The legitimacy of humanitarian intervention has been contested for more than a century, yet pressure for such intervention persists. Normative evolution and institutional design have been closely linked since the first debates over humanitarian intervention more than a century ago. Three norms have competed in shaping state practice and the normative discourse: human rights, peace preservation, and sovereignty. The rebalancing of these norms over time, most recently as the state’s responsibility to protect, has reflected specific international institutional environments. The contemporary (...) legitimacy of humanitarian intervention is based on UN Security Council authorization of the use of force. Although the Security Council is often viewed as representative of great-power influence, international acceptance of its role is based on the role of non-permanent members and their support for the sovereignty norm. The current rebalanced norms supporting humanitarian intervention, institutional bias that protects state sovereignty, and the changing character of mass violence may undermine the tenuous contemporary legitimacy of humanitarian intervention. Normative adjustments and new institutional designs are required to insure the legitimacy of international action that protects populations against mass violence. (shrink)
Modern integrative systems biology defines itself by the complexity of the problems it takes on through computational modeling and simulation. However in integrative systems biology computers do not solve problems alone. Problem solving depends as ever on human cognitive resources. Current philosophical accounts hint at their importance, but it remains to be understood what roles human cognition plays in computational modeling. In this paper we focus on practices through which modelers in systems biology use computational simulation and other tools to (...) handle the cognitive complexity of their modeling problems so as to be able to make significant contributions to understanding, intervening in, and controlling complex biological systems. We thus show how cognition, especially processes of simulative mental modeling, is implicated centrally in processes of model-building. At the same time we suggest how the representational choices of what to model in systems biology are limited or constrained as a result. Such constraints help us both understand and rationalize the restricted form that problem solving takes in the field and why its results do not always measure up to expectations. (shrink)
The idea of “food miles,” the distance that food has to be shipped, has entered into debates in both popular and academic circles about local eating. An oft-cited figure claims that the “average item” of food travels 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate. The source of this figure is almost never given, however, and indeed, it is a figure with surprisingly little grounding in objective research. In this study, I track the evolution of this figure, and the (...) ways that scholars and popular writers have rhetorically employed it. I then explore the ongoing debates over food miles and local food, debates that often oversimplify the idea of local eating to a caricature. I then examine a series of in-depth interviews with community-supported agriculture members and farmers in order to bring complexity back to discussions of local food consumers. I argue that the overwhelming focus on “food miles” among scholars threatens to eclipse the multitude of other values and meanings contained in the word “local” that underlie people’s decisions to “eat locally,” foremost among them, a desire to reintegrate food production and consumption within the context of place. (shrink)
The paradox is that a natural idea of what counts as confirmation implies that a green leaf confirms the hypothesis that all ravens are black. The following brief paper explains this paradox, proposes a resolution in terms of relative frequency, and suggests that this shows a link between confirmation and falsification.
