Here we endorse Hull’s replicator/interactor framework as providing the overarching understanding sought by MacCord and Maienschein. We suggest that difficulties in seeing the regeneration of limbs by salamanders and of forest ecosystems after fires as similar evolutionary processes can be overcome in this framework. In generalizing Dawkins’s “selfish gene” perspective, Hull defined natural selection as “a process in which the differential extinction and proliferation of interactors causes the differential perpetuation of the replicators that produced them”. Although genes and bacteria (...) are simultaneously both replicators and interactors, communities and ecosystems are generally only interactors. As reproducers, members of sexual species are intermediate. Within such species, organisms are indeed the interactors whose “differential extinction and proliferation” causes the “differential perpetuation” of replicators. But sexually-reproducing organisms do not individually replicate, persist, or recur as interactors, and in consequence it is only those genes causing an interactor differential that are specifically perpetuated in the long run. Higher-level interactors may seldom if ever reproduce, but their recurrence does enable the “differential perpetuation” of replicators specifically responsible for their “differential extinction and proliferation”. In offering answers to the question “What are the replicators specifically responsible for the differential extinction and proliferation of such higher-level entities?” we hope to unify adaptive regeneration across scales, from organisms to ecosystems. (shrink)
Long-term ecological research (LTER), addressing problems that encompass decadal or longer time frames, began as a formal term and program in the United States in 1980. While long-term ecological studies and observation began as early as the 1400s and 1800s in Asia and Europe, respectively, the long-term approach was not formalized until the establishment of the U.S. long-term ecological research programs. These programs permitted ecosystem-level experiments and cross-site comparisons that led to insights into the biosphere’s structure and function. The holistic (...) ecosystem approach of this initiative also allowed the incorporation of the human-dimension of ecology and recently has given rise to a new concept of long-term socio-ecological research (LTSER). Today, long-term ecological research programs exist in at least thirty-two countries (i.e., members of the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network, ILTER). However, consolidation of the international network within the long-term socio-ecological research paradigm still requires: (1) inclusion of certain remote regions of the world, such as southwestern South America, that are still poorly represented; (2) modifications of the type of research conducted, such as integrating social and natural sciences with the humanities and ethics; and (3) the incorporation of findings and results into broader social and political processes. In this context, a nascent long-term socio-ecological research network in Chile, which extends over the longest latitudinal range of temperate forest in the Southern Hemisphere, adds a new remote region to international long-term ecological research previously overlooked. In addition, collaboration with the University of North Texas and other international partners helps to further develop an interdisciplinary approach for the integration of the ecological sciences and environmental philosophy together with traditional ecological knowledge, informal and formal education, policy, the humanities, socio-political processes, and biocultural conservation. (shrink)
Long-term ecological research, addressing problems that encompass decadal or longer time frames, began as a formal term and program in the United States in 1980. While long-term ecological studies and observation began as early as the 1400s and 1800s in Asia and Europe, respectively, the long-term approach was not formalized until the establishment of the U.S. long-term ecological research programs. These programs permitted ecosystem-level experiments and cross-site comparisons that led to insights into the biosphere’s structure and function. The holistic ecosystem (...) approach of this initiative also allowed the incorporation of the human-dimension of ecology and recently has given rise to a new concept of long-term socio-ecological research. Today, long-term ecological research programs exist in at least thirty-two countries. However, consolidation of the international network within the long-term socio-ecological research paradigm still requires: inclusion of certain remote regions of the world, such as southwestern South America, that are still poorly represented; modifications of the type of research conducted, such as integrating social and natural sciences with the humanities and ethics; and the incorporation of findings and results into broader social and political processes. In this context, a nascent long-term socio-ecological research network in Chile, which extends over the longest latitudinal range of temperate forest in the Southern Hemisphere, adds a new remote region to international long-term ecological research previously overlooked. In addition, collaboration with the University of North Texas and other international partners helps to further develop an interdisciplinary approach for the integration of the ecological sciences and environmental philosophy together with traditional ecological knowledge, informal and formal education, policy, the humanities, socio-political processes, and biocultural conservation. (shrink)
