Gers (Biol Philos, 2011) provides a positive and constructive view of the project to generalise Darwinian principles in Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen’s Darwin’s Conjecture. We note considerable overlap with his work and ours, and also with important recent work of Godfrey-Smith ( 2009 ), which Gers cites extensively. But we also note that there are differences in research objectives between Gers and Godfrey-Smith, on the one hand, and ourselves, on the other. Gers and Godfrey-Smith focus on the elucidation (...) of the most general principles possible. Our aim is to derive principles that are sufficiently abstract to span the natural and human social worlds, and then add additional principles to help understand the Darwinian evolution of human society. Furthermore, Gers and Godfrey-Smith critique a replicator concept that is different from ours. Once these points are made apparent, the criticisms are essentially disabled, and we end up in a position with different but complementary and overlapping research projects. (shrink)
Despite growing interest in evolutionary economics since the 1980s, a unified theoretical approach has so far been lacking. Methodological and ontological discussions within evolutionary economics have attempted to understand and help rectify this failure, but have revealed in turn further differences of perspective. One aim of this article is to show how different approaches relate to different levels of abstraction. A second purpose is to show that generalized Darwinism is some way from the most abstract level, and illustrates how it (...) may be used to move towards more specific theoretical applications. Nevertheless, there is a long way to go before these become more evident. (shrink)
The established definition of replication in terms of the conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer is very broad. We draw inspiration from the literature on self-reproducing automata to strengthen the notion of information transfer in replication processes. To the triple conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer, we add a fourth condition that defines a “generative replicator” as a conditional generative mechanism, which can turn input signals from an environment into developmental instructions. Generative replication must have the potential to (...) enhance complexity, which in turn requires that developmental instructions are part of the information that is transmitted in replication. Demonstrating the usefulness of the generative replicator concept in the social domain, we identify social generative replicators that satisfy all of the four proposed conditions. (shrink)
The purpose of the present article is to strengthen the conceptualisation of the principle of selection in theories of economic evolution and to help clarify a number of unsettled issues regarding the meaning of variety and continuity. In order to achieve this, the emerging general mathematical selection theory is introduced to identify the requirements of a general principle of selection and the specification of variety and continuity that follows from it. It is indicated how general selection theory can help advance (...) evolutionary theories of economic change by clarifying the meaning of selection, and the possible role of habits and routines in economic selection. (shrink)
Advancing a general Darwinian framework to explain culture is an exciting endeavor. It requires that we face up to the challenge of identifying the specific components that are effective in replication processes in culture. This challenge includes the unsolved problem of explaining cultural inheritance, both at the level of individuals and at the level of social organizations and institutions.
Hull et al.'s construction of operant learning as an instance of selection gives rise to problems that weaken this application of selection theory beyond acceptable limits. We point out that most fundamental is a disregard for the need to include multiple concurrent replicators in any definition of selection and indicate how this problem may be solved.
While evolutionary thinking is increasingly becoming popular in fields of investigation outside the biological sciences, it remains unclear how helpful it is there and whether it actually yields good explanations of the phenomena under study. Here we examine the ontology of a recent approach to applying evolutionary thinking outside biology, the generalized Darwinism approach proposed by Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen. We examine the ontology of populations in biology and in GD, and argue that biological evolutionary theory sets ontological (...) criteria that GD fails to meet. We suggest two options to revise the population concept in GD: reformulating the concept in terms of inheritance and reproduction such that it comes to pick out individuals similar to evolving populations, or trying to build an adequate population concept on a principle of differential retention instead of differential reproduction. 1 Introduction2 Generalized Darwinism2.1 What is generalized Darwinism?2.2 Darwinian principles3 The Ontology of Generalized Darwinism: What Are Populations?3.1 The population concept of generalized Darwinism3.2 The population concept in evolutionary theory4 Locating Evolving Systems in Generalized Darwinism5 Conclusion. (shrink)
A survey of the mathematical tradition of a subcontinent Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9608-3 Authors Toke Knudsen, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics, SUNY Oneonta, Fitzelle Hall 234, Oneonta, NY 13820, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
While a substantial amount of the literature describes corporate benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the literature is silent concerning why some companies announce CSR initiatives, yet fail to implement them. The article examines company delistings from the UN Global Compact. Delistings are surprising because the CSR agenda is seen as having won the battle of ideas. The analysis proceeds in two parts. I first analyze firm-level characteristics focusing on geography while controlling for sector and size; I find that (...) geography is a significant factor while small firms are more likely to be delisted than large firms and some sector characteristics determine delistings. Next, I proceed to uncover country-level characteristics including the degree of international economic interdependence as well as the quality of governance institutions. Multivariate regression analysis shows that companies are less likely to be delisted from countries where domestic governance institutions are well-functioning. To a lesser extent, I find that firms from countries with international economies are more willing to comply with the UN Global Compact requirements. Countries with a high share of outward FDI/capita have a lower share of delisted firms as do countries that are internationally competitive. (shrink)
