The development of culture-independent strategies to study microbial diversity and function has led to a revolution in microbial ecology, enabling us to address fundamental questions about the distribution of microbes and their influence on Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. This article discusses some of the progress that scientists have made with the use of so-called “omic” techniques (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and metaproteomics) and the limitations and major challenges these approaches are currently facing. These ‘omic methods have been used to describe the taxonomic structure (...) of microbial communities in different environments and to discover new genes and enzymes of industrial and medical interest. However, microbial community structure varies in different spatial and temporal scales and none of the ‘omic techniques are individually able to elucidate the complex aspects of microbial communities and ecosystems. In this article we highlight the importance of a spatiotemporal sampling design, together with a multilevel ‘omic approach and a community analysis strategy (association networks and modeling) to examine and predict interacting microbial communities and their impact on the environment. (shrink)
Multilevel research strategies characterize contemporary molecular inquiry into biological systems. We outline conceptual, methodological, and explanatory dimensions of these multilevel strategies in microbial ecology, systems biology, protein research, and developmental biology. This review of emerging lines of inquiry in these fields suggests that multilevel research in molecular life sciences has significant implications for philosophical understandings of explanation, modeling, and representation.
There has been considerable controversy about whether this last entailment always holds. Ordinary subjects may judge that (4) and (5) are appropriate in cases in which none of (1)-(3) are—cases in which Jack’s breaking the base is a foreseen but undesired consequence of Jack’s intentionally doing something else. It is currently debated what the best explanation of such ordinary reactions might be. It is also debated what to make of the fact that ordinary judgments using the adjective intentional (...) or the adverb intentionally seem influenced by normative considerations. (shrink)
Biology lacks a central organism concept that unambiguously marks the distinction between organism and non-organism because the most important questions about organisms do not depend on this concept. I argue that the two main ways to discover useful biological generalizations about multicellular organization--the study of homology within multicellular lineages and of convergent evolution across lineages in which multicellularity has been independently established--do not require what would have to be a stipulative sharpening of an organism concept.
Revolutions have shaped world politics for the last three hundred years. This volume shows why revolutions occur, how they unfold, and where they created democracies and dictatorships. Jack A. Goldstone presents the history of revolutions from America and France to the collapse of the Soviet Union, 'People Power' revolutions, and the Arab revolts.
The debate over the "Rise of the West" has generally been over which factor or factors-cultural, geoographic, or material-in European history led Europe to diverge from the World's pre-industrial civilizations. This article aims to shift the terms of the debate by arguing that there were no causal factors that made Europe's industrialization inevitable or even likely. Rather, most of Europe would not and could not move toward industrialization any more than China or India or Japan. Rather, a very accidental combination (...) of events in the late seventeenth century placed England on a peculiar path, leading to industrialization and constitutional democracy. These accidents included the compromise between the Anglican Church and Dissenters, and between Crown and Parliament, in the settlements of 1689; the adoption of Newtonian science as part of the cosmology of the Anglican Church and its spread to craftsmen and entrepreneurs throughout Britain; and the opportunity to apply the idea of the vacuum and mechanics to solve a particular technical problem: pumping water out of deep mine shafts in or near coal mines. Without these particular accidents of history, there is no reason to believe that Europe would have ever been more advanced than the leading Asian civilizations of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (shrink)
Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam have presented a new theory of how collective action creates the structure and dynamics of societies. At issue is the behavior of social movements, organizations, states, political parties, and interest groups. They argue that all of these phenomena are produced by social actors (which may be individuals or groups) involved in strategic action. This allows Fligstein and McAdam to advance a unified theory of "strategic action fields." This article takes issue with aspects of Fligstein and (...) McAdam's important contribution. We argue that that all organizations are not essentially the same; in addition to the location and interactions of their strategic actors, their dynamics are shaped and distinguished by differing values and norms, by the autonomy of institutions embedded in strategic action fields, and by the fractal relationships that nested fields have to broader principles of justice and social organization that span societies. We also criticize the view that social change can be conceptualized solely in terms of shifting configurations of actors in strategic action fields. Rather, any theory of social action must distinguish between periods of routine contention under the current institutions and norms and exceptional challenges to the social order that aim to transform those institutions and norms. (shrink)
The "ethical environment of business" provides a constructive frame of reference for business ethics instruction. As illustrated by a suggested role play about foreign sweatshops, it provides a realistic, problem-solving context for the study of moral and ethical ideas. Once ethical behavior is viewed through this paradigm, students can better see how business policies are shaped by ethics and prepare themselves to react to their own ethical environment.
