The study of micro-organisms in Britain in the early twentieth century was dominated by medical concerns, with little support for non-medical research. This paper examines the way in which microbes came to have a place in industrial contexts in the 1920s and early 1930s. Their industrial capacity was only properly recognized during World War I, with the development of fermentation processes to make required organic chemicals. Post-war research sponsored by chemical and food industries and the D.S.I.R. established the industrial significance (...) of microbes. The primary focus here is the D.S.I.R. work which aimed to pull microbes away from medical concerns and promote the role of microbes in British industry. (shrink)
In Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics, David Chalmers seeks to develop a version of 2-D semantics which can vindicate the rationalist claim that there are constitutive connections between meaning, possibility and a priority. Chalmers lays out different ways of filling in his preferred epistemic approach to 2-D semantics so as to avoid controversial philosophical assumptions. In these comments, however, I argue that there are some distinctively rationalist commitments in Chalmers's epistemic approach to 2-D semantics. I start by explaining why Chalmers's approach requires (...) a canonical language that affords subjects accurate a priori access to the space of possibility. I then argue that traditional worries about rationalism will simply re-emerge as worries about whether there can be a canonical vocabulary and how we could come to recognize one if there were. The moral is that Chalmers's 2-D semantic framework builds in substantive metaphysical and epistemological commitments which stand in need of further defense. (shrink)
Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are internally inconsistent and (...) underestimate the importance of group selection. Specific themes that Alexander has developed in his account of human evolution are important but are best understood within the framework of multilevel selection theory. From this perspective, Alexander's views on moral systems are not the radical departure from conventional views that he claims, but remain radical in another way more compatible with conventional views. (shrink)
In his “Noesis and Logos in the Eleatic Trilogy, with a Focus on the Visitor’s Jokes at Statesman 266a-d,” Mitchell Miller explores the interplay of intuition and discourse in the Statesman. He prepares by considering the orienting provocations provided by Socrates’ refutations of the proposed definition of knowledge — namely, “true judgment and a logos” — in the closing pages of the Theaetetus, by the Eleatic Visitor’s obscure schematization at Sophist 253d-e of the kinds of eidetic field discerned by dialectic, (...) and by his discussion at Statesman 277a-278e of the use of paradigms. Miller then seeks to show how the Visitor’s odd medley of geometrical and Homeric jokes at Statesman 266a-d aims, in the language of the Seventh Letter, to “spark” an intuition of the nature of statesmanship, an intuition whose “self-nourishing” motivates the subsequent rejection of the initial definition of the statesman as shepherd of the human herd, the turn to the paradigm of the weaver, and the rejection of bifurcatory division in favor of the non-bifurcatory account of the kinds of art that function as the “limbs” of a well-formed city. (shrink)
This paper explores R. D. Laing's application of existential and phenomenological tradtions, specifically Hegel and Heidegger, to his groundbreaking work with psychotic process as well as psychotherapeutic practice more generally.
The article responds to the objections M.D. Ashfield has raised to my recent attempt at saving epistemic contextualism from the knowability problem. First, it shows that Ashfield’s criticisms of my minimal conception of epistemic contextualism, even if correct, cannot reinstate the knowability problem. Second, it argues that these criticisms are based on a misunderstanding of the commitments of my minimal conception. I conclude that there is still no reason to maintain that epistemic contextualism has the knowability problem.
In selected texts by Diderot, including the Encyclopédie article “Cabinet d’histoire naturelle” (along with his comments in the article “Histoire nat-urelle”), the Pensées sur l’interprétation de la nature and the Salon de 1767, I examine the interplay between philosophical naturalism and the recognition of the irreducible nature of artifice, in order to arrive at a provisional definition of Diderot’s vision of Nature as “une femme qui aime à se travestir.” How can a metaphysics in which the concept of Nature has (...) a normative status, also ultimately consider it to be something necessarily artificial? Historically, the answer to this question involves the project of natural history. A present-day reconstruction would have to make sense of this project and relate it to the vision of Nature expressed in Diderot’s phrase. In addition, it would hopefully pinpoint the difference between this brand of Enlightenment naturalism and contemporary naturalism, and by extension, allow us to understand a bit more about what naturalism is in general. (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)
Mary P. Nichols, Socrates on Friendship and Community: Reflections on Plato’s Symposium, Phaedrus, and Lysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. viii + 229. ISBN 978-0-521-89973-4. Laurence D. Cooper, Eros in Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche: The Politics of Infinity. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008. Pp. xii + 357. ISBN 978-0-271-03330-3.
