"The pursuit of science by professional scientists every day bears less and less resemblance to the perception of science by the general public. It is not the rule-based, methodical system for accumulating facts that dominates the public view. Rather it is the idiosyncratic, often bumbling search for understanding in mostly uncharted places. It is full of wrong turns, cul-de-sacs, mistaken identities, false findings, errors of fact and judgment-and the occasional remarkable success. The widespread but distorted view of science as infallible (...) originates in an education system that teaches nothing but facts using very large, very frightening textbooks, and is spread by media that report on discoveries but almost never on process. It is further reinforced by politicians who pay for it and want to use it to determine policy and therefore want it right and, worst of all, sometimes by scientists who learn early on that talking too much about failures and not enough about successes can harm their careers. Failure, then, is a book that seeks to make science more appealing by exposing its faults. In this sequel to Ignorance, StuartFirestein shows us that scientific enterprise is riddled with failures, and that this is not only necessary but good. Failure reveals how science got its start, when humans began to use a process-trial and error-as a kind of recipe that includes a hefty dose of failure. It gives the non-scientifically trained public an insider's view of how science is actually done, with the aim of making it accessible, comprehensible, and entertaining."--Publisher description. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Chapter 1. A Short View of Ignorance -- Chapter 2. Finding Out -- Chapter 3. Limits, Uncertainty, Impossibility, and Other Minor Problems -- Chapter 4. Unpredicting -- Chapter 5. The Quality of Ignorance -- Chapter 6. Ignorance in Action: Case Histories -- Chapter 7. Ignorance beyond the Lab.
Autobiography of John Stuart Mill by John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill was an English philosopher, political economist and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century." Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. Mill expresses his view on freedom (...) by illustrating how an individual's drive to better their station, and for self-improvement, is the sole source of true freedom. Only when an individual is able to attain such improvements, without impeding others in their own efforts to do the same, can true freedom prevail. Mill's linking of freedom and self-improvement has inspired many. By establishing that individual efforts to excel have worth, Mill was able to show how they should achieve self-improvement without harming others, or society at large. (shrink)
Bentham.--Coleridge.--M. de Tocqueville on democracy in America.--On liberty.--Utilitarianism.--From Considerations on representative government.--From An examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy, volume 1.--From Three essays on religion.--John Stuart Mill, a select bibliography (p. -530).
Stephen Nathanson's clear-sighted abridgment of Principles of Political Economy, Mill's first major work in moral and political philosophy, provides a challenging, sometimes surprising account of Mill's views on many important topics: socialism, population, the status of women, the cultural bases of economic productivity, the causes and possible cures of poverty, the nature of property rights, taxation, and the legitimate functions of government. Nathanson cuts through the dated and less relevant sections of this large work and includes significant material omitted in (...) other editions, making it possible to see the connections between the views Mill expressed in Principles of Political Economy and the ideas he defended in his later works, particularly On Liberty. Indeed, studying Principles of Political Economy, Nathanson argues in his general Introduction, can help to resolve the apparent contradiction between Mill's views in On Liberty and those in Utilitarianism, making it a key text for understanding Mill’s philosophy as a whole. (shrink)
Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems. It focuses on the concept of self-organization: the spontaneous emergence of order that is widely observed throughout nature Kauffman argues that self-organization (...) plays an important role in the Darwinian process of natural selection. Yet until now no systematic effort has been made to incorporate the concept of self-organization into evolutionary theory. The construction requirements which permit complex systems to adapt are poorly understood, as is the extent to which selection itself can yield systems able to adapt more successfully. This book explores these themes. It shows how complex systems, contrary to expectations, can spontaneously exhibit stunning degrees of order, and how this order, in turn, is essential for understanding the emergence and development of life on Earth. Topics include the new biotechnology of applied molecular evolution, with its important implications for developing new drugs and vaccines; the balance between order and chaos observed in many naturally occurring systems; new insights concerning the predictive power of statistical mechanics in biology; and other major issues. Indeed, the approaches investigated here may prove to be the new center around which biological science itself will evolve. The work is written for all those interested in the cutting edge of research in the life sciences. (shrink)
