This volume asks how and why the concept of nature has changed its meaning in modernity and whether a rearticulation of premodern ideas about nature is possible. Building on the work of Voegelin, Strauss, Lonergan, Finnis, and others, the book compares and contrasts classical, medieval, and modern conceptions of nature.
Modern thought is sometimes presented as introducing a “turn to the subject” absent from ancient and medieval thought, although the schools of thought associated with Bernard Lonergan, Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, and the new natural law theory often find subjectivity already operative in the older forms. In this volume, sixteen leading scholars examine the turn to the subject in modern philosophy and consider its historical antecedents in ancient and medieval thought.
Descartes's works are often treated as a unified, unchanging whole. But in Descartes's Changing Mind, Peter Machamer and J. E. McGuire argue that the philosopher's views, particularly in natural philosophy, actually change radically between his early and later works--and that any interpretation of Descartes must take account of these changes. The first comprehensive study of the most significant of these shifts, this book also provides a new picture of the development of Cartesian science, epistemology, and metaphysics. No changes in (...) Descartes's thought are more significant than those that occur between the major works The World and Principles of Philosophy. Often seen as two versions of the same natural philosophy, these works are in fact profoundly different, containing distinct conceptions of causality and epistemology. Machamer and McGuire trace the implications of these changes and others that follow from them, including Descartes's rejection of the method of abstraction as a means of acquiring knowledge, his insistence on the infinitude of God's power, and his claim that human knowledge is limited to that which enables us to grasp the workings of the world and develop scientific theories. (shrink)
Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons. We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
In my early years I was constituted in the exacting imperatives of philosophical analysis. That stern face is present in the composition of the Newton essays chosen here for republication. It is my hope that potential readers will be patient with the old Adam of analysis, and seize the portrait of Newton's intellec tual world presented in these essays. It is gratifying for me to acknowledge the encouragement of Robert Butts and John Nicholas of the University of Western Ontario, intellectual (...) comrades in arms. It was at Western that I began my intellectual journey, and many of the present members of the Philosophy Department remain my friends and mentors. I thank also Marta Spranzi Zuber who long ago believed in the merit of my Newton scholarship. But most important to me is the sustaining encouragement of Professor Barbara Tuchanska, who shares my vision of the historicity of scientific thought. It is a pleasure to express my gratitude for membership, over twenty years, in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. It is the mecca for one who seeks to understand. J. E. (shrink)
Manuscript Add. 3965, section 13, folios 541r–542r and 545r–546r is in the Portsmouth Collection of manuscripts and housed in the University Library, Cambridge. These drafts contain a careful account, in Newton's hand, of his views on place, time, and God. They are part of a large number of drafts relating to the three official editions of the Principia published in Newton's lifetime.
In this paper, we explore the perspectives of expert stakeholders about who owns data in a medical information commons and what rights and interests ought to be recognized when developing a governance structure for an MIC. We then examine the legitimacy of these claims based on legal and ethical analysis and explore an alternative framework for thinking about participants' rights and interests in an MIC.
