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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Gauging Gender: A Metaphysics, Stephen Asma Nov 2011

Gauging Gender: A Metaphysics, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

In this article the author discusses sex and gender in human beings and examines how the study of science, particularly biology, has influenced the study of these subjects in higher education. It traces the evolution of sex and gender studies in academe, comments on the failure of many humanities scholars to dismiss biology in studying human behavior, and explores ways in which psychoanalysis, social constructionism, and metaphysics have informed the debate over the differences between sex and gender. Other topics include research conducted by Anne Fausto-Sterling regarding intersexed people, scientific tests focusing on sexual preference in rats, and thoughts by ...


Guantánamo Bodies: Law, Media, And Biopower, Cary Federman, Dave Holmes Oct 2011

Guantánamo Bodies: Law, Media, And Biopower, Cary Federman, Dave Holmes

Department of Justice Studies Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works

The idea of the Guantánamo detainee as a Muselmann, the lowest order of concentration camp inmates, contains within it important implications for the new understanding of sovereignty in the era of Guantánamo, in an age of exception. The purpose of this article is to explain the status of those who are detained at Guantánamo Bay. Stated broadly, in assessing that status, we will emphasize the connection between the altered meaning of sovereignty that has accompanied the placing of prisoners in an American penal colony in Cuba and the biopolitical status of the prisoners who reside there. More particularly, we will ...


Schrödinger And Nietzsche On Life: The Eternal Recurrence Of The Same, Babette Babich Sep 2011

Schrödinger And Nietzsche On Life: The Eternal Recurrence Of The Same, Babette Babich

Working Papers

Schrödinger and Nietzsche on Life: The Eternal Recurrence of the Same

This essay explores Schrödinger’s reflections on measurement, consciousness, and personal identity. Schrödinger’s, What Is Life? is read together with Nietzsche’s own reflections on the same question, in his aphorism What is Life? together with Nietzsche’s teaching of the eternal return of the selfsame. Schrödinger’s own thinking is influenced as is Nietzsche’s by Schopenhauer but Schrödinger also has the Vedic tradition as this influenced Schopenhauer himself in view.


Embraining Culture: Leaky Minds And Spongy Brains, Julian Kiverstein, Mirko Farina May 2011

Embraining Culture: Leaky Minds And Spongy Brains, Julian Kiverstein, Mirko Farina

Mirko Farina

We offer an argument for the extended mind based on considerations from brain development. We argue that our brains develop to function in partnership with cognitive resources located in our external environments. Through our cultural upbringing we are trained to use artefacts in problem solving that become factored into the cognitive routines our brains support. Our brains literally grow to work in close partnership with resources we regularly and reliably interact with. We take this argument to be in line with complementarity or “second-wave” defences of the extended mind that stress the functional differences between biological elements and external, environmental ...


Love: A Biological, Psychological And Philosophical Study, Heather M. Chapman May 2011

Love: A Biological, Psychological And Philosophical Study, Heather M. Chapman

Senior Honors Projects

The concept of love has been an eternally elusive subject. It is a definition and meaning that philosophers, psychologists, and biologists have been seeking since the beginning of time. Wars have been waged and fought over it, while friendships have been initiated and have ended because of this idea. But what exactly is love, and why is it important to define this enigma?

In order to help define this idea of love, several books and numerous research articles were consulted, and interviews were conducted with faculty of The University of Rhode Island. Dr. Nasser Zawia was interviewed, in order to ...


Risen Apes And Fallen Angels: The New Museology Of Human Origins, Stephen Asma Mar 2011

Risen Apes And Fallen Angels: The New Museology Of Human Origins, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

There has been a little explosion of "origin" exhibitions in the past few years. The recent bicentennial of Darwin's birth, in 2009, ushered in a bevy of traveling exhibitions and events. Grandscale permanent exhibitions have recently opened at the American Museum of Natural History (the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins) in New York, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins) in Washington, D.C. A new museology is afoot, and some of the recent changes are worth tracking. And let's not forget the recently opened Creation Museum in ...


Collaboration Using Open Notebook Science In Academia, Andrew Lang, Jean-Claude Bradley, Steven Koch, Cameron Neylon Mar 2011

Collaboration Using Open Notebook Science In Academia, Andrew Lang, Jean-Claude Bradley, Steven Koch, Cameron Neylon

College of Science and Engineering Faculty Research and Scholarship

Technology has a profound effect on how scientists can communicate with each other. This affects how quickly science can progress and what kinds of collaboration are possible. Although the printing press and the subsequent establishment of scientifi c journals dramatically increased the ability of researchers to disseminate their results and ideas, close collaborations between geographically separated individuals had to await the availability of telecommunication technologies, particularly the development of the Internet. Today, the ubiquity of sophisticated and easy - to - use tools to exchange information is enabling the creation of a “ shared presence ” between people, regardless of their geographical location. Researchers ...


