The fundamental tenet of contemporary sociobiology, namely the assumption of a single process of evolution involving the selection of genes, is critically examined. An alternative multiple-level, multiple-process model of evolution is presented which posits that the primary process that operates via selection upon the genes cannot account for certain kinds of biological phenomena, especially complex, learned, social behaviours. The primary process has evolved subsidiary evolutionary levels and processes that act to bridge the gap between genes and these complex behaviours. The (...) subsidiary levels are development, individual animal learning, and socioculture itself. It is argued that individual learning is pivotal to the derivation and biological analysis of culture. The differences between cultural and noncultural societies are stressed. It is concluded that such a multiple-level model of evolution can form the basis for reconciling opposing sides in the sociobiology debate. (shrink)
Background: Due to recent legislations on euthanasia and its current practice in the Netherlands and Belgium, issues of end-of-life medicine have become very vital in many European countries. In 2002, the Ethics Working Group of the German Association for Palliative Medicine has conducted a survey among its physician members in order to evaluate their attitudes towards different end-of-life medical practices, such as euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and terminal sedation. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was sent to the 411 DGP physicians, consisting of (...) 14 multiple choice questions on positions that might be adopted in different hypothetical scenarios on situations of “intolerable suffering” in end-of-life care. For the sake of clarification, several definitions and legal judgements of different terms used in the German debate on premature termination of life were included. For statistical analysis t-tests and Pearson-correlations were used. Results: The response rate was 61%. The proportions of the respondents who were opposed to legalizing different forms of premature termination of life were: 90% opposed to EUT, 75% to PAS, 94% to PAS for psychiatric patients. Terminal sedation was accepted by 94% of the members. The main decisional bases drawn on for the answers were personal ethical values, professional experience with palliative care, knowledge of alternative approaches, knowledge of ethical guidelines and of the national legal frame. Conclusions: In sharp contrast to similar surveys conducted in other countries, only a minority of 9.6% of the DGP physicians supported the legalization of EUT. The misuse of medical knowledge for inhumane killing in the Nazi period did not play a relevant role for the respondents’ negative attitude towards EUT. Palliative care needs to be stronger established and promoted within the German health care system in order to improve the quality of end-of-life situations which subsequently is expected to lead to decreasing requests for EUT by terminally ill patients. (shrink)
H. C. for Life, That Is to Say... is Derrida's literary critical recollection of his lifelong friendship with Hélène Cixous. The main figure that informs Derrida's reading here is that of "taking sides." While Hélène Cixous in her life and work takes the side of life, "for life," Derrida admits always feeling drawn to the side of death. Rather than being an obvious choice, taking the side of life is an act of faith, by wagering one's life on life. H. (...) C. for Life sets up and explores this interminable "argument" between Derrida and Cixous as to what death has in store deep within life itself, before the end. In addition to being a memoir, it is also a theoretical confrontation—for example about the meaning of "might" and "omnipotence," and a philosophical and philological analysis of the crypts within the vast oeuvre of Hélène Cixous. Finally, the book is Derrida's tribute to the thought of the woman whom he regards as one of the great French poets, writers, and thinkers of our time. (shrink)
Functional theories posit that emotions are elicited by particular goal-related situations that represented adaptive problems and that emotions are evolved features of coordinated responses to those situations. Yet little theory or research has addressed the evolutionary aspects of these theories. We apply five criteria that can be used to judge whether features are adaptations. There is evidence that sadness, anger, and anxiety relate to unique changes in physiology, cognition, and behavior, those changes are correlated, situations that give rise to emotions (...) are consistent, and emotions are complex. To date, there is little experimental evidence regarding whether discrete emotions resolve adaptive problems and do so relatively efficiently. Evidence supporting all criteria is required to claim that discrete emotions are evolved features. (shrink)
Among questions receiving attention in this symposium of twenty-seven spokesmen of large organizations are these: What are the consequences, for discerning and acting upon values and responsibilities, of the complexity of today's public and private organizations? How are a man's duties and ethical alternatives affected by the fact that he is an administrator in a big corporate, academic, governmental, religious, or military institution? The perennial tension between democracy and efficiency in organizational decision-making is also amply documented. Almost every contributor refers (...) several devastating counter-instances to any simple formal procedure, utilitarian or idealist, for deciding among ethical options faced by the executive. But the conclusion, that there is no method applicable in all situations wherein choice is to be based on the ethical merits of the candidates alone, is less astonishing than the frequency with which it is drawn.--W. H. C. (shrink)
Discussions range from the paradoxes of Zeno to Heidegger's conception of truth, with greatest emphasis on Hegel. The questioning is always meticulous without being pedantic. Whether dealing with an individual thinker or a problem in the history of ideas, Koyre enters into a dialogue which brings his subject to life in a compelling way.--W. H. C.
