This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
Starting from the early decades of the twentieth century, evolutionary biology began to acquire mathematical overtones. This took place via the development of a set of models in which the Darwinian picture of evolution was shown to be consistent with the laws of heredity discovered by Mendel. The models, which came to be elaborated over the years, define a field of study known as population genetics. Population genetics is generally looked upon as an essential component of modern evolutionary theory. This (...) article deals with a famous dispute between J. B. S. Haldane, one of the founders of population genetics, and Ernst Mayr, a major contributor to the way we understand evolution. The philosophical undercurrents of the dispute remain relevant today. Mayr and Haldane agreed that genetics provided a broad explanatory framework for explaining how evolution took place but differed over the relevance of the mathematical models that sought to underpin that framework. The dispute began with a fundamental issue raised by Mayr in 1959: in terms of understanding evolution, did population genetics contribute anything beyond the obvious? Haldane's response came just before his death in 1964. It contained a spirited defense, not just of population genetics, but also of the motivations that lie behind mathematical modelling in biology. While the difference of opinion persisted and was not glossed over, the two continued to maintain cordial personal relations. (shrink)
The term ‘intersectionality’ recognises the need for a ‘holistic approach’ in the determination of the right to be free from discrimination and violence. While the European Court of Human Rights has never expressly used the term, this article argues that the recent case of B.S. v Spain provides an example of a more robust use of Article 14 of the convention taking into account the real life experiences of those facing intersectional discrimination. The decision recognising the special vulnerability of a (...) migrant, female sex worker is therefore both welcome and necessary. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the interaction between science, philosophy and politics (including ideology) in the early work of J. B. S. Haldane (from 1922 to 1937). This period is particularly important, not only because it is the period of Haldane's most significant biological work (both in biochemistry and genetics), but also because it is during this period that his philosophical and political views underwent their most significant transformation. His philosophical stance first changed from a radical organicism to a position far more (...) compatible with mechanical materialism. The primary intellectual influence that was responsible for this shift was that of F. G. Hopkins. Later, Haldane came to accept Marxism and its official metaphysics, dialectical materialism, a move that let him accept the materialist conception of the world while still maintaining a resolute distance from mechanism. Throughout all these changes, what is most obvious is the influence of science on Haldane's philosophical views. An influence in the opposite direction is far less apparent. (shrink)
In her re-analysis of the evidence presented in Klein and Nichols (2012) to support their argument that patient R.B. temporarily lost possessory custody of consciously apprehended objects (in this case, objects that normally would be non-inferentially taken as episodic memory), Professor Roache concludes Klein and Nichols's claims are untenable. I argue that Professor Roache is incorrect in her re-interpretation, and that this is due, in part, to lack of sufficient familiarity with psychological theory on memory as well as clinical literature (...) on felt loss of ownership of one’s intentional objects. (shrink)
This article opens a new discussion in the field of post-classical Islamic intellectual history by showing how literature and intellectual history are two inseparable and interdependent fields through an analysis of Ibn Ṭufayl’s novel, Ḥayy b. Yaqẓān. To this end, the article first examines the tension between the two concepts of jadal and burhān, which have affected much of the currents in classical Islamic intellectual history, and does so by assessing the three main figures in Ibn Ṭufayl’s novel: Ḥayy, Absāl (...) and Salāmān. Our references to that tension are affirmed by two highly regarded scholars in post-classical Islamic intellectual history, Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī and Sājaqlīzāda, particularly in their clear distinction between jadal, baḥth and munāẓara. This article will show how the evidence in post-classical text analyses shows that the battle between the two concepts of jadal and burhān was won in favor of burhān in post-classical period. (shrink)
Values are an important part of human existence, his society and human relations. All social, economic, political, and religious problems are in one sense is reflection of this special abstraction of human knowledge. We are living in a globalized village and thinking much about values rather than practice of it. If we define religion and spirituality we can say that religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that claim to get a person in a right relationship with God, and (...) spirituality is a focus on spiritual things and the spiritual world instead of physical/earthly things. If we think rationally we can find the major evils related to religion exiting in present society are due to lack of proper understanding of religion and spirituality. If we really know our own religions and values associated with it, we can create a beautiful world, full or love and respect for each and every human being. The proper knowledge and practice of any religion’s values can make an integrated man. In the book, The Buddha and His Dhamma, Dr. Ambedkar elucidated the significance and importance of Dhamma in human life. The Dhamma maintained purity of life, which meant abstains from lustful, evil practices. The Dhamma is a perfection of life and giving up craving. Dhamma’s righteousness means right relation of man to man in all sphere of life. The basic idea underlying religion is to create an atmosphere for the spiritual development of the individual. He said that Knowing the proper ways and means is more important than knowing the ideal. The major objective of this paper is to the study the religious philosophy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and to study how he established that religious and spiritual values enables religious people in particular and humanity at large to solve contemporary problems. (shrink)
This new and complete translation of Spinoza's famous 17th-century work fills an important gap, not only for all scholars of Spinoza, but also for everyone interested in the relationship between Western philosophy and religion, and the history of biblical exegesis.
