dunnettreader + biology   51

Trade Agreements as Vectors for the Nagoya Protocol's Implementation | Centre for International Governance Innovation - 2017
A growing number of trade agreements include provisions related to access to genetic resources and the sharing of the benefits that arise out of their utilization. This paper maps the distribution and the diversity of these provisions. It identifies
 a great variety of provisions regarding sovereignty over genetic resources, the protection of traditional knowledge, prior informed consent, the disclosure of origin in patent applications and conditions for bioprospecting activities. It also finds that some recent trade agreements provide specific measures designed to facilitate the implementation of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) provisions, including measures related to technical assistance, transparency and dispute settlements. Thus,
 it appears that trade negotiations can become
 vectors for the implementation of ABS obligations stemming from the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol on Access
 to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization.
 The integration of ABS commitments into trade agreements, however, varies greatly, depending
 on the countries involved. While Latin American countries have played a pioneering role, Canada and the United States still lag behind. The most exemplary ABS standards are not yet widely used, perhaps because they remain little known. These provisions deserve greater attention and should be integrated more widely into international trade agreements.
trade-agreements  genetic_resources  bioprospecting  genetics  IP  paper  Evernote  downloaded  sovereignty  biodiversity  biology  pharma 
july 2017 by dunnettreader
On human races | Plato's Footnote - March 2016
Why then is the concept of race so widespread? The idea that races are a natural feature of human diversity has long been the standard for anthropological…
Instapaper  biology  genetics  biodiversity  race  constructivism  nature-nurture  from instapaper
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality, Nature, 2011 - Everybody & his cousins reckoned by the dozens defending the theory | via Researchgate
Nature, 03/2011; 471(7339):E1-4; author reply E9-10. DOI: 10.1038/nature09831 (Impact Factor: 41.46). STRATOSOHERIC IMPACT, 100+ cites, so see Researchgate for bibliography -- Source: PubMed -- ABSTRACT -- Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a misunderstanding of evolutionary theory and a misrepresentation of the empirical literature. We will focus our comments on three general issues. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  biology  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  evo_psych  natural_selection  empiricism  scientific_method  eusociality  cooperation  bibliography 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Jonathan Kaplan - The end of the Adaptive Landscape metaphor?, Biology and Philosophy (2008) | via Researchgate
Biology and Philosophy (Impact Factor: 1.19). 11/2008; 23(5):625-638. DOI: 10.1007/s10539-008-9116-z -- ABSTRACT -- The concepts of adaptive/fitness landscapes and adaptive peaks are a central part of much of contemporary evolutionary biology;the concepts are introduced in introductory texts, developed in more detail in graduate-level treatments, and are used extensively in papers published in the major journals in the field. The appeal of visualizing the process of evolution in terms of the movement of populations on such landscapes is very strong; as one becomes familiar with the metaphor, one often develops the feeling that it is possible to gain deep insights into evolution by thinking about the movement of populations on landscapes consisting of adaptive valleys and peaks. But, since Wright first introduced the metaphor in 1932, the metaphor has been the subject of persistent confusion, from equivocation over just what the features of the landscape are meant to represent to how we ought to expect the landscapes to look. Recent advances—conceptual, empirical, and computational—have pointed towards the inadequacy and indeed incoherence of the landscapes as usually pictured. I argue that attempts to reform the metaphor are misguided; it is time to give up the pictorial metaphor of the landscape entirely and rely instead on the results of formal modeling, however difficult such results are to understand in ‘intuitive’ terms. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  philosophy_of_science  biology  genetics  evolutionary_biology  natural_selection  evolution  scientific_method  modelling  levels_of_analyis  causation-evolutionary  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Jonathan Kaplan and Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism about Race , Philosophy of Science, Dec 2014 | via Researchgate
Philosophy of Science (Impact Factor: 0.83). 12/2014; 81(5):1039-1052. DOI: 10.1086/678314 -- ABSTRACT -- This paper distinguishes three concepts of " race " : bio-genomic cluster/race, biological race, and social race. We map out realism, antirealism, and conventionalism about each of these, in three important historical episodes: Frank Livingstone and Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1962, A. W. F. Edwards's 2003 response to Lewontin's 1972 paper, and contemporary discourse. Semantics is especially crucial to the first episode, while normativity is central to the second. Upon inspection, each episode also reveals a variety of commitments to the metaphysics of race. We conclude by interrogating the relevance of these scientific discussions for political positions and a post-racial future. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  philosophy_of_science  biology  genetics  race  anthropology  kinds  ontology-social  racism  racialism  sociobiology  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science  sociology_of_science_&_technology  constructivism  politics-and-science  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Lumière, lumières - Collège de France - 15 octobre 2015 09:30
Depuis la nuit des temps, la lumière a fasciné et inquiété les humains. Dans l’Antiquité, les cultes solaires étaient importants, et les historiens des religions du XIXe siècle leur ont donné une plus grande importance encore, au point de vouloir comprendre toutes les divinités antiques comme des métaphores du soleil. Très rapidement aussi, les humains ont tenté d’expliquer les manifestations de la lumière, révélées en particulier par la pratique de l’astronomie, en proposant des théories diverses qui ont abouti non seulement à des cosmologies, mais aussi à la physique et aux innombrables applications qui en sont nées. Ainsi, on peut dire que la lumière artificiellement produite ou contrôlée, qu’elle soit visible ou qu'elle soit un rayonnement électromagnétique invisible, est l’une des composantes essentielles d’un grand nombre des technologies d’aujourd’hui. À côté de ces développements scientifiques, les penseurs européens du XVIIIe siècle ont recouru à la métaphore de la lumière pour définir une démarche intellectuelle ayant pour fin d’éclairer les esprits (Lumières, Enlightenment, Aufklärung), alors que la création artistique n’a cessé de mettre en oeuvre la lumière ou l’obscurité dans la représentation ou la transfiguration de la réalité. -- program pdf to Dropbox
astronomy  intellectual_history  video  biology  Collège_deFrance  nanotechnology  history_of_science  lecture  cosmology  Enlightenment  physics  energy  French_Enlightenment  vision 
november 2015 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter, review - Christian Emden, "Nietzsche's Naturalism: A Critical Assessment" :: SSRN - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 22, 2015
