We test people's ability to optimize performance across two concurrent tasks. Participants performed a number entry task while controlling a randomly moving cursor with a joystick. Participants received explicit feedback on their performance on these tasks in the form of a single combined score. This payoff function was varied between conditions to change the value of one task relative to the other. We found that participants adapted their strategy for interleaving the two tasks, by varying how long they spent on (...) one task before switching to the other, in order to achieve the near maximum payoff available in each condition. In a second experiment, we show that this behavior is learned quickly and remained stable for as long as the payoff function did not change. The results of this work show that people are adaptive and flexible in how they prioritize and allocate attention in a dual-task setting. However, it also demonstrates some of the limits regarding people's ability to optimize payoff functions. (shrink)
George Yancy's Backlash is a book about American racism. It is the story of what often happens when blacks dare to challenge whiteness on its hubris, or on its appallingly obvious hypocrisy. It is the story of the anger and violence that often arises in the white American in the aftermath of such a challenge, generating in him or her a need to humiliate and destroy the source of the diminished (and fragile) white sense of self. Racism is not (...) personal, Backlash evidences. It is a manifestation of a deeply racist society. Backlash succeeds as a powerful phenomenological account of what racism (still) looks (and feels) like in The Land of the Free. (shrink)
The industrialization of agriculture not only alters the ways in which agricultural production occurs, but it also impacts the decisions farmers make in important ways. First, constraints created by the economic environment of farming limit what options a farmer has available to him. Second, because of the industrialization of agriculture and the resulting economic pressures it creates for farmers, the fact that decisions are constrained creates new ethical challenges for farmers. Having fewer options when faced with severe economic pressures (...) is a very different situation for farmers than having many options available. We discuss the implications of constrained choice and show that it increases the likelihood that farmers will consider unethical behavior. (shrink)
All farmers have their own version of what it means to be a good farmer. For many US farmers a large portion of their identity is defined by the high input, high output production systems they manage to produce food, fiber or fuel. However, the unintended consequences of highly productivist systems are often increased soil erosion and the pollution of ground and surface water. A large number of farmers have conservationist identities within their good farmer identity, however their (...) conservation goals often need to be activated to rebalance the production-conservation meanings they give to their roles in society. In this paper we analyze US Cornbelt farmer interviews and surveys to trace how the performance-based environmental management process can be used to influence the farmer social identity and shift the overall good farmer identity towards a stronger conservationist standard. We find the continuous feedback loop in performance-based environmental management mimics the hierarchically organized feedback control processes of identity verification and can be used to help farmers activate their conservationist farmer identities at the person, role, and social levels to establish new norms for the practice of more sustainable agriculture. (shrink)
Tradução para o português do verbete "George Berkeley, de Michael Ayers, retirado de "A Companion to Epistemology", ed. Jonathan Dancy e Ernest Sosa (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), pp. 261–264. Criticanarede. ISSN 1749-8457.
En su Tratado sobre los principios del conocimiento humano, George Berkeley ofrece una serie de argumentos cuyo objetivo es criticar la tesis materialista. Mi propósito en este artículo es reconstruir y analizar en detalle estos argumentos. Dado que la crítica de Berkeley al materialismo es, fundamentalmente, una crítica al materialismo representacionalista de John Locke, empezaré este artículo explicando cuáles son las ideas básicas de la propuesta de Locke.
