The Spirit of the Soil challenges environmentalists to think more deeply and creatively about agriculture. Paul B. Thompson identifies four `worldviews' which tackle agricultural ethics according to different philosophical priorities; productionism, stewardship, economics and holism. He examines current issues such as the use of pesticides and biotechnology from these ethical perspectives. This book achieves an open-ended account of sustainability designed to minimise hubris and help us to recapture the spirit of the soil.
Neurons are arguably the most complex of all cells. From the action of these cells comes movement, thought and consciousness. It is a challenging task to understand what molecules direct the various diverse aspects of their function. This has produced an ever-increasing amount of molecular information about neurons, and only in Molecular Biology of the Neuron can a large part of this information be found in one source. In this book, a non-specialist can learn about the molecules that control information (...) flow in the brain or the progress of brain disease in an approachable format, while the expert has access to a wealth of detailed information from a wide range of topics impacting on his or her field of endeavour. The text is designed to achieve a balance of accessibility and broad coverage with up-to-date molecular detail. In the six years since the first edition of Molecular Biology of the Neuron there has been an explosion in the molecular information about neurons that has been discovered, and this information is incorporated into this second edition. Entirely new chapters have been introduced where recent advances have made a new aspect of neuronal function more comprehensible at the molecular level. Written by leading researchers in the field, the book provides an essential overview of the molecular structure and function of neurons, and will be an invaluable tool to students and researchers alike. (shrink)
This volume offers a selection of some of the best and most interesting articles that have been written on ethics and the environment in the past two decades. It constitutes an ideal introduction to the main debates in the area, dealing with issues such as duties to future people, resource conservatism, species and wilderness preservation, the relevance of ecology to ethics, ecofeminism, and the tension between political liberalism and environmentalism. This book will be of interest not just to professional philosophers (...) and students of philosophy, but to anyone who wishes to learn about the beliefs and principles which underlie environmentalism. (shrink)
Philosophy of Experimental Biology explores some central philosophical issues concerning scientific research in experimental biology, including genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, and microbiology. It seeks to make sense of the explanatory strategies, concepts, ways of reasoning, approaches to discovery and problem solving, tools, models and experimental systems deployed by scientific life science researchers and also integrates developments in historical scholarship, in particular the New Experimentalism. It concludes that historical explanations of scientific change that are based on local laboratory (...) practice need to be supplemented with an account of the epistemic norms and standards that are operative in science. This book should be of interest to philosophers and historians of science as well as to scientists. (shrink)
Postmodernism and the Environmental Crisis is the only book to combine cultural theory and environmental philosophy. In it, Arran Gare analyses the conjunction between the environmental crisis, the globalisation of capitalism and the disintegration of the culture of modernity. It explains the paradox of growing concern for the environment and the paltry achievements of environmental movements. Through a critique of the philosophies underlying approaches to the environmental crisis, Arran Gare puts forward his own, controversial theory of a new postmodern world (...) view. This would be the foundation for the environmental movement to succeed. Arran Gare's work will be a vital reading for advanced students of environmental studies, as well as for environmental philosophers and cultural theorists. (shrink)
The hatchet and the seed -- A tree with deep roots -- The critical tools -- A field crystallizes -- Destruction of nature -- Construction of nature -- Degradation and marginalization -- Conservation and control -- Environmental conflict -- Environmental identity and social movement -- Where to now?
In this book, Peter Wenz addresses the major issues and thinkers in environmental ethics. His style is accessible, even journalistic at times, featuring current facts, real controversies, and a vivid narrative, while preserving rigorous philosophical content.theories and methods are introduced, not for their own sake, but to help the reader understand and solve environmental problems.
Philosophy has often been criticized for privileging the abstract; this volume attempts to remedy that situation. Focusing on one of the most concrete of human concerns, food, the editors argue for the existence of a philosophy of food.
Despite the importance the monks had as carriers of programmatic Enlightenment ideas, few of their original texts are available in modern editions. This edition contributes to filling this lacuna by publishing Dom Beda Mayr’s ecumenical Catholic theology.
This book looks anew at the question of nature preservation as public policy. The philosophy of nature preservation has to date focused on whether arguments for nature preservation should be centred on the value of nature itself or derived human benefits. This book argues that this way of thinking about the problem of preservation has been counter-productive for environmental ethics. Instead we need to unite both views around a concern for the irreplaceability of natural objects.