In this fascinating, accessible book, anthropologist Christopher Boehm, Professor at the University of Southern California and author of Hierarchy in the Forest (Harvard University Press, 1999) makes an important contribution to the growing body of scientific literature on the evolution of morality. Attempting to answer one of Darwin's chief problems -- i.e. an account, consistent with natural selection, of how altruistic genes were selected -- Boehm paints a Darwinistic yet historically and ethnographically informed picture of how we became the moral (...) animals we have been for at least 45,000 years, and perhaps five times as many. (shrink)
The DSM-III, DSM-IV, DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 have judiciously minimized discussion of etiologies to distance clinical psychiatry from Freudian psychoanalysis. With this goal mostly achieved, discussion of etiological factors should be reintroduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. A research agenda for the DSM-V advocated the "development of a pathophysiologically based classification system". The author critically reviews the neuroevolutionary literature on stress-induced and fear circuitry disorders and related amygdala-driven, species-atypical fear behaviors of clinical severity in adult (...) humans. Over 30 empirically testable/falsifiable predictions are presented. It is noted that in DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10, the classification of stress and fear circuitry disorders is neither mode-of-acquisition-based nor brain-evolution-based. For example, snake phobia and dog phobia are clustered together. Similarly, research on blood-injection-injury-type-specific phobia clusters two fears different in their innateness: 1) an arguably ontogenetic memory-trace-overconsolidation-based fear and 2) a hardwired fear of the sight of one's blood or a sharp object penetrating one's skin. Genetic architecture-charting of fear-circuitry-related traits has been challenging. Various, non-phenotype-based architectures can serve as targets for research. In this article, the author will propose one such alternative genetic architecture. This article was inspired by the following: A) Nesse's "Smoke-Detector Principle", B) the increasing suspicion that the "smooth" rather than "lumpy" distribution of complex psychiatric phenotypes may in some cases be accounted for by oligogenic transmission, and C) insights from the initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome by the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium published in late 2005. Neuroevolutionary insights relevant to fear circuitry symptoms that primarily emerge overconsolidationally are presented. Also introduced is a human-evolution-based principle for clustering innate fear traits. The "Neuroevolutionary Time-depth Principle" of innate fears proposed in this article may be useful in the development of a neuroevolution-based taxonomic re-clustering of stress-triggered and fear-circuitry disorders in DSM-V. Four broad clusters of evolved fear circuits are proposed based on their time-depths: 1) Mesozoic circuits hardwired by wild-type alleles driven to fixation by Mesozoic selective sweeps; 2) Cenozoic circuits relevant to many specific phobias; 3) mid Paleolithic and upper Paleolithic circuits ; 4) Neolithic circuits. More importantly, the author presents evolutionary perspectives on warzone-related PTSD, Combat-Stress Reaction, Combat-related Stress, Operational-Stress, and other deployment-stress-induced symptoms. The Neuroevolutionary Time-depth Principle presented in this article may help explain the dissimilar stress-resilience levels following different types of acute threat to survival of oneself or one's progency. PTSD rates following exposure to lethal inter-group violence are usually 5-10 times higher than rates following large-scale natural disasters such as forest fires, floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. The author predicts that both intentionally-caused large-scale bioevent-disasters, as well as natural bioevents such as SARS and avian flu pandemics will be an exception and are likely to be followed by PTSD rates approaching those that follow warzone exposure. During bioevents, Amygdala-driven and locus-coeruleus-driven epidemic pseudosomatic symptoms may be an order of magnitude more common than infection-caused cytokine-driven symptoms. Implications for the red cross and FEMA are discussed. It is also argued that hospital phobia as well as dog phobia, bird phobia and bat phobia require re-taxonomization in DSM-V in a new "overconsolidational disorders" category anchored around PTSD. The overconsolidational spectrum category may be conceptualized as straddling the fear circuitry spectrum disorders and the affective spectrum disorders categories, and may be a category for which Pitman's secondary prevention propranolol regimen may be specifically indicated as a "morning after pill" intervention. Predictions are presented regarding obsessive-compulsive disorder and "culture-bound" acute anxiety symptoms. Also discussed are insights relevant to pseudoneurological symptoms and to the forthcoming Dissociative-Conversive disorders category in DSM-V, including what the author terms fright-triggered acute pseudo-localized symptoms. Speculations based on studies of the human abnormal-spindle-like, microcephaly-associated gene, the microcephaly primary autosomal recessive gene, and the forkhead box p2 gene are made and incorporated into what is termed "The pre-FOXP2 Hypothesis of Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia." Finally, the author argues for a non-reductionistic fusion of "distal neurobiology" with clinical "proximal neurobiology," utilizing neurological heuristics. It is noted that the value of re-clustering fear traits based on behavioral ethology, human-phylogenomics-derived endophenotypes and on ontogenomics can be confirmed or disconfirmed using epidemiological or twin studies and psychiatric genomics. (shrink)
