two well-known biologists — E. O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins — and some of their well-known colleagues, who used to employ broadly similar selection models, now deeply disagree over the role of group selection in the evolution of eusociality (or so we argue). Yet they describe their models as interchangeable. As philosophers of biology, we wonder whether there is substantial (i.e., empirical) disagreement here at all, and, if there is, what is this disagreement about? We (...) argue that a substantial disagreement over the processes that caused eusociality best explains this debate, yet the common practice of using overarching definitions for “group selection” and “kin selection” renders empirical differences difficult to detect. We suggest Michael J. Wade’s use of these terms as a basis for models that reveal different selection processes. Wade’s models predict different outcomes for different processes and thus can be tested. (shrink)
Population genetics attempts to measure the influence of the causes of evolution, viz., mutation, migration, natural selection, and random genetic drift, by understanding the way those causes change the genetics of populations. But how does it accomplish this goal? After a short introduction, we begin in section (2) with a brief historical outline of the origins of population genetics. In section (3), we sketch the model theoretic structure of population genetics, providing the flavor of the ways in which population genetics (...) theory might be understood as incorporating causes. In sections (4) and (5) we discuss two specific problems concerning the relationship between population genetics and evolutionary causes, viz., the problem of conceptually distinguishing natural selection from random genetic drift, and the problem of interpreting fitness. In section (6), we briefly discuss the methodology and key epistemological problems faced by population geneticists in uncovering the causes of evolution. Section (7) of the essay contains concluding remarks. (shrink)
Recently, philosophers of biology have debated the status of the evolutionary process: is it deterministic or indeterministic? I argue that there is insufficient reason to favor one side of the debate over the other, and that a more philosophically defensible position argues neither for the determinacy nor for the indeterminacy of the evolutionary process. In other words, I maintain that the appropriate stand to take towards the question of the determinism of the evolutionary process is agnosticism. I then suggest that (...) an examination of the phenomenon of developmental noise might yield a solution to the problem. (shrink)
The neutral and nearly neutral theories of molecular evolution are sometimes characterized as theories about drift alone, where drift is described solely as an outcome, rather than a process. We argue, however, that both selection and drift, as causal processes, are integral parts of both theories. However, the nearly neutral theory explicitly recognizes alleles and/or molecular substitutions that, while engaging in weakly selected causal processes, exhibit outcomes thought to be characteristic of random drift. A narrow focus on outcomes obscures the (...) significant role of weakly selected causal processes in the nearly neutral theory. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive introduction to the philosophical and political thought of Karl Popper, now available in English. It is divided into three parts, dealing with his biographical data, his works and recurrent themes, and finally his critics. It was approved of by Popper himself as a sympathetic and comprehensive study, and will be ideal to meet the increasing demand for a summary introduction to his work.
When philosophers of physics explore the nature of chance, they usually look to quantum mechanics. When philosophers of biology explore the nature of chance, they usually look to microevolutionary phenomena, such as mutation or random drift. What has been largely overlooked is the role of chance in macroevolution. The stochastic models of paleobiology employ conceptions of chance that are similar to those at the microevolutionary level, yet different from the conceptions of chance often associated with quantum mechanics and Laplacean determinism.
