For thousands of years, people have used nature to justify their political, moral, and social judgments. Such appeals to the moral authority of nature are still very much with us today, as heated debates over genetically modified organisms and human cloning testify. The Moral Authority of Nature offers a wide-ranging account of how people have used nature to think about what counts as good, beautiful, just, or valuable. The eighteen essays cover a diverse array of topics, including the connection of (...) cosmic and human orders in ancient Greece, medieval notions of sexual disorder, early modern contexts for categorizing individuals and judging acts as "against nature," race and the origin of humans, ecological economics, and radical feminism. The essays also range widely in time and place, from archaic Greece to early twentieth-century China, medieval Europe to contemporary America. Scholars from a wide variety of fields will welcome The Moral Authority of Nature, which provides the first sustained historical survey of its topic. Contributors: Danielle Allen, Joan Cadden, Lorraine Daston, Fa-ti Fan, Eckhardt Fuchs, Valentin Groebner, Abigail J. Lustig, Gregg Mitman, Michelle Murphy, Katharine Park, Matt Price, Robert N. Proctor, Helmut Puff, Robert J. Richards, Londa Schiebinger, Laura Slatkin, Julia Adeney Thomas, Fernando Vidal. (shrink)
For thousands of years, people have used nature to justify their political, moral, and social judgments. Such appeals to the moral authority of nature are still very much with us today, as heated debates over genetically modified organisms and human cloning testify. _The Moral Authority of Nature_ offers a wide-ranging account of how people have used nature to think about what counts as good, beautiful, just, or valuable. The eighteen essays cover a diverse array of topics, including the connection of (...) cosmic and human orders in ancient Greece, medieval notions of sexual disorder, early modern contexts for categorizing individuals and judging acts as "against nature," race and the origin of humans, ecological economics, and radical feminism. The essays also range widely in time and place, from archaic Greece to early twentieth-century China, medieval Europe to contemporary America. Scholars from a wide variety of fields will welcome _The Moral Authority of Nature_, which provides the first sustained historical survey of its topic. Contributors: Danielle Allen, Joan Cadden, Lorraine Daston, Fa-ti Fan, Eckhardt Fuchs, Valentin Groebner, Abigail J. Lustig, Gregg Mitman, Michelle Murphy, Katharine Park, Matt Price, Robert N. Proctor, Helmut Puff, Robert J. Richards, Londa Schiebinger, Laura Slatkin, Julia Adeney Thomas, Fernando Vidal. (shrink)
Le programme de recherche que l'on trouvera ci-dessous nous semble particulièrement original et utile d'un point de vue rythmanalytique – et cela à double titre. Alors que la vitesse, l'accélération et l'urgence sont, depuis quelques années, les objets d'une littérature pléthorique et désormais assez répétitive, Laurent Vidal et les chercheurs regroupés dans l'ANR TERRIAT s'intéressent, quant à eux, à la « lenteur » et à l'« attente ». Second point fort, ils orientent leur attention vers la question des « (...) (...) - 4. Rythmes du social – Nouvel article. (shrink)
Le programme de recherche que l'on trouvera ci-dessous nous semble particulièrement original et utile d'un point de vue rythmanalytique – et cela à double titre. D'une part, alors que la vitesse, l'accélération et l'urgence sont, depuis quelques années, les objets d'une littérature pléthorique et désormais assez répétitive, Laurent Vidal et les chercheurs regroupés dans l'ANR TERRIAT s'intéressent, quant à eux, à la « lenteur » et à l'« attente ». De l'autre, ils orientent leur attention vers la question du (...) « (...) - 4. Rythmes du social – Nouvel article. (shrink)
The discussion of ethics, corporate responsibility and its educational dimensions focuses primarily on CSR, corporate citizenship and philanthropic theory and practise. The partnership between Microsoft Corporation and UNHCR was launched to help the victims of the Kosovo crisis, at the same time as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gained momentum, and in particular, at the same time as Microsoft experienced a decrease in stock value. This case study sheds light on a decade of Microsoft Corp. efforts to align business (...) objectives with refugee aid, by use of corporate expertise and company revenues. As a leader in technology and corporate citizenship, can Microsoft bridge the digital divide for the disadvantaged and arouse the unlimited potential of tomorrow’s leaders, as the company claims in its communications? Is the partnership beneficial to UNHCR, in line with corporate objectives of “doing big things” and “doing good”? (shrink)