I review and evaluate the intellectual historian Christian Emden's recent book Nietzsche's Naturalism: Philosophy and the Life Sciences in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Topics addressed include: the meaning of naturalism; the relationship between substantive and methodological versions of naturalism and physicalism and other reductionisms; the role of Kant and NeoKantians like Lange and Helmholtz in Nietzsche's philosophy; the actual role of the life sciences in Nietzsche's naturalism; and what is involved in a naturalistic account of normativity. --PDF File: 12 pgs --- Keywords: Nietzsche, Kant, Lange, naturalism, physicalism -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  intellectual_history  19thC  German_scholars  Nietzsche  naturalism  materialism-19thC  Kant  neo-Kantian  Lange_FA  biology  Helmholtz  normativity  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  morality-objective  human_nature  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul Newall interview with John Wilkins: Biology and Philosophy (2008) - The Galilean Library
John S. Wilkins is a sessional lecturer at the University of Queensland in philosophy. He runs a philosophy of biology blog, Evolving Thoughts, which is part of the Seed Magazine stable of science blogs. John worked in publishing and printing for 25 years while he eventually finished his philosophy studies with a PhD from the University of Melbourne. He used to boast that he had never learned anything of direct practical use, which is a bit of a stretch as he also has a computing diploma. -- author of my Kindle book, Species. -- converted page for downloaded pdf to Note
interview  history_of_science  intellectual_history  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science_&_technology  biology  evolutionary_biology  species  metaphysics  epistemology  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics - Edited by Andrew Hamilton - E-Book - University of California Press
.. aims to make sense of the rise of phylogenetic systematics—its methods, its objects of study, and its theoretical foundations—with contributions from historians, philosophers, and biologists. (...) an intellectual agenda for the study of systematics and taxonomy in a way that connects classification with larger historical themes in the biological sciences, including morphology, experimental and observational approaches, evolution, biogeography, debates over form and function, character transformation, development, and biodiversity. It aims to provide frameworks for answering the question: how did systematics become phylogenetic? -- the 1st Chapter excerpt is a fabulous history of "waves" of new species identification of primarily mammals tied to intellectual, social, economic, cultural and geopolitical history -- his case study is the shift to N American museums organizing large numbers of surveys collecting many samples that gave data on varieties within same species, varying ecologies, etc in the "inner frontiers" in the late19thC and early 20thC -- possible due to "the logic of capital" (railroads penetrating regions to foreclose competition, land speculators), curators leaving the city to obtain materials for the fashion in diaoramas, patronage newly attracted, white collar middle class embracing self-improvement via nature study on holiday, new conservationist attitudes toward Nature etc.
books  kindle-available  biology  taxonomies  species  natural_history  evolutionary_biology  phylogenetics  history_of_science  18thC  19thC  20thC  public_sphere  science-public  cultural_history  cultural_change  material_culture  frontier  leisure  exploration  colonialism  imperialism  museums  collections  virtuosos  scientific_culture  nature  nature-mastery  conservation  self-development 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Emmanuel Bezy, review - Jean-Marie Schaeffer, La fin de l’exception humaine (2007) -- Pour une histoire naturelle de l’homme - La Vie des idées - 21 janvier 2008
Gallimard, 2007, 446 p., 21,50 euros. -- Dans son dernier essai, Jean-Marie Schaeffer s’éloigne de ses thèmes habituels de recherche (le langage, la littérature, la fiction, l’esthétique) et propose une réflexion générale sur l’humanité. Il s’agit de dessiner une perspective qui inscrirait cette dernière en continuité avec le vivant. Il présente ce travail comme l’explicitation de l’arrière-plan de ces précédents travaux. L’ambition est de prendre le contre-pied de ce que l’auteur appelle la « Thèse » selon laquelle l’humanité constituerait une exception parmi les vivants. (...) qu’il pense a conduit à une survalorisation des savoirs spéculatifs au détriment des savoirs empiriques. C’est à critiquer cette vision du monde, véritable obstacle au progrès scientifique, et à redonner toute sa légitimité au naturalisme que son ouvrage est consacré. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  French_intellectuals  French_language  philosophy  human_nature  metaphysics  imago_dei  animals  reason  speculative_philosoohy  philosophical_anthropology  philosophy_of_language  epistemology-naturalism  lit_crit  aesthetics  philosophy_of_science  mind  cogito  natural_kinds  essence  naturalism  empiricism  biology  evolution  evolutionary_biology  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Book Announcement: From Aristotle’s teleology to Darwin’s genealogy
see kindle sample - covers why scientific revolution didn't have the sort of impact that mathematization had in physical sciences - claims that yhe cornerstones of thinkijg re human sciences remained essentialist and fixistmore due to late scholastic snd Rensissance incorporation of Aristotelian principles than religiously driven creationusm - they fid converge and, especially in Anglo countries, reinflorced by 18thC "natural theology" - Darwin uses the anomalies that have no adaptationist utility, like sightless moles, to blow up the functionalist teleological foundation of yhe Aristotelian approach to species
Pocket  17thc  18thc  19thc  Darwin  ancient_greece  aristotle  bible-as-history  biology  books  creationist  deism  early_modern  evolution  geology  history_of_science  intellectual_history  kindle-available  medieval  natural_theology  physiology  renaissance  scholasticism  scientific_revolution 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Justin E.H. Smith - Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference: Race in Early Modern Philosophy (2015) | Princeton University Press
People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, (Smith) charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature’s universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of François Bernier to Leibniz, Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy’s part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. -- Smith is university professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Université Paris Diderot—Paris VII. ...author of Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life (PUP), coeditor and cotranslator of The Leibniz-Stahl Controversy -- downloaded introduction to Note -- only hdbk, will be in ebook
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  cultural_history  racism  racialism  16thC  17thC  18thC  Europe-Early_Modern  exploration  Spanish_Empire  Spain  Renaissance  natural_philosophy  biology  taxonomies  Latin_America  West_Indies  North_America  Native_Americans  indigenous_peoples  slavery  West_Africa  Africa  African_trade  life_sciences  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  French_Enlightenment  Leibniz  Kant  anatomy  Adam  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  science-and-religion  science-public  science_of_man 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Noah Millman - Was Origen the Caitlyn Jenner of the Transabled? | The American Conservative - June 2015
