A. NATURAL. HISTORY. OF. THE. SENSES. “This is one of the best books of the year—by any measure you want to apply. It is interesting, informative, very well written. This book can be opened on any page and read with relish.... thoroughly ...
This book offers a unique synthesis of past and current work on the structure, meaning, and use of negation and negative expressions, a topic that has engaged thinkers from Aristotle and the Buddha to Freud and Chomsky. Horn's masterful study melds a review of scholarship in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics with original research, providing a full picture of negation in natural language and thought; this new edition adds a comprehensive preface and bibliography, surveying research since the book's original publication.
[from the publisher's website] Questions about the existence and attributes of God form the subject matter of natural theology, which seeks to gain knowledge of the divine by relying on reason and experience of the world. Arguments in natural theology rely largely on intuitions and inferences that seem natural to us, occurring spontaneously—at the sight of a beautiful landscape, perhaps, or in wonderment at the complexity of the cosmos—even to a nonphilosopher. In this book, Helen De Cruz (...) and Johan De Smedt examine the cognitive origins of arguments in natural theology. They find that although natural theological arguments can be very sophisticated, they are rooted in everyday intuitions about purpose, causation, agency, and morality. Using evidence and theories from disciplines including the cognitive science of religion, evolutionary ethics, evolutionary aesthetics, and the cognitive science of testimony, they show that these intuitions emerge early in development and are a stable part of human cognition. -/- De Cruz and De Smedt analyze the cognitive underpinnings of five well-known arguments for the existence of God: the argument from design, the cosmological argument, the moral argument, the argument from beauty, and the argument from miracles. Finally, they consider whether the cognitive origins of these natural theological arguments should affect their rationality. (shrink)
Nature, History, State: 1933-1934 presents the first complete English-language translation of Heidegger's seminar 'On the Essence and Concepts of Nature, History and State', together with full introductory material and interpretive essays by five leading thinkers and scholars: Robert Bernasconi, Peter Eli Gordon, Marion Heinz, Theodore Kisiel and Slavoj Žižek. The seminar, which was held while Heidegger was serving as National Socialist rector of the University of Freiburg, represents important evidence of the development of Heidegger's political thought. The text (...) consists of ten 'protocols' on the seminar sessions, composed by students and reviewed by Heidegger. The first session's protocol is a rather personal commentary on the atmosphere in the classroom, but the remainder have every appearance of being faithful transcripts of Heidegger's words, in which he raises a variety of fundamental questions about nature, history and the state. The seminar culminates in an attempt to sketch a political philosophy that supports the 'Führer state'. The text is important evidence for anyone considering the tortured question of Heidegger's Nazism and its connection to his philosophy in general. (shrink)
Translating current research into accessible terms, Taylor discusses the brain's electrical and chemical processes, amnesia, mystical states, and multiple personality and the nature of dreaming, memory, pain, and intelligence.
Investigators of animal behavior since the eighteenth century have sought to make their work integral to the enterprises of naturalhistory and/or the life sciences. In their efforts to do so, they have frequently based their claims of authority on the advantages offered by the special places where they have conducted their research. The zoo, the laboratory, and the field have been major settings for animal behavior studies. The issue of the relative advantages of these different sites has (...) been a persistent one in the history of animal behavior studies up to and including the work of the ethologists of the twentieth century. (shrink)
Inspired by a debate between Noam Chomsky and Jean Piaget, this work traces the development of naturalhistory from Aristotle to Darwin, and demonstrates how the science of plants and animals has emerged from the common conceptions of folkbiology.
Throughout the twentieth century calls to modernize naturalhistory motivated a range of responses. It was unclear how research in naturalhistory museums would participate in the significant technological and conceptual changes that were occurring in the life sciences. By the 1960s, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, was among the few university-based naturalhistory museums that were able to maintain their specimen collections and support active research. The MVZ (...) therefore provides a window to the modernization of naturalhistory. This paper concentrates on the directorial transitions that occurred at the MVZ between 1965 and 1971. During this period, the MVZ had four directors: Alden H. Miller (Director 1940–1965), an ornithologist; Aldo Starker Leopold (Acting Director 1965–1966), a conservationist and wildlife biologist; Oliver P. Pearson (Director 1966–1971), a physiologist and mammalogist; and David B. Wake (Director 1971–1998), a morphologist, developmental biologist, and herpetologist. The paper explores how a diversity of overlapping modernization strategies, including hiring new faculty, building infrastructure to study live animals, establishing new kinds of collections, and building modern laboratories combined to maintain collections at the MVZ’s core. The paper examines the tensions between the different modernization strategies to inform an analysis of how and why some changes were institutionalized while others were short-lived. By exploring the modernization of collections-based research, this paper emphasizes the importance of collections in the transformation of the life sciences. (shrink)
The basic question cognitivists and most analytic philosophers of mind ask is how consciousness arises in matter. This article outlines basic reasons for thinking the question spurious. It does so by examining 1) definitions of life, 2) unjustified and unjustifiable uses of diacritical markings to distinguish real cognition from metaphoric cognition, 3) evidence showing that corporeal consciousness is a biological imperative, 4) corporeal matters of fact deriving from the evolution of proprioception. Three implications of the examination are briefly noted: 1) (...) the need to re-think the common assumption that unconsciousness historically preceded consciousness; 2) the need to delve as deeply and seriously into naturalhistory as into brains and their computational analogues; 3) the need for a critical stance toward arm-chair judgments about consciousness and a correlative turn toward corporeal matters of fact. (shrink)
Garrod, Smith and the contributors of the volume envisage the longue durée poetics of an early modern genre. They interpret its poetics alongside its various epistemic agenda and make a case for the literary status of naturalhistory.
