The biological species concept deals both with the meaning of the sexual species as a harmonious gene pool and with its protection against deleterious outbreeding (effected by isolating mechanisms). According to the Darwin-Muller-Mayr theory isolating mechanisms are acquired by incipient species during alloparty. Isolating mechanisms are not the result of ad hoc selection, but of a change of function of properties acquired during the preceding isolation of the incipient species. The role of behavioral properties (recognition) among the isolating mechanisms (...) has long been recognized and described by naturalists but was rejected as basis of a species definition for a number of valid reasons. (shrink)
Our self-understanding as human agents includes a commitment to three crucial claims about human agency: that agents must be active, that actions are part of the natural order of the universe, and that intentional actions can be explained by the agent's reasons for acting. While all of these claims are indispensable elements of our view of ourselves as human agents, they are in continuous conflict and tension with one another, especially once one adopts the currently predominant view of what the (...) natural order must be like. One of the central tasks of philosophy of action consists in showing how, despite appearances, these conflicts can be resolved and our self-understanding as agents be vindicated. The mainstream of contemporary philosophy of action holds that this task can only be fulfilled by an event-causal reductive view of human agency, paradigmatically embodied in the so-called 'standard model' developed by Donald Davidson. Erasmus Mayr, in contrast, develops a new agent-causal solution to these conflicts and shows why this solution is superior both to event-causalist accounts and to Von Wright's intentionalism about agency. He offers a comprehensive theory of substance-causation on the basis of a realist conception of powers, which allows one to see how the widespread rejection of agent-causation rests on an unfounded 'Humean' view of nature and of causal processes. At the same time, Mayr addresses the question of the nature of reasons for acting and complements its substance-causal account of activity with a non-causal account of acting for reasons in terms of following a standard of success. (shrink)
How do managers think about the relationship between the pursuit of economic success and ethical demands? This paper presents the main results of a qualitative-empirical study (Ulrich and Thielemann, 1992). The range of thinking patterns displayed by Swiss managers in this field of tension is elucidated and typologized. The results are then compared with those yielded by other studies on managerial ethics. Although the comparisons reveal essential parallels, the findings of previous investigations are interpreted in a considerably different manner. (...) In particular it is shown that, on the strength of a systematic conception of the fundamental problem of business ethics, the frequently heard assertion that the vast majority of managers are ethical opportunists must be revised. The internationally prevailing thinking pattern among managers does not prove to be ethical opportunism or even cynicism buteconomism, i.e. theethical conviction that economically appropriate actionin itself is ethically good as such. (shrink)
This collection of revised and new essays argues that biology is an autonomous science rather than a branch of the physical sciences. Ernst Mayr, widely considered the most eminent evolutionary biologist of the 20th century, offers insights on the history of evolutionary thought, critiques the conditions of philosophy to the science of biology, and comments on several of the major developments in evolutionary theory. Notably, Mayr explains that Darwin's theory of evolution is actually five separate theories, each with (...) its own history, trajectory and impact. Ernst Mayr, commonly referred to as the "Darwin of the 20th century" and listed as one of the top 100 scientists of all-time, is Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. What Makes Biology Unique is the 25th book he has written during his long and prolific career. His recent books include This is Biology: The Science of the Living World (Belknap Press, 1997) and What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2002). (shrink)
Critical Heuristics of Social Planning has been recognised as the seminal work on critical systems thinking. Ulrich offers a new approach both to practical philosophy (which has until now remained rather unpractical) and to systems thinking (which has reduced the systems idea to a tool of merely instrumental, rather than practical, reason). Critical systems heuristics (CSH), as the approach is now generally called, provides planners, practitioners and policy makers with a conceptual tool for practising practical reason. It will enable (...) them to identify and discuss systematically the value implications of policies, plans, problem definitions, or program evaluations. In addition, the book offers the most thorough-going introduction available today to the espistemological foundations of critical systems thinking, including a practicable model of cogent argumentation on disputed value implications of designs. A must for practitioners and scholars who are interested in a self-critical and practicable understanding of the widespread call for holistic or systems thinking! "Critical Heuristics will be recognised as a very important book in the emerging systems discipline and will hold a significant position for many years to come". Peter B. Checkland, University of Lancaster, England. "An outstanding contribution to an adequate philosophical and heuristic framework for critical social inquiry and design". C. West Churchman, University of California, Berkeley, USA. "The book fills a major gap in the literature on the systems tradition". Michael C. Jackson, University of Hull, England. "Drawing on a profound knowledge of both Anglo-American systems theory and German practical philosophy, this book belongs to the best studies I have seen on the normative foundations of planning and systems design." Horst Steinmann, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. "Mandatory for libraries in the field of planning". John Friedmann, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. (shrink)
I analyze a number of widespread misconceptions concerning species. The species category, defined by a concept, denotes the rank of a species taxon in the Linnaean hierarchy. Biological species are reproducing isolated from each other, which protects the integrity of their genotypes. Degree of morphological difference is not an appropriate species definition. Unequal rates of evolution of different characters and lack of information on the mating potential of isolated populations are the major difficulties in the demarcation of species taxa.