Multinational corporations (MNCs) have come under pressure to adopt private regulatory initiatives such as supplier codes of conduct in order to address poor working conditions in global supply chain factories. While a well-known literature explores drivers and outcomes of such monitoring schemes, this literature focuses mainly on large firms and has ignored the growing integration of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into global supply chains. Furthermore, the literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in SMEs primarily emphasizes domestic initiatives and not (...) global challenges. Focusing on the Business for Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), this article examines the positions of private actors, who demand and supply private regulation as well as the positions of those firms, who are the targets of such schemes. As the BSCI has grown its membership, MNCs increasingly request that SMEs meet BSCI requirements in global supply chains even though compliance is a “mission impossible” for many smaller firms. As a result of this development, the private regulatory system is facing growing strain. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 297 - 330 This article provides a detailed analysis of the function of the notion of _Volk_ in Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. At first glance, this term is an appeal to the revolutionary masses of the National Socialist revolution in a way that demarcates a distinction between the rootedness of the German People and the rootlessness of the modern rabble. But this distinction is not a sufficient explanation of Heidegger’s position, because Heidegger simultaneously seems (...) to hold that even the Germans are characterized by _a lack of identity_. What is required is a further appropriation of the proper. My suggestion is that this logic of the _Volk_ is not only useful for understanding Heidegger’s thought during the war, but also an indication of what happened after he lost faith in the National Socialist movement and thus had to make the _lack of the People_ the basis of his thought. (shrink)
The relationship between poetically mediated myth and the emerging discipline of formal rhetoric in fifth- and fourth-century Athens has received little scholarly treatment, in part because of a paucity of texts that encompass both myth and formal rhetoric. This article sheds light on the relationship by examining four generically hybrid model speeches: Gorgias' Defense of Palamedes, Antisthenes' Ajax and Odysseus, and Alcidamas' Odysseus. I argue that these speeches represent a rare confluence of the Archaic poetic tradition with the inclination towards (...) technique-based modes of discourse among the sophists. This innovative didactic strategy, whereby rhetoric appropriates the appeal of poetic storytelling and characterization, has affinities with a broader societal and literary trend toward mixing genres. (shrink)
The Danish critic Georg Brandes (1842–1927) visited Warsaw in 1885 and 1886, with the pretext of lecturing—in French—on modern literature, making thereby the Polish cause for freedom his own. It was his endeavor not to take sides in the smoldering strife between radical and catholic circles, freedom from the brutal Russian regime being the chief common issue. During his second visit he lectured on Polish literature, though only knowing it through translations. This demonstration of solidarity was received with enthusiasm.In his (...) book Impressions from Poland—Danish 1888, in English, German and Polish 1898—he gives a vivid description of the Polish passion for freedom, not hiding more negative sides of the national character as he found them, such as improvidence and bohemianism. The book was understood as an act of solidarity, and during a visit to Krakow in 1898 he was hailed as the spokesman of freedom and one of the few West-European supporters of the Polish cause.When, by November 1914, Brandes learned about Polish religious pogroms he did not hesitate to condemn them in two articles born by indignation. The articles, immediately published in many languages, aroused much attention worldwide, at the same time costing him most of his Polish popularity. (shrink)
Children, because of age-related reasons, are a vulnerable population, and protecting their health is a social, scientific and emotional priority. The increased susceptibility of children and fetuses to environmental agents has been widely discussed by the scientific community. Children may experience different levels of chemical exposure than adults, and their sensitivity to chemical toxicities may be increased or decreased in comparison with adults. Such considerations also apply to unborn and newborn children. Therefore, research on children is necessary in both clinical (...) and environmental fields, to provide age-specific relevant data regarding the efficacy and safety of medical treatments, and regarding the assessment of risk from unintended environmental exposure. In this context, the stakeholders are many, including children and their parents, physicians and public health researchers, and the society as a whole, with its ethical, regulatory, administrative and political components. The important ethical issues are information of participants and consent to participate. Follow-up and protection of data should be discussed in the context of biobanks, where children obtain individual rights when they become adults. It is important to realise that there are highly variable practices within European countries, which may have, in the past, led to differences in practical aspects of research in children. A number of recommendations are provided for research with children and environmental health. Environmental research with children should be scientifically justified, with sound research questions and valid study protocols of sufficient statistical power, ensuring the autonomy of the child and his/her family at the time of the study and later in life, if data and samples are used for follow-up studies. When children are enrolled, we recommend a consent dyad, including parental informed consent and the child’s assent and/or informed consent from older minors. For evaluation of the studies including children, a paediatrician should always be involved in the research ethics committee. (shrink)