Nowadays there are many practical-discursive signs of the need to adopt, in our historic context, a decisive epistemological turn towards interpretive-comprehensive approaches, more adequate to the new conditions of the possibility of knowledge as construction of sense. If we are in conditions to de..
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)
If personhood is the quality or condition of being an individual person, brainhood could name the quality or condition of being a brain. This ontological quality would define the `cerebral subject' that has, at least in industrialized and highly medicalized societies, gained numerous social inscriptions since the mid-20th century. This article explores the historical development of brainhood. It suggests that the brain is necessarily the location of the `modern self', and that, consequently, the cerebral subject is the anthropological figure inherent (...) to modernity (at least insofar as modernity gives supreme value to the individual as autonomous agent of choice and initiative). It further argues that the ideology of brainhood impelled neuroscientific investigation much more than it resulted from it, and sketches how an expanding constellation of neurocultural discourses and practices embodies and sustains that ideology. (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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
The name of the Genevan critic Jean Starobinski will most likely evoke masterful\nreadings of Rousseau and Montaigne, or insightful reconstructions of the world\nof the Enlightenment. With the possible exception of the history of melancholy,\nmuch more rarely will it be associated with the history of psychology and\npsychiatry. A small number of the critic’s contributions to this field have\nappeared in some of his books. Most of them, however, remain scattered, and\nnothing suggests that they are known as widely as they deserve.\nStarobinski’s work in (...) the history of psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis\nis exemplary in its perspective of the problematic relations between\npsychological concepts and experiences, and between medical thought and the\nlarger culture. (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)
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.
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)
This paper contains a survey of the main definitions and results obtained to date related to Temporal Equilibrium Logic, a nonmonotonic hybrid approach that combines Equilibrium Logic (the best-known logical characterisation for the stable models semantics of logic programs) with Linear-Time Temporal Logic.
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.
Tradicionalmente se ha considerado a la antroponimia como la vía prioritaria de acceso al conocimiento de la piedad popular en el marco de las culturas del Próximo Oriente Antiguo. Sin embargo, determinados problemas asociados a la utilización de este tipo de material limitan sus posibilidades. En el presente trabajo, junto a la recopilación de la antroponimia fenicio-púnica hallada en la Península Ibérica, se ha intentado proceder a su contextualización en el marco de la religión cananea del primer milenio y su (...) expansión hacia el Mediterráneo occidental. (shrink)
Discussion about values education has begun to dominate the educational policy agenda in a number of countries over the last 5 years. Of particular relevance are questions on what to teach, how and why. This discussion seems to be more prominent among those countries undergoing vigorous political, economic and social change. In the last few years, Mexico has intensified its active search for democracy and invigorated its march toward modernisation. Both of these intentions have proven to have important influences on (...) the values the Mexican state and educational policy makers see as necessary to be transmitted via education. Simultaneously, Mexican identity, which has evolved relatively consonant with the aims of a centralised and hierarchical state and in line with the principles of the 1910 Revolution, is being continuously challenged by internal as well as external forces. In this article we describe a study designed to understand the approaches to Mexico's values education as a particular instance of a larger comparative project to explore values education in a globally dynamic context. After describing Mexico's political economy, we present the current policy and approaches to values education in general and in the regions included in the Mexican study in particular. We present the findings from a survey to policy makers and educational élites and show regional differences and similarities. We discuss findings from other country contexts to contrast them with the Mexican findings in selected areas. We conclude with a discussion on how this study may help initiate a policy dialogue on values education in Mexico. (shrink)
Universities in Cameroon are playing an active part in HIV/AIDS research and much of this research is carried out by students, usually for the purpose of a dissertation/thesis. Student theses/dissertations present research findings in a much more comprehensive manner and have been described as the stepping-stone of a budding scientist’s potential in becoming an independent researcher. It is therefore important to verify how students handle issues of research ethics.
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)
This paper reports on the LEADER+ programme and on the work carried out supporting rural communities in EU countries under the LEADER+ programme. This is a programme that supports development in particularly vulnerable rural regions of the European countries that are members of the EU. It supports creative and innovative projects that can contribute to long-term and sustainable development in these regions. In this paper, we will focus on three specific areas: networking, facilitation of groups, and information and communication technologies. (...) Some case studies are shortly described. (shrink)
This paper presents the concept of the systematisation of praxis and an operational approach to the systematisation of alternative consulting experiences. The essences of this approach have been developed in Latin America after many years of experiences with both popular urban and rural sectors. Taking departure from a concrete example we outline some of the central questions that ought to be discussed during the systematisation process. A real-life case study is proposed: the systematisation of the activities of a development centre (...) in Odsherred, Denmark, to redesign strategies and to recreate actions for the centre's future activities. This centre has carried out community work in the Odsherred region focusing on cultural activities. Finally, methodological reflections are also presented. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to think the relationship between the search for reality or the truth with methodology, by asking some questions to different theoretical perspectives and by analyzing different answers given by the authors and theories. From the sociological theoretical perspective, it deals with two levels of thought with methodological implications. The first refers to the methodological implications arising from the search for reality or truth. The second, epistemological, refers to the theoretical and paradigmatic duality between subjective (...) capacity decisions against the constriction of the subjects by the structures. El objetivo de este artículo es pensar el nexo de la búsqueda de la realidad o de la verdad con la metodología, al plantear preguntas a diversas corrientes teóricas y analizar las respuestas de cada autor o corriente al respecto. Desde la perspectiva teórica sociológica, se abordan dos niveles de reflexión con implicaciones metodológicas. El primero, hace referencia a las implicaciones metodológicas derivadas de la búsqueda de la realidad o de la verdad. El segundo, de carácter epistemológico, hace referencia a la dualidad teórica y paradigmática existente entre la capacidad subjetiva de decisión frente a la constricción de los sujetos por parte de las estructuras. (shrink)
Según la mayoría de los análisis actuales, vivimos una época histórica caracterizada por la transformación "global de nuestra forma de vida. Posiblemente por eso, la pregunta por la propia idendidad se formula con una urgencia especial. Este trabajo toma como punto de panida el carácter paradójico de la propia expresión "identidad personal". A panir de ahí se presentan diversas dimensiones de la idendidad personal, cuya posibilidad de consistencia pasa por la reconstn.tcción de una noción de "sujeto" que tenga muy en (...) cuenta la crítica realizada por la modernidad, pero también la que hoy se efectúa a la modernidad. (shrink)
In this paper we describe an experimental test of the validity of the Pauli Exclusion Principle (for electrons) which is based on a straightforward idea put forward a few years ago by Ramberg and Snow (Phys. Lett. B 238:438, 1990). We perform a very accurate search of X-rays from the Pauli-forbidden atomic transitions of electrons in the already filled 1S shells of copper atoms. Although the experiment has a very simple structure, it poses deep conceptual and interpretational problems. Here we (...) describe the experimental method and recent experimental results, which we interpret in the framework of quon theory. We also present future plans to upgrade the experimental apparatus using Silicon Drift Detectors. (shrink)
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)