where ‘aa’ is a plural term, and ‘F’ a plural predicate. Following George Boolos (1984) and others, many philosophers and logicians also think that plural expressions should be analysed as not introducing any new ontological commitments to some sort of ‘plural entities’, but rather as involving a new form of reference to objects to which we are already committed (for an overview and further details, see Linnebo 2004). For instance, the plural term ‘aa’ refers to Alice, Bob and Charlie simultaneously, (...) and the plural predicate ‘F’ is true of some things just in case these things cooperate. A natural question that arises is whether the step from the singular to the plural can be iterated. Are there terms that stand to ordinary plural terms the way ordinary plural terms stand to singular terms? Let’s call such terms superplural. A superplural term would thus, loosely speaking, refer to several ‘pluralities’ at once, much as an ordinary plural term refers to several objects at once.1 Further, let’s call a predicate superplural if it can be predicated of superplural terms. It is reasonably straightforward to devise a formal logic of superplural terms, superplural predicates, and even superplural quantifiers (see Rayo 2006). But does this formal logic reflect any features of natural languages? In particular, does ordinary English contain superplural terms and predicates? The purpose of this article is to address these questions. We examine some earlier arguments for the existence of superplural expressions in English and find them to be either.. (shrink)
Philosophy lacks criteria to evaluate its philosophical theories. To fill this gap, this essay introduces nine criteria to compare worldviews, classified in three broad categories: objective criteria (objective consistency, scientificity, scope), subjective criteria (subjective consistency, personal utility, emotionality), and intersubjective criteria (intersubjective consistency, collective utility, narrativity). The essay first defines what a worldview is and exposes the heuristic used in the quest for criteria. After describing each criterion individually, it shows what happens when each of them is violated. From the (...) criteria, it derives assessment tests to compare and improve different worldviews. These include the is-ought, ought-act, and is-act first-order tests; the critical and dialectical second-order tests; the mixed-questions and first-second-order third-order tests; and the we-I, we-it, and it-I tests. The essay then applies these criteria and tests to a concrete example, comparing the Flying Spaghetti Monster deity with Intelligent Design. For another application, it draws more general fruitful suggestions for the dialogue between science and religion. (shrink)
Despite tremendous advances in neuroscience, the topic “brain, sex and gender” remains a matter of misleading interpretations, that go well beyond the bounds of science. In the 19th century, the difference in brain sizes was a major argument to explain the hierarchy between men and women, and was supposed to reflect innate differences in mental capacity. Nowadays, our understanding of the human brain has progressed dramatically with the demonstration of cerebral plasticity. The new brain imaging techniques have revealed the role (...) of the environment in continually re-shaping our brain all along our lifetimes as it goes through new experiences and acquires new knowledge. However, the idea that biology is a major determining factor for cognition and behavioral gender differentiation, is still very much alive. The media are far from being the only guilty party. Some scientific circles actively promote the idea of an innate origin of a gender difference in mental capacities. Experimental data from brain imaging, cognitive tests or genetics are often distorted to serve deterministic ideas. Such abuse of “scientific discourses” have to be counteracted by effective communication of clear and unbiased information to the citizens. This paper presents a critical analysis of selected examples which emphasize sex differences in three fields e.g. skills in language and mathematics, testosterone and financial risk-taking behavior, moral cognition. To shed light on the data and the methods used in some papers, we can now—with today’s knowledge on cerebral plasticity—challenge even more strongly, many false interpretations. Our goal here is double: we want to provide evidence against archaic beliefs about the biological determinism of sex differences but also promote a positive image of scientific research. (shrink)
The acceleration of the market globalisation process over the last three decades has internationalised clinical research and influenced both the way in which it is funded and the development and application of research practices. In addition, in recent years international multicentre randomised clinical trials have become the model par excellence for research on new medicines. The neoliberal model of globalisation has induced a decline in state power, both with regard to establishing national research for health priorities and to influencing the (...) development of adequate ethical guidelines to protect human beings that participate in multinational research. In this respect, poor and low-income countries, which lack sustainable control and review systems to deal with the ethical and methodological challenges of complex studies conducted by researchers from affluent countries and funded by large multinational pharmaceutical companies, are particularly vulnerable. The aim of the present paper is to explore critically some of the actual and possible ethical pitfalls of globalisation of clinical research and propose mechanisms for turning transnational clinical research into a more cooperative and fairer enterprise. (shrink)
Jan Greben criticized fine-tuning by taking seriously the idea that “nature is quantum mechanical”. I argue that this quantum view is limited, and that fine-tuning is real, in the sense that our current physical models require fine-tuning. Second, I examine and clarify many difficult and fundamental issues raised by Rüdiger Vaas’ comments on Cosmological Artificial Selection.
