Water saving irrigation is promoted as a strategy to mitigate future water stresses by the Chinese government and irrigation scientists. However, the dissemination of WSI in China has been slow and little is understood with respect to why farmers adopt WSI or how WSI interacts with the social and institutional contexts in which it is embedded. By analyzing qualitative data from 37 semi-structured and 56 unstructured interviews across 13 villages in northwest China, this paper examines smallholder farmers’ knowledge and perceptions (...) of WSI, and how WSI interacts with farmer livelihood decision-making and extant systems of land and water management. The results show that smallholders’ willingness to adopt and continuously use WSI was dampened by a lack of communal capital and measures for conflict resolution, a disconnect between the temporal demands of practicing WSI and the ways farmers prioritize different livelihood strategies, misconceptions about WSI systems and how they work, market risks, and landownership structure and economies of scale. These results suggest that programs for promoting WSI must be holistic in nature and address smallholders’ day-to-day problems. Understanding why WSI did not succeed in some places will help formulate policy interventions that avoid reproducing conflicts, risks, and technological malfunctions responsible for previous failure. (shrink)
Thus Spoke Zarathustra is considered one of Nietzsche’s most important works, but for many readers it is often impenetrable. This guide provides readers with the tools they need to understand this key philosophical work. Douglas Burnham and Martin Jesinghausen offer a close reading, suggest alternative readings, break down difficult language, and show how the book fits within Nietzsche's larger philosophical project. No other guide deals as successfully with Zarathustra’s stylistic and conceptual challenges.
Emanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is one of the most widely read texts in the history of philosophy. Douglas Burnham and Harvey Young unravel this difficult text, passage by passage, making reading and appreciating this work achievable and enjoyable. Designed to be read alongside the original, this guide is essential for students and scholars at all levels.
Human cooperation is held to be an evolutionary puzzle because people voluntarily engage in costly cooperation, and costly punishment of non-cooperators, even among anonymous strangers they will never meet again. The costs of such cooperation cannot be recovered through kin-selection, reciprocal altruism, indirect reciprocity, or costly signaling. A number of recent authors label this behavior "strong reciprocity", and argue that it is: a newly documented aspect of human nature, adaptive, and evolved by group selection. We argue exactly the opposite; that (...) the phenomenon is: not new, maladaptive, and evolved by individual selection. In our perspective, the apparent puzzle disappears to reveal a biological and evolutionary logic to human cooperation. Group selection may play a role in theory, but it is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain human cooperation. Our alternative solution is simpler, makes fewer assumptions, and is more parsimonious with the empirical data. (shrink)
In a laboratory experiment, we use a public goods game to examine the hypothesis that human subjects use an involuntary eye-detector mechanism for evaluating the level of privacy. Half of our subjects are “watched” by images of a robot presented on their computer screen. The robot—named Kismet and invented at MIT—is constructed from objects that are obviously not human with the exception of its eyes. In our experiment, Kismet produces a significant difference in behavior that is not consistent with existing (...) economic models of preferences, either self- or other-regarding. Subjects who are “watched” by Kismet contribute 29% more to the public good than do subjects in the same setting without Kismet. (shrink)
The field of psychology, including cognitive science, is vexed by a crisis of confidence. Although the causes and solutions are varied, we focus here on a common logical problem in inference. The default mode of inference is significance testing, which has a free lunch property where researchers need not make detailed assumptions about the alternative to test the null hypothesis. We present the argument that there is no free lunch; that is, valid testing requires that researchers test the null against (...) a well-specified alternative. We show how this requirement follows from the basic tenets of conventional and Bayesian probability. Moreover, we show in both the conventional and Bayesian framework that not specifying the alternative may lead to rejections of the null hypothesis with scant evidence. We review both frequentist and Bayesian approaches to specifying alternatives, and we show how such specifications improve inference. The field of cognitive science will benefit because consideration of reasonable alternatives will undoubtedly sharpen the intellectual underpinnings of research. (shrink)
This book represents the first full-length study of the aesthetics of the appreciation of wine. It introduces and argues for the validity and significance of several new concepts: competency, project, and aesthetic practices. Using these concepts -- together with analyses borrowed from cognitive science, sensory science, Husserlian phenomenology and hermeneutics -- the case is made that wine can be a proper and indeed significant object of aesthetic attention. The implications of this are pursued in three ways: First, within the culture (...) of wine, with a sustained treatment of important concepts such as terroir; second, within philosophical aesthetics. The latter results in a position termed 'contextual aesthetics' that sees aesthetic acts as always situated within cultural practices, and given meaning thereby. The third implication is for the cultural and aesthetic value accorded to the various senses, and the kinds of underlying issues that might have led to, and might now lead away from, these values. (shrink)
In his article “Category Independent Aesthetic Experience: The Case of Wine” in this journal, David Sackris presents arguments against Kendall Walton’s view in the famous article “Categories of Art.”David Sackris, “Category Independent Aesthetic Experience: The Case of Wine,” The Journal of Value Inquiry, 47 (2013), pp. 111–120; Kendall Walton, “Categories of Art,” in Steven M. Cahn and Aaron Meskin (Eds) Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 521–537. [First published in The Philosophical Review, 79 (1970), pp. 334–367.] He claims, (...) with support in an argument about the immediate qualities of great wines, that for some kinds of aesthetic appreciation specific category knowledge is not necessary. We welcome the idea that wine appreciation is an aesthetic practice, and more importantly the view that the features of wine appreciation might shed light on, or even transform our understanding of aesthetic experience more generally. The article also draws welcom .. (shrink)