This anthology collects some of the most important papers on what is believed to be the major force in evolution, natural selection. An issue of great consequence in the philosophy of biology concerns the levels at which, and the units upon which selection acts. In recent years, biologists and philosophers have published a large number of papers bearing on this subject. The papers selected for inclusion in this book are divided into three main sections covering the history of the subject, (...) explaining its conceptual foundations, and focusing on kin and group selection and higher levels of selection.One of the book's interesting features is that it draws together material from the biological and philosophical literatures. The philosophical literature, having thoroughly absorbed the biological material, now offers conceptual tools suitable for the reworking of the biological arguments. Although a full symbiosis has yet to develop, this anthology offers a unique resource for students in both biology and philosophy.Robert N. Brandon is Professor in the Philosophy Department, Duke University. Richard M. Burian is Professor of Philosophy and Department Chairman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.A Bradford Book. (shrink)
In this retitled and revised version of Harris's original text Wonderwoman and Superman, the author discusses the ethics of human biotechnology and its implications relative to human evolution and destiny.
This paper's aim is threefold. First, I wish to show that there is an analogy in section nine that arises out of the interaction of the interlocutors; this analogy is, or has, a certain comic adequatic to the traditional arguments about proofs for the existence of God. Second, Philo's seemingly inconsequential example of the strange necessity of products of 9 in section nine is a perfected analogy of the broken arguments actually given in that section, destroying Philo's earlier arguments. Finally, (...) I raise the question of the designer's intent in creating such a humourous piece. (shrink)
This study examined the relationship between the individual difference variables of personal moral philosophy, locus of control, Machiavellianism, and just world beliefs and ethical judgments and behavioral intentions. A sample of 602 marketing practitioners participated in the study. Structural equation modeling was used to test hypothesized relationships. The results either fully or partially supported hypothesized direct effects for idealism, relativism, and Machiavellianism. Findings also suggested that Machiavellianism mediated the relationship between individual difference variables and ethical judgments/behavioral intentions.
Jurgen Habermas's critical communications theory of society has excited widespread interest in recent years. The essays in this book explore the research implications of Habermas's theory for the analysis of modern problems of public life.
Acknowledgments 1. Culture Is Essential 2. Culture Exists 3. Culture Evolves 4. Culture Is an Adaptation 5. Culture Is Maladaptive 6. Culture and Genes Coevolve 7. Nothing about Culture Makes Sense except in the Light of Evolution.
Genes and the Agents of Life undertakes to rethink the place of the individual in the biological sciences, drawing parallels with the cognitive and social sciences. Genes, organisms, and species are all agents of life but how are each of these conceptualized within genetics, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, and systematics? The 2005 book includes highly accessible discussions of genetic encoding, species and natural kinds, and pluralism above the levels of selection, drawing on work from across the biological sciences. The book (...) is a companion to the author's Boundaries of the Mind (2004), also available from Cambridge, where the focus is the cognitive sciences. The book will appeal to a broad range of professionals and students in philosophy, biology, and the history of science. You can download the table of contents and the first chapter here. (shrink)
We outline three very different concepts of the gene—instrumental, nominal, and postgenomic. The instrumental gene has a critical role in the construction and interpretation of experiments in which the relationship between genotype and phenotype is explored via hybridization between organisms or directly between nucleic acid molecules. It also plays an important theoretical role in the foundations of disciplines such as quantitative genetics and population genetics. The nominal gene is a critical practical tool, allowing stable communication between bioscientists (...) in a wide range of fields grounded in well-defined sequences of nucleotides, but this concept does not embody major theoretical insights into genome structure or function. The post-genomic gene embodies the continuing project of understanding how genome structure supports genome function, but with a deflationary picture of the gene as a structural unit. This final concept of the gene poses a significant challenge to conventional assumptions about the relationship between genome structure and function, and between genotype and phenotype. (shrink)
