In the July 2001 issue of the JournalofBiosocialScience Tina Moffat presents an interesting study from Nepal (Moffat, 2001). She refers to several studies, among them our study from Nepal’s neighbouring country Bhutan (Bøhler & Ingstad, 1996), to show that weaning practices are determined by different aspects of the environment, and thus cannot be made universal. However, she goes on to conclude that the recommendation of exclusive breast-feeding for 6 months may not be appropriate for the population she studied. This part (...) of her conclusion is, in my view, far from sufficiently supported by her data. (shrink)
My response to BøhlerUniversal recommendations for some weaning practices do make senseA Biocultural Investigation of the Weanling (Moffat, 2001), the second on the larger issue of biomedical approaches to maternal–child health education.
The goal of the present study was to examine the hypothesis that the ability to construct vivid mental images of the future involves sampling the contents of memory. In two experiments, participants envisioned future scenarios occurring in contextual settings that were represented in memory in varying degrees of perceptual detail. In both experiments, detailed contextual settings were associated with more detailed images of the future and a stronger subjective experience. Our findings suggest that the contents of memory are routinely sampled (...) during the construction of personal future scenarios. (shrink)
This paper traces the background to R. A. Fisher's multi-factorial theory of inheritance. It is argued that the traditional account is incomplete, and that Karl Pearson's well-known pre-Fisherian objections to the theory were in fact overcome by Pearson himself. It is further argued that Pearson's stated reasons for not accepting his own achievement has to be seen as a rationalization, standing in for deeper-seated metaphysical objections to the Mendelian paradigm of a type not readily discussed in a formal scientific (...) paper. The apparent, post-Fisherian, continued acceptance of Pearson's objections is presented as an interesting problem for the historian and sociologist. (shrink)
Episodic memory is a major area of research in psychology. Initially viewed as a distinct store of information derived from experienced episodes, episodic memory is understood today as a form of mental "time travel" into the personal past. Recent research has revealed striking similarities between episodic memory - past-oriented mental time travel - and future-oriented mental time travel (FMTT). Seeing the Future: Theoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel brings together leading contributors in both empirical and theoretical disciplines to present (...) the first interdisciplinary look at the human to imagine future scenarios. Chapters focus on the challenging conceptual and theoretical questions raised by FMTT, covering themes such as: varieties of future-oriented cognition; relationships between FMTT and episodic memory; subjective temporality in FMTT; the self in FMTT; and functional, evolutionary and comparative, developmental, and clinical perspectives on FMTT. With its focus on the conceptual issues at the heart of fast-developing research on FMTT, this edited volume will serve graduate students to senior scholars working on or interested in FMTT and related areas as a synthesis of current theoretical thinking and a source of questions for future FMTT research. (shrink)
IT IS SHOWN IN DETAIL THAT RECENT ACCOUNTS FAIL TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN INTENTIONALITY AND MERELY CAUSALLY DISPOSITIONAL STATES OF INORGANIC PHYSICAL OBJECTS—A QUICK ROAD TO PANPSYCHISM. THE CLEAR NEED TO MAKE SUCH A DISTINCTION GIVES DIRECTION FOR FUTURE WORK. A BEGINNING IS MADE TOWARD PROVIDING SUCH AN ACCOUNT.
This introductory chapter reviews research on future-oriented mental time travel to date (the past), provides an overview of the contents of the book (the present), and enumerates some possible research directions suggested by the latter (the future).
Karl Popper (1902-1994) was one of the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century. He made significant contributions to debates concerning general scientific methodology and theory choice, the demarcation of science from non-science, the nature of probability and quantum mechanics, and the methodology of the social sciences. His work is notable for its wide influence both within the philosophy of science, within science itself, and within a broader social context. Popper’s early work attempts to solve the problem (...) of demarcation and offer a clear criterion that distinguishes scientific theories from metaphysical or mythological claims. Popper’s falsificationist methodology holds that scientific theories are characterized by entailing predictions that future observations might reveal to be false. When theories are falsified by such observations, scientists can respond by revising the theory, or by rejecting the theory in favor of a rival or by maintaining the theory as is and changing an auxiliary hypothesis. In either case, however, this process must aim at the production of new, falsifiable predictions. While Popper recognizes that scientists can and do hold onto theories in the face of failed predictions when there are no predictively superior rivals to turn to. He holds that scientific practice is characterized by its continual effort to test theories against experience and make revisions based on the outcomes of these tests. By contrast, theories that are permanently immunized from falsification by the introduction of untestable ad hoc hypotheses can no longer be classified as scientific. Among other things, Popper argues that his falsificationist proposal allows for a solution of the problem of induction, since inductive reasoning plays no role in his account of theory choice. Along with his general proposals regarding falsification and scientific methodology, Popper is notable for his work on probability and quantum mechanics and on the methodology of the social sciences. Popper defends a propensity theory of probability, according to which probabilities are interpreted as objective, mind-independent properties of experimental setups. Popper then uses this theory to provide a realist interpretation of quantum mechanics, though its applicability goes beyond this specific case. With respect to the social sciences, Popper argued against the historicist attempt to formulate universal laws covering the whole of human history and instead argued in favor of methodological individualism and situational logic. Table of Contents 1. Background 2. Falsification and the Criterion of Demarcation a. Popper on Physics and Psychoanalysis b. Auxiliary and Ad Hoc Hypotheses c. Basic Sentences and the Role of Convention d. Induction, Corroboration, and Verisimilitude 3. Criticisms of Falsificationism 4. Realism, Quantum Mechanics, and Probability 5. Methodology in the Social Sciences 6. Popper’s Legacy 7. References and Further Reading a. Primary Sources b. Secondary Sources -/- . (shrink)
Yesterday I received a letter in which you demand from me a detailed judgment of Proudhon. Lack of time prevents me from fulfilling your desire. Added to which I have none of his works to hand. However, in order to assure you of my good will I will quickly jot down a brief outline. You can then complete it, add to it or cut it – in short do anything you like with it.
Largely neglected today, the work of Karl Philipp Moritz was a highly influential source for Early German Romanticism. Moritz considered the form of myth as essential to the absolute nature of the divine subject. This defence was based upon his aesthetic theory, which held that beautiful art was “disinterested”, or complete in itself. For Moritz, Myth, like art, constitutes a totality providing an idiom free from restriction in the imitation of the divine. This examination offers a consideration of Moritz’s (...) aesthetics and mythography, before turning briefly to consider his influence on the authors of Early German Romanticism. An understanding of the role of Moritz’s thought supports a number of recent claims that challenge the conventional reading of Romanticism. At the same time it allows us to see Romanticism’s unconventional realist theological programme, permitting us to overcome the problematic secularising readings of the movement. I would like to thank Kurt Mueller-Vollmer, as well as Fredrick Beiser and Lars Fischer for their help with this project. (shrink)