Although arguments are a good way of exploring the limitations and complexities of a concept or a theory we may find ourselves faced with a real phenomenon that challenges the existing formulations of a concept or a theory so strongly and reveals its limitations to us so starkly that we are forced to break away from the current discussion and start anew. Such is the challenge posed by the phenomenon of farmer suicides on our existing theories of corporate social (...) responsibility. Contemporary discussions in corporate ethics are replete with many theories of corporate social responsibility which in one way or the other rely on the concept of the social contract. For the most part these theories have gone unchallenged and no fundamental limitations have been revealed. However, the phenomenon of farmer suicides in central India poses a serious challenge to them. This article attempts to show how the phenomenon of farmer suicides in central India starkly exposes some of the fundamental limitations of the contractarian formulations of corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
2006. George Boole. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2nd edition. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. -/- George Boole (1815-1864), whose name lives among modern computer-related sciences in Boolean Algebra, Boolean Logic, Boolean Operations, and the like, is one of the most celebrated logicians of all time. Ironically, his actual writings often go unread and his actual contributions to logic are virtually unknown—despite the fact that he was one of the clearest writers in the field. Working with various students including Susan Wood (...) and Sriram Nambiar, I have written several publications trying to set the record straight—but so far to little avail. This encyclopedia entry is one more attempt to set the record straight in a way that can be appreciated by non-experts.Also see https://www.academia.edu/10161999/Booles_criteria_of_validity_and_invalidity . (shrink)
George H. Mead and Alfred Schutz proposed foundations for an interpretative sociology from opposite standpoints. Mead accepted the objective meaning structure a priori. His problem became therefore the explanation of the individuality and creativity of human actors in his social behavioristic approach. In contrast, Schutz started from the subjective consciousness of an isolated actor as a result of a phenomenological reduction. He was concerned with the problem of explaining the possibility of this isolated actor’s perceiving other actors in their (...) existence, their concreteness, and the motives for their behavior. I treat these two approaches and their associated problems as equally relevant. My evaluation is based on their success in solving their specific problems. The aim is to decide which of the two approaches provides the more adequate foundation for an interpretative sociology. (shrink)
Most philosophers have given up George Berkeley’s proof for the existence of God as a lost cause, for in it, Berkeley seems to conclude more than he actually shows. I defend the proof by showing that its conclusion is not the thesis that an infinite and perfect God exists, but rather the much weaker thesis that a very powerful God exists and that this God’s agency is pervasive in nature. This interpretation, I argue, is consistent with the texts. It (...) is also an important component of Berkeley’s philosophical project, which consists of launching many small arguments against his philosophical and theological opponents. (shrink)
This paper explores how knowledge is exchanged between agricultural advisors and farmers in the context of sustainable farming practices in England. Specifically the paper examines the nature of the knowledge exchange at the encounters between one group of advisors, agronomists, and farmers. The promotion of best management practices, which are central to the implementation of sustainable agricultural policies in England, provide the empirical context for this study. The paper uses the notion of expert and facilitative approaches as a conceptual framework (...) for analyzing knowledge exchange encounters between agronomists and farmers. Data were derived from semi-structured interviews with 31 agronomists and 17 farmers, in the context of three initiatives promoting a range of best management practices including (a) targeted use of nitrogen (N), (b) use of nutrients within manure, and (c) management practices to improve soil structure. The interviews revealed that, although many agronomist–farmer knowledge exchange encounters are characterized by an imbalance of power, distrust, and the divergence of knowledge, other encounters provide a platform for the facilitation of farmer learning in their transition to more sustainable practices. (shrink)
This article discusses the work of George Udny Yule in relation to the evolutionary synthesis and the biometric-Mendelian debate. It has generally been claimed that (i.) in 1902, Yule put forth the first account showing that the competing biometric and Mendelian programs could be synthesized. Furthermore, (ii.) the scientific figures who should have been most interested in this thesis (the biometricians W. F. Raphael Weldon and Karl Pearson, and the Mendelian William Bateson) were too blinded by personal animosity towards (...) each other to appreciate Yule's proposal. This essay provides a detailed account of (i.), maintaining that Yule's 1902 proposal is better understood as a reduction, not a synthesis of the two programs. The results of this analysis are then used to evaluate (ii.), where I will instead argue that Bateson and the biometricians had good reasons to avoid endorsing Yule's account. (shrink)
The paper studies Heidegger's reading of the poet Stefan George (1868-1933), particularly of his poem "Das Wort" (1928), in the context of Heidegger's narrative of the history of metaphysics. Heidegger reads George's poem as expressing certain experiences with language: first, the constitutive role of language, of naming and discursive determination, in granting things stable identities; second, the unnameable and indeterminable character of language itself as a constitutive process and the concomitant insight into the human being's dependency on language (...) and her incapacity to master in subjectively. Heidegger characterizes this experience as "transitional" (übergänglich). It is shown that in Heidegger's historical narrative, this places George's poem in the ongoing transition (Übergang) from the Hegelian and Nietzschean end of metaphysics to a forthcoming "other beginning" of thinking. (shrink)
In this article, the cosmological positions of George of Trebizond are regrouped and an attempt to evaluate his offer to the philosophy of nature in the Renaissance is presented. George of Trepizond dedicated a huge part of his work to the philosophical and scientific study of the world; he also renewed the way the Greek letters are studied and used.