Evolutionary theory (ET) is teeming with probabilities. Probabilities exist at all levels: the level of mutation, the level of microevolution, and the level of macroevolution. This uncontroversial claim raises a number of contentious issues. For example, is the evolutionary process (as opposed to the theory) indeterministic, or is it deterministic? Philosophers of biology have taken different sides on this issue. Millstein (1997) has argued that we are not currently able answer this question, and that even scientific realists ought to remain (...) agnostic concerning the determinism or indeterminism of evolutionary processes. If this argument is correct, it suggests that, whatever we take probabilities in ET to be, they must be consistent with either determinism or indeterminism. This raises some interesting philosophical questions: How should we understand the probabilities used in ET? In other words, what is meant by saying that a certain evolutionary change is more or less probable? Which interpretation of probability is the most appropriate for ET? I argue that the probabilities used in ET are objective in a realist sense, if not in an indeterministic sense. Furthermore, there are a number of interpretations of probability that are objective and would be consistent with ET under determinism or indeterminism. However, I argue that evolutionary probabilities are best understood as propensities of population-level kinds. (shrink)
A large percentage of the work on the ethics of genetically modified (GM) food has focused on its potentially harmful effects on human health and on the rights of consumers to have their food labeled. A smaller, but still significant percentage has focused instead on the potential environmental impacts of genetically modified food. For example, some authors argue that genetically modified food could lead to a loss of genetic diversity within a particular food crop, leaving that food crop vulnerable to (...) extinction (see, e.g., Lappé and Baily 2002). Another type of argument focuses on potential side effects of genetically modified food. Perhaps there will be gene flow from genetically engineered herbicide resistant crops to a weedy relative, producing a “superweed” that could lead to a “bioinvasion” that takes over an entire ecosystem (see, e.g., Shiva 2002). And Monarch butterflies made headlines when it appeared that corn that was modified to kill corn borers also killed the butterflies, leading to concerns that other species could suffer harm at the hands of genetically modified food as well. (shrink)
In “‘Population’ is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds,” Jacob Stegenga argues against the claim that the concept of “population” is a natural kind and in favor of conceptual pluralism, ostensibly in response to two papers of mine (Millstein 2009, 2010). Pluralism is often an attractive position in the philosophy of science. It certainly is a live possibility for the concept of population in ecology and evolutionary biology, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss the topic further. However, I argue (...) that the case for conceptual pluralism has not yet been made. In what follows, I ﬁrst clarify the issues at stake before taking up the topic of conceptual pluralism and responding to Stegenga’s criticisms of the causal interactionist population concept. (shrink)
Biologists and philosophers have been extremely pessimistic about the possibility of demonstrating random drift in nature, particularly when it comes to distinguishing random drift from natural selection. However, examination of a historical case-Maxime Lamotte's study of natural populations of the land snail, Cepaea nemoralis in the 1950s - shows that while some pessimism is warranted, it has been overstated. Indeed, by describing a unique signature for drift and showing that this signature obtained in the populations under study, Lamotte was able (...) to make a good case for a significant role for drift. It may be difficult to disentangle the causes of drift and selection acting in a population, but it is not (always) impossible. (shrink)
I respond to Brandon's (2005) criticisms of my earlier (2002) essay. I argue that (1) biologists are inconsistent in their use of the terms 'selection' and 'drift' -- vacillating between 'process' and 'outcome' -- but that the process-oriented definitions I defend make better sense of the neutralist/selectionist debate; (2) Brandon's purported demonstration that there is no qualitative difference between drift and selection as processes begs the question against my account; and (3) biologists (e.g., Kimura) have argued for genuinely neutral variants. (...) Whether any such variants actually exist is an empirical question. However, the philosophical question at hand is conceptual, not empirical. (shrink)
The status of population genetics has become hotly debated among biologists and philosophers of biology. Many seem to view population genetics as relatively unchanged since the Modern Synthesis and have argued that subjects such as development were left out of the Synthesis. Some have called for an extended evolutionary synthesis or for recognizing the insignificance of population genetics. Yet others such as Michael Lynch have defended population genetics, declaring "nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of population genetics" (...) (a twist on Dobzhansky's famous slogan that "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"). Missing from this discussion is the use of population genetics to shed light on ecology and vice versa, beginning in the 1940s and continuing until the present day. I highlight some of that history through an overview of traditions such as ecological genetics and population biology, followed by a slightly more in-depth look at a contemporary study of the endangered California Tiger Salamander. I argue that population genetics is a powerful and useful tool that continues to be used and modified, even if it isn't required for all evolutionary explanations or doesn't incorporate all the causal factors of evolution. (shrink)
There have been two different schools of thought on the evolution of dominance. On the one hand, followers of Wright [Wright S. 1929. Am. Nat. 63: 274–279, Evolution: Selected Papers by Sewall Wright, University of Chicago Press, Chicago; 1934. Am. Nat. 68: 25–53, Evolution: Selected Papers by Sewall Wright, University of Chicago Press, Chicago; Haldane J.B.S. 1930. Am. Nat. 64: 87–90; 1939. J. Genet. 37: 365–374; Kacser H. and Burns J.A. 1981. Genetics 97: 639–666] have defended the view that dominance (...) is a product of non-linearities in gene expression. On the other hand, followers of Fisher [Fisher R.A. 1928a. Am. Nat. 62: 15–126; 1928b. Am. Nat. 62: 571–574; Bürger R. 1983a. Math. Biosci. 67: 125–143; 1983b. J. Math. Biol. 16: 269–280; Wagner G. and Burger R. 1985. J. Theor. Biol. 113: 475–500; Mayo O. and Reinhard B. 1997. Biol. Rev. 72: 97–110] have argued that dominance evolved via selection on modifier genes. Some have called these “physiological” versus “selectionist,” or more recently [Falk R. 2001. Biol. Philos. 16: 285–323], “functional,” versus “structural” explanations of dominance. This paper argues, however, that one need not treat these explanations as exclusive. While one can disagree about the most likely evolutionary explanation of dominance, as Wright and Fisher did, offering a “physiological” or developmental explanation of dominance does not render dominance “epiphenomenal,” nor show that evolutionary considerations are irrelevant to the maintenance of dominance, as some [Kacser H. and Burns J.A. 1981. Genetics 97: 639–666] have argued. Recent work [Gilchrist M.A. and Nijhout H.F. 2001. Genetics 159: 423–432] illustrates how biological explanation is a multi-level task, requiring both a “top-down” approach to understanding how a pattern of inheritance or trait might be maintained in populations, as well as “bottom-up” modeling of the dynamics of gene expression. (shrink)
This paper is an overview of the philosophy of evolution – past, present, and future. It surveys the following topics: the neutralist/selectionist debate, the adapationist programme and its challenges, sociobiology, contingency, laws of biology, the species category problem, the species taxon problem, the tautology problem, fitness, units of selection.
