Kitcher thoughtfully and sensitively considers how secularism can respond to the worries and challenges that all people confront, including the issue of mortality. He investigates how secular lives compare with those of people who adopt religious doctrines as literal truth, as well as those who embrace less literalistic versions of religion. Whereas religious belief has been important in past times, Kitcher concludes that evolution away from religion is now essential. He envisions the successors to religious life, when the senses of identity and community traditionally fostered by religion will instead draw on a broader range of cultural items—those provided by poets, filmmakers, musicians, artists, scientists, and others. With clarity and deep insight, Kitcher reveals the power of secular humanism to encourage fulfilling human lives built on ethical truth.
In Mann's story, the author Gustav von Aschenbach becomes captivated by an adolescent boy, first seen on the lido in Venice, the eventual site of Aschenbach's own death. Mann works through central concerns about how to live, explored with equal intensity by his German predecessors, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Kitcher considers how Mann's, Britten's, and Visconti's treatments illuminate the tension between social and ethical values and an artist's sensitivity to beauty. Each work asks whether a life devoted to self-sacrifice in the pursuit of lasting achievements can be sustained, and whether the breakdown of discipline undercuts its worth. Haunted by the prospect of his death, Aschenbach also helps reflect on whether it is possible to achieve anything in full awareness of our finitude and in knowing our successes are always incomplete.
As the icecaps melt and the sea levels rise around the globe—threatening human existence as we know it—climate change has become one of the most urgent and controversial issues of our time. For most people, however, trying to understand the science, politics, and arguments on either side can be dizzying, leading to frustrating and unproductive debates.
Now, in this groundbreaking new work, two of our most renowned thinkers present the realities of global warming in the most human of terms—everyday conversation—showing us how to convince even the most stubborn of skeptics as to why we need to act now. Indeed, through compelling Socratic dialogues, Philip Kitcher and Evelyn Fox Keller tackle some of the thorniest questions facing mankind today:Is climate change real? Is climate change as urgent as the “scientists” make it out to be? How much of our current way of life should we sacrifice to help out a generation that won’t even be born for another hundred years? Who would pay for the enormous costs of making the planet "green?" What sort of global political arrangement would be needed for serious action?
These crucial questions play out through familiar circumstances, from an older husband and wife considering whether they should reduce their carbon footprint, to a first date that evolves into a passionate discussion about whether one person can actually make a difference, to a breakfast that becomes an examination over whether or not global warming is really happening. Entertaining, widely accessible, and thoroughly original, the result promises to inspire dialogue in many places, while also giving us a line of reasoning that explodes the so-far impenetrable barriers of obfuscation that have surrounded the discussion.
While the Paris Agreement was an historic achievement that brought solutions within the realm of possibility, The Seasons Alter is a watershed book that will show us how to make those possibilities a reality.
In this provocative book, renowned primatologist Frans de Waal argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world, emphasizing our "selfish" genes and reinforcing our habit of labeling ethical behavior as humane and the less civilized as animalistic. Seeking the origin of human morality not in evolution but in human culture, science insists that we are moral by choice, not by nature.
Citing remarkable evidence based on his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal attacks "Veneer Theory," which posits morality as a thin overlay on an otherwise nasty nature. He explains how we evolved from a long line of animals that care for the weak and build cooperation with reciprocal transactions. Drawing on Darwin, recent scientific advances, and his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal demonstrates a strong continuity between human and animal behavior. He probes issues such as anthropomorphism and human responsibilities toward animals. His compelling account of how human morality evolved out of mammalian society will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered about the origins and reach of human goodness.
Based on the Tanner Lectures de Waal delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2004, Primates and Philosophers includes responses by the philosophers Peter Singer, Christine M. Korsgaard, and Philip Kitcher and the science writer Robert Wright. They press de Waal to clarify the differences between humans and other animals, yielding a lively debate that will fascinate all those who wonder about the origins and reach of human goodness.
