A more complete understanding of the biocultural evolutionary origins of the concept of ought as developed by David Hume and G. E. Moore may lower the philosophical barrier between is and ought and provide new insights about the separations between the domains of religion and science. If this conjecture is correct, the resulting wisdom will help transcend a major source of irony that Philip Hefner has so aptly identified in his essay.
This article raises the question of ‘normality’ today and the fracturing of health ideals along new lines of enablement and function. In particular the study asks if ‘functional’ and ‘dysfunctional’ are displacing ‘normal’ and ‘pathological’ as master biopolitical binarisms, and if so, what distinctions can be drawn between them. The discourse of ‘function’ and ‘dysfunction’ is certainly ubiquitous in two areas of research and practice: gerontology and sexology. In the former case ‘functional health’ is linked to successful aging represented by (...) technical tests around activities of daily living (ADLs) and risk-assessment profiles. In the latter case, sexual function and dysfunction have become all-encompassing markers of heterosexual competence, now largely detached from reproductive imperatives, but refashioned as integral to responsible and successful self-management. Presenting examples from both cases, the article concludes that functionality, circulating under the signs of ‘normal’, ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’, furnishes economic, technological, educational, professional, pharmacological and policy fields with a rich intellectual, practical and regulatory resource. (shrink)
In this paper we criticize the commonly accepted theory of memory, and offer an alternative. According to the traditional view, memory is a stored mental representation of things past. We show, through an analysis of a single act of recognition, the logical oddities to which this view leads. Since, however, these are generally ignored, we also consider those characteristics of the traditional view which apparently make it attractive to those who hold it, namely its consonance with the commonly held conception (...) of time, its explanation for the fallibility of memory, and its way of making behavior predictable. We then present the alternative view, the direct realist theory. According to it, there is no such thing as a stored mental representation. The theory redefines memory as the perception of sequential structure, and in so doing successfully treats of the fallibility of memory and the necessity for making behavior predictable. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, it does not lead to the logical difficulties of the traditional theory. (shrink)
The evolution of human diet is the product of both biological and cultural adaptations to various plants and animals in the environment. This paper develops a new theory for the evolution of cuisine practices which attempts to account for how food processing provided a critical link in enhancing the nutrient balance of major domesticated plants.