This introduction to the Common Knowledge symposium titled “Comparative Relativism” outlines a variety of intellectual contexts where placing the unlikely companion terms comparison and relativism in conjunction offers analytical purchase. If comparison, in the most general sense, involves the investigation of discrete contexts in order to elucidate their similarities and differences, then relativism, as a tendency, stance, or working method, usually involves the assumption that contexts exhibit, or may exhibit, radically different, incomparable, or incommensurable traits. Comparative studies are required to (...) treat their objects as alike, at least in some crucial respects; relativism indicates the limits of this practice. Jensen argues that this seeming paradox is productive, as he moves across contexts, from Lévi-Strauss's analysis of comparison as an anthropological method to Peter Galison's history of physics, and on to the anthropological, philosophical, and historical examples offered in symposium contributions by Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Marilyn Strathern, and Isabelle Stengers. Comparative relativism is understood by some to imply that relativism comes in various kinds and that these have multiple uses, functions, and effects, varying widely in different personal, historical, and institutional contexts that can be compared and contrasted. Comparative relativism is taken by others to encourage a “comparison of comparisons,” in order to relativize what different peoples—say, Western academics and Amerindian shamans—compare things “for.” Jensen concludes that what is compared and relativized in this symposium are the methods of comparison and relativization themselves. He ventures that the contributors all hope that treating these terms in juxtaposition may allow for new configurations of inquiry. (shrink)
Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852–1936) is widely regarded as the father of modern comparative psychology. Yet, Morgan initially had significant doubts about whether a genuine science of comparative psychology was even possible, only later becoming more optimistic about our ability to make reliable inferences about the mental capacities of non-human animals. There has been a fair amount of disagreement amongst scholars of Morgan’s work about the nature, timing, and causes of this shift in Morgan’s thinking. We argue that Morgan underwent (...) two quite different shifts of attitude towards the proper practice of comparative psychology. The first was a qualified acceptance of the Romanesian approach to comparative psychology that he had initially criticized. The second was a shift away from Romanes’ reliance on systematizing anecdotal evidence of animal intelligence towards an experimental approach, focused on studying the development of behaviour. We emphasize the role of Morgan’s evolving epistemological views in bringing about the first shift – in particular, his philosophy of science. We emphasize the role of an intriguing but overlooked figure in the history of comparative psychology in explaining the second shift, T. Mann Jones, whose correspondence with Morgan provided an important catalyst for Morgan’s experimental turn, particularly the special focus on development. We also shed light on the intended function of Morgan’s Canon, the methodological principle for which Morgan is now mostly known. The Canon can only be properly understood by seeing it in the context of Morgan’s own unique experimental vision for comparative psychology. (shrink)
The field of cognitive imaging is explodingboth in terms of the amount of our scientificresources dedicated to it and the associatedpublication rate. However, all of this effortis based on a critical question – Do cognitivemodules exist? Both of the reviewers of my book(Uttal, 2001) and I agree that this questionhas not yet been satisfactorily answered and,depending on the ultimate answer, the cognitiveimaging approach as well as some other parts ofthe quest for mechanistic models of mind mightnot be successful. Our views (...) of how our scienceshould respond to this serious problem,however, are quite different. Both ProfessorBechtel and Lloyd argue for an optimisticattack on the problem of the localization ofcognitive processes in the brain based on thehistory of other sciences. I argue that arealistic appreciation of the limits of thisapproach should temper the enthusiasm for whatultimately will go the way of other attempts tounravel the mind-brain problem. (shrink)
