This essay draws a new picture of the science of bacteria in its 'golden age', circa 1880-1900: the organization of its knowledge and practice, its germ theory of disease, the difference between its two major research traditions, and, above all, its place in life science in this period that bristled with theories and debates over inheritance, variation, selection, evolution and that witnessed the transition from natural history to laboratory biology. Pasteur and Koch's science acquired this biological dimension not despite being (...) outside academic biology, nor despite the limitations of its applied, medical matrix, but rather because of that framework. The very practices of vaccine development constituted, at the same time, a new biological model of bacterial species and variation, which aligned them with other living things. Finally, the new picture reveals unsuspected continuity to later microbiology and molecular biology. In illuminating the self-perceptions of these sciences in relation to the past, it situates and opens a critical perspecive on writings by bacteriologists such as Ludwik Fleck, François Jacob and René Dubos, which have widely informed how we understand science. (shrink)
This paper is a systematic exploration of non-wellfounded mereology. Motivations and applications suggested in the literature are considered. Some are exotic like Borges’ Aleph, and the Trinity; other examples are less so, like time traveling bricks, and even Geach’s Tibbles the Cat. The authors point out that the transitivity of non-wellfounded parthood is inconsistent with extensionality. A non-wellfounded mereology is developed with careful consideration paid to rival notions of supplementation and fusion. Two equivalent axiomatizations are given, and are compared to (...) classical mereology. We provide a class of models with respect to which the non-wellfounded mereology is sound and complete. (shrink)
Thirteen original essays by leading scholars explore aspects of Spinoza's ethical theory and, in doing so, deepen our understanding of it as the richly rewarding core of his system. They resolve interpretive difficulties, advance longstanding debates, and point the direction for future research.
Controversy and activism have long been linked to the subject of primate research. Even in the midst of raging ethical debates surrounding fertility treatments, genetically modified foods and stem-cell research, there has been no reduction in the campaigns of activists worldwide. Plying their trade of intimidation aimed at ending biomedical experimentation in all animals, they have succeeded in creating an environment where research institutions, often painted as guilty until proven innocent, have avoided addressing the issue for fear of becoming targets. (...) One area of intense debate is the use of primates in stroke research. Despite the fact that stroke kills more people each year than AIDS and malaria, and less than 5% of patients are candidates for current therapies, there is significant opposition to primate stroke research. A balanced examination of the ethics of primate stroke research is thus of broad interest to all areas of biomedical research. (shrink)
Facing an increasing number and variety of issues with social salience, firms must determine how to engage with issues that likely have a significant impact on them. Integrating issues management and salience theories, the authors find that firms engage with socially contested issues—where there is a high degree of societal disagreement—in a different manner from issues that have social consensus, or high agreement. Examining social issue resolutions filed by shareholders from 1997 to 2009, the study finds that socially contested issues, (...) as well as those issues with social consensus, are both likely to result in engagement by the firm. For social issues with consensus, a firm is more likely to opt for a low level of shareholder engagement whereas resolutions regarding contested issues lead to engaging shareholders at a higher level. These findings shed new light on the IM and issue salience literature streams that have suggested firms will react differently to these types of issues, even while they remain largely untested. Finally, firms become less engaged with perennial issues over time. rather than more, providing new guidance to researchers, shareholder activists, and firms alike. To the authors’ knowledge, such fined-grained insight into expected levels of firm engagement with social issue salience has not been put forth previously. (shrink)
Despite great advances in understanding genetic mechanisms, there still exists a bias toward equating genes with innate modules that determine important developmental events. But genes are equally relevant to understanding developmental plasticity shaped by ecological events. In other words, the term 'genetic inheritance' does not specify ontogenetic mechanisms. Here we present a case history of a species assumed to be under the control of prespecified genetic wiring to direct critical behavioral events such as communication and mating. We show, however, that (...) exogenetic processes stemming from the species's ontogenetic niche provide an alternative view of the flexibility of development especially with respect to behavioral performance. (shrink)
