Results for 'Beckett'

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  1. Well-Structured Biology: Numerical Taxonomy's Epistemic Vision for Systematics.Beckett Sterner - 2014 - In Andrew Hamilton (ed.), Patterns in Nature. University of California Press. pp. 213-244.
    What does it look like when a group of scientists set out to re-envision an entire field of biology in symbolic and formal terms? I analyze the founding and articulation of Numerical Taxonomy between 1950 and 1970, the period when it set out a radical new approach to classification and founded a tradition of mathematics in systematic biology. I argue that introducing mathematics in a comprehensive way also requires re-organizing the daily work of scientists in the field. Numerical taxonomists sought (...)
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  2. Object spaces: An organizing strategy for biological theorizing.Beckett Sterner - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):280-286.
    A classic analytic approach to biological phenomena seeks to refine definitions until classes are sufficiently homogenous to support prediction and explanation, but this approach founders on cases where a single process produces objects with similar forms but heterogeneous behaviors. I introduce object spaces as a tool to tackle this challenging diversity of biological objects in terms of causal processes with well-defined formal properties. Object spaces have three primary components: (1) a combinatorial biological process such as protein synthesis that generates objects (...)
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  3. Integrative pluralism for biological function.Beckett Sterner & Samuel Cusimano - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):1-21.
    We introduce a new type of pluralism about biological function that, in contrast to existing, demonstrates a practical integration among the term’s different meanings. In particular, we show how to generalize Sandra Mitchell’s notion of integrative pluralism to circumstances where multiple epistemic tools of the same type are jointly necessary to solve scientific problems. We argue that the multiple definitions of biological function operate jointly in this way based on how biologists explain the evolution of protein function. To clarify how (...)
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  4. Pathways to pluralism about biological individuality.Beckett Sterner - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):609-628.
    What are the prospects for a monistic view of biological individuality given the multiple epistemic roles the concept must satisfy? In this paper, I examine the epistemic adequacy of two recent accounts based on the capacity to undergo natural selection. One is from Ellen Clarke, and the other is by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Clarke’s position reflects a strong monism, in that she aims to characterize individuality in purely functional terms and refrains from privileging any specific material properties as important in their (...)
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  5. Moving Past the Systematics Wars.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 51 (1):31-67.
    It is time to escape the constraints of the Systematics Wars narrative and pursue new questions that are better positioned to establish the relevance of the field in this time period to broader issues in the history of biology and history of science. To date, the underlying assumptions of the Systematics Wars narrative have led historians to prioritize theory over practice and the conflicts of a few leading theorists over the less-polarized interactions of systematists at large. We show how shifting (...)
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  6. Explaining ambiguity in scientific language.Beckett Sterner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-27.
    The idea that ambiguity can be productive in data science remains controversial. Efforts to make scientific publications and data intelligible to computers generally assume that accommodating multiple meanings for words, known as polysemy, undermines reasoning and communication. This assumption has nonetheless been contested by historians, philosophers, and social scientists, who have applied qualitative research methods to demonstrate the generative and strategic value of polysemy. Recent quantitative results from linguistics have also shown how polysemy can actually improve the efficiency of human (...)
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  7. Individuating population lineages: a new genealogical criterion.Beckett Sterner - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (5):683-703.
    Contemporary biology has inherited two key assumptions from the Modern Synthesis about the nature of population lineages: sexual reproduction is the exemplar for how individuals in population lineages inherit traits from their parents, and random mating is the exemplar for reproductive interaction. While these assumptions have been extremely fruitful for a number of fields, such as population genetics and phylogenetics, they are increasingly unviable for studying the full diversity and evolution of life. I introduce the “mixture” account of population lineages (...)
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  8. Taxonomy for Humans or Computers? Cognitive Pragmatics for Big Data.Beckett Sterner & Nico M. Franz - 2017 - Biological Theory 12 (2):99-111.
    Criticism of big data has focused on showing that more is not necessarily better, in the sense that data may lose their value when taken out of context and aggregated together. The next step is to incorporate an awareness of pitfalls for aggregation into the design of data infrastructure and institutions. A common strategy minimizes aggregation errors by increasing the precision of our conventions for identifying and classifying data. As a counterpoint, we argue that there are pragmatic trade-offs between precision (...)
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  9. The normative structure of mathematization in systematic biology.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1):44-54.
    We argue that the mathematization of science should be understood as a normative activity of advocating for a particular methodology with its own criteria for evaluating good research. As a case study, we examine the mathematization of taxonomic classification in systematic biology. We show how mathematization is a normative activity by contrasting its distinctive features in numerical taxonomy in the 1960s with an earlier reform advocated by Ernst Mayr starting in the 1940s. Both Mayr and the numerical taxonomists sought to (...)
