On the Origin of Autonomy

A New Look at the Major Transitions in Evolution

Author: Bernd Rosslenbroich

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 331904141X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 297

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This volume describes features of autonomy and integrates them into the recent discussion of factors in evolution. In recent years ideas about major transitions in evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. They include questions about the origin of evolutionary innovation, their genetic and epigenetic background, the role of the phenotype and of changes in ontogenetic pathways. In the present book, it is argued that it is likewise necessary to question the properties of these innovations and what was qualitatively generated during the macroevolutionary transitions. The author states that a recurring central aspect of macroevolutionary innovations is an increase in individual organismal autonomy whereby it is emancipated from the environment with changes in its capacity for flexibility, self-regulation and self-control of behavior. The first chapters define the concept of autonomy and examine its history and its epistemological context. Later chapters demonstrate how changes in autonomy took place during the major evolutionary transitions and investigate the generation of organs and physiological systems. They synthesize material from various disciplines including zoology, comparative physiology, morphology, molecular biology, neurobiology and ethology. It is argued that the concept is also relevant for understanding the relation of the biological evolution of man to his cultural abilities. Finally the relation of autonomy to adaptation, niche construction, phenotypic plasticity and other factors and patterns in evolution is discussed. The text has a clear perspective from the context of systems biology, arguing that the generation of biological autonomy must be interpreted within an integrative systems approach.

What Makes Biology Unique?

Considerations on the Autonomy of a Scientific Discipline

Author: Ernst Mayr

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521700344

Category: Psychology

Page: 232

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This book, a collection of essays written by the most eminent evolutionary biologist of the twentieth century, explores biology as an autonomous science, offers insights on the history of evolutionary thought, critiques the contributions of philosophy to the science of biology, and comments on several of the major ongoing issues in evolutionary theory. Notably, Mayr explains that Darwin's theory of evolution is actually five separate theories, each with its own history, trajectory and impact. Natural selection is a separate idea from common descent, and from geographic speciation, and so on. A number of the perennial Darwinian controversies may well have been caused by the confounding of the five separate theories into a single composite. Those interested in evolutionary theory, or the philosophy and history of science will find useful ideas in this book, which should appeal to virtually anyone with a broad curiosity about biology.

The Urban Origins of Suburban Autonomy

Author: Richardson Dilworth

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674015319

Category: Political Science

Page: 267

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Using the urbanized area that spreads across northern New Jersey and around New York City as a case study, this book presents a convincing explanation of metropolitan fragmentation--the process by which suburban communities remain as is or break off and form separate political entities. The process has important and deleterious consequences for a range of urban issues, including the weakening of public finance and school integration. The explanation centers on the independent effect of urban infrastructure, specifically sewers, roads, waterworks, gas, and electricity networks. The book argues that the development of such infrastructure in the late nineteenth century not only permitted cities to expand by annexing adjacent municipalities, but also further enhanced the ability of these suburban entities to remain or break away and form independent municipalities. The process was crucial in creating a proliferation of municipalities within metropolitan regions. The book thus shows that the roots of the urban crisis can be found in the interplay between technology, politics, and public works in the American city.

Intentionality, Deliberation and Autonomy

The Action-Theoretic Basis of Practical Philosophy

Author: Sandro Nannini

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317114795

Category: Philosophy

Page: 326

View: 9175

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Many important thinkers in the philosophical tradition, like Aristotle or Hume, have used an explicit theory of action as the basis of their respective normative theories of practical rationality and morality. The idea behind this architecture of theories is that action theory can inform us about the origin, bonds, reach and limits of practical reason. The aim of this book is to revive this direct connection between action theory and practical philosophy, in particular to provide systematic action-theoretical underpinnings for the discussion about the normative structure of practical reason. This book brings together a collection of specially commissioned essays from internationally prestigious scholars in the field and represents the state of the art in contemporary philosophy of action. The book is divided into three parts: i. conceptual work about what actions, intentions and intentional actions are; ii. empirical theory of practical deliberation; and iii.theories about the action theoretic features of autonomy. The volume significantly advances these three lines of research and offers important new contributions to each of them.

Biological Autonomy

A Philosophical and Theoretical Enquiry

Author: Alvaro Moreno,Matteo Mossio

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9401798370

Category: Philosophy

Page: 221

View: 8572

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Since Darwin, Biology has been framed on the idea of evolution by natural selection, which has profoundly influenced the scientific and philosophical comprehension of biological phenomena and of our place in Nature. This book argues that contemporary biology should progress towards and revolve around an even more fundamental idea, that of autonomy. Biological autonomy describes living organisms as organised systems, which are able to self-produce and self-maintain as integrated entities, to establish their own goals and norms, and to promote the conditions of their existence through their interactions with the environment. Topics covered in this book include organisation and biological emergence, organisms, agency, levels of autonomy, cognition, and a look at the historical dimension of autonomy. The current development of scientific investigations on autonomous organisation calls for a theoretical and philosophical analysis. This can contribute to the elaboration of an original understanding of life - including human life - on Earth, opening new perspectives and enabling fecund interactions with other existing theories and approaches. This book takes up the challenge.

