Natural selection is an important force that shapes the evolution of all living things by determining which individuals contribute the most descendents to future generations. The biological unit upon which selection acts has been the subject of serious debate, with reasonable arguments made on behalf of populations, individuals, individual phenotypic characters and, finally, individual genes themselves. In this essay, I argue that the usual unit of selection is the gene. There are powerful logical arguments in favor of this conclusion, as (...) well as many real-world examples. I also explore the possibility that epigenetic differences between individuals may be heritable between generations. Although few such examples exist, epigenetic differences provide an exciting source of potentially heritable variation that may allow rapid evolutionary change to occur, perhaps in response to environmental influences. (shrink)
This chapter offers a review of standard views about the requirements for natural selection to shape evolution and for the sorts of ‘units’ on which selection might operate. It then summarizes traditional arguments for genic selectionism, i.e., the view that selection operates primarily on genes (e.g., those of G. C. Williams, Richard Dawkins, and David Hull) and traditional counterarguments (e.g., those of William Wimsatt, Richard Lewontin, and Elliott Sober, and a diffuse group based on life history strategies). It then offers (...) a series of responses to the arguments, based on more contemporary considerations from molecular genetics, offered by CarmenSapienza. A key issue raised by Sapienza concerns the degree to which a small number of genes might be able to control much of the variation relevant to selection operating on such selectively critical organs as hearts. The response to these arguments suggests that selection acts on many levels at once and that sporadic selection, acting with strong effects, can act successively on different key traits (and genes) while maintaining a balance among many potentially conflicting demands faced by organisms within an evolving lineage. (shrink)
This paper studies a distinction that was proposed in previous works between total and partial adjectives. In pairs of adjectives such as safe–dangerous, clean–dirty and healthy–sick, the first (“total”) adjective describes lack of danger, dirt, malady, etc., while the second (“partial”) adjective describes the existence of such properties. It is shown that the semantics of adjective phrases with modifiers such as almost, slightly, and completely is sensitive to whether the adjective is total or partial. The interpretation of such modified constructions (...) is accounted for using a novel scale structure for total and partial adjectives. It is proposed that the standard value of a total adjective is always fixed as the lower bound of the corresponding partial adjective. By contrast, the standard value of partial adjectives can take any point on the partial scale. The effects of this theoretical distinction on the behavior of modified constructions are studied in detail, and their ramifications for the semantic theory of adjectives are discussed. Some other phenomena are surveyed that show evidence for total and partial adjectival constructions with various comparatives and exceptive phrases. (shrink)
Carmen 4.2 is one of the most commented upon of the odes of Horace. It is indeed a complex poem. To summarize roughly: addressing the young poet Iullus Antonius, Horace presents the dangers of emulating Pindar, offering what seems like a lengthy description as well as an approximation of Pindar's own poetic style . Not as a doomed Icarus imitating the grand Pindaric swan, but in his own preferred mode, like a bee on the banks of Tibur, Horace will (...) continue to produce his own highly refined poems on a small scale . Iullus Antonius, on the other hand, will sing of Augustus’ triumph maiore plectro . Modestly, Horace himself will be content to join in with the popular chants for Augustus’ triumphal return as one happy civilian among the crowd . Iullus Antonius will moreover offer a grand sacrifice of ten bulls and as many cows on that occasion, whereas Horace promises a single bull-calf that he is saving especially for the purpose . I will try to offer a new interpretation of these last two strophes by pointing out an unnoticed allusion to a Hellenistic subtext. (shrink)
Esta obra propone una interpretación alternativa de las relaciones entre la ética y la tragedia en Aristóteles sobre la base de una revisión que parte de la Poética, pero no ha quedado encerrada en ella, considerando otros textos ...