I’m afraid I’m going to re-enter the fray. Rod Dreher has a piece today wondering whether the next step in our cultural development (or decline) will be the… Another superb piece by Millman illustrating how Dreher's hostility to changing cultural norms gets wrapped in a blanket condemnation of "modernity" (and liberalism, individualism, autonomy, and generally Enlightenment values) yet Dreher is committed to Enlightenment benefits of increased knowledge, and insists on liberalism's commitment to personal religious liberty. So it basically comes down to liberty for me but not for thee, with the Church authority for norm-setting both impervious to scientific and cultural change, and claiming an extension over those who don't recognize the Chyrch's authority. The example of Origen, whose spiritual commitment led to self-castration, and who wasn't condemned by the senior hierarchy (prior to the Church legislating on a range of norms dealing with the body and especially sexuality and gender, which was one reason Origen was never made a saint). Millman also has a lengthy passage from Tolstoy about a priest, sexual tension, spiritual demands and self-mutilation, with Tolstoy's final conclusion that this sort of psychological turmoil wasn’t the praiseworthy attitudes and action of a saint but self-absorbed cintra Christ's teaching. Tl; dr -- Dreher can't have it both ways (or in his case what seems like an ever-growing laundry list of contradictory ways). -- saved to Instapaper
Instapaper  sexuality  gender  gender-and-religion  norms  Early_Christian  theology  declinism  modernity  liberalism  Orthodox_Christianity  authority  individualism  autonomy  culture_wars  culture-American  cultural_change  cultural_authority  psychology  identity  biology  physiology  neuroscience  Tolstoy  religious_experience  religious_culture  religion-established  civil_liberties  bill_of_rights  from instapaper
june 2015 by dunnettreader
François Duchesneau - La Physiologie des Lumières - Empirisme, modèles et théories (2012) | Classiques Garnier, coll. Histoire et philosophie des sciences
Cet ouvrage décrit et analyse les modèles de l'être vivant qui, dans le cadre de la révolution scientifique des Temps modernes, ont dessiné un parcours intellectuel menant à l'invention de la biologie comme science. Tout au long du xviiie siècle, la physiologie définit ses méthodes et ses concepts fondamentaux. Mobilisant les savoirs empiriques disponibles, elle en extrait les principes d'une véritable science des corps organisés. -- ISBN 978-2-8124-0783-3 -- 739 pages -- mostly Germans and French, including Leibniz and Wolff and Maupertuis and Buffon as significant stages in the debates
books  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  natural_philosophy  biology  anatomy  physiology  scientific_method  17thC  18thC  life_sciences  empiricism  Leibniz  Wolff_Christian  Maupertuis  Buffon 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Jag Bhalla - Is 'Information Theory' Misnamed? | Big Think - May 2015
by Jag Bhalla “Information theory” is misnamed. And information operates differently in physics versus biology. 1. Gregory Chaitin applies “information theory”… -- really nice mini essay on the inadequacy of "information theory" to deal with semantic complexity, and why different domains will have very different communication requirements and processes -- e.g. physics vs life sciences, such as genetics, which are much more like algorithms *to say nothing of social sciences and humanities) -- parallels his other mini essays on different logics for different domains, and different analogy-style reasoning for different disciplines -- with lots of links
philosophy_of_science  epistemology  logic  information_theory  communication  IT  physics  biology  links  Instapaper  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Peter K. J. Park - Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon 1780-1830 | SUNY Pess 2013
... a penetrating account of a crucial period in the development of philosophy as an academic discipline. (..) a number of European philosophers influenced by Kant began to formulate the history of philosophy as a march of progress from the Greeks to Kant—(..) supplanted existing accounts beginning in Egypt or W. Asia at a time when European interest in Sanskrit and Persian lit was flourishing. Not without debate, these traditions were ultimately deemed outside the scope of philosophy and relegated to the study of religion. Park uncovers this debate and recounts the development of an exclusionary canon of philosophy in the decades of the late 18thC and early 19thC. To what extent was this exclusion of Africa and Asia a result of the scientization of philosophy? To what extent was it a result of racism? (..)the most extensive description available of Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie, F. Schlegel’s lectures on the history of philosophy, Ast’s and Rixner’s systematic integration of Africa and Asia into the history of philosophy, and the controversy between Hegel and the theologian Tholuck over “pantheism.” 1. The Kantian School and the Consolidation of Modern Historiography of Philosophy -- 2. The Birth of Comparative History of Philosophy: Joseph-Marie de Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie -- 3. India in Friedrich Schlegel’s Comparative History of Philosophy -- 4. The Exclusion of Africa and Asia from the History of Philosophy: The Formation of the Kantian Position -- 5. Systematic Inclusion of Africa and Asia under Absolute Idealism: Friedrich Ast’s and Thaddä Anselm Rixner’s Histories of Philosophy -- 6. Absolute Idealism Reverts to the Kantian Position: Hegel’s Exclusion of Africa and Asia -- 7. The Comparative History of Philosophy in August Tholuck’s Polemic against Hegel -- downloaded excerpt
books  intellectual_history  intellectual_history-distorted  18thC  19thC  philosophy  ancient_Greece  ancient_India  Sanskrit  Persia  religious_history  historiography-18thC  historiography-19thC  Kant  Schlegel  German_Idealism  Hegel  German_scholarship  philohellenism  ancient_history  ancient_religions  history_of_science  biology  racism  Africa  Asia  Enlightenment  comparative_religion  pantheism  philology  teleology  cosmopolitanism  colonialism  comparative_history  comparative_anthropology  philosophical_anthropology  human_nature  downloaded 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Avidly / Dana Luciano - The Inhuman Anthropocene | LA Review of Books Blog - March 2015
Recently, a study appeared in the journal Nature proposing a previously unsuggested start date for the Anthropocene: 1610 CE. -- It was chosen because it was the lowest point in a decades-long decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide, measurable by traces found in Artic ice cores. The change in the atmosphere, Lewis and Maslin deduced, was caused by the death of over 50 million indigenous residents of the Americas in the first century after European contact, the result of “exposure to diseases carried by Europeans, plus war, enslavement and famine”. The destruction of the indigenous population (leaving only an estimated 6 million survivors on both northern and southern American continents by the mid-17thC) meant a significant decline in farming, fire-burning and other human activities affecting atmospheric carbon levels. Lewis and Maslin point to other geologically significant aspects of Euro-American contact as well, including the transfer of plant and animal species between Europe and the Americas, leading to a significant loss of biodiversity and acceleration of species extinction rates. From this view, the Anthropocene develops alongside the global pathways of modernity. Lewis and Maslin term this proposal the “Orbis hypothesis,” from the Latin for “globe.” -- copied to Pocket -- chart of the classification of Earth history by the International association of stratographists downloaded to complexity and emergence etc Gintis folder
Anthropocene  geology  climate  biology  botany  natural_history  colonialism  Native_Americans  genocide  extinction  Pocket 
march 2015 by dunnettreader
