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This essay explores Frederick Douglass’s lifelong engagement with science and technology. In line with other historians, it argues that while Douglass mounted a decades-long critique of scientific racism, he often reified negative racial stereotypes when repurposing racial science for integrationist ends. The essay also highlights Douglass’s emphasis on the liberatory potential of new technologies like steamboats, the telegraph, and photography. In an age enthralled with science and technology, Douglass framed technology’s emancipatory potential as an antidote to antiblack scientific racism. In doing so, he refused to allow scientific knowledge, vis-à-vis scientific racism, to be viewed primarily as a tool for black oppression and instead cast science as a source of black liberation.
This chapter is concerned with two fundamental driving forces of the process of modern economic growth: capital accumulation and technical change. The importance of these factors as drivers of productivity growth underwent a major acceleration with the First Industrial Revolution. This chapter surveys the available evidence on capital accumulation since 1700 in different countries, highlighting the expansion of fixed capital. The chapter then outlines the main contours of technical advances of the First Industrial Revolution, noting the critical role played by two technological trajectories: 1) mechanization, and 2) the development of steam power technology. Finally, the chapter discusses the main sources of technical progress in this historical period, flagging some directions for further research.
Stoppard's theatre regularly engages with science, both in works that specifically deal with issues like chaos theory, quantum physics, and consciousness, and in those which more generally raise questions about the limits of human abilities to understand and control the natural world.
The role played by mathematics in Stoppard’s theatre is both formal and epistemological. It is a tool for visualisation, providing shape and structure for the quandaries faced by his characters; it also serves as a model for ways of thinking that can integrate contradiction, instability, and unpredictability into a frame of knowledge.
History will mark the twenty-first century as the dawn of the age of precise genetic manipulation. Breakthroughs in genome editing are poised to enable humankind to fundamentally transform life on Earth. Those familiar with genome editing understand its potential to revolutionize civilization in ways that surpass the impact of the discovery of electricity and the development of gunpowder, the atomic bomb, or the Internet. Significant questions regarding how society should promote or hinder genome editing loom large in the horizon. And it is up to humans to decide the fate of this powerful technology. Rewriting Nature is a compelling, thought-provoking interdisciplinary exploration of the law, science, and policy of genome editing. The book guides readers through complex legal, scientific, ethical, political, economic, and social issues concerning this emerging technology, and challenges the conventional false dichotomy often associated with science and law, which contributes to a growing divide between both fields.
In this chapter, the influence of Hellenistic philosophy on Roman law is discussed in terms of method: with the help of the Stoic dialectical methods of classifying and defining the Roman jurists could start to systematise the organically grown output of their civil law and turn the resolution of disputes into a scientific enterprise, producing systematic overviews along the way. In the 6th century CE, the Roman Emperor Justinian took the influential decision that an updated version of one of these accounts itself be given the status of law.
In the wake of the Wall Street Crash in 1929, Europe faced a dramatic economic downturn and mass unemployment. Visions of a peaceful cosmopolitan Europe were soon replaced by ever more extreme nationalist visions, which reached their most appalling incarnation in the racist-nationalist ideology of the Nazis. The 1930s also saw continued attempts to champion and defend a European spirit, by, among others, Julien Benda, Stefan Zweig, Thomas Mann, Joseph Roth, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Heidegger. However, the distinction between such efforts and the nationalist view of Europe grew ever weaker, and following the outbreak of the Second World War, and particularly after the German invasion of Russia in 1941, it was the Nazis who were appealing to the idea of European civilization as threatened by the Asiatic. The non-European was, for them, incarnated by the Jews and by the Russians. As Chapter 7 seeks to demonstrate, no simple opposition between the cosmopolitan and the nationalist view of Europe stands up to scrutiny, since both were rooted in ideas of Euro-supremacism and the cosmopolitan view almost always took one national culture as its model.
Biology and theology are interdependent theoretical sciences for Aristotle. In prominent discussions of the divine things (the stars and their unmoved movers) Aristotle appeals to the science of living things, and in prominent discussions of the nature of plants and animals Aristotle appeals to the nature of the divine. There is in fact a single continuous series of living things that includes gods, humans, animals, and plants, all of them living and, in a way, divine. Aristotle has this continuum of divine beings, and a theory of value that corresponds to it, in mind not only in key parts of his theology and natural science (including astrophysics and biology), but also in his practical philosophy. Here I can do little more than call attention to some important texts and attempt to offer a coherent account of them, without being able to enter into the usual interpretive disputes. I begin by clarifying the terms “theology” and “biology” and their place in Aristotle’s division of philosophy. Next, I discuss how Aristotle’s theology is informed by his biology, and then how his biology is informed by his theology. I end by discussing some implications of the interdependence of biology and theology for Aristotle’s ethics and exhortation to philosophy.