Isaac Newton wrote the manuscript Questiones quaedam philosophicae at the very beginning of his scientific career. This small notebook thus affords rare insight into the beginnings of Newton's thought and the foundations of his subsequent intellectual development. The Questiones contains a series of entries in Newton's hand that range over many topics in science, philosophy, psychology, theology, and the foundations of mathematics. These notes, written in English, provide a very detailed picture of Newton's early interests, and record his critical appraisal (...) of contemporary issues in natural philosophy. Written predominantly in 1664-5, they give a significant perspective on Newton's thought just prior to his annus mirabilis, 1666. This volume provides a complete transcription of the Questiones, together with an 'expansion' into modern English, and a full editorial commentary on the content and significance of the notebook in the development of Newton's thought. It will be essential reading for all those interested in Newton and the intellectual foundations of science. (shrink)
This study considers Newton's views on space and time with respect to some important ontologies of substance in his period. Specifically, it deals in a philosophico-historical manner with his conception of substance, attribute, existence, to actuality and necessity. I show how Newton links these “features” of things to his conception of God's existence with respect of infinite space and time. Moreover, I argue that his ontology of space and time cannot be understood without fully appreciating how it relates to the (...) nature of Divine existence. In order to establish this, the ontology embodied in Newton's theory of predication is analysed, and shown to be different from the presuppositions of the ontological argument. From the historical point of view Gassendi's influence is stressed, via the mediation of Walter Charleton. Furthermore, Newton's thought on these matters is contrasted with Descartes's and Spinoza's. In point of fact, in his earliest notebook Newton recorded observations on Descartes's version of the ontological argument. Soon, however, he was to oppose the Cartesian conception of the actuality of Divine existence by means of arguments similar to those of Gassendi. Lastly, I suggest that the nature and extent of Henry More's influence on Newton's conception of how God relates to absolute space and time bears further examination. (shrink)
: This article is concerned with Newton's appropriation of Descartes' ontology of true and immutable natures in developing his theory of infinitely extended space. It contends that unless the part played by the Platonic distinction between "being a nature" and "having a nature" in Newton's thinking is properly appreciated the foundation of his doctrine of space in relation to God will not be fully understood. It also contends that Newton's Platonism is consistent with his empiricism once the mediating role is (...) made clear that the geometry of moving loci play in grounding his intuitions concerning infinite natures. (shrink)
This essay explores the role of God’s omnipresence in Newton’s natural philosophy, with special emphasis placed on how God is related to space. Unlike Descartes’ conception, which denies the spatiality of God, or Gassendi and Charleton’s view, which regards God as completely whole in every part of space, it is argued that Newton accepts spatial extension as a basic aspect of God’s omnipresence. The historical background to Newton’s spatial ontology assumes a large part of our investigation, but with attention also (...) focused on the details of Newton’s unique approach to these traditional Scholastic conceptions. (shrink)
Descartes is always concerned about knowledge. However, the Galileo affair in 1633, the reactions to his Discourse on method, and later his need to reply to objections to his Meditations provoked crises in Descartes’s intellectual development the import of which has not been sufficiently recognized. These events are the major reasons why Descartes’s philosophical position concerning how we know and what we may know is radically different at the end of his life from what it was when he began. We (...) call this later position Descartes’s epistemic stance and contrast it with his earlier methodological, metaphysical realism. Yet Descartes’s epistemic views cannot be separated from other aspects of his work, for example, his views concerning God, causality, metaphysics, and the nature of science. A further meta-implication is that serious errors await any scholar who cites early Cartesian texts in support of late Cartesian positions, or who uses later texts in conjunction with early ones to support a reading of Descartes’s philosophy.Keywords: René Descartes; Nature; Motion; Method; Knowledge. (shrink)
Background Continued advances in human microbiome research and technologies raise a number of ethical, legal, and social challenges. These challenges are associated not only with the conduct of the research, but also with broader implications, such as the production and distribution of commercial products promising maintenance or restoration of good physical health and disease prevention. In this article, we document several ethical, legal, and social challenges associated with the commercialization of human microbiome research, focusing particularly on how this research is (...) mobilized within economic markets for new public health uses. Methods We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews (2009–2010) with 63 scientists, researchers, and National Institutes of Health project leaders (“investigators”) involved with human microbiome research. Interviews explored a range of ethical, legal, and social dimensions of human microbiome research, including investigators’ perspectives on commercialization. Using thematic content analysis, we identified and analyzed emergent themes and patterns. Results Investigators discussed the commercialization of human microbiome research in terms of (1) commercialization, probiotics, and issues of safety, (2) public awareness of the benefits and risks of dietary supplements, and (3) regulation. Conclusion The prevailing theme of ethical, legal, social concern focused on the need to find a balance between the marketplace, scientific research, and the public’s health. The themes we identified are intended to serve as points for discussions about the relationship between scientific research and the manufacture and distribution of over-the-counter dietary supplements in the United States. (shrink)