The Study Of Social Sciences In Developing Societies: Towards An Adequate Conceptualization Of Relevance, Syed Farid Alatas Mar 2011

The Study Of Social Sciences In Developing Societies: Towards An Adequate Conceptualization Of Relevance, Syed Farid Alatas

farid alatas

Since the 19th century, there has been a strong awareness of a lack of fit between the western1 social sciences and non-western realities. Many examples of the irrelevance of western concepts, theories and assumptions have been noted in the literature. The fact that the social sciences emerged in the West, were initially practised in the Third World by colonialists and other European scholars, and then finally implanted among the locals during and after formal independence, had raised the question of the relevance of these bodies of knowledge to Third World societies and their problems. Some nonwestern scholars in the 19th ...


Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew Feb 2011

Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew

David J Depew

Conceptions of adaptation have varied in the history of genetic Darwinism depending on whether what is taken to be focal is the process of adaptation, adapted states of populations, or discrete adaptations in individual organisms. I argue that Theodosius Dobzhansky’s view of adaptation as a dynamical process contrasts with so-called “adaptationist” views of natural selection figured as “design-without-a-designer” of relatively discrete, enumerable adaptations. Correlated with these respectively process and product oriented approaches to adaptive natural selection are divergent pictures of organisms themselves as developmental wholes or as “bundles” of adaptations. While even process versions of genetical Darwinism are insufficiently ...


Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation, Stuart Glennan Feb 2011

Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids certain objections to Salmon's account of causal-mechanical explanation. I conclude by discussing how mechanistic explanations can provide understanding ...


Coerced Confessional, Miracle Exoneration: The Case Of Ex-Monster Jerry Hobbs, Stephen Asma Jan 2011

Coerced Confessional, Miracle Exoneration: The Case Of Ex-Monster Jerry Hobbs, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

No abstract provided.


The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma Jan 2011

The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article discusses atheism, Buddhism, and the practice of animism in southeast Asia. Atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are discussed as is the argument regarding the "provincialism" of religion. It is noted that some atheists echo the statement by philosopher Karl Marx that religion is an opiate that should be done away with because it has little moral value. The use of spirit houses as a part of religious practice in southeast Asia is described. The opinion held by theists on animism is explored. Other topics include living conditions in Cambodia and the role of religion in ...


Cognitive Systems And The Extended Mind, Mirko Farina Jan 2011

Cognitive Systems And The Extended Mind, Mirko Farina

Mirko Farina

No abstract provided.


A Novel Correlation Networks Approach For The Identification Of Gene Targets, Kathryn Dempsey Cooper, Stephen Bonasera, Dhundy Raj Bastola, Hesham Ali Jan 2011

A Novel Correlation Networks Approach For The Identification Of Gene Targets, Kathryn Dempsey Cooper, Stephen Bonasera, Dhundy Raj Bastola, Hesham Ali

Interdisciplinary Informatics Faculty Proceedings & Presentations

Correlation networks are emerging as a powerful tool for modeling temporal mechanisms within the cell. Particularly useful in examining coexpression within microarray data, studies have determined that correlation networks follow a power law degree distribution and thus manifest properties such as the existence of “hub” nodes and semicliques that potentially correspond to critical cellular structures. Difficulty lies in filtering coincidental relationships from causative structures in these large, noise-heavy networks. As such, computational expenses and algorithm availability limit accurate comparison, making it difficult to identify changes between networks. In this vein, we present our work identifying temporal relationships from microarray data ...


Biological Mechanisms And Evolution, Michael Zerella Jan 2011

Biological Mechanisms And Evolution, Michael Zerella

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Recent work in philosophy of biology has challenged the traditional assumption in philosophy of science that proper scientific explanations and predictions must be grounded in laws of nature that hold with necessity. Philosophical work on mechanisms in biology and cognitive science has shown that the traditional view, on its own, is too restrictive to account for scientific explanations and predictions in the complex, contingent realm of living systems. In the first part of my dissertation, I defend the view that a mechanistic approach to biology is preferable to the traditional approach, and I defend my own realist account of biological ...


Scholars Day Program Of Events 2011, Carl Goodson Honors Program Jan 2011

Scholars Day Program Of Events 2011, Carl Goodson Honors Program

Scholars Day

No abstract provided.


Plants, Processes, Places: Sensory Intimacy And Poetic Enquiry, John Ryan Jan 2011

Plants, Processes, Places: Sensory Intimacy And Poetic Enquiry, John Ryan

ECU Publications 2011

As an arts-based research approach, poetic enquiry has been theorised and applied recently in the social sciences and in education. In this article, I extend its usage to eco-critical studies of Australian flora and fauna. The Southwest corner of Western Australia affords opportunities to deploy arts-based methodologies, including field poetry, for celebrating the natural heritage of a region of distinguished biodiversity. I suggest that lyric practices in places such as Lesueur National Park and Anstey-Keane Damplands in southern Perth can catalyse embodied engagements with flora. The outcome of these practices is the invocation of the multiple senses— including the proximities ...