What will your soul's gender be in Heaven? Will your pet Harry be there? Could your clone have a soul? Will eternity be fun? What is it with the ghosts of loved ones? A NaturalHistory of the Soul makes a challenging topic accessible through an entertaining and readable exploration. It begins by reviewing beliefs about the soul and the afterlife in our popular culture, and looks at how they have evolved from the earliest humans. It identifies key (...) concepts in philosophy and major religions, and examines developments in medicine and technology that are shaping our ideas. Throughout the book, provocative questions are raised to help clarify your own beliefs and inform emerging social policy debates. (shrink)
This article presents the main features of the work of Domenico Vandelli (1735-1816), an Italian-born man of science who lived a large part of his life in Portugal. Vandelli's scientific interests as a naturalist paved the way to his activities as a reformer and adviser on economic and financial issues. The topics covered in his writings are similar to those discussed by Linnaeus, with whom Vandelli corresponded. They clearly reveal that the scientific preparation indispensable for a better knowledge of (...) class='Hi'>natural resources was also a fundamental condition for correctly addressing problems of efficiency in their economic allocation. The key argument put forward in this article is that the relationship between naturalhistory and the agenda for economic reform and development deserves to be further analysed. It is indeed a central element in the emergence of political economy as an autonomous scientific discourse during the last decades of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
As recent research has shown, many of the activities of early modern (including eighteenth-century) naturalists were carried out in the household. This article investigates the ways in which family members in particular, both male and female, ended up engaging in kinds of labor which furthered the pursuit of naturalhistory in the eighteenth century. Examining evidence from various different parts of Europe and its colonies, the article argues that naturalhistory can be seen to have often (...) been what might be termed a family enterprise, one to which many different family members might contribute in ways shaped by concerns of kinship and inheritance. (shrink)
A distinct British approach to disease in the tropics has been identified in the recent historiography of colonial medicine: Mansonian tropical medicine, named after Sir Patrick Manson , the founder of the London School of Tropical Medicine. This essay examines Manson's study of filariasis and argues that his conceptual tools and research framework were derived from contemporary naturalhistory. It investigates Manson's training in naturalhistory at the University of Aberdeen, where some of his teachers were (...) closely associated with transcendental biology. The concepts of perfect adaptation and the harmony of nature were crucial to the formulation of his research problematic. This essay demonstrates that biogeographical concepts played an important part in Manson's research methodology. It also investigates how Manson's natural historical approach contributed to the making of so‐called Mansonian tropical medicine. (shrink)
The general popularity of naturalhistory in the eighteenth century is mirrored in the frequency and importance of the more than 4,500 articles on naturalhistory in the "Encyclopédie". The main contributors to naturalhistory were Daubenton, Diderot, Jaucourt and d'Holbach, but some of the key animating principles derive from Buffon, who wrote nothing specifically for the "Encyclopédie". Still, a number of articles reflect his thinking, especially his antipathy toward Linnaeus. There was in principle (...) a natural tie between encyclopedism, with its emphasis on connected knowledge, and the task of natural historians who concentrated on the relationships among living forms. Both the encyclopedists and natural historians aimed at a sweeping overview of knowledge, and we see that Diderot's discussions of the encyclopedia were apparently informed by his reading of naturalhistory. Most of the articles on naturalhistory drew from traditional sources, but there are differences in emphasis and choice of subject, depending upon the author. Diderot's 300 contributions are often practical, interesting, and depend upon accounts from other parts of the world. Jaucourt, who wrote more articles on naturalhistory than anyone else, followed in his footsteps. Daubenton's 900 articles reflected a more narrow, professional approach. His contributions concluded for the most part with Volume 8, and Jaucourt carried on almost single-handedly after that. While staking out traditional ground (description, taxonomy) and advancing newer theoretical views linked with Buffon, naturalhistory in the "Encyclopédie" avoided almost completely the sentimentalism concerning nature that developed after Rousseau. (shrink)
This paper aims to examine Kant’s views on evolution of organized beings and to show that Kant’s antievolutionary conclusions stem from his study of naturalhistory and variability of organisms. Accordingly, I discuss Kant’s study of naturalhistory and consider whether his conclusion about impossibility of knowledge about such history expands on the research of history of organized beings. Moving forward, I examine the notion of variability in Kant’s philosophy, and show that his theory (...) of organized beings relies on the preformationist conception of variability that provides limited insight into the history of organisms. I explain that Kant’s endorsement of preformationism is conditioned by a lack of knowledge about the mechanism that successfully explains adaptation and transmutation of organisms leading towards the creation of new species. Finally, I sumarize the following reasons for Kant’s rejection of the hypothesis of evolution: lack of cognitive ability to discover all changes of natural phenomena in different periods of time and adoption of preformationist conception of variability of organized beings. I finish off with a discussion about mechanical inexplicability of organisms and find a third reason Kant believes that the idea of evolution is only “a daring adventure on the part of reason”. (shrink)