Previous research in North America has supported the view that male involvement in committed, romantic relationships is associated with lower testosterone (T) levels. Here, we test the prediction that undergraduate men involved in committed, romantic relationships (paired) will have lower T levels than men not involved in such relationships (unpaired). Further, we also test whether these differences are more apparent in samples collected later, rather than earlier, in the day. For this study, 107 undergraduate men filled out a questionnaire and (...) collected one saliva sample (from which a subject’s T level was measured) at various times across the day. As in previous studies, men involved in committed, romantic relationships had lower salivary T levels, though only during later times of the day. Furthermore, additional analysis of the variation among unpaired subjects indicated that men without prior relationship experience had lower T levels than experienced men. Finally, while paired men as a group had lower T levels than unpaired men, those men at the earliest stage (less than six months) of a current relationship had higher T levels than unpaired men as well as men in longer-term relationships. These results suggest that variation in male testosterone levels may reflect differential behavioral allocation to mating effort. (shrink)
A generation or more ago, as the Cold War flourished, the continental European\nscholars whom I met seemed odd to me. They were, virtually without\nexception, totally preoccupied with whether their scholarship harmonized\nwith Marxism or refuted Marxism. This focus cut across disciplinary lines.\nIndeed, a basic assumption united these colleagues: the scholars’ world,\nwhether Karl Marx or Max Weber, consisted of centralized bureaucracies\nsuitable for socialism or at least for orderly organization.\nNorth American scholars shared with the Europeans, not the preoccupation\nwith Marxism, but the idea that (...) centralized bureaucracies made up the\ninteresting world. In such a world, the human sciences were disciplines, and,\ncontrary to Michel Foucault, the discipline was applied to the scholar. The\nscholar was expected to search for empirical evidence and to interpret the evidence\nas objectively as was humanly possible. The human science disciplines\nhad identifiable functional structures, and most scholars (perhaps excepting\nsome anthropologists) tended to be structural functionalists. (shrink)
The concept of the sick role entered sociology in 1951 when Talcott Parsons creatively separated the sick person out of the doctor–patient dyad. The idea became fundamental in the subdiscipline of medical sociology. By the 1990s, the concept had almost disappeared from the research literature. Beyond the generational and theoretical changes that explain how the sick role idea could become irrelevant or unnecessary to sociologists, there were two immediate factors: the negative politicization of the concept and the shift of medical (...) sociologists to a focus on applied health behavior. In the later, fragmented discipline of sociology, final, total abandonment was still uncertain. (shrink)
In my recent book on Fredric Jameson, I averred that while Jameson and Žižek seem to be ideologically aligned, a misperception suggested or affirmed by their frequent citation of each other’s work, these citations were, I argued, a screen that obfuscates more profound differences. But what are those differences? I propose here to lay some stress on what I take to be some important differences between those two projects, in terms of their attitudes towards the dialectic. Grounding that dialectic via (...) the vicissitudes of the Lacanian “non-relation,” I then turn to the question of historicism or historicity, articulated via contrasting readings of Jeff Wall’s 1994 photograph Untangling that allegorize via the pictorial not so much mark making but looking as labor – the labor of the clinic with or without the labor of the workshop. (shrink)
"Beyond Good and Evil" is a concise and comprehensive statement of Nietzsche's mature philosophy and is an ideal entry point into Nietzsche's work as a whole. Pithy, lyrical and densely complex, "Beyond Good and Evil" demands that its readers are already familiar with key Nietzschean concepts - such as the will-to-power, perspectivism or eternal recurrence - and are able to leap with Nietzschean agility from topic to topic, across metaphysics, psychology, religion, morality and politics. "Reading Nietzsche" explains the key concepts, (...) the range of Nietzsche's concerns, and highlights Nietzsche's writing strategies that are the key to understanding his work and processes of thought. In its close analysis of the text, "Reading Nietzsche" reassesses this most creative of philosophers and presents a significant contribution to the study of his thought. In setting this analysis within a comprehensive survey of Nietzsche's ideas, the book is a guide both to this key work and to Nietzsche's philosophy more generally. (shrink)
Although provocative, the data reported in Henrich et al.'s target article suffer from limitations, including the fact that the “selfishness axiom” is not an interesting null hypothesis, and the intrinsic limitations of quasi-experimental designs, in which random assignment is impossible. True experiments, in the laboratory or in the field, will continue to be crucial for settling core issues associated with human economic behavior.
Examples from Chinese, Thai, and Finnish illustrate why researchers cannot always be confident about the precise nature of the word unit. Understanding ambiguities regarding where a word begins and ends, and how to model word recognition when many derivations of a word are possible, is essential for universal theories of reading applied to both developing and expert readers.
The Bible in the Middle Ages, much like the Bible today, consisted for the laity not of a set of texts within a canon but of those stories which, partly because of their liturgical significance and partly because of their picturesque and memorable qualities, formed a provisional “Bible” in the popular imagination. Even relatively devout and educated moderns may be surprised by what is, and what is not, biblical. The medieval popular Bible took shape within an encyclopedic tradition largely responsible (...) for the variety of materials now associated with the Bible. Prior to and even after full-scale Reformation translations, biblical material was disseminated in the vernaculars through sermons, homilies, commentaries, universal histories, picture Bibles, the drama, and a large corpus of biblical paraphrases. Each of those literary forms owes debts to the others, but a significant influence on them all, and especially those produced in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century France and England, is Peter Comestor's Historia scholastica. (shrink)