A decline in public sector extension services in developing countries has led to an increasing emphasis on alternative extension approaches that are participatory, demand-driven, client-oriented, and farmer centered. One such approach is the volunteer farmer-trainer approach, a form of farmer-to-farmer extension where VFTs host demonstration plots and share information on improved agricultural practices within their community. VFTs are trained by extension staff and they in turn train other farmers. A study was conducted to understand the rationale (...) behind the decisions of smallholder farmers to volunteer their time and resources to train other farmers without pay and to continue volunteering. Data were gathered through focus group discussions and individual interviews involving 99 VFTs. Findings of the study showed that VFTs were motivated by a combination of personal and community interests that were influenced by religious beliefs, cultural norms, and social and economic incentives. Altruism, gaining knowledge and skills, and social benefits were the most frequently mentioned motivating factors for becoming VFTs.3 years after starting, the income earned from selling associated inputs and services was also a main motivating factor. There were no significant differences between motivating factors for men and women VFTs. The findings point to the fact that VFTs work effectively without being paid, but investments in human, social, and financial capital are crucial to keeping them motivated. These factors are key to ensuring the sustainability of farmer-to-farmer extension programs beyond the projects’ lifespan. (shrink)
Existe já uma grande quantidade de literatura dedicada à presença na filosofia inicial de Berkeley de alguns assuntos tipicamente platônicos (arquétipos, o problema da mente de Deus, a relaçáo entre ideias e coisas, etc.). Baseados em alguns desses escritos, nas próprias palavras de Berkeley, assim como no exame de alguns elementos da tradiçáo platônica num amplo sentido, sugiro que, longe de serem apenas tópicos isolados, livremente espalhados nos primeiros escritos de Berkeley, eles formam uma perfeita rede de aspectos, atitudes e (...) modos de pensar platônicos, e que, por mais alusivos ou ambíguos que esses elementos platônicos possam parecer, eles constituem um todo coerente e complexo, desempenhando um papel importante na formaçáo da própria essência do pensamento de Berkeley. Em outras palavras, sugiro que, dadas algumas das ideias apresentadas em suas primeiras obras, foi de certo modo inevitável para George Berkeley, em virtude da lógica interna do desenvolvimento de seu pensamento, chegar a uma obra táo abertamente platônica e especulativa como Siris (1744). (shrink)
Nearly all contemporary people subsist on cultivated plants, most of which are vulnerable to diseases. Yet, there have been few studies of what traditional people know – and do not know – about crop disease. Agricultural scientists in general are becoming aware of the potential contribution of social scientists and farmers in developing integrated management of crop diseases. The International Potato Center (CIP) has focused on stimulating farmer-scientist collaboration in developing management of late blight, a major fungal disease of (...) potatoes and other plants. Understanding farmers' knowledge of this and other plant diseases is an important element in furthering such collaboration. Although not all agricultural scientists recognize the value of social science, this literature search shows that some agricultural scientists now actively collaborate with farmers, in ways that cross the boundary into social science research. During this search, much of the work we found was written by plant pathologists and entomologists. We found over fifty publications on farmer knowledge of crop disease, and we have annotated the material that we thought most relevant to farmer- scientist collaboration for research of crop diseases, especially late blight. (shrink)
This article argues that present theoretical approaches within critical agri-food studies are inadequate for conceptualizing the role of non-humans in the shaping of farmer agency. While both political economy and actor-oriented approaches are significant in drawing attention to the broader social relations that construct and govern farmers as agents, the ordering and disordering influence of non-humans as part of these processes are neglected. Drawing upon a sociology of translation, located within actor network theory, the article explores how the ontological (...) move to recognize non-humans as actants contributes to a re-conceptualization of farmer agency. Through the application of four “moments” within a translation approach – problematization, interessement, enrollment, and mobilization – to a dairy planning workshop in Australia, it is concluded that non-humans are central in two key ways to programs governing the agency of farmers. First, they take the form of material artifacts and forms of inscription that are used by governing agencies to build durable actor networks. These inscriptions represent new ways of reflecting on farming practices and re-defining the scope for farmer action. Second, non-humans can take the form of material agents that, while crucial to the building of actor networks, are not always straightforward to enroll. The article demonstrates that problems enrolling these entities limit the efforts of governing agencies to “act at a distance” and shape farmer behavior. (shrink)