This book is intended to help transform epistemology - the traditional study of knowledge - into a rigorous discipline by removing conceptual roadblocks and developing formal tools required for a fully naturalized epistemology. The evolutionary approach which Harms favours begins with the common observation that if our senses and reasoning were not reliable, then natural selection would have eliminated them long ago. The challenge for some time has been how to transform these informal musings about evolutionary epistemology into a rigorous (...) theoretical discipline capable of complementing current scientific studies of the evolution of cognition with a philosophically defensible account of meaning and justification. (shrink)
Darwinizing culture: the status of memetics as a science pits leading intellectuals, against each other to battle it out, in this, the first debate over 'memes'. With a foreword by Daniel Dennett, and contributions from Dan Sperber, David Hull, Robert Boyd, Susan Blackmore, Henry Plotkin, and others, the result is a thrilling and challenging debate that will perhaps mark a turning point for the field, and for future research.
The rising profile of the environment in politics reflects growing public concern that we may be facing a large-scale ecological crisis. This unique textbook surveys the politics of the environment, providing a comprehensive and comparative introduction to ideas, activism and policy. Part One explores environmental philosophy and green political thought, assessing the relationship between 'green ideas' and other political doctrines. Part Two considers parties and movements, including the development of green parties from protest parties, the response of established political parties (...) to the environmental challenge, and the evolution of the environmental movement. Part Three analyses public policy-making and environmental issues at the international, national and local levels. As well as considering a wide variety of examples from around the world, this important new textbook includes glossary, lists of key issues, chapter summaries and guides to further study. (shrink)
Advances in genetic technology in general and medical genetics in particular will enable us to intervene in the process of human biological development which extends from zygotes and embryos to people. This will allow us to control to a great extent the identities and the length and quality of the lives of people who already exist, as well as those we bring into existence in the near and distant future. Genes and Future People explores two general philosophical questions, one metaphysical, (...) the other moral: (1) How do genes, and different forms of genetic intervention (gene therapy, genetic enhancement, presymptomatic genetic testing of adults, genetic testing of preimplantation embryos), affect the identities of the people who already exist and those we bring into existence? and (2) How do these interventions benefit or harm the people we cause to exist in the near future and those who will exist in the distant future by satisfying or defeating their interest in having reasonably long and disease-free lives? Genes and Future People begins by explaining the connection between genes and disease, placing genetic within a framework of evolutionary biology. It then discusses such topics as how genes and genetic intervention influence personal identity, what genetic testing of individuals and the knowledge resulting from it entails about responsibility to others who may be at risk, as well as how gene therapy and genetic enhancement can affect the identities of people and benefit or harm them. Furthermore, it discusses various moral aspects of cloning human beings and body parts. Finally, it explores the metaphysical and moral implications of genetic manipulation of the mechanisms of aging to extend the human life span.The aim Genes and Future People is to move philosophers, bioethicists, and readers in general to reflect on the extent to which genes determine whether we are healthy or diseased, our identities as persons, the quality of our lives, and our moral obligations to future generations of people. (shrink)
In the Preface of Animal Species and Evolution (1963), I wrote that it was "an attempt to summarize and review critically what we know about the biology and genetics of animal species and their role in evolution." The result was a volume of XIV ...
Presents a provocatively anthropocentric analysis of the way forward for green politics and environmental movements, exposing the deficiencies and contradictions of green approaches to post-modern politics and deep ecology. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
This is one of the first books in a new series that will publish the very best work in the philosophy of biology. The series will be non-sectarian in character, will extend across the broadest range of topics, and will be genuinely interdisciplinary. The Immune Self is a critical study of immunology from its origins at the end of the nineteenth century to its contemporary formulation. The book offers the first extended philosophical critique of immunology, in which the function of (...) the term 'self' that underlies the structure of current immune theory is analysed. However, this analysis is carefully integrated into a broad survey of the major scientific developments in immunology, a discussion of their historical context, and a review of the conceptual arguments that have moulded this sophisticated modern science. (shrink)
Carl G. Hempel exerted greater influence upon philosophers of science than any other figure during the 20th century. In this far-reaching collection, distinguished philosophers contribute valuable studies that illuminate and clarify the central problems to which Hempel was devoted. The essays enhance our understanding of the development of logical empiricism as the major intellectual influence for scientifically-oriented philosophers and philosophically-minded scientists of the 20th century.