The Evolution of Beauty

How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us

Author: Richard O. Prum

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385537220

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 7229

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A FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SMITHSONIAN, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory

Author: Henry H. Bauer

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: N.A

Category: Medical

Page: 282

View: 1579

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"This work challenges the belief that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Among the many topics explored are the failings of HIV testing, statistical evidence that HIV is not a sexually transmitted disease, and problems caused by the differing diagnostic criteria for AIDS around the world"--Provided by publisher.

States of War

Enlightenment Origins of the Political

Author: David William Bates

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231158041

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 4171

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We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David Williams Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as constraints on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.

History of the Idea of Progress

Author: Robert Nisbet

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351515462

Category: History

Page: 370

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The idea of progress from the Enlightenment to postmodernism is still very much with us. In intellectual discourse, journals, popular magazines, and radio and talk shows, the debate between those who are "progressivists" and those who are "declinists" is as spirited as it was in the late seventeenth century. In History of the Idea of Progress, Robert Nisbet traces the idea of progress from its origins in Greek, Roman, and medieval civilizations to modern times. It is a masterful frame of reference for understanding the present world. Nisbet asserts there are two fundamental building blocks necessary to Western doctrines of human advancement: the idea of growth, and the idea of necessity. He sees Christianity as a key element in both secular and spiritual evolution, for it conveys all the ingredients of the modern idea of progress: the advancement of the human race in time, a single time frame for all the peoples and epochs of the past and present, the conception of time as linear, and the envisagement of the future as having a Utopian end. In his new introduction, Nisbet shows why the idea of progress remains of critical importance to studies of social evolution and natural history. He provides a contemporary basis for many disciplines, including sociology, economics, philosophy, religion, politics, and science. History of the Idea of Progress continues to be a major resource for scholars in all these areas.

Resilience of Regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean

Development and Autonomy

Author: Andrés Rivarola Puntigliano,J. Briceño-Ruiz

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137328371

Category: Social Science

Page: 273

View: 9644

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As regionalisation becomes an increasingly hot topic, the authors explain why regionalism has been most successful in Latin America and analyse current processes and opinions of possible future developments in the region, including the Caribbean, Central America, Brazil, and Mexico.

The Origins and History of Consciousness

Author: Erich Neumann,C. G. Jung

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691163596

Category: Psychology

Page: 552

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The Origins and History of Consciousness draws on a full range of world mythology to show how individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as human consciousness as a whole. Erich Neumann was one of C. G. Jung's most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right. In this influential book, Neumann shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, the tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying of the Dragon, Rescue of the Captive, and Transformation and Deification of the Hero. Throughout the sequence, the Hero is the evolving ego consciousness. Featuring a foreword by Jung, this Princeton Classics edition introduces a new generation of readers to this eloquent and enduring work.

Ancient Tragedy and the Origins of Modern Science

Author: Michael Davis

Publisher: SIU Press

ISBN: 9780809313907

Category: Philosophy

Page: 178

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Through a close reading of Sophocles’ Ajax, Descartes’ Discourse on Method, and Plato's Meno, Davis argues that ancient tragedy and modern science are alternative responses to the human longing for autonomy or striving to be a god. Tragic heroes assume that through politics they can exert more control over the world than the world will allow. To them the whole world is politics, or polis. Scientists seek to control by mastering nature, which, in essence, means to transform the whole of the world into a Polis. Thus the issues and motivations in modern science were already present in ancient tragedy.

The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

Author: Oren Harman

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393339998

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 451

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Describes the intellectual journey of eccentric American genius George Price, who tried to answer the evolutionary riddle of why people are nice, and eventually gave away all his belongings and took his own life in a squatter's flat.

The Invention of Autonomy

A History of Modern Moral Philosophy

Author: Jerome B. Schneewind

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521479387

Category: Philosophy

Page: 624

View: 8177

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This remarkable book is the most comprehensive study ever written of the history of moral philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its aim is to set Kant's still influential ethics in its historical context by showing in detail what the central questions in moral philosophy were for him and how he arrived at his own distinctive ethical views. The book is organised into four main sections, each exploring moral philosophy by discussing the work of many influential philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In an epilogue the author discusses Kant's view of his own historicity, and of the aims of moral philosophy. In its range, in its analyses of many philosophers not discussed elsewhere, and in revealing the subtle interweaving of religious and political thought with moral philosophy, this is an unprecedented account of the evolution of Kant's ethics.