Allen (2001) proposed the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) method for personal productivity enhancement, and reduction of the stress caused by information overload. This paper argues that recent insights in psychology and cognitive science support and extend GTD’s recommendations. We first summarize GTD with the help of a flowchart. We then review the theories of situated, embodied and distributed cognition that purport to explain how the brain processes information and plans actions in the real world. The conclusion is that the brain (...) heavily relies on the environment, to function as an external memory, a trigger for actions, and a source of affordances, disturbances and feedback. We then show how these principles are practically implemented in GTD, with its focus on organizing tasks into “actionable” external memories, and on opportunistic, situation-dependent execution. Finally, we propose an extension of GTD to support collaborative work, inspired by the concept of stigmergy. (shrink)
The academic literature in research ethics has been marked in the past decade by a much broader focus on the need for the protection of developing communities subjected to international clinical trials. Because of the proximity of the revision of the Declaration of Helsinki, completed in October 2008, most papers have addressed the issue of a double standard of care following the use of placebo. However, other no less important issues, such as interactions between the lifestyles structures of low-income communities (...) and the efficiency of risk-minimising procedures also deserve attention. The purpose of this paper is to discuss forms of uncertainty involved in clinical trials in poor and low-income countries that are not addressed by conventional methods of risk assessment. Furthermore, the increase in size of risks that are identified by conventional assessment methods will be addressed. Besides, the difficulty in properly applying risk-minimising procedures will be discussed. Finally, this paper proposes the involvement of research ethics committees in the risk evaluation process and the establishment of national ethics evaluation systems. (shrink)
I discuss some of the speculations proposed by Stewart ( 2010a ). These include the following propositions: the cooperation at larger and larger scales, the existence of larger scale processes, the enhancement of the tuning as the universe cycle repeats, the transmission between universes and the motivations to produce a new universe.
In this paper, we investigate how certain types of predicates should be connected with certain types of degree scales, and how this can affect the events they describe. The distribution and interpretation of various degree adverbials will serve us as a guideline in this perspective. They suggest that two main types of degree scales should be distinguished: (i) quantity scales, which are characterized by the semantic equivalence of Yannig ate the cake partially and Yannig ate part of the cake; quantity (...) scales only appear with verbs possessing an incremental theme (cf. Dowty 1991); (ii) intensity scales, which are characterized by degree modifiers (e.g., extremely, perfectly) receiving an intensive interpretation; intensity scales typically occur with verbs morphologically related to an adjective (to dry). More generally, we capitalize on a typology of degree structures to explain how degrees play a central role with respect to event structure. (shrink)
Abstract: Friends of plural logic—like Oliver & Smiley (2001), Rayo (2002), Yi (2005), and McKay (2006)—have argued that a semantics of plurals based on mereological sums would be too weak, and they have adduced several examples in favor of their claim. However, they have not considered various possible counter-arguments. So how convincing are their own arguments? We show that several of them are easily answered, while some others are more problematic. Overall, the case against mereological singularism—the idea that mereological sums (...) can serve as the semantic values of plurals—turns out to be much less strong than what it is usually presented to be. (shrink)
Since the 19th century, and despite tremendous progress in science, the topic of 'brain and sex' remains a matter of misleading interpretations, far beyond the field of science. The media are not solely responsible for this situation. Some scientific circles still actively promote the ideology of biological determinism in their attempt to explain differences in behaviour and cognitive abilities between men and women. Experimental data from brain imaging studies, cognitive tests or the discovery of new genes are often distorted to (...) serve deterministic ideas. As biotechnologies and genetic engeneering represent today a new economic and lucrative challenge, the question of what is innate and what is acquired is becoming more and more significant, requiring vigilant scrutiny from us all. (shrink)
What semantics should we attribute to nouns like "wisdom" and "generosity", which are derived from gradable adjectives? We show that, from a morphosyntactic standpoint, these nouns are mass nouns. This leads us to consider and answer the following questions. How are these nouns interpreted in their various uses? What formal representations may one associate with their interpretations? How do these depend on the semantics of the adjective? And where lies the semantic unity of nouns like wisdom and generosity with the (...) more familiar concrete mass nouns, like wine and furniture? (shrink)