In this preface to his recent Critique de La Raison Dialectique, Sartre poses, and outlines an answer to, the question of the Critique, "Do we have today the means to constitute a structural, historical anthropology?" Distinguishing between "true" Marxism and that of Garaudy, Lefebvre, Lukacs and others, he accuses his contemporaries of explaining historical events by a rationalistic and fatalistic scientism in which the concrete existing subject gets lost. This un-Marxian "sclerosis" of Marxist concepts, says Sartre, is what accounts for (...) the prominence of existentialism; once Marxist anthropology recovers its "human foundation" in the comprehension of existence, existentialism will be re-absorbed within the sought-for method. Convinced that "true" Marxism does not consider human existence to be merely an economic-historical event, Sartre is not aware that the envisioned anthropology may transform Marxism more than existentialism.--W. H. C. (shrink)
The eleven papers comprising this book were read at two Bergson Centennial celebrations in 1959--at Hollins College and in Paris. From Pelikan's discussion of Bergson's place in theology to Merleau-Ponty's account of his view of history, the contributions lay bare many more enigmas in Bergson's relation to subsequent thought than they solve. Starkie's paper on the literary merits and impact of the work of Bergson makes such a compelling case for its kinship to Symbolism and Proust that one is tempted (...) to accept the thesis that the Bergsonian Heritage is most alive in those who are not philosophers. Contains a bibliography of books and articles by and on Bergson.--W. H. C. (shrink)
The scope and length of this anthology make it one of the best recent introductions to Continental thought for the English-speaking reader. Despite the editor's efforts to compass a century and a half of European thought under the somewhat inflated title of a "search for being," each of the fourteen contributors is allowed enough space to show that no single problem or quest concretely typifies European philosophical activity in our time. If one overlooks the dramatic cutting and pasting required by (...) the attempt to give an existential flavor to the thinkers, one finds the merit of the book to be precisely the inclusion of authors whose interests are in important respects quite divergent from those of the existentialists. There are new, long translations from Schelling, Ravaisson, Lachelier, Simmel, Husserl, and Heidegger. There is a selected bibliography.--W. H. C. (shrink)
There are many passages in ancient literature which depict an imaginary existence different from the hardships of real life-an existence blessed with Nature's bounty, untroubled by strife or want. Naturally this happy state is always placed somewhere or sometime outside normal human experience, whether ‘off the map’ in some remote quarter of the world, or in Elysium after death, or in the dim future or the distant past. Such an imaginary time of bliss in the past or the future has (...) become known as the ‘golden age’. This is the name which modern scholars generally give to the ancient belief. The phrase is often echoed by modern poets. The same language has been transferred from the unknown to the known, and it has become a commonplace to describe an outstanding period of history or literature as a ‘golden age’. (shrink)
The research study presented in this article was conducted because of the surprising paucity of research findings on the effect of significant absence from primary school on peer relationships. Participants in the study were Year 6 pupils, 140 of whom had attendance records of 80% or less in both Years 2 and 6. Of the 140, 133 were matched with those with better attendance records in the same class, of the same gender and born in the same season of the (...) year. As revealed by sociometry conducted in 89 classes, the poor attenders were found to make and to receive fewer friendship choices than those with better attendance records. The question as to whether poor attendance is a result or a cause of having fewer friends is discussed and consideration is given to intervention issues. (shrink)
What credentials does evolutionary epistemology have as science? A judgement based on past performance, both in terms of advancing an empirical programme and further ng theory construction, is not much. This paper briefly outlines some of the research areas, both theoretical and empirical, that can be developed and that might secure for evolutionary epistemology a future in evolutionary biology.
