Groups, individuals, and evolutionary restraints : the making of the contemporary debate over group selection Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9255-5 Authors Andrew Hamilton, Center for Biology and Society, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501 USA Christopher C. Dimond, Center for Biology and Society, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501 USA Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867.
Two controversies exist regarding the appropriate characterization of hierarchical and adaptive evolution in natural populations. In biology, there is the Wright-Fisher controversy over the relative roles of random genetic drift, natural selection, population structure, and interdemic selection in adaptive evolution begun by Sewall Wright and Ronald Aylmer Fisher. There is also the Units of Selection debate, spanning both the biological and the philosophical literature and including the impassioned group-selection debate. Why do these two discourses exist separately, and interact relatively little? (...) We postulate that the reason for this schism can be found in the differing focus of each controversy, a deep difference itself determined by distinct general styles of scientific research guiding each discourse. That is, the Wright-Fisher debate focuses on adaptive process, and tends to be instructed by the mathematical modeling style, while the focus of the Units of Selection controversy is adaptive product, and is typically guided by the function style. The differences between the two discourses can be usefully tracked by examining their interpretations of two contested strategies for theorizing hierarchical selection: horizontal and vertical averaging. (shrink)
. Although naturalistic perspectives are an important component of their accounts of divine action, most participants in the current dialogue between science and theology eschew a purely naturalistic model. They believe that certain events of divine providence require a special mode of divine action, over and above that inherent in naturalistic processes. The analogy of human providential action suggests, however, that a strong theistic naturalism can account for these events. This model does not depend on a particular notion of God's (...) relationship to time and is not inherently implausible from a scientific perspective. Although it can be interpreted deistically, the model also is consonant with a nondeistic theology that may be described as involving a pansacramental or incarnational naturalism. (shrink)
ABSTRACTAn essential and yet often neglected motivation of Bernard Suits’ elevation of gameplay to the ideal of human existence is his account of capacities along perfectionist lines and the function of games in eliciting them. In his work Suits treats the expression of these capacities as implicitly good and the purest expression of the human telos. Although it is a possible interpretation to take Suits’ utopian vision to mean that gameplay in his future utopia must consist of the logically inevitable (...) replaying of activities we conduct in the present for instrumental reasons, because gameplay for Suits is identical with the expression of sets of capacities specifically elicited by game rules, it is much more likely that he intends utopian gameplay to be an endless series of carefully crafted opportunities for the elicitation of special capacities, and thus embody his ideal of existence. This article therefore provides a new lens for understanding both... (shrink)
I argue that we have good reason to reject Bernard Suits’ assertion that game-playing is the ideal of human existence, in the absence of a suitably robust account of utopian games. The chief motivating force behind this rejection rests in the fact that Suits begs the question that there exists some possible set of games-by-design in his utopia, such that the playing of its members would sustain an existentially meaningful existence for his utopians, in the event of a hypo-instrumental culture (...) of material superabundance obtaining. But the set of utopian games is unknown and unknowable. Thus any implications of Suits’ vision for the utilization of our leisure time in the present are vitiated by the collapse of his normative ideal: his ‘metaphysics of leisure’ misses its mark. (shrink)
Business ethics and leadership play an increasingly important role for contemporary organizations as employers and employees search for new ways to cope with ongoing changes in organizational environments. Research attention to date has focused upon how to improve process and structural configurations, while there has been scant attention devoted to an examination of the ethical and leadership perspective. This article breaks new ground by exploring the applicability of the Rule of St. Benedict (RSB) to modern employment relationships. A significant proportion (...) of the RSB is directly relevant for today's leaders, as it contains crucial lessons dealing with leadership issues such as ethics, cultivating a consultative climate, encouraging the virtues of humility, obedience ("servant" leadership), justice, discretion, prudence, discernment, and personnel-related issues such as discipline and termination. (shrink)
On the basis of both philosophical arguments and the theological perspectives of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, a critique of two beliefs that are common within the mainstream science–theology dialogue is outlined. These relate to critical realism in understanding language usage and to naturalistic perspectives in relation to divine action. While the naturalistic perspectives on the history of the cosmos that are predominant within the dialogue are seen as generally acceptable from an Orthodox perspective, it is argued that they require theological expansion. (...) This expansion suggests an understanding other than the “causal joint” model commonly adopted in relation to “special” divine action. This alternative model renders the distinction between “special” and “general” divine action redundant, and is based on what has been called a “teleological-Christological” understanding of the cosmos, rooted in the fourth gospel's notion of the divine Logos. The relevance of this critique to scholars outside of the Orthodox community is urged. (shrink)
Dewey's students at Columbia saw him as "an Aristotelian more Aristotelian than Aristotle himself." However, until now, there has been little consideration of the influence Greek thought had on the intellectual development of this key American philosopher. -/- By examining, in detail, Dewey's treatment and appropriation of Greek thought, the authors in this volume reveal an otherwise largely overlooked facet of his intellectual development and finalized ideas. Rather than offering just one unified account of Dewey's connection to Greek thought, this (...) volume offers multiple perspectives on Dewey's view of the aims and purpose of philosophy. Ultimately, each author reveals ways in which Dewey's thought was in line with ancient themes. When combined, they offer a tapestry of comparative approaches with special attention paid to key contributions in political, social, and pedagogical philosophy. (shrink)
The thesis of this paper is that utopianism is a theoretical necessity—we couldn’t, for example, engage in normative political philosophy without it—and, further, that in consciously embracing utopianism we will consequently experience an enrichment of our political lives. Thus, the title of my paper has a double meaning: it highlights the fact that utopianism always plays a normative role in political philosophy, as its concern is inevitably the promotion of a certain vision of the good life; and secondly it suggests (...) that there normatively ‘ought to be’ a recognized and respectable role for utopianism within political philosophy. The first meaning, I believe, is self-explanatory. Regarding the second, it expresses my hope to— in short— take what is old, and through a modest process of rehabilitation, make it new again. (shrink)
This chapter examines Eastern Orthodox perspectives on natural theology. The discussions cover the classical roots Orthodox understanding of knowledge of God; worship and eschatology; creation and the limits of natural theology; panentheism and the structure of theophany; and science and theology in Orthodoxy.