Human Evolution provides a comprehensive overview of hominid evolution, synthesising data and approaches from fields as diverse as physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, genetics, archaeology, psychology and philosophy. The book starts with chapters on evolution, population genetics, systematics, and the methods for constructing evolutionary trees. These are followed by a comprehensive review of the fossil history of human evolution since our divergence from the apes. Subsequent chapters cover more recent data, both fossil and molecular, relating to the evolution of (...) modern humans. A final section describes the evolution of culture, language, art, and morality.The authors are leading experts in two complementary fields of scholarship, physical anthropology and molecular evolution. Throughout the book they successfully integrate their expertise in evolutionary theory, phylogenetics, genomics, cultural evolution, language, aesthetics and morality to produce a cutting edge textbook, copiously illustrated and with an extensive and up-to-date bibliography. It will be suitable for both senior undergraduate and graduate level students taking courses on human evolution within departments of biology, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. The book will also appeal to a more general audience seeking a readable, up-to-date and inclusive treatment of human origins and evolution. (shrink)
The topic of population is treated only lightly in the major modern biographies of John Maynard Keynes, yet Keynes himself had strong - if varying - views on the subject. For many years he maintained a neo-Malthusian view of population, based on a postulated link between population growth and deteriorating terms of trade. This led him to take up a militant stance towards 'overpopulated' countries, notably India, China, and Egypt. Keynes on Population publishes two of John Maynard Keynes's manuscripts not (...) published in the Collected Writings: his Cambridge lectures on population and 1914 Oxford lecture on 'Population'. It provides a detailed commentary on the text of 'Population' and discusses the extent of Keynes's engagement with the Social Darwinist doctrine of the 'rapid multiplication of the unfit' and with eugenics. It then traces the subsequent vicissitudes of his views on population and his interventions in the contemporary politics of population. These include his part in the 1920s campaign for birth control, the reversal of his neo-Malthusianism, and his eventual support for family allowances. (shrink)
Human Evolution provides a comprehensive overview of hominid evolution, synthesising data and approaches from fields as diverse as physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, genetics, archaeology, psychology and philosophy. The book starts with chapters on evolution, population genetics, systematics, and the methods for constructing evolutionary trees. These are followed by a comprehensive review of the fossil history of human evolution since our divergence from the apes. Subsequent chapters cover more recent data, both fossil and molecular, relating to the evolution of (...) modern humans. A final section describes the evolution of culture, language, art, and morality. The authors are leading experts in two complementary fields of scholarship, physical anthropology and molecular evolution. Throughout the book they successfully integrate their expertise in evolutionary theory, phylogenetics, genomics, cultural evolution, language, aesthetics and morality to produce a cutting edge textbook, copiously illustrated and with an extensive and up-to-date bibliography. It will be suitable for both senior undergraduate and graduate level students taking courses on human evolution within departments of biology, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. The book will also appeal to a more general audience seeking a readable, up-to-date and inclusive treatment of human origins and evolution. (shrink)
This book describes the state of astrobiology in Europe today and its relation to the European society at large. With contributions from authors in more than 20 countries and over 30 scientific institutions worldwide, the document illustrates the societal implications of astrobiology and the positive contribution that astrobiology can make to European society. The book has two main objectives: 1. It recommends the establishment of a European Astrobiology Institute (EAI) as an answer to a series of challenges relating to astrobiology (...) but also European research, education, and society at large. 2. It also acknowledges the societal implications of astrobiology, and thus the role of the social sciences and humanities in optimizing the positive contribution that astrobiology can make to the lives of the people of Europe and the challenges they face. (shrink)
Biodiversity is the key indicator of a healthy planet and healthy society. Losses of biodiversity have now become widespread and current rates are potentially catastrophic for species and habitat integrity. Biodiversity, Sustainability and Human Communities advocates both the preservation of the best remaining habitats and the enhancement of new biodiverse habitats to ensure that they cope with human impact, climate change and alien species invasion. The authors argue that these aims can be achieved by a mix of strict protection, inclusive (...) involvement of people inside and adjacent to reserves, and by combining livelihoods and social well-being in all future biodiversity management. Case studies from regions around the world, including Europe, the United States, Latin America and Africa are examined and discussed, and the contributors include political scientists, economists and ecologists. (shrink)