Historically labor has been central to human interactions with the environment, yet environmentalists pay it scant attention. Indeed, they have been critical of those who foreground labor in their politics, socialists in particular. However, environmentalists have found the nineteenth-century socialist William Morris appealing despite the fact that he wrote extensively on labor. This paper considers the place of labor in the relationship between humanity and the natural world in the work of Morris and two of his contemporaries, the eminent scientist (...) Thomas Henry Huxley, and the Fabian socialist Herbert George Wells. I suggest that Morris's conception of labor has much to recommend it to environmentalists who are also interested in issues of social justice. (shrink)
This article discusses the work of George Seddon as a significant Australian intellectual whose writing on postcolonial settler-descendant relations with land and nature is a major contribution to academic and public life. Seddon’s originality lies partly in his bridging knowledge and expertise in both the humanities and sciences. However, while there is a reliance upon factual data drawn from geology, botany and zoology, Seddon’s analyses of language and culture can appear idiosyncratic and unsystematic in terms of social science methods. (...) Based on introspection, the work might be considered ‘autoethnography’, though Seddon seeks to do more than tell stories about himself. In acknowledging both the brilliance and shortcomings of Seddon’s work, I present some examples of how it has stimulated my own research on the cultural implications of naming species and places in Australia. (shrink)
After Heitler and London published their pioneering work on the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry in 1927, it became an almost unquestioned dogma that chemistry would soon disappear as a discipline of its own rights. Reductionism felt victorious in the hope of analytically describing the chemical bond and the structure of molecules. The old quantum theory has already produced a widely applied model for the structure of atoms and the explanation of the periodic system. This paper will show two (...) examples of the entry of quantum physics into more classical fields of chemistry: inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry. Due to their professional networking, George Hevesy and Michael Polanyi found their ways to Niels Bohr and Fritz London, respectively, to cooperate in solving together some problems of classical chemistry. Their works on rare earth elements and adsorption theory throws light to the application of quantum physics outside the reductionist areas. They support the heuristic and persuasive value of quantum thinking in the 1920–1930s. Looking at Polanyi’s later oeuvre, his experience with adsorption theory could be a starting point of his non-justificationist philosophy. (shrink)
The article analyzes Henri Bergson’s understanding of human life in the light of his metaphor of life as “insinuation.” Comparing his ideas with the ideas of another original thinker of the age, George Santayana, allows shedding light on Bergson’s ontological strategy of making matter– as a threat to life –subject to mediation. Memory and imagination use matter to play out the past in the guise of the present–for the sake of life. The text also focuses on the formulas of (...) freedom arising out of both thinkers’ conceptions of conscious life – that of Bergson, for whom the horizon and the fulfillment can be found in the beginning, or the primary vital impulse, and that of Santayana, who sees fulfillment in the forms of finitude assumed by each particular life. Looking at humanity in terms of a spiritual challenge links both conceptions. The whole discussion responds to the need to return to such fundamental but sidestepped terms as “humanity” and “spirituality”. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to show how culture – shared norms and values – is challenged and used to facilitate cooperative behavior within the context of farmer field schools (FFS) in central Luzon, Philippines. The success of the FFS is primarily associated with cultural norms that encourage experiential and collective learning and eventually lead to the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) methods among the farmers. The study was conducted in central Luzon, the rice granary region of (...) the Philippines, from 1992 to 1995 and again in 1999. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed. Results indicate that a keen understanding of Filipino culture and values is essential if FFS is to be successful and if farmers are to successfully learn and practice IPM. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead's early lectures at the University of Chicago are more important to understanding the genesis of his views in social psychology than some commentators, such as Hans Joas, have emphasized. Mead's lecture series "The Evolution of the Psychical Element," preserved through the notes of student H. Heath Bawden, demonstrate his devotion to Hegelianism as a method of thinking and how this influenced his non-reductionistic approach to functional psychology. In addition, Mead's breadth of historical knowledge as well as (...) his commitments in the natural and social sciences are on display here, culminating in the Darwinian observation that human animals only achieve the degree of control they have over their environment by the achievement of social organization. (shrink)