Research on interdisciplinary science has for the most part concentrated on the institutional obstacles that discourage or hamper interdisciplinary work, with the expectation that interdisciplinary interaction can be improved through institutional reform strategies such as through reform of peer review systems. However institutional obstacles are not the only ones that confront interdisciplinary work. The design of policy strategies would benefit from more detailed investigation into the particular cognitive constraints, including the methodological and conceptual barriers, which also confront attempts to work (...) across disciplinary boundaries. Lessons from cognitive science and anthropological studies of labs in sociology of science suggest that scientific practices may be very domain specific, where domain specificity is an essential aspect of science that enables researchers to solve complex problems in a cognitively manageable way. The limit or extent of domain specificity in scientific practice, and how it constrains interdisciplinary research, is not yet fully understood, which attests to an important role for philosophers of science in the study of interdisciplinary science. This paper draws upon two cases of interdisciplinary collaboration; those between ecologists and economists, and those between molecular biologists and systems biologists, to illustrate some of the cognitive barriers which have contributed to failures and difficulties of interactions between these fields. Each exemplify some aspect of domain specificity in scientific practice and show how such specificity may constrain interdisciplinary work. (shrink)
Various attempts have been made in recent years to present Christianity in such a way that no use is made of the traditional dichotomy between the ‘natural’ and the ‘supernatural’. Braithwaite, Hare, and van Buren, for instance, appear to have no use for the dichotomy; and I think that, without too much distortion, one can say the same of Bultmann, Tillich, and Robinson. I am not, however, concerned in this paper with the work of any one thinker as such, but (...) rather with a general climate of opinion. What I want to do is to examine the grounds on which it might be argued that belief in the supernatural is discredited. The issue seems to me of special importance at the present time, since, if these grounds are inadequate, programmes of reform under the general heading ‘Christianity without the supernatural’lose much of their point; if, on the other hand, the grounds are compelling, then reform of some kind is forced upon us whatever the accompanying difficulties. (shrink)
Conditionalists say that the value something has as an end—its final value—may be conditional on its extrinsic features. They support this claim by appealing to examples: Kagan points to Abraham Lincoln’s pen, Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen to Lady Diana’s dress, and Korsgaard to a mink coat. They contend that these things may have final value in virtue of their historical or societal roles. These three examples have become familiar: many now merely mention them to establish the conditionalist position. But the widespread (...) faith in such cases is, I believe, unjustified. This is because, surprisingly, the pen, the dress, and the coat cannot have final value. I argue that the problem is internal: these cases are ruled out by every conditionalist account of final value. Further, the problem with these well-known cases applies to most other supposed examples of extrinsic, final goods. Thus nearly all cases given to support the conditionalist view cannot succeed. I suggest a kind of diagnosis: I claim that these examples are best seen as instances of sentimental value, rather than final value. I close by providing a brief account of sentimental value and explain how it relates to instrumental, intrinsic, and final goodness. (shrink)
In this paper I shall examine a variety of situations in which human agents make use of force. Section I will be concerned with the use of force in medical contexts, Section Ii with the use of force in defence of property, and Section in with the use of force in resolving international disputes. I shall argue that the boundary between what is and is not morally permissible needs to be, drawn more stringently than is commonly supposed. While agreeing that (...) in some medical contexts and in some situations where defence of property is involved the use of force may be necessary and even morally required, I shall suggest that in the absence of any suitably constituted world court the use of force in attempting to resolve international disputes creates a morally different situation. (shrink)
In this article, we provide a case study examining how integrative systems biologists build simulation models in the absence of a theoretical base. Lacking theoretical starting points, integrative systems biology researchers rely cognitively on the model-building process to disentangle and understand complex biochemical systems. They build simulations from the ground up in a nest-like fashion, by pulling together information and techniques from a variety of possible sources and experimenting with different structures in order to discover a stable, robust result. Finally, (...) we analyze the alternative role and meaning theory has in systems biology expressed as canonical template theories like Biochemical Systems Theory. (shrink)