Autonomy

The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World

Author: Lawrence D. Burns,Christopher Shulgan

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062661140

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 9686

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An automotive and tech world insider investigates the quest to develop and perfect the driverless car—an innovation that promises to be the most disruptive change to our way of life since the smartphone We stand on the brink of a technological revolution. Soon, few of us will own our own automobiles and instead will get around in driverless electric vehicles that we summon with the touch of an app. We will be liberated from driving, prevent over 90% of car crashes, provide freedom of mobility to the elderly and disabled, and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. Autonomy is the story of the maverick engineers and computer nerds who are creating the revolution. Longtime advisor to the Google Self-Driving Car team and former GM research and development chief Lawrence D. Burns provides the perfectly-timed history of how we arrived at this point, in a character-driven and heavily reported account of the unlikely thinkers who accomplished what billion-dollar automakers never dared. Beginning with the way 9/11 spurred the U.S. government to set a million-dollar prize for a series of off-road robot races in the Mojave Desert up to the early 2016 stampede to develop driverless technology, Autonomy is a page-turner that represents a chronicle of the past, diagnosis of the present, and prediction of the future—the ultimate guide to understanding the driverless car and navigating the revolution it sparks.

On the Origin of Species

Author: Charles Darwin

Publisher: Broadview Press

ISBN: 1460401530

Category: History

Page: 672

View: 1335

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Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, in which he writes of his theories of evolution by natural selection, is one of the most important works of scientific study ever published. This unabridged edition also includes a rich selection of primary source material: substantial selections from Darwin's other works (Autobiography, notebooks, letters, Voyage of the Beagle, and The Descent of Man) and selections from Darwin's sources and contemporaries (excerpts from Genesis, Paley, Lamarck, Spencer, Lyell, Malthus, Huxley, and Wallace).

The Borders of "Europe"

Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering

Author: Nicholas De Genova

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822372665

Category: Social Science

Page: 376

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In recent years the borders of Europe have been perceived as being besieged by a staggering refugee and migration crisis. The contributors to The Borders of "Europe" see this crisis less as an incursion into Europe by external conflicts than as the result of migrants exercising their freedom of movement. Addressing the new technologies and technical forms European states use to curb, control, and constrain what contributors to the volume call the autonomy of migration, this book shows how the continent's amorphous borders present a premier site for the enactment and disputation of the very idea of Europe. They also outline how from Istanbul to London, Sweden to Mali, and Tunisia to Latvia, migrants are finding ways to subvert visa policies and asylum procedures while negotiating increasingly militarized and surveilled borders. Situating the migration crisis within a global frame and attending to migrant and refugee supporters as well as those who stoke nativist fears, this timely volume demonstrates how the enforcement of Europe’s borders is an important element of the worldwide regulation of human mobility. Contributors. Ruben Andersson, Nicholas De Genova, Dace Dzenovska, Evelina Gambino, Glenda Garelli, Charles Heller, Clara Lecadet, Souad Osseiran, Lorenzo Pezzani, Fiorenza Picozza, Stephan Scheel, Maurice Stierl, Laia Soto Bermant, Martina Tazzioli

The Origin and Prevention of Major Wars

Author: Robert I. Rotberg,Theodore K. Rabb,Robert Gilpin

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521379557

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 2193

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Since the development of the modern state system in Europe four centuries ago, there have been ten general wars involving a majority of the major powers and a high level of casualties. Another major war is difficult to conceive of, since it would presumably be the last such conflict, and yet it is not an impossibility. In this volume a distinguished group of political scientists and historians examine the origins of major wars and discuss the problems in preventing a nuclear war.

Entangled Life

Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences

Author: Gillian Barker,Eric Desjardins,Trevor Pearce

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400770677

Category: Philosophy

Page: 279

View: 6431

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This volume explores the interactions between organisms and their environments and how this “entanglement” is a fundamental aspect of all life. It brings together the work and ideas of historians, philosophers, biologists, and social scientists, uniting a range of new perspectives, methods, and frameworks for examining and understanding the ways that organisms and environments interact. The volume is organized into three main sections: historical perspectives, contested models, and emerging frameworks. The first section explores the origins of the modern idea of organism-environment interaction in the mid-nineteenth century and its development by later psychologists and anthropologists. In the second section, a variety of controversial models—from mathematical representations of evolution to model organisms in medical research—are discussed and reframed in light of recent questions about the interplay between organisms and environment. The third section investigates several new ideas that have the potential to reshape key aspects of the biological and social sciences. Populations of organisms evolve in response to changing environments; bodies and minds depend on a wide array of circumstances for their development; cultures create complex relationships with the natural world even as they alter it irrevocably. The chapters in this volume share a commitment to unraveling the mysteries of this entangled life.