This article is a response to Barbara Forrest’ 2011 Synthese article, “On the Non-Epistemology of Intelligent Design.” Forrest offers an account of my philosophical work that consists almost entirely of personal attacks, excursions into my religious pilgrimage, and misunderstandings and misrepresentations of my work as well as of certain philosophical issues. Not surprisingly, the Synthese editors include a disclaimer in the front matter of the special issue in which Forrest’s article was published. In my response, I address three topics: (...) (1) My interest in Intelligent Design (ID) and public education and why as a Thomist I have grown more skeptical and explicitly critical of ID over the years, (2) the sorts of philosophical mistakes with which Forrest’s article is teeming, and (3) my Christian faith, religious exclusivism, and interfaith dialogue. (shrink)
In the standard narrative of her life, Barbara McClintock discovered genetic transposition in the 1940s but no one believed her. She was ignored until molecular biologists of the 1970s "rediscovered" transposition and vindicated her heretical discovery. New archival documents, as well as interviews and close reading of published papers, belie this narrative. Transposition was accepted immediately by both maize and bacterial geneticists. Maize geneticists confirmed it repeatedly in the early 1950s and by the late 1950s it was considered a (...) classic discovery. But for McClintock, movable elements were part of an elaborate system of genetic control that she hypothesized to explain development and differentiation. This theory was highly speculative and was not widely accepted, even by those who had discovered transposition independently. When Jacob and Monod presented their alternative model for gene regulation, the operon, her controller argument was discarded as incorrect. Transposition, however, was soon discovered in microorganisms and by the late 1970s was recognized as a phenomenon of biomedical importance. For McClintock, the award of the 1983 Nobel Prize to her for the discovery of movable genetic elements, long treated as a legitimation, may well have been bittersweet. This new look at McClintock's experiments and theory has implications for the intellectual history of biology, the social history of American genetics, and McClintock's role in the historiography of women in science. (shrink)
This paper focuses on S.A. Loyd's positive account of Hobbes's moral theory as presented in chapters 5 and 6 of her new book. My discussion challenges Lloyd's reciprocity interpretation of Hobbes's moral theory. In the paper I also take issue with Lloyd's account of the derivation of his moral theory and her account of moral obligation. I offer my own definitional reading of the derivation of the Laws of Nature and my own analysis of how Hobbes explains obligation (...) in terms of assent. (shrink)
In Simple Minds, Dan Lloyd presents a reductive account of naturally representing machines. The theory entails that a system represents an event by virtue of potentially misrepresenting it whenever the machine satisfies a multiple information channel, convergence, and uptake condition. I argue that Lloyd's conditions are insufficient for systems intrinsically naturally to misrepresent, and hence insufficient for them intrinsically naturally to represent. The appearance of potential misrepresentation in such machines is achieved only by reference to the extrinsic design (...) or extrinsic interpretation or attribution of an intrinsically nonexistent or underdetermined purpose, end, or goal to such devices in identifying an intended object of representation in the system's salient behavior under the uptake condition. The implication is that Lloyd-representation is not intrinsic natural representation in a cognitively relevant sense, and Lloyd's simple ‘minds’ are not minds but mere machines. (shrink)
A critique of the view of "cognitive liberalism," as articulated in recent papers by Dan Lloyd , is presented. The main arguments are directed at Lloyd's claim that representational capacities may be found in organisms as simple as marine mollusks and at his formal analysis of cognitive representation as a type of information-bearing conditional dependency. An alternative interpretation-based view of cognitive representation is then briefly sketched.