I argue that the propensity interpretation of fitness, properly understood, not only solves the explanatory circularity problem and the mismatch problem, but can also withstand the Pandora’s box full of problems that have been thrown at it. Fitness is the propensity (i.e., probabilistic ability, based on heritable physical traits) for organisms or types of organisms to survive and reproduce in particular environments and in particular populations for a specified number of generations; if greater than one generation, “reproduction” includes descendants of (...) descendants. Fitness values can be described in terms of distributions of propensities to produce varying number of offspring and can be modeled for any number of generations using computer simulations, thus providing both predictive power and a means for comparing the fitness of different phenotypes. Fitness is a causal concept, most notably at the population level, where fitness differences are causally responsible for differences in reproductive success. Relative fitness is ultimately what matters for natural selection. (shrink)
Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy is "read" as a nineteenth century conceptualization of modernity. Its method is one of induction from a dense mass of details drawn from the literature, historiography, and art of the Renaissance. In some respects, Burckhardt anticipates Weber and parallels Marx, but he also includes certain elements of modernity that are absent from the other theorists, such as the emergence of modernity from the interstices of the political order, the formation of the (...) totalitarian state, the cult of celebrity, and the tendency toward crime. He is particularly concerned with Renaissance society as a transitional form of society, and thus implicitly, with the nature of transitions. (shrink)
As a number of biologists and philosophers have emphasized, ‘chance’ has multiple meanings in evolutionary biology. Seven have been identified. I will argue that there is a unified concept of chance underlying these seven, which I call the UCC (Unified Chance Concept). I will argue that each is characterized by which causes are consid- ered, ignored, or prohibited. Thus, chance in evolutionary biology can only be under- stood through understanding the causes at work. The UCC aids in comparing the different (...) concepts and allows us to characterize our concepts of chance in probabilistic terms, i.e. provides a way to translate between ‘chance’ and ‘probability’. (shrink)
In Darwin’s Sacred Cause, Adrian Desmond and James Moore contend that ‘‘Darwin would put his utmost into sexual selection because the subject intrigued him, no doubt, but also for a deeper reason: the theory vindicated his lifelong commitment to human brotherhood’’ (2009: p. 360). Without questioning Des- mond and Moore’s evidence, I will raise some puzzles for their view. I will show that attention to the structure of Darwin’s arguments in the Descent of Man shows that they are far from (...) straightforward. As Desmond and Moore note, Darwin seems to have intended sexual selection in non-human animals to serve as evidence for sexual selection in humans. However, Darwin’s account of sexual selection in humans was different from the canonical cases that Darwin described at great length. If explaining the origin of human races was the main reason for introducing sexual selection, and if sexual selection was a key piece of Darwin’s anti-slavery arguments, then it is puzzling why Darwin would have spent so much time discussing cases that did not really support his argument for the origin of human races, and it is also puzzling that his argument for the origin of human races would be so (atypically) poor. (shrink)
Biologists studying ecology and evolution use the term “population” in many different ways. Yet little philosophical analysis of the concept has been done, either by biologists or philosophers, in contrast to the voluminous literature on the concept of “species.” This is in spite of the fact that “population” is arguably a far more central concept in ecological and evolutionary studies than “species” is. The fact that such a central concept has been employed in so many different ways is potentially problematic (...) for the reason that inconsistent usages (especially when the usage has not been made explicit) might lead to false controversies in which disputants are simply talking past one another. However, the inconsistent usages are not the only, or even the most important reason to examine the concept. If any set of organisms is legitimately called a “population,” selection and drift processes become purely arbitrary, too. Moreover, key ecological variables, such as abundance and distribution, depend on a nonarbitrary way of identifying populations. I sketch the beginnings of a population concept, drawing inspiration from the Ghiselin-Hull individuality thesis, and show why some alternative approaches are nonstarters. (shrink)