“Lambeth Palace is my Washpot. Over Fulham have I cast my breeches.” So declared the novelist and secularist H. G. Wells in a letter to his mistress, Rebecca West, in May 1917. His claim was that, because of him, Britain was “full of theological discussion” and theological books were “selling like hot cakes”. He was lunching with liberal churchmen and dining with bishops.Certainly, the first of the books published during Wells’s short “religious period”, the novel Mr. Britling Sees It Through, (...) had sold very well on both sides of the Atlantic and made Wells financially secure. Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy wrote that, “Everyone ought to read Mr. H. G. Wells’s great novel, Mr. Britling Sees It Through. It is a gallant and illuminating attempt to state the question, and to answer it. His thought has brought him to a very real and living faith in God revealed in Jesus Christ, and has also brought relief to many troubled minds among the officers of the British Army.” Yet, Wells’s God was explicitly a finite God, and his theology was far from orthodox. How can we account for his boast and for the clerical affirmation which he certainly did receive?This article examines and re-evaluates previous accounts of the responses of clergy to Wells’s writing, correcting some narratives. It discusses the way in which many clergy used Mr. Britling as a means by which to engage in a populist way with the question of theodicy, and examines the letters which Wells received from several prominent clerics, locating their responses in the context of their own theological writings. This is shown to be key to understanding the reaction of writers such as Studdert Kennedy to Mr. Britling Sees It Through. Finally, an assessment is made of the veracity of Wells’s boasting to his mistress, concluding that his claims were somewhat exaggerated.“Lambeth Palace is my Washpot, Over Fulham have I cast my breeches.” Mit diesen Worten erklärte der literarisch außergewöhnlich erfolgreiche und entschieden säkular denkende, kirchenkritische Schriftsteller und Science-Fiction-Pionier Herbert George Wells seiner Geliebten, dass seinetwegen Großbritannien “full of theological discussion” sei. Nicht ohne Eitelkeit schrieb er es seinem im September 1916 mit Blick auf den Krieg geschriebenen und stark autobiographisch gefärbten Roman Mr. Britling Sees it Through von knapp 450 Seiten zu, dass theologische Bücher reißenden Absatz fänden. Auch war er stolz darauf, liberale Kleriker zum Lunch zu treffen und von Bischöfen zum abendlichen Dinner eingeladen zu werden.In einer kurzen Phase seines Lebens war – oder inszenierte sich – Wells als ein frommer, gläubiger Mensch. Sein damals veröffentlichter Roman Mr. Britling Sees It Through verkaufte sich sowohl in Nordamerika als auch im Heimatland so gut, dass der Autor nun definitiv finanziell gesichert war. Der anglikanische Priester und Dichter Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, der im Ersten Weltkrieg Woodbine Willie genannt wurde, weil er verletzten und sterbenden Soldaten in den Phasen der Vorbereitung auf den Tod Woodbine-Zigaretten anbot, empfahl die Lektüre von Wells’ “great novel” Mr. Britling mit den Worten: “It is a gallant and illuminating attempt to state the question, and to answer it. His thought has brought him to a very real and living faith in God revealed in Jesus Christ, and has also brought relief to many troubled minds among the officers of the British Army.” Allerdings war H. G. Wells’ Gott ein durchaus endlicher Gott, und seine Theologie war alles andere als orthodox. Wie lassen sich dennoch seine evidente Prahlerei und die emphatische Zustimmung zu seinem Roman in den britischen Klerikereliten erklären?Im Aufsatz werden zunächst einige ältere Deutungen der Zustimmung führender Kleriker zu Wells’ Roman untersucht und einige der dabei leitenden Deutungsmuster kritisch infrage gestellt. Deutlich wird, dass nicht wenige anglikanische Geistliche Mr. Britling dazu nutzten, um höchst populistisch das umstrittene Theodizeeproblem anzusprechen. Auch werden die Briefe prominenter Geistlicher an Wells analysiert, mit Blick auf ihre eigenen Publikationen. Diese Reaktionen haben stark Studdert Kennedys Haltung zu Mr. Britling Sees It Through beeinflusst. Besonders aufrichtig war Wells mit Blick auf sich selbst allerdings nicht. Die Selbstinszenierung gegenüber seiner Geliebten war einfach nur peinliche Übertreibung. (shrink)
This volume argues for a new image of science that understands both natural and social phenomena to be the product of mechanisms, casting the work of science as an effort to understand those mechanisms. Glennan offers an account of the nature of mechanisms and of the models used to represent them in physical, life, and social sciences.
Stuart Hampshire's essay on human freedom offers an important analysis of concepts surrounding the central idea of intentional action. The author contrasts the powers of animals and of inanimate things; examines the relation between power and action; and distinguishes between two kinds of self-knowledge. Explaining human freedom by means of this distinction, he focuses his attention on self-knowledge gained by introspection. He writes: "...an individual who acquires more systematic knowledge of the causes of states of mind, emotion, and desires, (...) insofar as these are not the outcome of his decision, thereby becomes more free than he previously was to control and direct his own life:...there will in general be a closer correlation between that which he sets himself to do and that which he actually achieves in his life." In a postscript on determinism and psychological explanation, the author provides a detailed account of some of the ways in which explanation of states of mind differs from explanation of physical states. Originally published in 1975. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
In this highly relevant and important contribution to the debate on the future of the welfare state, Stuart White reconsiders the principles of economic citizenship appropriate to a democratic society, and explores the radical implications of these principles for public policy.