The feeling that one was ‘born in the wrong time’ we call malchronia. This is distinct from mere nostalgia, in that it may generate the longing to transcend the temporal present in favor of a time of which one has had no experience, or even a timeless state of being. Implicit in malchronetic longing is the rejection of one’s experience of one’s own time, making it a revolutionary and utopian inclination. In this article we examine two dominant strategies—primitive weapons in (...) the war on time, really—that have been developed in the hopes of delivering individuals to a future beyond the reach of their natural life spans: cryonics and bionics. (shrink)
The dialectic of private desire and public imperative — their conflict and interpenetration and mutual causation — has been the theme of the Troy story through three millennia. When W. B. Yeats wrote a poem about the irruption of sexual passion in the pattern of human events, and its incalculable aftermath in history, he restated powerfully for the twentieth century a perception which nevertheless goes back to Homer.
Can one be fooled into believing that one intended an action that one in fact did not intend? Past experimental paradigms have demonstrated that participants, when provided with false perceptual feedback about their actions, can be fooled into misperceiving the nature of their intended motor act. However, because veridical proprioceptive/perceptual feedback limits the extent to which participants can be fooled, few studies have been able to answer our question and induce the illusion to intend. In a novel paradigm addressing this (...) question, participants were instructed to move a line on the computer screen by use of a phony brain–computer interface. Line movements were actually controlled by computer program. Demonstrating the illusion to intend, participants reported more intentions to move the line when it moved frequently than when it moved infrequently. Consistent with ideomotor theory, the finding illuminates the intimate liaisons among ideomotor processing, the sense of agency, and action production. (shrink)
Prowse, Christopher C On 27 October 2010, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, announced that the topic for the XIII Ordinary General Assembly in Rome (7-28 October 2012) would be 'The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.' This was not entirely unexpected given the importance this topic has generated in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and in the teachings of Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and now Benedict XVI. Clearly, with the establishment of the (...) ad hoc dicastery (21 September 2010) on evangelisation, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, wishes to raise the promotion of this vital topic to an even higher level. (shrink)
It is my goal in this paper to offer a strategy for translating universal statements about utopia into particular statements. This is accomplished by drawing out their implicit, temporally embedded, points of reference. Universal statements of the kind I find troublesome are those of the form ‘Utopia is x’, where ‘x’ can be anything from ‘the receding horizon’ to ‘the nation of the virtuous’. To such statements, I want to put the questions: ‘Which utopias?’; ‘In what sense?’; and ‘When was (...) that, is that, or will that be, the case for utopias?’ Through an exploration of these lines of questioning, I arrive at three archetypes of utopian theorizing which serve to provide the answers: namely, utopian historicism, utopian presentism, and utopian futurism. The employment of these archetypes temporally grounds statements about utopia in the past, present, or future, and thus forces discussion of discrete particulars instead of abstract universals with no meaningful referents. (shrink)
Whereas previous research in the medical humanities has tended to neglect theology and religious studies, these disciplines sometimes have a very important contribution to make. The hearing of spiritually significant voices provides a case in point. The context, content and identity of these voices, all of which have typically not been seen as important in the assessment of auditory–verbal hallucinations within psychiatry, are key to understanding their spiritual significance. A taxonomy of spiritually significant voices is proposed, which takes into account (...) frequency, context, affect and identity of the voice. In a predominantly Christian sample of 58 people who reported having heard spiritually significant voices, most began in adult life and were infrequent experiences. Almost 90% reported that the voice was divine in identity and approximately one-third were heard in the context of prayer. The phenomenological characteristics of these voices were different from those in previous studies of voice hearing. Most comprised a single voice; half were auditory; and a quarter were more thought-like. Only half were characterful, and one-third included commands or prompts. The voices were experienced positively and as meaningful. The survey has implications for both clinical and pastoral work. The phenomenology of spiritually significant voices may be confused with that of psychopathology, thus potentially leading to misdiagnosis of normal religious experiences. The finding of meaning in content and context may be important in voice hearing more widely, and especially in coping with negative or distressing voices. (shrink)