David Gentilcore, Review Article: Health in Europe 1500-1800 [ Peter Elmer, ed. of Open University essay collection and companion source book] | Reviews in History - Nov 2004
Dr David Gentilcore, University of Leicester -- (..) a chapter in the first volume on, say, the care and cure of mental illness provides us with a general introduction to and historical survey of the theme, as well as several case studies. (..) The documents alone are worth the price of the 2 books. Not only do they represent the first such collection of sources on early modern medicine, but their coverage is very broad indeed: from early-15thC Italian letters of medical advice to 18thC Parisian surgical instruction; from the published writings of a French midwife to the rules of an English voluntary hospital; from a treatise on the duties of the Christian physician during time of plague to a newspaper account of smallpox inoculation. Hitherto sources of this type have been available in a very few journals, (..) It is the first volume(..) which merits our attention, marking as it does the coming of age of the social and cultural history of medicine. It is the culmination of some 30 years of research that has transformed writing and teaching in the history of medicine. This has meant a shift away from the ‘great men’ focus towards attention to marginalised or neglected groups in society; away from an exclusive interest in medical practitioners towards the experiences of sufferers and patients; away from the allure of retro-diagnosis (that is, applying modern biomedical knowledge to the illnesses of the ‘rich and famous’ of the past) and towards how contemporaries understood disease in their own time; and away from a university- and hospital-centred account of medical knowledge and practice towards one influenced by notions of medical pluralism (the co-existence of alternative or complementary therapies and systems of belief). The essays in this book succeed in providing a cross-section of this research, addressing recent issues and debates in a thematic way. (..) without jettisoning the achievements of previous generations of scholarship. Thus the ‘ideas’ focus of the great men tradition, all too often seen as a worthy end in itself, is not abandoned here (as if the ideas themselves no longer mattered to our understanding of the past), but is re-configured as an exploration of how these ideas were transmitted and put into practice at different levels of society. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
books  reviews  16thC  17thC  18thC  Europe-Early_Modern  medicine  cultural_history  social_history  intellectual_history  sources  disease  mental_health  professions  history_of_science  historiography  Innovation  religious_culture  science-and-religion  alchemy  anatomy  natural_history  biology  hospitals  public_health  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, et al - The Precautionary Principle (with Application to the Genetic Modification of Organisms) | arxiv.org - Oct 2014 [1410.5787]
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Rupert Read, Raphael Douady, Joseph Norman, Yaneer Bar-Yam -- Abstract -- We present a non-naive version of the Precautionary (PP) that allows us to avoid paranoia and paralysis by confining precaution to specific domains and problems. PP is intended to deal with uncertainty and risk in cases where the absence of evidence and the incompleteness of scientific knowledge carries profound implications and in the presence of risks of "black swans", unforeseen and unforeseable events of extreme consequence. We formalize PP, placing it within the statistical and probabilistic structure of ruin problems, in which a system is at risk of total failure, and in place of risk we use a formal fragility based approach. We make a central distinction between 1) thin and fat tails, 2) Local and systemic risks and place PP in the joint Fat Tails and systemic cases. We discuss the implications for GMOs (compared to Nuclear energy) and show that GMOs represent a public risk of global harm (while harm from nuclear energy is comparatively limited and better characterized). PP should be used to prescribe severe limits on GMOs. -- see summary from arxiv Medium blog, saved via Instapaper
paper  risk  uncertainty  risk-systemic  biology  genetics  agriculture  GMOs  probability  precautionary_principle  risk-mitigation  global_system  EF-add 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeffrey K. McDonough, review - Justin E. H. Smith, Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // April 17, 2012
Justin E. H. Smith, Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life, Princeton University Press, 2011, 392pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780691141787.
Reviewed by Jeffrey K. McDonough, Harvard University -- It is widely recognized that Leibniz's philosophical thought is deeply influenced by the mathematics, physics and philosophical theology of his era. Justin E. H. Smith's Divine Machines argues that many of Leibniz's most central philosophical doctrines are similarly bound up with the life sciences of his time, where the "life sciences" are understood very broadly to include fields as diverse as alchemy, medicine, taxonomy, and paleontology. Smith's groundbreaking exploration represents an important contribution to our understanding of both Leibniz's philosophy and the study of life in the early modern era. It is to be recommended to historians, philosophers, and historians of philosophy alike. Below I highlight four central topics in Smith's book, raising some reservations along the way.
books  reviews  kindle-available  intellectual_history  17thC  Leibniz  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  metaphysics  monads  causation  species  teleology  anatomy  biology  medicine  microscope  fossils  reproduction  theodicy  creation  mechanism  organism 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Anna Fels - Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium? - NYTimes.com - September 2014
Mother Nature has already put a psychotropic drug in the drinking water, and that drug is lithium. Although this fact has been largely ignored for over half a century, it appears to have important medical implications.Lithium is a naturally occurring element, not a molecule like most medications, and it is present in the United States, depending on the geographic area, at concentrations that can range widely, from undetectable to around .170 milligrams per liter. This amount is less than a thousandth of the minimum daily dose given for bipolar disorders and for depression that doesn’t respond to antidepressants. Although it seems strange that the microscopic amounts of lithium found in groundwater could have any substantial medical impact, the more scientists look for such effects, the more they seem to discover. Evidence is slowly accumulating that relatively tiny doses of lithium can have beneficial effects. They appear to decrease suicide rates significantly and may even promote brain health and improve mood. -- The scientific story of lithium’s role in normal development and health began unfolding in the 1970s. Studies at that time found that animals that consumed diets with minimal lithium had higher mortality rates, as well as abnormalities of reproduction and behavior. -- In 1990, a study was published looking at 27 Texas counties with a variety of lithium levels in their water. The authors discovered that people whose water had the least amount of lithium had significantly greater levels of suicide, homicide and rape than the people whose water had the higher levels of lithium. The group whose water had the highest lithium level had nearly 40 percent fewer suicides than that with the lowest lithium level. Almost 20 years later, a Japanese study that looked at 18 municipalities with more than a million inhabitants over a five-year period confirmed the earlier study’s finding: Suicide rates were inversely correlated with the lithium content in the local water supply.