Environments are increasingly becoming technologized sites of data production. From smart cities to smart forests, digital networks are analyzing and joining up environmental processes. This commentary focuses on one such understudied smart environment, smart forests, as emerging digital infrastructures that are materializing to manage and mitigate environmental change. How does the digitalization of forests not only change understandings of these environments but also generate different practices and ontologies for addressing environmental change? I first analyze smart forests within the expanding area (...) of smart environments, and then discuss five digital practices that characterize smart forests. Based on this analysis, I suggest that forests are not only becoming highly digital environments but also that forests are transforming into technologies for managing environmental change. Smart forest interventions therefore expand the scope of what could count as a technology, especially in the context of data-oriented planetary governance. (shrink)
Some suggest that gene editing human embryos to prevent genetic disorders will be in one respect morally preferable to using genetic selection for the same purpose: gene editing will benefit particular future persons, while genetic selection would merely replace them. We first construct the most plausible defence of this suggestion—the benefit argument—and defend it against a possible objection. We then advance another objection: the benefit argument succeeds only when restricted to cases in which the gene-edited child would (...) have been brought into existence even if gene editing had not been employed. Our argument relies on a standard account of comparative benefit which has recently been criticised on the grounds that it succumbs to the so-called ‘pre-emption problem’. We end by considering how our argument would be affected were the standard account revised in an attempt to evade this problem. We consider three revised accounts and argue that, on all three, our critique of the benefit argument stands. (shrink)
Systems of private regulation based on certification have recently emerged to address environmental issues in the forest products industry and labor issues in the apparel industry. To explain why the same regulatory form has emerged across these fields, the author uses a historical and comparative case study approach, closely examining early moments and paying attention to “roads not taken.” Two types of factors led to the initial emergence of private certification: social movement campaigns targeting companies and a neo-liberal institutional context. (...) The analysis shows specific ways in which these factors led states, nongovernmental organizations, and companies to build or support certification associations. (shrink)
This paper investigates what molecular biology has done for our understanding of the gene. I base a new account of the gene concept of classical genetics on the classical dogma that gene differences cause phenotypic differences. Although contemporary biologists often think of genes in terms of this concept, molecular biology provides a second way to understand genes. I clarify this second way by articulating a molecular gene concept. This concept unifies our understanding of the molecular basis (...) of a wide variety of phenomena, including the phenomena that classical genetics explains in terms of gene differences causing phenotypic differences. (shrink)
A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene (...) flow that are central to the view we discuss. We conclude by tracing four broader implications for the study and conceptualization of species. (shrink)
Genes cannot be selfish or unselfish, any more than atoms can be jealous, elephants abstract or biscuits teleological. This should not need mentioning, but Richard Dawkins's book The Selfish Gene has succeeded in confusing a number of people about it, including Mr J. L. Mackie. What Mackie welcomes in Dawkins is a new, biological-looking kind of support for philosophic egoism. If this support came from Dawkins's producing important new facts, or good new interpretations of old facts, about animal life, (...) this could be very interesting. Dawkins, however, simply has a weakness for the old game of Brocken-spectre moralizing—the one where the player strikes attitudes on a peak at sunrise, gazes awe-struck at his gigantic shadow on the clouds, and reports his observations as cosmic truths. He is an uncritical philosophic egoist in the first place, and merely feeds the egoist assumption into his a priori biological speculations, only rarely glancing at the relevant facts of animal behaviour and genetics, and ignoring their failure to support him. There is nothing empirical about Dawkins. Critics have repeatedly pointed out that his notions of genetics are unworkable. I shall come to this point later, but I shall not begin with it, because, damning though it is, it may seem to some people irrelevant to his main contention. It is natural for a reader to suppose that his over-simplified drama about genes is just a convenient stylistic device, because it seems obvious that the personification of them must be just a metaphor. Indeed he himself sometimes says that it is so. But in fact this personification, in its literal sense, is essential for his whole contention; without it he is bankrupt. His central point is that the emotional nature of man is exclusively self-interested, and he argues this by claiming that all emotional nature is so. Since the emotional nature of animals clearly is not exclusively selfinterested, nor based on any long-term calculation at all, he resorts to arguing from speculations about the emotional nature of genes, which he treats as the source and archetype of all emotional nature. This strange convoluted drama must be untwisted before the full force of the objections from genetics can be understood. (shrink)