Purpose/methods: This study investigated the relationship between ethics education and training, and the use and usefulness of ethics resources, confidence in moral decisions, and moral action/activism through a survey of practicing nurses and social workers from four United States (US) census regions. Findings: The sample (n = 1215) was primarily Caucasian (83%), female (85%), well educated (57% with a master's degree). no ethics education at all was reported by 14% of study participants (8% of social workers had no ethics education, (...) versus 23% of nurses), and only 57% of participants had ethics education in their professional educational program. Those with both professional ethics education and in-service or continuing education were more confident in their moral judgments and more likely to use ethics resources and to take moral action. Social workers had more overall education, more ethics education, and higher confidence and moral action scores, and were more likely to use ethics resources than nurses. Conclusion: Ethics education has a significant positive influence on moral confidence, moral action, and use of ethics resources by nurses and social workers. (shrink)
A longitudinal survey of business graduates over a four-year period revealed stability over time in their assessments of proposals to improve business ethics except for significantly greater disapproval of government regulation. A comparison of graduates and executives indicate both favor developing general ethical business principles, business ethics courses, and codes of ethics, while disapproving government regulation and participation by religious leaders in ethical norms for business. The mean rankings by business graduates over time of factors influencing ethical conduct show significant (...) declines in school-university training and significant increases for religious training and industry practices. Graduates and executives rank family training as the most important influence and school-university training as least important. The authors conclude that a more careful consideration be given to matching reform proposals and influence factors, and to increasing the depth of change efforts in individual business ethics. (shrink)
A theory may be invalid, not owing to erroneous observations or the invocation of an inappropriate law, but because of the use of equivocal terms. This is demonstrated for Darwin's failed model of sympatric speciation through the principle of divergence.
The type in taxonomy is not meant to be a particularly typical specimen, but simply a reference specimen suited to serve as a 'name bearer' whenever doubt arises concerning the identity of a species. The minimum requirement is that the specimen reflects some differentiating characteristics of the species. In analogy, only such individuals should be made the type of an ideological system as adhere to the principal ideologies of that system. Only such an evolutionist could serve as type for Darwinism (...) who on the whole accepts gradual evolution and, as the major moving force in evolution, natural selection. It is very questionable whether the type-method would be of any use where highly heterogeneous, open, or rapidly evolving systems are involved. When the meaning of a system is changing it is less confusing to redefine it than to coin a new term for each change. (shrink)
Theories postulating saltational evolution are a necessary consequence of essentialism. If one believes in constant types, only the sudden production of a new type can lead to evolutionary change. That such saltations can occur and indeed that their occurrence is a necessity is an old belief. Almost all of the theories of evolution described by H. F. Osborn (1894) in his From the Greek s to Darwin were saltational theories, that is, theories of the sudden origin of new kinds. The (...) Darwinian revolution (Darwin, 1859) did not end this tradition, which continued to flourish in the writings of Thomas H. Huxley, William Bateson, Hugo De Vries, J. C. Willis, Richard Goldschmidt, and Otto Schindewolf. Traces of this idea can even be found in the writings of some of the punctuationists. (shrink)
he award given to me by the American Institute of Biological Sciences fills me with pride and gratitude, particularly since it was also awarded to my friend, Ledyard Stebbins, perhaps the greatest botanist of the twentieth century. It greatly saddened me to learn of his death in January. How gratifying that he was still able to receive this honor in person last year at the meeting of the Botanical Society of America. On that occasion, Ledyard expertly described the trials and (...) tribulations of evolutionism and its ultimately overwhelming victory in the twentieth century. (shrink)
Somatoform disorder patients show a variety of emotional disturbances including impaired emotion recognition and increased empathic distress. In a previous paper, our group showed that several brain regions involved in emotional processing, such as the parahippocampal gyrus and other regions, were less activated in pre-treatment somatoform disorder patients (compared to healthy controls) during an empathy task. Since the parahippocampal gyrus is involved in emotional memory, its decreased activation might reflect the repression of emotional memories (which - according to psychoanalytical concepts (...) - plays an important role in somatoform disorder). Psychodynamic psychotherapy aims at increasing the understanding of emotional conflicts as well as uncovering repressed emotions. We were interested, whether brain activity in the parahippocampal gyrus normalized after (inpatient) multimodal psychodynamic psychotherapy. Using fMRI, subjects were scanned while they shared the emotional states of presented facial stimuli expressing anger, disgust, joy and a neutral expression; distorted stimuli with unrecognizable content served as control condition. 15 somatoform disorder patients were scanned twice, pre and post multimodal psychodynamic psychotherapy; in addition, 15 age-matched healthy control subjects were investigated. Effects of psychotherapy on hemodynamic responses were analyzed implementing two approaches: (i) an a priori region of interest approach and (ii) a voxelwise whole brain analysis. Both analyses revealed increased hemodynamic responses in the left and right parahippocampal gyrus (and other regions) after multimodal psychotherapy in the contrast ‘empathy with anger’-‘control’. Our results are in line with psychoanalytical concepts about somatoform disorder. They suggest the parahippocampal gyrus is crucially involved in the neurobiological mechanisms which underly the emotional deficits of somatoform disorder patients. (shrink)
Four ordering systems have been used most frequently in taxonomy: (1) special purpose classifications, (2) downward classifications (identification schemes), (3) upward or grouping classifications (traditional), and (4) Hennigian phylogenetic systems. The special properties of these four systems are critically evaluated. Grouping classifications and phylogenetic systems have very different objectives: the former the documentation of similarity and closeness of relationship, the latter of phylogeny. Both are legitimate ordering systems.