Mill predicted that "[t]he Liberty is likely to survive longer than anything else that I have written...because the conjunction of [Harriet Taylor’s] mind with mine has rendered it a kind of philosophic text-book of a single truth, which the changes progressively taking place in modern society tend to bring out in ever greater relief." Indeed, On Liberty is one of the most influential books ever written, and remains a foundational document for the understanding of vital political, philosophical and social issues. (...) In addition to its many useful appendices, this new edition includes a chronology, bibliography, and a substantial introduction which outlines Mill’s life and works, and sets this central work of 1859 in the context of both his own intellectual development and of the play of ideas and political forces in Victorian society. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an analysis of causation based upon a theory of mechanisms-complex systems whose internal parts interact to produce a system's external behavior. I argue that all but the fundamental laws of physics can be explained by reference to mechanisms. Mechanisms provide an epistemologically unproblematic way to explain the necessity which is often taken to distinguish laws from other generalizations. This account of necessity leads to a theory of causation according to which events are causally related when (...) there is a mechanism that connects them. I present reasons why the lack of an account of fundamental physical causation does not undermine the mechanical account. (shrink)
Modeling Mechanisms.Stuart Glennan - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):443-464.details
Philosophers of science increasingly believe that much of science is concerned with understanding the mechanisms responsible for the production of natural phenomena. An adequate understanding of scientific research requires an account of how scientists develop and test models of mechanisms. This paper offers a general account of the nature of mechanical models, discussing the representational relationship that holds between mechanisms and their models as well as the techniques that can be used to test and refine such models. The analysis is (...) supported by study of two competing models of a mechanism of speech perception. (shrink)
Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids certain (...) objections to Salmon's account of causal-mechanical explanation. I conclude by discussing how mechanistic explanations can provide understanding by unification. (shrink)
Over the last fifty years, traditional farming has been replaced by industrial farming. Unlike traditional farming, industrial farming is abhorrently cruel to animals, environmentally destructive, awful for rural America, and wretched for human health. In this essay, I document those facts, explain why the industrial system has become dominant, and argue that we should boycott industrially produced meat. Also, I argue that we should not even kill animals humanely for food, given our uncertainty about which creatures possess a right to (...) life. In practice, then, we should be vegetarians. To underscore the importance of these issues, I use statistics to show that industrial farming has caused more pain and suffering than the Holocaust. (shrink)
Advertising and Consumption: Advertising and Social Change by Ronald Berman, Beverley Hills and London: Sage, , 1981, pp 159, £11.95 and £5.50 The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981 pp 248, £1.75 Conspicuous Consumption by Roger S Mason, Farnbrough: Gower, 1981, pp x + 156, £9.50 Channels of Desire by Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen, New York and London: McGraw-Hill, 1982, pp viii + 312, $7.95.
While much of the recent literature on mechanisms has emphasized the superiority of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation over laws and nomological explanation, paradigmatic mechanisms—e.g., clocks or synapses—actually exhibit a great deal of stability in their behavior. And while mechanisms of this kind are certainly of great importance, there are many events that do not occur as a consequence of the operation of stable mechanisms. Events of natural and human history are often the consequence of causal processes that are ephemeral and (...) capricious. In this paper I shall argue that, notwithstanding their ephemeral nature, these processes deserve to be called mechanisms. Ephemeral mechanisms share important characteristics with their more stable cousins, and these shared characteristics will help us to understand connections between scientific and historical explanation. (shrink)
In this work, Mill reflects on the struggle between liberty and authority and defends the view that “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” He questions the justification for the limits of freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of speech, freedom of action, and the nature of liberalism itself. This new Broadview Edition demonstrates the ways in which Mill’s intellectual landscape differed (...) markedly from our own, while also drawing attention to the reasons why the work remains relevant and essential reading in the present day. Appendices include antecedents to Mill’s work, critical discussions by his contemporaries, and related writings by Mill. Please note: Broadview offers two separate editions of On Liberty. The Kahn edition is particularly relevant to readers who are interested in how the work is situated in the history of political philosophy, whereas the Alexander edition is recommended to those most interested in the work’s Victorian literary and social contexts. (shrink)
This collection covers the breadth of Mill's work in social theory and political economy, including his ethics, liberalism, theory of government, methodology and feminism, showing the depth of scholarly criticism of Mill's social thought.