health  biology  neuroscience  public_health  mental_health 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Tim Radford, review - The Copernicus Complex by Caleb Scharf – a cosmic quest | Books | The Guardian September 2014
Tim Radford's The Address Book: Our Place in the Scheme of Things is published by 4th Estate. -- With optical super-telescopes we might soon see not just distant, Earthlike planets but even the signature of life in their atmospheres. At any moment, a radiotelescope might start to pick up a message from a civilisation far away and long ago in the galaxy. In either case, humans would no longer be alone, and the Earth not such a special place. In either case, there would still be questions about the conditions that make life possible. To resolve some of these questions, Scharf, an astrophysicist and astrobiologist, proposes a new "cosmo-chaotic" principle that might explain here and now, and us and the "them" that we think must exist, somewhere. Life, he argues, may perhaps only be possible at the borders of calm and chaos, where the accidents of matter and motion dictate change and variation without overwhelming the emerging entities, and this in turn might make sentient life a natural but very rare event. Scharf does not have the answers. His book is an intoxicating collection of questions answered with other questions, and startling discoveries that make creation even more mysterious. A couple of decades ago, physicists spoke confidently of a "theory of everything" and one or two even proposed an "end to science". All has now changed. The mysteries have multiplied. Forget the tricksy parenthesis in the subtitle. Skip past an early tendency to label scientists as budding, and science as cutting-edge. This book expands, like spacetime itself, from a very small point. It begins with the microscope pioneer Antony van Leeuwenhoek's famous discovery in Delft in 1674 of a microcosm in a drop of lake water, and it ends with speculation about a lonely civilisation, 100bn years on, in a freezing vacuum that no longer contains information about anything. Books such as these remind us that we are lucky to be here at all, and even luckier to be here now.
books  reviews  kindle-available  cosmology  big_bang  biology  chaos_theory  time  history_of_science 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Brad Plumer - The oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years. How bad could it get? - Vox September 2014
Followup post on the WMO report plus IPCC info -- We know the oceans have already been acidifying rapidly, with acidity levels increasing 30% since the Industrial Revolution (...pH of ocean surface water has dropped from 8.18 to 8.07). As best scientists can tell from looking at historical data, this change is likely unprecedented in the last 300 million years. And according to the WMO's most recent report, there's no sign that this process is slowing down. So what might acidification look like in the future? That largely depends on how much extra carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere. Below is a map from the IPCC looking at what would happen if emissions keep rising at their current rate. Meanwhile, there's one final twist: As the oceans become more acidic, they're less able to absorb our carbon-dioxide emissions.The WMO says the ocean's ability to take up carbon is just 70% of what it was back before the Industrial Revolution. That capacity is expected to shrink to 20% by the end of the century. -- estimating impact on reefs and marine life -- scientists can sift through the fossil record to see how broad ocean ecosystems responded to real-life bouts of ocean acidification in the past. About 55 million years ago, carbon-dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere spiked (for natural reasons), leading to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. In a 2013 study for Science, Norris and his co-authors found that this prehistoric world had few coral reefs, poorly oxygenated oceans, and a food chain that had difficulty sustaining large predators. Not good. On the bright side, there were relatively few mass extinctions. But even this isn't a perfect analogue. Among other things, the rate of ocean acidification today appears to be even faster than it was back then — and there are other stresses on marine life, like overfishing or pollution. So the impacts could be very different.
climate  ocean  geohistory  species  biology 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Brad Plumer - Map: How climate change could put hundreds of bird species at risk - Vox September 2014
The National Audubon Society has a big new report out today looking at how 588 different bird species across North America will see their habitats shift because of global warming. Of those, the report finds, 314 species are likely to lose more than half their current climactic range by 2080. That's a dramatic change, and it's not clear whether all of those birds will be able to survive the shift.
climate  biology  maps 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Oren Harman review - Sean B. Carroll, Brave Genius : A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize - "Chance and Necessity" Revisited | The Los Angeles Review of Books - July 2014
IN THE FALL of 1970, Éditions du Seuil published Le hasard et la nécessité, a monograph by the French molecular biologist Jacques Monod,. Chance and Necessity was a slim book laden with technical details of oligomeric proteins, teleonomic structures, and microscopic perturbations. Despite the technical jargon, the book sold over 200,000 copies in its first year and became a best seller in Germany and Japan. It was bested in France only by Erich Segal’s Love Story. What explains its popularity? Monod was an eminent scientist, to be sure: he’d received the 1965 Nobel Prize with André Lwoff and François Jacob for “discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.” But the resonance of Chance and Necessity is best explained by two epigraphs that adorned its opening page, stoic reminders that this was an affair well beyond the confines of mere science. The first is a dramatic statement by the Greek philosopher Democritus: “Everything existing in the Universe is the fruit of chance and necessity.” The second epigram, more than anything, best explains the book’s salience: a lengthy quotation from Albert Camus’s essay The Myth of Sisyphus. “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart”; it ends, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Sean B. Carroll, the American developmental molecular geneticist, reveals the deep friendship between Camus and Monod in Brave Genius. Their relationship, Carroll finds, not only illuminates the work of both men, but also unlocks the political and philosophical contingencies of a key moment in 20th-century thought.
books  reviews  intellectual_history  political_history  history_of_science  existentialism  20thC  France  WWII  French_Resistance  biography  Camus  evolutionary_biology  genetics  biology  cosmology  nihilism  chance  determinism  necessity 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Devin Henry - "Embryological Models in Ancient Philosophy" by | Phronesis 50.1 (2005): 1-42.
Devin Henry, The University of Western Ontario -- Historically embryogenesis has been among the most philosophically intriguing phenomena. In this paper I focus on one aspect of biological development that was particularly perplexing to the ancients: self-organisation. For many ancients, the fact that an organism determines the important features of its own development required a special model for understanding how this was possible. This was especially true for Aristotle, Alexander, and Simplicius who all looked to contemporary technology to supply that model. However, they did not all agree on what kind of device should be used. In this paper I explore the way these ancients made use of technology as a model for the developing embryo. However, my purpose here is more than just the historical interest of knowing which devices were used by whom and how each of them worked; I shall largely ignore the details of how the various devices actually worked. Instead I shall look at the use of technology from a philosophical perspective. As we shall see, the different choices of device reveal fundamental differences in the way each thinker understood the nature of biological development itself. Thus, the central aim of this paper is to examine, not who used what devices and how they worked, but why they used those particular devices and what they thought their functioning could tell us about the nature of embryological phenomena. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Aristotle  natural_philosophy  history_of_science  ancient_Greece  biology  generation  inheritance  development-biological  embryology  scientific_culture  scientific_method  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Devin Henry. "Organismal Natures" | Apeiron: a journal for ancient philosophy and science (2008): 47-74.
