The Naturalist Tradition from Linnaeus to E. O. Wilson
Author: Paul Lawrence Farber
Publisher: JHU Press
The importance of naming and categorizing nature has its roots in the biblical Genesis, as does the problematic view of man's domination over it. Farber (history, Oregon State U.) traces the scientific study of the natural world from its 18th century beginnings with Swedish botanist Linnaeus and his French rival Buffon, through Darwin's synthesis, to the modern theory of evolution (1900-50), and concerns over biodiversity by the "naturalist as generalist" exemplified by Wilson. Includes modest b&w illustrations.Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
Taking as a starting point the parallel occurrence of Cook's Pacific voyages, the development of natural history, scenic tourism in Britain, and romantic travel in Europe, this book argues that the effect of these practices was the production of nature as an abstract space and that the genre of travel writing had a central role in reproducing it.
This volume contains ten new essays focused on the exploration and articulation of a narrative that considers the notion of order within medieval and modern philosophy--its various kinds (natural, moral, divine, and human), the different ways in which each is conceived, and the diverse dependency relations that are thought to obtain among them. Descartes, with the help of others, brought about an important shift in what was understood by the order of nature by placing laws of nature at the foundation of his natural philosophy. Vigorous debate then ensued about the proper formulation of the laws of nature and the moral law, about whether such laws can be justified, and if so, how-through some aspect of the divine order or through human beings-and about what consequences these laws have for human beings and the moral and divine orders. That is, philosophers of the period were thinking through what the order of nature consists in and how to understand its relations to the divine, human, and moral orders. No two major philosophers in the modern period took exactly the same stance on these issues, but these issues are clearly central to their thought. The Divine Order, the Human Order, and the Order of Nature is devoted to investigating their positions from a vantage point that has the potential to combine metaphysical, epistemological, scientific, and moral considerations into a single narrative.
A systematic theory of naturalism, bridging metaphysics and the science of complexity and emergence. Reviving and modernizing the tradition of post‑Darwinian naturalism, The Orders of Nature draws on philosophy and the natural sciences to present a naturalistic theory of reality. Conceiving of nature as systems, processes, and structures that exhibit diverse properties that can be hierarchically arranged, Lawrence Cahoone sketches a systematic metaphysics based on the following orders of nature: physical, material, biological, mental, and cultural. Using recent work in the science of complexity, hierarchical systems theory, and nonfoundational approaches to metaphysics, Cahoone analyzes these orders with explanations of the underlying science, covering a range of topics that includes general relativity and quantum field theory; chemistry and inorganic complexity; biology and telenomic explanation, or “purpose”; the theory of mind and mental causation as an animal phenomenon; and the human mind’s unique cultural abilities. The book concludes with an exploration of what answers such a theory of naturalism can provide to questions about values and God.
Simple Ceremonies in the Native American Tradition for Healing Yourself and Others
Author: Jim PathFinder Ewing
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
These spiritual lessons are based on Native American shamanism but fit a wide range of interests from yoga and alternative medicine to Bible study and nature hiking. Hands-on exercises, step-by-step instructions for ceremonies, and sketches by the author's wife explain how to clear spaces of unwanted energy, create simple ceremonies, connect with spirit guides and angels, and interpret symbols. An extended discussion tells how to make a medicine wheel that resembles a labyrinth and use it as an engine for distance healing. Additional ceremonies for daily living, healing the earth, and soul retrieval are also described, and the spiritual quest itself is shown to follow the process of choosing a sacred place in nature, finding a sacred place within oneself, and connecting to the inner and outer worlds. Readers are encouraged to keep a notebook about their spiritual growth and refer to the key words and suggestions for internet research that are included.
John James Audubon's The Birds of America stands as an unparalleled achievement in American art, a huge book that puts nature dramatically on the page. With that work, Audubon became one of the most adulated artists of his time, and America's first celebrity scientist. In this fresh approach to Audubon's art and science, Gregory Nobles shows us that Audubon's greatest creation was himself. A self-made man incessantly striving to secure his place in American society, Audubon made himself into a skilled painter, a successful entrepreneur, and a prolific writer, whose words went well beyond birds and scientific description. He sought status with the "gentlemen of science" on both sides of the Atlantic, but he also embraced the ornithology of ordinary people. In pursuit of popular acclaim in art and science, Audubon crafted an expressive, audacious, and decidedly masculine identity as the "American Woodsman," a larger-than-life symbol of the new nation, a role he perfected in his quest for transatlantic fame. Audubon didn't just live his life; he performed it. In exploring that performance, Nobles pays special attention to Audubon's stories, some of which—the murky circumstances of his birth, a Kentucky hunting trip with Daniel Boone, an armed encounter with a runaway slave—Audubon embellished with evasions and outright lies. Nobles argues that we cannot take all of Audubon's stories literally, but we must take them seriously. By doing so, we come to terms with the central irony of Audubon's true nature: the man who took so much time and trouble to depict birds so accurately left us a bold but deceptive picture of himself.