Gene therapy and gene editing are revolutionising the treatment of genetic diseases, most notably haematological disorders. This paper evaluates the use of both techniques in hereditary blood disorders. Many studies have been conducted in this field, especially with gene therapy, with very promising results in diseases such as haemophilia, certain haemoglobinopathies and Fanconi anaemia. The application of these techniques in clinical practice and the foreseeable development of these approaches in the coming years suggest that it might be (...) useful to evaluate the results achieved thus far. It is also essential to reflect on the possible bioethical concerns raised by the use of both techniques, especially in terms of safety issues for patients, potential side effects, treatment duration, accessibility and cost of treatment, and the heritability of genetic changes produced if germline cells are used. (shrink)
This volume centers on debates about how far moral judgments bind across traditions and epochs. Nowadays such debates appear especially volatile, both in popular culture and intellectual discourse: although there is increasing agreement that the moral and political criteria invoked in human rights documents possess cross-cultural force, many modern and postmodern developments erode confidence in moral appeals that go beyond a local consensus or apply outside a particular community. Often the point of departure for discussion is the Enlightenment paradigm of (...) a common morality, in which it is assumed that certain unchanging beliefs inhere in the structure of human reason. Whereas some thinkers continue to defend this paradigm, others modify it in diverse ways without abandoning entirely the attempt to address a universal audience, and still others jettison virtually all of its distinguishing features. Exhibiting a range of positions Western participants take in these debates, this volume seeks to advance the substance of the debates themselves without prejudging the outcome. Rival assessments of the Enlightenment paradigm are offered from various philosophical and theological points of view. In addition to the editors, the contributors include Robert Merrihew Adams, Annette C. Baier, Alan Donagan, Margaret A. Farley, Alan Gewirth, David Little, Richard Rorty, Jeffrey Stout, and Lee H. Yearley. (shrink)
Cooperation is rife in the microbial world, yet our best current theories of the evolution of cooperation were developed with multicellular animals in mind. Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness is an important case in point: applying the theory in a microbial setting is far from straightforward, as social evolution in microbes has a number of distinctive features that the theory was never intended to capture. In this article, I focus on the conceptual challenges posed by the project of extending Hamilton’s (...) theory to accommodate the effects of gene mobility. I begin by outlining the basics of the theory of inclusive fitness, emphasizing the role that the concept of relatedness is intended to play. I then provide a brief history of this concept, showing how, over the past fifty years, it has departed from the intuitive notion of genealogical kinship to encompass a range of generalized measures of genetic similarity. I proceed to argue that gene mobility forces a further revision of the concept. The reason in short is that, when the genes implicated in producing social behaviour are mobile, we cannot talk of an organism’s genotype simpliciter; we can talk only of an organism’s genotype at a particular stage in its life cycle. We must therefore ask: with respect to which stage(s) in the life cycle should relatedness be evaluated? For instance: is it genetic similarity at the time of social interaction that matters to the evolution of social behaviour, or is it genetic similarity at the time of reproduction? I argue that, strictly speaking, it is neither of these: what really matters to the evolution of social behaviour is diachronic genetic similarity between the producers of fitness benefits at the time they produce them and the recipients of those benefits at the end of their life-cycle. I close by discussing the implications of this result. The main payoff is that it makes room for a possible new mechanism for the evolution of altruism in microbes that does not require correlated interaction among bearers of the genes for altruism. The importance of this mechanism in nature remains an open empirical question. (shrink)
Viruses are major drivers of global biogeochemistry and the etiological agents of many diseases. They are also the winners in the game of life: there are more viruses on the planet than cellular organisms and they encode most of the genetic diversity on the planet. In fact, it is reasonable to view life as a viral incubator. Nevertheless, most ecological and evolutionary theories were developed, and continue to be developed, without considering the virosphere. This means these theories need to be (...) to reinterpreted in light of viral knowledge or we need to develop new theory from the viral point-of-view. Here we briefly introduce our viral planet and then address a major outstanding question in biology: why is most of life viral? A key insight is that during an infection cycle the original virus is completely broken down and only the associated information is passed on to the next generation. This is different for cellular organisms, which must pass on some physical part of themselves from generation to generation. Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer’s principle) are observed in natural viral populations. This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature). Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles. (shrink)
