Do social systems evolve similarly to biological ones and societies similarly to organisms? For some time now, an interdisciplinary paradigm has been developing in this regard: the Generalized Evolution Theory. After pointing out differences between biological and cultural evolution, as well as different inheritance strategies, the book proposes a philosophy of science classification of the different approaches in this vast and ever-growing field of research. It leads from generalized microevolution to generalized macroevolution and to their synthesis. As evolution favors groups with high internal cohesion, it will also favor strategies and reward agents responsible for this cohesion. In the long run, generalized evolution selects those populations that exhibit a higher density of interaction.
Recent aspirations towards the technical perfection of humanity and nature call for a new type of ethics.
The overcoming of all human weakness is often viewed as a personal right as well as a common good. But fully overcoming human weakness would undermine the basis for mutual support and recognition. The achievement of complete technical independence from natural forces would end the embeddedness of humanity within natural history. This book defends the necessity of ethical assessment against the automatism of relying on technical developments or market processes. To identify both the values and ethical limits of technology development, criteria for the goodness of human life, and for nature in general, are required. This includes a meta-ethical discussion of moral objectivity, philosophical anthropology, and moral history. On the basis of that discussion, conclusions are drawn about ethical debates in the domains of medicine, biotechnology, and information technology.
An important aspect of narrative motivation is emotional understanding. The sequence of events completes an emotional cadence in the audience, which makes narratives meaningful for them. In this regard, negative emotions have an outstanding role. Based on general emotion-theories, positive emotions support approaching action tendencies while negative emotions endorse distancing and avoiding. However, this notion is not valid for aesthetic reception, because as research shows, aesthetic objects eliciting negative emotions greatly attract recipients and increase the intensity of the aesthetic experience. In aesthetic experience, it seems, negative emotions interweave with pleasure; moreover, they can be a source of pleasure. The studies of this volume discuss the role of negative emotions in the reception of fictional narratives with special interest to fear and disgust.
This book develops a modern evolutionary anthropological theory of the cognitive conditions for explanatory descriptions of the world.
Within the broad framework of processual hermeneutics, this monograph studies rationality by investigating what are the fundamental cognitive mechanisms required for the cultural development of rational constructions. It analyses the basic cognitive competences through which the human being connects categories and operations in a manner that allows it to orient itself in the world. If both understanding and explaining are forms of human-specific orientation, what does asking the question “how” imply cognitively? This monograph focuses therefore on the human-specific array of cognitive mechanisms, here referred to as enarrativity.
It has often been noted that liberal democracies are facing a serious political crisis. A common reaction to this situation is to call for more comprehensive or more effective liberal democratic education. This volume discusses some of the most important challenges to and critiques of the paradigm of liberal democratic education. In doing so, it offers novel insights into how liberal democratic education can be amended, extended or qualified to address the special challenges of the current political moment.
Scientiﬁc progress depends crucially on scientiﬁc discoveries. Yet the topic of scientiﬁc discoveries has not been central to debate in the philosophy of science. This book aims to remedy this shortcoming. Based on a broad reading of the term “science” (similar to the German term “Wissenschaft ”), the book convenes experts from different disciplines who reﬂect upon several intertwined questions connected to the topic of making scientiﬁc discoveries.
Among these questions are the following: What are the preconditions for making scientiﬁc discoveries? What is it that we (have to) do when we make discoveries in science? What are the objects of scientiﬁc discoveries, how do we name them, and how do scientiﬁc names function? Do dis-coveries in, say, physics and biology, share an underlying structure, or do they differ from each other in crucial ways? Are other ﬁelds such as theology and environmental studies loci of scientiﬁc discovery? What is the purpose of making scientiﬁc discoveries? Explaining nature or reality? Increasing scientiﬁc knowledge? Finding new truths? If so, how can we account for instructive blunders and serendipities in science?
In the light of the above, the following is an encompassing question of the book: What does it mean to make a discovery in science, and how can scientiﬁc discoveries be distinguished from non-scientiﬁc discoveries?
This book examines philosophical approaches to linguistic vagueness, a puzzling feature of natural language that gives rise to the ancient Sorites Paradox and challenges classical logic and semantics.
The Sorites, or Paradox of the Heap, consists in three claims: (1) One grain of sand does not make a heap. (2) One billion grains of sand do make a heap. (3) For any two amounts of sand differing by at most one grain: either both are heaps of sand, or neither one is. The third claim is rendered plausible by an initial conviction that vague predicates like ‘heap’ tolerate small changes. However, the repeated application of a tolerance principle to the second claim yields the further proposition that one grain of sand does make a heap – which contradicts claim number one. Consequently, many philosophers reject or modify tolerance principles for vague predicates.
Inga Bones reassesses prominent responses to the Sorites and defends a Wittgensteinian dissolution of the paradox. She argues that vague predicates are, indeed, tolerant and discusses how this finding relates to the paradox itself, to the notion of validity and to the concept of a borderline case.
Panpsychism has become a highly attractive position in the philosophy of mind. On panpsychism, both the physical and the mental are inseparable and fundamental features of reality. Panentheism has also become immensely popular in the philo-sophy of religion. Panentheism strives for a higher reconciliation of an atheistic pantheism, on which the universe itself is causa sui, and the ontological dualism of necessarily existing, eternal creator and contingent, ﬁ nite creation. Historically and systematically, panpsychism and panentheism often went together as essential parts of an all-embracing metaphysical theory of Being.
The present collection of essays analyses the relation between panpsychism and panentheism and provides critical reﬂections on the signiﬁcance of panpsychistic and panentheistic thinking for recent debates in philosophy and theology.
Without joint action, man’s cultural, scientific and everyday achievements would be unthinkable. What special cognitive abilities make it possible for this to happen so often and in so many ways? Dancing, waging war, building a castle together in the sandbox - joint action is a central component of everyday life and the success of mankind. This ability is based on special socio-cognitive abilities, the scope and interplay of which characterize the human species. Literature often focuses on the large and complex forms of joint action.
This book represents an attempt to present a philosophical reconstruction of joint action through an interdisciplinary investigation of small forms with few actors. This is suitable for explaining the behavior of children and adults, as well as for taking into account empirical results from related disciplines, especially developmental psychology.
What ought individual agents do with regard to climate change? This book challenges the common intuition that every individual agent is morally required to do her bit by refraining from individual polluting actions and still does not leave individuals off the hook. Climate change requires an extremely ambitious, collective solution. This book defends the primacy of promotional duties and focuses on getting individuals as members of society involved. By taking a rights-based approach, it provides a profound normative basis to lead a heated discussion e.g. with regard to what can reasonably be demanded of individuals. Next to addressing duties of specific groups of agents such as young parents, this book aims to derive concrete recommendations for action. But, more broadly, it aims to empower individual agents to finally be able to make a meaningful difference in the global fought against climate change.