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  10.  18
    Communication ethics and the internet: intercultural and localising influencers.Robert Beckett - 2004 - International Review of Information Ethics 2.
    In the information-technology powered twenty first century a general demand for more effective communication is driving people to question the present, examine the past and to prognosticate the future. The ‘unique global media-information system’ - the Internet- is the central fact of a vast new complexity of communication that is driving social-economic-political-religious- technological change at a rate never experienced before. The premise of this paper is that the Internet can be better understood as the first complex global media with both (...)
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  11. How Data Governance Principles Influence Participation in Biodiversity Science.Beckett Sterner & Steve Elliott - 2023 - Science as Culture.
    Biodiversity science is in a pivotal period when diverse groups of actors—including researchers, businesses, national governments, and Indigenous Peoples—are negotiating wide-ranging norms for governing and managing biodiversity data in digital repositories. These repositories, often called biodiversity data portals, are a type of organization for which governance can address or perpetuate the colonial history of biodiversity science and current inequities. Researchers and Indigenous Peoples are developing and implementing new strategies to examine and change assumptions about which agents should count as salient (...)
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  12. Objectivity and Underdetermination in Statistical Model Selection.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The growing range of methods for statistical model selection is inspiring new debates about how to handle the potential for conflicting results when different methods are applied to the same data. While many factors enter into choosing a model selection method, we focus on the implications of disagreements among scientists about whether, and in what sense, the true probability distribution is included in the candidate set of models. While this question can be addressed empirically, the data often provide inconclusive results (...)
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  13. The Practical Value of Biological Information for Research.Beckett Sterner - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (2):175-194,.
    Many philosophers are skeptical about the scientific value of the concept of biological information. However, several have recently proposed a more positive view of ascribing information as an exercise in scientific modeling. I argue for an alternative role: guiding empirical data collection for the sake of theorizing about the evolution of semantics. I clarify and expand on Bergstrom and Rosvall’s suggestion of taking a “diagnostic” approach that defines biological information operationally as a procedure for collecting empirical cases. The more recent (...)
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  14. The Epistemology of Causal Selection: Insights from Systems Biology.Beckett Sterner - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters & James Woodward (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Causal Reasoning in Biology. University of Minnesota Press.
    Among the many causes of an event, how do we distinguish the important ones? Are there ways to distinguish among causes on principled grounds that integrate both practical aims and objective knowledge? Psychologist Tania Lombrozo has suggested that causal explanations “identify factors that are ‘exportable’ in the sense that they are likely to subserve future prediction and intervention” (Lombrozo 2010, 327). Hence portable causes are more important precisely because they provide objective information to prediction and intervention as practical aims. However, (...)
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  15. Review of Sabina Leonelli’s Data-Centric Biology: A Philosophical Study. [REVIEW]Beckett Sterner - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):540-550.
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  16. An account of conserved functions and how biologists use them to integrate cell and evolutionary biology.Jeremy G. Wideman, Steve Elliott & Beckett Sterner - 2023 - Biology and Philosophy 38 (5):1-23.
    We characterize a type of functional explanation that addresses why a homologous trait originating deep in the evolutionary history of a group remains widespread and largely unchanged across the group’s lineages. We argue that biologists regularly provide this type of explanation when they attribute conserved functions to phenotypic and genetic traits. The concept of conserved function applies broadly to many biological domains, and we illustrate its importance using examples of molecular sequence alignments at the intersection of evolution and cell biology. (...)
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  17. Samuel Beckett, Pragmatic Contradiction and The Vestiges of Practical Necessity.Josep E. Corbi - 2016 - In Tomas Koblízek & Petr Kotátko (eds.), Chaos and Form. Prague, Czechia: pp. 202-228.
    This essay examine Samuel Beckett's *Trilogy to specify the conditions under which we could make sense of practical necessity. Among other things, I will show how Ajax' must is connected to Mol/oy's attempt to visit his mother and to the need to keep talking that both Molloy and the Unnamable share. I will conclude that their dislocated pursuit of certainty reveal - among other things - how the conditions under which practical necessity can be properly experienced have been extirpated (...)
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  18. Beckett, Adorno, and the Hope for Nothingness as Something: Meditations on Theology in the Age of Its Impossibility.Anna-Verena Nosthoff - 2018 - Critical Research on Religion 6 (1):35–53.