This study is the most comprehensive account to date of modern treatments of the love commandment. Gene Outka examines the literature on _agape_ from Nygren’s _Agape and Eros_ in 1930. Both Roman Catholic and Protestant writings are considered, including those of D’Arcy, Niebuhr, Ramsey, Tillich, and above all, Karl Barth. The first seven chapters focus on the principal treatments in the theological literature as they relate to major topics in ethical theory. The last chapter explores further the basic normative (...) content of _agape_ and discusses some of the most characteristic problems. “The book is in my judgment the best recent work in religious ethics. Outka brings together analytic moral philosophy and theological ethics, providing a masterly survey of views and issues arising in the past forty years.... I can think of few books of interest to scholars in both philosophy and theology, but Outka’s is one. Unlike some scholars who are at home in continental theology, Outka is also at home in secular analytic philosophy; he brings them together in a mutually illuminating way.”—Donald Evans “Outka has mastered this vast literature on love, and has brought a critical and clarifying analysis to bear upon it. This is a most important book on a most important subject, and brings the whole discussion into a new phase.”—John Macquarrie “The first thing to be said about Outka’s book quite simply is that it is excellent; in fact, it is probably the very best available book about contemporary Christian ethical theory.”—_The Humanities Association Review_. (shrink)
This experimental study evaluated the influence of stated organizational concern for ethical conduct upon managerial behavior. Using an in-basket to house the manipulation, a sample of 113 MBA students with some managerial experience reacted to scenarios suggesting illegal conduct and others suggesting only unethical behavior. Stated organizational concern for ethical conduct was varied from none (control group) to several other situations which included a high treatment consisting of a Code of Ethics, an endorsement letter by the CEO and specific sanctions (...) for managerial misconduct. Only in the case of suggested illegal behavior tempered by high organizational concern were managers influenced by organizational policy to modify the morality of their actions. However, the responses to the illegal scenarios were significantly more ethical than the reactions given to the unethical (but not illegal) situations. The implications of these findings are then discussed. (shrink)
Many arguments have been made against gene editing. This paper addresses the commonly invoked argument that gene editing violates human dignity and is ultimately a subversion of human nature. There are several drawbacks to this argument. Above all, the concept of what human dignity means is unclear. It is not possible to condemn a practice that violates human dignity if we do not know exactly what is being violated. The argument’s entire reasoning is thus undermined. Analyses of the (...) arguments involved in this discussion have often led to the conclusion that gene editing contravenes the principle of genetic identity thereby subverting a requisite of human dignity and ultimately threatening human nature. This paper refutes these arguments and shows that any opposition to gene editing cannot rely on the human dignity argument. (shrink)
Definitions of the term gene typically superimpose molecular genetics onto Mendelism. What emerges are persistent attempts to regard the gene as a unit of structure and/or function, language that creates multiple meanings for the term and fails to acknowledge the diversity of gene architecture. I argue that coherence at the molecular level requires abandonment of the classical unit concept and recognition that a gene is constructed from an assemblage of domains. Hence, a domain set (1) conforms (...) more closely to empirical evidence for genetic organization of DNA regions capable of transcription and (2) has ontological properties lacking in the traditional unit definition. (shrink)
This paper begins by examining several potentially unethical recent marketing practices. Since most marketing managers face ethical dilemmas during their careers, it is essential to study the moral consequences of these decisions. A typology of ways that managers might confront ethical issues is proposed. The significant organizational, personal and societal costs emanting from unethical behavior are also discussed. Both relatively simple frameworks and more comprehensive models for evaluating ethical decisions in marketing are summarized. Finally, the fact that organizational commitment to (...) fostering ethical marketing decisions can be accomplished by top management leadership, codes of ethics, ethics seminars/programs and ethical audits is examined. (shrink)
The question of the influence of genes on behavior raises difficult philosophical and social issues. In this paper I delineate what I call the Developmentalist Challenge (DC) to assertions of genetic influence on behavior, and then examine the DC through an indepth analysis of the behavioral genetics of the nematode, C. elegans, with some briefer references to work on Drosophila. I argue that eight "rules" relating genes and behavior through environmentally-influenced and tangled neural nets capture the results of developmental and (...) behavioral studies on the nematode. Some elements of the DC are found to be sound and others are criticized. The essay concludes by examining the relations of this study to Kitcher's antireductionist arguments and Bechtel and Richardson's decomposition and localization heuristics. Some implications for human behavioral genetics are also briefly considered. (shrink)