Physical laws are irresistible. Logical rules are not. That is why logic is said to be normative. Given a system of logic we have a Norma, a standard of correctness. The problem is that we need another Norma to establish when the standard of correctness is to be applied. Subsequently we start by clarifying the senses in which the term ‘Iogic’ and the term ‘normativity’ are being used. Then we explore two different epistemologies for logic to see the sort of (...) defence of the normativity of logic they allow for; if any. The analysis concentrates on the case of classical logic. In particular the issue will be appraised from the perspective put forward by the epistemology based on the methodology of wide reflective equilibrium and the scientific one underlying the view of logic as model. (shrink)
'Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundation either. It leaves everything as it is.' 'We must do away with all explanation, and description alone must take its place.'.
The first part of this paper proposes a precise definition of what a worldview is, and why there is a necessity to have one. The second part suggests how to construct integrated scientific worldviews. For this attempt, three general scientific approaches are proposed: the general systems theory as the endeavor for a universal language for science, a general problem-solving approach and the idea of evolution, broadly construed. We close with some remarks about limitations of scientific worldviews.
This paper presents some modern and interdisciplinary concepts about creativity and creative processes specially related to problem solving. Central publications related to the theme are briefly reviewed. Creative tools and approaches suitable to support problem solving are also presented. Finally, the paper outlines the authorâs experiences using creative tools and approaches to: Facilitation of problem solving processes, strategy development in organisations, design of optimisation systems for large scale and complex logistic systems, and creative design of software optimisation for complex non-linear (...) systems. (shrink)
Crane envisions the speculative conjecture that intelligent civilizations might want and be able to produce black holes in the very far future. He implicitly suggests two main purposes of this enterprise: (i) energy production and (ii) universe production. We discuss those two options. The commentary is obviously highly speculative and should be read accordingly.
What semantics should we attribute to mass expressions like "wisdom" and "love", which are derived from gradable expressions? We first examine how these expressions are used, then how they are interpreted in their various uses. We then propose a model to account for these data, in which derived mass nouns denote instances of properties.
We will assert than in the era of Ubiquitous Technology to be human is to be creative. Small children are experimental and creative actors. The socialisation process in modern societies, both at home and at educational institutions, does not enhance and develop their creativity. On the contrary, their creativity is discouraged in many ways. We conceptualise creativity developmentally: It is possible to use activities, teaching methods, motivation and procedures to enhance and develop creativity, even in older people. This paper gives (...) some guides that can be used both at home and at work to explore, enhance and develop ones own creativity and the creativity of others. Each suggestion is presented from a practical viewpoint and then related to some of the tools and concepts that scientists and artists use in their creative endeavours. (shrink)
In English, some common nouns, like "cat", can be used in the singular and in the plural, while others, like "wate"r, are invariable. Moreover, nouns like "cat" can be employed with numerals like "one" and "two" and determiners like "a", "many" and "few", but neither with "much" nor "little". On the contrary, nouns like "milk" can be used with determiners like "much" and "little", but neither with "a", "one" nor "many". These two types of nouns constitute two morphosyntactic sub-classes of (...) English common nouns; cf. for instance Gillon (1992). They have been respectively called count nouns and mass nouns. In many languages, notably Romance and Germanic languages, one can similarly identify two morphosyntactic subclasses of common nouns, nouns of one class admitting singular and plural number, and nouns of the other being invariable in grammatical number. The question we want to address in this paper is one in lexical semantics: Is there anything characteristic about the meaning of a count noun? (shrink)
Contra Jackendoff, we argue that within the parallel architecture framework, the generality of language does not require a rich conceptual structure. To show this, we put forward a delegation model of specialization. We find Jackendoff's alternative, the subdivision model, insufficiently supported. In particular, the computational consequences of his representational notion of modularity need to be clarified.