The key points in Meynell's argument seem to me to be as follows: It is logically absurd to say of an action or of a state of affairs that it is good unless at least some or other of the qualities w, x, y, z, etc. are present. Similarly it is logically absurd to talk of human flourishing unless some or other specifiable features are present in a person's life. The Heimler questionnaire shows us the sorts of ways in which (...) the notion of human flourishing might be ‘unpacked’, viz, in terms of satisfaction through friendship, etc. I am in full agreement with him over and I shall simply add some further comments on the notion of ‘evaluating’; but as far as is concerned I shall voice some doubts and reservations. (shrink)
In this paper we take a close look at current interdisciplinary modeling practices in the environmental sciences, and suggest that closer attention needs to be paid to the nature of scientific practices when investigating and planning interdisciplinarity. While interdisciplinarity is often portrayed as a medium of novel and transformative methodological work, current modeling strategies in the environmental sciences are conservative, avoiding methodological conflict, while confining interdisciplinary interactions to a relatively small set of pre-existing modeling frameworks and strategies (a process we (...) call crystallization). We argue that such practices can be rationalized as responses in part to cognitive constraints which restrict interdisciplinary work. We identify four salient integrative modeling strategies in environmental sciences, and argue that this crystallization, while contradicting somewhat the novel goals many have for interdisciplinarity, makes sense when considered in the light of common disciplinary practices and cognitive constraints. These results provide cause to rethink in more concrete methodological terms what interdisciplinarity amounts to, and what kinds of interdisciplinarity are obtainable in the environmental sciences and elsewhere. (shrink)
The importation of computational methods into biology is generating novel methodological strategies for managing complexity which philosophers are only just starting to explore and elaborate. This paper aims to enrich our understanding of methodology in integrative systems biology, which is developing novel epistemic and cognitive strategies for managing complex problem-solving tasks. We illustrate this through developing a case study of a bimodal researcher from our ethnographic investigation of two systems biology research labs. The researcher constructed models of metabolic and cell-signaling (...) pathways by conducting her own wet-lab experimentation while building simulation models. We show how this coupling of experiment and simulation enabled her to build and validate her models and also triangulate and localize errors and uncertainties in them. This method can be contrasted with the unimodal modeling strategy in systems biology which relies more on mathematical or algorithmic methods to reduce complexity. We discuss the relative affordances and limitations of these strategies, which represent distinct opinions in the field about how to handle the investigation of complex biological systems. (shrink)
Integrative systems biology is an emerging field that attempts to integrate computation, applied mathematics, engineering concepts and methods, and biological experimentation in order to model large-scale complex biochemical networks. The field is thus an important contemporary instance of an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex problems. Interdisciplinary science is a recent topic in the philosophy of science. Determining what is philosophically important and distinct about interdisciplinary practices requires detailed accounts of problem-solving practices that attempt to understand how specific practices address the (...) challenges and constraints of interdisciplinary research in different contexts. In this paper we draw from our 5-year empirical ethnographic study of two systems biology labs and their collaborations with experimental biologists to analyze a significant problem-solving approach in ISB, which we call adaptive problem solving. ISB lacks much of the methodological and theoretical resources usually found in disciplines in the natural sciences, such as methodological frameworks that prescribe reliable model-building processes. Researchers in our labs compensate for the lack of these and for the complexity of their problems by using a range of heuristics and experimenting with multiple methods and concepts from the background fields available to them. Using these resources researchers search out good techniques and practices for transforming intractable problems into potentially solvable ones. The relative freedom lab directors grant their researchers to explore methodological options and find good practices that suit their problems is not only a response to the complex interdisciplinary nature of the specific problem, but also provides the field itself with an opportunity to discover more general methodological approaches and develop theories of biological systems. Such developments in turn can help to establish the field as an identifiably distinct and successful approach to understanding biological systems. (shrink)
I maintain that intrinsic value is the fundamental concept of axiology. Many contemporary philosophers disagree; they say the proper object of value theory is final value. I examine three accounts of the nature of final value: the first claims that final value is non‐instrumental value; the second claims that final value is the value a thing has as an end; the third claims that final value is ultimate or non‐derivative value. In each case, I argue that the concept of final (...) value described is either identical with the classical notion of intrinsic value or is not a plausible candidate for the primary concept of axiology. (shrink)
Miles Kennedy: Home: A Bachelardian concrete metaphysics Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9212-2 Authors Dylan Trigg, Centre de Recherche en Épistémologie Appliquée, Paris, France Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