As tensions simmer, and often explode, between the secular and the religious forces in modern life, the big questions about human belief press ever more urgently. Where does belief, or its lack, originate? How can we understand and appreciate religious traditions different from our own? Featuring conversations with twelve skeptics, atheists, agnostics, and believers—including Alvin Plantinga, Philip Kitcher, Michael Ruse, and John Caputo—Talking God offers new perspectives on religion, including the challenge to believers from evolution, cutting-edge physics and cosmology; arguments both for and against atheism; and meditations on the value of secular humanism and faith in the modern world. Experts offer insights on Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as Judaism and Christianity. Topical and illuminating, Talking God gives readers a deeper understanding of faith today and how philosophers understand it.
From Talking God:
“[Some say] Buddhism is not a religion because Buddhists don’t believe in a supreme being. This simply ignores the fact that many religions are not theistic in this sense. Chess is a game, despite the fact that it is not played with a ball, after all.”—Jay Garfield, from chapter 10, “Buddhism: Religion Without Divinity”
“Why think that the creator was all-knowing and omnipotent?— Maybe the creator was a student god, and only got a B minus on this project?”—Louise Antony, from chapter 2, “A Case for Atheism”
“There are a large number—maybe a couple of dozen—of pretty good theistic arguments. None is conclusive, but each, or at any rate the whole bunch taken together, is about as strong as philosophical arguments ordinarily get.”—Alvin Plantinga, from chapter 1, “A Case for Theism”
“If you cease to ‘believe’ in a particular religious creed, like Calvinism or Catholicism, you have changed your mind and adopted a new position— But if you lose ‘faith,’—everything is lost. You have lost your faith in life, lost hope in the future, lost heart, and you cannot go on.”—John Caputo, from chapter 3, “Religion and Deconstruction”
"Sober's is the answering philosophical voice, the voice of a first-rate philosopher and a knowledgeable student of contemporary evolutionary theory. His book merits broad attention among both communities. It should also inspire others to continue the conversation."-Philip Kitcher, Nature
"Elliott Sober has made extraordinarily important contributions to our understanding of biological problems in evolutionary biology and causality. The Nature of Selection is a major contribution to understanding epistemological problems in evolutionary theory. I predict that it will have a long lasting place in the literature."-Richard C. Lewontin
This anthology is well-planned, representative, and current in its orientation. All of the major positions and figures are represented, and the volume is framed by Buller’s essays, an organization that serves to consolidate many themes introduced by the diverse slate of authors.
The scientific revolution ushered in a picture of the universe as governed solely by mechanical causation working forward in time, which appeared to leave no room in nature for teleological (or goal-directed) processes. But within the last decade a near-consensus has emerged among philosophers that the theory of evolution by natural selection provides the framework for a wholly naturalist analysis of the concept of function in biology, and thus solves the traditional philosophical problems regarding teleology. Function, Selection, and Design illustrates this growing consensus and the recent debate concerning the details of a fully adequate analysis of the concept of function.
[Contributors include Colin Allen, André Ariew, Marc Bekoff, John Bigelow, David J. Buller, Robert Cummins, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Richard Goode, Paul E. Griffiths, Philip Kitcher, Ruth Garrett Millikan, Karen Neander, Robert Pargetter, Denis Walsh, and Larry Wright.]