Mitchell: Could we begin by discussing the problem of public art? When we spoke a few weeks ago, you expressed some uneasiness with the notion of public art, and I wonder if you could expand on that a bit.Kruger: Well, you yourself lodged it as the “problem” of public art and I don’t really find it problematic inasmuch as I really don’t give it very much thought. I think on a broader level I could say that my “problem” is with (...) categorization and naming: how does one constitute art and how does one constitute a public? Sometimes I think that if architecture is a slab of meat, then so-called public art is a piece of garnish laying next to it. It has a kind of decorative function. Now I’m not saying that it always has to be that way—at all—and I think perhaps that many of my colleagues are working to change that now. But all too often, it seems the case.Mitchell: Do you think of your own art, insofar as it’s engaged with the commercial public sphere—that is, with advertising, publicity, mass media, and other technologies for influencing a consumer public—that it is automatically a form of public art? Or does it stand in opposition to public art?Kruger: I have a question for you: what is a public sphere which is an uncommercial public sphere? Barbara Kruger is an artist who works with words and pictures. W. J. T. Mitchell, editor of Critical Inquiry, is Gaylord Donnelly Distinguished Professor of English and art at the University of Chicago. (shrink)
The history of emotions is a burgeoning field—so much so, that some are invoking an “emotional turn.” As a way of charting this development, I have interviewed three of the leading practitioners of the history of emotions: William Reddy, Barbara Rosenwein, and Peter Stearns. The interviews retrace each historian’s intellectual-biographical path to the history of emotions, recapitulate key concepts, and critically discuss the limitations of the available analytical tools. In doing so, they touch on Reddy’s concepts of “emotive,” “emotional (...) regime,” and “emotional navigation,” as well as on Rosenwein’s “emotional community” and on Stearns’s “emotionology” and offer glimpses of each historian’s ongoing research. The interviews address the challenges presented to historians by research in the neurosciences and the like, highlighting the distinctive contributions offered by a historical approach. In closing, the interviewees appear to reach a consensus, envisioning the history of emotions not as a specialized field but as a means of integrating the category of emotion into social, cultural, and political history, emulating the rise of gender as an analytical category since its early beginnings as “women’s history” in the 1970s. (shrink)
Santa Barbara County exhibits some of the highest rates of food insecurity in California, as well as in the United States. Through ethnographic research of three low-income, predominantly Latino communities in Santa Barbara County, this study examined the degree to which households had been experiencing heightened levels of food insecurity since the economic recession and ensuing coping strategies, including gender-specific repercussions and coping strategies. Methods included administering a survey with 150 households and conducting observation and unstructured interviews at (...) various local food-centered venues. Results indicated that households from the three communities were experiencing heightened levels of food insecurity and that all three communities were employing diversification of procurement, adjustments to a reduced or limited food budget, reliance on food assistance, and revitalization of the home as a site of domestic food production and preparation as coping strategies. The results also suggested that women suffered disproportionately higher psychological and physical costs associated with compounding crises. In conclusion, the experiences narrated by low-income households reflect a form of citizenship that appears compromised by a host of variables perceived to exist outside the realm of local control. Shifting toward an operational framework of food sovereignty may allow these communities to become more resilient in the face of future political, environmental, social, and economic stressors. (shrink)
In this response to essays by Barbara J. King, Gregory R. Peterson, Wesley J. Wildman, and Nancy R. Howell, I present arguments to counter some of the exciting and challenging questions from my colleagues. I take the opportunity to restate my argument for an interdisciplinary public theology, and by further developing the notion of transversality I argue for the specificity of the emerging theological dialogue with paleoanthropology and primatology. By arguing for a hermeneutics of the body, I respond to (...) criticism of my notion of human uniqueness and argue for strong evolutionary continuities, as well as significant discontinuities, between primates, humans, and other hominids. In addition, I answer critical questions about theological methodology and argue how the notion of human uniqueness, theologically restated as the image of God, is enriched by transversally appropriating scientific notions of species specificity and embodied personhood. (shrink)
Contrasting the work of Genevieve Lloyd, Elizabeth Grosz, and Moira Gatens with the poststructuralist philosophy of Judith Butler, this paper identifies a distinctive "Australian" feminism. It argues that while Butler remains trapped by the matter/representation binary, the Spinozist turn in Lloyd and Gatens, and Grosz's work on Bergson and Deleuze, are attempts to think corporeality.
This is a review of Barbara Vetter’s book Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality. Oxford University Press. The first part of Vetter’s book aims to show that the standard semantic and/or metaphysical interpretation of dispositional predicates and/or dispositions fails and that it ought to be replaced by Vetter’s own potentiality metaphysics. This review critically investigates the consequences this view has..
: Contrasting the work of Genevieve Lloyd, Elizabeth Grosz, and Moira Gatens with the poststructuralist philosophy of Judith Butler, this paper identifies a distinctive "Australian" feminism. It argues that while Butler remains trapped by the matter/representation binary, the Spinozist turn in Lloyd and Gatens, and Grosz's work on Bergson and Deleuze, are attempts to think corporeality.