In recent years, new forms of transnational regulation have emerged, filling the void created by the failure of governments and international institutions to effectively regulate transnational corporations. Among the variety of initiatives addressing social and environmental problems, a growing number of certification systems have appeared in various sectors, particularly agrifood. Most initiatives rely on independent third-party certification to verify compliance with a standard, as it is seen as the most credible route for certification. The effects of third-party audits, however, still (...) need to be empirically investigated. This article provides a critical assessment of the notion of ‘evidence’ which is at the heart of auditing practices. It focuses on the case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and fieldwork carried out in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil. In this country, some non-governmental organizations decided to participate in the RSPO in order to use this platform to tackle the issue of land conflicts. They managed to include important clauses regarding indigenous and land rights in the RSPO standard. In practice, however, auditors rarely recognize as valid evidence the forms of proof put forward by local communities. As a result, the whole process risks compounding local power imbalances. (shrink)
The historian Raphael Falk has described the gene as a ‘concept in tension’ (Falk 2000) – an idea pulled this way and that by the differing demands of different kinds of biological work. Several authors have suggested that in the light of contemporary molecular biology ‘gene’ is no more than a handy term which acquires a specific meaning only in a specific scientific context in which it occurs. Hence the best way to answer the question ‘what is a (...)gene’, and the only way to provide a truly philosophical answer to that question is to outline the diversity of conceptions of the gene and the reasons for this diversity. In this essay we draw on the extensive literature in the history of biology to explain how the concept has changed over time in response to the changing demands of the biosciences . Finally, we outline some of the conceptions of the gene current today. The seeds of change are implicit in many of those current conceptions and the future of the gene concept looks set to be at as turbulent as the past. (shrink)
In the last few years, the lack of a unitary notion of gene across biological sciences has troubled the philosophy of biology community. However, the debate on this concept has remained largely historical or focused on particular cases presented by the scientific empirical advancements. Moreover, in the literature there are no explicit and reasonable arguments about why a philosophical clarification of the concept of gene is needed. In our paper, we claim that a philosophical clarification of the concept (...) of gene does not contribute to biology. Unlike the question, for example, “What is a biological function?”, we argue that the question “What is a gene?” could be answered by means of empirical research, in the sense that biologists' labour is enough to shed light on it. (shrink)
In this book, author Gene Fendt shows how Plato's Republic provides a liturgical purification for the political and psychic delusions of democratic readers, even as Socrates provides the same for his interlocutors at the festival of Bendis. Each of the several characters is analyzed in accord with Book Eight's 6 geometrically possible kinds of character showing how their answers and failures in the dialogue exhibit the particular kind of movement and blindness predictable for the type.
Fragile kingdoms of innumerable organisms and rich beauty, forests today are both our most plentiful and our most endangered natural resource. Understanding their workings and how to sustain them is imperative to ensuring the future of humanity. John Berger urges us to learn what can be done to preserve these treasures, and he offers here a compelling guide to the complex issues surrounding forest preservation. An expanded and revised version of Berger’s bestselling Understanding Forests, Forests Forever offers a clear and (...) readable survey of forest history and management. Berger draws upon diverse sources in law, ecology, economics, politics, and anthropology to argue that ecology, rather than the marketplace, should be the driving force behind forest management. Historical case studies of forests worldwide support this contention, the book reveals, as does the history of governments’ forest policy. Keeping pace with today’s issues, Berger critically evaluates government policy over the last seven years, including a contrast between the destructive policies of the Bush Administration and model programs instituted by the Canadian Boreal Initiative and others. Ultimately, he offers us the guiding principles of sustainable forestry as an answer to the ever-increasing demand for wood products. Anchoring the account are galleries of breathtaking full-color images of trees, forest, wildlife, and other forestry subjects taken by the world’s leading nature photographers. A concise and wholly readable account, Forests Forever issues a call to arms for all those concerned with preserving and managing the world’s forests today. (shrink)
Nanay (2015; 2016) revives manner or attitude accounts of aesthetic experience. While manner-based accounts are promising, Nanay's claim that certain kinds of aesthetic experiences require attention to be focused on one object, but distributed across many properties of that object, that 'aesthetic attention' is necessary for 'Proustian experience', is false. Attention to objects of aesthetic experience frequently involves attention to intra-objects, objects that are proper perceptual parts of the attended objects.