"In Science as a Process, [David Hull] argues that the tension between cooperation and competition is exactly what makes science so successful. . . . Hull takes an unusual approach to his subject. He applies the rules of evolution in nature to the evolution of science, arguing that the same kinds of forces responsible for shaping the rise and demise of species also act on the development of scientific ideas."—Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review
"By far the most professional and thorough case in favour of an evolutionary philosophy of science ever to have been made. It contains excellent short histories of evolutionary biology and of systematics (the science of classifying living things); an important and original account of modern systematic controversy; a counter-attack against the philosophical critics of evolutionary philosophy; social-psychological evidence, collected by Hull himself, to show that science does have the character demanded by his philosophy; and a philosophical analysis of evolution which is general enough to apply to both biological and historical change."—Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement
"Hull is primarily interested in how social interactions within the scientific community can help or hinder the process by which new theories and techniques get accepted. . . . The claim that science is a process for selecting out the best new ideas is not a new one, but Hull tells us exactly how scientists go about it, and he is prepared to accept that at least to some extent, the social activities of the scientists promoting a new idea can affect its chances of being accepted."—Peter J. Bowler, Archives of Natural History
"I have been doing philosophy of science now for twenty-five years, and whilst I would never have claimed that I knew everything, I felt that I had a really good handle on the nature of science, Again and again, Hull was able to show me just how incomplete my understanding was. . . . Moreover, [Science as a Process] is one of the most compulsively readable books that I have ever encountered."—Michael Ruse, Biology and Philosophy
This book can be used as a textbook for intermediate philosophy of science courses and is also valuable as “suggested reading” for introductory courses in philosophy of science. The way the book is set up makes it an excellent study and research guide for advanced (MA and PhD) students that work on the topic of scientific explanation. Finally, it is a handy source and reference book for senior researchers in the field of scientific explanations and – more generally – for all philosophers of science.
A thoroughly engrossing memoir that recounts Beckwith's halting steps toward scientific triumphs--among them, the discovery of the genetic element that turns genes on--as well as his emergence as a world-class political activist, Making Genes, Making Waves is also a compelling history of the major controversies in genetics over the last thirty years. Presenting the science in easily understandable terms, Beckwith describes the dramatic changes that transformed biology between the late 1950s and our day, the growth of the radical science movement in the 1970s, and the personalities involved throughout. He brings to light the differing styles of scientists as well as the different ways in which science is presented within the scientific community and to the public at large. Ranging from the travails of Robert Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb to the Human Genome Project and recent "Science Wars," Beckwith's book provides a sweeping view of science and its social context in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Table of Contents:
1. The Quail Farmer and the Scientist
2. Becoming a Scientist
3. Becoming an Activist
4. On Which Side Are the Angels?
5. The Tarantella of the Living
6. Does Science Take a Back Seat to Politics?
7. Their Own Atomic History
8. The Myth of the Criminal Chromosome
9. It's the Devil in Your DNA
10. I'm Not Very Scary Anymore
11. Story-Telling in Science
12. Geneticists and the Two Cultures
13. The Scientist and the Quail Farmer
Reviews of this book:
In 1969, a Harvard Medical School group headed by Jon Beckwith accomplished a first in molecular biology--the isolation of a gene...When their paper appeared in Nature, they held an extraordinary press conference in which they described their work and warned of the danger that it might lead to...The press conference received international media coverage, and Beckwith found himself embarked on a double career--a continuing one in research and a new one of social activism in science. His Making Genes, Making Waves is an absorbing account of how these two strands in his life were woven into a durable braid. The prose is straightforward, and Beckwith is refreshingly frank, revealing the divagations and doubts that marked his course in research.
--Daniel J. Kevles, American Scientist
Reviews of this book:
In this beautifully written autobiography, Beckwith...vividly describes aspects of the 'cultural revolution in science that molecular biology brought with it,' epitomized by...major public controversies about genetics in the United States from the 1960s...Beckwith has portrayed a fascinating period in the history of modern biology and of the interaction of science and society in the Western world. Thanks to him and other activists, social injustices resulting from the application of genetics are now widely discussed and, in democracies, meet with legal measures and regulation. In this book Beckwith, a committed scientist...calls for greater humility about what science can and cannot accomplish. This is a call that scientists would do well to take seriously.
--Ute Deichmann, Nature
Reviews of this book:
Jon Beckwith in Making Genes, Making Waves reminds us that he first warned about the social impact of genetic engineering back in 1969. His autobiography shows what hard work it is to combine science and politics, to keep different networks of interests alive.
Reviews of this book:
Making Genes, Making Waves consists of a generally chronological series of vignettes detailing Beckwith's role in raising the consciousness of the genetics community and the public ("making waves") interspersed with brief descriptions of his laboratory research problems at various times ("making genes"). The prose is crisp, the episodes engaging and, as a heuristic of a successful modern American scientist with a social conscience, the book is probably without peer.