I offer an interpretation and a partial defense of Kit Fine's ‘Argument from Passage’, which is situated within his reconstruction of McTaggart's paradox. Fine argues that existing A-theoretic approaches to passage are no more dynamic, i.e. capture passage no better, than the B-theory. I argue that this comparative claim is correct. Our intuitive picture of passage, which inclines us towards A-theories, suggests more than coherent A-theories can deliver. In Finean terms, the picture requires not only Realism about tensed facts, but (...) also Neutrality, i.e. the tensed facts not being ‘oriented towards’ one privileged time. However unlike Fine, and unlike others who advance McTaggartian arguments, I take McTaggart's paradox to indicate neither the need for a more dynamic theory of passage nor that time does not pass. A more dynamic theory is not to be had: Fine's ‘non-standard realism’ amounts to no more than a conceptual gesture. But instead of concluding that time does not pass, we should conclude that theories of passage cannot deliver the dynamicity of our intuitive picture. For this reason, a B-theoretic account of passage that simply identifies passage with the succession of times is a serious contender. (shrink)
This paper is about the nature of the relationship between (1) the doctrine of Non-Conceptualism about mental content, (2) Kant's Transcendental Idealism, and (3) the Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding, or Categories, in the B (1787) edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, i.e., the B Deduction. Correspondingly, the main thesis of the paper is this: (1) and (2) yield serious problems for (3), yet, in exploring these two serious problems for the B Deduction, we also (...) discover some deeply important and perhaps surprising philosophical facts about Kant's theory of cognition and his metaphysics. (shrink)
H. B. D. Kettlewell's field experiments on industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, have become the best known demonstration of natural selection in action. I argue that textbook accounts routinely portray this research as an example of controlled experimentation, even though this is historically misleading. I examine how idealized accounts of Kettlewell's research have been used by professional biologists and biology teachers. I also respond to some criticisms of David Rudge to my earlier discussions of this case study, (...) and I question Rudge's claims about the importance of purely observational studies for the eventual acceptance and popularization of Kettlewell's explanation for the evolution of industrial melanism. (shrink)
In "Beyond the Myth of the Myth: A Kantian Theory of Non-Conceptual Content", Robert Hanna argues for a very strong kind of non-conceptualism, and claims that this kind of non-conceptualism originally has been developed by Kant. But according to "Kant's Non-Conceptualism, Rogue Objects and the Gap in the B Deduction", Kant's non-conceptualism poses a serious problem for his argument for the objective validity of the categories, namely the problem that there is a gap in the B Deduction. This gap is (...) that the B Deduction goes through only if conceptualism is true, but Kant is a non-conceptualist. In this paper I argue, contrary to what Hanna claims, that there is not a gap in the B Deduction. (shrink)
This new and complete translation of Spinoza's famous 17th-century work fills an important gap, not only for all scholars of Spinoza, but also for everyone interested in the relationship between Western philosophy and religion, and the history of biblical exegesis.
Jesus Christ may be regarded as the chief spirit of agitation and innovation. He himself declared, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” One cannot delve seriously into the centuries of activism and scholarship against racism, Jim Crowism, and the terrorism of lynching without encountering the legacies of Timothy Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Black scholars from the 19th century to the present have been inspired by the sociological and economic works of Fortune and Wells. Scholars of (...) American philosophy, however, continue to ignore their writings, their theoretical contributions and their ethical aspirations, preferring instead the insipid declarations of white turn of the century .. (shrink)
I examine the influence of James B. Conant on the writing of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. By clarifying Conant’s influence on Kuhn, I also clarify the influence that others had on Kuhn’s thinking. And by identifying the various influences that Conant had on Kuhn’s view of science, I identify Kuhn’s most original contributions in Structure. On the one hand, I argue that much of the framework and many of the concepts that figure in Structure were part of Conant’s picture (...) of science, a picture that figured prominently in the general education natural science courses that Conant taught at Harvard. On the other hand, I show that Kuhn’s Structure contains important contributions that do not figure in Conant’s picture of science. I argue that the following three themes in Structure do not originate with Conant: (1) the concept of “normal science”; (2) “the problem of scientific revolutions,” that is, the apparent threat posed by radical changes of theory in science; and (3) Kuhn’s emphasis on the social dimensions of science, specifically the social structure of research communities. (shrink)
While lies have attracted philosophical attention since antiquity, phenomena in the near area have generated considerably less interest. Lately, however, Max Black and Harry Frankfurt have visited a close relative: humbug or bullshit, as it's either more politely or more rudely called. In this article their views on humbug and bullshit are exposed, explained, critiqued, and, ultimately, rejected. An alternative view is then proposed and defended.