British writers of the eighteenth century such as Shaftesbury and Hutcheson are widely thought to have used the notion of disinterestedness to distinguish an aesthetic mode of perception from all other kinds. This historical view originates in the work of Jerome Stolnitz. Through a re-examination of the texts cited by Stolnitz, I argue that none of the writers in question possessed the notion of disinterestedness that has been used in later aesthetic theory, but only the ordinary, non-technical concept, and that (...) they did not use this notion to define a specifically aesthetic mode of perception or a specifically aesthetic mode of anything else. The nearest thing that they had to the Stolnitzian conception of “the aesthetic” was their conception of taste, which differs from the former in some essential respects. (shrink)
I argue that there are two distinct views called ‘value pluralism’ in contemporary axiology, but that these positions have not been properly distinguished. The first kind of pluralism, weak pluralism, is the view philosophers have in mind when they say that there are many things that are valuable. It is also the kind of pluralism that philosophers like Moore, Brentano and Chisholm were interested in. The second kind of pluralism, strong pluralism, is the view philosophers have in mind when they (...) say there are many values, or many kinds of value. It is also the kind of pluralism that philosophers like Stocker, Kekes and Nussbaum have advanced. I separate and elucidate these views, and show how the distinction between them affects the contemporary debate about value pluralism. (shrink)
In a recent paper [J. G. Vargas and D. G. Torr, Found. Phys. 27, 599 (1997)], we have shown that a subset of the differential invariants that define teleparallel connections in spacetime generates a teleparallel Kaluza-Klein space (KKS) endowed with a very rich Clifford structure. A canonical Dirac equation hidden in this structure might be uncovered with the help of a teleparallel Kähler calculus in KKS. To bridge the gap to such a calculus from the existing Riemannian Kähler calculus in (...) spacetime, we commence the construction of a teleparallel Kähler calculus in spacetime. In the process, we notice: (a) Unknown to him, one of Einstein's equations in his attempt at unification with teleparallelism states that the interior covariant derivative of the torsion is zero. (b) A mechanism exists in the tangent bundle of teleparallel spaces for producing confinement (in the applicable cases, one would have to show why nonconfinement also occurs, rather than the other way around). (c) When the torsion is not zero, the interior covariant derivative in the sense of Kähler, δF, does not coincide with *d*F. The system (dF = 0, δF = j) rather than (dF = 0, *d*F = j) should then be used for generalizations of Maxwell's electrodynamics. (shrink)
This article, which is intended both as a position paper in the philosophical debate on natural kinds and as the guest editorial to this thematic issue, takes up the challenge posed by Ian Hacking in his paper, “Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight.” Whereas a straightforward interpretation of that paper suggests that according to Hacking the concept of natural kinds should be abandoned, both in the philosophy of science and in philosophy more generally, we suggest that an alternative and less (...) fatalistic reading is also possible. We argue that abandoning the concept of natural kinds would be premature, as it still can do important work. Our concern is with the situation in the (philosophy of the) life sciences. Against the background of this concern we attempt to set something of an agenda for future research on the topic of natural kinds in the (philosophy of the) life sciences. (shrink)
Against interpretations of Kant that would assimilate the universality claim in judgments of taste either to moral demands or to theoretical assertions, I argue that it is for Kant a normative requirement shared with ordinary empirical judgments. This raises the question of why the universal agreement required by a judgment of taste should consist in the sharing of a feeling, rather than simply in the sharing of a thought. Kant’s answer is that in a judgment of taste, a feeling assumes (...) the role of predicate. Such a solution presents a problem as serious as the one it purports to solve. (shrink)
Moore's moral programme is increasingly unpopular. Judith Jarvis Thomson's attack has been especially influential; she says the Moorean project fails because ‘there is no such thing as goodness’. I argue that her objection does not succeed: while Thomson is correct that the kind of generic goodness she targets is incoherent, it is not, I believe, the kind of goodness central to the Principia. Still, Moore's critics will resist. Some reply that we cannot understand Moorean goodness without generic goodness. Others claim (...) that even if Moore does not need Thomson's concept, he still requires the objectionable notion of absolute goodness. I undermine both these replies. I first show that we may dispense with generic goodness without losing Moorean intrinsic goodness. Then, I argue that though intrinsic goodness is indeed a kind of absolute goodness, the objections marshalled against the concept are unsound. (shrink)