Aristotle agrees with the negative conclusion of Galen that the growth and development of living things cannot be due to material forces operating according to chance. For Aristotle, the process of development is structured according to the form of the organism being generated by it. Development ‘follows upon’ the organism’s substantial being and exists for the sake of it rather than vice versa. This confers a certain order and direction on the process that cannot be accounted for in terms of the random motions of atoms or the undirected actions of Love and Strife (Empedocles). He accepts that natural generation involves material-level forces of the sort Democritus proposed; however, he insists that when operating by themselves these undirected causes would only produce a living thing by chance. And generation is far too regular for that. But Aristotle rejects the further inference — endorsed by Galen — that the teleological structure imposed on a developing organism must be traced to an intelligent agent that puts the organism together according to its end like some kind of internalized Demiurge. Nature, Aristotle says, does not deliberate. -- By invoking ‘natures’ as the cause of development, Galen says, Aristotle offers an account which is entirely vacuous. On the other hand, Denis Walsh has recently argued that the concept of Aristotelian natures plays the same role in development as the modern concept of phenotypic plasticity and that in this sense Aristotelian natures have an indispensable role to play contemporary evolutionary biology. -- My aim in this paper is not to defend an Aristotelian approach to modern biology but rather to explore the concept of organismal natures in the context of Aristotle’s teleology. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Aristotle  natural_philosophy  history_of_science  biology  generation  inheritance  development-biological  teleology  design-nature  materialism  Democritus  Empedocles  Galen  forms  evolutionary_biology  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Devin Henry - "Aristotle's Pluralistic Realism" | The Monist 94.2 (2011): 198-222
The University of Western Ontario -- In this paper I explore Aristotle’s views on natural kinds and the compatibility of pluralism and realism, a topic that has generated considerable interest among contemporary philosophers. I argue that, when it came to zoology, Aristotle denied that there is only one way of organizing the diversity of the living world into natural kinds that will yield a single, unified system of classification. Instead, living things can be grouped and regrouped into various cross-cutting kinds on the basis of objective similarities and differences in ways that subserve the explanatory context. Since the explanatory aims of zoology are diverse and variegated, the kinds it recognizes must be equally diverse and variegated. At the same time, there are certain constraints on which kinds can be selected. And those constraints derive more from the causal structure of the world than from the proclivities of the classifier (hence the realism). This distinguishes Aristotle’s version of pluralistic realism from those contemporary versions (like Dupré’s “promiscuous realism”) that treat all or most classifications of a given domain as equally legitimate and not just a sub-set of kinds recognized by the science that studies it. By contrast, Aristotle privileges scientifically important kinds on the basis of their role in causal investigations. On this picture natural kinds are those kinds with the sort of causal structure that allows them to enter into scientific explanations. In the final section I argue that Aristotle’s zoology should remain of interest to philosophers and biologists alike insofar as it combines a pluralistic form of realism with a rank-free approach to classification. - didn't download
article  intellectual_history  Aristotle  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  ancient_philosophy  analytical_philosophy  natural_kinds  classification  species  explanation  causation  biology  animals  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Devin Henry - "The Failure of Evolution in Antiquity" in Blackwell Companion to Ancient Science, Medicine and Technology (2014)
Devin Henry, The University of Western Ontario -- This paper traces the emergence and rejection of evolutionary thinking in antiquity. It examines Empedocles' original theory of evolution and why his ideas failed to gain traction among his predecessors. -- Devin Henry. "The Failure of Evolution in Antiquity" Blackwell Companion to Ancient Science, Medicine and Technology. Ed. Georgia Irby. Blackwell-Wiley, 2014. -- downloaded pdf to Note
intellectual_history  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  natural_philosophy  biology  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  evolutionary_biology  evolution  time  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik's 2009 Voltaire lecture on 'The Guilt of Science?: Race, Science and Darwinism'
By the end of the eighteenth century, then, scientists had constructed a taxonomy of nature into which humans could be fitted and out of which emerged the categories of race. This seems to lend credibility to the view that it is modernity itself, and in particular the Enlightenment, that give rise both to the idea of race and to the practice of racism. ‘Eighteenth century Europe was the cradle of racism’, the historian George Mosse, argues because ‘racism has its foundations’ in the Enlightenment ‘preoccupation with a rational universe, nature and aesthetics.’ To see why this is not the case, we need to look more closely at how Enlightenment thinkers viewed the concept of human differences. -- If any event could demonstrate the folly of giving into unreason, it is surely Nazism and the Holocaust. Yet now it is regarded as an expression of too much reason.There is no intrinsic link between the idea of race and a rational or scientific view of the world. On the contrary: what made ideas of race plausible were the growth of political sentiments hostile to both the rationalism and the humanism of the Enlightenment.
intellectual_history  cultural_history  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  racialism  species  biology  evolutionary_biology  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  Enlightenment_Project  humanism  anti-humanism  reason  Nazis  Holocaust  imperialism  slavery  civilizing_process  human_nature  diversity  historiography-18thC  social_theory  Social_Darwinism  Herder  Linnaeus  Locke  essentialism  essence  climate  stadial_theories  Romanticism  social_order  progress  atheism_panic  authority  class_conflict  bourgeoisie  liberalism  capitalism  equality  stratification  scientism  science_of_man  science-and-religion  positivism  social_sciences  France  Britain  British_Empire  Germany  Great_Powers  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Richard Marshall interview - Peter Godfrey-Smith - philosophy of biology » 3:AM Magazine April 2014
Peter Godfrey-Smith is the go-to guy in the philosophy of biology. He is forever evolving his thoughts on externalism, complexity and why we shouldn’t expect a settled outcome, the contribution of pragmatists to philosophy of biology, why Fodor gets it wrong, on how best to understand what science is, on Darwinian theory, Darwinian populations, on why Richard Dawkins and David Hull are wrong and on the contribution of philosophy to biology. Like Cool Hand Luke, this one bites like a ‘gator!
philosophy_of_science  biology  evolution  evolutionary_biology  pragmatism  mind  mind-body  language  Darwinism  behavioralism  EF-add 
april 2014 by dunnettreader
Amazon.com: Herbert Gintis' review of Michael Tomasello, A Natural History of Human Thinking - Feb 2014
Great review on 3 types of cognition, of which only 1(me-thinking) shared with great apes. Gintis recasts Searle's collective intentionality, which deals with collaboration, using Timasello's version of social epistemology, ability to deal with other minds in a social network of shared representation.
