Andrews et al. attempt to clarify the standards for determining whether traits are adaptations. The authors argue that tests of adaptationist hypotheses best proceed by assessing the consistency of the traits with the proposed standards. Critical tests of such standards must assess inconsistency – hypotheses must be falsifiable. To fully understand trait evolution, we must consider both adaptive and nonadaptive hypotheses.
From late 1684 through mid-1685, Isaac Newton turned to developing and refining the conceptual foundations presupposed by his emerging physics. Analysis of his manuscripts from this period reveals that Newton’s understanding of the relativity of acceleration led him to seek a spatiotemporally invariant quantity of matter. He found two such quantities and then designed an experiment to discover their relationship. Interpreting the experiment, however, required distinguishing a new notion of force. Others have recognized the conceptual distinction between inertial and gravitational (...) mass. I show here that Newton clearly saw this distinction and that he provisionally established their equivalence. (shrink)
In this article I will identify the position from which I write and the methodology I will employ, and then I will ask: ”Is the Foucauldian conception of disciplinary power still at work in contemporary forms of imprisonment?” I will answer this question in the affirmative and report the results of a case study of the operational philosophy of a contemporary prison in Melbourne Australia while highlighting some key comparative points from Discipline and Punish . How prisoners resist and subvert (...) disciplinary power by turning an inclusive grouping within the prison into a site from which they highly differentiate Self from Other will be touched upon. I will conclude by finding that homo criminalis has in fact become a definite object in the field of knowledge and he is emerging as a product from the machine for altering minds. (shrink)
Background: Legislation on physician-assisted suicide is being considered in a number of states since the passage of the Oregon Death With Dignity Act in 1994. Opinion assessment surveys have historically assessed particular subsets of physicians.Objective: To determine variables predictive of physicians’ opinions on PAS in a rural state, Vermont, USA.Design: Cross-sectional mailing survey.Participants: 1052 physicians licensed by the state of Vermont.Results: Of the respondents, 38.2% believed PAS should be legalised, 16.0% believed it should be prohibited and 26.0% believed it should (...) not be legislated. 15.7% were undecided. Males were more likely than females to favour legalisation . Physicians who did not care for patients through the end of life were significantly more likely to favour legalisation of PAS than physicians who do care for patients with terminal illness . 30% of the respondents had experienced a request for assistance with suicide.Conclusions: Vermont physicians’ opinions on the legalisation of PAS is sharply polarised. Patient autonomy was a factor strongly associated with opinions in favour of legalisation, whereas the sanctity of the doctor–patient relationship was strongly associated with opinions in favour of not legislating PAS. Those in favour of making PAS illegal overwhelmingly cited moral and ethical beliefs as factors in their opinion. Although opinions on legalisation appear to be based on firmly held beliefs, approximately half of Vermont physicians who responded to the survey agree that there is a need for more education in palliative care and pain management. (shrink)
What critical characteristics do firms have that determine the scale and scope of corporate social responsibility activities they undertake? This paper examines two disparate predictors of corporate social performance. First, using the lens of the resource-based view, we examine the role of alliance network centrality on corporate social performance. We find that centrality enhances corporate social performance. Second, we investigate how board composition affects corporate social performance. Specifically, drawing on stakeholder theory, we find that the percentage of female directors predicts (...) greater corporate social performance. In addition, we look at the influence of outside directors on this relationship. Our findings show that the presence of more outside directors positively moderates the relationship between female directors and corporate social performance. (shrink)
This is a commissioned review of Copan, P. and Craig, W. The Kalām Cosmological Argument Volume Two: Scientific Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe New York: Bloomsbury, US$172.50, ISBN 978-1-50-133587-7.
Al-Fārābī’s title of ‘‘Second Teacher’’ after Aristotle is well-warranted. Al-Fārābī’s work serves to illuminate the writings of the ‘‘First Teacher’’ in interesting and overlooked ways that go beyond the parameters of Aristotelian logic. Credence is lent to this assessment through the analysis of a specific topic, namely, authentic prophetic vision. At first glance, this seems like a strange assertion to make given Aristotle’s apparent skepticism and indifference regarding the topic of prophecy. However, as this paper will show, there is a (...) latent theory of prophetic vision in the extant texts of Aristotle that al-Fārābī recognizes and completes in a way that is, in large part, faithful to and consistent with the corpus of Aristotle as we read it today. In the end, al-Fārābī provides insight into how a properly Aristotelian theory of authentic prophetic vision could be realized. (shrink)
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
This is an original and stimulating collection of articles by scholars trained in classics, moral philosophy, political science, literature, and intellectual history. Its principal objective is to convey to the modern reader a sophisticated understanding of Homeric and Classical Greek morality and how it differs from our own. Some of the articles focus primarily on Greek value concepts, especially the concept of arete. Others compare those concepts to modern notions of virtue and tolerance, as well as to the work of (...) contemporary literary figures and philosophers, including T.S. Eliot, Alasdair Macintyre, John Wallace, and Philippa Foot. Throughout, the juxtaposition of ancient and modern ideas and the worldviews they presuppose makes these readings both intellectually exciting and revealing. (shrink)
In this paper we critically evaluate an argument put forward by William Lane Craig for the existence of God based on the assumption that if there were no God, there could be no objective morality. Contrary to Craig, we show that there are some necessary moral truths and objective moral reasoning that holds up whether there is a God or not. We go on to argue that religious faith, when taken alone and without reason or evidence, actually risks (...) undermining morality and is an unreliable source of moral truths. We recommend a viewpoint on morality that is based on reason and public consensus, that is compatible with science, and that cuts across the range of religious and non-religious positions. (shrink)
I defend and revise the systematic account of normative functions (teleofunctions), as recently developed by Gerhard Schlosser and by W. D. Christensen and M. H. Bickhard. This account proposes that teleofunctions are had by structures that play certain kinds of roles in complex systems. This theory is an alternative to the historical etiological account of teleofunctions, developed by Ruth Millikan and others. The historical etiological account is susceptible to a general ontological problem that has been under-appreciated, and that offers important (...) reasons to adopt the systematic account. However, the systematic account must be revised to allow for two distinct kinds of teleofunctions in order to avoid another ontological problem. (shrink)