The four case studies on chance in evolution provide a rich source for further philosophical analysis. Among the issues raised are the following: Are there different conceptions of chance at work, or is there a common underlying conception? How can a given concept of chance be distinguished from other chance concepts and from nonchance concepts? How can the occurrence of a given chance process be distinguished empirically from nonchance processes or other chance processes? What role does chance play in evolutionary (...) theory? I argue that in order to answer these questions, a careful distinction between process and outcome must be made; however, the purpose of this essay is not to answer these questions definitively, but rather to elaborate on them and to provide a starting point for further discussion. (shrink)
1 This paper has been presented at the workshop “Time and Modality: A Round Table on Tense, Mood, and Modality”, Paris, December 2005, at a CUNY linguistics colloquium in May 2006, and at the 6th Workshop on Formal Linguistics in Florian´opolis, Brazil, August 2006. We thank the audiences at those presentations, in particular Orin Percus, Tim Stowell, Marcel den Dikken, Anna Szabolcsi, Chris Warnasch, Roberta Pires de Oliveira, Renato Miguel Basso, and Ana M¨uller. We thank Noam Chomsky, Cleo Condoravdi, (...) and Irene Heim for very helpful conversations about this material. We thank Bridget Copley for sharing with us her recent manuscript “What Should Should.. (shrink)
In this paper we want to examine how the mutual understanding of speakers is reached during a conversation through collaborative processes, and what role is played by abductive inference (in the Peircean sense) in these processes. We do this by bringing together contributions coming from a variety of disciplines, such as logic, philosophy of language and psychology. When speakers are engaged in a conversation, they refer to a supposed common ground: every participant ascribes to the others some knowledge, belief, opinion (...) etc. on which to rely in order to reach mutual understanding. As the conversation unfolds, this common ground is continually corrected and reshaped by the interchanges. An abductive reasoning takes place, in a collaborative setting, in order to build new possible theories about the common ground. In reconstructing this process through the use of a working example, we argue that the integration of a collaborative perspective within the Peircean theory of abduction can help to solve some of the drawbacks that the critics of the latter have outlined, for example its permissivity and non generativity. (shrink)
Each person is perceived by others and by herself as an individual in a very strong sense, namely as a unique individual. Moreover, this supposed uniqueness is commonly thought of as linked with another character that we tend to attribute to persons (as opposed to stones or chairs and even non-human animals): a kind of depth, hidden to sensory perception, yet in some measure accessible to other means of knowledge. I propose a theory of strong or essential individuality. This theory (...) is introduced by way of a critical discussion of Van Inwagen’s and Baker’s ontologies of persons. Composition Theory and Constitution Theory are shown to be complementary, in their opposite strong and weak points. I argue that both theories have unsatisfactory consequences concerning personal identity, a problem which the proposed theory seems to solve more faithfully both to folk intuitions and the phenomenology of personal life. (shrink)
I examine recent debates in the philosophy of biology over the determinism or indeterminism of the evolutionary process, focusing on two papers in particular: Glymour 2001 and Stamos 2001. I argue that neither of these papers succeeds in making the case for the indeterminism of the evolutionary process, and suggest that what is needed is a detailed analysis of the causal processes at every level from the quantum mechanical to the evolutionary.