books  reviews  kindle-available  amazon.com  biology  cognition  cognition-social  epistemology-social  mind  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Tom Eyers, review - Tzuchien Tho and Giuseppe Bianco (eds., trs.), Badiou and the Philosophers: Interrogating 1960s French Philosophy // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // March 2014
Fascinating review - [E]ven as Badiou marks a break with earlier, linguistically-oriented forms of French philosophy, he is as doggedly faithful to the modernist radical Left as the new anti-critics [eg Latour and speculative realists] are determined to leave it behind. Badiou is nothing if not a thinker of grand Truths, both philosophical and political, and the volume under review, nimbly edited by young philosophers of note Tzuchien Tho and Giuseppe Bianco, gives readers an insight into the very earliest moments of the militant philosopher's development. At one and the same time, the book offers us glimpses of the pre-1968 generation that Badiou and his peers would take intellectual sustenance from, filtered through questions asked by a precocious 27-year-old Badiou as part of a unique series of television interviews, broadcast by the French state broadcaster between 1965 and 1968. --The transcripts of the interviews with Jean Hyppolite, Michel Foucault, Georges Canguilhem, Raymond Aron, Paul Ricoeur, Michel Henry and Michel Serres have been carefully edited and translated by Tho and Bianco, and the latter have penned a lengthy introduction that situates the text within concurrent developments in French politics and media culture. -- ...the undeniable initial thrill that comes from encountering thinkers, already eminent at the time they were interviewed, struggling to summarize their life's work on the spot and within the confines of a newly dominant cultural medium. At the very least, one gets a sense of just how crucial this mostly older generation of philosophers was to the famous upstarts - Lacan, Derrida, Kristeva, Badiou himself - who were beginning to make their mark as the interviews aired; an understanding, in other words, of how the apparently irrevocable break that structuralism and post-structuralism inflicted in the late 1960s may have been less absolute than previously assumed.
books  reviews  20thC  France  intellectual_history  theory  Hegelians-French  structuralist  poststructuralist  postmodern  continental_philosophy  Foucault  phenomenology  Ricoeur  Aron  Sartre  philosophy_of_science  life_sciences  biology  post-Marxism  Leftist  Modernism  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Kevin Mitchell - Wiring the Brain: No gene is an island - July 2013
What is the effect on the trait of each of the individual loci in isolation? Well, here’s the surprise. In many cases, the phenotypic effects of these single loci are much bigger than you would expect – often explaining 50% or more of the difference between the two strains. This means that if you simply added up their effects you would get much more than the 100% of the difference you started with. In fact, the range for behavioural traits averages at ~800%, if you simply add up the effects of the decomposed individual loci. Even more remarkably, some of the individual chromosome substitution strains show a phenotypic level that is outside the range of either of the initial parents, sometimes even moving the trait distribution in the opposite direction to the “donor” parent strain. These results clearly show that non-additive interactions for variants affecting quantitative traits are common, large and unpredictable. They are a ubiquitous feature of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits, whether morphological, physiological or behavioural and are seen across many different species, including worms, flies, chickens, yeast. Even if such interactions average out across all the combinations encountered in the population, so that they appear additive, statistically, this biological reality places a severe limit on our ability to predict any individual’s phenotype based purely on additive calculations. -- sum up, we're each remarkably unique
genetics  biology 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Kevin Mitchell - Wiring the Brain: Reductionism! Determinism! Straw-man-ism! - Feb 2014
Good post and comments -- cmnt 1 - I like your juxtaposition of "the system is complex" and "single variants can influence a complex system". One variant at a time studies aren't inherently reductionist. We all want to know what the effects of any variant are independent of genomic background and ecology. This is an important part of genetic architecture and should not be ignored. From my point of view the problem is with the *assumptions* made when investigating the single variant effect on interindividual variation in a biological trait. One assumption (1) is that the system is complex and the single variant analysis will reveal only a piece of that complexity. Another assumption (2) is that the system is complex but can be teased apart as a sum of independent effects. Yet another assumption (3) is that the system appears complex but is really simple and can be explained by a sum of variants. The human genetics and genetic epidemiology disciplines span all of these assumptions in a non-uniform manner. I am old enough to have been a graduate student and beginning assistant professor during the linkage era that began with assumption 3 coming off the successes of Mendelian genetics and positional cloning. This off course shifted to assumption 2 during the GWAS era. I think we are now in the process of shifting toward assumption 1 as digest the largely negative results of using single variant analyses to predict disease susceptibility. I believe this shift in assumptions will continue over the next year as WGS plays out. Thanks for the post! - Jason Moore (Dartmouth)
scientific_method  genetics  biology  science-public  evolutionary_biology  materialism  reductionism  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Articles re "new essentialism" in biology | JSTOR: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 77, No. 5, December 2010
(1) Species Have (Partly) Intrinsic Essences (pp. 648-661) Michael Devitt. *--* (2) New Essentialism in Biology (pp. 662-673) Olivier Rieppel. *--* (3) What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism(pp. 674-685) Marc Ereshefsky. *--* (4) Homeostasis, Higher Taxa, and Monophyly(pp. 686-701) Richard Boyd
journal  article  jstor  philosophy_of_science  biology  evolutionary_biology  kinds  species  essence  essentialism  Darwinism 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
James Livesey: Calvet's Web: Enlightenment and the Republic of Letters in Eighteenth-Century France by L. W. B. Brockliss | JSTOR: The British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 2005), pp. 109-110
Downloaded pdf to Note -- extremely detailed study of a provincial member of the Republic of Letters in the 18thC. Brockliss claims no real difference between the philosophes and the Republic - there wasn't an Enlightenment. Livesey sees the selection of Calvet as unrepresentative of even the Republic of Letters. The review has some interesting remarks on 18thC Republic, even in the provinces where critical thought and challenge to authority was possible if not universal.
books  reviews  jstor  intellectual_history  18thC  France  French_Enlightenment  Republic_of_Letters  provinces  philosophes  biology  Linnaeus  Académie_des_Inscriptions  downloaded  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., review - Germano Maifreda: From Oikonomia to Political Economy: Constructing Economic Knowledge from the Renaissance to the Scientific Revolution | EH.net
Ashgate, 2012. vii + 304 pp. $135 (hardcover), ISBN: 978-1-4094-3301-9.

The transition from the culturally and religiously oriented era of Oikonomia to the political economy of, say, Smith and Hume, was not linear.? Culture, science and religion evolved and helped shape conceptions of economic functioning. (It would appear that medieval Christianity was not productive of ?economy.?)? Secularism also evolved and searches for constancy in value, in exchange and in entrepreneurship were shaped by culture and psychology.? Epistemology affected the scaffolding and functioning of the economic superstructure at any point in time.?

