Is GDP a good proxy for social welfare? Building on economic theory, this book confirms that it is not, but also that most alternatives to it share its basic flaw, i.e., a focus on specific aspects of people's lives without sufficiently taking account of people's values and goals. A better approach is possible.
What role does non-genetic inheritance play in evolution? In recent work we have independently and collectively argued that the existence and scope of non-genetic inheritance systems, including epigenetic inheritance, niche construction/ecological inheritance, and cultural inheritance—alongside certain other theory revisions—necessitates an extension to the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis (MS) in the form of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES). However, this argument has been challenged on the grounds that non-genetic inheritance systems are exclusively proximate mechanisms that serve the ultimate function of calibrating organisms (...) to stochastic environments. In this paper we defend our claims, pointing out that critics of the EES (1) conflate non-genetic inheritance with early 20th-century notions of soft inheritance; (2) misunderstand the nature of the EES in relation to the MS; (3) confuse individual phenotypic plasticity with trans-generational non-genetic inheritance; (4) fail to address the extensive theoretical and empirical literature which shows that non-genetic inheritance can generate novel targets for selection, create new genetic equilibria that would not exist in the absence of non-genetic inheritance, and generate phenotypic variation that is independent of genetic variation; (5) artificially limit ultimate explanations for traits to gene-based selection, which is unsatisfactory for phenotypic traits that originate and spread via non-genetic inheritance systems; and (6) fail to provide an explanation for biological organization. We conclude by noting ways in which we feel that an overly gene-centric theory of evolution is hindering progress in biology and other sciences. (shrink)
This paper presents a new, third-personal account of empathy that characterizes empathy as being sensitive to others’ concerns as opposed to remaining stuck in one’s egocentric perspective on the world. The paper also demonstrates why this account is preferable to its two main rivals, namely the simulation theory of empathy, and the direct perception theory of empathy.
In France, some institutions seem to call for the engineer’s sense of social responsibility. However, this call is scarcely heard. Still, engineering students have been given the opportunity to gain a general education through courses in literature, law, economics, since the nineteenth century. But, such courses have long been offered only in the top ranked engineering schools. In this paper, we intend to show that the wish to increase engineering students’ social responsibility is an old concern. We also aim at (...) highlighting some macro social factors which shaped the answer to the call for social responsibility in the French engineering “Grandes Ecoles”. In the first part, we provide an overview of the scarce attention given to the engineering curriculum in the scholarly literature in France. In the second part, we analyse one century of discourses about the definition of the “complete engineer” and the consequent role of non technical education. In the third part, we focus on the characteristics of the corpus which has been institutionalized. Our main finding is that despite the many changes which occurred in engineering education during one century, the “other formation” remains grounded on a non academic “way of knowing”, and aims at increasing the reputation of the schools, more than enhancing engineering students’ social awareness. (shrink)
This inclusive cross-cultural study rethinks the nexus between engineering education and context. In so doing the book offers a reflection on contextual boundaries with an overall boundary crossing ambition and juxtaposes important cases of critical participation within engineering education with sophisticated scholarly reflection on both opportunities and discontents. -/- Whether and in what way engineering education is or ought to be contextualized or de-contextualized is an object of heated debate among engineering educators. The uniqueness of this study is that this (...) debate is given comprehensive coverage – presenting both instrumentally inclined as well as radical positions on transforming engineering education. -/- In contextualizing engineering education, this book offers diverse commentary from a range of disciplinary, meta- and interdisciplinary perspectives on how cultural, professional, institutional and educational systems contexts shape histories, structural dynamics, ideologies and challenges as well as new pathways in engineering education. Topics addressed include examining engineering education in countries ranging from India to America, to racial and gender equity in engineering education and incorporating social awareness into the area. -/- Using context as “bridge” this book confronts engineering education head on. Contending engineering ideologies and corresponding views on context are juxtaposed with contending discourses of reform. The uniqueness of the book is that it brings together scholars from the humanities, the social sciences and engineering from Europe – both East and West – with the United States, China, Brazil, India and Australia. (shrink)
As the frequent use of metaphors like friendship or relationship in academic and colloquial discourse on serial television suggests, long-term narratives seem to add something to the spectator's engagement with fictional characters that is not fully captured by terms such as empathy and sympathy. Drawing on philosophical accounts of friendship and psychological theories on the formation of close relationships, this article clarifies in what respect the friendship metaphor is warranted. The article proposes several hypotheses that will enhance cognitive theories of (...) character engagement. Spectators tend to like what they have been exposed to more, and the feeling of familiarity is pleasurable. Familiar characters are powerful tools to get the spectator hooked. Furthermore, by generating an impression of a shared history, television series activate mental mechanisms similar to those activated by friendship in real life. These factors, and several others, create a bond with characters in television series that tends to be described in everyday language as a sort of friendship. (shrink)
Cet article est paru dans Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie, N° 5, 1988, p. 72-90. Il a été mis en ligne pour la première fois ici. On trouvera, par ailleurs, l'article « Rythme » de l'Encyclopédie ici. - XVIIIe siècle – Nouvel article.
This second companion volume on engineering studies considers engineering practice including contextual analyses of engineering identity, epistemologies and values. Key overlapping questions examine such issues as an engineering identity, engineering self-understandings enacted in the professional world, distinctive characters of engineering knowledge and how engineering science and engineering design interact in practice. -/- Authors bring with them perspectives from their institutional homes in Europe, North America, Australia\ and Asia. The volume includes 24 contributions by more than 30 authors from engineering, the (...) social sciences and the humanities. Additional issues the chapters scrutinize include prominent norms of engineering, how they interact with the values of efficiency or environmental sustainability. A concluding set of articles considers the meaning of context more generally by asking if engineers create their own contexts or are they created by contexts. -/- Taken as a whole, this collection of original scholarly work is unique in its broad, multidisciplinary consideration of the changing character of engineering practice. (shrink)