Stanley Cavell reflects on the writing of Barbara Cassin in light of his interest in interpreting certain philosophers as "philosophically destructive," where this destructiveness may in fact be understood as philosophically creative. Cavell suggests that the writings of Austin and Wittgenstein may be considered in these terms, and speculates on the potential interest these writers might have for Cassin. Cassin's call for a rethinking of philosophy might be seen as uniquely essential to the practice of Austin and Wittgenstein.
Lloyd Jones’s *The Book of Fame*, a novel about the stunningly successful 1905 British tour of the New Zealand rugby team, represents both skilled group action and the difficulty of capturing it in words. The novel’s form is as fluid and deceptive, as adaptable and integrated, as the sweetly shaped play of the team that became known during this tour for the first time as the All Blacks. It treats sport on its own terms as a rich world, a (...) set of bodily skills, and an honest profession in itself. A reading of *The Book of Fame* can contribute to the interdisciplinary study of literature and cognition, exemplifying two-way ‘exchange values’. On the one hand, we gain insights into the nature of skilful group agency, of distinct forms and at distinct timescales, by focussing on the precise forms taken by the All Blacks’ creation of space. Here, we treat The Book of Fame as a brilliant evocation of features of collective thought, movement, and emotion that both everyday and scientific inquiry can easily miss. On the other hand, we also read back into the novel a subtle, fascinated interrogation of the mechanisms by which small groups form, evolve, and act. In this more ambitious mode of analysis, we use independently motivated theoretical concerns to help us see real features of the literary work that might otherwise remain invisible. We focus on the relationship between skilful performance and collective action. These topics fall outside the ambit of much current work by literary theorists using cognitive research, who tend to focus on theory of mind and modularity, metaphor and blending, emotion and empathy, consciousness and concepts, representation and so on. But skilled performance and collective action comprise surprisingly lively research fields across the sciences, from neuropsychology to philosophy of mind and cognitive anthropology. These areas of inquiry may provide even more productive avenues for future work in the interfield of literary and cultural theory and the cognitive sciences. (shrink)
Whereas Darwin insisted upon the continuity of human and nonhuman animals, more recent students of animal behavior have largely assumed discontinuity. Lloyd Morgan was a pivotal figure in this transformation. His "canon, " although intended to underpin a psychological approach to animals, has been persistently misunderstood to be a stark prohibition of anthropomorphic description. His extension to animals of the terms "behavior" and "trial-and-error, " previously restricted to human psychology, again largely unwittingly devalued their original meaning and widened the (...) gulf between animals and humans. His insistence that knowledge of animal psychology could be trusted solely to "qualified" observers initiated the exclusion from science of the informal and intimate knowledge of animals gained by pet owners, animal trainers, and other scientific outsiders. The presumption, however, that animals, in contrast to people. are to be understood solely as "strangers, " begs, rather than addresses, the question of animal-human continuity. (shrink)
Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for her discovery of mobile genetic elements. Her Nobel work began in 1944, and by 1950 McClintock began presenting her work on "controlling elements." McClintock performed her studies through the use of controlled breeding experiments with known mutant stocks, and read the action of controlling elements (transposons) in visible patterns of pigment and starch distribution. She taught close colleagues to "read" the patterns in her maize kernels, "seeing" pigment and starch genes (...) turning on and off. McClintock illustrated her talks and papers on controlling elements or transposons with photographs of the spotted and streaked maize kernels which were both her evidence and the key to her explanations. Transposon action could be read in the patterns by the initiated, but those without step by step instruction by McClintock or experience in maize often found her presentations confusing. The photographs she displayed became both McClintock's means of communication, and a barrier to successful presentation of her results. The photographs also had a second and more subtle effect. As images of patterns arrived at through growth and development of the kernel, they highlight what McClintock believed to be the developmental consequences of transposition, which in McClintock's view was her central contribution, over the mechanism of transposition, for which she was eventually recognized by others. Scientific activities are extremely visual, both at the sites of investigation and in communication through drawings, photographs, and movies. Those visual messages deserve greater scrutiny by historians of science. (shrink)
An appreciation of the life and word of Barbara McClintock, with special emphasis on what made her a unique and visionary scientist. The obituary indicates unappreciated aspects of her work on biological sensing and how organisms restructure their genomes in response to challenges.