Hunting ducks with a firearm has become increasingly contested in industrialized and urbanized contemporary societies. In southern New Zealand, an area that maintains strong connections to rural life ways, duck shooting is still a very popular activity. However, even duck shooters living in this region are increasingly finding that they must justify an activity their grandparents practiced without compunction. This paper considers ethical discourses associated with the killing of ducks, particularly the ways in which people who shoot ducks construct the (...) act of killing as an activity that can be ethically justified. As this paper will show, duck hunters assert that they have a more realistic and appropriate view of nature and animal life cycles than the average antihunter who might criticize them. New Zealand duck hunters also embed their hunting activities within a discourse of wetland conservation, arguing that they do far more to preserve and develop wetlands than do non-hunters. This paper concludes that duck hunters' understandings of nature are intrinsic to the ethical discourses that underpin duck hunting activities in New Zealand. (shrink)
Data are lacking with regard to participants' perspectives on return of genetic research results to relatives, including after the participant's death. This paper reports descriptive results from 3,630 survey respondents: 464 participants in a pancreatic cancer biobank, 1,439 family registry participants, and 1,727 healthy individuals. Our findings indicate that most participants would feel obligated to share their results with blood relatives while alive and would want results to be shared with relatives after their death.
This article introduces some data regarding the teaching of mathematics in La Sapienza in the 17th century, with particular reference to the discipline’s role in the statutes, the lecturers, the courses’ programmes, the interest that Popes took in it. Specifically, it will focus on the changes that occured at the end of the 17th century, with regards to the development of the discipline and the improvement of a ‘‘scientific culture’’ in the city of the Pope.
Social pressure on companies is leading to a growing concern about the corporate relationship with the community. On the other hand, the progressive reduction on governments' grants leads nonprofits to diversify their sources of revenue and to turn to companies for funds. However, there has been a change in this relationship. Their margin for cooperation is now broader, and the level of involvement is deeper. This results in the formation of alliances between them. Based on the literature and the results (...) of a series of interviews with marketing managers at nonprofits and companies, this paper analyses the opportunities and risks associated to this type of partnerships, with a special emphasis in the nonprofits' needs and mission. Secondly, we describe how Spanish nonprofits are hedging the risks. Finally, guidelines and information sources are provided in order to reduce the uncertainty contingent to this type of alliances. (shrink)
The perception of sensory effects generated by one’s own actions is typically attenuated compared to the same effects generated externally. However, it is unclear whether this specifically relates to self-generation. Recent studies showed that sensory attenuation mainly relies on action preparation, not actual action execution. Hence, an attenuation of sensory effects generated by another person might occur if these actions can be anticipated and thus be prepared for.Here, we compared the perceived loudness of sounds generated by one’s own actions and (...) actions of another person that either could or could not be anticipated. We found an attenuation of the perceived loudness for self- as compared to other-generated sounds. This difference was independent of whether the sound-eliciting actions of the other person could be anticipated or not. Thus, sensory attenuation seems to be specifically tied to self-generation instead of being a secondary effect of agent-independent preparation for an upcoming action. (shrink)
Sustainable labels are considered the best way for consumers to identify brands with environmental or social attributes on the shelves, and therefore promoted as a means to develop the so-called “ethical markets”. However, little is known about how consumers use these brands. This paper tries to offer complementary theoretical insights on the determinants of sustainable label use by drawing on the economic model of information search; in particular, it examines the influence of two factors on the purchase of such labels: (...) motivation and knowledge. Information was gathered through a structured questionnaire in personal interviews with 289 primary buyers. The study found that education influences directly knowledge, while Motivation influences Label use both directly and indirectly, via Label knowledge. This study concludes that Motivation is the most powerful factor to explain Label use; knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Even more, consumers may not have a good understanding of sustainable labels and still use them in their purchasing decisions. This suggests that there is a dual processing mode of sustainable labels, both systematic and heuristic. (shrink)
Managing the relationship with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) is a key capability for most companies, because dialogue with stakeholders is a requested feature of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This paper analyses the relationship between businesses and NGOs in Spain. By applying grounded theory, the authors summarize this relationship in the dynamics of conflict and cooperation. NGOs' strategies vis-à-vis companies are categorized and the variables explaining different approaches on both companies' and NGOs' side are examined. The paper concludes by placing the private (...) relationship with NGOs in a wider context (the public arena), dominated by the approach-withdrawal dynamics between firms and NGOs. Finally, this paper presents the theory that results from this research. (shrink)