It is shown that in every gauge the potential of the electromagnetic field in the presence of sources is resolved by an extension of the Helmholtz theorem into a solenoidal component and an irrotational component irrelevant for description of the field. Only irrotational components are affected by gauge transformations; in Coulomb gauge the irrotational component vanishes: the potential is solenoidal. The method of solution of the wave equation by use of positive- and negative-frequency parts is extended to solutions of D'Alembert's (...) equation, and applied to equations satisfied by the potential in Coulomb gauge and the electric and magnetic vectors. Fourier transforms of potentials specifying destruction/creation operators become time dependent in the presence of sources. Our central equation states this time dependence. Frequency parts of Maxwell's equations are obtained. When the retarded potential in Coulomb gauge is resolved into kinetic and dissipative components, the latter is shown to be in radiation gauge. Correspondingly, the energy/stress tensor is resolved into three components; the power/force density, into two: a kinetic and a dissipative component. Work done by the latter component is negative: energy and momentum are dissipated from matter to radiation. Boson quantization conditions are satisfied by the kinetic component of the retarded potential, but commutators of the dissipative component are determined by the current sources. The energy/stress tensor and Hamiltonian of the field in the presence of sources are derived from the classical Lagrangian density. The relation between the Hamiltonian and the energy is shown to agree with the time dependence of the destruction/creation operators in Heisenberg picture. (shrink)
This study throws new light on the composition of Boyle's Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Receiv'd Notion of Nature ; it also draws more general conclusions about Boyle's methods as an author and his links with his context. Its basis is a careful study of the extant manuscript drafts for the work, and their relationship with the published editions. Section 2 describes Boyle's characteristic method of composition from the late 1650s onwards, involving the dictation of discrete sections of text to (...) amanuenses; it also assesses the effect this had on the structure and presentation of Boyle's writings. Section 3 considers the published text section by section and indicates which parts were written when; it also surveys unpublished draft material relating to the work. Section 4 places the work in context, considering the intellectual threats that Boyle sought to confront in it, both when he initially composed it in the 1660s and when he rewrote it c. 1680. It thus anchors him more precisely than hitherto in the intellectual debates of his day. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 349 - 369 A theory of causation suitable for historiography must accommodate the many types of causal claims historians make. In this paper, I examine the advantages of applying D. K. Lewis’s counterfactual theory of causation to the philosophy of historiography. I contend that Lewis’s possible world semantics offers a superior framework for making sense of historical causation, and that it lays the foundation for historians to look at history as causal series of (...) events, remaining agnostic as to whether there may be historical regularities or laws. Lewis’s theory can also accommodate important notions often used by historians, such as absences as causes, historical necessity and contingency, and the role they play in the formulation of historical counterfactuals. (shrink)
Horace, edited with Explanatory Notes by Thomas Chase, LL.D. Philadelphia, Eldredge and Brother. Revised Edition, 1892; 1 doll. 10c. Text pp. 1—252, Notes 253—458.The Odes and Epodes of Horace, translated into English Verse with an Introduction and Notes and Latin Text by John B. Hague, Ph. D. New York: G. B. Putnam's Sons, 1892.
I argue that Deutsch’s model for the behavior of systems traveling around closed timelike curves relies implicitly on a substantive metaphysical assumption. Deutsch is employing a version of quantum theory with a significantly supplemented ontology of parallel existent worlds, which differ in kind from the many worlds of the Everett interpretation. Standard Everett does not support the existence of multiple identical copies of the world, which the D-CTC model requires. This has been obscured because he often refers to the branching (...) structure of Everett as a “multiverse”, and describes quantum interference by reference to parallel interacting definite worlds. But he admits that this is only an approximation to Everett. The D-CTC model, however, relies crucially on the existence of a multiverse of parallel interacting worlds. Since his model is supplemented by structures that go significantly beyond quantum theory, and play an ineliminable role in its predictions and explanations, it does not represent a quantum solution to the paradoxes of time travel. (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)
This article investigates how Gabriele D’Annunzio’s The Triumph of Death brings together Nietzsche’s ideas and Wagner’s music and interweaves them with the motifs of literary Decadence and the author’s own particular sexual politics. The novel is an experimental text striving to be a Gesemtkunstswerk, an integrated work that incorporates music, painting, poetry, regional folklore, and private thoughts about personal and national power. I discuss the novel’s themes of violent sexuality and the anxiety of powerlessness and explore their implications for the (...) fascist political aesthetics in which D’Annunzio played a pioneering role. (shrink)
This paper presents an argument against A D Smith’s Direct Realist theory of perception, which attempts to defend Direct Realism against the argument from illusion by appealing to conscious perceptual states that are structured by the perceptual constancies. Smith’s contention is that the immediate objects of perceptual awareness are characterised by these constancies, which removes any difficulty there may be in identifying them with the external, or normal, objects of awareness. It is here argued that Smith’s theory does not provide (...) an adequate defence of Direct Realism because it does not adequately deal with the difficulties posed by the possibility of perceptual illusion. It is argued that there remain possible illusory experiences where the immediate objects of awareness, which in Smith’s account are those characterised by perceptual constancies, cannot be identified with the external objects of awareness, contrary to Direct Realism. A further argument is offered to extend this conclusion to all non-illusory cases, by adapting an argument of Smith’s own for the generalising step of the Argument from Illusion. The result is that Smith’s theory does not provide an adequate Direct Realist account of the possibility of perceptual illusion. (shrink)