Beatrix Potter's books are adored by millions, but they were just one aspect of an extraordinary life. This captivating biography brings us the passionate, unconventional woman behind the beloved stories: a gifted artist and shrewd businesswoman; a pioneering scientific researcher; a powerful landowner who conserved acres of Lakeland countryside; a daughter who defied her parents with her first tragically short engagement and who, finally was given a second chance of love and happiness.
Political realism dominated the field of International Relations during the Cold War. Since then, however, its fortunes have been mixed: pushed onto the backfoot during 1990s, it has in recent years retuned to the centre of scholarly debate. Despite its prominence in International Relations, however, realism plays only a marginal role in contemporary international political theory. It is often associated with a form of crude realpolitik that ignores the ethical dimensions of political life. The contributors to this book explore alternative understandings of realism, seeing it as a diverse and complex mode of political and ethical theorising rather than simply a "value-neutral" social scientific theory or the unreflective defence of the national interest. A number of the chapters offer critical interpretations of key figures in the canon of twentieth century realism, including Hans Morgenthau, E. H. Carr, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Others seek to widen the lens through which realism is usually viewed, exploring the writings of Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Leo Strauss. Finally, a number of the contributors engage with general issues in international political theory, including the meaning and value of pessimism, the relationship between power and ethics, the purpose of normative political theory, and what might constitute political "reality." Straddling International Relations and political theory, this book makes a significant contribution to both fields.
For centuries naturalists have endeavored to name, order, and explain biological diversity. Karl Jordan (1861–1959) dedicated his long life to this effort, describing thousands of new species in the process. Ordering Life explores the career of this prominent figure as he worked to ensure a continued role for natural history museums and the field of taxonomy in the rapidly changing world of twentieth-century science. Jordan made an effort to both practice good taxonomy and secure status and patronage in a world that would soon be transformed by wars and economic and political upheaval. Kristin Johnson traces his response to these changes and shows that creating scientific knowledge about the natural world depends on much more than just good method or robust theory. The broader social context in which scientists work is just as important to the project of naming, describing, classifying, and, ultimately, explaining life. -- Ian Paulsen, GrrlScientist
The acclaimed science writer “curates a visually striking, riotously colorful photographic display…of physical patterns in the natural world” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Though at first glance the natural world may appear overwhelming in its diversity and complexity, there are regularities running through it, from the hexagons of a honeycomb to the spirals of a seashell and the branching veins of a leaf. Revealing the order at the foundation of the seemingly chaotic natural world, Patterns in Nature explores not only the math and science but also the beauty and artistry behind nature’s awe-inspiring designs. Unlike the patterns we create, natural patterns are formed spontaneously from the forces that act in the physical world. Very often the same types of pattern and form—such as spirals, stripes, branches, and fractals—recur in places that seem to have nothing in common, as when the markings of a zebra mimic the ripples in windblown sand. But many of these patterns can be described using the same mathematical and physical principles, giving a surprising unity to the kaleidoscope of the natural world. Richly illustrated with 250 color photographs and anchored by accessible and insightful chapters by esteemed science writer Philip Ball, Patterns in Nature reveals the organization at work in vast and ancient forests, powerful rivers, massing clouds, and coastlines carved out by the sea. By exploring similarities such as the branches of a tree and those of a river network, this spectacular visual tour conveys the wonder, beauty, and richness of natural pattern formation.