Early in this century, only a few biologists accepted that natural selection was the chief cause of evolution, until the independent calculations of John Burdon Sanderson Haldane , Sewall Wright and R. A. Fisher demonstrated that ideal populations subject to Mendel's laws could behave as Darwin had said they would. Evolutionary theorist John Maynard Smith, a student of Haldane's, has raised the question of why Haldane, who was no naturalist, took up the subject of evolution, and he suggests that the (...) answer may have to do with Haldane's lively interest in religion. In fact Maynard Smith's answer has much more evidence in its favour than he knew. (shrink)
This article shows that Popper’s measure of corroboration is inapplicable if, as Popper argued, the logical probability of synthetic universal statements is zero relative to any evidence that we might possess. It goes on to show that Popper’s definition of degree of testability, in terms of degree of logical content, suffers from a similar problem. 1 The Corroboration Function and P(h|b) 2 Degrees of Testability and P(h|b).
In their correspondence in 1902 and 1903, after discussing the Russell paradox, Russell and Frege discussed the paradox of propositions considered informally in Appendix B of Russell’s Principles of Mathematics. It seems that the proposition, p, stating the logical product of the class w, namely, the class of all propositions stating the logical product of a class they are not in, is in w if and only if it is not. Frege believed that this paradox was avoided within his philosophy (...) due to his distinction between sense (Sinn) and reference (Bedeutung). However, I show that while the paradox as Russell formulates it is ill-formed with Frege’s extant logical system, if Frege’s system is expanded to contain the commitments of his philosophy of language, an analogue of this paradox is formulable. This and other concerns in Fregean intensional logic are discussed, and it is discovered that Frege’s logical system, even without its naive class theory embodied in its infamous Basic Law V, leads to inconsistencies when the theory of sense and reference is axiomatized therein. (shrink)
Like Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, we now have both an A- and a substantially revised B-edition of Henry Allison's commentary to and defence of that work: Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense . Unlike Kant's Critique, however, Allison's first edition is unlikely to persist as an occasional rival to the second, since reviewers rightly consider the second to have superseded the landmark scholarship of the first. Nevertheless, before Allison's first edition is entirely supplanted, I would like to save (...) a neglected insight from its treatment of the B-deduction that is not retained in the second edition. (shrink)
Diagrams make it possible to present scientific facts in more abstract and generalized form. While some detail is lost, simplified and accessible knowledge is gained. E. B. Wilson's work in cytology provides a case study of changing uses of diagrams and accompanying abstraction. In his early work, Wilson presented his data in photographs, which he saw as coming closest to “fact.” As he gained confidence in his interpretations, and as he sought to provide a generalized textbook account of cell development, (...) he relied on increasingly abstract diagrams. In addition, he came to see that highly abstract and even schematic drawings could provide more than pictures directly from life. (shrink)
Heidegger’s Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics controversially claims that the A deduction is superior to the B deduction because the imagination, as the“common root” of understanding and sensibility, opens the first Critique to metaphysical ground. Drawing on Dieter Henrich, this paper reinterprets Heidegger’sreading by moving beyond the Analytic and taking the Dialectic into account. This suggests a continuity between the A and B deductions, namely that the imagination, as more than an ontic faculty, remains a basic power that keeps (...) open a metaphysics of being in Kant—a metaphysics whose site is a radicalized unity of transcendental apperception. Revisiting Heidegger in this way shows how Kant is both linked to and differentiated from German Idealism’s debate about the imagination, a position suggested in both Heidegger and recent scholarly discussion. (shrink)
H.B.D. Kettlewell is best known for his pioneering work on the phenomenon of industrial melanism, which began shortly after his appointment in 1951 as a Nuffield Foundation research worker in E.B. Ford's newly formed sub-department of genetics at the University of Oxford. In the years since, a legend has formed around these investigations, one that portrays them as a success story of the 'Oxford School of Ecological Genetics', emphasizes Ford's intellectual contribution, and minimizes reference to assistance provided by others. The (...) following essay reviews the important influence Ford, E.A. Cockayne, and P.M. Sheppard played in Kettlewell's research, leading up to his most famous experiments in 1953. It documents several reasons for doubting that Ford was as intellectually involved in the design of these investigations as he has previously been portrayed. It clarifies Kettlewell's intellectual contribution to the investigations for which he is famous, as well as the pivotal roles Cockayne and Sheppard played in the design, execution and interpretation of these investigations. (shrink)
