The three major classical accounts of the morality of abortion are all subject to at least one major problem. Can we do better? This article aims to discuss three accounts that purport to be superior to the classical accounts. First, it discusses the future of value argument for the immorality of abortion. It defends the claim that the future of value argument is superior to all three of the classical accounts. It then goes on to discuss Warren's attempt to fix up her personhood account and David Boonin's attempt to fix up Tooley's desire account. Warren claims that her updated version of a personhood account is superior to any potentiality account, such as the future of value account. The article evaluates her claim. Boonin argues that his improved desire view both deals adequately with the apparent counterexamples to Tooley's original account and also is superior to the future of value account. The article evaluates his views as well.
Advancing Evolutionary Explanations in Economics: The Limited Usefulness of Tinbergen's Four‐Question Classification
In this article, it is argued that Niko Tinbergen's (1963) four-question classification might be an even better antidote than Mayr's distinction against misunderstandings that hamper making headway with evolutionary theorizing in economics. Tinbergen's four-question classification, it is argued, can be seen as a further refinement of Mayr's distinction. Tinbergen's classification is used here as a sorting device. It is used not only to dispel misunderstandings of evolutionary theorizing, but also to warn against sketching all too simple evolutionary scenarios in evolutionary explanations. Tinbergen's classification might also help in understanding what evolutionary explanations can and cannot explain. It might be instrumental in sorting out different sorts of questions that might legitimately be asked about behavior and that might call for different answers.
This chapter deals with those fields that study computing systems. Among these computational sciences are computer science, computational cognitive science, computational neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. In the first part of the chapter, it is shown that there are varieties of computation, such as human computation, algorithmic machine computation, and physical computation. There are even varieties of versions of the Church-Turing thesis. The conclusion is that different computational sciences are often about different kinds of computation. The second part of the chapter discusses three specific philosophical issues. One is whether computers are natural kinds. Another issue is the nature of computational theories and explanations. The last section of the chapter relates remarkable results in computational complexity theory to problems of verification and confirmation.
This article reviews the impact of Thomas Kuhn’s monograph The Structure of Scientific Revolutions on subsequent work in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. It identifies the early philosophical reaction to Kuhn’s alleged “relativism” as based on a misinterpretation of his views about incommensurability and argues that the answers to relativistic challenges are already latent in Structure itself. Kuhn’s enduring influence consists in the impetus he gave to studies of the role of values within the sciences, in the recognition of the complexities of episodes of scientific change, in his proposals for understanding how scientific revolutions may change the world in which scientists work (this latter theme was at the center of his thought in the decades after Structure), and, most obviously, in his introduction of the term ‘paradigm’. In articulating that theme, Kuhn can be seen as returning to central ideas in classical pragmatism.
James F. Woodward
Agency and interventionist theories of causation take as their point of departure a common-sense idea about the connection between causation and manipulation: causal relationships are relationships that are potentially exploitable for purposes of manipulation and control. Very roughly, if C causes E then if C were to be manipulated in the right way, there would be an associated change in E. Conversely, if there would be a change in E, were the right sort of manipulation of C to occur, then C causes E. Accounts of causation in this vein have been defended by Collingwood, Gasking, and others. Similar ideas are defended by many social scientists and by some statisticians and theorists of experimental design.
Stephen G. Post
Of the many topics worthy of discussion regarding older adults and bioethics, two seem to provide an especially pointed opportunity for reflection on our aging society. First, is aging itself something that biomedical researchers should focus on as a deficit to be overcome through eventual anti-aging treatments? While aging may not fall neatly into the disease category, it is clearly the primary susceptibility factor for the innumerable diseases of older adults, and therefore its potential deceleration consistent with the compression of morbidity might constitute a salutary biomedical goal. The aging society is no panacea to those who suffer from a host of chronic illnesses and feel overwhelmed by the burden of years. Second, we must concentrate on the most challenging problematic of our current aging society, assuming that anti-aging technologies will only become available in future decades. One immense problem is the harsh reality of irreversible progressive dementia, which will serve here as an example of the rise of chronic illness, for which age itself is the primary risk factor.
This article explores a number of issues in agriculture and agricultural biotechnology putting a special emphasis within the philosophy of biology which is a fruitful area of study. The ecological impact of agriculture and the potential for humans to make novel contributions to genetic diversity raises questions about biodiversity. Thousands of years of selective breeding and food production using microorganisms in wine, bread, and cheese qualify as agricultural biotechnology. There are various disputes regarding genetically modified food, between products of agricultural biotechnology, and their conventional counterparts. The agricultural revolution also raises many ethical issues including concerns about corporate control, intellectual property rights, and use of traditional biological knowledge. We are on the threshold of the life sciences revolution. Unrevealing these mysteries of science will increase our knowledge and provide understanding of the world around us. Thus, it should lead to a better quality of life.
This chapter focuses on Leibniz’s philosophical reflections on alchemy and chemistry, beginning with his views on chemistry and natural philosophy, then considering his understanding of chemical practices as a way to discover the intelligibility of nature. The traditional hypothesis of an alchemical influence behind Leibniz’s development of the monad concept is also discussed. Finally, the chapter looks at Leibniz’s views on the epistemic status of chemical principles. On the one hand, alchemical experiments are perfectly connected to Leibniz’s metaphysics; on the other hand, the alleged alchemical proximities of this metaphysics give way to a general science in which chemical experimentation has a well-identified function.
S. Marc Cohen
Aristotle's Physics is a study of nature (phusis) and of natural objects (ta phusei). According to him, these objects—either all of them or at least some of them—are in motion. That is, they are kinoumena, things that are subject to change. The first book of the Physics is largely devoted to this task. The account of substantial change in the Physics is devoid of any commitment to prime matter. Aristotle also takes up the topics of alteration and coming-to-be in De Generatione et Corruptione. He adopts a kind of conservation principle: “the corruption of one thing is the generation of another, and vice versa.” In addition, Aristotle points out that all changes involve both a subject (hupokeimenon) and an attribute (pathos) of a sort which can be predicated of the subject, and says that either one of these is capable of “change” (metabolê).
Stephen J. Crowley and Colin Allen
This article focuses on comparative psychology, ethology, and cognitive ethology which explain animal behaviour. The same old questions raised by ancient Greek are discussed by scientists today. Morgan's pioneer work show that a quantitative approach to the physical features of animals and their behavioral products was not beyond imagination. He believed that a scientific understanding of the mental states of animals depends on a “double inductive” process, combining inductive inferences based on observation of animal behavior with knowledge of our own minds. The ethological work concentrated on non-mammalian species. Later “cognitive ethology” was used to describe the research program which combines both cognitive science and classical ethology. The fact that emotion plays a more significant role in animal behaviour was inferred. There have been various attempts to develop a fully integrative approach to animal behavior, but the study of behavior moves in different directions.