Recent work on the heat-shock protein Hsp90 by Rutherford and Lindquist (1998) has been included among the pieces of evidence taken to show the essential role of developmental processes in evolution; Hsp90 acts as a buffer against phenotypic variation, allowing genotypic variation to build. When the buffering capacity of Hsp90 is altered (e.g., in nature, by mutation or environmental stress), the genetic variation is "revealed," manifesting itself as phenotypic variation. This phenomenon raises questions about the genetic variation before and after (...) what I will call a "revelation event": Is it neutral, nearly neutral, or non-neutral (i.e., strongly deleterious or strongly advantageous)? Moreover, what kinds of evolutionary processes do we take to be at work? Rutherford and Lindquist (1998) focus on the implications of non-neutral variation and selection. Later work by Queitsch, Sangster, and Lindquist (2002) and Sangster, Lindquist, and Queitsch (2004) raises the possibility that Hsp90 buffering may play the role that was played by drift in Sewall Wright's shifting balance model, permitting transition from one adaptive peak to another. However, Ohta (2002) suggests that much of this variation may be nearly neutral, which in turn, would imply a strong role for drift as well as selection. The primary goal of this paper is to illuminate the alternative scenarios and the processes operating in each. At the end, I raise the possibility of a synthesis between evo-devo and nearly neutral evolution. (shrink)
Alexander Rosenberg (1994) claims that the omniscient viewpoint of the evolutionary process would have no need for the concept of random drift. However, his argument fails to take into account all of the processes which are considered to be instances of random drift. A consideration of these processes shows that random drift is not eliminable even given a position of omniscience. Furthermore, Rosenberg must take these processes into account in order to support his claims that evolution is deterministic and that (...) evolutionary biology is an instrumental science. (shrink)
Ksiazka Roberta Paula Wolfa Apologia anarchizmu, ktora ukazala sie w roku 1970, stala sie niezwyklym wydarzeniem w rozwoju dwudziestowiecznej filozofii zachodniej: oto bowiem szacowny filozof, reprezentujacy (mniej wiecej) glowny nurt swej dziedziny, przedstawial argumenty zyczliwe wobec anarchizmu.
This paper aims to illustrate one of the primary goals of the philosophy of biology⎯namely, the examination of central concepts in biological theory and practice⎯through an analysis of the concepts of population and metapopulation in evolutionary biology and ecology. I will first provide a brief background for my analysis, followed by a characterization of my proposed concepts: the causal interactionist concepts of population and metapopulation. I will then illustrate how the concepts apply to six cases that differ in their population (...) structure; this analysis will also serve to flesh out and defend the concepts a bit more. Finally, I will respond to some possible questions that my analysis may have raised and then conclude briefly. (shrink)
Bloom's eloquent and comprehensive treatment of early word learning holds that social intention is foundational for language development. While we generally support his thesis, we call into question two of his proposals: (1) that attention to social information in the environment implies social intent, and (2) that infants are sensitive to social intent at the very beginnings of word learning.
Recently, a number of philosophers of biology (e.g., Matthen and Ariew 2002; Walsh, Lewens, and Ariew 2002; Pigliucci and Kaplan 2006; Walsh 2007) have endorsed views about random drift that, we will argue, rest on an implicit assumption that the meaning of concepts such as drift can be understood through an examination of the mathematical models in which drift appears. They also seem to implicitly assume that ontological questions about the causality (or lack thereof) of terms appearing in the models (...) can be gleaned from the models alone. We will question these general assumptions by showing how the same equation – the simple (p + q)2 = p2 + 2pq + q2 – can be given radically different interpretations, one of which is a physical, causal process and one of which is not. This shows that mathematical models on their own yield neither interpretations nor ontological conclusions. Instead, we argue that these issues can only be resolved by considering the phenomena that the models were originally designed to represent and the phenomena to which the models are currently applied. When one does take those factors into account, starting with the motivation for Sewall Wright’s and R.A. Fisher’s early drift models and ending with contemporary applications, a very different picture of the concept of drift emerges. On this view, drift is a term for a set of physical processes, namely, indiscriminate sampling processes (Beatty 1984; Hodge 1987; Millstein 2002, 2005). (shrink)
Is it true that all conversational implicatures are cancellable? In some recent works (Weiner Analysis 66(2):127–130, 2004 , followed by Blome-Tillmann Analysis 68(2):156–160, 2008 and, most recently, by Hazlett 2012 ), the property of cancellability that, according to Grice ( 1989 ), conversational implicatures must possess has been called into question. The aim of this article is to show that the cases on which Weiner builds his argument—the Train Case and the Sex Pistols Case— do not really suffice to endanger (...) Grice’s Cancellability Hypothesis. What Weiner has shown with his examples is that a conversational implicature cannot be cancelled if the speaker, whose utterance gives rise to the implicature, does not intend to cancel it. To implicate is an intentional speech act and, therefore, cancelling an implicature must also be intentional and must be performed by the same speaker whose utterance gives rise to the putative implicature. (shrink)