We present a theoretical discussion of the sociological contribution concerning decisions in organizations. Two theories stand. The first, based on the decision process from a critical theory of the traditional linear multi rational by Lucien Sfez, argues that the decision is a process of interactions and treats it as an institutional process based on the freedom of the subject. The second theory based on self-referential systems by Niklas Luhmann, interprets organizations as systems-making, and understands the concept of decision as purely (...) epistemological specificity, abstracted from the decision of all the elements and organizational variables associated with it. Se expone un debate teórico sobre la aportación sociológica referente a las decisiones en las organizaciones. Sobresalen dos teorías de las decisiones. La primera, basada en el proceso de decisión a partir una teoría crítica de la multirracionalidad lineal elaborado por Lucien Sfez, al plantear que con la decisión se trata de un proceso de interacciones, al ser considerada como un proceso institucional fundamentado en la libertad del sujeto. La segunda fundamentada en la teoría de sistemas autorreferenciales, interpreta las organizaciones como sistemas de decisiones y entiende el concepto de decisión en su especificidad puramente epistemológica, al abstraer de la decisión de todos los elementos y variables organizacionales relacionados con ella (Niklas Luhmann). (shrink)
We assessed the effect of suggestion on the Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm and associated it with the Remember–Know–Guess paradigm. Undergraduate students were given either lists of semantically related words or texts containing these words. After the recall task, if participants did not produce the critical lure, the experimenter suggested that the word had been present, using either a question or an assertion ; these conditions were compared to a condition without suggestion. Afterwards, participants took a recognition test. The results showed that strong (...) suggestions lead to more false recognitions than other conditions and the state of consciousness associated with false recognitions tends to be a feeling of knowing rather than remembering, regardless of the verbal version . Therefore moderate suggestions did not lead to more false recognitions compare to no suggestion. We discuss the impact of suggestion on consciousness associated with false memories. (shrink)
Nos daremos a la tarea de presentar una discusión que se encuentra en la obra del filósofo colombiano Julio Enrique Blanco, y en particular en dos de sus primeros escritos: “De la causalidad biológica I” (1917) y “Caminos de perfección” (1918). Para hacerlo debimos primero recurrir a uno de los textos centrales del inglés John Stuart Mill: Un sistema de lógica (1843). Lo que ha resultado de estas tres lecturas es la reconstrucción de una propuesta metodológica realizada por el colombiano, (...) propuesta que presentamos con complementos que son el resultado de las lecturas de éstas y otras obras suyas. Finalmente, intentaremos demostrar que ante la evaluación de los fundamentos cognoscitivos de nociones heredadas, una de las posibilidades que se presenta es inmovilizar aquellas que sean de carácter hipotético antes que hipertético. (shrink)
L'objet de cet article est d'examiner en quoi la phrase nominale existentielle : (a) Lecture pendant toute la matinée. (b) Lecture d'un poème. (c) Lecture. peut être concernée par la distinction aspectuelle télique / atélique. Nous avons examiné les phrases qui, notamment à cause du type d'expression nominale employé, renvoient à un événement, un processus ou un état. Celles qui renvoient à un événement sont téliques, les autres sont atéliques, comme dans le cas des expressions verbales. Nous avons étudié les (...) énoncés nominaux qui comportent un circonstant (a) pouvant influer sur l'aspect télique ou atélique de l'énoncé et les énoncés qui renferment uniquement un groupe nominal, comme en (b), ou un simple nom comme en (c). Il ressort de cette étude i) que le caractère télique ou atélique d'une phrase nominale existentielle dépend non seulement du type de nom utilisé, mais aussi de facteurs syntaxiques (circonstant, complément, adjectif et déterminant du nom) voire contextuels (l'énoncé précédent); ii) que la phrase nominale existentielle impose certaines contraintes d'emploi, notamment par rapport aux déterminants, ce qui peut freiner l'observation de la télicité pour certains groupes nominaux2. (shrink)