In order to improve our understanding of the components that reflect functionally important processes during reward anticipation and consumption, we used principle components analyses (PCA) to separate and quantify averaged ERP data obtained from each stage of a modified monetary incentive delay (MID) task. Although a small number of recent ERP studies have reported that reward and loss cues potentiate ERPs during anticipation, action preparation, and consummatory stages of reward processing, these findings are inconsistent due to temporal and spatial overlap (...) between the relevant electrophysiological components. Our results show three components following cue presentation are sensitive to incentive cues (N1, P3a, P3b). In contrast to previous research, reward‐related enhancement occurred only in the P3b, with earlier components more sensitive to break‐even and loss cues. During feedback anticipation, we observed a lateralized centroparietal negativity that was sensitive to response hand but not cue type. We also show that use of PCA on ERPs reflecting reward consumption successfully separates the reward positivity from the independently modulated feedback‐P3. Last, we observe for the first time a new reward consumption component: a late negativity distributed over the left frontal pole. This component appears to be sensitive to response hand, especially in the context of monetary gain. These results illustrate that the time course and sensitivities of electrophysiological activity that follows incentive cues do not follow a simple heuristic in which reward incentive cues produce enhanced activity at all stages and substages. (shrink)
This article describes the historical emergence of vital systems security, analyzing it as a significant mutation in biopolitical modernity. The story begins in the early 20th century, when planners and policy-makers recognized the increasing dependence of collective life on interlinked systems such as transportation, electricity, and water. Over the following decades, new security mechanisms were invented to mitigate the vulnerability of these vital systems. While these techniques were initially developed as part of Cold War preparedness for nuclear war, they eventually (...) migrated to domains beyond national security to address a range of anticipated emergencies, such as large-scale natural disasters, pandemic disease outbreaks, and disruptions of critical infrastructure. In these various contexts, vital systems security operates as a form of reflexive biopolitics, managing risks that have arisen as the result of modernization processes. This analysis sheds new light on current discussions of the government of emergency and ‘states of exception’. Vital systems security does not require recourse to extraordinary executive powers. Rather, as an anticipatory technology for mitigating vulnerabilities and closing gaps in preparedness, it provides a ready-to-hand toolkit for administering emergencies as a normal part of constitutional government. (shrink)
J. Andrew Kirk’s book examines – and eventually agrees with – Samuel Huntington’s controversial claim that a dangerous ‘Clash of Civilisations’ today poisons the Western-and-Islamic relationship. Kirk then suggests ways for improving these relations, highlighting Islam’s need to reform itself through a re-embrace of its more eirenic, prophetic Meccan phase. While there is much that is admirable here, the review below suggests Kirk’s interpretation of the ‘prophetic’ relationship to government is too one-sidedly Anabaptist.
This is a review of an extraordinary tome by Charles Taylor, A secular Age. The book contains about 800 pages of intricate analysis and debate.1 This review attempts to summarise the author’s discussion of secularism under a few key headings and then offers a brief discussion of the material in each case. In the final section, it offers some personal reflections on the missiological implications of his main themes.
The article discusses the twin and, to a certain extent, reciprocal ideas of ‘Manifest Success’ and ‘Manifest Destiny.’ It argues that, as developed respectively by certain streams of thought within Islamic communities and religiously motivated political movements within the USA, they both display strong ideological characteristics in the negative sense. Apart from the historical evidence that contradicts their utopian aspirations, the sense of identity and destiny which they wish to inspire is politically dangerous for being illusory. Muslims and Christians need (...) to be aware of the ideological instrumentalising of their faith traditions, in order to be able to repudiate the undesirable appropriation of their core beliefs. (shrink)
Do activist trade and industrial policies offer developing countries a viable alternative to either neoliberal or mercantilist development regimes? We hope to answer the question by, first, distinguishing the “open economy industrial policies” in vogue today from either their “closed economy” predecessors—i.e., import-substituting industrialization—or more orthodox approaches to development policy making; second, tracing the growth of nontraditional exports from Latin America and the Caribbean to the diffusion of more active approaches in the 1990s; and, third, accounting for activism’s apparent success (...) in an otherwise inauspicious spatial and temporal context by identifying three distinct limits to rent-seeking in the open economy: infant exporter maturation; the costs of government support; and the reactions of foreign rivals. (shrink)
Ted Honderich, 74, formerly Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at the University of London, recently published a short book on consciousness (Honderich, 2004). Colin McGinn, 57, his former colleague at University College London and now a professor of philosophy at the University of Miami, Florida, reviewed it (McGinn, 2007a). The review is quite long and detailed, but the first sentences set the tone. McGinn on Honderich: 'This book runs the full gamut from the mediocre to the (...) ludicrous to the merely bad. It is painful to read, poorly thought out, and uninformed. It is also radically inconsistent.'. (shrink)
Understanding consciousness is one of the central scientific challenges of our time. This book presents Andy Ross's recent work and discusses a range of perspectives on the core issues. The chapters are based on texts written for a variety of occasions and audiences. Reading them in order, one senses a growing clarity in the articulation of the new ideas, some of which are deep and rather subtle, and glimpses the outlines of a dynamic field. Ross has taken pains to unify (...) the collection and make the main thread clearly visible. His new ideas are of fundamental importance, and readers who grapple with them should gain insight that amply rewards the effort. (shrink)