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.
In 1943, fierce aerial bombardment razed the Berlin zoo and killed most of its animals. But only two months after the war's end, Berliners had already resurrected it, reopening its gates and creating a symbol of endurance in the heart of a shattered city. As this episode shows, the Berlin zoo offers one of the most unusual--yet utterly compelling--lenses through which to view German history. This enormously popular attraction closely mirrored each of the political systems under which it existed: the authoritarian monarchy of the kaiser, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, and the post-1945 democratic and communist states. Gary Bruce provides the first English-language history of the Berlin zoo, from its founding in 1844 until the 1990 unification of the West Berlin and East Berlin zoos. At the center of the capital's social life, the Berlin zoo helped to shape German views not only of the animal world but also of the human world for more than 150 years. Given its enormous reach, the German government used the zoo to spread its political message, from the ethnographic display of Africans, Inuit, and other "exotic" peoples in the late nineteenth century to the Nazis' bizarre attempts to breed back long-extinct European cattle. By exploring the intersection of zoology, politics, and leisure, Bruce shows why the Berlin zoo was the most beloved institution in Germany for so long: it allowed people to dream of another place, far away from an often grim reality. It is not purely coincidence that the profound connection of Berliners to their zoo intensified through the bloody twentieth century. Its exotic, iconic animals--including Rostom the elephant, Knautschke the hippo, and Evi the sun bear--seemed to satisfy, even partially, a longing for a better, more tranquil world.
Throughout the history of the Western world, science has possessed an extraordinary amount of authority and prestige. And while its pedestal has been jostled by numerous evolutions and revolutions, science has always managed to maintain its stronghold as the knowing enterprise that explains how the natural world works: we treat such legendary scientists as Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein with admiration and reverence because they offer profound and sustaining insight into the meaning of the universe. In The Intelligibility of Nature, Peter Dear considers how science as such has evolved and how it has marshaled itself to make sense of the world. His intellectual journey begins with a crucial observation: that the enterprise of science is, and has been, directed toward two distinct but frequently conflated ends—doing and knowing. The ancient Greeks developed this distinction of value between craft on the one hand and understanding on the other, and according to Dear, that distinction has survived to shape attitudes toward science ever since. Teasing out this tension between doing and knowing during key episodes in the history of science—mechanical philosophy and Newtonian gravitation, elective affinities and the chemical revolution, enlightened natural history and taxonomy, evolutionary biology, the dynamical theory of electromagnetism, and quantum theory—Dear reveals how the two principles became formalized into a single enterprise, science, that would be carried out by a new kind of person, the scientist. Finely nuanced and elegantly conceived, The Intelligibility of Nature will be essential reading for aficionados and historians of science alike.
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.
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.
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
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.