Lloyd's book, Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, correctly stresses the deductive element in Hobbes's proofs of the laws of nature. She believes that “the principle of reciprocity” is the key to these proofs. This principle is effective in getting ego-centric people to recognize moral laws and their moral obligations. However, it is not, I argue, the basic principle Hobbes uses to derive the laws of nature, from definitions. The principle of reason, which dictates that all similar cases (...) be treated similarly, is. It is important not to diminish the centrality of reason for Hobbes because it is essential to understanding his reply to “the fool” and understanding why the state of nature cannot be a continuum. (shrink)
La poésie de Barbara Guest s’inscrit à l’encontre des attentes de lecture habituelles, les événements du poème ayant la priorité sur le contenu : le sujet du poème s’efface en faveur de la plasticité à l’œuvre. Les poèmes- événements requièrent la participation imaginative du lecteur. Plusieurs événements et procédés se croisent : peinture et musique se côtoient en empruntant des processus humains comme le cinéma, le jeu sur la plasticité de l’œuvre d’art, la collaboration artistique, tissage et dé-tissage, mais (...) aussi des phénomènes naturels tels que l’iridescence, l’osmose et la symbiose. L’événement toutefois insaisissable qui a lieu au sein du poème devient le point de rencontre aléatoire entre différents moyens artistiques et des occurrences naturelles. C’est ainsi que la corrélation mystérieuse et miraculeuse peut s’établir entre le poème et son lecteur. Le poème polysémique ouvre des probabilités. Le texte se livre tel un événement de mots et de mondes dans une œuvre mouvante aux couleurs iridescentes et aux subtiles variations. (shrink)
A new essay to analyse the demonstration which Aristotle gave of Barbara ACP (first premise “actual”, second premise “contingent”, conclusion “possible”) is realized with the techniques of mathematicallogic. The critical points (conclusion “possible” from two premises “possible”, problem de dicto - de re, etc) are indicated; based on them it is considered that Aristotle’s proof is not conclusive.
Some psychologists have recently tried to develop new approaches to psychology incompatible with both natural-science views of the discipline and basic tenets of postmodernism. In her new book on psychology’s interpretative turn, Barbara Held refers to these thinkers as "middleground theorists" or MGTs. Most of the MGTs reject psychological laws, defend free choice and agency, stress the role of values in psychological inquiry, and argue for a hermeneutical methodology. Some reject scientific realism and embrace epistemological relativism. Both Held and (...) I express doubts about some of these views. (shrink)
A discussion of Lloyd's Tarner Lectures at Trinity College. The importance of Lloyd's previous scholarship is characterized and these sweeping, erudite lectures are placed in the context of that scholarship. In the broadest terms, the lectures are a call to culturally and historically comparative study of human reasoning. At their heart is a comparative history of scientific theorizing from the ancients through to modern science. Lloyd rejects the positivist picture, and the view of modern and ancient science (...) as discontinuous; he urges scholars to undertake comparative work on the ancient sciences in different traditions. This critical notice evaluates Lloyd's view and raises several questions for further reflection. (shrink)
In Research Misconduct Policy in Biomedicine: Beyond the Bad-Apple Approach, Barbara Redman recommends that policy perspectives on research misconduct extend beyond the individual wrongdoer to encompass institutional and broader contexts. She rails against what she sees as a pervasive focus on the misbehavior of individuals that neglects organizational and psychosocial aspects of bad conduct. Her primary targets are the misconduct policies of the U.S. federal government and research institutions. In the U.S., research misconduct policy is grounded in the federal (...) definition of research misconduct as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. The Office of Research.. (shrink)
Lloyd Aeschylus. Pp. xvi + 418. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Cased, £95 . ISBN: 978-0-19-926525-1 . Cairns, Liapis Dionysalexandros. Essays on Aeschylus and his Fellow Tragedians in Honour of Alexander F. Garvie. Pp. xx + 312. Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, 2006. Cased, £45. ISBN: 978-1-905125-13-5.