--Jonathan Marks, The Nation
Reviews of this book:
This autobiography charts [Beckwith's] journey through both aspects of his life in the second half of the 20th century: the research of his professional career, and his personal crusade to inform society of biological developments and involve us all in deciding how the new knowledge should be applied. Since he has made a significant contribution in both areas, the book is a fascinating read. He provides a frank but kindly description of his collaborators and other researchers, and an insightful account of science as practiced in several very different laboratories...Society is very much the better for the efforts of those such as Beckwith who clearly enjoy the challenge of describing complex issues to non-specialists and participating in debates as to how new knowledge should be used.
--Ian Wilmut, Times Higher Education Supplement
Reviews of this book:
Making Genes, Making Waves is a compelling history of the controversies in genetics over the last half century.
--Carmen Chica, International Microbiology
This is a strikingly honest and sensitive self-appraisal of trying to integrate a life in science with an equally committed life of social activism. It has special credibility coming from one of America's most distinguished microbiologists. It is a must read for any young scientist who is concerned by the tension between the beautiful rationality of science and the sometimes ugly outcomes of its application. In particular, Beckwith grapples with the harmful fallout that genetic studies might generate.
--David Baltimore, President, California Institute of Technology, and Alice S. Huang, Senior Councilor for External Relations, California Institute of Technology
In this book, Beckwith produces a fine parallel to what he has accomplished in his life -- a balance between science and humanism that is both extraordinary and exemplary.
--Troy Duster, Professor of Sociology, New York University
The renowned scientist Jon Beckwith wrote Making Genes, Making Waves so that students could learn an oft-hidden truth: it is possible to become a successful scientist and still be a social activist within science. Now more than ever the doing of science is intricately connected to its social applications. It is imperative that we prepare the next generation of scientists not only to understand these connections but to be willing and able to act on these understandings. This book, a compelling personal account of how one scientist-activist learned these lessons on his own, over a life time of work and activism, should be used in every introductory biology and genetics course in the country. Let's give our students a chance to learn biology and think about the social responsibilities of their future careers at the same time.
--Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of Biology and Women's Studies, Brown University, and author of Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality
In Making Genes, Making Waves, Jon Beckwith lucidly describes the essence of his scientific research and social activism. There was not a dull chapter, and I hated to put the book down. It will provide inspiration and encouragement to any aspiring scientist who worries about giving up other interests and commitments in order to advance. And to those who pursue research single-mindedly, it will be a reminder that their accomplishments can seldom be taken out of social or political context. Beckwith's compelling message is that making advances only in science, no matter how prestigious the awards (of which he received several), cannot be fulfilling as long as social injustice persists.
--Neil A. Holtzman, M.D.,M.P.H., Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Health Policy, Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University
Jon Beckwith presents a candid and compelling story of his career-long attempt to integrate two roles, that of the research scientist and that of the social activist. Scientists and citizens alike should be grateful to him for his contributions in both aspects of his work and for a book that demonstrates the importance of attending to the sociopolitical consequences of science. With luck, his lucid narrative will inspire others to follow his example.
--Philip Kitcher, Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University
At a time when many academic scientists have turned their attention to private, self-serving commercial interests, it is refreshing to read Jon Beckwith's ssensitive and candid memoir that defines a role model of a biologist who combined his passion for research with public-interest science. His book provides valuable insights into the career of a politically and socially-conscious scientist and of the influential Science for the People during the gestation period of genetic technologies in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas most scientists spend their entire lives oblivious to the socio-political aspects of their work, Beckwith emerged as a leading voice for exposing the myths of behavioral genetics and for alerting society of the perils of eugenics and genetic discrimination. His book is infused with the moral ideal that those with the specialized knowledge have a unique responsibility to warn society of the potential misuse of that knowledge.
