John Evelyn (1620-1706) is best remembered for Sylva - his magnum opus - and his Diary . Alongside Pepys' diary, Evelyn's is as well known now as anything else written in their time. A connoisseur of architecture, painting, music, coins, and sermons, Evelyn was renowned for his practical knowledge on horticulture and arboriculture, and he was one of the original Fellows of the Royal Society. His Diary begins with an account of his early life and travels in (...) Europe. In addition to his own jottings of events, Evelyn drew on contemporary newspapers and pamphlets. (shrink)
An edition of the letters of Erasmus, regarded as one of the greatest humanist writers. All 12 volumes of this work have been reissued, complete with their scholarly apparatus of commentary and notes, as well as plates.
This article focuses on the social structure of domestic cat colonies, and on the various ways these are represented in ethological literature. Our analysis begins with detailed accounts of different forms of cat societies from the works of Leyhausen, Tabor, and Alger and Alger, and then puts these descriptions into a broader epistemological perspective. The analysis is inspired by the bi-constructivist approach to ethological studies formulated by Lestel, which highlights the position of the ethologist in the constitution of particular animal (...) activities. We propose a third layer should be added to post hoc analyses of ethological enterprises: i.e., the ontological commitments shaping the conceptual framework of a given research. It is through these commitments we find a hierarchical structure in a caged colony of cats, different territorial patterns in the case of urban cats, and egalitarian friendly bonds within the society of a cat shelter. Our critical tri-constructivist approach can be utilized for contemporary biosemiotics as it is centered on a multi-level process of interpretation. (shrink)
The social cognition of domestic cats is a scarcely studied topic due to the reputation of the animal as individualistic. Nevertheless, cats are capable of cognitively demanding cooperative activities such as a communal nest-moving. The cognitive abilities of free-ranging cats are evaluated against the background of the shared intentionality hypothesis, proposed by a research group of Michael Tomasello. Although their comparative studies are carried out on chimpanzees, they are valuable as a source of conceptual work linking empirical cognitive studies with (...) the philosophical accounts of joint agency. We critically analyze theoretical cognitive concepts interpreting the triadic interactions of great apes and the collective hunting among chimpanzees. Contrary to the shared intentionality hypothesis, it is argued that cats have cognitive abilities to share attention, truly cooperate and constitute shared meanings. Finally, we introduce the concept of the natural interaction ritual by Randall Collins and outline its significance for our case study about cats as well as for a general biosemiotic theory of the development of symbols. (shrink)
Interaction between humans and cats in urban environments is subject to dynamic change. Based on the frequency and quality of relations with humans, we can distinguish several populations of domestic cats : pedigree, pet, semi-feral, feral, and pseudo-wild. Bringing together theoretical perspectives of the Tartu school of biosemiotics and ethological studies of animal societies, we distinguish two basic types of cat cultures: the culture of street cats and the humano-cat culture of pets. The difference between these cultures is documented on (...) the level of zoosemiotic interactions, ecological relations, and human representations. We introduce a threefold model of human-animal interactions in urban environments which steer a careful course between the Scylla of realistic ontology and the Charybdis of social constructivism. A case study on Estonian cat shelters illustrates the significance of cultural representations and institutionalized actions in human-cat cohabitation. (shrink)
It was seventy five years ago that the book, Holism and Evolution by Jan Christiaan Smuts was published. Although the book was very popular at the time, it has not been accepted by either the scientific or the philosophical community. Its complex message was truncated to the truism "the whole is more than the sum of its parts," which became the definition of holism, but ensured its rejection by the skeptic as a too general statement to be of practical value. (...) It is very unlikely that there was a sinister plot to sideline this important work. The simplest explanation is that Smuts' concepts, which suggest many of the later ideas of systems thinkers, were simply too far ahead of their time. Now however, at the dawn of the new millennium, the time is perfect to rediscover Smuts and to apply his ideas with a "holos consciousness" to the many burning issues that humanity faces. In this paper the main principles of Holism are explained. (shrink)
The Information Age that has dawned upon us requires a new way of thinking about problems. Teleonics, which is a process?based systems approach, can be used for this purpose. The main aspects of teleonics are described, including structure, action, goal?relatedness and ethos, goal and ethos related systems, the web of life, with its spheres and levels, uncertainty and the synergy of complements. In particular, out of the Langkawi International Dialogues, organised in Malaysia in 1995, 1996 and 1997, has emerged the (...) concept of ?Smart Partnership?, a new business philosophy for promoting ethical, win?win business practises at all levels of enterprise. Teleonics is considered to provide an ideal framework for the valuable concepts which emerged from these dialogues. (shrink)
Teleonics is a systemic approach for the study and management of complex living systems, such as human beings, families, communities, business organisations and even countries and international relationships. The approach and its applications have been described in several publications, quoted in the paper. The units of teleonics are teleons, viz, end?related, autonomous process systems. An indication of malfunction in teleons is a high level of telentropy that can be caused by many factors, among which the most common are the lack (...) of well defined goals, inefficient governance, inappropriate interference and undeclared sharing of subsystems between teleons. These factors, as well as other modes of telentropy generation and transfer are described, together with some suggestions about ways to avoid them. (shrink)
(1994). Settling on what we are: The central place of the sense‐of‐self in education, and the implication of the concepts of the teleon and telentropy for the development of the sense‐of‐self. World Futures: Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 165-181.