This chapter offers an overview of key points of entry for the study of eighteenth-century science. The first section addresses how seventeenth-century philosophers challenged Aristotelianism and ancient cosmologies. The second details the importance of empiricism in the new study of the natural world. The third focuses on the roles of specific instruments and institutions in natural philosophical inquiry. Sections four and five cover two of the fiercest philosophical debates of the period: first, about gravity and action at a distance, and second, about theories of matter and spirit. The final section examines encyclopaedism and the emergence toward the end of the century of three new sub-disciplines: chemistry, botany, and geology. A distinguishing feature of eighteenth-century science is how closely it was interwoven with theology. Theories about providence and intelligent design were central to nearly every scientific debate because it was assumed that studying the causes of natural phenomena was the best way to understand the Prime Mover’s intentions for humankind. Accordingly, a recurrent theme in this chapter is the interconnection of religion and science.
What’s the conclusion? Do we have an edge on warthogs? The Christian thinks our superior status is God-given. The Buddhist thinks is all a way the world is. The Darwinian, like Richard Dawkins, too often opts for natural-selection-driven progress. The non-Darwinian thinks it is all in nature’s developmental process. Not much evidence to support this conclusion. Existentialism is terrifying. We are on our own. “Condemned to freedom.” It is the grown-up approach, and considered dispassionately is the only way to true life contentment and happiness. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.” The way forward too.
Despite Pope John Paul II's call for “intense dialogue” between theology and science that excludes “unreasonable interpretations” of Scripture, ecclesial statements on gender and sexuality—including John Paul II's own works—deploy an interpretation of the literal meaning of Genesis to perpetuate a complementarian anthropology that contradicts scientific insights about the human body. After illustrating the implications of this hermeneutical inconsistency, this article presents Jesuit astronomer William Stoeger's theological method and hermeneutics of the full flourishing of life as an alternative approach, which fulfills John Paul II's vision for dialogue and paves a way toward reimagining church teachings on gender and sexuality.
En mai 2019, le Canada a présenté sa soumission concernant son plateau continental étendu arctique à la Commission des limites du plateau continental. La délinéation des plateaux continentaux étendus, conformément à la Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer, résulte d’interprétations dans lesquelles s’entrelacent arguments scientifiques et juridiques à l’égard d’une situation géophysique singulière. Cet article examine la manière dont le Canada a composé avec la triple interprétation juridique, scientifique et factuelle à travers une étude articulée autour de la notion de “prolongement naturel.” Sont mis en relief les défis interprétatifs, mais aussi les opportunités que le Canada a saisies en participant au dégagement de consensus scientifiques et juridiques au soutien de la délinéation qu’il propose.
Ed Zigler believed that developmental science should be applied to policy, programs, and practices to improve the lives of children and families. He shared this belief with others and paved the way for alternative career pathways. This paper describes how Ed influenced others to connect science with program development, evaluation, and policy, and created networks of applied scholars. Ed Zigler's influence is broad and spans beyond academia to influencer organizations. We weave our own professional experiences throughout the paper, which we organized around three lessons we learned from Ed: (a) explore alternative career pathways and build the field; (b) start with the science and think application; (c) apply the knowledge and influence policy.
Ibsen engaged with many of the dominant scientific ideas of his time, especially those in the natural sciences, such as evolution and heredity. This chapter explores such scientific contexts and shows how and why Ibsen oscillated between respecting science, medicine and technology’s role in humanity’s progress and disparaging their destructive capabilities. The discussion also points out how science underpins some of Ibsen’s revolutionary innovations in theatrical form and content: his explorations of Zola’s naturalism, his dramatization of Darwin’s ideas, his foregrounding of the family unit as the subject of drama, his depiction of the constant tension between the twin forces of heredity and environment, and his radical scenographic vision of nature and landscape.