That Piagetian epistemology has the dynamics of knowledge growth as its core consideration predetermines a need to consider it as potentially applicable to teaching. This paper addresses that need by first outlining the Piagetian theory of equilibration and then applying it to the construction of methods of teaching science.
Karl Marx misappropriated Ferguson's thought even though he championed the Scot's remarks on the division of labor. The argument is developed by examining Marx's specific quotations of Ferguson in literary context and by critiquing Marx's quotations in light of three ethical categories that are implicit in Ferguson's idea of progress. Marx not only presents a highly selective reading of Ferguson and espouses a view of history that is antithetical to Ferguson's idea of progress, but he fails to do justice to (...) the complexity of Ferguson's moral philosophy, even if he viewed the Scot as something of a maverick like himself. (shrink)
Many opponents of BIG programs believe that receiving guaranteed subsistence income would act as a strong disincentive to work. In contrast, various areas of empirical research in psychology suggest that a BIG would not lead to meaningful reductions in work. To test these competing predictions, a comprehensive review of BIG outcome studies reporting data on adult labor responses was conducted. The results indicate that 93 % of reported outcomes support the prediction of no meaningful work reductions when the criterion for (...) support is set at less than a 5 % decrease in either average hours worked per week or the rate of labor participation. Overall, these results indicate that adult labor responses would show no substantial impact following a BIG intervention. (shrink)
It is obvious that technology is rapidly changing the world around us. Nowhere is that change more evident than in the revolution occurring for those with physical and mental limitations-their portrayal in the media, their use of the media to achieve group aims and their use of the new on-line media to communicate with others who have limitations and the non-disabled world. In a very real way the growing sense of community among those with disabilities has been linked to the (...) media. (shrink)
Margaret Gilbert offers an incisive new approach to a classic problem of political philosophy: when and why should I do what the law tells me to do? Do I have special obligations to conform to the laws of my own country and if so, why? In what sense, if any, must I fight in wars in which my country is engaged, if ordered to do so, or suffer the penalty for law-breaking the law imposes - including the death penalty? (...)Gilbert's accessible book offers a provocative and compelling case in favour of citizens' obligations to the state, while examining how these can be squared with self-interest and other competing considerations. (shrink)
Sometimes a fact can play a role in a grounding explanation, but the particular content of that fact make no difference to the explanation—any fact would do in its place. I call these facts vacuous grounds. I show that applying the distinction between-vacuous grounds allows us to give a principled solution to Kit Fine and Stephen Kramer’s paradox of ground. This paradox shows that on minimal assumptions about grounding and minimal assumptions about logic, we can show that grounding is reflexive, (...) contra the intuitive character of grounds. I argue that we should never have accepted that grounding is irreflexive in the first place; the intuitions that support the irreflexive intuition plausibly only require that grounding be non-vacuously irreflexive. Fine and Kramer’s paradox relies, essentially, on a case of vacuous grounding and is thus no problem for this account. (shrink)
Change in View offers an entirely original approach to the philosophical study of reasoning by identifying principles of reasoning with principles for revising one's beliefs and intentions and not with principles of logic. This crucial observation leads to a number of important and interesting consequences that impinge on psychology and artificial intelligence as well as on various branches of philosophy, from epistemology to ethics and action theory. Gilbert Harman is Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. A Bradford Book.
The everyday concept of a social group is approached by examining the concept of going for a walk together, an example of doing something together, or "shared action". Two analyses requiring shared personal goals are rejected, since they fail to explain how people walking together have obligations and rights to appropriate behavior, and corresponding rights of rebuke. An alternative account is proposed: those who walk together must constitute the "plural subject" of a goal. The nature of plural subjecthood, the thesis (...) that social groups are plural subjects, and the relation of these ideas to Rousseau's and Hobbes 's, are briefly explored. (shrink)
This essay suggests the possible form of an orthodox historicism. The essay begins by examining the historicism of Heidegger and Gadamer. It then proposes how a theology might appear which places the faith in conversation with this historicism.