The authors of the papers in A Simple Matter of Justice? reject something they label “heterosexism.” Their writing is obscure, but it seems they desire a state-regimented conformity, with state-approved roles for gays, for lesbians and for others, with state hand-outs and other privileges for all manner of favoured groups, and with no possibility of anyone indulging in the pleasures of “commercial consumerism.” None of the authors appears concerned with the demand that, provided he/she does not violate anyone’s rights, the (...) state should not put any barriers in the way of the sexually active citizen. The Geography of Perversion is a dull and ponderous history of European ideas about male homosexual behaviour, which in places seems to be little more than lists of what various people said. It is appallingly written in grandiloquent language larded with daft Marxist clichés. (shrink)
This book brings together the views of some of the most creative scientists of our time, each attempting to amplify and refine the concept of biophilia. Contributors to this volume include Jared Diamond, Aaron Katcher, Richard Nelson and others.
How secular is contemporary society? Are pockets of sectarianism embedded in societies of developed countries? This timely book examines the interweaving of politics and religion, and of tradition and innovation in a variety of cultural settings. Eminent scholars from four continents examine here current turmoil in religious beliefs, practices, and organization--not only in the Western world, but in South America, Africa, South Asia, New Zealand, and Japan. They scrutinize evidence of religious change, decline, and revival; investigate challenges posed by new (...) religious movements; and locate religious change and conflict in the context of broader shifts in consciousness and culture. Contributors include Richard Fenn, Phillip E. Hammond, David Martin, Philip Rieff, Roland Robertson, and Mark Schibley. With its focus on the interplay of secularization, rationalism, and sectarianism, this work offers a fitting tribute to Bryan Wilson, who has made so many contributions to the sociological understanding of these phenomena. (shrink)
The complexity of the field theoretic methods used for analyzing relativistic bound state problems has forced researchers to look for simpler computational methods. Simpler methods such as the relativistic harmonic oscillator method employed in the description of extended hadrons have been investigated. They are considered phenomenological, however, because they lack a theoretical basis. A probabilistic basis for these methods is presented here in terms of the four-space formulation of relativistic quantum mechanics (FSF). The single-particle FSF is reviewed and its physical (...) meaning is examined. The many-body single-parameter formalism is then developed. Applications are presented to illustrate use of the many-body formalism and demonstrate the ease with which relativistic bound state problems can be handled. A multiple-parameter formalism is constructed in the Appendix. (shrink)
First kudos, followed by some friendly badinage, and then renewed appreciation and a look ahead. This commentary is meant to clarify main arguments, redress incorrect attributions, and strengthen an excellent contribution that draws further attention to the importance of evolutionary epidemiology. Keller & Miller (K&M), despite significant errors, have done well to further systematize the evolutionary epidemiology of psychopathology. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie’s western basin are caused in large part by nutrient loss from agricultural production. While use of nutrient management practices is encouraged to reduce agricultural nutrient loss and its consequent environmental impacts, such practices are not universally adopted. This study aims to better understand the factors that influence western Lake Erie basin farmers’ risk perceptions associated with agricultural nutrient loss, and thus further our knowledge of how adoption of nutrient management practices may be increased. We (...) propose a conceptual model to explain the relationships that we hypothesize to influence farmers’ risk perceptions associated with agricultural nutrient loss. Specifically, we consider the roles that farmer conservation identity, farmers’ perceived sufficiency of their nutrient management practices, and land vulnerability to nutrient loss play in influencing risk perceptions. We find that many of the hypothesized relationships are not statistically significant, and that risk perception associated with nutrient loss is primarily driven by farmers’ conservation identities. While farmers’ perceived sufficiency of their nutrient management practices plays some role in governing risk perceptions, we do not observe the hypothesized relationship between land vulnerability to nutrient loss and perceived sufficiency of nutrient management practices. (shrink)
