Much has been made in recent years concerning the ecological significance of the global boreal forest. In Canada, a highly coordinated political campaign is under way to halt the industrial pressures - mining, forestry, energy development - that threaten to undermine the ecological contributions made by the Canadian boreal forest. In this short commentary, however, it is argued that the current politicization of the boreal forest cannot be thought of solely as an innocent act of environmental protection, but must also (...) be thought of in terms of the colonial context from which its geography first emerged. Doing so raises problems for a conventional environmental subjectivity based on a sharp distinction between nature and culture. The author seeks to address this tension by advocating an environmental ethics that is based on a responsibility for the other. (shrink)
Kant's claim that modality is a 'category' provides an approach to modality to be contrasted with Lewis's reductive analysis. Lewis's position is unsatisfactory, since it depends on an inherently modal conception of a world. This suggests that modality is 'primitive'; and the Kantian position is a prima facie plausible position of this kind, which is filled out by considering the relationship between modality and inference. This provides a context for comparing the Kantian position with Wright's non-cognitivist 'conventionalism'. Wright's position is (...) vulnerable to the type of argument used against ethical non-cognitivism, and the Kantian position is further confirmed by Blackburn's acknowledgment that modality is 'antinaturalistic to its core'. The position is further elaborated to show that it can accommodate the famous Kripkean categories of the empirically necessary and the contingent a priori, and finally defended against the criticisms used by Quine against Carnap. (shrink)
Sartre presented ‘Existentialism and Humanism’ to a popular audience in Paris late in 1945. As he implies in the discussion which is appended to the text of the lecture, he was here simplifying his views so as to make them intelligible to a wide audience. In this he succeeded only too well; the lecture has become exceedingly well known and has been regarded as a definitive presentation not only of Sartre's philosophy at the time, but also of ‘existentialism’. One thing (...) I hope to show in this essay is that this is not a sensible view to take; Sartre's text requires a good deal of interpretation and qualification in the light of his other writings of the period, and what emerges is a position which is uniquely his own. One way in which this can be seen is by considering Heidegger's ‘Letter on Humanism’ of 1947 which is a response to Sartre's lecture and is, indeed, Heidegger's only direct response to Sartre's work. In the lecture Sartre had associated Heidegger with himself as an ‘existential atheist’, but in his letter Heidegger emphatically dissociates himself both from atheism and from existentialism as characterized by Sartre, and goes on to criticize the position advanced by Sartre in the lecture. Yet despite the popular exaggeration of the significance of Sartre's lecture, it is certainly worth studying; for not only is it short and accessible, though in some respects misleading, it is also one of Sartre's few indications of the positive ethical theory which so many of his writings require but do not supply. (shrink)
Moore much disliked the names ‘George Edward’ which his parents had bestowed upon him. Hence he was always known just as ‘Moore’ in his professional life, although at home there seems to have been a profusion of names—in his Commonplace Book he writes1: ‘I used to be called “Jumbo’, and used to be called “Tommy”; & also “Georgie”, & am still called by my brothers and sisters “George”; by Dorothy & others I am called “Bill”…‘.