Research ethics education in the biosciences has not historically been a priority for research universities despite the fact that funding agencies, government regulators, and the parties involved in the research enterprise agree that it ought to be. The confluence of a number of factors, including scrutiny and regulation due to increased public awareness of the impact of basic research on society, increased public and private funding, increased diversity and collaboration among researchers, the impressive success and speed of research advances, and (...) high-profile cases of misconduct, have made it necessary to reexamine how the bioscience research community at all levels provides ethics education to its own. We discuss the need to and reasons for making ethics integral to the education of bioscientists, approaches to achieving this goal, challenges this goal presents, and responses to those challenges. (shrink)
North American music education is a commodity sold to pre-service and in-service music teachers. Like all mass-produced consumables, it is valuable to the extent that it is not creative, that is, to the extent that it is reproducible. This is demonstrated in curricular materials, notably general music series textbook and music scores available from a rapidly shrinking cadre of publishers, as well as rigid and pre-determined pedagogical practices. Distributing resources and techniques that produce predicable, consistent, and repeatable goods and services, (...) the economy of music teacher preparation and development must necessarily exclude creativity, which consequently must be viewed as not only inefficient but unprofitable. More than undesirable, however, creativity is constructed as dangerous as it injects difference in a system that relies on sameness. Because of its implications for music education discourse and practices, I focus my discussion on research in general and feminist critique in particular in music education. Reading through Monique Wittig's ‘The Trojan Horse’ as literary war machine, I argue that creative writing and academic research are not mutually exclusive, and that it is only through infusing the literary or creative in scholarly writing that interlocking systems of oppression may be altered and difference implicated in music education. My analysis of Roberta Lamb's (1995) research piece, ‘Tone Deaf/Symphonies Singing: Sketches for a Musicale’ depicts it as Trojan Horse, albeit one that Lamb herself, most likely as a function of editorial imperative, hobbles. (shrink)
This essay discusses four challenges posed to a global bioethics by articles on: divergent national policies on compensation of egg donors for IVF, efforts to advance the development of international guidelines for the management of neonates on the edge of viability, bioethics training workshops in Uganda, a bioethicist’s reflection on a visit to Pakistan. The article then discusses several approaches to developing a global bioethics and how these approaches might meet the four challenges. The essay concludes with discussion of the (...) author’s development of a navigational approach to policymaking for fractious bioethical policy problems and how this compares to other approaches to developing a global bioethics. (shrink)
This manuscript describes a pilot study in ethics education employing a problem-based learning approach to the study of novel, complex, ethically fraught, unavoidably public, and unavoidably divisive policy problems, called “fractious problems,” in bioscience and biotechnology. Diverse graduate and professional students from four US institutions and disciplines spanning science, engineering, humanities, social science, law, and medicine analyzed fractious problems employing “navigational skills” tailored to the distinctive features of these problems. The students presented their results to policymakers, stakeholders, experts, and members (...) of the public. This approach may provide a model for educating future bioscientists and bioengineers so that they can meaningfully contribute to the social understanding and resolution of challenging policy problems generated by their work. (shrink)
This paper compares two basic approaches to “ontology”. One originated within the analytic tradition, and it encompasses two diverging streams, philosophy of language and (contemporary) philosophy of mind which lead to “reduced ontology” and “neo-Aristotelian ontology”, respectively. The other approach is “phenomenological ontology” (more precisely, the Husserlian, not the Heideggerian version).Ontology as a theory of reference (“reduced” ontology, or ontology dependent on semantics) is presented and justified on the basis of some classical thesis of traditional philosophy of language (from Frege (...) to Quine). “Reduced ontology” is shown to be identifiable with one level of the traditional, Aristotelian ontology, which corresponds to one ofthe four “senses of Being” listed in Aristotle’s Metaphysics: “being” as “being true”. This identification is justified on the basis of Brentano’s “rules for translation” of the Aristotelian table of judgements in terms of (positive and negative) existential judgments such as are easily translatable into sentences of first order predicate logic.The second part of the paper is concerned with “neo-Aristotelian ontology”, i.e. with naturalism and physicalism as the main ontological options underlying most of the contemporary discussion in philosophy of mind. The qualification of such options as “neo-Aristotelian” is justified; the relationships between “neo-Aristotelian” and “reduced” ontology are discussed. The third part presents the basic claim of “phenomenological ontology”: the claim that a logical theory of existence and being does capture a sense of “existing” and “being” which, even if not itself the basic one, is grounded in the basic one. An attempt is done at further clarifying this “more basic” sense of “being”. An argument making use of this supposedly “more basic” sense is advanced in favour of “phenomenological ontology”. (shrink)