We prove, by using the concept of schematic interpretation, that the natural embedding from the category ISL, of intuitionistic sentential pretheories and i-congruence classes of morphisms, to the category CSL, of classical sentential pretheories and c-congruence classes of morphisms, has a left adjoint, which is related to the double negation interpretation of Gödel-Gentzen, and a right adjoint, which is related to the Law of Excluded Middle. Moreover, we prove that from the left to the right adjoint there is a pointwise (...) epimorphic natural transformation and that since the two endofunctors at CSL, obtained by adequately composing the aforementioned functors, are naturally isomorphic to the identity functor for CSL, the string of adjunctions constitutes an adjoint cylinder. On the other hand, we show that the operators of Lindenbaum-Tarski of formation of algebras from pretheories can be extended to equivalences of categories from the category CSL, respectively, ISL, to the category Bool, of Boolean algebras, respectively, Heyt, of Heyting algebras. Finally, we prove that the functor of regularization from Heyt to Bool has, in addition to its well-known right adjoint (that is, the canonical embedding of Bool into Heyt) a left adjoint, that from the left to the right adjoint there is a pointwise epimorphic natural transformation, and, finally, that such a string of adjunctions constitutes an adjoint cylinder. (shrink)
Abstract The teaching of moral education is not included in the curriculum but the whole history of Chile shows the influence of European culture and philosophy. Therefore a philosophy of education which promotes an autonomous human being, free to search by himself in the complex world of values given as alternatives in the education system, has usually underlined educational policy. The influence of the Catholic religion has been very strong. The argument is advanced that moral education as such would have (...) significance only if it coincides with the will and principles of the whole of Chilean society. (shrink)
This chapter elaborates the biography of Ernst Bloch and explains his particular thoughts on musical philosophy. He was born on July 8, 1885. In 2000, a multifunctional center of science and culture was established in Bloch's name, aiming to develop a site oriented to his themes and to debate contemporary questions about the shape of the future. The Principle of Hope was his most important work, providing an encyclopedia of human hopes. Art became the essential basis of a philosophy of (...) hope. Bloch's treatment of music in The Spirit of Utopia was embedded in contemporary discourse. Fidelio was the model for Bloch's way of doing philosophy. Monographs that deal with Bloch's views on art often provided summary treatment to the musicological aspect. Essays on individual aspects of Bloch's music philosophy have continued to appear without interruption from the 1960s to the present. (shrink)
Jean Piaget, connu comme créateur d'une théorie du développement de l'intelligence chez l'enfant, fut un naturaliste précoce. En 1912, à l'âge de seize ans, il prononça une conférence sur « La vanité de la nomenclature » dans le cadre des activités d'un club de jeunes naturalistes; le manuscrit de cette conférence a été retrouvé récemment. L'introduction à la présente édition du manuscrit essaie de montrer l'importance de ce dernier pour une biographie historique de Piaget. D'une part, « La vanité » (...) est à la fois l'expression la plus synthétique de l'intégration de son auteur au champ de l'histoire naturelle, et le premier signal de sa réorientation vers la biologie philosophique qui jouerait un rôle crucial dans son oeuvre ultérieure. D'autre part, le texte du jeune Piaget illustre la persistance du nominalisme dans la problématique post-darwinienne de l'espèce, et certaines relations entre cette problématique et la philosophie de Henri Bergson. Long before becoming the well-known creator of a theory of the development of intelligence in children, Jean Piaget was a naturalist. In 1912, at the age of sixteen, and as member of a young naturalists' club, he gave a talk called « The Vanity of Nomenclature », the manuscript of which was recently discovered. The introduction to the present edition of that manuscript aims at suggesting its significance for a historical biography of Piaget. On the one hand, Piaget's text is the best exponent of his integration into the field of natural history; however, it is also the first sign of his reorientation towards the philosophical biology that would play a fundamental role in his later work. On the other hand, « The Vanity » illustrates the persistence of nominalism in post-Darwinian thinking about the species, and reveals certain relations between Henry Bergson's philosophy and the history of biology. (shrink)