--Sheldon Krimsky, Profess of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
In this extraordinary memoir, Jon Beckwith shows us a species we thought was all but extinct - the engaged citizen-scholar. He has fought the good fights, at some considerable professional risk, but he has survived and flourished, his ideals unsullied; and in these cynical days he is a reason to take some honest pride in the Academy. It should be on every graduate student's reading list!
--Jonathan Marks, Deptartment of Sociology and Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Can one at the same time produce excellent science and be a social activist who questions aspects of science? Jon Beckwith describes in his autobiography his attempt to combine these two activities. Making Genes, Making Waves should be read by graduate students, postdocs and collegues: it is a revealing story.
--Prof. Benno M'ller-Hill, Institut f'r Genetik, Universit't zu K'ln
Jon Beckwith's Making Genes, Making Waves is a thoughtful autobiographical essay on his experiences as a social activist in science in the face of resentment--even hostility--from many of his colleagues. But more than a personal memoir, this book shows that the commitment to social responsibility is entirely compatible with commitment to science; that love of science can co-exist with serious qualms about its social consequences. Above all, Beckwith's experiences as an activist, in a context where "social responsibility" has often been looked upon as a threat, suggests that scientists must consider and communicate the social meaning of their work if they are to maintain the public trust.
--Dorothy Nelkin, Professor of Law and Sociology, New York University
It is rare to find a young and honest man describing how he became a first rate scientist while his hesitations and mixed feelings about the role and function of science turned him into an effective social activist. This book is an excellent account, by a participant, of the debates about science and society that occurred in the last 30 or 40 years. The special point is that the same man was producing the best of the science that raised so much passion.
Contributors include Linda Zabzeski, Hugh McCann, Brian Leftow, Gareth B. Matthews, William L. Rowe, Elliott Sober, Derk Pereboom, Alfred J. Freddoso, William P. Alston, William J. Wainwright, Peter van Inwagen, Philip Kitcher and Philip Quinn.
Features fourteen newly commissioned essays.
Provides a comprehensive treatment of the major problems in the philosophy of religion.
Surveys the field and presents distinctive arguments.
In this volume, renowned philosophers and art historians revisit Danto's theories of art, action, and history, and the depth of his innovation as a philosopher of culture. Essays explore the importance of Danto's philosophy and criticism for the contemporary art world, along with his theories of perception, action, historical knowledge, and, most importantly for Danto himself, the conceptual connections among these topics. Danto himself continues the conversation by adding his own commentary to each essay, extending the debate with characteristic insight, graciousness, and wit.
Contributors include Frank Ankersmit, Hans Belting, Stanley Cavell, Donald Davidson, Lydia Goehr, Gregg Horowitz, Philip Kitcher, Daniel Immerwahr, Daniel Herwitz, and Michael Kelly, testifying to the far-reaching effects of Danto's thought. Danto brought to philosophy the artist's unfettered imagination, and his ideas about postmodern culture are virtual road maps of the present art world. This volume pays tribute to both Danto's brilliant capacity to move between philosophy and contemporary culture and his pathbreaking achievements in philosophy, art history, and art criticism.
Science and Nonbelief provides a nontechnical introduction to the leading questions that concern science and religion today: What place does evolution hold in the arguments of nonbelievers? What does modern physics tell us about the place of humanity in the natural world? How do modern neurosciences challenge traditional beliefs about mind and matter? What can scientific research about religion tell us about the nature of belief? How do skeptics react to claims at the fringes of science, such as UFOs and psychics?
The volume also addresses the political context of debates over science and nonbelief, as well as questions about the nature of morality. It includes a selection of provocative primary source documents that illustrate the complexity and varieties of nonbelief.
Arranged in three sections—law and policy; information technology; and information studies, history, and sociology—Privacy in America: Interdisciplinary Perspectives will be useful to scholars, practitioners, and students in a variety of fields, including information science, library science, and information systems.