This chapter examines science and technology from a regulatory and theoretical perspective, providing an important background to the substantive issues discussed throughout the text. The first part of the chapter looks at regulatory theory as it relates to technology, beginning with the general approach of John Braithwaite, and then at more recent approaches to information technology and the internet, specifically the ‘law is code’ approach of Lawrence Lessig and its further development by Andrew Murray. Next, the chapter examines political theory, considering the relationship between individuals and societies – how the behaviour of citizens is best managed according to competing interests, and how governments should legislate to manage these interests. The third part of the chapter examines the basic theories of ethical reasoning, deontology and consequentialism. Lastly, the chapter discusses the nature of scientific knowledge that underlies technology, and how scientific knowledge becomes established.
This chapter explores the ways in which language is related to the other symbolic forms in Cassirer’s philosophy of culture. Like myth, religion, art, and science, language is a distinct symbolic form, yet at the same time it always appears in the context of other human activities. This means that whenever we talk about language as a symbolic form, we are forced to think of it relationally, in and through the different aspects of language that come into focus through the perspectives of the other forms. Leib distinguishes three constitutive functions of language: its sign function, its mediation between the “I” and the world, and its ability to encapsulate a “worldview” as a totality for consciousness. On the basis of these functions, he shows how language, as a medium for expression, reorganizes itself when aligning with myth, religion, art, science, and history. Ultimately, Leib argues that myth is an immanent possibility of language that remains active even in today’s “labile equilibrium” of culture.
This chapter explains the crucial role that science plays in the framework of the philosophy of symbolic forms. On the one hand, Cassirer’s functionalistic understanding of scientific knowledge is intimately tied with the history of self-liberation from the concept of substance that began with Galileo’s scientific revolution and that resulted in the focus of contemporary physics on purely mathematical symbols. On the other hand, for Cassirer science has broad cultural significance because it is at once the pivotal point of modern culture and remains influenced by other symbolic forms such as myth, language, and art, and ways of world understanding in general. In showing how science represents the 'theoretical self-awareness" of a new era of Western civilization, Ferrari emphasizes not only Cassirer's remaining commitment to Neo-Kantianism but also the continuity between his early epistemological view and broader philosophy of culture.
Ten years since the publication of the first edition of this handbook two things are clear: The world is no less complicated than it was a decade ago and we are better at designing, running, and analyzing experiments today than we were then. In light of these observations, in this chapter I highlight the areas in which political scientists and their collaborators have excelled and how they have done so; but I also point out the challenges –in fact, in some cases, the pure limitations – that remain. Still, the prescription is for more work, more science, and more explanation in the service of reducing the apparent chaos of the interactions between the people and institutions around us.
This book, concerned with the regulation of human embryos in vitro, and their use for reproduction and research, has explored the ways in which law does, and can regulate processually. As we have seen, the 1990 Act is static and unchanging with respect to the moral status of ‘the embryo’, yet our societal understandings and perceptions of embryos are not. The 1990 Act is, as we have seen, permanently liminal. A ‘gothic’ framing of embryos and the use of a liminal lens have each revealed a key facet of embryo regulation. All of the practices that law currently allows are regulating for: uncertainty, process, and change. Here, the truism coined by Thomassen that ‘liminality is’ has been explored and unpacked with reference what this means for embryos that are subject to our legal architecture. The reality of liminality still has much to say about the way we regulate in vitro embryos. This book has provided the reader with ways to think about the ways we navigate law, and processes governed by law into, through and out of liminality in ways that bring greater insights into the sensitive enterprise of regulating for uncertainty, when our focus of attention is an entity as fluid and remarkable as the human embryo.
I focus on the traffic in ideas between India and the rest of the world, covering religion, science and political ideas. India’s contribution to the global religious field was significant. While attempts at making Hinduism a ‘world religion’ were not uniformly successful, the circulation of the Hindu scriptures did impact the intellectual history of Europe and North America, contributing to a critique of the Enlightenment. Indian Islam was a major contributor to Islamic reformism, modernist as well as fundamentalist, and some major transnational Islamic movements had their origins in India. Indian Christianity recently acquired a significant global dimension, while India again became part of the world of Buddhism. I evoke India’s contribution to science through the scientists of world stature it produced. I also deal with how global ideologies such as liberalism, communism and fascism were appropriated in India in ways that were often profoundly original. I draw attention to the long-term success of the Indian version of fascism represented by the RSS and the BJP and present a study of Gandhi’s global impact. Finally, I look at the globally influential Subaltern Studies collective.