This paper compares and contrasts three groups that conducted biological research at Yale University during overlapping periods between 1910 and 1970. Yale University proved important as a site for this research. The leaders of these groups were Ross Granville Harrison, Grace E. Pickford, and G. Evelyn Hutchinson, and their members included both graduate students and more experienced scientists. All produced innovative research, including the opening of new subfields in embryology, endocrinology and ecology respectively, over a long period of time. (...) Harrison's is shown to have been a classic research school; Pickford's and Hutchinson's were not. Pickford's group was successful in spite of her lack of departmental or institutional position or power. Hutchinson and his graduate and post-graduate students were extremely productive but in diverse areas of ecology. His group did not have one focused area of research or use one set of research tools. The paper concludes that new models for research groups are needed, especially for those, like Hutchinson's, that included much field research. (shrink)
In this paper, I undertake an exploration of the similarities I find between the epistemological projects of John Dewey and Evelyn Fox Keller. These similarities, I suggest, warrant considering Dewey and Keller to share membership in an epistemological tradition, a tradition I label the "Coresponsible Option." In my examination, I focus on Dewey's and Keller's ontological assertion that we live in a world that is an inextricable mixture of certainty and chance, and on their resultant conception of inquiry as (...) a communal relationship. (shrink)
One of the seminal constructs in 20th-century biosemiotics is G. Evelyn Hutchinson's 'niche'. This notion opened up and unpacked cartesian space and time to recognize self-organizing roles in open, dynamical systems - in n-dimensional hyperspace. Perhaps equally valuable to biosemiotics is Hutchinson's inclusive approach to inquiry and his willingness to venture into abductive territory, which have reaped rewards for a range of disciplines beyond biology, from art to anthropology. Hutchinson assumed the fertility of inquiry flowing from open, far-from-equilibrium systems (...) to be characterized by 'fabricational noise', followingSeilacher, or 'order out of chaos', following Prigogine. Serendipitous 'noise' can self-organize into information at other levels, as does the 'noise' of Hutchinson's contributions themselves. (shrink)
If mysticism, as Coventry Patmore defines it, is 'the science of ultimates,' in what way would mysticism explain the possibility of a profound relationship between ultimate reality as infinite and proximate reality as finite ? This paper attempts to address that question through the lens of Evelyn Underhill’s philosophy of mysticism. The paper fundamentally works at framing two of Hegel’s triadic patterns of dialectic against the being-becoming binary as engaged by Underhill. This application helps unveil the relation of transcendence (...) with immanence, a relation that is crucial for a structuring of the infinite-finite mystical intimacy. (shrink)
it is a pleasant task to reflect on these thoughtful comments on my Coss lecture. Their gracious reception of an economist into the world of philosophy is an added bonus.Let me leave to one side—for the moment—the main title of my paper, and focus on the subtitle: “the collective construction of rules to live by.” Here, we find my core interest in both economics and philosophy. Beginning around the middle of the twentieth century, economists claimed to have the necessary tools (...) for deriving the optimal rules to live by. Once that claim was taken seriously by the profession, it became accepted practice for economists to become advocates for those decision rules. More correctly, economists became advocates for a.. (shrink)