This paper reassesses Sismondi's Nouveaux principes d?économie politique (1819) by locating the origins of his unorthodox political economy in the republican tradition of thought. Deeply influenced by both Smith and Rousseau, Sismondi first expounded his republican creed in a political treatise, Recherches sur les constitutions des peuples libres (1797?1801). He was in favour of a balanced constitution combined with public virtue. Sismondi's major historical work, the Histoire des républiques italiennes du Moyen Age (1807?1818), amounts to a tribute to the liberty (...) and patriotism brought about by republican governments. After a brief examination of De la richesse commerciale (1803), the third section of the paper is devoted to a close analysis of the Nouveaux principes. The foci of interest are Sismondi's views on property, commercial wealth, work and leisure, division of labour, consumption and luxury, paper money and public credit, and citizenship. The paper concludes by suggesting that Sismondi managed to transform Genevan republicanism into a set of ideas which has nourished economic radicalism up to the present. (shrink)
This paper investigates the objections that were raised by the philosopher ‘Abd al-La&tdotu;īf al-Baghdādī against al-&Hdotu;asan ibn al-Haytham’s geometrisation of place. In this line of enquiry, I contrast the philosophical propositions that were advanced by al-Baghdādī in his tract: Fī al-Radd ‘alā Ibn al-Haytham fī al-makān, with the geometrical demonstrations that Ibn al-Haytham presented in his groundbreaking treatise: Qawl fī al-Makān. In examining the particulars of al-Baghdādī’s fragile defence of Aristotle’s definition of topos as delineated in Book IV of the (...) Physics, which was rejected on mathematical grounds by Ibn al-Haytham, a special attention is also given to highlighting the systemic distinctions between the entities that are studied within the speculative physical doctrines of common sense and immediate experience, and the postulated ‘objects’ of scientific and mathematical research. (shrink)
: Few philosophical topics are as intertwined with gender questions as the topic of love, which moved center-stage in the diverse literary and philosophical productions of the Renaissance. Situated in the rich cultural environment of Cinquecento, Italy, Tullia d'Aragona's Dialogo della Infinità d'Amore offers not only a unique contribution to Renaissance theories of love, but also forces a reexamination of the aims and methods of communication, and provokes a reflection on philosophy's very own (male) self-conception.
Few philosophical topics are as intertwined with gender questions as the topic of love, which moved center-stage in the diverse literary and philosophical productions of the Renaissance. Situated in the rich cultural environment of Cinquecento, Italy, Tullia d'Aragona's Dialogo della Infinità d'Amore offers not only a unique contribution to Renaissance theories of love, but also forces a reexamination of the aims and methods of communication, and provokes a reflection on philosophy's very own self-conception.
The December 2008 White Paper (WP) on “Brain Death” published by the President’s Council on Bioethics (PCBE) reaffirmed its support for the traditional neurological criteria for human death. It spends considerable time explaining and critiquing what it takes to be the most challenging recent argument opposing the neurological criteria formulated by D. Alan Shewmon, a leading critic of the “whole brain death” standard. The purpose of this essay is to evaluate and critique the PCBE’s argument. The essay begins with a (...) brief background on the history of the neurological criteria in the United States and on the preparation of the 2008 WP. After introducing the WP’s contents, the essay sets forth Shewmon’s challenge to the traditional neurological criteria and the PCBE’s reply to Shewmon. The essay concludes by critiquing the WP’s novel justification for reaffirming the traditional conclusion, a justification the essay finds wanting. (shrink)
?History is the most dangerous compound yet contrived by the chemistry of intellect?: it was in response to these words by Paul Valéry that Marc Bloch, professor of economic history at the Sorbonne, after the defeat of 1940, began writing a book on ?how and why history is studied.? He gave it the provisional title Apologie pour l'Histoire ou Métier d'historien translated into English as The Historian's Craft. In the spring of 1944, he was killed by a German firing squad (...) for his clandestine activity in the Resistance. The manuscript of his book remained incomplete. Having entered the world at the same time as the research organization of Annales in 1949, Bloch's book on history, posthumously published by Lucien Febvre, was read and used as a product of that organization, which did not yet exist, even as a project, at the time the book was written. The Historian's Craft was read mostly by historians, history professors, and history students. Despite its readership, Bloch had written it for a different public: persons of culture and action, that same audience that Annales had tried in vain to conquer in the thirties?Paul Valéry's public. The study of the genesis of the interrupted manuscript reveals the richness of the content of Bloch's book, so far underrated. This example of the two pages missing from the 1949 edition, can today be the start of a deeper meditation on history, historians, and philology (and on the documents that refer to them). (shrink)
Homeri carmina recensuit et selecta lectionis varietate instruxit Arthurus Ludwich. Pars Altera. Odyssea. Volumen Prius, 1889. Volumen Alterum, 1891. Leipzig, Teubner. 8 Mk. Homer's Iliad; Books iv-vi. Edited on the base of the Ameis-Hentze edition, by Thomas D. Seymour. Ginn. Boston, 1891.