At various stages in his career, Francis Bacon claimed to have reformed and changed traditional naturalhistory in such a way that his new “natural and experimental history” was unlike any of its ancient or humanist predecessors. Surprisingly, such claims have gone largely unquestioned in Baconian scholarship. Contextual readings of Bacon's naturalhistory have compared it, so far, only with Plinian or humanist naturalhistory. This paper investigates a different form of (...) class='Hi'>naturalhistory, very popular among Bacon's contemporaries, but yet unexplored by contemporary students of Bacon's works. I have provisionally called this form of naturalhistory 'Senecan' naturalhistory, partly because it took shape in the Neo-Stoic revival of the sixteenth-century, partly because it originates in a particular cosmographical reading of Seneca's Naturales quaestiones. I discuss in this paper two examples of Senecan naturalhistory: the encyclopedic and cosmographical projects of Pierre de la Primaudaye and Samuel Purchas. I highlight a number of similarities between these two projects and Francis Bacon's naturalhistory, and argue that Senecan naturalhistory forms an important aspect in the historical and philosophical background that needs to be taken into consideration if we want to understand the extent to which Bacon's project to reform naturalhistory can be said to be new. (shrink)
The volume consists of eleven of Löwith's essays on the philosophy of history, the history of philosophy, and the nature of the challenges faced by philosophy and the Christian faith in the twentieth century. Included are illuminating studies on Heidegger, Pascal and the early Marx. Appearing for the first time in translation are three noteworthy and challenging essays, "The Quest for the Meaning of History," "The Fate of Progress," and "Hegel and the Christian Religion." Löwith is concerned (...) with the historical origins of the intellectual problems facing modern man, but is critical of many modern attempts to view philosophy and faith from an exclusively historical perspective. Löwith's thinking is throughout stimulating and original.—A. W. W. (shrink)
Theodor Adorno's concept of 'naturalhistory' [Naturgeschichte] was central for a number of Adorno's theoretical projects, but remains elusive. In this essay, I analyse different dimensions of the concept of naturalhistory, distinguishing amongst (a) a reflection on the normative and methodological bases of philosophical anthropology and critical social science; (b) a conception of critical memory oriented toward the preservation of the memory of historical suffering; and (c) the notion of 'mindfulness of nature in the subject' (...) provocatively asserted in Max Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment. These strands are united by the notion of transience and goal of developing a critical theory sensitive to the transient in history. The essay concludes by suggesting some implications of an expanded concept of naturalhistory for issues in the discourse theory of Jürgen Habermas. (shrink)
Whatever its merits and difficulties, the concept of logic embedded in much of the "new philosophy" of the early modern period was then understood to supplant contemporary views of formal logic. The notion of compiling a naturalhistory of the understanding constituted the basis of this new concept of logic. The following paper attempts to trace this view of logic through some of the major and numerous minor texts of the period, centering on the development and influence of (...) John Locke's understanding of the analysis of the cognitive faculties as the discipline of logic. (shrink)
Emphasizing Hume's claim of a gulf between the rational bases of religion and its empirical, historical origins, the Introduction holds that the History marks the beginning of the philosophy of religion. --J. E. B.
Sterelny (2003) develops an idealised naturalhistory of folk-psychological kinds. He argues that belief-like states are natural elaborations of simpler control systems, called detection systems, which map directly from environmental cue to response. Belief-like states exhibit robust tracking (sensitivity to multiple environmental states), and response breadth (occasioning a wider range of behaviours). The development of robust tracking and response-breadth depend partly on properties of the informational environment. In a transparent environment the functional relevance of states of the (...) world is directly detectable. Outside transparent environments, selection can favour decoupled representations. Sterelny maintains that these arguments do not generalise to desire. Unlike the external environment, the internal processes of an organism, he argues, are selected for transparency. Parts of a single organism gain nothing from deceiving one another, but gain significantly from accurate signalling of their states and needs. Key conditions favouring the development of belief-like states are therefore absent in the case of desires. Here I argue that Sterelny’s reasons for saying that his treatment of belief does not generalise to motivation (desires, or preferences) are insufficient. There are limits to the transparency that internal environments can achieve. Even if there were not, tracking the motivational salience of external states suggests possible gains for systematic tracking of outcome values in any system in which selection has driven the production of belief-like states. (shrink)