Background Citizen science is increasingly prevalent in the biomedical sciences, including the field of human genomics. Genomic citizen science initiatives present new opportunities to engage individuals in scientific discovery, but they also are provoking new questions regarding who owns the outputs of the research, including intangible ideas and discoveries and tangible writings, tools, technologies, and products. The legal and ethical claims of participants to research outputs become stronger—and also more likely to conflict with those of institution-based researchers and other stakeholders—as (...) participants become more involved, quantitatively and qualitatively, in the research process. It is not yet known, however, how genomic citizen science initiatives are managing the interests of their participants in accessing and controlling research outputs in practice. To help fill this gap, we conducted an in-depth review of relevant policies and practices of U.S.-based genomic citizen science initiatives. Methods We queried the peer-reviewed literature and grey literature to identify 22 genomic citizen science initiatives that satisfied six inclusion criteria. A data collection form was used to capture initiative features, policies, and practices relevant to participants’ access to and control over research outputs. Results This analysis revealed that the genomic citizen science landscape is diverse and includes many initiatives that do not have institutional affiliations. Two trends that are in apparent tension were identified: commercialization and operationalization of a philosophy of openness. While most initiatives supported participants’ access to research outputs, including datasets and published findings, none supported participants’ control over results via intellectual property, licensing, or commercialization rights. However, several initiatives disclaimed their own rights to profit from outputs. Conclusions There are opportunities for citizen science initiatives to incorporate more features that support participants’ access to and control over research outputs, consistent with their specific objectives, operations, and technical capabilities. (shrink)
We argue that Isaac Newton really is best understood as being in the tradition of the Mechanical Philosophy and, further, that Newton saw himself as being in this tradition. But the tradition as Newton understands it is not that of Robert Boyle and many others, for whom the Mechanical Philosophy was defined by contact action and a corpuscularean theory of matter. Instead, as we argue in this paper, Newton interpreted and extended the Mechanical Philosophy's slogan “matter and motion” in reference (...) to the long and distinguished tradition of mixed mathematics and the study of simple machines. (shrink)
Interest in science and math plays an important role in encouraging STEM motivation and career aspirations. This interest decreases for girls between late childhood and adolescence. Relatedly, positive mentoring experiences with female teachers can protect girls against losing interest. The present study examines whether visitors to informal science learning sites differ in their expressed science and math interest, as well as their science and math stereotypes following an interaction with either a male or female educator. Participants were visitors to one (...) of four ISLS in the United States and United Kingdom. Following an interaction with a male or female educator, they reported their math and science interest and responded to math and science gender stereotype measures. Female participants reported greater interest in math following an interaction with a female educator, compared to when they interacted with a male educator. In turn, female participants who interacted with a female educator were less likely to report male-biased math gender stereotypes. Self-reported science interest did not differ as a function of educator gender. Together these findings suggest that, when aiming to encourage STEM interest and challenge gender stereotypes in informal settings, we must consider the importance of the gender of educators and learners. (shrink)
Enactivists claim that social cognition is constituted by interactive processes and even more radically that there is ‘no observation without interaction’. Nevertheless, the notion of interaction at the core of the account has not yet being characterized in a way that makes good the claim that interactions actually constitute social understanding rather than merely facilitating or causally contributing to it. This paper seeks to complement the enactivist approach by offering an account of basic joint action that involves and brings with (...) it basic forms of mental understanding. The paper turns to theories of joint action rather than theories of perception as some enactivists have done :535–543, 2008; Thompson in J Conscious Stud 8:1–32, 2001), to gain insight into the kind of interactions that underpin our understanding of other minds, and in that way, supplement the interactionist-enactive account. In line with Enactivism, the paper argues that this kind of social understanding is practical rather than theoretical and that it is cognitively more basic and developmentally prior when compared to other ways we come to understand other minds. (shrink)