‘Alienation’ is the catchword of our time. It has been applied to everything from the new politics to the anti-heroes of today’s films. But what does it mean to say that someone is alienated? Is alienation a state of mind, or a relationship? If modern man is indeed alienated, is it from his work, his government, his society, or himself – or from all of these?
Richard Schacht, in this intelligent analysis, gets to the root of these questions. Examining the concept of alienation in the works of Hegel and Marx, he gives a clear account of the origins of the modern usage of the term. Among the many insights to be gained from this analysis is a clear understanding of Hegel’s influence on Marx in this most crucial area. Mr Schacht goes on to discuss the concept of alienation in recent philosophical and sociological literature, particularly in the writings of Erich Fromm. Here he finds a great deal of confusion, which has resulted in a series of almost universally unquestioned misconceptions.
This, then, is a book for all of us who use – and mis-use – the term ‘alienation’, and who are interested in the concepts it brings to mind. The arguments of Professor Walter Kaufmann’s introductory essay provide a useful background for Mr Schacht’s analysis. In this essay, Professor Kaufmann states that ‘henceforth nobody should write about alienation without first reading Schacht’s book.’
In a clear and lively style, Richard Schacht has written a thorough introduction to the work of these seven founding fathers of modern philosophy. The bibliography has been updated for this revised edition to take account of the recent explosion of writings on modern philosophy.
The collection opens with a vital interrogation of general issues on explanation that apart from potentially fruitful areas of interaction (could the etiology of the causal-mechanical perspective in biology account for the historical trajectory of the Roman Empire?) this volume also seeks to chart relative certainties distinguishing explanations in biology and history. It also assesses techniques such as the use of probabilities in biological reconstruction, deployed to overcome the inevitable gaps in physical evidence on early evolution. Methodologies such as causal graphs and semantic explanation receive in-depth analysis. Contributions from a host of prominent and widely read philosophers ensure that this new volume has the stature of a major addition to the literature.
Building on the historic 1948 essay by Carl G. Hempel and Paul Oppenheim, "Studies in the Logic of Explanation,” which introduced the deductive-nomological (D-N) model on which most work on scientific explanation was based for the following four decades, Salmon goes beyond this model's inherent basis of describing empirical knowledge to tells us “not only what, but also why.” Salmon examines the predominant models in chronological order and describes their development, refinement, and criticism or rejection.
Four Decades of Scientific Explanation underscores the need for a consensus of approach and ongoing evaluations of methodology in scientific explanation, with the goal of providing a better understanding of natural phenomena.
Wagner, who wrote the libretti for the operas he composed, maintained that art is the union of the feminine principle, music, and the masculine principle, poetry. In light of this androgynous model, Nattiez reinterprets the Wagnerian canon, especially the Ring of the Nibelung, which is shown to contain a metaphorical transposition of Wagner's conception of the history of music: Siegfried appears as the poet, Brunnhilde, as music, and their union is an androgynous one in which individual identity fades and the lovers revert to a preconflictual, presexual state.
Nattiez traces the androgynous symbol in Wagner's theoretical writings throughout his career. Looking to explain how this idea, so closely bound up with sexuality, took root in Wagner's mind, the author considers the possibility of Freudian and Jungian interpretations. In particular he explores the composer's relationship with his mother, a distant woman who discouraged his interest in the theater, and his stepfather, a loving man whom Wagner suspected was not only his real father but also a Jew. Along with psychoanalysis, Nattiez critically applies various structuralist and feminist theories to Wagner's creative enterprise to demonstrate how the nature of twentieth-century hermeneutics is itself androgynous.
Originally published in 1993.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Chapters offer an information perspective on car buying, from the days of the Model T to the present; philanthropic and charitable activities; airline travel and the complex layers of information available to passengers; genealogy, from the family Bible to Ancestry.com; sports statistics, as well as fantasy sports leagues and their fans' obsession with them; the multimedia universe of gourmet cooking; governmental and publicly available information; reading, sharing, and creating comics; and text messaging among young people as a way to exchange information and manage relationships. Taken together, these case studies provide a fascinating window on the importance of information in the past century of American life.