Most philosophical accounts of causation take causal relations to obtain between individuals and events in virtue of nomological relations between properties of these individuals and events. Such views fail to take into account the consequences of the fact that in general the properties of individuals and events will depend upon mechanisms that realize those properties. In this paper I attempt to rectify this failure, and in so doing to provide an account of the causal relevance of higher-level properties. I do (...) this by critiquing one prominent model of higher-level properties—Kim’s functional model of reduction—and contrasting it with a mechanistic approach to higher-level properties and causation. (shrink)
Ethicists and economists commonly assume that if A is all things considered better than B, and B is all things considered better than C, then A is all things considered better than C. Call this principle Transitivity. Although it has great conceptual, intuitive, and empirical appeal, I argue against it. Larry S. Temkin explains how three types of ethical principle, which cannot be dismissed a priori, threaten Transitivity: (a) principles implying that in some cases different factors are relevant to comparing (...) A to C than to comparing A to B or B to C; (b) principles of limited scope; (c) principles implying that morally relevant differences in degree can amount to differences in kind. My counterexamples employ a principle of type (c): pleasures and pains enormously different in intensity differ in kind. Temkin has also endorsed this type of counterexample, using arguments based on earlier drafts of this paper. (shrink)
The prescription that lays down how one ought to reason in moral matters is normally supported by a more general account of reasoning, which suggests limits upon what can be counted as reasoning of any kind, whether practical or theoretical. If, for example, one accepts, or presupposes, a Cartesian theory of reasoning, the normal case of reasoning is apt to be represented as conscious and explicit inference from one more or less clear idea to another in a set of distinguishable (...) steps. The distinguishable steps are the feature that I wish to stress now. Given this Cartesian account, the normal case of rational deliberation before decision will also be represented as more or less explicit inference from one idea, or proposition, to another in successive, distinct steps. (shrink)
Despite protestations to the contrary, philosophers have always been renowned for espousing theories that do violence to common-sense opinion. In the last twenty years or so there has been a growing number of philosophers keen to follow in this tradition. According to these philosophers, if a story of pure fic-tion tells us that an individual exists, then there really is such an individual. According to these realists about fictional characters, ‘Scarlett O’Hara,’ ‘Char-lie Brown,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Superman,’ ‘Tweedledum’ and ‘Tweedledee’ are not (...) denotationless terms, but names that really refer. What is truly surprising about this situation is that almost no one has inveighed against this unfortunate real-ist tendency. My aim here will be to challenge this new orthodoxy, and to defend an anti-realist position against the arguments proffered by the realist. (shrink)
From the operation of the universe to DNA, the brain and the economy, natural and social frequently describe their activity as being concerned with discovering mechanisms. Despite this fact, for much of the twentieth century philosophical discussions of the nature of mechanisms remained outside philosophy of science. The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over (...) thirty chapters by a team of international contributors the _Handbook_ is divided into four parts: Historical Perspectives on Mechanisms The Nature of Mechanisms Mechanisms and the Philosophy of Science Disciplinary Perspectives. Within these sections central topics and problems are examined, including the rise of mechanical philosophy in the seventeenth century; mechanisms as parts and wholes and their interactive powers; mechanisms and laws and regularities; how mechanisms are discovered and explained; dynamical systems theory; and disciplinary perspectives from physics, chemistry, biology, biomedicine, ecology, neuroscience and the social and political sciences. Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of science and philosophy the _Handbook _will also be of interest to those in related fields, such as metaphysics, philosophy of psychology and history of science. (shrink)
The accepted narrative treats John Stuart Mill’s Kinds as the historical prototype for our natural kinds, but Mill actually employs two separate notions: Kinds and natural groups. Considering these, along with the accounts of Mill’s nineteenth-century interlocutors, forces us to recognize two distinct questions. First, what marks a natural kind as worthy of inclusion in taxonomy? Second, what exists in the world that makes a category meet that criterion? Mill’s two notions offer separate answers to the two questions: natural (...) groups for taxonomy and Kinds for ontology. This distinction is ignored in many contemporary debates about natural kinds and is obscured by the standard narrative that treats our natural kinds just as a development of Mill’s Kinds. (shrink)
Mechanism is undoubtedly a causal concept, in the sense that ordinary definitions and philosophical analyses explicate the concept in terms of other causal concepts such as production and interaction. Given this fact, many philosophers have supposed that analyses of the concept of mechanism, while they might appeal to philosophical theories about the nature of causation, could do little to inform such theories. On the other hand, methods of causal inference and explanation appeal to mechanisms. Discovering a mechanism is the gold (...) standard for establishing and explaining causal connections. This fact suggests that it might be possible to provide an analysis of causation that appeals to mechanisms. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to make a case for the singularist view from the perspective of a mechanical theory of causation, and to explain what, from this perspective, causal generalizations mean, and what role they play within the mechanical theory.
Matthew Stuart offers a fresh interpretation of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, arguing for the work's profound contribution to metaphysics. He presents new readings of Locke's accounts of personal identity and the primary/secondary quality distinction, and explores Locke's case against materialism and his philosophy of action.