I examine G.B. Bagci’s arguments for the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics as ideally suited for Whitehead’s philosophy. Much of Bagci’s claims are in response to Michael Epperson, who argues in the same vein in favor of decoherence accounts. Pace Epperson, I do not think that decoherence is the final arbiter here, and instead I contrast GRW with several other accounts addressing foundational problems of quantum theory, which also account for relativistic covariance, while GRW does not. I argue that (...) such latter research programs align themselves in a more convincing manner with Whitehead’s scheme, in epistemic as well as metaphysical senses, than GRW. (shrink)
This article by Johannes B. Lotz, S.J., never before translated into English, describes his contacts with Martin Heidegger. First it describes his arrival, along with Karl Rahner, S.J., to pursue doctoral studies in Freiburg im Breisgau and their first experiences with the famous professor. Lotz continues his narrative by mentioning times he met with Heidegger over the subsequent forty years up to the philosopher’s death. With Gustav Siewerth, Max Müller, Bernhard Welte, and Karl Rahner, Lotz belonged to a group of (...) Catholic thinkers influenced—some more, some less—by Martin Heidegger. In Lotz’s view some of Heidegger’s ideas were already found in Aquinas, and a philosophy of Being needed to go beyond existential analysis into religion, revelation, and cultural criticism. (shrink)
The concept of ultimate reality has an important role in the metaphysics of religious pluralism. John B. Cobb—a process philosopher in the Whiteheadian tradition—has suggested not only two ultimates, like other process philosophers, but three ultimates: God, creativity, and the cosmos. Based on this, I argue, firstly, that Cobb’s tripartite conception of the ultimate offers greater conceptual resources for inter-religious dialog than, for example, John Hick’s conception of ultimate reality or ‘the Real’. In support of this first claim, I will (...) apply Cobb’s conception of the ultimate to Zen-Buddhism, thus exemplifying the resources of this conception. Secondly, given the conclusion that Cobb’s conception of the ultimate does indeed offer greater conceptual resources, I further explicate how panentheism, understood as the thesis of a transcendent, immanent divine being who is bilaterally related to the world, can be read in terms of Cobb’s conception of the ultimate. I thus argue that panentheism in general inherits and retains many of the conceptual resources of Cobb’s understanding of the ultimate, and can be seen as a preferable position in relation to religious pluralism. Finally, I conclude from the example of Zen-Buddhism that, although Cobb’s conception offers greater resources for engaging in a dialog from a metaphysical point of view, work has to be done to adequately address questions on the level of soteriology. (shrink)
The article engages with the video installation Madame B by Mieke Bal and Michelle Williams Gamaker. The work was premiered in the city of Łódź in Poland. The author makes use of the exhibition brochure by two artists published by the Museum of Modern Art, and the recording of a seminar held by Bal and Williams Gamaker after launching their work. The article focuses on the innovative audiovisual interpretation of Flaubert’s famous novel. Basing the argument on the concept of framing (...) created by Bal, the author applies it to Bal and Williams Gamaker’s exhibition by relating it to the history and culture of the Polish location where it was first shown. Above all, however, the article discusses the importance of quotation and indistinction in Madame B, where the artists quote from : Louise Bourgeois, Maya Deren, Artemisia Gentileschi, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Kentridge and Sol LeWitt. (shrink)
In this essay, Paul Lauritzen examines Richard B. Miller's liberal account of pediatric ethics by asking if the duty to promote a child's basic interests is substantial enough to secure the well-being of children. This question is raised in light of two case studies: daytime TV talk shows that broadcast interviews with sexually active children, and a medical study conducted to test the effect of growth hormone treatment on adult height in peripubertal children. In both cases, Lauritzen argues, children are (...) subjected to potential harms that are not easily explained, and therefore not easily prevented, by appeals to basic interests. (shrink)
We are grateful for Roy T. Cook's attention to our work in his recent review of our book If A, Then B: How the World Discovered Logic. But Professor Cook leaves two misimpressions that we should like to correct. First, we have never maintained (as he phrases it) that "one's premises must be more certain than the conclusions that follow from them, ignoring the obvious logical fact that, if B logically follows from A, then B is provably at least as (...) probable as A." Instead, we assert that one must be *initially* more certain of one's premises than the conclusions that follow from them; otherwise, we contend, no argument that relies on those premises to prove such a conclusion can be rationally persuasive. On this view, one might still be equally certain of both the premises and the conclusion after being persuaded by the argument, especially in cases where the premises entail the conclusion. By analogy, Aristotle asserts in the Posterior Analytics that the premises of demonstration must be "better known" than the conclusion—meaning, in part, that the premises must be initially more convincing. But this hardly shows that Aristotle thinks that, if A is invoked to demonstrate B, then A and B can never be regarded as equally probable…. (shrink)