Do forest owners’ levels of education or value profiles explain their responses to climate change? The cultural cognition thesis has cast serious doubt on the familiar and often criticized "knowledge deficit" model, which says that laypeople are less concerned about climate change because they lack scientific knowledge. Advocates of CCT maintain that citizens with the highest degrees of scientific literacy and numeracy are not the most concerned about climate change. Rather, this is the group in which cultural polarization is greatest, (...) and thus individuals with more limited scientific literacy and numeracy are more concerned about climate change under certain circumstances than those with higher scientific literacy and numeracy. The CCT predicts that cultural and other values will trump the positive effects of education on some forest owners' attitudes to climate change. Here, using survey data collected in 2010 from 766 private forest owners in Sweden and Germany, we provide the first evidence that perceptions of climate change risk are uncorrelated with, or sometimes positively correlated with, education level and can be explained without reference to cultural or other values. We conclude that the recent claim that advanced scientific literacy and numeracy polarizes perceptions of climate change risk is unsupported by the forest owner data. In neither of the two countries was university education found to reduce the perception of risk from climate change. Indeed in most cases university education increased the perception of risk. Even more importantly, the effect of university education was not dependent on the individuals' value profile. (shrink)
The linear sequence specification of a gene product is not provided by the target DNA sequence alone but by the mechanisms of gene expressions. The main actors of these mechanisms, proteins and functional RNAs, relay environmental information to the genome with important consequences to sequence selection and processing. This `postgenomic' reality has implications for our understandings of development not as predetermined by genes but as an epigenetic process. Critics of genetic determinism have long argued that the activity of (...) `genes' and hence their contribution to the phenotype depends on intra- and extraorganismal `environmental' elements. As will be shown here, even the mere physical existence of a `gene' is dependent on its phenotypic context. (shrink)
We attempt to improve the understanding of the notion of agene being `for a phenotypic trait or traits. Considering theimplicit functional ascription of one thing being `for another,we submit a more restrictive version of `gene for talk.Accordingly, genes are only to be thought of as being forphenotypic traits when good evidence is available that thepresence or prevalence of the gene in a population is the resultof natural selection on that particular trait, and that theassociation between that trait and (...) the gene in question isdemonstrably causal. It is therefore necessary to gatherstatistical, biochemical, historical, as well as ecologicalinformation before properly claiming that a gene is for aphenotypic trait. Instead of hampering practical use of the `genefor talk, our approach aims at stimulating much needed researchinto the functional ecology and comparative evolutionary biologyof gene action. (shrink)
Quantitative genetics (QG) analyses variation in traits of humans, other animals, or plants in ways that take account of the genealogical relatedness of the individuals whose traits are observed. “Classical” QG, where the analysis of variation does not involve data on measurable genetic or environmental entities or factors, is reformulated in this article using models that are free of hypothetical, idealized versions of such factors, while still allowing for defined degrees of relatedness among kinds of individuals or “varieties.” The (...) class='Hi'>gene - free formulation encompasses situations encountered in human QG as well as in agricultural QG. This formulation is used to describe three standard assumptions involved in classical QG and provide plausible alternatives. Several concerns about the partitioning of trait variation into components and its interpretation, most of which have a long history of debate, are discussed in light of the gene-free formulation and alternative assumptions. That discussion is at a theoretical level, not dependent on empirical data in any particular situation. Additional lines of work to put the gene-free formulation and alternative assumptions into practice and to assess their empirical consequences are noted, but lie beyond the scope of this article. The three standard QG assumptions examined are: (1) partitioning of trait variation into components requires models of hypothetical, idealized genes with simple Mendelian inheritance and direct contributions to the trait; (2) all other things being equal, similarity in traits for relatives is proportional to the fraction shared by the relatives of all the genes that vary in the population (e.g., fraternal or dizygotic twins share half of the variable genes that identical or monozygotic twins share); (3) in analyses of human data, genotype-environment interaction variance (in the classical QG sense) can be discounted. The concerns about the partitioning of trait variation discussed include: the distinction between traits and underlying measurable factors; the possible heterogeneity in factors underlying the development of a trait; the kinds of data needed to estimate key empirical parameters; and interpretations based on contributions of hypothetical genes; as well as, in human studies, the labeling of residual variance as a non-shared environmental effect; and the importance of estimating interaction variance. (shrink)