The so-called “Baldwin Effect” has been studied for years in the fields of Artificial Life, Cognitive Science, and Evolutionary Theory across disciplines. This idea is often conflated with genetic assimilation, and has raised controversy in trans-disciplinary scientific discourse due to the many interpretations it has. This paper revisits the “Baldwin Effect” in Baldwin’s original spirit from a joint historical, theoretical and experimental approach. Social Heredity – the inheritance of cultural knowledge via non-genetic means in Baldwin’s term (...) – is also taken into consideration. I shall argue that the Baldwin Effect can occur via social heredity without necessity for genetic assimilation. Computational experiments are carried out to show that when social heredity is permitted with high fidelity, there is no need for the assimilation of acquired characteristics; instead the Baldwin Effect occurs as promoting more plasticity to facilitate future intelligence. The role of mind and intelligence in evolution and its implications in an extended synthesis of evolution are briefly discussed. (shrink)
The so-called Baldwin Effect generally says how learning, as a form of ontogenetic adaptation, can influence the process of phylogenetic adaptation, or evolution. This idea has also been taken into computation in which evolution and learning are used as computational metaphors, including evolving neural networks. This paper presents a technique called evolving self-taught neural networks – neural networks that can teach themselves without external supervision or reward. The self-taught neural network is intrinsically motivated. Moreover, the self-taught neural network is (...) the product of the interplay between evolution and learning. We simulate a multi-agent system in which neural networks are used to control autonomous agents. These agents have to forage for resources and compete for their own survival. Experimental results show that the interaction between evolution and the ability to teach oneself in self-taught neural networks outperform evolution and self-teaching alone. More specifically, the emergence of an intelligent foraging strategy is also demonstrated through that interaction. Indications for future work on evolving neural networks are also presented. (shrink)
In recent years, many scholars have suggested that the Baldwin effect may play an important role in the evolution of language. However, the Baldwin effect is a multifaceted and controversial process and the assessment of its connection with language is difficult without a formal model. This paper provides a first step in this direction. We examine a game-theoretic model of the interaction between plasticity and evolution in the context of a simple language game. Additionally, we describe three distinct (...) aspects of the Baldwin effect: the Simpson– Baldwin effect, the Baldwin expediting effect and the Baldwin optimizing effect. We find that a simple model of the evolution of language lends theoretical plausibility to the existence of the Simpson– Baldwin and the Baldwin optimizing effects in this arena, but not the Baldwin expediting effect. (shrink)
Efforts to develop a coherent role for white people in racial justice initiatives in the USA are often stymied by the defensiveness, paternalism, and guilt of many white liberals. Such efforts are also undermined by critiques of whiteness that conflate white identity and white supremacy. I address this dilemma by developing an account of antiracist white identity politics, conceived of here as taking responsibility for the effects of being socially defined as white. I locate conceptual resources for this project in (...) James Baldwin’s reflections on tragedy, love, and identity. In contrast to those who invoke Baldwin to argue for abolishing white identity, I make a case for politicizing it. I draw on Baldwin’s articulation of a tragic sensibility to argue that white antiracism requires accepting a morally compromised identity one has not chosen. It also requires accepting that serious efforts to end white supremacy inevitably lead to mistakes, misunderstandings, and counterproductive outcomes. By adopting a tragic perspective on these aspects of white antiracism, white people would become more capable of forging antiracist white identities through robust engagement in struggles for racial justice. (shrink)
David Papineau (2003; 2005) has discussed the relationship between social learning and the family of postulated evolutionary processes that includes ‘organic selection’, ‘coincident selection’, ‘autonomisation’, ‘the Baldwin effect’ and ‘genetic assimilation’. In all these processes a trait which initially develops in the members of a population as a result of some interaction with the environment comes to develop without that interaction in their descendants. It is uncontroversial that the development of an identical phenotypic trait might depend on an interaction (...) with the environment in one population and not in another. For example, some species of passerine songbirds require exposure to species-typical songs in order to reproduce those songs whilst others do not. Hence we can envisage a species beginning with one type of developmental pathway and evolving the other type. If, however, the successive evolution of these two developmental pathways were a mere coincidence, selection first favoring the ability to acquire the trait and later, quite independently, favoring the ability to develop it autonomously, then this would not be a distinctive kind of evolutionary process, but merely two standard instances of natural selection. George Gaylord Simpson pointed this out in the paper that gave us the term ‘Baldwin effect’ (Simpson, 1953). The real interest of the Baldwin effect and its relatives lies in the mechanisms which might link the evolution of the two developmental pathways, so that acquiring the trait through interaction with the environment makes it more likely that later generations will evolve the ability to acquire the same trait without that interaction. (shrink)
Andrew Tooke's 1691 English translation of Samuel Pufendorf's De officio hominis et civis, published as The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, brought Pufendorf's manual fo statist natural law into English politics at a moment of temporary equilibrium in the unfinished contest between Crown and Parliament for the rights and powers of sovereignty. Drawing on the authors' re-edition of The Whole Duty of Man, this article describes and analyses a telling instance of how--by translation--the core (...) political terms and concepts of the German natural jurist's 'absolutist' formulary were reshaped for reception in the different political culture of late seventeenth-century England. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to establish—and explore—James Baldwin’s significance for educational theory. Through a close reading of ‘Everybody’s Protest Novel’, I show that Baldwin’s thinking is an important precursor to the work of Stanley Cavell and Cora Diamond, and is relevant to a number of problems that are educationally significant, in particular problems of race and racism.