A groundbreaking theory of personality. The author of the controversial book The Nurture Assumption tackles the biggest mystery in all of psychology: What makes people differ so much in personality and behavior? It can't just be "nature and nurture," because even identical twins who grow up together—same genes, same parents—have different personalities. And if psychologists can't explain why identical twins are different, they also can't explain why each of us differs from everyone else. Why no two people are alike. Harris turns out to be well suited for the role of detective—it isn't easy to pull the wool over her eyes. She rounds up the usual suspects and shows why none of the currently popular explanations for human differences—birth order effects, for example, or interactions between genes and environment—can be the perpetrator she is looking for. None of these theories can solve the mystery of human individuality. The search for clues carries Harris into some fascinating byways of science. The evidence she examines ranges from classic experiments in social psychology to cutting-edge research in neuroscience. She looks at studies of twins, research on autistic children, observations of chimpanzees, birds, and even ants. Her solution is a startlingly original one: the first completely new theory of personality since Freud's. Based on a principle of evolutionary psychology—the idea that the human mind is a toolbox of special-purpose devices—Harris's theory explains how attributes we all have in common can make us different. This is the story of a scientific quest, but it is also the personal story of a courageous and innovative woman who refused to be satisfied with "what everyone knows is true."
Few musical works loom as large in Western culture as Richard Wagner's four-part Ring of the Nibelung. In Finding an Ending, two eminent philosophers, Philip Kitcher and Richard Schacht, offer an illuminating look at this greatest of Wagner's achievements, focusing on its far-reaching and subtle exploration of problems of meanings and endings in this life and world. Kitcher and Schacht plunge the reader into the heart of Wagner's Ring, drawing out the philosophical and human significance of the text and the music. They show how different forms of love, freedom, heroism, authority, and judgment are explored and tested as it unfolds. As they journey across its sweeping musical-dramatic landscape, Kitcher and Schacht lead us to the central concern of the Ring--the problem of endowing life with genuine significance that can be enhanced rather than negated by its ending, if the right sort of ending can be found. The drama originates in Wotan's quest for a transformation of the primordial state of things into a world in which life can be lived more meaningfully. The authors trace the evolution of Wotan's efforts, the intricate problems he confronts, and his failures and defeats. But while the problem Wotan poses for himself proves to be insoluble as he conceives of it, they suggest that his very efforts and failures set the stage for the transformation of his problem, and for the only sort of resolution of it that may be humanly possible--to which it is not Siegfried but rather Br?nnhilde who shows the way. The Ring's ending, with its passing of the gods above and destruction of the world below, might seem to be devastating; but Kitcher and Schacht see a kind of meaning in and through the ending revealed to us that is profoundly affirmative, and that has perhaps never been so powerfully and so beautifully expressed.
Written especially for computer scientists, all necessary biology is explained. Presents new techniques on gene expression data mining, gene mapping for disease detection, and phylogenetic knowledge discovery.
In Explaining Cancer, Anya Plutynski addresses a variety of philosophical questions that arise in the context of cancer science and medicine. She begins with the following concerns: · How do scientists classify cancer? Do these classifications reflect nature's "joints"? · How do cancer scientists identify and classify early stage cancers? · What does it mean to say that cancer is a "genetic" disease? What role do genes play in "mechanisms for" cancer? · What are the most important environmental causes of cancer, and how do epidemiologists investigate these causes? · How exactly has our evolutionary history made us vulnerable to cancer? Explaining Cancer uses these questions as an entrée into a family of philosophical debates. It uses case studies of scientific practice to reframe philosophical debates about natural classification in science and medicine, the problem of drawing the line between disease and health, mechanistic reasoning in science, pragmatics and evidence, the roles of models and modeling in science, and the nature of scientific explanation.
Those Instructive and Useful Insects. With a New, Easy, and Effectual Method to Preserve Them, Not Only in Colonies But Common Hives. A Secret Unknown to Past Ages, and Now Published for the Benefit of Mankind
In God and Natural Order: Physics, Philosophy, and Theology, Shaun Henson brings a theological approach to bear on contemporary scientific and philosophical debates on the ordered or disordered nature of the universe. Henson engages arguments for a unified theory of the laws of nature, a concept with monotheistic metaphysical and theological leanings, alongside the pluralistic viewpoints set out by Nancy Cartwright and other philosophers of science, who contend that the nature of physical reality is intrinsically complex and irreducible to a single unifying theory. Drawing on the work of theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg and his conception of the Trinitarian Christian god, the author argues that a theological line of inquiry can provide a useful framework for examining controversies in physics and the philosophy of science. God and Natural Order will raise provocative questions for theologians, Pannenberg scholars, and researchers working in the intersection of science and religion.