Kant’s argument in § 38 of the *Critique of Judgment* is subject to a dilemma: if the subjective condition of cognition is the sufficient condition of the pleasure of taste, then every object of experience must produce that pleasure; if not, then the universal communicability of cognition does not entail the universal communicability of the pleasure. Kant’s use of an additional premise in § 21 may get him out of this difficulty, but the premises themselves hang in the air and (...) have no independent plausibility. What Kant offers as a proof of our right to make judgments of taste is more charitably construed as an indirect argument for the adequacy of a speculative explanation of a *presumed* right to make judgments of taste. (shrink)
As our interactions with nature occur increasingly within urban landscapes, there is a need to consider how 'mundane nature' can be valued as a route for people to connect to nature. The content of a three good things in nature intervention, written by 65 participants each day for five days is analysed. Content analysis produced themes related to sensations, temporal change, active wildlife, beauty, weather, colour, good feelings and specific aspects of nature. The themes describe the everyday good things in (...) nature, providing direction for those seeking to frame engaging conservation messages, plan urban spaces and connect people with nearby nature. (shrink)
Prediction and control sufficient for reliable medical and other interventions are prominent aims of modeling in systems biology. The short-term attainment of these goals has played a strong role in projecting the importance and value of the field. In this paper I identify the standard models must meet to achieve these objectives as predictive robustness—predictive reliability over large domains. Drawing on the results of an ethnographic investigation and various studies in the systems biology literature, I explore four current obstacles to (...) achieving predictive robustness; data constraints, parameter uncertainty, collaborative constraints and system-scale requirements. I use a case study and the commentary of systems biologists themselves to show that current practices in the field, rather than pursuing these goals, frequently use models heuristically to investigate and build understanding of biological systems that do not meet standards of predictive robustness but are nonetheless effective uses of computation. A more heuristic conception of modeling allows us to interpret current practices as ways that manage these obstacles more effectively, particularly collaborative constraints, such that modelers can in the long-run at least work towards prediction and control. (shrink)
Peter Geach’s distinction between logically predicative and logically attributive adjectives has gained a certain currency in philosophy. For all that, no satisfactory explanation of what an attributive adjective is has yet been provided. We argue that Geach’s discussion suggests two different ways of understanding the notion. According to one, an adjective is attributive just in case predications of it in combination with a noun fail to behave in inferences like a logical conjunction of two separate predications. According to the other, (...) an adjective is attributive just in case it cannot be applied in a truth-value-yielding fashion unless combined with a noun. The latter way of understanding the notion has been largely neglected by Geach’s critics, but we argue that taking account of it shows the misguided nature of some of their objections, and also yields a more satisfactory explanation of attributivity than does the other. (shrink)
Integrative systems biology is among the most innovative fields of contemporary science, bringing together scientists from a range of diverse backgrounds and disciplines to tackle biological complexity through computational and mathematical modeling. The result is a plethora of problem-solving techniques, theoretical perspectives, lab-structures and organizations, and identity labels that have made it difficult for commentators to pin down precisely what systems biology is, philosophically or sociologically. In this paper, through the ethnographic investigation of two ISB laboratories, we explore the particular (...) structural features of ISB thinking and organization and its relations to other disciplines that necessitate cognitive innovation at all levels from lab PI’s to individual researchers. We find that systems biologists face numerous constraints that make the production of models far from straight-forward, while at the same time they inhabit largely unstructured task environments in comparison to other fields. We refer to these environments as adaptive problem spaces. These environments they handle by relying substantially on the flexibility and affordances of model-based reasoning to integrate these various constraints and find novel adaptive solutions. Ultimately what is driving this innovation is a determination to construct new cognitive niches in the form of functional model building frameworks that integrate systems biology within the biological sciences. The result is an industry of diverse and different innovative practices and solutions to the problem of modeling complex, large-scale biological systems. (shrink)
The letters convey a picture of Broch’s political discussions with Kahler. Other topics covered in the letters include the intentions of his novels and his theory of mass hysteria as well as the cultural-historical essay “Hofmannsthal and his Time”. The letters also reveal personal details ‑ old Austrian retrospectives as well as current friendships with women and the efforts of his sponsors to promote his fame.
Introduction: Bachelard belittled -- The forgetting of space and Gaston Bachelard's concrete metaphysics -- The temple and the cabin: Heidegger's metaphysics of being-in -- The unheimlich house: Danielewski's concrete being-in -- Our first home: Irigaray's metaphysics of being-within -- The hut in the storm: Bosco's concrete being-within -- Conclusion: the recovery of space and Gaston Bachelards concrete metaphysics.