In the current evolutionary debate, the «Baldwin Effect» is increasingly mentioned. The aim of this article is to teoretically analyze the original form of this concept, initially called “organic selection”, through the thought of one of its main advocates: James Mark Baldwin. His evolutionary observations, almost forgotten in Modern Synthesis’s refolmulations of «Baldwin Effect», appear widely original in view of contemporary attempt to «extend» the darwinian paradigm.
Muchos autores consideran actualmente al efecto Baldwin (la idea de que comportamientos aprendidos pueden llegar a heredarse) como un potente mecanismo evolutivo. Sin embargo, su importancia deriva de la asunción neodarwinista de que la herencia es un mecanismo puramente genético. Desde una noción m..
In 1991, I included a brief discussion of the Baldwin effect in my account of the evolution of human consciousness, thinking I was introducing to non-specialist readers a little-appreciated, but no longer controversial, wrinkle in orthodox neo-Darwinism. I had thought that Hinton and Nowlan (1987) and Maynard Smith (1987) had shown clearly and succinctly how and why it worked, and restored the neglected concept to grace. Here is how I put it then.
This important collection of essays by Andrew Feenberg presents his critical theory of technology, an innovative approach to philosophy and sociology of technology based on a synthesis of ideas drawn from STS and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. The volume includes chapters on citizenship, modernity, and Heidegger and Marcuse.
I argue that too much attention has been paid to the Baldwin effect. George Gaylord Simpson was probably right when he said that the effect is theoretically possible and may have actually occurred but that this has no major implications for evolutionary theory. The Baldwin effect is not even central to Baldwin's own account of social heredity and biology-culture co-evolution, an account that in important respects resembles the modern ideas of epigenetic inheritance and niche-construction.
Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in science, knowledge, thought, action, politics, morality and religion. In this tribute and acknowledgement of the influence his work has had on a wide readership, his colleagues show that they have been stimulated by his thinking and offer challenging responses. This wide-ranging book covers key areas with which defenders of objectivity often have to engage. Sections are devoted to the following: 'objectivity of value', 'objectivity and everyday knowledge', 'objectivity in political (...) economy', 'objectivity and reflexivity', 'objectivity, postmodernism and feminism', 'objectivity and nature'. The diverse contributions range from social and political thought to philosophy, reflecting the central themes of Collier's work. (shrink)
We invited five Cavell scholars to write on this topic. What follows is a vibrant exchange among Paola Marrati, Andrew Norris, Jörg Volbers, Cary Wolfe and Thomas Dumm addressing the question whether, in the contemporary political context, Cavell’s skepticism and his Emersonian perfectionism amount to a politics at all.
Book Symposium on Andrew Feenberg’s Between Reason and Experience: Essays in Technology and Modernity Content Type Journal Article Pages 203-226 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0017-8 Authors Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Division of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA David B. Ingram, Loyola University Chicago, 6525 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626, USA Sally Wyatt, e-Humanities Group, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) & Maastricht University, Cruquiusweg 31, 1019 AT Amsterdam, The Netherlands Yoko Arisaka, Forschungsinstitut für Philosophie (...) Hannover, Gerberstrasse 26, 30169 Hannover, Germany Andrew Feenberg, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 2. (shrink)
The Oxford Monographs On Criminal Law And Justice series aims to cover all aspects of criminal law and procedure including criminal evidence. the scope of the series is wide, encompassing both practical and theoretical works. Series Editor: Professor Andrew Ashworth, Vinerian Professor of English Law, All Souls College, Oxford. This volume is a thematic collection of essays on sentencing theory by leading writers. The essays fall into three groups. Part I considers the underlying justifications for the imposition of punishment (...) by the State, and examines the relationship between victims, offenders and the State. Part II addresses a number of areas of sentencing policy that have given rise to particular difficulty, such as the sentencing of drug offenders, the rationale for discounting sentences for multiple offenders, the existence of special sentencing for young offenders, and cases where the injury done to the victim is of a different magnitude from what might have been expected. Part III raises various questions about the unequal impact on offenders of different sentencing measures, and examines the extent to which sentences should be adjusted to take account of these different impacts and of broader social inequalities. This volume is dedicated to Professor Andrew von Hirsch, whose continuing work on sentencing theory provided the stimulus for the collection. (shrink)