In this article, I use ethnographic and historical evidence to consider marriage as a particular locus of what Maria Lugones has called “the colonial/modern gender system.” By bringing specific research on marriage among the matrilineal Asante of Kumasi, Ghana, together with a consideration of global ideals of marriage and gender, I argue that marriage and the family are key sites through which the subjugation of women in Africa can be understood, but that this requires local and historical contextualization. To do (...) this, I trace the emergence and current local expression of “companionate marriage,” an ideal of marriage that is associated with romantic love and personal choice, and that is often seen as a gender-progressive marriage ideal. In Kumasi, “companionate” ideals began to emerge during the colonial period, not as an empowering force, but in complicated interactions with other gendered changes that limited wives' claims to husbands' reciprocal support and isolated women from their matrilineal kin. Today, customary marriage is often considered harmful to women and distinct from other forms of marriage; however, I show that such assumptions impose categorial differences where none may exist, and occlude the complexities of women's lives and struggles. (shrink)
The discovery of the noble gases and their incorporation into the periodic system are examined in this paper. A chronology of experimental reports on argon and helium and the properties relevant to their nature and position in the periodic system is presented. Proposals on the nature of argon and helium that appeared in the aftermath of their discovery are examined in light of the various empirical and theoretical considerations that supported and contradicted them. ``The piece that would not fit'' refers (...) not only to argon, the element that at first seemed not to fit into the periodic system, but also to the piece or pieces of evidence that various researchers and observers were prepared to discard or discount in coming to terms with the newly discovered gases. (shrink)
Drawing on stakeholder theory and the evolutionary approach to institutions, this paper investigates the channels through which corporate social responsibility (CSR) is developed in post-communist economies by focusing on the employee background factors that shape the employees' expectations with regard to corporate socially responsible behaviour. We identify three channels through which exogenous and endogenous CSR are developed: employees with work experience in multinational enterprises (MNEs) (leading to exogenous CSR), employees with CSR knowledge (leading to exogenous CSR) and employees with experience (...) of the socialist system (leading to endogenous CSR). Furthermore, we argue that the interactions between these channels lead to hybrid CSR in transition economies. We use a questionnaire-based survey with employees of domestic and MNEs in Romania and we conduct regression analysis. We find that employees with work experience in MNEs act as channels for exogenous CSR, while employees with experience of the socialist system act as channels for endogenous CSR. Furthermore, employees with experience of the socialist system and CSR knowledge or work experience in an MNE act as channels for hybrid CSR in transition economies. Based on our results, we put forward implications for theory, managers and policy makers. (shrink)
Since time immemorial, the phenomenon of leadership and its understanding has attracted the attention of the business world because of its important role in human groups. Nevertheless, for years efforts to understand this concept have only been centred on people in leadership roles, thus overlooking an important aspect in its understanding: the necessary moral dimension which is implicit in the relationship between leader and follower. As an illustrative example of the importance of considering good morality in leadership, an empirical study (...) is conducted in which a good performance of the "leader-follower" relationship is reflected when individuals perceive ethical leadership in higher hierarchical managerial levels. To be precise, findings of this study demonstrate that follower job response is improved through an ethics trickle-down partial effect from the Top Manager to the immediate supervisor, and also reveal both key aspects and managerial level on which the practice of ethical leadership should rest upon to have a stronger effect on the follower positive job response. Practical implications of these findings and directions for future research are finally presented. (shrink)
Many writers have commented on the heterogeneity of the socially responsible investment (SRI) movement. However, few have actually tried to understand and explain it, and even fewer have discussed whether the opposite – standardisation – is possible and desirable. In this article, we take a broader perspective on the issue of the heterogeneity of SRI. We distinguish between four levels on which heterogeneity can be found: the terminological, definitional, strategic and practical. Whilst there is much talk about the definitional ambiguities (...) of SRI, we suggest that there is actually some agreement on the definitional level. There are at least three explanations which we suggest can account for the heterogeneity on the other levels: cultural and ideological differences between different regions, differences in values, norms and ideology between various SRI stakeholders, and the market setting of SRI. Discussing the implications of the three explanations for the SRI market, we suggest that there is reason to be sceptical about the possibilities of standardisation if not standardisation is imposed top-down. Whether this kind of standardisation is desirable or not, we argue, depends on what the motives for it would be. To the extent that standardisation may facilitate the mainstreaming of SRI, it could be a good thing – but we entertain doubts about whether mainstreaming really requires standardisation. (shrink)