Cultural Botany: Toward A Model Of Transdisciplinary, Embodied, And Poetic Research Into Plants, John C. Ryan Jan 2011

Cultural Botany: Toward A Model Of Transdisciplinary, Embodied, And Poetic Research Into Plants, John C. Ryan

ECU Publications 2011

Since the eighteenth century, the study of plants has reflected an increasingly mechanized and technological view of the natural world that divides the humanities and the natual sciences. In broad terms, this article proposes a context for research into flora through an interrogation of existing literature addressing a rapprochement between ways to knowledge. The natureculture dichotomy, and more specifically the plant-to-human sensory disjunction, follows a parallel course of resolution to the schism between objective (technical, scientific, reductionistic, visual) and subjective (emotive, artistic, relational, multi-sensory) forms of knowledge. The foundations of taxonomic botany, as well as the allied fields of environmental ...


Plants As Objects: Challenges For An Aesthetics Of Flora, John Charles Ryan Jan 2011

Plants As Objects: Challenges For An Aesthetics Of Flora, John Charles Ryan

ECU Publications 2011

This paper presents the conceptual challenges to an aesthetic model of living plants based in embodied interaction with flora through smell, taste, touch, sound and sight. I argue that the science of aesthetics is deterministically visual. Drawing from theories of landscape aesthetics put forth by Carlson and Berleant, I outline four primary obstacles to an embodied aesthetics: plants as objects of sight, plants as objects of art, plants as objects of disinterestedness and plants as objects of scientific discourse. A multi-sensorial aesthetics of flora requires auto-centric proximity and degrees of intersubjectivity between the appreciator and the appreciated plant that raise ...


An Unlikely Marriage: Theorizing The Corporeality Of Language At The Crossroads Of Thoreau, Heidegger And The Botanical World, John Charles Ryan Jan 2011

An Unlikely Marriage: Theorizing The Corporeality Of Language At The Crossroads Of Thoreau, Heidegger And The Botanical World, John Charles Ryan

ECU Publications 2011

This paper examines the relationship between language, particularly language that expresses aesthetic experiences of plant life, and corporeality. The theorisation of language is a keystone towards conceptualising participatory relationships between people and the botanical world. A comparative reading of the works of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Heidegger provides a framework for approaching language as embodied participation. Despite political differences, Thoreau and Heidegger shared a mutual conviction about the generative powers of language. Thoreau’s literary practice partly involved immersion in places such as swamps and forests. Fittingly, Heidegger’s explication of Rilke’s concept of “the Open” mirrors the ...


Anthoethnography: Emerging Research Into The Culture Of Flora, Aesthetic Experience Of Plants, And The Wildflower Tourism Of The Future, John C. Ryan Jan 2011

Anthoethnography: Emerging Research Into The Culture Of Flora, Aesthetic Experience Of Plants, And The Wildflower Tourism Of The Future, John C. Ryan

ECU Publications 2011

How does anthoethnography contribute to the development of understandings of aesthetic experiences of wild plants and wildflower tourism? As exemplified by the quintessentially aesthetic industry of wildflower tourism, the culture of flora represents diverse engagements between people and plants. Such complex engagements offer further avenues for research. The critical methodology of anthoethnography has been one such approach to circumscribing the values, practices and rhetoric of wildflower tourism. Interviews have revealed perceptual phenomena such as the orchid and everlasting effects as two counterpoised examples of the differences between visual aesthetic values occurring in the region. For appreciators such as Tinker, botanical ...


Identifying Modular Function Via Edge Annotation In Gene Correlation Networks Using Gene Ontology Search, Kathryn Dempsey Cooper, Ishwor Thapa, Dhundy Raj Bastola, Hesham Ali Jan 2011

Identifying Modular Function Via Edge Annotation In Gene Correlation Networks Using Gene Ontology Search, Kathryn Dempsey Cooper, Ishwor Thapa, Dhundy Raj Bastola, Hesham Ali

Interdisciplinary Informatics Faculty Proceedings & Presentations

Correlation networks provide a powerful tool for analyzing large sets of biological information. This method of high-throughput data modeling has important implications in uncovering novel knowledge of cellular function. Previous studies on other types of network modeling (protein-protein interaction networks, metabolomes, etc.) have demonstrated the presence of relationships between network structures and organization of cellular function. Studies with correlation network further confirm the existence of such network structure and biological function relationship. However, correlation networks are typically noisy and the identified network structures, such as clusters, must be further investigated to verify actual cellular function. This is traditionally done using ...


Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew Dec 2010

Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew

David J Depew

Conceptions of adaptation have varied in the history of genetic Darwinism depending on whether what is taken to be focal is the process of adaptation, adapted states of populations, or discrete adaptations in individual organisms. I argue that Theodosius Dobzhansky’s view of adaptation as a dynamical process contrasts with so-called “adaptationist” views of natural selection figured as “design-without-a-designer” of relatively discrete, enumerable adaptations. Correlated with these respectively process and product oriented approaches to adaptive natural selection are divergent pictures of organisms themselves as developmental wholes or as “bundles” of adaptations. While even process versions of genetical Darwinism are insufficiently ...


Mariska Leunissen, Explanation And Teleology In Aristotle’S Science Of Nature, David J. Depew Dec 2010

Mariska Leunissen, Explanation And Teleology In Aristotle’S Science Of Nature, David J. Depew

David J Depew

No abstract provided.