Hudson's contribution is a general critical introduction to eighteenth century ethical intuitionism. Hudson divides intuitionism into two basic views: 1) "sentimentalism" or the "moral sense" view propounded by Shaftesbury and Hutcheson, and 2) "intellectualism," or the view that intuition is a form of reason or understanding, held in one form or another by Cudworth, Clarke, Balguy, and Price. Mention is also made of Butler, whom Hudson sees in the bridge position between the other extremes. After expounding these views, Hudson discusses (...) three outstanding questions raised, but not satisfactorily answered, by the eighteenth century intuitionists: i) How does one decide between conflicting obligations?; ii) Do all men intuit the "heads" of virtue?; iii) Is it our duty to do what is right or what we think right? Finally, in a brief critique, Hudson presents objections to intuitionism based primarily on his own view of the conditions that must be fulfilled in order to legitimately say "I know X." He also raises the problem of a criterion of "intuition."—C. L. H. (shrink)
The extent of the dependence of early Greek cosmogony on mythical conceptions has long been a prolific source of controversy. Views on the subject have varied from Professor Cornford's claim that ‘there is a real continuity between the earliest rational speculation and the religious representation that lay behind it’ to Professor Burnet's extreme statement, ‘it is quite wrong to look for the origins of Ionian science in mythological ideas of any kind.’ The solution of the problem that I wish to (...) suggest is one which should satisfy those who insist on ‘the scientific character of the early Greek cosmology,’ while retaining a direct connection with pre-scientific beliefs—namely, that some, at least, of the earliest philosophers founded their doctrines of the beginning of the universe on a deliberate rationalization of earlier and contemporary mythical ideas. The appearance of notions like the ‘world-egg’ in a number of passages, too well known for quotation, shows that primitive cosmogony assumed an analogy between the generation of the world and the generation of animate creatures. I believe it can be proved that, so far from the ‘renunciation of sexual imagery’ which even Professor Cornford has recently attributed to Anaximander, he and other philosophers retained the habit of regarding cosmogony and anthropogony as parallel phenomena, only substituting for the mythical ‘world-egg’ a more scientific view of the embryo and its development. They looked at the world through the same spectacles as their predecessors, but after wiping from them the rose tint of mythological fancy. (shrink)
This article focuses on maternal-fetal surgery (MFS) and on the concept of clinical equipoise that is a widely accepted requirement for conducting randomized controlled trials (RCT). There are at least three reasons why equipoise is unsuitable for MFS. First, the concept is based on a misconception about the nature of clinical research and the status of research subjects. Second, given that it is not clear who the research subject/s in MFS is/are, if clinical equipoise is to be used as a (...) criterion to test the ethical appropriateness of RCT, its meaning should be unambiguous. Third, because of the multidisciplinary character of MFS, it is not clear who should be in equipoise. As a result, we lack an adequate criterion for the ethical review of MFS protocols. In our account, which is based on Chervenak and McCullough's seminal work in the field of obstetric ethics, equipoise is abandoned. and RCT involving MFS can be ethically initiated when a multidisciplinary ethics review board (ERB), having an evidence-based assessment of the risks involved, is convinced that the value of answering the research hypothesis, for the sake of the health interests of future pregnant women carrying fetuses with certain congenital birth defects, justifies the actual risks research participants might suffer within a set limit of low/manageable. (shrink)
Sentences of the form si sit … esset crop out at rare intervals in the literature of classical Latin, deviating so sharply from what might be called the standard forms of conditional speaking that they have commonly been regarded with more or less suspicion.
We distinguish three different readings of the intuitionistic notions of validity, soundness, and completeness with respect to the quantification occurring in the notion of validity, and we establish certain relations between the different readings. For each of the meta-logicalnotions considered we suggest that the "most natural" reading (which is not the same for all cases) is precisely the one which is required by the recent intuitionistic completeness theorems for IPC.