[H]e raises intriguing links between culture, psychology, medicine, biology and economic categories. In Chapters 5 through7 (plus an epilogue), Maifreda weaves together exceptionally interesting material on the manner in which the principles of other sciences and studies used what we now call economic reasoning and motivations.? The whole question of how the idea that labor ?caused? or ?represented? or ?was involved with? value is the subject of Chapters 5 and 6.? Maifreda highlights (properly) how Locke?s analysis of private property is the ?essential element? in productive economy (p. 167).? Also examined is how labor and the concept of equilibrium are related to both theological and physiological reasoning, the concept of equilibrium prominent in the writings of Hales and Boisguilbert He concludes that ?powerful metaphors formed within diverse fields of knowledge … lent their assistance to ways of thinking about phenomena and drawing up models and generalizations? (p. 253) that, later, became an independent science of economics and economic reasoning.? One small complaint is that he does not extend his discussion into exactly how and through whom the transition was finally made (e.g., possibly Cantillon and others).? But that may be the subject for another study.
books  reviews  intellectual_history  economic_history  Renaissance  Scientific_Revolution  Enlightenment  Scottish_Enlightenment  French_Enlightenment  16thC  17thC  18thC  political_economy  economic_theory  economic_culture  commerce  values  labor  Locke  property  currency  prices  cultural_history  theology  Providence  moral_philosophy  moral_economy  Foucault  Physiocrats  Linnaeus  biology  physiology  equilibrium  metaphor  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Daniel Little - Understanding Society: Ian Hacking on chance as worldview | Sept 1, 2013
Very nice look at Hacking's contributions to philosophy of science, including where he fits with Kuhn and Foucault. -- Ian Hacking was one of the more innovative and adventurous philosophers to take up the philosophy of science as their field of inquiry. The Taming of Chance (1990) is a genuinely fascinating treatment of the subject of the emergence of the idea of populations of events rather than discrete individuals. Together with The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction and Statistical Inference (1975; 2nd ed. 2006), the two books represent a very original contribution to an important aspect of modern ways of thinking: the ways in which the human sciences and the public came to think differently about the nature of social and biological reality.
philosophy_of_science  history_of_science  probability  17thC  18thC  19thC  population  public_policy  biology  medicine  public_health  statistics  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
John V. Pickstone: Sketching Together the Modern Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine (2011)
JSTOR: Isis, Vol. 102, No. 1 (March 2011), pp. 123-133 -- roundup and looking forward article in issue Focus: Between and Beyond “Histories of Science” and “Histories of Medicine” -- downloaded pdf to Note -- This essay explores ways to “write together” the awkwardly jointed histories of “science” and “medicine”—but it also includes other “arts” (in the old sense) and technologies. It draws especially on the historiography of medicine, but I try to use terms that are applicable across all of science, technology, and medicine (STM). I stress the variety of knowledges and practices in play at any time and the ways in which the ensembles change. I focus on the various relations of “science” and “medicine,” as they were understood for a succession of periods—from mainly agricultural societies, through industrial societies, to our biomedical present—trying to sketch a history that encompasses daily practices and understandings as well as major conceptual and technical innovations. The model is meant to facilitate inquiry across topics and across times, including those to come.
article  jstor  historiography  sociology_of_knowledge  history_of_science  medicine  technology  biology  chemistry  physiology  natural_philosophy  mathematics  communication  IT  evolution  university  academies  education  industry  Industrial_Revolution  Renaissance  Enlightenment  Scientific_Revolution  15thC  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Harold J. Cook: The History of Medicine and the Scientific Revolution (2011)
JSTOR: Isis, Vol. 102, No. 1 (March 2011), pp. 102-108 -- Issue Focus: Between and Beyond “Histories of Science” and “Histories of Medicine” -- downloaded pdf to Note -- The “new philosophy” of the seventeenth century has continued to be explained mainly on its own terms: as a major philosophical turn. Twentieth-century modernism gave pride of place to big ideas and reinforced the tendency to explain the rise of science in light of new ideas. Such orientations subordinated medicine (and technology) to sciences that appeared to be more theoretical. In attempts to persuade historians of science of the importance of medicine, then, many authors took an approach arguing that the major changes in the history of medicine during the so-called scientific revolution arose from philosophical commitments. Yet because medicine is also intimately connected to other aspects of life, its histories proved to be recalcitrant to such reductions and so continue to offer many possibilities for those who seek fresh means to address histories of body and mind united rather than divided.
article  jstor  historiography  history_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  medicine  biology  natural_philosophy  metaphysics  17thC  18thC  Scientific_Revolution  Enlightenment  mind-body  psychology  moral_philosophy  political_philosophy  cultural_history  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Dániel Margócsy - Encyclopedias, the Exchange of Curiosities, and Practices of Identification before Linnaeus (2010)
Project MUSE - Dániel Margócsy. ""Refer to folio and number": Encyclopedias, the Exchange of Curiosities, and Practices of Identification before Linnaeus." Journal of the History of Ideas 71.1 (2010): 63-89. Project MUSE. Web. 28 Aug. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>...... Available as html and pdf...... The Swiss natural historian Johann Amman came to Russia in 1733 to take a position as professor of botany and natural history at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. As part of the job, he corresponded, and exchanged plant specimens, with the English merchant collector Peter Collinson in London, and the Swedish scholar Carolus Linnaeus, among others. After briefly reviewing Amman's correspondence with these scholars and the growing commerce in exotic specimens of natural history, I explore how encyclopedias came to facilitate the exchange of zoological specimens in particular. I argue that, during the seventeenth century, a new genre of zoological encyclopedias appeared on the scene whose design was particularly well-suited for the purposes of identification, a key practice in long-distance exchanges.

?....-- Of interest on several counts. 1) classification and taxonomy process extending Foucault observation re shift from Renaissance representation to Enlightenment classification - not just driven by demands for new forms of intelligibility, but parallel to what happening in commerce, need to support communications needed for ling distance exchange. 2) stages leading to Linnaeus. 3) encyclopedia phenomenon more generally as Republic of Letters expands geographically and in membership and becomes increasingly specialized. How new types of authority asserted, contested and accepted. Also suggestive re how garden, herb, exotic specimens ID'd, info circulated internationally - Bolingbroke's grandmother, Trumbull letter, Pope's gardening.
article  Project_MUSE  17thC  18thC  intellectual_history  cultural_history  biology  species  natural_history  publishing  commerce  Republic_of_Letters  Scientific_Revolution  gardens  Foucault  Linnaeus  Bolingbroke  Pope  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader

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