Hennemann finds that the history of the natural sciences has usually been treated in a non-historical way, as a merely chronological sequence of discoveries and developments with little attention paid to the evolution of its historically conditioned presuppositions. Focusing chiefly on the 19th century, he uncovers many interconnections between the special sciences and the philosophy of nature. He is unsuccessful in his attempt to discern a basic structural relationship.--L. S. F.
This book, the first in the Chicago Series in Biology, is an informal attempt to enrich ecological theory with some useful and general concepts. The author's purpose is to escape the "microscopic" level of analysis, that is, the level of interaction between a predator and its prey and of population response to changes in the environment, and to take a "macroscopic" point of view. He does this by first interpreting ecological relationships in terms of cybernetic theory. For example, he takes (...) "information" to be something brought about within the system by its own operation, which in turn influences its future. "Energy gates" are aspects of the system which involve transfer of information from the less organized sub-system to the more organized. Then he takes a cybernetic look at succession, maturity, and exploitation, illustrating his analysis with examples from his speciality of marine biology. He emphasizes that, since we are dealing with a dynamic system, it is important to work with trends and gradients rather than with point values. Finally, he considers evolution as a process going on in an ecosystem. An intellectual synthesis of the paleontological picture of evolution and the contemporary picture of succession should give us working principles for understanding the history of life. As an illustration, he suggests conditions which might have fostered man and his culture. This is a brilliant little book, simply written and absorbing.--L. G. (shrink)
Waterman argues that traditional Christianity has too often ignored its heritage of prophetic moral tradition. His study concentrates on Second Isaiah and the continuity of this moral criticism in John the Baptist and in Jesus. His approach is expository and informative, but little attention is paid to the details of Old Testament scholarship.--L. S. F.
After introducing and illustrating the idea of a calculus, this work develops a philosophically interesting but technical theory of the foundation of logic, in connection with propositional calculi and in relation to recent metamathematical research; then quantification theory is introduced, including material on completeness and undecidability and the theory of equality. Not just another logic text, this information-packed little treatise will probably find a place among the classical introductions to the field.--L. K. B.
In 1958, economist A. W. Phillips published an article describing what he observed to be the inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment; subsequently, the "Phillips curve" became a central concept in macroeconomic analysis and policymaking. But today's Phillips curve is not the same as the original one from fifty years ago; the economy, our understanding of price setting behavior, the determinants of inflation, and the role of monetary policy have evolved significantly since then. In this book, some of the top (...) economists working today reexamine the theoretical and empirical validity of the Phillips curve in its more recent specifications. The contributors consider such questions as what economists have learned about price and wage setting and inflation expectations that would improve the way we use and formulate the Phillips curve, what the Phillips curve approach can teach us about inflation dynamics, and how these lessons can be applied to improving the conduct of monetary policy. ContributorsLawrence Ball, Ben Bernanke, Oliver Blanchard, V. V. Chari, William T. Dickens, Stanley Fischer, Jeff Fuhrer, Jordi Gali, Michael T. Kiley, Robert G. King, Donald L. Kohn, Yolanda K. Kodrzycki, Jane Sneddon Little, Bartisz Mackowiak, N. Gregory Mankiw, Virgiliu Midrigan, Giovanni P. Olivei, Athanasios Orphanides, Adrian R. Pagan, Christopher A. Pissarides, Lucrezia Reichlin, Paul A. Samuelson, Christopher A. Sims, Frank R. Smets, Robert M. Solow, Jürgen Stark, James H. Stock, Lars E. O. Svensson, John B. Taylor, Mark W. Watson. (shrink)
Kasm does not offer any concept of proof which is regulative for all metaphysics, for he is convinced that each metaphysical approach requires its own proper logic and methodology. Within this pluralistic framework he seeks to discern the structure of formal truth as expressed in the concept of proof inherent in various metaphysical approaches.--L. S. F.