Cooperation can evolve in the context of cognitive activities such as perception, attention, memory, and decision making, in addition to physical activities such as hunting, gathering, warfare, and childcare. The social insects are well known to cooperate on both physical and cognitive tasks, but the idea of cognitive cooperation in humans has not received widespread attention or systematic study. The traditional psychological literature often gives the impression that groups are dysfunctional cognitive units, while evolutionary psychologists have so far studied cognition (...) primarily at the individual level. We present two experiments that demonstrate the superiority of thinking in groups, but only for tasks that are sufficiently challenging to exceed the capacity of individuals. One of the experiments is in a brain-storming format, where advantages of real groups over nominal groups have been notoriously difficult to demonstrate. Cognitive cooperation might often operate beneath conscious awareness and take place without the need for overt training, as evolutionary psychologists have stressed for individual-level cognitive adaptations. In general, cognitive cooperation should be a central subject in human evolutionary psychology, as it already is in the study of the social insects. (shrink)
At the beginning of Book II of the Republic , Glaucon and Adeimantus ask Socrates to tell them what it is to be just or unjust, and why a man should be the former. Socrates suggests in reply that they consider first what it is for a polis to be just or unjust—a polis is bigger than an individual, he says, so its justice should be more readily visible. Now if we were to view in imagination a polis coming into (...) existence, he goes on, we should see also its justice and injustice coming into existence, and this might help us to discover what these qualities are. (shrink)
Whether ethics is too important to be left to the experts or so important that it must be is an age-old question. The emergence of clinical ethicists raises it again, as a question about professionalism. What role clinical ethicists should play in healthcare decision making – teacher, mediator, or consultant – is a question that has generated considerable debate but no consensus.
The growing interest and major advances of the last decades in evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) have led to the recognition of the incompleteness of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary theory. Here we discuss how paleontology makes significant contributions to integrate evolution and development. First, extinct organisms often inform us about developmental processes by showing a combination of features unrecorded in living species. We illustrate this point using the vertebrate fossil record and studies relating bone ossification to life history traits. Second, (...) we discuss exceptionally preserved fossils that document rare ontogenetic sequences and illustrate this case with the patterns of heterochrony observed in Cambrian crustacean larvae preserved three-dimensionally. Third, most fossils potentially document the evolutionary patterns of allometry and modularity, as well as some of the (paleo)ecological factors that had influenced them. The temporal persistence of adaptive patterns in rodent evolution serves to address the importance of ecological constraints in evolution. Fourth, we discuss how the macroevolutionary patterns observed in the tetrapod limb, in the mammal molar proportions, and in the molluscan shell provide independent tests of the validity of morphogenetic models proposed on living species. Reciprocally, these macroevolutionary patterns often act as a source of inspiration to investigate the underlying rules of development, because, at the end, they are the patterns that the neo-Darwinian theory was unable to account for. (shrink)
This paper discusses using the Chernobyl Incident as a case study in engineering ethics instruction. Groups of students are asked to take on the role of a faction involved in the Chernobyl disaster and to defend their decisions in a mock debate. The results of student surveys and the Engineering and Science Issues Test indicate that the approach is very popular with students and has a positive impact on moral reasoning. The approach incorporates technical, communication and teamwork skills and has (...) many of the features suggested by recent literature. (shrink)
This collection of essays on themes in the work of John Locke , George Berkeley , and David Hume , provides a deepened understanding of major issues raised in the Empiricist tradition. In exploring their shared belief in the experiential nature of mental constructs, The Empiricists illuminates the different methodologies of these great Enlightenment philosophers and introduces students to important metaphysical and epistemological issues including the theory of ideas, personal identity, and skepticism. It will be especially useful in courses devoted (...) to the history of modern philosophy. (shrink)
A study in the philosophy of mind, centred on the problem of 'intentionality' the sense in which emotions can be said to have objects, their relation to these objects, and the implications of this relation for our understanding of human action and behaviour. Dr Wilson sets his enquiry against a broad historical background on what distinguishes man from inanimate objects by describing both Cartesian view of man is matter plus mind and the neo-Wittgensteinian view that there is a dynamic (...) behavioural difference – causal notions being often inapplicable to human action. Dr Wilson goes on to show the controversies and arguments that arise from the notion of intentionality cannot be analysed in causal terms. Dr Wilson believes that this notion can be shown causally and sets out to prove it. Finally, he brings this argument to a larger context mentioning that it has far-reaching effects in natural and social sciences. (shrink)