As McKinsey and Tarski showed, the Stone representation theorem for Boolean algebras extends to algebras with operators to give topological semantics for (classical) propositional modal logic, in which the operation is modeled by taking the interior of an arbitrary subset of a topological space. In this article, the topological interpretation is extended in a natural way to arbitrary theories of full first-order logic. The resulting system of S4 first-order modal logic is complete with respect to such topological semantics.
In his new book, Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History, Steve Fuller returns to core themes of his program of social epistemology that he first outlined in his 1988 book, Social Epistemology. He develops a new, unorthodox theology and philosophy building upon his testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in defense of intelligent design, leading to a call for maximal human experimentation. Beginning from the theological premise rooted in the Abrahamic religious tradition that we are created in (...) the image of God, Fuller argues that the spark of the divine within us distinguishes us from animals. I argue that Fuller’s recent work takes us away from key insights of his original work. In contrast, I advocate for a program of social epistemology rooted in evolutionary science rather than intelligent design, emphasize a precautionary and ecological approach rather than a proactionary approach that favors risky human experimentation, and attend to our material and sociological embeddedness rather than a transhumanist repudiation of the body. (shrink)
This essay offers a critical introduction to the intellectual issues involved in the Kitzmiller case relating to intelligent design, and to Steve Fuller’s involvement in it. It offers a brief appraisal of the intelligent design movement stemming from the work of Phillip E. Johnson, and of Steve Fuller’s case for intelligent design in a rather different sense.
Stephen T. Casper and Steve Fuller’s commentaries on my paper “Completing Circle of the Social Sciences? William Beveridge and Social Biology at the London School of Economics during the 1930s” raises important questions about the historical entanglement of the political left, welfarism, biology, and social science. In this response, I clarify questions about my analysis of events at the London School of Economics in the early twentieth century and identify ways in which they are important in the present. I (...) suggest that there is much to be learned from the school’s failed experiment with social biology, not least when it comes to thinking about the historical contingency of relationships between progressive politics and biology. (shrink)
The second International Knowledge and Discourse Conference, held at the University of Hong Kong in June 2002, was the forum for the long-awaited debate between Bruno Latour and Steve Fuller. Bruno Latour counts beyond two. He places the blame for the emphasis in academia on the subject-object distinction on Kant. Latour wants academics to acknowledge that things act, and suggests we look at other traditions, e.g. the Chinese, for alternatives to the subject-object dichotomy. Steve Fuller concentrated on the (...) moral project of science, which is to draw a distinction between the human and the non-human and, to highlight the fact that, as the culmination of the sciences, social science has a particular responsibility to make this distinction. He accused Bruno Latour of evading the moral issue. The debate can be read as a reiteration of the postions of Bruno Latour and Steve Fuller on the question of heterogeneity at the theoretical level, but it did not address the topic at the practical or research level. (shrink)
Key to Steve Fuller’s recent defense of intelligent design is the claim that it alone can explain why science is even possible. By contrast, Fuller argues that Darwinian evolutionary theory posits a purposeless universe leaving humans with no motivation to study science and no basis for modifying an underlying reality. I argue that this view represents a retreat from insights about knowledge within Fuller’s own program of social epistemology. I argue for a Darwinian picture of science as a product (...) of cultural evolution building upon biological capabilities and liabilities bequeathed to us by biological evolution. Dual Inheritance or Gene-Culture Coevolution Theory can help us understand how complex social institutions emerged out of distinct, if connected, processes of biological and cultural evolution. Only by understanding how the unnatural nature of modern science emerged through cultural evolution can we consider where modern science functions well or poorly. (shrink)
(2003). Rethinking Kuhn's legacy without paradigms: some remarks on Steve Fuller's Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times. Social Epistemology: Vol. 17, No. 2-3, pp. 153-156. doi: 10.1080/0269172032000144108.