Kenneth F. Schaffner compares the practice of biological and medical research and shows how traditional topics in philosophy of science--such as the nature of theories and of explanation--can illuminate the life sciences. While Schaffner pays some attention to the conceptual questions of evolutionary biology, his chief focus is on the examples that immunology, human genetics, neuroscience, and internal medicine provide for examinations of the way scientists develop, examine, test, and apply theories. Although traditional philosophy of science has regarded scientific discovery--the (...) questions of creativity in science--as a subject for psychological rather than philosophical study, Schaffner argues that recent work in cognitive science and artificial intelligence enables researchers to rationally analyze the nature of discovery. As a philosopher of science who holds an M.D., he has examined biomedical work from the inside and uses detailed examples from the entire range of the life sciences to support the semantic approach to scientific theories, addressing whether there are "laws" in the life sciences as there are in the physical sciences. Schaffner's novel use of philosophical tools to deal with scientific research in all of its complexity provides a distinctive angle on basic questions of scientific evaluation and explanation. (shrink)
Polls show that 45% of the American public believes that humans were created about 10,000 years ago and that evolution is a fictitious myth. Another 25% believes that changes in the natural world are directed by a supernatural being with a particular goal in mind. This thinking clashes head on with scientific findings from the past 150 years, and there is a dearth of public critical thinking about the natural world within a scientific framework. Evolution and Religious Creation Myths seeks (...) to educate and arm the public on the differences between myth and science, fiction and theory. The book begins with a whirlwind tour of creation stories from several religions. The authors then explore how certain forms of religious fundamentalism clash with the science of evolution. They review how creationists and intelligent design proponents misuse and misrepresent scientific terminology and conclusions to further their own agendas. How do scientists respond to this threat? Modern science, which includes a level of indeterminacy, or chance, cannot support the premise that a supernatural designer engineered nature for a particular purpose in a deterministic fashion. This holds true for the creation of the universe, the appearance of the first biological molecules, chemical evolution, and the evolution of life forms through mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. Instead, human biological and cultural evolution is described within a genetic framework. Scientists use a barrage of genetic tests and DNA phylogenies to support the scientific basis for evolution. For anyone who has ever needed to argue why evolution and creationism are not both valid theories that deserve equal attention, this book clearly defines the difference between theory and myth. Scientists, teachers, and defenders of the truth should read this book in preparation for when they are called upon to respond. (shrink)
Ecopolitics is a study of environmental awareness--or non-awareness--in contemporary French theory. Arguing that it is now impossible not to think in an ecological way, Verena Andermatt Conley traces the roots of today's concern for the environment back to the intellectual climate of the late '50s and '60s. Major thinkers of 1968, the author argues, changed the way we think the world; this owes much to an ecological awareness that remains at the heart of issues concerning cultural theory in general. The (...) book points to critiques of ecology in the work of Luc Ferry and Jean Baudrillard before turning to more complicated ecological awareness primarily in French thought. The author considers key texts by influential figures such as Michael Serres, Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Michel de Certeau, Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray. (shrink)
A comprehensive collection of classic texts, contemporary interpretations, guidelines for activists, issue-specific information, and materials for environmentally-oriented religious practice. Sources and contributors include Basho, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gary Snyder, Chogyam Trungpa, Gretel Ehrlich, Peter Mathiessen, Helen Tworkov (editor of Tricycle ), and Philip Glass.
Unlike nearly all science books which tell of successful ventures and satisfactory conclusions, this book reveals the harsher but more common side of scientific research. Written by one of this century's most distinguished small mammal ecologists, it is both a personal history of and an apology for a life in science spent working on problems for which no final dramatic closure was reached. Included along the way are important anecdotes and history about Charles Elton and his pioneering work at the (...) Bureau of Animal Population at Oxford University, from which much of modern population has grown, and insights on the philosophy and practice of science. This eye-opening account of a scientific career should be read by everyone in life sciences or the history and philosophy of science. (shrink)