Ignoring therole of chance in science distorts the nature of the scientific process. Teachers can address this issue by means of several in-depth historical case studies, such as the discovery of electromagnetism by Oersted. Oersted was led to his lecture experiment by logic (two new hypotheses), but its success from the first trial was largely due to chance. Reproducing Oersted's experiment in the classroom complements the story by atlowing students to see for themselves the role of some accidental factors, such (...) as the choice ol materials and instruments. The message to students is that chance and logic go together in science. (shrink)
Henry Charlton Bastian's support for spontaneous generation is shown to have developed from his commitment to the new evolutionary science of Darwin, Spencer, Huxley and Tyndall. Tracing Bastian's early career development shows that he was one of the most talented rising young stars among the Darwinians in the 1860s. His argument for a logically necessary link between evolution and spontaneous generation was widely believed among those sympathetic to Darwin's ideas. Spontaneous generation implied materialism to many, however, and it had associations (...) in Britain with radical politics and amateur science. Huxley and the X Club were trying to create a public posture of Darwinism that kept it at arm's length from those negative associations. Thus, the conflict that developed when Huxley and the X Club opposed Bastian was at least as much about factional in-fighting among the Darwinians as it was about the experiments under dispute. Huxley's strategy to defeat Bastian and define his position as "non-Darwinian" contributed significantly to the shaping of Huxley's famous address "Biogenesis and Abiogenesis." Rhetorically separating Darwinism from Bastian was thus responsible for Huxley's first clear public statement that a naturalistic origin of life was compatible with Darwin's ideas, but only in the earth's distant past. The final separation of the discourse on the meaning of Brownian movement and "active molecules" from any possible link with spontaneous generation also grew out of Huxley's strategy to defeat Bastian. Clashes between Bastian and the X Club are described at the BAAS, the Royal Society, and in the pages of "Nature" and other journals. (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)
This paper attempts a philosophically rigorous interpretation of H.C. Andersen’s tales. Through a radically conceived sentimentality – the unmediated juxtaposition of the abjection of things, conceived as a paradoxical “desire for desire” having no place in the world, with a cruel, apathetic gaze – Andersen challenges the existence of the soul or subjectivity as what, by combining the theoretical gaze with contemplative pleasure, grants coherence to experience. Thus undermining not only Romantic self-reflection, and its suturing of philosophy to criticism, but (...) Plato’s erotic psychology, Andersen inaugurates a new philosophical literature: a writing for children cultivating an openness. (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)
In 2011, Peterson suggested that the main reason why C.H. Waddington was essentially ignored by the framers of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1950s was because they were Cartesian reductionists and mathematical population geneticists while he was a Whiteheadian organicist and experimental geneticist who worked with Drosophila. This paper suggests a further reason that can only be seen now. The former defined genes and their alleles by their selectable phenotypes, essentially the Mendelian view, while Waddington defined a gene through (...) its functional role as determined by genetic analysis, a view that foresaw the modern view that a gene is a DNA sequence with some function. The former were interested in selection, while Waddington focused on variation. The differences between the two views of a gene are briefly considered in the context of systems biology. (shrink)
Almost everybody has a conscience, though it may not play a dominating or even very prominent role in his life. To have a conscience is to classify some kinds of action as morally right and others as morally wrong, and to be disposed to do the former and avoid doing the latter. To judge an action as morally right or wrong is not to judge it as advantageous or disadvantageous to the agent; the motive for acting conscientiously cannot be pure (...) self-interest. It is a mark of my thinking an action morally right that I am disposed to do it even though doing it will involve me in a net loss of enjoyment or a net surplus of suffering. A man who is only disposed to do such things as he thinks will increase his happiness in the long run has no conscience. Conscience presents itself to a person as a kind of constraint which he cannot evade on the ground that it will be inconvenient to comply with it. (shrink)
Thornhill, John Shortly after completing my article, 'Reflections on the Gospel: after Reading Christopher Dawson', I read for the first time, C.H. Dodd's Gospel and Law, lectures given at Columbia University in 1950. This challenging work by a leading scholar prompted me to make the comparison between Protestant and Catholic approaches to the Gospel I have attempted in the present article.
It was C.H. Waddington's contention that the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution ought to be amended by imbedding it in a broader theoretical framework which takes the role of the phenotype into account. Waddington's theory alleges the existence of two interlocking feedback circuits between environment and phenotype on the one hand and genotype and phenotype on the other. The resulting dynamical model of evolutionary change gives new meaning to the notion of progress in evolution. In this model natural selection acts directly (...) on the phenotype, thereby influencing the feedback relationships. Better tuning of the feedback relations, however, leads to progress in adaptability which in Waddington's theory replaces the cumbersome concept of progress in adaptation.This paper expounds Waddington's theory and places it into a broader philosophical perspective. (shrink)
Nomina Sacra : Versuch einer Geschichte der christlichen Kürzung. Von Ludwig Traube, o. ö. Professor der Philologie an der Universitat, München. . Munich: C. H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. 1907. Pp. x + 295. M. 15.Vorlesungen und Abhandlungen. Von Ludwig Traube. Herausgegeben von Franz Boll. Erster Band. Zur Paläographie und Handschriftenkunde. Herausgegeben von Paul Lehmann. Mit biographischer Einleitung von Franz Boll. Munich: C. H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. 1909. Pp. lxxv+263.