This essay examines the anti-producing human body in its limit case of public self-induced starvation, as figured in Franz Kafka's short story ‘A Hunger Artist’ and Steve McQueen's film Hunger. Both works represent the fasting body as hollowed out, a resistance to capitalist-spectator capture that spatialises itself as a smoothing, a relative reconfiguration of parts to whole through the evacuation of flows. In both works the human body becomes a local body without organs, paradoxically disarticulated from the more complex (...) assemblages that constitute it while recording potential circuits of disturbance or resonance predicated upon the porousness of bodily boundaries. (shrink)
Stuart Kauffman: Steve is extremely bright, inventive. He thoroughly understands paleontology; he thoroughly understands evolutionary biology. He has performed an enormous service in getting people to think about punctuated equilibrium, because you see the process of stasis/sudden change, which is a puzzle. It's the cessation of change for long periods of time. Since you always have mutations, why don't things continue changing? You either have to say that the particular form is highly adapted, optimal, and exists in a stable (...) environment, or you have to be very puzzled. Steve has been enormously important in that sense. (shrink)
Historian and philosopher of science Steve Fuller has long embraced his role as a public intellectual. As part of that mission, he testified in the 2005 Dover school board trials, arguing that intelligent design could legitimately claim scientific status. He has since written two books on the intelligent design controversy. Science, his latest effort, is part of The Art of Living series. It is ostensibly an exploration of what it means to “live scientifically,” but is more accurately described as (...) an argument for the necessary connection between science and theology. Fuller’s central argument should be no surprise to those familiar with his previous commentary on intelligent design. It is a two-pronged pragmatic argument. On the one hand, Darwinism is dispensable: most work in biology does not rely on Darwin’s theory of evolution (think molecular biology). On the other hand, religion is indispensable for scientific progress: without believing that the universe has been designed to be intelligible to humans, there is no motivation for scientists to attempt to comprehend it. However, in Science Fuller goes further than this. He also claims that a designer with intelligence resembling our own is the best explanation for the success of science. (shrink)
In his book on The Mathematics of Great Amateurs Coolidge starts the chapter on Bolzano saying that he included Bolzano because it seemed interesting to him ‘that a man who was a remarkable pulpit orator, only removed from his chair for his political opinions, should have thought so far into the deepest problems of a science which he never taught in a professional capacity’ [Coolidge, 1990, p. 195]. In fact, considering Bolzano's poor health and his enormous productivity in his ‘professional (...) areas’, the results, the breadth and the extent of this ‘great amateur's’ thoughts on mathematics, and its proper scientific presentation are simply astonishing. Even this new selection of more than 650 printed pages of text, well edited and translated by Steve Russ, represents only a part of Bolzano's legacy on mathematical topics: the complete German edition of Bolzano's writings, the Bernard Bolzano-Gesamtausgabe edited by J. Berg, E. Morscher, B. van Rootselaar, and others is projected to include over 120 volumes of which more than 36 volumes will contain his mathematical works. About 25 volumes have been published so far in this mathematical subseries including Bolzano's extensive Miscellanea Mathematica .To most readers of this journal, Bolzano will be well-known for his contributions to logic—his ‘logic of variation’ is viewed as a precursor of the modern semantic conception of logical consequence—and his contributions to the foundations of calculus, especially his ‘purely analytic proof’ of the intermediate-value theorem and the Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem, or his early discovery of a counterintuitive function which is continuous in its domain, but nowhere-differentiable.Despite his lifelong interest in the foundations of mathematics, Bolzano studied theology and taught philosophy of religion in his native city, Prague, from 1805 until his dismissal in 1820. Part of Bolzano's duties …. (shrink)
In this discussion, Steve Fuller’s book Dissent over Descent is criticized mainly because he draws conclusions from wishful thinking and uses ancient and medieval scientists as well as theologians in his efforts to invalidate the theory of evolution. He is also criticized for drawing universal conclusions from a Eurocentric version of history. If science and technology studies is to regain its reputation, its representatives have to use relevant statements and argue more rationally.
Sociology professor Steve Fuller’s latest book deals with contemporary treatments of the notion of ‘the human’, with an eye set on its future developments, anchored on disruptively pervasive technologies that are already being felt. A contextual account of its historical unfolding is provided, so that the reader can locate the evolution of the notion within the bigger setting of the evolving philosophical landscape in the West.
The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate has two chief aims. These aims are to help readers understand the existing debate and to move the debate forward. The book consists of an introductory chapter by Alberto Giubilini and Sagar Sanyal (which lays out some prominent bioconservative objections to enhancement), eight essays grouped under the theme of "Understanding the Debate" (Section I), and eight devoted to "Advancing the Debate" (Section II). In this review, we offer brief summaries of each essay (...) and ask whether the book successfully advances the debate. (shrink)
‘Postmodern’ is a concept now deposited in the word banks of both highbrow cinephilesand lowbrow arbiters of popular filmic taste. How these two groups of critics deploy theterm, however, widely differs. Critiquing Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with SteveZissou , for instance, Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Glieberman writes: ‘Once again,[Anderson] creates a hermetic, glassed-in movie world of postmodern anachronisms thatcharms and distances in equal measure’ . Characteristic of most reviewers of LifeAquatic, Glieberman uses ‘postmodern’ in a purely aesthetic sense. Although this (...) apoliticaluse of the term is endemic to the business of popular film criticism, part of the reasoncritics deployed ‘postmodern’ bereft of all cultural and political connotations in the case ofLife Aquatic can be chalked up to the film itself. Any overtly political meaning in the film ismediated by what Todd Gilchrist calls the film’s ‘fantastic, just-left-of-realityuniverse.’ Anderson’s idiosyncratic filmmaking style – his penchant for what Josh Bell calls‘empty collections of quirks’ and ‘irrelevant eccentricities’ which prize ‘false clevernessover story and content’ – exacerbates the problem of politicizing Life Aquatic’spostmodernism . A growing cult of the author begets the faciledismissal or deification of Life Aquatic based on tenuously apolitical criteria. (shrink)