In this essay, I reconstruct H. Richard Niebuhr's interpretation of George Herbert Mead's account of the social constitution of the self. Specifically, I correct Niebuhr's interpretation, because it mischaracterizes Mead's understanding of social constitution as more dialogical than ecological. I also argue that Niebuhr's interpretation needs completing because it fails to engage one of Mead's more significant notions, the I/me distinction within the self. By reconstructing Niebuhr's account of faith and responsibility as theologically self-constitutive through Mead's I/me distinction, I (...) demonstrate Niebuhr's deep yet unacknowledged agreement with Mead: the self is constituted by its participation in multiple communities, but responds to them creatively by enduring the moral perplexity of competing communal claims. I conclude by initiating a constructive account of conscience that follows from this agreement. Conscience is more ecological than dialogical because it regards our creative participation in multiple ecologies of social roles oriented by patterns of responsive relations. (shrink)
Continental authors and editors often sought to ground alchemical writing within a long-established, coherent and pan-European tradition, appealing to the authority of adepts from different times and places. Greek, Latin and Islamic alchemists met both in person and between the covers of books, in actual, fictional or coincidental encounters: a trope utilised in Michael Maier’s Symbola aureae mensae duodecim nationum. This essay examines how works attributed to an English authority, George Ripley, were received in central Europe and incorporated into (...) continental compendia. Placed alongside works by the philosophers of other nations, Ripley’s writings helped affirm the unity and truth of alchemy in defiance of its critics. His continental editors were therefore concerned not only with the provenance of manuscripts and high-quality exemplars, but by a range of other factors, including the desire to suppress controversial material, intervene in contemporary polemics, and defend their art. In the resulting compilations, the vertical axis of alchemy’s long, diachronic tradition may be compared to the horizontal plane of pan-European alchemy. (shrink)
This paper discusses George John Romanes’ (1848-1894) contributions to evolution theory. In his early evolutionary work, Romanes could be regarded as a mere disciple and collaborator of Darwin. Strictly speaking, a follower of Darwin would only attempt to develop and to diffuse Darwin’s ideas, to apply them to new cases, to obtain new evidence for this theory and to answer to problems and objections against Darwin’s theory. However, after working for some time under Darwin’s guidance (for instance, trying to (...) provide an experimental foundation for the hypothesis of pangenesis), Romanes adopted another strategy. As several other so-called Darwinians of the late 19th century, he endeavored to correct and to complement Darwin’s theory, with the introduction of new concepts and hypotheses (especially his “physiological selection”). Romanes’ new attitude might be regarded as an effort to step out of Darwin’s shadow and to exhibit his own brightness. Besides that, Romanes strove to undermine the work of other Darwinians that aimed at similar goals. (shrink)
The life of George Price (1922-1975), the eccentric polymath genius and father of the Price equation, is used as a prism and counterpoint through which to consider an age-old evolutionary conundrum: the origins of altruism. This biographical project, and biography and history more generally, are considered in terms of the possibility of using form to convey content in particular ways. Closer to an art form than a science, this approach to scholarship presents both a unique challenge and promise.
This article focuses on George Herbert Mead's life and his philosophy of the act. Mead divides the act into four stages: impulse, perception, manipulation, and consummation. The impulse sets the organism in motion, whereas consummation marks the satisfaction of the desire that initiated the act. Hence, consummation brings the act to a close. This should not be taken as a linear chain of responses to neatly self-contained problematic situations. Organisms often multitask, and problematic situations are typically nested, as when (...) an animal in its search for food is being attacked by a predator. (shrink)
George Dickie has been one of the most innovative, influential, and controversial philosophers of art working in the analytical tradition in the past twenty-five years. Dickie's arguments against the various theories of aesthetic attitude, aesthetic perception, and aesthetic experience virtually brought classical theories of the aesthetic to a halt. His institutional theory of art was perhaps the most discussed proposal in aesthetics during the 1970s and 1980s, inspiring both supporters who produced variations on the theory as well as passionate (...) detractors who thought the theory thoroughly wrongheaded. Dickie has also written widely on the history of aesthetics, and his work ranks among the best examples of analytic aesthetics. The philosophy of George Dickie continues to provoke reaction and reflection. The essays in this collection pay homage not only to Dickie's ideas but also to his influence. A brief biography of George Dickie and a bibliography of his works complete the volume. (shrink)