We describe here an interdisciplinary lab science course for non-majors using the history of science as a curricular guide. Our experience with diverse instructors underscores the importance of the teachers and classroom dynamics, beyond the curriculum. Moreover, the institutional political context is central: are courses for non-majors valued and is support given to instructors to innovate? Two sample projects are profiled.
Gerald MacCallum taught philosophy at the University of Wisconsin from 1961 until 1977. The stroke he suffered in that year prevented him from further teaching. He continued to write, even through the crippling effects of a second stroke, until his death in 1987. His final project was the Prentice Hall Foundations in Philosophy book, Political Philosophy. The present collection brings together papers, published and unpublished, spanning his writing career. I hope in this short space to convey some bigger, largely tacit (...) themes underlying MacCallum’s penetrating but humble attention to detail and distinctions. (shrink)
Philosophers and scientists have maintained that causation, correlation, and "partial correlation" are essentially related. These views give rise to various rules of causal inference. This essay considers the "claims of several philosophers and social scientists for causal systems with dichotomous variables. In section 2 important commonalities and differences are explicated among four major conceptions of correlation. In section 3 it is argued that whether correlation can serve as a measure of A's causal influence on B depends upon the conception of (...) causation being used and upon certain background assumptions. In section 4 five major kinds of "partial correlation" are explicated, and some of the important relations are established among two conceptions of "partial correlation", the conception of "screening off", the conception of "partitioning", and the measures of causal influence which have been suggested by advocates of path analysis or structural equation methods. In section 5 it is argued that whether any of these five conceptions of "partial correlation" can serve as a measure of causal influence depends upon the conception of causation being used and upon certain background assumptions. The important conclusion is that each of the approaches (considered here) to causal inference for causal systems with dichotomous variables stands in need of important qualifications and revisions if they are to be justified. (shrink)
During the past decades several philosophers of science and social scientists have been interested in the problems of causation. Recently attention has been given to probabilistic causation in dichotomous causal systems. The paper uses the basic features of probabilistic causation to argue that the causal modeling approaches developed by such researchers as Blalock (1964) and Duncan (1975) can provide, when an additional assumption is added, adequate qualitative measures of one variableś causal influence upon another. Finally, some of the difficulties and (...) issues involved in developing adequate quantitative measures are discussed, and it is concluded that the causal modeling measures cannot provide adequate quantitative measures. (shrink)
Two kinds of causal inference rules which are widely used by social scientists are investigated. Two conceptions of causation also widely used are explicated -- the INUS and probabilistic conceptions of causation. It is shown that the causal inference rules which link correlation, a kind of partial correlation, and a conception of causation are invalid. It is concluded a new methodology is required for causal inference.
Michael Zbaraschuk’s recent article, “Not Radical Enough: William Dean’s Problems with God and History,”1 deserves a published response, because it applies not only to my work but to that of many other philosophical theologians, some of whom read this journal. Before discussing the larger issues, I must attend to an item of scholarly housekeeping. Although Zbaraschuk draws narrowly, i.e., from only two of my books—History Making History (1988) and The Religious Critic in American Culture (1994)—he applies his arguments indiscriminately (...) to my work as a totality, omitting most crucially the score of articles and the book written between 1994 and the present. Of course, there is nothing wrong with an .. (shrink)
This article examines a particular debate between Eamonn Callan and William Galston concerning the need for a civic education which counters the divisive pull of pluralism by uniting the citizenry in patriotic allegiance to a single national identity. The article offers a preliminary understanding of nationalism and patriotism before setting out the terms of the debate. It then critically evaluates the central idea of Callan that one might be under an obligation morally to improve one''s own patriotic inheritance, pointing to (...) the ineliminable tension between the valuation of one''s own patria by its own terms and a detached critical reason. It concludes by suggesting that we are, in advance of our education, members of a particular patria and that any education must be particularistic. Finally, the danger is noted of presuming that, in each case, there is a single, determinate national tradition. (shrink)