    This article discusses the theological implications of Adorno’s writings on Beckett by specifically examining their constellative motifs of death, reconciliation and redemption. It addresses not only their content but also their form, suggesting a mutually stimulating relationship between the two as based both on a negative-dialectical approach and an inverse-theological trajectory. Focusing on Adorno’s discussion of Beckett’s oeuvre as a “metaphysical entity,” I argue that Adorno’s reading of Beckett is peculiar because it is inextricably tied to his (...)
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  19. Passion, Counter-Passion, Catharsis : Beckett and Flaubert on feeling nothing.Joshua Landy - 2010 - In Garry L. Hagberg & Walter Jost (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This chapter presents Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy as modern fictions with ancient-skeptical ambitions. Whether in the affective domain (Flaubert) or in the cognitive (Beckett), the aim is to help the reader achieve a position of studied neutrality—ataraxia, époché—thanks not to an a priori decision but to the mutual cancellation of opposing tendencies. Understanding Flaubert and Beckett in this way allows us, first, to enrich our sense of what “catharsis” may involve; second, to see (...)
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  20. Existential Abuse of Readers in Samuel Beckett’s Malone Dies.Syed Ismyl Mahmood Rizvi - 2015 - LANGUAGE FORUM 41 (1-2):157-172.
    Malone Dies marks the point where Samuel Beckett foremost turns to “metaphysical destruction” of “untrue self,” and Derrida’s critique of the notion of “self-presence” of the subject. In this article, I examine Beckett’s literary absurdities to his readers’ concerns of “abuse” through them. For this investigation Malone Dies posits a stream of conflicting “linguistic nihilism” to the concerns of deconstructing “untrue self,” arguably, which will reflect how abuse of Beckettian readers is stimulated. In this context, abuse is specific (...)
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  21. In Search of Enlightenment by Reading Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.Syed Ismyl Mahmood Rizvi - 2015 - Literaria: An International Journal of New Literature Across the World 5 (1-2):37-55.
    Beckett’s philosophical indebtedness has long been recognised – especially in conjunction with Dante, Descartes and Geulincx. In this article, I examine Beckettian universal values of Enlightenment, which will be exposed as self-serving mystifications that rationalize and instrumentalize the meaning of life. In this context, the awareness of the Enlightenment nature of Beckett’s writing in Waiting for Godot will be analysed along with the freedom appeal of his reader as he strives to attain the enlightenment.
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  22. Waiting for Godot: The Fragmentation of Hope.Benjamin Randolph - forthcoming - Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities.
    Waiting for Godot’s many commentators have emphasized the absurdity of hope in the play, but there has not been an account of how the play reprises hope’s historical transformation and weakening in modernity. This essay provides that account, arguing that Beckett’s Waiting for Godot sponsors a form of hope appropriate to the predicaments of modern societies. Godot stages the blockage of hope by reflecting the obsolescence and fragmentation of the religious and progressive legitimations for the concept that used to (...)
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  23. How to think like a Philosopher: Scholars, Dreamers and Sages Who Can Teach Us How to Live.Peter Cave - 2023 - London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    ‘...if you learn to think like Peter Cave – with freshness, humour, objectivity and penetration – you will have been amply rewarded.’ :::: Prof. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, University of Notre Dame __________________ Chapter Titles:>>> ___ 1 Lao Tzu: The Way to Tao >>> 2 Sappho: Lover >>> 3 Zeno of Elea: Tortoise Backer, Parmenidean Helper >>> 4 Gadfly: aka ‘Socrates’ >>> 5 Plato: Charioteer, Magnificent Footnote Inspirer – ‘Nobody Does It Better’ >>> 6 Aristotle: Earth-Bound, Walking >>> 7 Epicurus: Gardener, Curing (...)
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  24. Documents in Madness: Mental Disability and Affective Play in Twentieth Century Irish and Caribbean Literatures.Jennifer Marchisotto - 2019 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
    This dissertation takes up questions of access at the level of language itself, as well as in the context of cultural institutions in emerging global communities. Using the texts of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Shani Mootoo, I argue experimental narrative techniques develop new understandings of mental disability by pushing against the limits of language, particularly in relation to mentally disabled women. The novels and plays examined function as creative objects that refigure the reader’s relationship to mental disability through (...)
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  25. Evil or the Lack of Meaning.Patrik Fridlund - 2018 - Logoi. Ph – Rivista di Filosofia, Journal of Philosophy 4 (11):34-48.
    I argue that Paul Ricœur displaces and decentres established theodicies; the issue of evil is perceived as a practical rather than a speculative matter. It is the view of evil as a productive aporia, which suggests that evil provokes action and obliges human beings to take a stand ethically and politically. Hence, the topic of evil is not necessarily about putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The central problem of evil has less to do with logic than with resignation, inertia, despair (...)
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