This paper sheds new light on Samuelson’s early methodology as presented in his Foundations of Economic Analysis by reflecting on the similarity between his mathematical economics and Edwin B. Wilson’s mathematics. Wilson was Samuelson’s professor of advanced mathematical and statistical economics; he was also a protégé of Josiah Willard Gibbs. Wilson defined mathematics as a language that consisted of three interconnected aspects: postulational, axiomatic, and operational. In his Foundations, in a Wilsonian style, Samuelson wrote in the opening page, ‘Mathematics is (...) a Language’ and claimed that he offered operationally meaningful theorems. In this paper, it is argued that these maxims embodied Wilson’s approach, which framed Samuelson’s mathematical and statistical thinking around 1940 and which led him to present his work as being mathematically, theoretically, and empirically well founded. Wilson’s and Percy Bridgman’s operational methodologies are also compared and Wilson is presented as a mediator between Bridgman and Samuelson. (shrink)
This essay investigates the influences that led J.B. Watson to change from being a student in an introspectionist laboratory at Chicago to being the founder of systematic (or radical) behaviourism. Our focus is the crucial period, 1913-1914, when Watson struggled to give a convincing behaviourist account of mental imaging, which he considered to be the greatest obstacle to his behaviourist programme. We discuss in detail the evidence for and against the view that, at least eventually, Watson rejected outright the very (...) existence of mental images. We also discuss in detail whether or not Knight Dunlap was the crucial influence on his eventual rejection of mental images. Finally we consider whether Watson's rejection of mental images was bolstered by some personal incapacity as regards imaging or whether his rejection was more like a form of 'ideological blindness'. (shrink)
There are calls to expand the schema “ S knows that p ” to accommodate ways of knowing that are socially important but neglected in recent epistemology. A wider, more adequate conception of human knowing is needed that will include interested or motivated inquirers as “S,” and personal traits of persons as “ p .” Historically important treatments of knowing that accommodate these features deserve examination as part of the effort to create a broader epistemology. We find such a treatment (...) of knowing in Plato's Apology , 20 d-24 b, in which Socrates claims a bit of wisdom. We attend more carefully than others have to the concrete aspects of Socrates' encounters with interlocutors. (shrink)
Dōgen's views of time are descriptively compared to the modern western philosophical view called "B-theory" and found to contain elements of each of the four main tenets of the B-theory. Furthermore, a fundamental incongruency is discovered. Even accounting for traditional Buddhist approaches to apparent contradictions, Dōgen's problems in this regard call into question the assumption of consistency that has characterized modern interpretations of his views on time.
This essay examines the intellectual origins of Tocqueville's thoughts on political economy. It argues that Tocqueville believed political economy was crucial to what he called the ‘new science of politics’, and it explores his first forays into the discipline by examining his studies of J.-B. Say and T.R. Malthus. The essay shows how Tocqueville was initially attracted to Say's approach as it provided him with a rigorous analytical framework with which to examine American democracy. Though he incorporated important aspects of (...) Say's work in Democracy in America , he was troubled by elements of it. He was unable to articulate clearly these doubts until he began studying Malthus. What he learned from Malthus caused him to move away from the more formalised approach to political economy advocated by Say and his disciples and move towards an approach advocated by Christian political economists, such as Alban Villeneuve-Bargemont. This shift would have important consequences for the composition of Democracy in America. (shrink)
Sean B. Carroll’s new book, The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why it Matters, is a well-written mix of history of science and philosophy of biology. In his book, Carroll articulates a set of ecological generalisations, the Serengeti Rules, which are supposed to make salient the structures in ecosystems that ensure the persistence of those ecosystems. In this essay review, I evaluate Carroll’s use of the controversial concept of regulation and his thesis that ecosystems have (...) a natural balance comparable to that of human bodies. My conclusion is optimistic. Carroll’s generalisations provide a tool-kit for building relatively simple models that are accurate enough to be widely applied in experimental ecology and conservation science, guiding interventions upon unhealthy ecosystems. (shrink)