Andrew Huddleston’s book sets out a vision of Nietzsche as a philosopher of culture. His approach sheds light on some familiar problems and opens up a new way of thinking about cultural criticism. Nietzsche’s concern, he argues, lies with both the instrumental and final value of both individuals and whole cultures. In terms of the Anglophone secondary literature, this places Huddleston between Leiter, who tends to suggest that individuals are all that matters, and Young, who tends to suggest that (...) communities are all that matters. A repeated claim is that Nietzsche evaluates cultures in a manner that is analogous to the evaluation of art, and much of the book involves exploring the subtleties of what that analogy... (shrink)
This paper defends the position that the supposed gap between biological altruism and psychological altruism is not nearly as wide as some scholars (e.g., Elliott Sober) insist. Crucial to this defense is the use of James Mark Baldwin's concepts of “organic selection”and “social heredity” to assist in revealing that the gap between biological and psychological altruism is more of a small lacuna. Specifically, this paper argues that ontogenetic behavioral adjustments, which are crucial to individual survival and reproduction, are also (...) crucial to species survival. In particular, it is argued that human psychological altruism is produced and maintained by various sorts of mimicry and self-reflection in the aid of both individual and species survival. The upshot of this analysis is that it is possible to offer an account of psychological altruism that is closelytethered to biological altruism without reducing entirely the former to thelatter. (shrink)
Andrew Wayne discusses some recent attempts to account, within a Bayesian framework, for the "common methodological adage" that "diverse evidence better confirms a hypothesis than does the same amount of similar evidence". One of the approaches considered by Wayne is that suggested by Howson and Urbach and dubbed the "correlation approach" by Wayne. This approach is, indeed, incomplete, in that it neglects the role of the hypothesis under consideration in determining what diversity in a body of evidence is relevant (...) diversity. In this paper, it is shown how this gap can be filled, resulting in a more satisfactory account of the evidential role of diversity of evidence. In addition, it is argued that Wayne's criticism of the correlation approach does not indicate a serious flaw in the approach. (shrink)
In his paper, ‘A critique of religious fictionalism’, Benjamin Cordry raises a series of objections to a fictionalist form of religious non-realism that I proposed in my earlier paper, ‘Can an atheist believe in God?’. They fall into two main categories: those alleging that an atheist would be unjustified in adopting fictionalism, and those alleging that fictionalism could not be successfully implemented, or practised communally. I argue that these objections can be met.
This has been an excellent opportunity for me to get a sense of what scholars in fields other than my own (viz., theological social ethics) think I am trying to do, and whether there might be some sense in it. But in all honesty, I must say that the experience of reading and pondering the articles by Lewis Baldwin and Dwayne Tunstall in this issue of The Pluralist has been both enlightening and a joy, inasmuch as it has been (...) an opportunity for me to find out what I have been doing in the academy for the last twenty-five years and where might be some of the limitations as well as promise in my work.When I read these articles, I recalled an experience that second-generation personalist Francis J. McConnell reported .. (shrink)
In this essay I describe how contractarianism might approach interspecies welfare conflicts. I start by discussing a contractarian account of the moral status of nonhuman animals. I argue that contractors can agree to norms that would acknowledge the “moral standing” of some animals. I then discuss how the norms emerging from contractarian agreement might constrain any comparison of welfare between humans and animals. Contractarian agreement is likely to express some partiality to humans in a way that discounts the welfare of (...) some or all animals. While the norms emerging from the contract might be silent or inconsistent in some tragic or catastrophic cases, in most ordinary conflicts of welfare, contractors will agree to norms that produce some determinate resolution. What the agreement says can evolve depending upon how the contractors or the circumstances change. I close with some remarks on contractarian indeterminacy. (shrink)
Andrew Dickson White played a pivotal role in constructing the image of a necessary, and even violent, confrontation between religion and science that persists to this day. Though scholars have long acknowledged that his position is more complex, given that White claimed to be saving religion from theology, there has been no attempt to explore what this means in light of his overwhelming attack on existing religions. This essay draws attention to how White's role as a historian was decisive (...) in allowing him to posit a future for religion purified of dogma by science. It argues, furthermore, that this effort is better understood as religious innovation, rather than a plea for strictly secular science. In so doing it hopes to lay the foundation for a more fruitful historical treatment of White, and a range of other figures whose devotion to science has otherwise been difficult to grasp. (shrink)